Tribeca ,A Modern Engine .

Discussion in 'Off Topic, B.S., Lounge' started by peter phillips, Dec 8, 2017.

  1. peter phillips

    peter phillips Active Member

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    Back in late spring a neighbour gave me a 2006 Subaru Tribeca .Mileage not too bad ,in great overall shape but with a blown head gasket .The estimate to repair it was $4500 and he didn’t want to spend the money .I took it for a couple of reasons ,I needed a new daily driver and it was a chance to work on a modern engine .Over the last couple of years I’ve been wanting to build a new hot rod and several of my friends have been pushing me to try a Chevy LS motor .I’ve resisted mainly because to me it would be foreign territory .The Tribeca would be an opportunity to get greasy on something new and that might encourage me to go the LS route .


    The engine is a Z30 ,3 litres ,all aluminum ,H6 ,with overhead cams , 4 valves per cylinder ,variable cam timing ,variable valve lift ,cam packs ,computer fired and all that sort of modern stuff .Quite honestly ,it’s a pig .I can pull a head off the Caddy 500 in my Ventura in about 2 hours and stop for dinner and a dump at the same time .To get the head off the H6 took me at least 25 hours .Drain the oil and coolant ,pull the rad ,strip off the serpentine belt ,power steering ,alternator ,ac compressor ,rad saddle etc just to get to the timing chain cover .But here’s the stupid part ,to pull the outer timing chain cover there are 59 bolts and 12 of them wont undo .Either cut the head of the bolt off or drill them out .Then remove the timing chains and guides and gears .That allows you to get at the inner timing chain cover and its 46 bolts .Plus remove the oil pump and the water pump .Three of the oil pump bolts had to be drilled out .There are 12 bolts to hold the oil pump cover in place .


    Now I have to remove the valve cover ,10 bolts and 2 of them are impossible to get out unless you jack the motor removing the motor mount first .Coil packs have to come out too and they’re a bitch .Then remove the cam extension housing and oil line that controls the variable cam timing .Remove the two cams because they cover the head bolts .Now the head bolts can be removed and then the head .Be careful .The exhaust lifters want to fall on the ground and they must go back in the right hole .


    What a load of dog shit

    .

    Oh yeah .You’re a dumb ass if you don’t remove the other head and do that gasket too .Seems boxer engines have a reputation for blowing head gaskets so do it while you’re there .More work .


    Anyways I’m kinda proud of myself for getting it all apart but I’m a bit perplexed because I don’t see any obvious damage to the head gasket .So I order parts and begin cleaning things up to get ready for reassemble .


    I should point out that #2 son is a Director for Subaru Canada and I get a deal on the parts .Still bloody expensive though ,over $300 .I should also point out that he showed up one day with a new lap top computer filled with all the tech info I’ll need on this engine .He took pity on me and paid for it all, gaskets too .Damn but I have good sons .


    Now I start cleaning the “bad” head and I find a crack running from between an intake and an exhaust valve over to a water jacket .This sucker doesn’t have a blown gasket ,it has a cracked head .Actually that makes me smile ,I have a reason for all that steam out the tail pipe and I can see it .It’s a Eureka moment .


    The search is on .Find a head .Subaru can’t help .They don’t stock replacement heads for this engine .A bare casting is over $600 .I go on the internet junk yard search .Chicago calls back in 5 minutes ,a used head $580 US ,give us your credit card number and we’ll ship it now .Gotta love the Americans ,they do business .However that will put the cost at over $700 CDN at my door .Not good .The next day I get a call from Surrey BC .$200 plus tax and shipping .Yippee, I’ll take it .Well they must be on crack out there because it takes 3 weeks to get them to ship it ,confirm that it’s the right head ,check it for cracks and play silly bugger with all the nonsense over my credit card ,like I stole the damn card or something .Then the stupid buggers shipped it by bus .It took 10 days to get it here .They can get people here in 3 days but a parcel takes 10.I want to shit on someone so bad but cant ,it’s too good a deal on something that is very hard to find .


    The problem with all this is I’m doing it outside .No room in the garage and the weather is starting to cool .


