Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 20 of 168 Posts

·
Registered
01 Outback LL Bean
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This topic has been discussed on an adhoc basis on the forum. I would like to expand on that discussion.

I have a 2001 H6 with 152k on the clock. I believe one or both of my timing chain tensioners is failing. I do not want my engine to end up like some of the horror stories I have seen on this forum so I have decided to take some preventative steps. Although this may be a rare problem so far, I believe as more of the H6 owners cross the 150k barrier that we will start seeing more of these failures pop up.

I did some information gathering last night and have gathered the following part numbers for all of the components that are part of the timing chain system with the exception of the cams and cranks.

1. Timing Chains (2)
13143AA041 $58.52
13143AA051 $58.52

2. Chain Guides (5)
Guide 13144AA021 $19.70
Guide 13144AA003 $35.45
Guide 13144AA051 $13.12
Guide 13144AA031 $19.70
Guide 13144AA012 $26.27

3. Tensioner Lever Arm/Guide (These are what the tensioner press against to remove slack from the chain) (2)
Lever complete tensioner 13141AA001 $32.85
Lever complete tensioner 13141AA012 $30.21

4. Tensioners (2)
Tensioner 13142AA007 $53.25
Tensioner 13142AA017 $53.25

5. Idlers (2)
13146AA030 $25.58
13146AA080 $30.63

6. Idler Shafts (2)
2x13149AA001 $13 ($26)

7. Idler Plate (2)
2x13148AA000 $10.50 ($21)

8. Water Pump and primary Oring(1)
21110AA360 $95.12

9. Additional Oring (1)
806982030 $3

The question I have, is once I pop the timing cover off, what should I replace.

1. Obvious stuff to replace would be the tensioners and the tensioner levers. Given the cost of the other 5 guides, I think it would be a good idea to replace those as well.

2. Water Pump. Since the vehicle has 150k on it, and I would like to get another 150k out of it I think it would be a good idea to replace that while I am in there. That requires removal of the timing chains though.

3. Timing Chains. Once I have the timing chains off to replace the water pump, should I replace those as well. I do not expect the chains to ever break, but chain stretch could possibly be a problem in the future. Does anyone think that the chains are good to 300k?

4. Idlers. There are two idlers in the setup. I do not believe that they are on bearings, but that they rotate on a metal to metal surface that is lubricated along with the chain. Does anyone who has taken there H6 apart found the need to replace the idlers and the shafts they ride on?

Regarding all of this work. The Subaru manual rates the water pump replacement at a 3.1 hour job and skill level B. Since the water pump is the most buried component it seems like something that I could accomplish all of this easily in a day. What are people's thoughts?
 

·
Registered
'05 Outback LLBean w/3.0
Joined
·
47 Posts
Maybe the $64,000 question is why you think the timing chain tensioner is failing? It sounds like a big job and personally I'd want be pretty sure that was it before I dived in. Engine noises can migrate and some silly loose bolt or bracket can sound like the end of the world. Is there a mechanic you know who's familiar enough with the breed to give you a diagnosis? If you do the job and the noise is still there my guess is you'll feel pretty bad. I'd get a second opinion. Also, is it possible to simply replace the bad tensioner?
 

·
Registered
01 Outback LL Bean
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I think that it is the tensioner based on my experience with motors and the way the particular problem behaves. I do not know any mechanics that have experience with Subaru's let alone the H6. I do all of my own car work and after analyzing the job I do not think it is actually any harder than a timing belt job on a H4 with the exception of the many bolts that hold the timing chain cover on. In fact, i think most people think this is a difficult job solely because of the number of bolts that need to be removed, which I think I will make pretty short work of with an air ratchet.

That all aside, if I wanted to fix the immediate problem I would just replace the tensioners and move on. I'm interested however is extending the life of the vehicle via some preventative maintenance and would like to pass some of that on to other H6 owners. Plus I think it will be fun to tear into the H6 a bit.
 

·
Registered
2001 H6 VDC Outback
Joined
·
147 Posts
I have a 2001 OBW with 314,000 Ks' on the clock. I got it at just over 300,000 and aside from a brief (quarter-second) 'chain-slap' type of rattle from the front of the engine after having sat overnight, ..it runs like a clock. It's done that since I've had it.
It's been serviced 3-monthly since new and has had no major engine/transmission work.
Touch the wooden steering-wheel.. I'm hoping it gives some notice of when it's going to go on me though. :spend:
 

·
Registered
13 E350
Joined
·
981 Posts
well imo it does make sense to replace all that stuff while you are in there with exception of chains which can become stretched under right conditions but thats what the tensioner is there for.
the first response was how do you know its failing (i'd like to know as well as iam at 178k and climbing fast) my suggestion would be just take the cover off and inspect the components from what i remember thats what its called for at 200k inspect chain/tensioner not replace. this will be cheaper and it will give you a piece of mind if everything is well and you are just paranoid or if it does need replacing you are not wasting your money.
my advice would be to inspect first and then decide on the course of action. oh and take pics for the rest of us.
 

