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2001 Outback H6
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I searched but was not able to locate anything. Is there a DIY for the VCGs on H6s? If not, anything to look out for? Any specific brand of gasket to buy, or avoid? Are there individual gaskets on the bolts? I ask because when I did the VCGs on my BMW 740i, it was a fairly extensive job and there were numerous suggestions on what to do, or not do.
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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5,938 Posts
There is a thread or two here... I don't recall any dramatic warnings.

Advise was to do it when the plugs needed doing as the plugs are easy when the covers are off, and to use a 10mm ratcheting box wrench (or 12mm or whatever the cover bolt size is).
 

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2001 Outback H6
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, I found those comments as well as one that said not to use felpro gaskets (but no reason, or supporting comments). I was hoping that someone documented the how-to, and any pitfalls.
 

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13 E350
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984 Posts
i made a thread couple years ago in this sub forum i believe so go thru my post you'll find it. its not a complete diy but will give you a bit of info
 

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2002 Subaru Outback H6 L.L.Bean
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298 Posts
I just did mine today actually. Is pretty easy. Take the engine cover washer jar and battery out. Take the metal cover out under the AC line. Take off the vacuum lines and the coil pack wires. Unplug your o2 sensor on that cover. Take out the coil packs. The one closest to the firewall is hard but believe me it comes out if you rotate it the right way. Unbolt the cover. The bottom bolt closest to the firewall is hard, but l used a wrench and got it out. Take the cover out from the bottom of the car, so you need your under guard and tire off. Put your new gaskets in and use the gasket maker in the correct places. Reassemble. Passenger side is the same just remove the airbox. Took me and my dad 2 hours but he is a mechanic and I the son of one. I used genuine Subaru gaskets that were 30 a piece and plug hole gaskets from Napa that were like 6 a piece. There are. I other gaskets. Don't be intimidated and good luck.
 

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2001 Outback H6
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tips. It seems that it will be easier than it was on the BMW. That was a pain.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,390 Posts
the only trick is having a 10mm ratcheting wrench. the job would suck much worse without one.

it's annoying only because of limited space, there's not really anything to it. just don't be in a rush to get it done in an hour your first time and you'll be fine.

remove a few 10mm bolts.

i don't recall what all i removed to get to all the 10mm bolts or the VC, but it wasn't anything tricky or difficult. windshield washer tank maybe...i can't remember but stuff like that is only 2 10mm bolts anyway so a matter of seconds to remove.

replace valve cover gaskets and spark plug tube gaskets.

replacing the spark plugs while you're at it makes a ton of sense. spark plugs are easy with the valve covers removed and a debacle otherwise.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,839 Posts
When I changed plugs on our 03, I planned to 'snug' as many of those bolts as I could reach. One of them was only finger tight!

IIRC the torque for those VC bolts is quite low - do not overtighten them.
 

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2001 Outback H6
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Thanks everyone for the advise. I just priced out the parts from the dealer here in Halifax:

VCG(L) - $35.73
VCG(R) - $35.49
Sparkplug Tube Gaskets - $9.46 X 6 = $56.76

subtotal = $127.98
Tax = $19.20

Total = $147.18

I've found a few online sites that have somewhat reasonable shipping prices to Canada. As far as brand goes, I have found the cheapest to be Ischino, then Nippon-Reinz, then Beck-Arnley.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,390 Posts
i haven't seen enough valve cover gaskets to comment on quality. the online subaru dealers have better pricing - sometimes the local dealer will give you a lower price if you ask to match the online jokers - so far all the dealers i've asked will do that for me.

i favor beck arnley as a name brand alternative sometimes (depends on the parts) and i believe that was the valve cover gasket i used on the last H6 that i did.

every time i've tried to tigethen valve cover bolts it has never helped, but it is easy enough to try.
 

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H6 Valve Cover - Alternate Sealant _ Subaru Tech Bulletin

The Subaru factory shop-manual does detail how to replace the valve cover gaskets ... and it has a diagram showing that "sealant" should be applied in specific locations as shown by a heavy black line in the shop manual diagram (in the camshaft section of the "engine mechanical" section.

The manual calls for 'Three Bond 1280b' ... which is about $40/tube ... but the attached (uploaded) 2008 technical bulletin provides all factory recommended 'ALTERNATIVES' when the OEM product is unavailable.

The recommended alternative to Three Bond 1280b, as listed, is "3M Ultrapro High Temp Silicone Gasket 08672 Black 3oz". It took quite some time to locate this info so I thought I'd pass it on FWIW. The shop manual does CAUTION to apply it very thinly/sparingly, so as not to cause it to affect the cams and oil flow, that is "less is more" !!

