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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always had my heart set on a Gen3 OB H6 for a LONG while and have been waiting patiently for my '99 Altima to give up the ghost. It's currently at 400K and counting. The front radiator/frame support is pretty much non-existent due to rust and the engine is getting VERY tired amongst other issues. I've come across a low mileage Gen3 OB H6 at a dealership. I haven't had a chance to go take a look at it but it seems promising and of course they also want entirely too much for it. As I said in the title I've been a Gen 3 lurker on the forum for a while and there seems to be the trend that the 3.0s are showing more and more head gasket issues (age/mileage?). I'm ok with minor replacement stuff (bearings, struts, linkage etc) but the head gasket issues scares me and may be a deal breaker. I can't really justify purchasing a vehicle that trends are showing is going to need an engine replaced at 175,000ish. I drive ALOT. About 80-85% highway. But I'm also very good with maintenance and issue recognition and repair with my vehicles. So I guess I need your opinions and suggestions on how to proceed. Thank you guys in advance.
 

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to mitigate problems, you can get a 3rd party warranty for a few months while you sort out if the used car has a problem.

also

JDM importers sell 60,000 mile
2005-2009 type EZ30D = EZ30R engines. for $1100-$1500 each. plus install $800

(so that is like paying a professional for headgasket work on a 170hp EJ25 2000-2009 subaru which would cost $1500-2000).


do you have a link to the one at the dealer? post up some semblance of the link and people here will look at it, and make observations.
(need 10 posts to make a link as a anti-spam bot idea). so if you just post most of the last part of the link I can search on it and fix the link to make it work for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the info. Good stuff to keep in mind.

Well I guess that solves that. I went to the dealership site and the OB in question is not there. Must have just been sold today. Guess I'm not meant to have one. Thank you for your time and help though.
 

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Thank you for the info. Good stuff to keep in mind.

Well I guess that solves that. I went to the dealership site and the OB in question is not there. Must have just been sold today. Guess I'm not meant to have one. Thank you for your time and help though.
more fish in the sea,

to add to what you are looking for,

there is a line of demarkation between the plain Limited Slip rear diff ones, and the VDC (=rollover stability control/ torque vectoring) equipped ones. Sellers may not know. what has what,...and subaru kind of jumbled them over those 2005-2009 years, not making it easy to sort out all the time when looking at the cars on the internet.


(lacking = 2005-2006 LLBean, ... and 2005-2006 cloth seat 3.0 R ),.

...vs. those with VDC: the 2005-2006 3.0 R with VDC,... 2007-2008 bean 3.0R,...2009 3.0R

you have to read www.cars101.com to see what has VDC,...and look for the VDC off button on the left of the steering wheel in those 2005-2009 cars.

here is a old thread but a whole lot of good question and answer from someone looking to go from a benz to a subaru.

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/62-car-lounge/200954-help-buying-my-second-subaru-advice.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been doing a fair amount research for a while now (lurking here, cars101, etc..) and had it narrowed down to what I would like if I was fortunate enough to own an OB. The one I was looking at was an '07 H6 with low miles. Standard VDC, 6cyl, Aux port, no Nav, color and style I liked(05-07) etc.. My ideal OB. Plus it was in my state and within a couple hour drive to look at it.

Unfortunately I don't have much trust in purchasing an online vehicle from another state without personally looking it over. I might be limiting myself and I might be wrong but these H6's don't seem to be very plentiful either. And a well taken care of one would be even more difficult to find. I'd like to stay positive that there's one out there with my name on it but the statistics don't really support that. Just my luck I guess.

Again thank you for the time and info. Greatly appreciated.
 

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if you are going some place nice and rust free for vacation, look for h6 subarus, buy one and ship it home.

a few people who regularly post on this board have done that. for reasons of rust, high prices locally, short supply locally.

just as a stop gap measure,

and don't be a afraid to just jump on the right front drive car for the short term to replace the altima,...before finding a subaru you like.

probably be able to get something that is a good 125,000 mile 2wd runner, toss a set of new cheap tires on it, then find the subaru, and sell the 2wd one for more then you paid.

this vs. paying top dollar at a used car dealer, when everyone locally is thinking subaru = snow. (and the dealer is thinking about buying a bigger faster bass boat...with your money).
 

