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1996 impreza EJ22 LOUD ticking


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20 replies to this topic

#1 ayeaple

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 08:19 PM

Hello, this is my first time here,
I have a 1996 impreza with the EJ22, automatic, and 197000 miles.
I went out for a cold start this morning and noticed the noise. It gets louder at high RPM and does not stop. I though valves so i pulled it apart and realized that there is no adjustment but there is lifters. I pulled the assembly an the intake lifters are squishy and can be pushed in very easily. The exhaust lifers are solid, can not be pushed at all. I checked oil and it was low so i added seafoam after reading on here a bit, the oil is full but still noisy motor. I have not run it long with the seafoam yet, and it is due for oil change so i thought id run it for a bit with the seafoam then change the oil. I am just wondering if i am on the right track and if the problem persists after oil change, where to go next.
Thanks for any help.

#2 porcupine73

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 08:25 PM

The squishy ones that won't pump up if immersed in oil need to be replaced. They do go bad. Might be able to pick up some used ones in the classifieds.

#3 ayeaple

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:24 PM

Ok, so i had the lifters out of the car not immersed in oil. should i have them in oil and see i they pump up, then if not replace the ones that dont?
thanks

#4 porcupine73

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:26 PM

If you have a Haynes manual it shows how to prime and check them. I guess if they are pumped too much not in oil they can lose their prime. Haynes shows something about using a paper clip or something too during the priming in oil. I've never had to mess with them yet.

#5 ayeaple

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:30 PM

is it strange that all of the intake lifters on the one side of the engine suddenly started doing this and not any others?

Edited by ayeaple, 28 January 2012 - 09:33 PM.


#6 porcupine73

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:37 PM

I don't know for sure. There was some report of a possible blocked oil gallery leading to the valvetrain on one of the sides of the engine, so there wasn't much oil getting there, and that could let the lifters lose prime. Usually I fish a length of bare 14 ga solid copper wire through the oil passages when I do the timing belt/valve cover gaskets just in case.

#7 ayeaple

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:41 PM

Thank you for the info. I will proceed with trying to prime the lifters and clear oil passageways.:headbang:

#8 ayeaple

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:22 AM

Update:
removed lifter assembly and continued with taking the assembly apart to get at each lifter individually. when i took the end block off there was a peice of something where the oil inlet is. I continued to remove all the parts and check all the passageways and ran wire through all the passages i could on the lifter arm assembly and the engine block, didn't seem to find any other obstruction. i put the lifters that were squishy in oil a tried to prime them but they would not pump up. So i thought maybe that removing the gunk that i did find would have fixed it. SO i put it back together and no change. Changed the oil and filter, no change. I think the next thing I will do is Get a whole assembly from a junk yard from a car that has less miles on it ............. hopefully. :banghead:

#9 Fairtax4me

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 01:36 AM

It only takes a VERY small particle to block the oil feed passage for the lifters. Often its silicone sealer from the oil pump housing after people reseal the pump. But it can be anything that gets picked up by the pump.

When the lifters are collapsed they can take anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour of running before they pump back up. Give it some time they will pump back up.
If you haven't done it yet, adding a half quart or so of Marvels Mystery Oil can help them pump up quicker. It will also help condition seals and clean the crankcase. Change the oil after about 100 miles of easy driving.
Using a "High Mileage" oil (Valvoline, Castrol GTX) will also help prevent lifters from bleeding down.

Compressed air is best to make sure the passages in the rocker assembly are clear. But I've used various canned cleaners (brake, throttle body, carb, gum cutter) to clear small passages when compressed air isn't available.

Usually I fish a length of bare 14 ga solid copper wire through the oil passages when I do the timing belt/valve cover gaskets just in case.

14ga wire is WAY too big to fit into the passages in the rocker assembly. I would't ram a wire into any part of an engine (or any other machine) that isn't already completely taken apart for a full cleaning.

#10 davebugs

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 08:46 AM

MMO for sure. Often followed by a "spirited" drive seems to work for me on these lifters.

