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01 Outback VDC 3.0
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


My old 01 Outback was the best car I have ever owned. It died an untimely death at 360K. I put 200K on it in 5 years of 122 mile round trip commuting mostly at 80MPH or better. I found this 110K VDC on a local car lot and will be picking it up Sunday. I wanted an H6 after going through the head gasket and a used reman engine on the 2.5. It looks like new inside and out..
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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Looks nice! Good luck with it.

I'd suggest that you spend some time here reading up on the H6 weaknesses that you will want to keep an eye out for before they become a real problem ( that's not a criticism of the H6, just sound advice for any particular car that is new to someone).
 

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01 Outback VDC 3.0
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85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. I have been reading up. It drives really nice. I found a valve cover gasket and power steering hose leak after the ets drive which have since been repaired. I also found a rotten exhaust pipe and an inner cv joint boot torn, also repaired as a condition of the sale. It looks like new inside and out.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,165 Posts
Thanks. I have been reading up. It drives really nice. I found a valve cover gasket and power steering hose leak after the ets drive which have since been repaired. I also found a rotten exhaust pipe and an inner cv joint boot torn, also repaired as a condition of the sale. It looks like new inside and out.
welcome to the sixer club.

how much did you pay?

no rust. :smile2:
 

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01 Outback VDC 3.0
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85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks I was amazed at how strong it is 50 HP makes a huge difference. I paid $5200 out the door. Tried to talk him down but he said he can't keep used H6 Subarus on the lot or any for that matter especially low mileage like this one...
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,165 Posts
[u Thanks I was amazed at how strong it is 50 HP makes a huge difference. I paid $5200 out the door. Tried to talk him down but he said he can't keep used H6 Subarus on the lot or any for that matter especially low mileage like this one...
I guess you know it likes super gas similar to the turbos. (mine has run a steady diet of typical 93 octane since 2002 when I got it with 15,000 miles on it).

in a used car I would also dump a $7 can of seafoam on a whole tank of gas, ...such to clean out any crap old gas/ resin or water that may have been in the tank from the car lots/ auction places for months.
 

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01 Outback VDC 3.0
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85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes I am aware of the premium fuel requirement. What are you getting for gas mileage? Everything I am reading suggests about 2MPG less than the 2.5 which was averaging 24-25 depending on how hard I drove. What viscosity and brand of oil is your preference and what is your oil change interval? I have read the H6 is particularly susceptive to damage from dirty so I am entertaining the idea of a 3000 mile interval with this car versus the 5000 mile I used on my 2.5. I have a farm and a big shop with a lift so its an hour every 6 weeks or so given the mileage I drive on my commute. I also have a trailer hitch on my 2.5 car that I will be moving over to the VDC so I can tow my motorcyle trailer when I make my annual pilgrimage to Deals Gap to ride the Tail of the Dragon. My 2.5 towed the bikes and trailer several times without incident so the H6 should handle it easily.
 

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2003 VDC
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My old 01 Outback was the best car I have ever owned. It died an untimely death at 360K. I put 200K on it in 5 years of 122 mile round trip commuting mostly at 80MPH or better. I found this 110K VDC on a local car lot and will be picking it up Sunday. I wanted an H6 after going through the head gasket and a used reman engine on the 2.5. It looks like new inside and out..
Nice one. I picked up a low-mile 2003 VDC last summer. It will not have a problem towing a motorcycle. Even at 80 mph all day. Search for posts re: the Yatour CD emulator to upgrade the McIntosh.
 

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01 Outback VDC 3.0
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85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Greetings All,
I put the VDC up on the lift as soon as I drove it home and inspected the underneath. Looks like they did a good job repairing the two oil leaks and they installed a new 1/2 shaft on the right front. I found some rust from salt and chemicals evident but nothing that compromises the integrity of the car. No body panel rust at all. The rear rotor dust covers are pretty rough. I will swap them from my other car if I have occasion to change the rear rotors in the future. I made them give me the old 1/2 shaft so I can reboot it and have a spare. I put in 6 quarts of Amsoil 10W40 and a new Purolator OEM Pure One OEM replacement filter. Checked all the fluids, they all look good and clean and all were full. Nevertheless I will be changing them out on my next oil change, ( transaxle and both differentials) . The oil I drained out was pretty nasty. Put 30 miles on the Interstate after it was all said and done no leaks noted. The H6 is hateful to drain the oil out of between the plastic tray/shielding and placement of the drain plug plus the sideways filter mounting. I soaked up what slopped onto the tray as best I could. The real test will come tomorrow when I head her into the wind and run east on I66 to Dulles at 80 MPH for the 122 mile round trip commute. Everything works on the car except the CD player (displays ER6)and heated seats. The McIntosh radio plays perfect. At some point I may buy a good used head unit. I found a couple yesterday on eBay that were reasonably priced. I have to recover from the purchase and get some money laid back. I really love the way the car drives . It feels like an entirely different car than my previous 01 Outback 2.5...
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,165 Posts
when I change oil on 2000-2004 I lower the front of the plastic shield leaving it attached to the cross member in the back.

putting it back on: to get the upper side bolts back in place I put the car on the ground and jamb wooden chocks under the plate till I see the holes matching up., (and use a long screwdriver, bolts go up by the tire.).

might be a cooler way to re-install that with long zip ties, but have not tried it yet.
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,382 Posts
Yes I am aware of the premium fuel requirement. What are you getting for gas mileage? Everything I am reading suggests about 2MPG less than the 2.5 which was averaging 24-25 depending on how hard I drove. What viscosity and brand of oil is your preference and what is your oil change interval? I have read the H6 is particularly susceptive to damage from dirty so I am entertaining the idea of a 3000 mile interval with this car versus the 5000 mile I used on my 2.5.
For Mal I get about 18-20 city but I can drop that to 15 if I'm having too much fun with the extra torque, highway varies depending on traffic and where I keep the speedo. If I keep it at/under 70MPH I'll get 27-29MPG. Over 75MPH the MPG drops quickly.

