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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Guys I'm new here and new to Subaru as well. I'm somewhat mechanically inclined and have built mostly Jeeps and Dodges in the past so I can tackle most home mechanic jobs but don't really know my way around a Subi yet.

A relative recently gave me a 2006 Tribeca B9 for $500.

She was told by a mechanic that is has a cracked head but i know they've taken advantage of her in the past so i doubt they really even looked it over.

I do believe it has a blown head gasket though. The previous owner told her that the head gaskets had already been replaced on it once before.

WHAT I KNOW: I went to pick it up, it ran rough and smoked on start up. After a few minutes it settled down and i drove it home. It is losing coolant but no visible puddles and it tried to overheat the whole way home.

It has a new radiator and cap I was told.

I don't have a lot in this vehicle so i'd like to repair it myself WITHOUT pulling the engine and use it as a daily driver as it'll be better on gas than my truck.

Any thought from anyone? i've watched some videos online about doing the job. I believe I can do it.

QUESTIONS:

1. HOW CAN I TELL IF BOTH SIDES NEED CHANGED OR IS IT JUST ONE SIDE MORE THAN LIKELY?

2. CAN I GET AWAY WITH ONLY DOING ONE SIDE?

3. ANYONE TACKLED THIS JOB BEFORE THAT CAN OFFER ADVICE?

THANKS IN ADVANCE AND SORRY FOR THE LONG POST I'M A NOOB HERE
 

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first of all. ALL CAPS MEANS SHOUTING... it would be best not to, I'd say.

and as I said in your other topic about the same issue - have you checked spark plugs? that would suggest what/where...
2. you sure can, but it would be really stupid to take out engine and try to shoot yourself in a foot, by doing just one side... because most probably - other side will follow soon :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wasn't shouting I'm new here and my posts weren't posting for some reason. I didn't mean for there to be 2 of the same topic posted by me. I used all caps to put emphasis on the important parts of my topic. Thank you for the kind welcoming. Now not to get side tracked with all the nonsense..

You're right I really don't know that the head gasket is blown I was only assuming because in my experience loss of coolant with no signs of leaks on the ground, white smoke, and overheating strongly suggests a head gasket issue.

I didn't think to check the plugs. I read somewhere here on the forum that the combustion gas test with the coolant isn't always accurate with these vehicles. I'll pull the plugs and report back with my findings.

I was hoping to do it without pulling the engine but from what I've read that's certainly the easiest way of doing the job.

The electric fan is working from what I can tell.
 

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I haven't yet had personal experience with overhauling subaru's h6, but friend of mine who works with subarus... ummm... 15+yrs... informed that heads cannot be removed and installed back without removing engine...

combustion gas test is not definitive, of course, but it is one of the methods.
overheating - what if your waterpump is dead? ;)
 

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Hey, welcome aboard!

First of all, if the cooling system got low, the air must be purged or it will overheat. Most easily done with a tall funnel that fits tight in the radiator fill so you can overfill and let the bubbles work out.
After that, look for bubbles in the overflow tank while running with the cap on, a sure sign of head gasket leakage.
If you don't see that, and you are still losing coolant without seeing a leak, you need to bypass the heater core. By this, I mean an unkinked loop of hose in place of the in and out at the firewall. If you restrict this circuit, it will overheat. The heater cores are known to leak and soak the extra thick carpet padding for weeks or months before you ever detect moisture on the floor.
Yes, the engine must come out for head gaskets. Not really difficult. You will want to have the heads resurfaced and take the opportunity to reseal everything.
How many miles on the car?
 
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