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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new to me 03 LL Bean H6 Outback that the starter is dead. It clicks once most of the time and with a couple taps with a hammer will normally crank up. What is the easiest way to replace the starter? I looked at it for a minute today from the top and can see one bolt but cannot really get to the other one underneath.

Also, any good recommendations for a starter? I bought one at advanced auto today but it looks to be to long to fit back in. Thanks for your help.
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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2,454 Posts
The negavtive battery terminal is a common issue. I have found that the negative terminal stretchs over time and doesn't not grip hard enough. This leads to arching and corrosion at the battery which causes it not to eventually flow enough juice to start the car.

The terminal can only be tightened so much, unless you remove the plastic piece that is where the bolt for the connection goes though. Once that is gone, you can tighten the bolt better and your problems will disappear.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
Agreed - battery and wiring has to be in excellent condition as the starter draws a ton of amps. Subaru starter failure is rather rare...of course it happens they just have brushes in them, but that's uncommon particularly for something this new.

That being said - if tapping the starter gets it doing that's fairly classic failed starter signs.

I doubt the aftermarket ones are as reliable as the originals - Subaru originals are fairly robust. Not sure what I'd do...but I'd be tempted to just get a used Subaru starter or replace the brushes in the existing one. I would bet that's more reliable than a new aftermarket.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm pretty sure it is a starter issue as I have cleaned the battery terminals already. Hopefully I'll have time this weekend to play around with it and see if I can get the starter off. I'll probably just take the advanced auto starter back and rebuild the factory one or have it rebuilt. The car has 250000 miles on it so it is probably due.
 

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2002 Legacy Outback Wagon LL Bean H6 Automatic
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Having the same problem with a 2002 H6.

Thanks for the link above.
Is there any place that walks through the steps?

Is the starter for a 2002 H6 a sealed unit or can just the contacts be replaced.
Autozone has a starter on the shelf, but the guy I talked to seemed to think it was all one unit with the Solenoid and implied that you couldn't just replace a part of it.

Any way to determine what contacts are needed for this year and model.

Thanks in advance for your help
 

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2003 Outback H6
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48 Posts
Simple replacement. 14mm socket for the lower bolt. Access it from the top with extensions. I needed a mirror for this to guide the socket onto the bolt. Once the socket is on the lower bolt, a one foot breaker bar makes short work of the lower bolt.
When installing the lower bolt, I used some wax inside of my socket so that the bolt would not fall out while I was guiding it back in with the extensions attached.
Subaru starters do not fail, the bushings simply wear out. Rebuilding takes about 45 minuets for the average user, and just a few dollars. Any competent electrical repair shop can make the repairs. Otherwise Bosch makes a very good rebuilt starter. (Napa)
One other thing to consider. Many Gen 2 H6 are starting to show these symptoms which are not related to the starter. If the repair does not solve your problem, you might consider reading this link.
http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...311-03-h6-delayed-start-intermittent-cel.html
 

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2000 OBW, 185K
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116 Posts
These Denso starters are very easy to bring back to life by simply replacing the contacts and the plunger. Trick, however, is to getting the starter out. It is held in place by two bolts, both 14 mm I believe. Top bolt is easily accessible from above but the bottom one is not. What I have done is drive car up on ramps and crawl under from the front, not the side. Illuminate the area with a bright light. Get a ratchet with at least 12-15" of extension and the 14mm socket. Put a wobbler between the extension and the socket. Aim the extension and socket so that it passes above the transmission filter towards the starter; with sufficient light you will see what you are doing. Very easy if you follow these suggestions; very frustrating if you don't.
 

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2003 H6 Custom ChuckWagon
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140 Posts
I haven't had to replace my H6 starter but sometimes it does this..
Seems like a very specific sound pattern that presumably means something very specific.
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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2,454 Posts
If you rebuild your starter solenoid by replacing the contacts and plunger, you need to make sure that the contacts are aligned and flat. When torqueing them down they want to twist. If they are not flat then the plunger will not make good contact and you will have issues down the line. I use a large socket and wood clamp to hold the contacts down while tightening them to ensure they do not rotate during installation.
 
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