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Hi everyone,

This is my first post on the forums. I wish it was under better circumstances though as it looks like I will need a new engine...

I bought a 2001 VDC H6 a few years ago for $6k, which was a deal since there seemed to be no problems with the car and it was very clean. About 6 months after that when I had some more cash I took it to the mechanic and spent quite a bit to do a tuneup and change the oil filer, clean everything, and try to find the small oil leak that it had (was never found). The mechanic said that it looked like one of the spark plugs (the hard one to get at) had never been changed, and also there was quite a bit of metal in the tranny oil pan. The car drove even better after that.

Then one fateful day I was driving up a fairly steep hill (Cali HW 58 towards Tehachapi) when I noticed that the engine temperature was in the red, but not pegged. I stopped the car and let it cool down, and managed to get to town to get some water for it. To make it home to San Francisco took stopping a few times to refill with water after waiting for it to cool. After that point it would overheat when going up even a minor hill, or in traffic if stopped. I took it to the same mechanic and spent more that I would have liked to try diagnose it. He did all the usual tests and was unable to find the problem. There was exhaust in the coolant. Sounds like a head gasket problem no? I was told that it would be cheaper to get another engine that to have him rebuild it.

Lacking the funds (a poor student at UCSC now), I was driving it in that condition for a while since all I had to do was add coolant every drive, and I only ever went to school and back (~10 miles).

Then one day driving on the highway the engine lost power and I coasted to the side of the road. It would turn over fine but showed no signed of wanting to restart. I had it towed to the driveway where she sits still.

I love the car and would really like to keep it. I am a programmer, not a mechanic, but I have done a few things to it: normal maintenance, brake job, replaced both front oxygen sensors, and replaced the main cruise control module.

Thanks for reading this far, I need some advice now. How should I proceed? Should I try to diagnose the non-starting problem (fuel pump relay, fuel pump, other stuff?). I do have the Subaru repair manual and some simple tools. With the new problems I am thinking it may be better to just replace the whole engine with a rebuilt one. I have about $4k that I can spend now, but can borrow some from family and friends if it costs more that that. What things should I look for in a rebuilt engine / engine company? I found a price for an EZ30D for "$6200 plus new LOWER $1200 refundable core charge" but that seems really high. Another company lists one for $2895 plus $500 core charge, plus shipping, with a 2yr warranty. What is a fair price to have a mechanic swap it out (in Cali.. like $100/hr)?

Again thanks for reading and have a good day :)

Dave L.
 

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Dave,

The H6 is a tough engine.

Labor times call for 4.6 hours. Then you add in fluids cost. A greedy shop may try to charge 11 or more for a long block, but don't let them. It actually takes only 3 hours to swap out start to finish, and that's taking your time and burping the coolant after its in.

If you are sure you need it replaced as it may need an overhaul, I have a 01 3.0 sitting in the shop on an engine stand that came out of my VDC. 178k miles. Just needs a set of plugs, fuel injector rail and injectors swapped over and a crank pulley. (someone in NY needed a pulley) It has run nothing but synthetic oil and has fresh Royal Purple and filter now. Thermostat only has 2k on it. No leaks. Runs strong. Actually had the SC hooked up to it. Testing prior to the SC install showed the engine running stronger than spec'd new and better than newer H6's. I removed it due to a noise that appeared to be internal, but since the engine was removed, its been checked and all is good.

PM me if you're interested. We can go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Battery is dead now. I have it charging with a solar panel.
When its charged I will be checking the fuel pump relay and the fuel pump.
 

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Hi everyone,

This is my first post on the forums. I wish it was under better circumstances though as it looks like I will need a new engine...

I bought a 2001 VDC H6 a few years ago for $6k, which was a deal since there seemed to be no problems with the car and it was very clean. About 6 months after that when I had some more cash I took it to the mechanic and spent quite a bit to do a tuneup and change the oil filer, clean everything, and try to find the small oil leak that it had (was never found). The mechanic said that it looked like one of the spark plugs (the hard one to get at) had never been changed, and also there was quite a bit of metal in the tranny oil pan. The car drove even better after that.