I'm running a slightly longer OCI with Mobil1 0W40 right now, seeing if it will quiet down things a bit. Otherwise I do a 5000 mile OCI with whatever 5W30 was on a good sale at the time and a Wix oil filter.
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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ours consistently gets 19-20 around town, which is the majority of it's use. Never got better than 26 or so on the highway. 24-25 more typical.

highway speeds are pretty high for our dfw to CoSpgs run.
 

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01 Outback VDC 3.0
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85 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks to all for the replies. Mine will see mostly highway with the commute. I try not to go more than 75 MPH with the cruise on traffic permitting. If I get tight on time sometimes 80. We will see how it does, leaving for the 1st trip to work in it in 40 minutes...I average 600 miles a week
 

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Meh.
I has wagons.
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12,382 Posts
Thanks to all for the replies. Mine will see mostly highway with the commute. I try not to go more than 75 MPH with the cruise on traffic permitting. If I get tight on time sometimes 80. We will see how it does, leaving for the 1st trip to work in it in 40 minutes...I average 600 miles a week
I tend to track my trip MPG in this thread:
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/98-trip-reports/337145-captain-s-log.html

Short version: Roof racks off, tires 35F/34R, otherwise no significant changes.
 
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01 Outback VDC 3.0
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
1st tank of fuel 1/2 of which was of unknown origin and no telling how old it was yielded 22 MPG. That included test driving and at least 50 miles of in town driving. The oil cooler oring is seeping and possibly the sending unit. The rh valve cover is seeping as well. The dipstick still shows full. The valve cover was on the list I found wrong on the initial inspection that was supposedly fixed. I think they wiped it off and snugged up the bolts. I will reassess after I change the oil cooler oring and pressure sender. Overall I am quite pleased so far. The car is very tight and smooth. One oddity I have noted is the auto climate control takes some getting used to. It was 19 here last night and I cranked it up and warmed it up for 5 minutes with teml set to 75. It was warm and toasty already when I got in it. My 2.5 Outback took 10 minutes or more of driving after a 5 minute warm up before the heat felt even remotely warm. Initially ( probably operator error on my part) it is hard to regulate in manual or auto. At first if you select 65 degrees it blows cold. Go to 66 and it feels like full hot. After about 10 or so minutes it reverts to what feels like normal operation should be and the temp is easily regulated by going up or down a degree or two. The heated mirrors took the frost right off this morning, first time I ever had a car with them. I havent had occasion yet to try the heated wipers... The power difference continues to amaze me.
 

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01 Outback VDC 3.0
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Pleased to report the oil cooler o-ring and oil pressure sending unit change went without a hitch. I plugged the forward coolant line and only lost about a cup of antifreeze. I drained about 3/4 of a quart of oil when I removed the filter and pulled the cooler back to access the o-ring. It was easier for me to do it that way than taking the coolant pipe loose. Leak checked good. Valve cover (s) and plugs will be next. The valve cover is a small seep.
 

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2001 Outback Wagon VDC 3.0 H6
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Hi,

Congrats!

I just got my 2001 OBW VDC yesterday afternoon. I have to go to DMV to register it tomorrow and it just been sitting in my driveway all day today. I cant wait to go out and check it out and drive it. I got mine with 162,000 miles on it. Looks like its in great shape, the car came from queens, NY, I am in Jersey.

We can compare MPG and stuff once I get mine on the road tomorrow.

I am sure you will enjoy your OBW for many miles!!!
 

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4, Gen 2 H6's: 2002 LLBean, 2002 VDC, 2003 Plain H6, and 2004 LLBean...I love the H6's!
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I think you paid a fair price for your car. I would have bought it, too :)

I LOVE my H6 Subarus and am constantly watching area sales ads to find my next low mileage H6 Outback Wagon.

My 2001, 2002, and a second 2002 H6 all consistently get 18-20 around town (18 in winter, and 20 in summer), which is the majority of their use. I typically get 24-26 on the highway driving about 70 MPH. Odometers read 204,000, 145,000, and 121,000, respectively. All have original engines and transmissions.

The first thing I did when I bought my H6's was remove and throw away the plastic shield from beneath the engine. IMHO given it was plastic and constantly in my way when I worked on each car the shield served no useful purpose in my mind.

Valve cover gaskets leak on 2 out of 3 of my H6 cars. When weather shapes up in April/May I intend to replace both gaskets on the 2002 I drive everyday, which has the fastest oil leak rate. Meanwhile, I'll keep changing the cardboard I place on my garage floor beneath the engine about every 2 weeks, as well as routinely check the engine oil level.

Enjoy your car!
 

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01 Outback VDC 3.0
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I hate that shield too. I am getting about 22.5 at speeds in the 75-80 MPH range on the commute. I am generally setting the cruise on 75 on the Interstate. The oring on the oil cooler and replacing the oil pressure sending unit cured those two seeps. I have just over 500 miles on the car since purchase and havent had to add oil since the oil change 400 miles ago. I picked up a valve cover gasket set today. I have a friend coming over this break who has a lot of experience on these to help me change it.
 
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