Gen 3 – 2006 Outback 2.5 DOHC Valve Adjustment




Last week I picked up an ’06 Outback for cheap due to low compression on #2. It’s a nice car all around – 160K miles, XT Limited trim and a clean body to boot. Before this, I had just finished working on another ’06 SOHC Outback that needed head gaskets, so I am fairly familiar with the gen 3 Outbacks at this point. However, seeing as this car is a 2.5 XT, it is turbocharged and is also DOHC which is a bit of a curveball in my case.

Diving into the engine I didn’t have any expectations for what I was going to find but I quickly found that the exhaust valve on #2 closest to the driver has no clearance (as in, my smallest feeler gauge of 0.04mm doesn’t fit). All intake valves on the drivers side are within spec, but the other exhaust valves are also way tighter than they should be, though still have some clearance.

The sticker on the hood calls for 0.14-0.24mm Intake and 0.30-0.40mm Exhaust.

The 3 other exhaust valves are right around 0.15-0.16mm.

I am aware that there is a chance an exhaust valve or two is burnt, however I am going to remove tension from the valve with no clearance and use a leak down tester to verify the valve is still good or not. Regardless of weather or not I have to tear the engine apart more though, I am going to need to adjust the valves at some point.

I have done as much research as I can, but I cannot find anyone talking about adjusting the valves on these later DOHC engines. The videos, forum posts and other sources talk about adjustment on the late 90’s engines, but not anything mid 2000’s and newer. From what I have gathered, the late 90’s use a shim style setup for clearance, and the later engines use a bucket style, correct?

Any pointers on what type of system I have and how to adjust it (or something I can read that describes it) would be appreciated.


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