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2006 Outback R 3.0 LL Bean, Nav, King Spring/KYB (+1) lift
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I've been doing a fair amount research for a while now (lurking here, cars101, etc..) and had it narrowed down to what I would like if I was fortunate enough to own an OB. The one I was looking at was an '07 H6 with low miles. Standard VDC, 6cyl, Aux port, no Nav, color and style I liked(05-07) etc.. My ideal OB. Plus it was in my state and within a couple hour drive to look at it.

Unfortunately I don't have much trust in purchasing an online vehicle from another state without personally looking it over. I might be limiting myself and I might be wrong but these H6's don't seem to be very plentiful either. And a well taken care of one would be even more difficult to find. I'd like to stay positive that there's one out there with my name on it but the statistics don't really support that. Just my luck I guess.

Again thank you for the time and info. Greatly appreciated.
What state are you in? The H6's are not plentiful anywhere, but here in CO there are usually 1 or 2 out and about at a time.

Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Eagleeye, thank you. I'll actually be travelling out of state a couple times over the next few months so I'll keep watch. Shipping prices are tough to swallow but still might be worth it if My One is out there.

Jeeperchik, I'm in MI. There was a thread I was reading a little while ago that referred to owners hanging onto their OB's till life changed and they had to get rid of it. That seems to be the case in my area. OB's H6 with 225-250k seem to be the norm. I have a feeling those cars turned into the utility/beater vehicles for the owner and I would suspect their TLC dwindled as well. Hard to find a decent one and pretty frustrating. Maybe just not meant to be.
 

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what foreces people out of those sought after H6 cars, is a need for a real minivan for growing kids.

colorado although a mecca of H6 and turbo subarus for the power in the thin air, also has high prices to meet their high demand.
(the most subarus per capita in the known universe exist in colorado).
 

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2006 Outback R 3.0 LL Bean, Nav, King Spring/KYB (+1) lift
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Eagleeye, thank you. I'll actually be travelling out of state a couple times over the next few months so I'll keep watch. Shipping prices are tough to swallow but still might be worth it if My One is out there.

Jeeperchik, I'm in MI. There was a thread I was reading a little while ago that referred to owners hanging onto their OB's till life changed and they had to get rid of it. That seems to be the case in my area. OB's H6 with 225-250k seem to be the norm. I have a feeling those cars turned into the utility/beater vehicles for the owner and I would suspect their TLC dwindled as well. Hard to find a decent one and pretty frustrating. Maybe just not meant to be.
The Midwest is definitely not replete with Subies, especially the H6. I lived in IL for a while and was approached and asked about my Subies frequently. And they are such perfect cars for the conditions there!! When you shovel the same snow in April that fell in October, you should drive a Subaru.

Good luck finding Yours! The frustration is real, but she is out there somewhere waiting for you.

Sent from my SM-G920T using Tapatalk
 

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1. Best deal is to buy one from an individual, but that's unfamiliar territory for most people.
2. Buying them from a dealer is the most risky proposition. i would avoid that like the plague.

When an owner gets overheating or diagnosis or large repair bill or reads online about possible causes or sees the very specific symptoms of these H6 headgasket failures - what do they do?

They typically trade it in. (happens all the time, it's the norm)
Then it either gets flipped on the used car lot or sent to auction where some other dealer buys it to flip.

So dealers actually have a larger percentage of HG failures than average.

Private sales/owners are often retired couples downsizing, families growing, professionals that are moving...etc (all examples of people I've bought from), or I've bought one with damaged front fender. easy repair - ends up being a super cheap car - Doctor wants it gone, thinks it's worth nothing with a dented fender - i install new fender for a couple hundred and have a pristine perfect vehicle for cheap - and more importantly I can almost guarantee a head gasket didn't send it to the market. (it didn't).

Anyway - it's a little more work - but well worth it. I've bought and helped people buy quite a few H6's - so far the stats are striking:

Private sales: 1 HG failure about 3 years and 50,000 miles after purchase
Dealer sales: multiple headgasket issues on the lot or shortly after purchase

One dealer was watching me test drive and look it over and asked me what I was doing and conclusions I was making.
He said "take it now for $700". He clearly knew it had issues, I hate to think that someone probably ended up with it because it wasn't overheating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
idosubaru: You're probably right on this. I guess my concern with private sales are people that actually know that there is an issue with the car and are doing everything they can to cover it up. So for instance when the issue is pointed out to them they play dumb and have no idea the car had THAT problem. It would also seem likely that the dealer was going to give them peanuts for the car on trade in and/or they can't afford to have it fixed properly. So they are just trying to get the most out of it they can and passing the issue along to the "new" unknowing owner. I buy motorcycles fairly frequently and this type of seller seems to be the norm.

