Are Head Gaskets Replacements Inevitable with the H6?

Posts specific to the 3.0 litre NA H6 engine

Are Head Gaskets Replacements Inevitable with the H6?

Postby Fd3 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:02 am

Hi I'm new and just about to buy a 4GEN Liberty. The opportunity has come up as part of a deceased estate its a 1 owner 2006 4GEN Liberty 3.0R Sedan with 100,000km.
I don't know much more about the car other than it having one older owner. I don't know too much other than that about the car but I will be inspecting it tomorrow.
I've been doing as much research as I can on the car, however I keep seeing so many threads on the Head Gasket.

Is the Head Gasket something I have to budget to replace?

Also anybody recommend any places to get a prepurchase inspection?
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Re: Are Head Gaskets Replacements Inevitable with the H6?

Postby sheppo9 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:20 pm

Nowhere near as common as on the older 2.5's, but it can still happen.

Get a KiDo tune to 'fix' them before they leak.
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Re: Are Head Gaskets Replacements Inevitable with the H6?

Postby Surge » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:31 pm

I'd say after 11 years, if they haven't been changed I would expect to need them done soon enough.

I'd budget 2-2.5K for the job.

One good way to check if there might already be a slight leak starting is to drive the car quite hard (maybe up a hill) and then when it's warm enough jump out and look for bubbles in the coolant overflow bottle.

If you get a pre purchase inspection just specify that you want them to focus on the head gaskets.
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Re: Are Head Gaskets Replacements Inevitable with the H6?

Postby Fd3 » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:37 pm

Thanks guys. Quite a Suburu n00b the car only came up two days ago and just doing google searches has scared me off buying what was one of my fave subi shapes.

The owner was 79-80 when they purchased the car 11 years ago and it sat for about 6-12 months in a garage not being driven. And in the last 6 months has been driven around to keep everything running. I'm inspecting tomorrow morning so will report about how it all goes.

The car has "full service history" but I'm not sure if it's that stealership history or ultratune history.

Can anybody recommend a place to take it for a Pre Purchase inspection? Some where south east Melbourne.

the closest dealership Berwick suburu do one for 149 but I doubt they would be as thorough as a specialist, probably check boxes and charge me.
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Re: Are Head Gaskets Replacements Inevitable with the H6?

Postby Tronic » Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:02 am

Change the radiator cap immediately if its made of a light brown/tan plastic inside.

It falls to bits and you loose the pressurized coolant system, it can then overheat and kill your head gasket, its what happened to my partners 2000 Subaru Lancaster 6. Saw the spring sitting inside the radiator but the damage was already done after it overheated.

The new OEM cap is made from a black plastic inside. Its a $40 preemptive move that could save your engine.

If your coolant system is clean and your using anti-freeze in the water you never need to worry about a head gasket going on the H6.

Still driving it with a blown gasket. Removed the thermostat and running no pressurized cap and only 3/4 filling the radiator. Simply not worth the repair cost to repair on a 2000 car and I cannot even be bothered doing it myself these days so driving it until it dies. Still starts first time and you wouldn't know it was blown.

Immediately went out an bought a new radiator cap for my 2005 Legacy 3.0R.
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Re: Are Head Gaskets Replacements Inevitable with the H6?

Postby Tradewind » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:36 pm

No, not by far does it get them all

Get the KiDo tune immediately, brings on the radiator fans sooner etc and reduces engine heat that critical bit to significantly reduce HGF risk
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Re: Are Head Gaskets Replacements Inevitable with the H6?

Postby alexeiwoody » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:48 pm

Tradewind wrote:No, not by far does it get them all

Get the KiDo tune immediately, brings on the radiator fans sooner etc and reduces engine heat that critical bit to significantly reduce HGF risk


And yet by the far the most common factor that every H6 HG failure in club.lib has had was that they had a Kido tune.

Even if you think he is some kind of thermo-dynamics engineer, we know he likes to tell people so - doesn't mean you need to pass that information onto others - without having done any fact checking of your own.

"But he's tuned every H6 in Aus, so of course some will go". Sure, you can take that argument. But it's not just "some", it's basically 95% of the ones I know of in club.lib, which is at least 10 cars. The engine might be flawed, but there is absolutely no evidence his tune helps anything. In fact if you consider the evidence - it probably makes it worse (and science/common sense would say so too - more torque, for longer = more stress on the engine).

Exactly same discussion we had about E85 numerous times before, for some reason people think they can make more torque, in a broader rev range and somehow the components of the engine will have an easier time handling it, when they fail even on stock torque levels. Then we have 2.5L HGs on E85 failing left right and centre, numerous times a week - and still some tuners will tell you "there is absolutely no issue, just needs to be a safe tune". Even when the HG is on their very own tunes. "Oh must've been some other issue". On a brand new, built engine? And not once, but across the board - states/tuners/builder etc? Sure. :|

A lot of people don't learn, or think for themselves it seems. They'd rather get an "oh yeah, it's a safe tune" from their tuner and not worry about it. Ignorance is bliss.

/rant :wink:
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Re: Are Head Gaskets Replacements Inevitable with the H6?

Postby tom_kauf » Sat Nov 11, 2017 7:21 pm

alexeiwoody wrote:
And yet by the far the most common factor that every H6 HG failure in club.lib has had was that they had a Kido tune.

Even if you think he is some kind of thermo-dynamics engineer, we know he likes to tell people so - doesn't mean you need to pass that information onto others - without having done any fact checking of your own.

"But he's tuned every H6 in Aus, so of course some will go". Sure, you can take that argument. But it's not just "some", it's basically 95% of the ones I know of in club.lib, which is at least 10 cars. The engine might be flawed, but there is absolutely no evidence his tune helps anything. In fact if you consider the evidence - it probably makes it worse (and science/common sense would say so too - more torque, for longer = more stress on the engine).

Exactly same discussion we had about E85 numerous times before, for some reason people think they can make more torque, in a broader rev range and somehow the components of the engine will have an easier time handling it, when they fail even on stock torque levels. Then we have 2.5L HGs on E85 failing left right and centre, numerous times a week - and still some tuners will tell you "there is absolutely no issue, just needs to be a safe tune". Even when the HG is on their very own tunes. "Oh must've been some other issue". On a brand new, built engine? And not once, but across the board - states/tuners/builder etc? Sure. :|

A lot of people don't learn, or think for themselves it seems. They'd rather get an "oh yeah, it's a safe tune" from their tuner and not worry about it. Ignorance is bliss.

/rant :wink:

Agreed Alexei, the factory tune on an NA is perfectly fine. And making more power will always reduce engine life, even if a tune is 'safe'. People are kidding themselves if they think otherwise. There will of course be some stock engines that die early, but a well maintained stock engine will inevitably be under less stress than one making more power.
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