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1996 Impreza Brighton (EJ18)


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22 replies to this topic

#1 kickascii

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 06:18 AM

Adjustable valve clearance? They love to tick randomly. Sometimes louder, and then goes away. Then comes back.

#2 johnceggleston

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 07:16 AM

Adjustable valve clearance? They love to tick randomly. Sometimes louder, and then goes away. Then comes back.


the 95 ej22 has HLAs, hydraulic adjusters. if they get dirty they can be slow to adjust. by 97 they did away with HLAs, i think.

i'm not sure what kind yours has but probably the same as 90 - 94 ej22, maybe HLAs.

#3 porcupine73

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 07:39 AM

I believe it most likely has HLA's. You might have one or more that are losing prime, thus causing the ticking, which will then kind of go away after 30 minutes of engine running as they rebuild some prime. I have a '96 2.2L brighton (but Legacy) and it has HLA's.

#4 kickascii

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:15 AM

I believe it most likely has HLA's. You might have one or more that are losing prime, thus causing the ticking, which will then kind of go away after 30 minutes of engine running as they rebuild some prime. I have a '96 2.2L brighton (but Legacy) and it has HLA's.


Never really goes away. 250,000 miles on it and it comes and goes even after driving for an hour... Just worn out? :)

#5 porcupine73

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:20 AM

I missed it, you had it right in the post title that it has the 1.8L. Engine noises can be a lot of things. At 250k miles the parts are probably getting nice and lose in there. Some people switch to a heavier weight oil such as 15w40 or even 20w50 to quiet things down a bit if they really dislike the noise. I was running 20w50 in the '94 and it purred like a kitten.

#6 kickascii

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:31 AM

I missed it, you had it right in the post title that it has the 1.8L. Engine noises can be a lot of things. At 250k miles the parts are probably getting nice and lose in there. Some people switch to a heavier weight oil such as 15w40 or even 20w50 to quiet things down a bit if they really dislike the noise. I was running 20w50 in the '94 and it purred like a kitten.


about to change the oil so ill do that, but is that a little thick for winter months?

#7 kickascii

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:33 AM

it's only one lifter so I wonder if I can find out which one it is and replace it. How much are they from subaru? Wild guess... $15-25?

easy to replace? Any write-ups on this site?

#8 porcupine73

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:44 AM

Hi. I'm sure there are threads on here about R&R'ing the HLA's. I've never had to remove one myself, but I think some people were using needle nose pliers to do it. From what I've seen you hold the HLA in a container of oil and cycle it to remove the air bubbles. Sites such as subarupartsforyou.com would have prices for new ones from Subaru. Or if you post in the 'parts wanted' section on here I'm sure people have good ones from used engines available too. For '96 it probably has the smaller style HLA's. The earlier engines had these much larger HLA's but they went to a smaller size (and then after '96 stopped using them altogether) to reduce the amount of moving mass in there and increase efficiency.

20w50 conventional oil could be a little thick for the winter, depending on how cold you're getting down to. I was using a good synthetic 20w50 racing oil and didn't have any trouble with starting even down to around 15F but that was with a good battery, and the '94 has always been easy to start.

#9 johnceggleston

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Posted 29 July 2010 - 10:54 AM

as far as thicker oil, i can see a thicker oil in some cases, but i would never start with a 15 or 20 weight. i would keep it a 5w, maybe a 5w - 40. you want it thin at start up.

if i was pretty sure it was the lifters, i might look for a used heads or rocker assembly for replacement parts. there is a good thread detailing how to "clean" these things and re-install them , i think. i can't remember who posted it .

not the one i was think about but still helpful. sound like a good cleaning will fix it.

http://www.ultimates...leaning lifter*

http://www.ultimates...leaning lifter*

#10 kickascii

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 12:03 PM

thank you for the advice everyone. I'm probably gonna get a steth and listen. Then, I'll probably take the valve covers off and see what's going on.

Thank you!

#11 Fairtax4me

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 05:49 PM

Don't get thicker oil, get a new oil pump if you want to increase oil pressure. 250k on an original oil pump, it will have a fair amount of wear.
Try switching to synthetic blend oil such as Valvoline Maxlife or Castrol GTX High Mileage. These will clean tarnish and gunk buildup from the lifters (as well as the rest of the engine).

Or you can stick with dino oil and add a half quart or so of Marvels Mystery Oil or ATF.

#12 kickascii

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 07:31 PM

Don't get thicker oil, get a new oil pump if you want to increase oil pressure. 250k on an original oil pump, it will have a fair amount of wear.
Try switching to synthetic blend oil such as Valvoline Maxlife or Castrol GTX High Mileage. These will clean tarnish and gunk buildup from the lifters (as well as the rest of the engine).

