Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
2004 Legacy Wagon H6 3.0 VDC
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

I'm not pretending to be a mechanic at all but have been trying to fix our 2004 Outback by ourselves... major $$$ issues. Our regular mechanic said he thought the problem was probably the alternator. Suggested we take it off and bring it to an auto parts store to have it tested.

When I tried to remove the alternator, the terminal connector thing disintegrated. I'm guessing it was just super old and brittle. It WAS a plastic housing that held three electrical lines/leads that then plugged into the top of the alternator. The plastic was blue and orange. I've attached a picture of where it was plugged in and the leads that went into the plastic housing.

My question, is this something that can be repaired by some duct tape or some other easy non-conventional form without replacing the whole wiring line it is all attached to?

Also, to get the alternator off, I have to take the belt off but I can't seem to find the right bolt and ratchet size to do this. Any hints?

Thanks for any help you can give.
Aisha

2004 Subaru Outback 3.0

Original problem I'm trying to fix: sometimes radio turns off, AC turns off, all dash instruments stop working (speedometer, etc) and then car dies. Car will jump and run but then will die again not to much later. Runs rough just before dying. Electrical problems seem intermittent but my mechanic thinks the car is trying to prevent it's self from dying by shutting down electrical items. He thinks it's an alternator issue. Battery is fine. My mechanic has worked exclusively on Subaru's for decades and we've used him for three different cars so we love and trust him.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
Joined
·
4,112 Posts
I agree with your mechanic, it sounds exactly like an alternator problem. There are places that rebuild alternators. I'd see about having a local shop fix the connector for you while they rebuild your alternator. I have an H4 so I am not familiar with the serpentine belt on your H6. I do know that you want to use your original or another OEM alternator with the H6 engine and not a crappy aftermarket auto parts store brand.
 

·
Registered
2004 Legacy Wagon H6 3.0 VDC
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, David. This is our only car and it is not running at the moment so we're a bit crunched for time. I'm going to have to get it running tomorrow and since it's a Sunday no Subaru dealers will be open for parts. I'm going to have to buy a crappy one, I think.

Thanks for your help,
Aisha
 

·
Registered
Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
Joined
·
4,112 Posts
The aftermarket Alternators are missing some of the electrical components that are usually handled by other systems in non-H6 cars. If you need a crappy one, then drive it as little as possible. There are also online sources for rebuilt Subaru alternators. Use Google search (under the Search tab above) to find other threads here about H6 alternator replacement problems, solutions, and sources for them. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,289 Posts
I've never heard of Subarus shutting down electrical function (other than the A/C) based on some sort of predetermined fail-safe control, but there's been lots of cases here where functions have cut out because the electrical system was too weak. Makes me wonder what testing was done, if any, by the mechanic.

If the connector to the alternator was broken, it's possible that the connections there weren't solid, and that could lead to the alternator not working properly.

Also, does the BATTERY/CHARGE warning light work? If it's burned out, or if the connection from it to the alternator is problematic, the alternator won't start up when the engine is started. That could lead to the same symptoms. Was this checked?

What is meant by "Battery is fine."? When the car dies, is the battery discharged or is it still at a reasonable charge/conductance level?

The alternator connector has three wires. I believe all Subarus of that generation have this even though the alternators themselves might be different. If so, then a connector clipped from the harness of a scrapped car might be wired in to replace the broken one.
 

·
Premium Member
I has car.
Joined
·
4,621 Posts
Mine disintegrated too. I just slid the metal pins over the terminals in the alt and have left it that way until a replacement can be sourced. Been that way for a year.

Coincidentally, my alt failed. Not because of that connector, tho.

I bought a new unit from DB Electric and it's humming along just fine.
 

·
Registered
2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
Joined
·
3,293 Posts
To replace the broken connector, I would go to a scrapyard and cut off a GOOD one from the wire-harness from an old Subie. (Leave about 6-8 inches of pigtail to work with.)

Then, on the broken car, cut off the ends and solder on the wires from the replacement connector.

It would be VERY inexpensive to do because that plug does not fail often and scrapyards should have 100s of Subies with a good wire-harness.
 

·
Registered
2004 Legacy Wagon H6 3.0 VDC
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Mine disintegrated too. I just slid the metal pins over the terminals in the alt and have left it that way until a replacement can be sourced. Been that way for a year.

Coincidentally, my alt failed. Not because of that connector, tho.

I bought a new unit from DB Electric and it's humming along just fine.
Good to know mine isn't the only one. Alternator tested fine so I'm putting it back in. Any idea which wires go to which pins on that connector? I have a diagram here but I'm confused as to which go where. I've attached it here with red ovals around the conflicting information.

Also, my mechanic hasn't looked at anything. He's out of town and is walking me through this here and there. My alternator tested fine this morning so I'm reinstalling it. Next step is tracing wires and testing, correct?

Also, I bought new battery connectors, I'm hoping that might be the super easy fix. Wish I'd thought of that before I pulled the alternator.

Thanks for all your help! I'm over my head a bit. :)
Aisha
 

Attachments

·
Premium Member
I has car.
Joined
·
4,621 Posts
that plug does not fail often and scrapyards should have 100s of Subies with a good wire-harness
I'm at a 100% failure rate with those connectors on my H6's. . . of a sample of 4 cars. . . although to be fair one was broken in a crash. Another is cracked but not completely destroyed. The fourth is cracked like this one. It's H6 specific. 4cyl's are different.

Most likely the connector is available from someone, even if not from Subaru. Mitsubishi makes the alt and they're used on a handful of other cars besides just Mitsu and Subies.

signage. . . if that alt has to come from the dealer, nobody told the one on my H6. I agree that most of the parts store remans for the H6 are shite but the one from DB electric seems to be built properly. They're also super nice people to deal with. They're Tennesseans, after all. :)

this'll probably help with hooking it up:

 

·
Registered
2004 Legacy Wagon H6 3.0 VDC
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thank you! I want to make sure I'm seeing your photo right.

I show from left to right:

Black/Red
White Red (actually looks like dark grey and red but guessing because it's old)
White Black (looks more like yellow and black)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,289 Posts
It's lockmedic's photo, but here's how I see the wiring in the photo:



Hopefully, lockmedic will confirm this.

I don't think the wire colors in the wiring diagram that was posted above apply to your 2004 H6. But of course, you should check the three wires closely to properly identify the colors. Age, heat, and dirt can make the colors less distinct.
 

Attachments

1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top