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2018 outback with the 2.5
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Discussion Starter #1
I've come across a fairly decent 02 with the H6 for under $3000.
Seen a lot of complaints about head gaskets and timing chains. It has kept me from purchasing. Car has around 185k on it. Seemed to run good, but I will be driving it up a mountain daily and with summer heat in California I'm worried. Should I be overly concerned or is this something that preventive maintenance can overcome?
Thanks
 

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2001 OBW VDC, 2004 WRX, 1999 LEGACY L (in a heap)
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depends entirely on its history. get it looked at to be sure, i'd say. anything stopping you from getting it inspected?
 

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Ask about service reciepts, and check the carfax. The carfax app shows service history for free.
The H6 has a much, much lower HG failure rate. Chains are a concern at that age, though i would just plan a full timing job at 200k.
That price isn't too bad, especially if everything checks out.
 

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2018 outback with the 2.5
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Discussion Starter #4
Car was taken in as a trade. Was from out of state, driven up in Tahoe. Still titled in Nevada, doubt if he put it in his name. Not sure of the history, seller doesn't have any knowledge on the car so he's said. Said he's never owned one . 16 year old car being sold as is with nothing implied. No shops I would trust ( he's out in the middle of nowhere) in his neck of the woods.

Found an 03 with 121k on the speedo, they want 4200. Front seats are worn, rest of car looks good.

Lastly I came across another 02 with minor damage to passenger door, 200k and he's asking only 1500. Interior looks better than the other two.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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no information from anyone on this board can be more than a side note for a 16 year old car.

a car's prior maintenance/repair history and it's present condition are vastly more important. as said above, can you get a pre-purchase inspection done? any dealerships around? any shop documents with it?
 

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2018 outback with the 2.5
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Discussion Starter #6
I will ask on any documents but he implied he didn't have any information on the car other than the previous owner stated all servicing was done on time ( I imagine that's a true statement ;) .
Closest dealer is about an hour and a half away from his place.
My assessment was the engine was clean (almost too clean). Over flow tank looked clean with out rust staining. Oil looked like it was due a change, dipstick showing average carbon buildup that I would say was consistent with the cars age/ mileage. Test drive engine felt good ( wouldn't say it felt any stronger than my 2018 with the 2.5). Noticed shifts felt clean but when lifting foot off the throttle almost felt like it up shifted ( did not see a change in the tach) . Not sure if that is a sign of bushings worn for the rear diff.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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If that was the H6, it wants premium fuel.

It has good passing-power, but it's doggy off the line. More so without high octane fuel.

are the tires identical? the AWD needs them to be, and close to each other in wear-level.
 

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02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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with H6 of US spec 2001-2009,

you start them up and let them idle till they get warm, watch for misfires on one side, watch for exhaust gases in the coolant. = head gaskets and needs a JDM engine as the easy economical fix....JDM importers exist right in LA and SD with 212hp EZ30D $600-700 to buy, one days work to swap.

timing chains: make tapping noise from inside the cover....if they are not tapping nothing to worry about. ....if they tap its fixable.

you can swap seats, ...southern california is the opposite of ideal for used subaru parts though.
...so maybe consider covers, ...or a upholstery shop if the condition bothers you.

high octane gas, just like a turbo:....but better gas mileage then the turbos:nerd::
..takes half a tank of easy running to remap the fuel trims/ transmission programing....
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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what you want to avoid is the ones going to "trade in", "auction" and ending up on lots *because* of the headgasket issue.

look over the cooling system and test drive/let idle as looooong as you can on H6's coming off a lot. you don't want to buy one with extant headgasket issues.

these are easily traded in and end up on lots sight unseen with no way to learning anything about it.

i prefer buying H6's from owners. you can actually learn something about the car and find out why they're getting rid of it. so far every H6 that has failed within months of buying that i have been personally involved with was from a dealer. all the private sales are batting 100%. i've also seen a number of blown headgasket, or suspicious cooling work, H6's on lots before as well.

i would say it this way - you want to avoid the higher rate of issues on dealer lots than the headgasket issue itself. the market and finances are such that the H6 is exaggerated in this regard.
 

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4, Gen 2 H6's: 2001 LLBean, 2002 LLBean, 2002 VDC, 2003 Plain...I love the H6's!
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302 Posts
Sorry to hijack the thread, but @eagleeye, tell me more about the tapping noise coming from the timing chain cover on an H6. Exactly what does the tapping noise indicate?
 

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Sorry to hijack the thread, but @eagleeye, tell me more about the tapping noise coming from the timing chain cover on an H6. Exactly what does the tapping noise indicate?
that it needs a chain/ guide job,...people post about them. more common in the 2001-2002 US spec years. OEM fix it parts would be of the 2003-2004 variety with some minor upgrade. (aftermarket things if they exist would be garbage). ...JDM 212hp may need them....but if no tapping no need fixing.

https://www.google.com/search?q=timing+chain+job+ez30d+site:www.subaruoutback.org


here is one being done on the bench for the camera,...although it is typically done in the car. (maybe with the rad removed for some added space).

 
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