Or you can stick with dino oil and add a half quart or so of Marvels Mystery Oil or ATF.


How big of a job is it to replace the oil pump?

#13 johnceggleston

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 07:39 PM

How big of a job is it to replace the oil pump?


the oli pump it self isn't that big of a job, but you have to pull the crank pulley and timing belt to get to it, so that makes it a job.

i don't remember anyone having to replace a bad oil pump before but i don't really know. re-seal them, sure, when they are leaking. and of course if the backing plate screws are loose then you will not have the pressure you need.

how can you tell if it's low oil pressure or blocked oil channels???

#14 porcupine73

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 07:41 PM

It's a bit of a job but not impossible. You have to remove the crank pulley, timing covers, then slide the crank sprocket off. Then there is about six bolts holding the oil pump on. Then you have to clean the surface on the block. Then install the crank seal on the new pump, put some permatex grey RTV on it, and a new o-ring, and put it on. Might as well use a new timing belt while you're in there since the old one has to come off. Other things are easily accessible at the time too such as the timing idlers, water pump, etc., if any of those need attention.

#15 kickascii

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 09:21 PM

umm, ill be waiting on this one till I have to tdo the timing belt... You know, the ticking noise kinda has a sweet, delicious sound right now.

#16 Fairtax4me

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 09:49 PM

Personally, I wouldn't go out of my way to do it either.

how can you tell if it's low oil pressure or blocked oil channels???

You really can't without checking the pressure with a gauge. But the ticking sound coming and going might indicate a drop in pressure at lower engine speeds allowing the lifter to bleed off. OR it could just be a sticking check valve on the lifter.
But that's not the point. :grin:
I'm trying to keep you from going out and filling the crankcase with heavy weight oil to fix a little tick. That ticking isn't going to harm anything except your nerves.
If you decide you want to get rid of it, what you do is switch to an oil that has some extra additives to help clean out whatever it is that is causing the lifter to bleed down.
If that fails to remedy the noise then you remove the lifter, clean it in kerosene, pump it back up with fresh oil and reinstall. You can usually tell pretty easily which one(s) it is when you remove the valve cover. You might have to spin the engine a turn to remove spring tension on the rockers. If one of them is loose you'll be able to move it all around with little effort.

#17 kickascii

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 05:49 AM

I'm gonna find out which one it is and remove it, clean it, and then clean any oil passages. I'll take some pics. Thank you all! Standby.

#18 kickascii

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 08:40 AM

I can add to this mystery. It seems to be fine about 1500 miles after an oil change. Then, once I change the oil, within 20 miles or so, it's back.

Maybe it's because air is getting trapped in a lifter????

comes and goes. Happens at any RPM.

#19 987687

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:08 AM

I had a lifter start ticking in my legacy two winters ago from a -30F start. It ticked for two oil changes straight, then one day just randomly stopped. Came and went for about a year after that, and now totally gone. At first it was REALLY loud, sounded like my engine was going to let go, and got steadily quieter over time...
I wouldn't worry much about it. It's not going to hurt anything.

#20 edrach

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:19 AM

A quart of seafoam with the heavier 20W-40 at the next oil change might do the trick for you. Seafoam always worked for me to reduce the lifter tick in my older Brats.

#21 987687

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 09:34 AM

A quart of seafoam with the heavier 20W-40 at the next oil change might do the trick for you. Seafoam always worked for me to reduce the lifter tick in my older Brats.


You actually dump the seafoam in your oil? How much do you put in, and what do you do before changing it? Drive it around? just let it idle for 10 minutes?
I'm looking for success stores with seafoam because I'm in need of cleaning out an engine I got recently.

#22 1-3-2-4

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 12:21 PM

here is a good site I found doing a unrelated search one night..

shows pictures as well

http://lovehorsepowe...egacy&Itemid=59

#23 Fairtax4me

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 08:12 PM

You actually dump the seafoam in your oil? How much do you put in, and what do you do before changing it? Drive it around? just let it idle for 10 minutes?
I'm looking for success stores with seafoam because I'm in need of cleaning out an engine I got recently.


Seafoam says right on the bottle how to use it on the oil. Pour it in with the oil before it's time to change, or with fresh oil if you prefer, let it run for 15 minutes or so, drain it and replace the filter.
You can use a half can of Seafoam, a half quart of ATF, half quart of MMO, that engine flush stuff at the auto parts store, Kerosene, Diesel fuel, there are tons of additives to clean an engine with.




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