#11 ayeaple

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 10:58 AM

Thank you for the replies.
I will try the MMO and give it some time. I was wondering if someone could tell me how to get at the oil pump. I have not yet checked the seal and backing plate on it, or before i get into that if i could get some info on how to check oil pressure to see if its down at all. Im just trying to work through the process of elimination, but i don't think its a problem with the lifters because all four intakes went a the same time. So i would think that it have to be a clog or low oil pressure:confused:
thanks again. The experience here has been great!

#12 Fairtax4me

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:19 PM

The oil pump is in the center of the block behind the timing covers. This site has good pics for removal cleaning and installation of the timing components and oil pump. http://beergarage.com/Subaru.aspx

An oil pressure gauge can be attached to the block where the oil pressure switch is located between the alternator and power steering pump.

#13 ayeaple

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:18 PM

Thank you so much for all the info.
The Marvel Mystery Oil did the trick. I substituted one quart of oil for one quart of MMO, drove the car for 15 miles and the noise was gone, continued driving as I had other stuff to do and the noise is still gone. I guess it just needed a good cleaning! Thanks for the info on the oil pump, I will keep it for future use. I f the problem returns I will have an artillery of knowledge to use against it.:lol: Seriously tho MMO darn good stuff, turns out a very loud lifter problem is only a $5 fix and a little bit of time!:drunk:
Thanks everyone!

#14 ayeaple

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Posted 29 January 2012 - 11:20 PM

P.S.
changed the oil with straight 30w before adding MMO and that alone did nothing. MMO did the job as far as i'm concerned.

#15 Ricearu

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:10 AM

that MMO is a detergent, and will knock all kinds of junk loose in the engine, so be sure to change your oil in about 100 miles :horse:

#16 Fairtax4me

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:30 AM

P.S.
changed the oil with straight 30w before adding MMO and that alone did nothing. MMO did the job as far as i'm concerned.


Straight 30 weight oil is too thick for starting.You need the oil to move when starting. 30 weight oil flows about like molasses in January when it's cold out. It doesn't flow well enough to get pressure all the way out to the rockers. You need oil that flows when cold so the cam, rockers, and lifters don't run dry. If it's still in there, change it with regular 5w 30. The lower (w) number on dual viscosity oils is the flow rate when cold. The lower the number the better it flows.

#17 johnceggleston

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 07:39 AM

the HLAs on the 95-96 ej22s are great. but if your oil level gets too low they will start to rattle. on my 95, adding 10w30 to the proper level would correct the problem, every time. yea!!

i all but yelled at my son about keeping oil in the engine. and he finally figured out he had to check it every week. but the ticking acted like a warning sound for low oil. of course, replacing the leaking seals was / is the real fix.

and the ej22 is so resilient it just keeps running.

as stated, don't leave the MMO in forever. change the oil . use 10w30 or if really cold, 5w30. straight 30w is too thick at start up, especially in the winter. use the proper oil.

#18 davebugs

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 08:17 AM

MMO for sure. Often followed by a "spirited" drive seems to work for me on these lifters.


With straight 30 weight I"m amazed the MMO even worked.

As folks have said don't let it in there too long.

I use 5w30 in Suby's no matter the miles, some folks use 10w30 but get that straight 30 outta there.

Glad the MMO worked though.

#19 ayeaple

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:52 PM

Yes I normally use 5w-30 because it is recommended by the manufacture, i always use a good brand too, non of that wal-mart crap, but i read that people put 30w when they have the lifter problem so i thought i'd give it a try. I will definitely change it again before 100 miles and go back to 5w30 and use high mileage oil as well, as i am sure it is recommended for a motor with 197000 miles.

#20 porcupine73

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:12 PM

Another question is...why did Subaru change to 5W30 from 10W30 as the recommendation in 1996? It is interesting. They mentioned once on Endwrench "Engine oil viscosity for all 1996 Subaru Legacy and Subaru Legacy Outback vehicles is specified as 5W-30 to improve fuel economy."

#21 johnceggleston

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 01:40 PM

the owners manuals i've read, 95 - 98 and 00 - 01, all show 10w30 as standard for 0 degrees F and up. but 5w30 for below 0 degrees up to 100 or so. i can't remember the high end number.




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