Then one fateful day I was driving up a fairly steep hill (Cali HW 58 towards Tehachapi) when I noticed that the engine temperature was in the red, but not pegged. I stopped the car and let it cool down, and managed to get to town to get some water for it. To make it home to San Francisco took stopping a few times to refill with water after waiting for it to cool. After that point it would overheat when going up even a minor hill, or in traffic if stopped. I took it to the same mechanic and spent more that I would have liked to try diagnose it. He did all the usual tests and was unable to find the problem. There was exhaust in the coolant. Sounds like a head gasket problem no? I was told that it would be cheaper to get another engine that to have him rebuild it.

Lacking the funds (a poor student at UCSC now), I was driving it in that condition for a while since all I had to do was add coolant every drive, and I only ever went to school and back (~10 miles).

Then one day driving on the highway the engine lost power and I coasted to the side of the road. It would turn over fine but showed no signed of wanting to restart. I had it towed to the driveway where she sits still.

I love the car and would really like to keep it. I am a programmer, not a mechanic, but I have done a few things to it: normal maintenance, brake job, replaced both front oxygen sensors, and replaced the main cruise control module.

Thanks for reading this far, I need some advice now. How should I proceed? Should I try to diagnose the non-starting problem (fuel pump relay, fuel pump, other stuff?). I do have the Subaru repair manual and some simple tools. With the new problems I am thinking it may be better to just replace the whole engine with a rebuilt one. I have about $4k that I can spend now, but can borrow some from family and friends if it costs more that that. What things should I look for in a rebuilt engine / engine company? I found a price for an EZ30D for "$6200 plus new LOWER $1200 refundable core charge" but that seems really high. Another company lists one for $2895 plus $500 core charge, plus shipping, with a 2yr warranty. What is a fair price to have a mechanic swap it out (in Cali.. like $100/hr)?

Again thanks for reading and have a good day :)

Dave L.
My Grand Prix did something very similar when the engine we put in it went. Stalled on the interstate, did not want to restart. Acted like a dead battery. Put a new battery in it, still wouldn't start. Finally got it to catch by holding the pedal to the floor while cranking and it caught... and the oil pressure light was on and there was a noticeable noise of tapping...
 

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after it's charged, carefully listen for the fuel pump to run for a coupla seconds when the key is turned to 'ON" but not start. In fact. it will do this each time you turn from off to ON. If you hear the pump, the relay is OK.

But, only inspecting the fuel pump assembly will tell you about the cap/o-ring problem (or ,possibly pulling a fuel line to check for good flow would be an indicator)
 

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Teh H6 motor is not cheap to buy. I would be surprised if it would be cheaper to buy a rebuilt engine vs fixing yours. I recently had my HG go and replaced them myself and all is good to go.

Regarding your starting issue though, you should figure that out before you replace the engine. It sounds like a fuel issue.

Did you ever let it overheat while driving with the HG problem?
 

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Also, to add to my post, there are more and more H6's showing up with a HG issue as more of these cars turn 10 years old and pass the 170k mark. If you bought a junk yard motor, you could be dealing with the same issue in 2-3 years.
 

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As far as getting it repaired. These guys are probably some of the most knowledgeable folks in the country on the H6. They are in SoCal though, but if you are going to get the rebuild done they do good work at a very good price. Might be worth calling to see what they would charge for a HG job on an H6.

I had them resurface my heads and do a valve job when I rebuilt my motor.

Welcome to Outfront, mate !
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wow it's been a week already.
I hope everyone had a good christmas :)

So I got it charged, still wouldn't start.

1 Lucky Texan: I did hear the fuel pump so it looks like the relay is ok. I have no idea what the pump is supposed to sound like though.

Glennda5id: Yea I let it overheat with the HG problem, but not to the point where it got into the red, usually. There might have been once or twice where it got pretty hot.

It looks like my next step it to replace the o-ring in the pump assembly. The procedure looks pretty easy, just need to get the tools and o-ring.

Edit: ordered the Viton 928 orings from Amazon per another thread here.
 

