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2006 OutBean, 2005 LGTW
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Discussion Starter #1
This car has already had a few threads here based of it. The now infamous "Case of the Overheating H6" that has yet to be resolved and the abandoned "New project thread that we'll leave alone in favor of this one.

We purchased this car in early September of 2017 and until recently, it's been my wifes daily driver.

As purchased:
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Note the H6 powered outback in the last photo. This 06 is the car that replaced that one. There's a build of it somewhere here as well.

So, brought the car home, cleaned it all up, if you're familiar with my threads, you already know what's coming..

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Discussion Starter #2
Last pic to go with the ones above...
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I don't know why people ignore their cabin air filters.. fucking gross!
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Anyways, this car has served us very well, but, after the drop top BMW 330ci that we fixed, my wife really, really, really wanted another convertible.
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To bad that BMW was such a piece of ****. That BMW and a VW we had owned previously is why I'm swearing off German cars for good.

Anyways, we looked at all kinds of replacement cars for her. We looked at Miatas, MR2's, Eclipses, Toyota Solaras, but, we ended up choosing the Lexus SC430 instead. Best decision we ever made...
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I had some late spring/early summer projects around the house to get done, so, the Outback largely sat around unused. Then, it got shuffled to the back corner where it sat for a few months. I've been pretty indecisive about what to do with this Outback. My goal has always been to slap a new engine and trans in the thing, put new suspension under it and sell it, but, with Covid and all that I began to wonder if people weren't looking for cars like this anymore. I mean, I would be asked 2 or 3x what bluebook says it's worth and pre Covid, it didn't seem like it would be a problem but with how everything looked to me at the time, I was reluctant to toss a bunch of money and time into the car then have to sit on it. So, it just sat.

Unfortunate too that it sat because the longer it sat, the worse condition it ended up in, before, finally, I had had enough. It was time to do something with it already...
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This car had been sitting under both a giant Sycamore tree and a fairly large silver Maple tree. One of them, lets loose of a lot of sap which is what all those little brown dots are all over the paint. A good wash I thought was enough to remove the sap AND the ash that had fallen over the car from the innumerous wild fires we've been having in California this year. Boy was I wrong...
 

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The workspace has undergone some slight revisions. I learned how to weld earlier this year so built an 8' long work bench. This is not the shops final form, but, it'll do for now. Much rearranging will be taking place in the future and with the addition of our new slab off the side of my shop, many of the overflow tools will be leaving the garage and will find a new home in a yet to be built shed.
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One problem at a time though.. It's time to assess the damages on the OutBean...
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So much bird **** :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
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Spiders have moved in too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The interior of the car has faired pretty well. The leather seat at some point had been repaired but their stitching didn't hold. Our asses constant sliding in and out of the seat has begun to unravel it.
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Now, I didn't bother to get pics.. mostly because I was pretty pissed off about it and having to do it, but, I spent an entire day washing the exterior of this car.

First, regular car wash. Worked well to remove the ash and spider webs. Didn't touch the sap though.
Then, I moved to dish soap hoping to cut the sap. When that didn't work I broke out the pressure washer. That didn't work either. Ended up with a bottle of 505 Zepp degreaser and a magic eraser. That removed it, for the most part, but my heart was broken when I saw the aftermath....

This is after the car had been washed. I played with the exposure on the camera to try and get it so it was easy to show up in a picture. It is pretty difficult to shoot actually..
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Across the entire hood, and, infact, the entire car, the paint is etched. It's as if the sap had eaten through the clear coat. Even through the ceramic wax I had on the car. Dammit!

I was considering turning it over to the insurance company actually, it was so bad. It destroyed the paint...

But, lets bring it in the shop anyways and see what we can do with it....
 

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Now that the car is clean, lets bring it in the shop and see what we're dealing with...
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Here's another shot of the paint on the hood. The hood did take the brunt of the damage but the entire car is speckled. All the trims, the headlights, the roof rack, the rear bumper.. basically anything that was horizontal or semi-horizontal is ruined.
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Discussion Starter #7
Another shot of about the center of the hood.. :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
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Fucked!
 

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So my plans for this car has been and always was to see if we can get it to stop "overheating." Unfortunately, those plans have changed. Sitting on the shelf I've had a new Subaru OEM radiator for the car along with all associated hoses to go along with it. The theory was maybe the aftermarket OE "style" and the 40mm radiator that was in the car weren't very efficient and Subaru was doing something special or different with their radiators that could keep the temps of this H6 under control. I didn't necessarily buy the theory, but, nothing else was making sense. I had replaced and looked at everything else. New water pump, a multitude of radiators, tune up, vacuum leak test, countless hours datalogging, endless experimentation even going as far as to put a clear lower hose on the engine and run the car up to operating temp with at high RPM to see what was happening (interestingly, the coolant got foamy but we never figured out why.)

