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Loud engine ticking started suddenly?


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Ropre

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 10:50 PM

I have a new to my '87 gl wagon carded ea82 with 4wd and 5 speed tranny. It has 112k on the clock and has run silky quite since I got it. I was driving home tonight and slowed and let the rpm's drop to turn left and when I accelerated I heard a pronounced ticking from the engine compartment. I checked it and it is coming from the right head/valve cover area and is consistent with rpm and does not go away under load or at any rpm. I have read many posts on the "death tick" but still have a few questions specific to my case. I have noticed low (factory) gauge oil pressure at hot idle, like almost zero. But when starting cold its over 50 at speed and 30 at idle as the temps increase the oil pressure drops across the board. I had planned on putting a mechanical pressure gauge in this weekend to verify the pressures.

I was wondering is it out of the ordinary for the noise to SUDDENLY start out of the blue with no prior warning? Does this point towards a bad oil pump or a stuck lifter? Any help would assist me in going forward with the right repair. I had planned to do timming belts soon as well as all the seals and the water pump. Should I replace the pump or just re-seal. The right valve cover leaks oil so I will replace it also. Is there anything to inspect under the cover to assist in diagnosing the root cause of the sudden lack of quietness?

Thanks.

#2 MilesFox

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:02 PM

This is a common occurrence. It can be regarded as routine service interval.

Inspect for oil leaks. The oil pump has an o-ring shaped like a 'mickey mouse', and the 'ears' can get sucked in like a pac man shape, and aerate the oil causing the lifters to collapse. This is more an annoyance issue than a mechanical issue. But, if you got dirty oil, and they go on forever, the lifters will just be done for as the contaminates hog out the tolerances.

do searches for the words 'oil pump' and 'cam tower o-ring'.

Service is rather simple on these cars, but in their own peculiar own way, being unconventional in platform.

#3 grossgary

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 06:55 AM

if you're positive that it's isolated to one head - or one cylinder then it's a sticking HLA. change oil frequently to make sure they stay clean.

if i positively have sticking HLA's, then i add a quart or two of ATF to the oil and run that a day or week....just depends.

if it's only one HLA then oil pump seals or replacing the oil pump won't likely fix it. that only works if the oil pump seals or pump itself is the cause.

#4 Ropre

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 08:53 AM

Thanks grossgary.

This is the same thing I speculated. I added some seafoam today and it seemed to all but go away this morning but came back as the oil warmed up. I suspect it just began on one side but will shortly move to the other side. I believe my oil pump might have sucked in its "now pacman like" seal. If I listen to this and it is true, should I get all the pump seals from the dealer?

Thanks.

#5 grossgary

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:11 AM

resealing the oil pump usually fixes this. dealer seals are probably a good idea, i've had problems with aftermarket seals but not on the oil pumps.

sometimes a reseal doesn't work, but replacing the oil pump will.

some folks would rather be done with it and just install a new oil pump with new seals.

you'll have to decide which way works best for you.

#6 Ropre

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 11:51 AM

Thanks all.

I drove for 50 or so miles and the seafoam in the oil must have fixed it. I still don't understand why it started so suddenly and loud but at least its gone now. And the sudden onset is primarily why I posted a new thread on this already exhausted issue. I appreciate Gary reassuring my thoughts that if its just on one side its probably not the oil pump. Now I need to install the mechanical oil pressure gauge to see what I really have.

Thanks!!!

#7 Caboobaroo

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 12:07 PM

Even if its an oilpump that has too big of tolerances, you can usually find a new one for pretty cheap. Last one I got was for an EA82T a few years ago from www.thepartsbin.com and it cost me $90 AND turned out to be an OEM pump, still in the OEM box!

#8 Dallasooby

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 12:08 PM

I have this ticking problem with my soobie (92 Loyale) also. I replaced the mickey mouse seal, put in some sea foam and drove it for about 10 minutes. The ticking totaly stopped ! It lasted for about 300 miles or so, then came back ! I put some black rtv on the seal when i put it in... probably not a good idea. I heard that the rtv can come off and plug oil galleys. I also heard that when puting the seal in to use grease to hold it in place ? That is why i used rtv because the gasket kept falling out of the groove when i put the oil pump back on (sigh). I guess i will get another gasket and try again...:-\

#9 misledxcracker

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 12:25 PM

When I reseal an oil pump, I use wheel bearing grease, as it's kinda "heavy".

