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2006 Outback 3.0R LL Bean Edition, 140k
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all. This is my inaugural post on this forum, and I'm thrilled about it.

I bought my '06 LL Bean edition in late May, and have put around 3000 miles on it in that time. It's a great car – one-owner, regular service record, dealer did some work (repaired a minor oil leak, replaced thermostat) before selling it to me at 137k. It runs great, smooth and with a good bit of pull when I put my foot down.

I'm now at 140k, and due to COVID19 and moving out of my high-rent apartment in order to work from home in the purest sense (turning 29 in my parents' house), I've saved up a bit of cash. I knew I'd have to put some work into the car at some point, and want it to last me as long as possible. With the H6, the LL Bean package, and the 3rd gen body style, I've found nearly an ideal car. So I'd be willing to spend about $1,500 before winter (in mid-Atlantic USA).

Through all of my research, I've concluded that most folks seem to think that the notorious HG issues that the H4 of the era had don't exactly apply to the 3.0 H6. That is, as much – obviously as you push 150k, any engine might develop HG issues, among many others. I've taken the car in for a couple of services – one at the garage I bought it from, one at another local mechanic I trusted. The first was to get an alignment and an oil change (discounted due to purchasing there), and I also informed them I'll be heading on a 5-7000k mile road trip on 8/2. The looked it over and found nothing wrong mechanically. The second service was to fix a broken AC vent and radio antennae issue, both of which were easily fixed and the mechanic said he thought it was in decent shape.

So, as I head out on my trip in a few days, what should I look out for as the miles accumulate? Then, when I'm back, what should I address preventatively (knock on wood)?

In an ideal world where nothing goes wrong between now and the end of my trip, I'd thought immediately of stiffening the suspension because I want this car to be my weekender for car camping over many terrains, and I'll be carrying some cargo and some people throughout all of that. KYB struts (04 spec in rear, as noted in this post) in the rear paired with ($maybe$) King Springs. Other than the suspension work, I'm open and curious to hear anyone's thoughts.

Thanks a bunch.
 

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2005 Outback VDC limited 3.0r
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763 Posts
Pretty stout engines and cars. Maybe clean the radiator before the trip to help with cooling(they build up gunk over time). Any specific reason why the dealer changed the thermostat? Make sure it was an oem one. Aftermarket will cause problems. Remember to run only premium fuel(best fuel economy/less pinging). Make sure battery connections are nice and clean. Suspension bushings all around especially rear most likely need replacing due to age. Not a major problem normally. I bought mine at 120k 3.5 years ago, now at 177k. I've road tripped it many times, if you have passengers I would definitely recommend getting the rear struts replaced if they never have been. Can cause car sickness with the swaying and up/down motion that happens once worn. Just keep an eye on fluids every other gas stop or every gas stop for initial trip.
 

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2008 Outback 3.0R L.L. Bean
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57 Posts
The only issues that I had to replace are bushings, trans mount, old struts, bearings, CV boots, and a little oil seepage from the timing cover gasket. My steering rack is completely shot. Although steering is heavy, still turns just fine. All pretty fair common things to change as any car ages.

New bushings make the biggest difference in the world. I will second switchpnw, which is that the rear will sag a lot with heavy cargo/passengers on old struts.

Watch Mrsubaru, a Subaru mechanic, on YouTube. He gives you a list of things to look out for the H6 engine.




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