Outback VDC H6 Swap to Baja - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 242 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Outback VDC H6 Swap to Baja

(It's technically going into the Baja but I know it will get more feedback here)

So as much as the wife loves the Baja she's never been happy with the power it has.

We've looked into a couple of ways (super charger, turbo swap) and keep coming up with the same result as far as being a daily driver: H6 swap.

Between the timing chain and the general maintenance free life they have until 225k+ the only downside is premium fuel requirement which isn't a big deal.

So I've been keeping an eye out here and there for an H6 01-04 Outback for the right price.

I didn't have a lot of luck. Kept searching for months.

Opened up my search some more to include Outback Sedans (I always forget about Outback Sedans) and still no luck.

The original plan was buy a running and driving car, swap the drive train into the Baja, then swap the Baja drive train back and sell the car to recoup some costs.

Then I found a listing for a VDC Sedan, rear end damage, 150k, runs and drives, and no title. (Certificate of ownership, salvage)

While I liked the idea of the wife having VDC I didn't like the idea of destroying a VDC in the process. This works out perfectly as the vehicle is never going to see the road again.

Paid the owner and drove it home last night.



VDC and ABS system appears to be fine. It does currently have a check engine light but the engine isn't making any strange noises and it happily chugged away for 150 miles without overheating or any smoke so I assume it's a minor issue. I will pull the code and make sure it's fixed before swapping into the Baja (why bring problems in?)

I also plan to do a refresh on the H6 while it's out of the car. Plugs, coils, etc. Any other major things others recommend I should do while I have the opportunity is welcome. Again, the engine is at 150k so I imagine it's got plenty of life at the moment.

The plan now is to just use the VDC as a donor vehicle and sell the unused components plus the excess Baja parts (EJ25, 4EAT) to recoup some build costs.

As it stands, the current plan is:

Swap the Engine, Transmission, and Rear Differential, Radiator, Condensor, Power Steering pump, and AC pump are all H6 specific.

Swap Brake Booster and Brake Master Cylinder (VDC has a specific one)

Swap the ECU, other computers, and ABS Pump (All H6 VDC specific)

Strip the interior completely and move the wiring harness over. Merge the VDC harness with the Baja rear harness (the cargo lamp and the rear brake are different, not sure what else yet)

Keep the 'normal' climate control and avoid the Auto one from the VDC.

Undecided on the McIntosh unit. It really is nice.

The front and rear hubs, strut assemblies, springs, and brake assemblies are all staying as they currently are on the Baja. They all appear to be the same.

The H6 front strut springs are different but the Baja is higher than the Outback, so I'm going to have to check into that.

This is likely going to be a winter project (Jan-March)

So I'll be posting more updates then but for now it's just a parts hunt. Since I have a running and driving car as a donor I don't figure I'll need a lot more parts.

Once I think I'm ready, the VDC is mostly disassembled, and I am wanting to jump into this project I plan to take a week off of work to hopefully finish the majority of it in that time. We'll see.

Just wanted to see if anyone has any feedback or anything obvious I'm missing currently.

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post #2 of 242 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 04:47 PM
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While you have the engine out, I'd replace the VCG when you're doing plugs. Order of magnitude easier when not shoehorned into a Gen 2 engine bay.

With the 57ish bolts that hold the timing chain cover on (WHY?!) I would avoid cracking it open without good reason.

Mal has a slight whine that he was doing when I bought him, and he's been doing for my 28K miles of ownership thusfar. I'm guessing the early build (he has a 11/01 build date) guides are either not as robust or more likely, he had several 8000-10000 mile conventional oil changes based on the sludge build up I found.

That said, I've done well with M1 0w40 in him. MPG hit is noticeable, but slight. Trying for a 10K OCI and then a UOA to see how he's holding up.

Also, of course it's green.


Have you considered the Google search bar at the top of the forum?

2002 Outback wagon 3.0 L.L. Bean no more: "Mal" 134,000 and counting.
Cloth interior swap. HIR1 high beam upgrade. Yellow Lamin-X fog light film.

2006 Outback 2.5i wagon: "Professor Sprout" 96,000 and counting.
HIR1 high beam upgrade.

Rust in Peace:
"Solstice" 1996 Outback wagon, totaled at 115K.
"Kaylee" 2003 Outback wagon, sold at 167K.
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post #3 of 242 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brucey View Post
Undecided on the McIntosh unit. It really is nice.
cons:

there is nowhere to move the subwoofer to on the baja...

the cd player is picky about burns, and the tape player is the best way to get other things to play into it.

I wouldn't bother, and just replace the stereo with exactly what you want by selling the McIntosh stuff and recouping the costs.

Quote:
The front and rear hubs, strut assemblies, springs, and brake assemblies are all staying as they currently are on the Baja. They all appear to be the same.
doublecheck the rear caliper. I thought it was bigger on H6 models.

Gonna swap all the faux wood interior bits?

i eagerly await pics.
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post #4 of 242 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Mallard View Post
cons:

there is nowhere to move the subwoofer to on the baja...

the cd player is picky about burns, and the tape player is the best way to get other things to play into it.

I wouldn't bother, and just replace the stereo with exactly what you want by selling the McIntosh stuff and recouping the costs.



doublecheck the rear caliper. I thought it was bigger on H6 models.

Gonna swap all the faux wood interior bits?

i eagerly await pics.
It's possible the Baja got the H6 upgrade at some point as Rockauto lists :

CENTRIC 14247512 Includes: Pads, Bracket, and Hardware Info
Rear Left (Only 3 Remaining)

CENTRIC 14247511 Includes: Pads, Bracket, and Hardware Info
Rear Right

For both an 06 Baja and an 02 Outback H6.

Not sure on the wood yet. I actually like the steering wheel but she likes her current interior. Not sure how much the wood would clash unless swapping it all.
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post #5 of 242 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 05:34 PM
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good news if it is, you can sell it for a decent amount to a GD wrx owner for an upgrade~

more cost recoup~~

oh, hows the rearview? does it still work? Asking for a friend <_< yeah, thats the ticket...
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post #6 of 242 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Mallard View Post
good news if it is, you can sell it for a decent amount to a GD wrx owner for an upgrade~

more cost recoup~~

oh, hows the rearview? does it still work? Asking for a friend <_< yeah, thats the ticket...
It's all janked up, sorry bud. Doing the half dark liquid all the time thing. Anything else you want me to check?
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post #7 of 242 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 06:50 PM
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I'm sure people will want the dash if its not sun cracked.

Don't forget the nice in-door corner lights for yourself, or if you don't feel like wiring them, I might be interested.
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post #8 of 242 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 07:11 PM
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Subscribed. I'm also looking to purchase a donor H6 soon.

'03 Outback 2.5L 4cyl w/all-weather 4EAT
'06 Forester 2.5L 4cyl X Premium 4EAT
'05 Impreza 2.5L 4cyl RS Sport 5MT (current daily driver)
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post #9 of 242 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 07:29 PM
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what is the check engine light?

do you intend to "try" to keep the VDC system going.

do you intend to migrate the seats, and seat airbags with the BIU. ?

the swap from EJ251 to EZ30D is a big job it seems.

(and a agree on valve cover gaskets, NGK double plat spark plugs, new oil cooler gasket (with extra goo on the gasket),

? Want people to stop needing to ask what exact car you have? year -model -engine -trans, scroll down to "your car":
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Found a Subaru Vin Decoder (also works on many manufactures):
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post #10 of 242 (permalink) Old 10-23-2018, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Just got a chance to pull the code.

P0171 and P0174.

Lean Bank.

Seems to be the theme lately.

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