~ Den

I just did mine today actually. Is pretty easy. Take the engine cover washer jar and battery out. Take the metal cover out under the AC line. Take off the vacuum lines and the coil pack wires. Unplug your o2 sensor on that cover. Take out the coil packs. The one closest to the firewall is hard but believe me it comes out if you rotate it the right way. Unbolt the cover. The bottom bolt closest to the firewall is hard, but l used a wrench and got it out. Take the cover out from the bottom of the car, so you need your under guard and tire off. Put your new gaskets in and use the gasket maker in the correct places. Reassemble. Passenger side is the same just remove the airbox. Took me and my dad 2 hours but he is a mechanic and I the son of one. I used genuine Subaru gaskets that were 30 a piece and plug hole gaskets from Napa that were like 6 a piece. There are. I other gaskets. Don't be intimidated and good luck.
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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191 Posts
I lift the engine up about an ince which really speeds gasket replacement onthe H6. It requires removing the airbox, and the bolt for the pitch stop mount on the transmission, then remove bothe motor mount bolts and washers and with a block of wood on a Hyd Jack, jack up the engine slowly. I have a couple of wrist pins to block the engine up, but a couple of deep sockets should work as well try a 16mm/17mm deep under the mount along side the stud. the 1" lift makes alot of difference.
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,839 Posts
I lift the engine up about an ince which really speeds gasket replacement onthe H6. It requires removing the airbox, and the bolt for the pitch stop mount on the transmission, then remove bothe motor mount bolts and washers and with a block of wood on a Hyd Jack, jack up the engine slowly. I have a couple of wrist pins to block the engine up, but a couple of deep sockets should work as well try a 16mm/17mm deep under the mount along side the stud. the 1" lift makes alot of difference.
the exhaust can stay? always wondered what the limit was for lifting before the ex manis need to come off.

would it be about the same on my 06 WRX? and inch or so?
 

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2006 Outback 2.5i Limited 5MT, 1984 Porsche 944
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277 Posts
I just did this Saturday on an H4. The rear lower valve cover bolt rounded so I had to raise the engine a couple of inches so I could access it with my ratchet and bolt extractor socket. Worked well.

You don't need to mess with the exhaust. It pivots at the donut gasket (that's what it's there for).
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,839 Posts
I just did this Saturday on an H4. The rear lower valve cover bolt rounded so I had to raise the engine a couple of inches so I could access it with my ratchet and bolt extractor socket. Worked well.

You don't need to mess with the exhaust. It pivots at the donut gasket (that's what it's there for).
thanx - I'm still a newb at 'deep wrenching' on my soobs.
 

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2001 Outback H6
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I guess I should have updated this thread. I completed the VCGs and the sparkplug boots a few months ago. It really wasn't difficult, other than the lower rearmost bolt one each side. I also did the sparkplugs at the same time. I did not need to jack the engine up, but I did swear a bit getting those lower bolts in. I am happy to report that there are no oil leaks whatsoever.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,817 Posts
Beck Arnley is the OE gasket. It fits without issues. FelPro and other aftermarket tend to not set in the cover proper.

To add to SubaruDan's post: Jack the motor up. Loose the two engine mounts, remove the transmission torque arm and lift the motor. Opens up more room to work the bolts and R&R the cover.
 

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2005 Legacy 2.5i Wagon 4EAT; 2005 Forester XS 4EAT
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672 Posts
The Subaru factory shop-manual does detail how to replace the valve cover gaskets ... and it has a diagram showing that "sealant" should be applied in specific locations as shown by a heavy black line in the shop manual diagram (in the camshaft section of the "engine mechanical" section.

The manual calls for 'Three Bond 1280b' ... which is about $40/tube ... but the attached (uploaded) 2008 technical bulletin provides all factory recommended 'ALTERNATIVES' when the OEM product is unavailable.

The recommended alternative to Three Bond 1280b, as listed, is "3M Ultrapro High Temp Silicone Gasket 08672 Black 3oz". It took quite some time to locate this info so I thought I'd pass it on FWIW. The shop manual does CAUTION to apply it very thinly/sparingly, so as not to cause it to affect the cams and oil flow, that is "less is more" !!

~ Den
Anyone have a copy of the shop manual for this? I have to do mine VERY soon. It's leaking like crazy... a quart a week!

Oh, and Advance Auto Parts has the Beck Arnley gaskets with end plugs for $24.99 per side, and I found the 3M 08672 on Amazon for under $9 a tube.
 

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Premium Member
2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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14,817 Posts
Maybe I've been missing it, or its never been there, but I can't find the specific EZ30D Gen 2 manual on my system, but here's Gen 3 3.0 and 3.6; http://phantomotaku.com/SVX/011822-MSA5P0631C.pdf (scroll down to pages 32-36). No mention of Fuji Bond on the Valve Covers. I just used the Beck Arnley gaskets without bond and no leaks. Same for the H4s.

Its not difficult to do.

1. Remove the air filter box and tubing.
2. Remove the battery and windshield washer reservoir.
3. Remove the pitch stop.
4. Raise the car and remove the two engine mount nuts and lower the car back down.
5. Being careful with tension on the coolant and AC hoses, jack the engine up off the support. You can actually get a couple inches before stress is applied to the hoses. Just watch the stretch.
6. Remove both injector covers.
7. Unplug and remove the 6 ignition coils.
8. If you are doing the plugs, have at it.
9. Unplug the front AF sensor and let the harness hang. Remove the engine harness side with the bracket.
10. Remove the crankcase ventilation hoses from the covers. Remove the PCV and set it in a bowl of Sea Foam or other catalyst while you continue.
11. Remove the cover bolts and pull the cover off the engine. If its stubborn, tap it with a rubber mallet, not a mullet.

Clean all the parts and put it back together. Make SURE the gasket doesn't shift out of the cover when you work it back down over the head assembly.

Torque: Hand tighten or torque it using the graph attached.

Don't forget to plug the AF sensors back in either.
 

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