But this is new territory for me and I would like to think I could trust people a little more. Just wish there was more honest people out there.

Thank you for your insight though and I will for sure keep it in mind. Its just unnerving and frustrating. 1. Knowing that these cars are already hard to find and 2. Anticipating the owner/dealer is likely trying to hide something and its on me to find it.
 

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Thank you for your insight though and I will for sure keep it in mind. Its just unnerving and frustrating. 1. Knowing that these cars are already hard to find and 2. Anticipating the owner/dealer is likely trying to hide something and its on me to find it.
with a EZ30D or Ez30R powered car.

so bring a funnel with you that screws onto the rad neck, put it on cold, start the car up, and let it run 15 -25 minutes till it reaches full operating temp and the fans run,

watch for bubbles, any bubbles walk away,

or make a deal reflecting that it needs a used engine dropped in.

while you are waiting look for milk shake oil, any signs of blown hoses / blown radiator.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess I thought it didn't matter if it was a D or an R. Thought they were both prone to the head gasket failures.

If I put it in the radiator neck won't it bubble anyway due to the fluid circulating? Plus it wouldn't be under pressure so its lowering the boiling point as well right?

The milkshake I'm familiar with due to water pump seal issues on bikes
 

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I guess I thought it didn't matter if it was a D or an R. Thought they were both prone to the head gasket failures.

If I put it in the radiator neck won't it bubble anyway due to the fluid circulating? Plus it wouldn't be under pressure so its lowering the boiling point as well right?

The milkshake I'm familiar with due to water pump seal issues on bikes
if its being sold,...you should check it (..its your money)

as the coolant heats it expands up the rad neck into the funnel.

the funnel becomes the highest part of the cooling system, (particularly if the car is facing up grade).

and any bubbles it has, or from a sucking porous coolant line,
or is producing from the head gasket problem opening up, sucking exhaust gasses will come out into the funnel..

_______

conversly, real savings can be had by people selling EZ30D / EZ30R cars that are listed as "needing" head gaskets, and you just get it cheap, get a proper diagnois, and get a JDM engine.

case in point:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...old-2002-vdc-southern-ca-gaskets-leaking.html
 

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If you're in Michigan, have you looked north of the border? None available locally, right now (I'm in Ottawa), but they do some up pretty regularly. More around Montreal...

Here's an '08 Bean in black with 175000kms (~110000miles) for 9500CAD. What's that...? Like eighty bucks in mighty greenbacks? It was even a US vehicle originally... Fire up your google translator and take a road trip!

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks...an/1292180419?enableSearchNavigationFlag=true
 

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Agree in sourcing a late 3 gen H6 as mentioned previously.
Its the best of that generation with SI drive paddle shift and VDC etc.
Its worthwhile the effort to travel to get the right one.
Those were some of the reasons why I got mine. - flew to buy it and drove it back (7 hours drive time)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Seems like the consensus is that I'm likely going to have to have travel a fair distance to obtain one. So let me pose this....suppose I have my eye on one that's a fair distance away (6+ hrs drive time or that I even need to fly there). I asses the vehicle and determine with good certainty that it has a head gasket leak. Then what? Drive it back and replace the motor? Or cut my losses, continue traveling with time and money spent in the hopes that the holes in the cheese will eventually line up? Seems like a vicious expensive cycle. Or worse yet, I do purchase a vehicle and 2months later it develops a gasket leak. The chance I take?

Forgive me if I sound negative. Just wish I could find an honest and fair seller to deal with and not spend month after month locating that person and the right vehicle. Versus going and getting a CRV.

Canada guys: I have zero knowledge of purchasing a used vehicle across the northern boarder. Pretty easy to do or paperwork nightmare?
 

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Why are you being so specific about what you want? If you opened your aperture a tad it would be a lot easier for you and you might just end up with above a nice Outback!
 
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