NO on the RTV :lol:

#10 grossgary

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 01:16 PM

Now I need to install the mechanical oil pressure gauge to see what I really have.

the owners manuals, from Subaru, states that "low" or near zero oil pressure is normal for operating temperature readings on the stock gauges.

wonder what those with aftermarket gauges show when up to operating temp?

Edited by grossgary, 05 May 2011 - 01:31 PM.


#11 Ropre

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 03:14 PM

Dido on the "no rtv" that stuff can kill engines if not used cautiously. Sorry to hear that the tick is back for you. If it is an RTV blob clogging a lifter it might mean removal to get it to go away. Is it just one or multiple bays making the noise?

I should know this weekend what the "true" oil pressure is when I have near "zero" reading on the stock gauge while temp and idle.

#12 Dallasooby

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 01:33 PM

Well.. before it was on the driver side. (The ticking) Now it has moved to the other side... So i would guess that it is plugged oil gallies ?

#13 Caboobaroo

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 03:10 PM

I've used RTV on the mickey mouse gaskets numerous times before but I put just a glaze on it to get it to stick, never overdone. Just the tiniest amount is what works, not globs of it.

Have seen someone reseal an oilpan using too much RTV and when it flaked off inside the pan, it got sucked up onto the pickup screen and starved the engine of oil...

#14 MTSuby

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 04:16 PM

Just so you know, replacing the oil pump won't necessarily get rid of the ticking. My car did it worst when it was low on oil. I had all the leaks fixed, plus a new oil pump and seal, and cam seals. Ticking still happens now and then. Sometimes more than others. But less than it used to.

Most likely if you did all that stuff the ticking would go away, but not definitely.

#15 Ropre

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 05:35 PM

Well.. before it was on the driver side. (The ticking) Now it has moved to the other side... So i would guess that it is plugged oil gallies ?


Probably not oil gallies but rather the lifters them selves. They clog easier due to there small internal orifices.

#16 Dallasooby

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:16 PM

I have a lot of oil leaks also. I really need to pull the engine and fix all the leaks. I am sure that will help too. I see you live in Whitewater Ropre ! That's not too far from me ! I am in Orchard Mesa !

So anyway, does anyone know about what it would cost to redo all the gaskets and oil seals on this 1992 EA82 ? I am a college student and off for the summer after next week, and have time to work on my soobie. I am thinking i should replace... Oil pan gasket, valve cover gasket, oil filler tube gasket (I took this off the other day and the middle of the gasket was gone and flaking off into the engine !)..cam seals and crank seal, oil pump gasket, transmission pan gasket...rebuild or replace HLA's...

Wow.. what else ? This 300 dollar car is getting expensive..lol, but the body and interior are almost perfect, so it should be worth fixing the motor..

#17 Dallasooby

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:26 PM

OK guys. I don't know if anyone will still be reading these posts, but i dove in today and decided to pull off the oil pan and oil pump. It was quite fun trying to pull the oil pan off . The back 3 bolts were terribly fun... that is where the pan was leaking from... BAD:banghead: It took me awhile to figure out how to get to them. I noticed some holes on the cross member.. I remember from someones post how to get to them. I ended up using a 10mm 1/4" socket and a screwdriver.... ughhh... lol put the socket on the other side of the hole and contort your hands and body in just the right position.. lol, don't worry it ony takes about 4 freaking hours....:grin::rolleyes: But I was wondering if i should use gasket sealer on the gasket when I put it back on ? Any suggestions? As for the oil pump... oh yeah more fun... This time I tore off the timing covers and threw them out. Good thing i took off the oil pump once already.. so i knew where the bolt holes were... man.. alot of work.. I took some pics of the oil pump after pulling it off...here ya go :Attached File  0709111646.jpg   11.08K   23 downloads

Attached File  0709111645a.jpg   15.46K   24 downloads

Attached File  0709111645c.jpg   18.44K   23 downloads

The oil pump "Mickey Mouse Seal " was torn... I didn't find any surprises in the oil pan except a few flakes of GOLD! lol...

Just a question about the oil pan... Should I put some RTV on it before puting it back on ? I am thinking just on the bottom side? The old one was stuck like glue on the bottom side.. The top side wasn't stuck at all...:eek:

This is all going to be back together tomorrow.. then I will be ready to roll
:-\:burnout:

#18 Uncle Ed

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Posted 10 July 2011 - 11:03 PM

I'd use the non-hardening form-a-gasket on the oil pan. Manual gauge in my 86' shows between 5-10psi when hot. I just figure the TOD is a timer, time to change the oil.

Ed




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