·
Registered
01 Outback LL Bean
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Give the effort to perform the inspection I would prefer to have parts on hand to replace when I take everything apart. Since I have 150k currently, I think I am going to replace the tensioners, guides, and tension lever arms and forgo replacing the other parts until 200k.
 

·
Registered
2001 H6 VDC Outback
Joined
·
147 Posts
Are you able to describe the sound (or behaviour) that you're experiencing?
I know that mine is telling me something, but I just don't know just how bad the news is.
A half length of broom-handle pressed to the ear and placed at different points around an engine probably isn't advised by the Surgeon General, but it will certainly isolate the more obscure sounds for you.
It makes sense to have as many parts as possible replaced in such a crucial and dynamic area of the engine in order to ensure longevity, yet only research and input from other more knowledgeable members can see you better prepared for what you'll find in there.
Some pictures of what's caused the sound/symptoms would be great!
 

·
Registered
01 Outback LL Bean
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Imagine taking a bike chain and pulling it along the edge of a table.

It occurs most frequently for me when slowing down after driving on the highway. Sometimes initially at startup.
 

·
Registered
13 E350
Joined
·
981 Posts
oh its that bad? at that point do the whole list from above and just forget about it for the next 150k
 

·
Registered
2001 H6 VDC Outback
Joined
·
147 Posts
Sounds like something needs doing really soon.
A catastrophic engine failure will have you replacing everything, so if you can't get that suggested "second opinion" and you still insist upon doing it yourself, then all I could advise, would be to prepare to do the whole lot.. do it sooner than later..
..and just pray that's where where the problem is!
(My motor is at 190k miles approx. by the way).
 

·
Registered
2001 H6 VDC Outback
Joined
·
147 Posts
Incidentally, I stuck my head under the bonnet the other morning while a friend started the car.
The sound was really loud and sounded like a rusty dog's-chain being dragged across the end of a corrugated-iron roof!
I'd checked a couple of weeks back and noticed the oil smelt of fuel.
The color and consistency appeared good and as I had been assured that the oil and filter had been done at approx 7k miles back.

Anyway.. I replaced the mucky PCV valve (after reading how to on this forum), changed the oil and filter and since then (apart from the initial start-up) there has been no chain noise on start-up.
The car is parked with it's nose up on a 20deg angle nightly I thought the noise could've been caused by oil draining down ..and I can only assume that I have some chain-guide wear which isn't audible at the moment due to the new oil.
Anyway Glennda5id I hope your own chain/engine issues are being sorted out.
I'm only just finding my way around the new forum structure, so I haven't heard news of your car.
Regards, Brett.
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/25225-glennda5id.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Cost?

I am looking at having this work done on my OBS. :( I am not a mechanic and have no idea how much something like this costs. Would $1200-$1500 be a good range with all parts and labor for this job?
 

·
Registered
01 Outback LL Bean
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Timing chain cover is off....oh the carnage! Drivers side tensioner is non functional. Passenger tensioner seems tight. Top guide (the long one) for passenger side chain is very chewed up. I'm surprised that the passenger chain guide is chewed up even though the passenger tensioner seems good.

I rotated everything until the cam shafts where all at the 12 o'clock position and things look a bit off. I'm trying to find the darkened chiming chain keys but I only see one so far.
 

·
Registered
2001 LL Bean, 1997 2.5L 5spd
Joined
·
178 Posts
Timing chain cover is off....oh the carnage! Drivers side tensioner is non functional. Passenger tensioner seems tight. Top guide (the long one) for passenger side chain is very chewed up. I'm surprised that the passenger chain guide is chewed up even though the passenger tensioner seems good.

I rotated everything until the cam shafts where all at the 12 o'clock position and things look a bit off. I'm trying to find the darkened chiming chain keys but I only see one so far.
You'd be hard pressed to get the chain keys to line up with the sprocket marks after the car has been running. Those are really only useful during reassembly. The dark gray links are pretty subtle; you can just make them out at about 3 o'clock on the intake and 6 o'clock on the exhaust in this photo of my engine:



I'd be interested to know what failed in your tensioner. Did the internal springs fatigue and break? Did the oil passage behind the tensioner get clogged, cutting off the feed? Something else?