    Forge ahead though but next comes the hard part .These bloody engines are literally glued together ,virtually no gaskets ,I have to use Fuji bond for gaskets .I hate that kind of shit ,never had good luck with it and what in hell is Fuji bond anyways .Subaru wants $300 for a tube of it .More research ,it’s actually Permatex Ultra Grey ,$10 at the local parts store .Carry on .But it’s getting cold and Permatex Ultra grey is an RTV meaning room temperature vulcanization so I switch to Permartex Right stuff .Its anaerobic .


    Bolt on the heads ,torque to yield head bolts and that’s a load of crap going through all the steps to torque them ,install the cams ,install the cam extensions ,and then the dreaded inner cover .Not only are there about 10 feet of glue to lay out ,there are 8 o rings too .


    But Subaru ‘s tech info doesn’t agree with the count ,sort that out ,install the inner cover ,46 bolts ,oil pump 12 bolts ,search everywhere for replacement bolts ,flat head metric ,Jesus .


    Install the cams .info is a bit hazy on how to do it .I try real hard and get it done but something feels wrong .Check and double check .Something sucks but what do I know with this modern crap .


    Keep going ,59 bolts and glue for the outer cover .Then it’s easy ,put it all together .


    Ready to fire it up .


    Spin the starter ,no fire and doesn’t sound right .I go around to look and there’s a coolant leak ,big deal ,and a massive oil leak .It’s just pissing on the ground .


    So ,coolant leak ,oil leak and wont fire .Bin there before on any number of engines over the years ,Always something .


    The next day I fix the coolant leak ,only a stupid spring clamp .


    Oil leak is more work ,the rocker gasket hooked around a cam bolt leaving a 2 inch gap for the oil to leak .it takes a couple of hours to fix that .


    And while I’m there I pull a coil pack and a plug to do a compression test .


    Zero compression .Nothing .Shit .No wonder it sounded wrong .


    I have closed the hood and walked away .It’s too damn cold now .I’ll fix it in the spring .I must have timed the cams wrong .


    Ask me if I want to do an LS engine in my next hot rod .
     
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  2. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

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    Subaru's are 'fun' to play with.
    There's some things they know that they don't publicly acknowledge.
    Some types of head gaskets are susceptible to coolant eating them over time, there are related electrolysis issues made worse with poor battery and cable maintenance.
    There are production runs with heat treatment issues and sometimes not enough interference fit with valve guides.
    It's often quicker to pull the engine to do this stuff, if you can separate the trans from the block :D
    Want to severely boost them up? Carve out new cylinders and otherwise beef up the blocks with even bigger bolts.
     
  3. Darius

    Darius Well-Known Member

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    Dang! all I had to complain about was it being winter and cold.

    Peter, you are the winner - or loser - I'm not sure which. Sorry to hear that string of wounds that came with your new purchase. I'm impressed that you undertook to resolves them, however foreign or however daunting. Congratulations - and my Blessings!

    One 'good thing' I can say about the Subaru Tribeca: given the right years they did come with nice 18 inch wheels, which are 8 inches wide, and can accommodate tires wider still. Hopefully, they'll look reasonably acceptable on a 1950 Studebaker.

    bro. d

    WHEELS - SUBARU TRIBECA 2008-2014.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
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  4. blue68deville

    blue68deville Active Member

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    Ah yeah, been there with Euro trash designs when I was a Benz tech for 15 years. I can think of many times I wanted to kill an engineer that clearly had no thought for the poor bastard that had to repair his/her shitty design, especially on flat rate. Seems those suck jobs always paid poorly.

    Hopefully it is just cam timing. That should be relatively easy to fix compared to the rest of the job.
     
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  5. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

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    Does this iteration of engine still have marks on the cam gears for timing?
    I do recall it being easy to confuse. Something about the way they do things...
     
  6. pila78

    pila78 Well-Known Member

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    Good to know about the Subaru engines. They have great adds for their cars, on TV etc Not likely I would ever buy one anyway....hype doesn't turn wrenches !
     
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  7. MIHELA

    MIHELA Active Member

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    4 cylinder Subarus are child's play to work on. That H6 is probably one of the hardest outside of a supercar. I can pull an EJ out of an Impreza in about 2 hours.
     