Without going in to to much detail, a family member ran in to some financial trouble and will soon be without a vehicle, so, as luck would have it for him, I just happen to be sitting on this car. He's a Subaru fan, so that's a bonus but more importantly, he lives in a coastal climate with a max temp of ~80°F, so, there should be no overheating issues there.

Beings as how, now, I'm not selling it, I don't have a bunch of money to put in to the car since I won't be getting anything back for it. You may have seen my previous builds and you're well aware I pull no punches when ordering parts for cars. This though, this is different. New rad and hoses have been on the shelf since early this year. New front struts were a hold over from the last car we built (07 I think?) in which the car actually had new struts on it already so we just replaced the rears.

This car therefore will be a bit of a budget build. We're still going to make it right, but, I'll be pulling myself back a little. Rather than order all the bushings for the entire suspension say (there is 220k on it right now) we're only going to be replacing what's NEEDED.

Budget builds..... aren't my forte. The struggle will be real.

But, we've got time, so lets see what we can make of it.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
So this car has always felt "splashy" to drive. I can't think of a better way to describe it. The struts are shot for sure but I have the sneaking suspicion that there's some perished bushings under the car as well. That "ghostwalking" feeling lots of folks talk about.

Putting the car on stands, it kind of becomes apparent as you look under it...

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Once out..
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Doesn't look great but better than I thought considering 220k on the car. These are all factory components too.
 

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Some bushings are destroyed. Previous experience with these cars and the rear suspension told me I was going to find bushings hammered in the rear upper control arm (is that even what it's called? That big cast iron arm, not the stamped steel ones..)

These bushings are fucked on both sides...

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But these bushings, eventhough they appear bad, I don't think are that bad really. I mean, they're still mostly attached and fully captured so while maybe not 100%, beings as this is a budget build, I've opted not to replace. Note: I've got it mounted in a vice and I'm using my full body weight against the top to move it to take this picture. Though it's torn, it's not torn completely, so, we're going to run it.
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The fronts looked mostly okay too, so we're not going to mess with them. I ordered my parts and we've got to find something to do while we wait for them to arrive...
 
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Now that we know what we NEED and parts are on order, it's time I think to turn our attention to the paint on the car. My first response was to turn it over to the insurance company but they'd total the car out and honestly, enough paint to repaint the entire car is cheaper than my deductable, plus, they'd give me **** all in value for the car so, we're not going that route. My second response was maybe I'd just repaint it, but, BUDGET BUILD, so, that's out of the question. What else can we do?

Then I wondered, what about a cut and rub? What if we wet sanded the entire car, starting with 800, then 1500, then 2000 grit wet dry sand paper?

I've dealt with painting in some form or other most of my life so I'm no stranger to cutting and rubbing but, when I do a job and I know it's going to be wet sanded and polished, I always do a few extra coats of clear to accommodate the clear I'll be removing. I didn't paint this car though and I have no idea if any of the folks that did put enough clear on the car for me to remove half of it. We're going to have to be careful...

So, as a proof of concept, I decided to try a small section on the hood.
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Mind you, this is incredibly difficult to get pics of. You can see about dead center in the pic above where I tested my theory. I think we're on to something.

I didn't want to subject my dslr to too much debris like I have in the past, so, I didn't get many pics of the process. By the end of the day, my finger prints were gone and my computer with a fingerprint scanner wouldn't recognize me but, the car was sanded. This was a delicate process IMO. Take it too far, burn through the clear and into the base and it was truly and properly fucked...

Lets get it done...
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Once I got into it I realized I didn't have to do the entire car. As you can see in the pic above, I really only had to wet sand above the door guard about midway down the door.
 
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After the wet sanding, I taped up all the edges and it was time to polish. Pretty messy process so I kept the dslr far away... but here's some before's and afters...

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Here's a good shot of the hood.. the center area being polished and the area closest to the headlight still being dull from wet sanding...
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A far cry from it's previous state of this...
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And then to this....
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Decided to knock out the headlights while I was there too. Even the plastic on those took a beating from the sap. Even after polishing you can still see the tiny craters. Crazy
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Evidently I forgot to get a good pic of the hood in it's final form but you'll just have to wait for that.

After polishing the whole car was wax & grease removered (that's now a word) and prepped for a fresh coat of ceramic wax. The polish leaves a oily waxy film on the car and if you want a sealer/wax to stick well, you've got to degrease it. We'll ceramic coat the car after I get the suspension back under it so I can wash it proper before doing it.