If you're in DC, I may not be far away, and as far as I can tell I'm one of the few people who have torn apart the H6. If you'd like to consult, just let me know and I'll PM my phone number.
 

·
Registered
OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
Joined
·
12,371 Posts
$602.17 parts pricing - might include that on the first page with pricing as a guide?
is that dealer pricing or online dealer pricing?

great to see more information coming out on this. i'm strapped for time right now but will be doing this soon - i was planning on this summer but it might be awhile as my schedule is not very forgiving right now.

i bought mine with 125,000 and it now has 180,000 - it has had loud timing chain noise under load since i bought it and it hasn't gotten any worse. only noticeable at high rpm's like 4k and up, so every time i accelerate or downshift. i realize that's risky but thought i'd pass that along.
 

·
Registered
01 Outback LL Bean
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Karl,

I just moved from DC! I am currently living in LA. I decided to go all the way and replace all of the components in the timing chain setup including the chains, water pump and idlers. I really don't want to go through this again just to save a couple hundred dollars.

One question, how did you seal the timing chain covers? RTV gasket sealant?

I'm not sure what failed with the tensioner. I will try to disassemble it when I get it off.
 

·
Registered
2001 LL Bean, 1997 2.5L 5spd
Joined
·
178 Posts
Karl,

I just moved from DC! I am currently living in LA. I decided to go all the way and replace all of the components in the timing chain setup including the chains, water pump and idlers. I really don't want to go through this again just to save a couple hundred dollars.

One question, how did you seal the timing chain covers? RTV gasket sealant?

I'm not sure what failed with the tensioner. I will try to disassemble it when I get it off.
Shucks, too bad. Have some animal style fries for me while you're out there at least.

I used Permatex Ultra Grey to seal the timing chain covers and the oil pan. No leaks yet, after 2,700 miles.

The tensioner will just fall apart when you remove it. There's a piston and a couple of springs inside the housing, and they just slide right out. Guess I should have taken a photo of the innards while I had the chance.
 

·
Registered
01 H6 3.0 OBW, bought used w/90K at 10yrs. 110% maintained, now 98K @ 11th yr needs a lil attention to stay at 100%
Joined
·
15 Posts
newbi to subi = seeking advice & counsel (2001 LL V6 OB) before buying

I've not had a subi before, and hope youll kindly take 3-5 minutes to call or write back with any personal experience / opinion on this brand make model (2001 LL bean V6 outback)
i.e what to look for in a used one and what to avoid, common problems (things wear out, break, cost lots to replace, easy to replace yourself, must go to deal to get something recommended done) things you loved / hated, etc.
And any pegs/posts/resources i.e. subi users forums etc you may know of - where they discuss these topics, upgrades, maintenance, above for me to consider.
Have had 77 impala, 77 coupe de ville, 77 cutlass supreme, 77 450sl, Weird so many 77's... 91 mazda protege, 97 mazda 626, '00 seville, '00 civic lx, and now, maybe, '01 as above. no afraid to turn a wrench, jsut dont have the time nor the tools these days, so beyond regular maintenance I'm seeking to avoid of course any issue by learning before
I buy the car.
Onwers are Family friend who is meticulous, 82K, wifes car, one owner, was 'overhauled' for his sweet 16 grand daughters gift who he loves dearly and she is moving to a car free environ (early college in big city), so her loss is my gain!!!????
Is this a needle in a haystack or are there still sharp pokey edges on the hay to consider?
Please give a shout, kindly, Joel
 

·
Registered
06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
Joined
·
5,844 Posts
Some 2001s had the chain guides wear prematurely- that's about it.

All the early H6s had the idler pulley bearings for the serp belt wear early- cheap easy replacement.

That's about it.

Dave
 

·
Registered
01 Outback LL Bean
Joined
·
2,364 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Update: I'm still waiting on my parts...lol. There was a shipping address mix up and they got sent to the east coast...f~~~. They will be here, in Cali, on moday

On a different note I am getting a little crazy trying to find a ThreeBond 1280B replacement, which my local dealer can't get and I don't want to go through the process of ordering, for sealing the timing cover. I'm leaning towards UltraGrey, but also heard good things about HondaBond. How confident are you with the UltraGrey?

Also, I saw your thread on your HG rebuilt. Nice work. I stripped one of the 5mm bolts which I drilled out after removing the condenser coil. I ordered 10 of each of the 3 types new for the reconstruction. I probably should have ordered all of them. I'm doing prep as I wait for my parts.
 
1 - 20 of 168 Posts
Top