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Hello folks, new member here. I'm Greg, I live in Jackson MS. Long time moderator over at ih8mud.com and pretty decent mechanic on Toyota LandCruisers.

I'm considering purchase of a 2001 LL Bean H6 and found my way over here for research. The car has 186K on the clock and has been sitting for a few years. Seller parked it several years ago because the power steering rack is out. Engine sounds good, no leaks apparent other than the rack. Slight clunk in the right front sounds like suspension or CV joint.

Looks like I need to do a leak down test to see how the head gasket is holding up. What mileage do y'all usually see problems with the head gasket?

What other common issues should I be concerned about? My plan is to get her back on the road then consider a small lift and lager tires so the car can better handle our terrible roads down here.

Thanks in advance for your time. I can tell already this is a great little corner of the internet.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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check the stickies at the top of this forum

check rear bushings on lower control arms that may be the clunk.


not as much data on the HGs on the 6 cyl. , the vast majority of 'catastrophic' Subaru HG failures leak comb. chamber into coolant. Often with weird come-and-go symptoms.

racks have a history of being robust so, junkyard rack is a good option.

that car will be much happier with premium fuel.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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I changed your V6 to a H6 before 5 members want a fix. (horizontally opposed 6 = H6 in a subaru like a porsche).

what to look for,....2001-2004 cars listed as needing head gaskets.
you buy for $500-1000 bucks and drop in a matching $600 212hp EZ30D from a JDM importer, and drive.
 

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4, Gen 2 H6's: 2001 LLBean, 2002 LLBean, 2002 VDC, 2003 Plain...I love the H6's!
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welcome to the forum!

I currently own 3 of the '01-'03 H6 Outbacks and none have had headgasket failures. My highest mileage H6 has 210K miles on it. In my experience, the H6 is the most bullet-proof engine model Subaru has put in their cars, though I have no experience with the 2005-present engines. I have replaced several front axles, front sway bar, and am prepared to replace front struts when necessary. All necessary repairs have been a result of normal wear and tear. One of my H6's leaks a fair amount of engine oil from the valve cover gaskets. I will replace the gaskets myself this spring/summer when temps warm. i have only good things to say about my H6 Outbacks! Good luck with your decision.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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Hello folks, new member here. I'm Greg, I live in Jackson MS. Long time moderator over at ih8mud.com and pretty decent mechanic on Toyota LandCruisers.

I'm considering purchase of a 2001 LL Bean H6 and found my way over here for research. The car has 186K on the clock and has been sitting for a few years. Seller parked it several years ago because the power steering rack is out. Engine sounds good, no leaks apparent other than the rack. Slight clunk in the right front sounds like suspension or CV joint.

Looks like I need to do a leak down test to see how the head gasket is holding up. What mileage do y'all usually see problems with the head gasket?

What other common issues should I be concerned about? My plan is to get her back on the road then consider a small lift and lager tires so the car can better handle our terrible roads down here.

Thanks in advance for your time. I can tell already this is a great little corner of the internet.
1. get a used rack, they're a dime a dozen and don't fail often enough to warranty new or aftermarket. their only failure point is the side seals which typically never leak if you replace tie rod boots before debris gets behind it and kills the seals.

2. there is no "mileage" for headgasket issues. anyone that states a mileage is speaking anecdotally and hasn't owned/repaired many H6 headgasket failures. people typically state a mileage (for any vehicle/failure) and sometimes it's applicable, here it's unfounded and usually just market driven - that's what they happen to "see" for a variety of market reasons. it doesn't happen often and it usually doesn't happen at low mileages like below 100k...but by this age and time that's almost a pointless fact anyway.

3. the two serpentine pulley bearings fail all the time at random mileages. standard 6203 bearings and easy to replace, takes 30 minutes and I consider them 60,000 mile replacement items.

other than standard maintenance from sitting/age they make 300,000 fairly easily.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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look for identical tires on any candidates, do some tight circles on dry pavement, the car shouldn't buck or jerk or grab - read about 'torque bind' .
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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3. the two serpentine pulley bearings fail all the time at random mileages. standard 6203 bearings and easy to replace, takes 30 minutes and I consider them 60,000 mile replacement items.
I took the "bought a new tensioner and pulley" route. What's on Mal right now is of unknown age/miles 'cause no service records.

This way I can do the job fast as I usually don't have a back up car with my wife at work if I need the bearing pressed in, and replace the bearings in the original parts at my convenience. Think it cost me about $75 and I went with Continental Elite for the parts. Then have good spares or can sell them if I cease having Mal before they are due again.

All that said, with Mal I got a low miles for age (100K miles at purchase in 2016) but a lot of neglect from sitting for a few years and being beat up. Can't do much for the body without a repaint but I quickly needed the following for a less than well cared for Gen 2 Beaner:

-2 front axles, already had aftermarkets with split boots on it.
-4 KYB struts and mounts, had 2 blown struts when I got it.
-Driver's front tie rod.
-O-ring for power steering, like a $2 dollar part and 10 minute fix.
-Oil cooler seal, $5 dollar part and east to fix when doing an oil change.
-Misc. rubber hoses under hood in the PCV and fuel realms, just due to age.
-Radiator hoses due to age/cracking.

Got a bit spendy up front fixing some of that, cause I had to farm out the axles and suspension bits to a shop so labor hurt a bit but mostly it's been "ehh, this car is 16 years old and stuff breaks by then" issues.
 
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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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I can speak on ROBUST H6!!!!! I pulled off what lots thought impossible with a VDC. Its about to flip 202K miles. The only time I saw a HG problem is when an owner had a severe overheating problem. Members with the H6 haven't even touched the timing chain assembly until after 350K miles.

Rack is questionable. It may be leaking, but I've never heard noises. If its whining, check the seal on the return port on top of the power steering pump. It sucks in air.

Clunking may be lower control arm bushings or sway bar links. Either one generally go about 100-150k miles and wear starts to show. But this depends on how the car was driven, weather factors, etc.. Axles - use only Subaru new or rebuilt. Aftermarket are trash in these cars. Goes for all Subbies. Check engine mounts and the transmission mount. Clunking will come from the trans mount and it will appear to be up front.

KYBs and an alignment and it'll handle like new for a long time with good suspension components.

Regular maintenance is simple: oil changes 3000 for conventional, 5000-7500 with synthetic. (I use Royal Purple and don't have a lot of loss between 5000 mile changes) Brakes when necessary. Fluid changes, coolant, trans, diffs, at 100k intervals and thermostat with the coolant. Plugs are #6 NGK every 100k or so.

Its a trouble free car. If you end up changing the rack, you'll have to reset the steering angle sensor, so either find someone with the software to do it, slim pickins, or go to the dealer afterward for the reset. The only diagnostic tool I know of that can reset it is a MaxiDas outside the dealer's software.

Did I get everything?
 
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