The paint didn't turn out great. The pictures make it look better than it is. I'd say it's 70%. Good enough for who it's going for and the purpose the car is going to serve but I wouldn't try to flip it after that. Realistically, the car needs repainted but I don't suspect I'll ever see the car again. My hope is I put the car on loan and get it back at some point but I'm giving the car away and if you've ever done business with family before, you know if you go in to it thinking you'll never get it back, it's much easier to accept when that becomes the case. If I see the car again, great. If not, no biggy.

Anyways, with that out of the way, it's time to look at the overheating.

New rad and hoses are ready. I've had a lingering thought that maybe the oil cooler on the engine is plugged up, so, I drained the oil, and pulled the cooler off. The car was due for an oil change anyways and I wasn't about to send it out of my shop without one. Since the radiator was coming out, it was the perfect time anyways since the coolant had to be drained as well.

Before we get to that though, we gotta get the struts off to be swapped over.
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Love that wagon life... My LGT is the best parts hauler I've ever had.
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Decided to pull the old ball joints and swap em out for new ones. I think it was a good call considering the old ones were original..
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The ball joint separator came from harbor frieght. It words great to get the ball joint out of the lower control arm but the Astro tool is a god send for pulling the ball joint out of the knuckle. This job would have sucked without these two tools.

Anyways, back from the shop... so puuuurrrrddddyyyyyy...
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And all bolted up...
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I had the rotor touched up too for shits and giggles... everything greased antisneezed and reinstalled...
 

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We're still waiting on parts from Subaru to reassemble the rear suspension so in the mean time... radiator.

I forgot what a Rube Goldberg it was to R&R this 40mm rad I installed. Lots of mods had to happen for it to squeeze in to that hole. The fan shroud on the right side of the car needed to be shaved down and a new hole needed drilled for the overflow bottle along with some reforming of the bottle itself with a heat gun.
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This is when the oil cooler was pulled, you can see it on the ground in the last pic.

About this time, I had a visitor...
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I think it was a pretty young robin. He/she/it hung out for a few hours before leaving. I think be being around the vicinity of the door kinda kept him in there.

Note my labor rate sign... I don't actually work for money like that but I was forced to put that sign up to try and keep neighbors from asking me to do things for them, then acting like it was a favor. I've repaired numerous small engines for folks around the neighborhood, mostly just rebuilding carbs from engines that have sat but it got to a point where I was doing more work for neighbors than myself, so, a friend suggested I put up this sign and what do you know? Nobody has asked me to do **** for them since that sign went up lol

Not to say I mind helping people out but it was getting excessive...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
With the new radiator all assembled, it's ready to go back in.
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There still was the question of the oil cooler and if it was flowing enough..
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Yup.. I'd say.

So, as far as the Case of the Overheating H6 is concerned, I'm pretty much at a loss for it. Unless the new OEM radiator has magic pixie dust in it, the car will continue to run warm on hot days going up hills. I'm not putting an engine in it at this time, so, what else can we do?

Well, I noticed on the thermostat housing there was this edge or corner inside it and, well, I've been watching quite a few more performance oriented youtube channels lately so, maybe there's some room for improvement here as far as flow is concerned...
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Then after some dremelling...
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Maybe that'll help improve flow? Who knows.. I'm grasping at straws at this point.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
So, as of today, you're all caught up. I've been neglectful of getting this thread started. Mostly lazy. The smoke from the fires has had me pretty messed up. Headaches and fatigue from lack of sunshine. I swear sometimes I think I'm a plant. The other day it was so dark outside at 11 am it seemed like it was 5am from how dense the smoke was.
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So, all this radiator talk with this car has brought up some interesting manufacturing differences I've noticed.

The order the following photos are going to go in are 40mm aftermarket dual row radiator, TYC chinese aftermarket radiator and the official Denso made OEM Subaru unit.
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On their surface they don't appear to have big differences. But as you get closer...

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You can see just how much more compact the rows are in the TYC and OEM radiators than the 40mm "racing" radiator.

But you can also see the differences in the TYC vs the OEM radiators and how much more uniform the OEM rad is than the aftermarket.
 
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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Adding further confusion, the fins between the rows are louvered. The differences between the 40mm, TYC and OEM are evident as well. Same order...

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The 40mm and TYC louvers are very rough compared to the OEM unit. Jagged, almost. Yes, some of that is my photo but, the coating that's on the fins is I believe where a large portion of that comes from.


Also, I had taken these photos earlier this year when I compared the TYC to the OEM unit. You can see the texture or whatever metalization process the radiator cores had gone through. Look at how much more uniform the OEM Subaru unit is vs the TYC. I don't even have to tell you which one is which, it's clear as day...
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Will those subtle difference equate to a cooler running engine? Will it be enough to keep the Overheating H6 from, well, OVERHEATING?!?!

Probably not, if I'm honest. It's a good thing this car is going to the coast where it's much much cooler haha
 
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