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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi there,
new member here and looking forward to have my 1st OB, i used to have a galant VR4 E39a 91 and very passionate about awd's, i will have the chance to check one tomorrow. it's a 2003 OB H6 3.0L, it has around 190K kms. would appreciate concerns that i need to watch out for:
  • mechanical issues
  • electrical issues
  • ecu issues
  • common leaks
  • climate control - a bit critical coming from where i live (6 months of snow / very hot during summer)
  • cost of maitaining one
  • any other point of concern would help
thanks!
jmw
 

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2001 Outback H6
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86 Posts
I bought my first OB last June. It is a 2001 H6 with 261,000 km. Some of the issues that I have addressed are:

Rust - The front bumper rebar was completed rusted through. I bought a new aftermarket bumper ($200) and installed. (Very easy). Also, the driver's side rear door dogleg was rusted through. I had a piece cut from a car at the wrecker and had it welded in.

Mechanical - So far, no real problems. I had a few oil leaks so I replaced the valve cover gaskets, not hard but some of the bolts are hard to get to. I also had an oil leak from the oil cooler that just needed a new gasket. I also replaced the tensioner and idler pulley bearings as highlighted in the sticky at the top of this board.

Electrical - I haven't had any issues and think these systems are pretty robust.

HVAC - Both the heat and the AC work very well, at least in my car.

Maintenance cost basically comes down to your wrench skills. If you can do most things yourself, then it is no worse than any other car.

Best of Luck and welcome to the board.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,126 Posts
be sure to check the condition of the cabin air filter.

in addition to the serpentine belt pulleys as mentioned, I've experienced;

worn/leaking o-ring at suction hose adapter on power steering pump

leaking o-ring on A/C hose-end at compressor

blown rear shock (I replaced all 4 struts/shocks)

replaced spark plugs at 60K miles (difficult)

I plan to inspect the cap on the fuel pump before a road trip this spring.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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15,483 Posts
You guys that are doing the plugs and valve covers at home: Lift the engine. Loose the engine mounts and remove the transmission torque arm and jack it up. Opens up a lot of room to work in.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,126 Posts

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01 LL Bean
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135 Posts

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks for the replies...
was able to check the OB earlier and we have a standing offer, however there are still people who wants to check the sub, hope that the owner calls tomorrow so that we can close the deal.
so far we did some tests:
  • a little vibration over 100 kph - maybe some alignment or wheel balancing, tires appear to be worn
  • interiors are intact and clean, although missing one head rest at the rear (middle)
  • body is ok, with a few dents here and there
  • was able to run through rough roads (snow, dirt and bumps) and feels that the suspension is ok
  • no whining issues when i steer L to R so i assume, PS pump is ok
  • a/c looks ok (although was not able to check for the cabin filter)
anything i missed would be helpful.... hoping to own one of these beautiful beasts
btw, any idea how much the cabin filter costs? will post pics should we close the sale:spend:
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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18,126 Posts
confirm all the warning lights are tested when key switched to ON.

confirm car will idle through tight 'donuts' on dry pavement with no bucking/jerking.

have a pre-purchase inspection done by a soob-experienced mechanic if possible.
 

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01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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I tried to do doughnuts with mine but I couldn't get the rear of the car to slide out.

Figure eights are easy. :D
 

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2014 Legacy 2.5i 6M
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150 Posts
I loved my E39A. I had to sell it because it became "unstreetable". Open wastegate, no power steering and about 425 WHP and terrible gas mileage made it a fast car, but not a very good DD.

Welcome to the Subie side!! We don't crankwalk or liquefy transmissions.
 
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