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I ordered these;


have only 'test fit' one inside the new cap, haven't installed one yet.

guessing yours will probably stretch a little more but maybe work OK.

hey, I have xtras, If you want, pm me a mailing address and I'll send you one. If it gets to you in time, you can see which one works best.
 

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Is the cap on the fuel pump cracked? If so, the o-ring will probably pop out again. There is a cap available for a 2004 Outback w/ in-tank filter. I ordered one, but haven't installed it yet. The price on the cap is around $60. The failed o-ring/cap combination will stop your wagon in an instant!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
TchTchr: I havn't opened the hatch to look at the pump yet, I was waiting on the o-ring first. Hopefully the cap is still good. Is the 2004 the same as the 2001?

1 Lucky Texan: I will pm you, we can swap orings :)
 

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You WILL want to inspect the cap. I have read of no issue where the o-ring failed but the cap was still good. It appears in each case to be the larger tab with the ground lug - though I've seen pics of it cracked from either end. Some folks have been able to weld the tab to repair it. Most have gotten replacements - either from a junkyard donor car/pump or the new large style cap/filter for 04 models (just toss the filter). The large tab also seems to have a 'dimple' in one end that seems intended as a 'stop' when installing. I'd encourage folks to be certain not to twist past the dimple to prevent stressing the new part.


this thread has some pics, including a used part I bought that has a small crack already. You can also see the dimple in the tab that serves as a stop when installing.http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/66-problems-maintenance/26419-2001-subaru-just-shut-down.html
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Ok so I took the fuel pump out and the cap was not attached at all, with the o-ring sitting in the tank. It had definitely swelled. I tried both the 138 Viton oring (thanks 1 Lucky Texan) and the 928 Viton. The 928 seemed like a better and tighter fit, so that's what I used. As for the metal cap itself, one of the smaller tabs was about halfway cracked and the other smaller tab about 1/4. The larger tab showed just a little bit of a crack starting. After lubricating the oring with some oil, I was able to use some t&g pliers to twist the cap back on. It seems pretty secure so I think I will leave it like that. If I find a used cap in good condition at some point I might pick it up in case the current cap fails.

Thanks to everyone on this forum for being so helpful. Also thanks to whomever put that video up on youtube (by 4xmarket), I found the link on this forum but forgot who it was posted by.

I have 10 of the 928 Viton o-rings left. I am willing to give 9 away to anyone who needs them. Send me an email at david.lazell1(at)gmail.com with your address if you want one.

So at least the car runs, now I just need to replace the engine at some point...
 

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if you want a new part that has been reported to work (still waiting to try the one I have) check;

https://www.google.com/search?q=W0133-1617990&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a#q=W0133-1617990&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=9mC&tbo=d&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&source=lnms&tbm=shop&sa=X&psj=1&ei=iODlUOBCq_LaBdTngFA&ved=0CAwQ_AUoAA&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.b2I&fp=a7e118819f5e1e5b&bpcl=40096503&biw=1280&bih=632

I bought mine from partsgeek but the price was $38 back then so, it may make sense to shop around/check prices often. part number I used was W0133-1617990

thanx for getting back to us - hope your repair holds but, if not, be prepared to get a replacement cap. be careful driving with the old one on there!
 

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The larger tab showed just a little bit of a crack starting. After lubricating the oring with some oil, I was able to use some t&g pliers to twist the cap back on.
do you mean you reused the cap? i've done that before and they last a few hundred miles, it eventually failed again. i installed another non-cracked cap.

the one I reinstalled only had one partially cracked tab...maybe 1/3 to 1/2 and was very tight to install - and failed again after a few hundreds miles.

the orings expand when exposed to fuel, if you let them dry out they actually contract to original size again. with a cracked tab I suspect it's just a matter of time before it eventually expands and over time puts pressure on those weakened tabs.

Email sent - i'll take the extra orings. I'd keep one extra for yourself just in case.

Car-Part.com--Used Auto Parts Market for maybe finding a cheap/used/inoperative fuel pump or post in the parts wanted forum here or other forums. i sourced 3 that way (one to fix a bad one and two spares - one for each daily driver).
 
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