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Greetings folks,

I am brand new to the forum! Our family has had our 2002 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 since 2006 after it came off of lease return. My dad daily drove the car until 2017, and bought an Impreza. I bought it off him for a single dollar at 200,000km knowing it needed a timing belt, water pump, and a head gasket replacement (someday). Love the car to this day, but, the head gasket is weeping, and I'm wondering if I should call it a day.

I've always felt the car has been under-powered with the 2.5L 4-cylinder motor, and the rest of my cars are manuals, which I love dearly. I guess I have several questions:

1) For those of you that have the H6, how do you like it compared to the 4-cyl? Do you feel a noticeable increase in power? Do you feel it's "enough"?

2) As far as I'm aware, Subaru did not manufacture a manual transmission for the H6. Has anyone done a manual swap into their 6-cylinder car? Which transmission did you choose?

I'm just wondering if it's worth letting go of my 4-cylinder and making peace with it, and moving on to the H6 for a bit more fun/performance/confidence. My other cars have more power, so I'm even wondering if the H6 will ever feel like "enough.," so to speak.

Thanks for the advice!

-Matt
 

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Outbacks, SVXs, XT6, 4Runner, Celica, Brat, E150s
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I have a couple of them, and no, it doesn't feel like "enough". I've often wondered how it doesn't feel faster. Our '04 has a couple issues that mean I drive it pretty gently, but the '01 has neither, and still doesn't feel much more powerful. I do prefer it over the 4-cylinder for several reasons, but I do wish it had more.

The Manual transmission would be a big difference. I've driven an MT-swapped SVX, and it completely transforms it, I assume the same is true of the Outback H6s. Almost any manual transmission is an option, for various reasons, different style clutches, different gearing, axles, etc. The 5-speeds are going to be strained a bit with that amount of weight and torque, but an STi 6-speed is expensive. If you intend to manual-swap it, avoid the VDC cars, they have a different traction/stability control and ABS system that's all considerably more integrated, while a swap is possible, it's easier with an LL Bean etc.

Hop on Facebook, and look for the group "Six Swapped Subarus". There's a ton of good tech coming through there, including some guys that are beginning to decode the ROM in these ECUs, so any AT-related codes can be written out.
 
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