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  8. peter phillips

    peter phillips Active Member

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    8ad-f85
    Agree with everything you have said about Subaru engines .
    Darius
    The older I get the more I hate winter .The damn cold gets into my bones .Even today it's cold as hell and the fools that like to hype up the weather forecast have today issued a special weather alert for a winter storm .We going to get an inch of snow .Maybe two .One inch and the sky is falling .This Subaru will become my daily driver ,it will not beat me .And you're right about the wheels on Tribecas .Mine has a set of 18's .
    As far as attempting this thing ,well it was given to me so I have very little money in it ,just some parts .When done it will retail at about $6000 and its loaded with all the goodies .It has a lot of my time so far but I needed a challenge and my labour is cheap .

    blue68deville
    Yeah ,I can't see a tech making much doing this job .I'm hopeful it's just cam timing .I've reread Subaru's tech info on how to time the cams and at this point I can't figure out where I went wrong .One of the problems is that Subaru has two different ways shown on how to do the timing .I chose the one that made sense to me .Come spring I'll figure it out when I pull it apart .

    8ad-f85
    The engine has clear marks on the crank gear and the intake cams but not the exhaust cams .It also has coloured chain links to assist the installation of the chains .The coloured links are barely distinguishable though .I know I got the chains installed properly .I suspect the exhaust cams are wrong .

    pila78
    Many of Subaru's engine problems are inherent to the boxer design .Yet they use this as a big reason for buying a Subaru .TV adds are cool but everyone they have done gets complaints. The one with the Crosstreks at the "dog park" got a lot .People didn't like the attempted humping scene .

    MIHELA
    Agreed .I'd have pulled the engine but my problem would have been to get the engine into the garage .Its uphill and there's really no room in there for an engine stand .The Ventura gets half and my wife's car gets the other half .I do not intend to annoy her .She doesn't like snow or bird shit on her car .Besides doing it out in the driveway tends to piss off my neighbours .I'm reinforcing their opinion of me that I'm white trash .
     
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  9. peter phillips

    peter phillips Active Member

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    Spring has sprung around here. And young men's thoughts turn to...... wait a minute. I'm no spring chicken. My thoughts might turn to...... but that only lasts a minute and thoughts turn to the Tribeca.
    Yesterday I pulled the engine down to the timing chains. It wasn't all that hard.
    What was hard was reading the tech info about chains and gears. The battery died ' cause I ignored it for 5 months.
    Lap tops and me don't mix well so the pen and paper are coming out. I'm going to make 2 drawings of the timing gears as shown in the lap top and one of what I see on the actual engine. Maybe I'll figure it out that way.
    Plan B is to call the top tech guy at Subaru Canada. To get him here I will threaten his inheritance.
    The Subaru will live.
    Peter
     
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  10. Monzallac 425

    Monzallac 425 Member

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    Motor swap it with something GM?

    Doug in P.R. :)
     
  11. Darius

    Darius Well-Known Member

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    Throw your weight around. Get #2 son motivated.

    If you do ditch that engine it might be a fun one to play with - as in add a little turbo boost. :devil:

    d
     
  12. peter phillips

    peter phillips Active Member

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    Pen and paper worked. Intake cams were both wrong. Dunno why. So I fixed them. #2 has been summoned.
    Peter
     
  13. peter phillips

    peter phillips Active Member

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    So #2 arrived and we spent 3 hours checking the chains using the other method to time the cams. As we went through it things got dumber and dumber. The official Subaru tech info using this method is wrong.
    Next day I looked at a you tube video. This method uses the coloured links on the chains to locate the cams. It's the method I used last fall and failed. The you tube video and the verbal instructions given made sense. The written instructions in the Subaru tech info on this method are confusing. It's obviously developed in Japan by factory engineers and then translated but not by a tech but by a non tech translator.
    So I redid the chains and cams according to you tube guy and it made sense and the recheck showed everything correct.
    Today I put the outer cover back on. Right Stuff by Permatex and 40 bolts, 3 different lengths at 4.8 ft lbs.
     

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  14. Darius

    Darius Well-Known Member

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    DANG!!!

    Somethings just can't be simple.

    d
     
  15. peter phillips

    peter phillips Active Member

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    Gadzooks! It runs.
     
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