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EA82 & ER27 Ticking, TOD, Hydraulic Valve Lash HLA noise diagnose and repair


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#1 grossgary

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

I believe we're attempting a somewhat comprehensive TOD thread for noisy HLA's in EA82 and ER27 (XT6) engines.

 

***Simply put, I would replace the oil pump if you have TOD. 


Details:


I've solved every case of TOD with a brand new oil pump (once I figured it out, after years of monkeying with other things that were temporary or had varying results).  themoneypit (member here), Austin (forum administrator of www.subaruxt.com), and others have had the same experience - new pump solved the issue.   I wouldn't be surprised if they spec'd out just fine since I've never seen these cars have issues or notable wear/problems, but that's speculation and in any event the success rate speaks for itself regardless of the cause.

 

Another 2 cases of replacing oil pump solving TOD:

http://www.ultimates...-finally-fixed/

http://www.ultimates...-side-clicking/

 

I'm sure it's happened but I haven't seen it nor have I heard anyone say "I installed a brand new pump and it's still ticking". 

 

4 step approach to diagnosis/repair:

 

1.  Determine if this is likely oil supply related  or HLA failure - See (*NOTE HLA Failure below)


2. Reseal the oil pump.  Replace the mickey mouse gasket and oring (ER27 does not have that oring), shaft seal, and dabs of sealant on the very outer pump housing at 6 oclock and 12 oclock where it meets the mating surface of the two block halves.

 

3. In the cases where that doesn’t work, a new oil pump has always fixed it for me.


*** If you are not time rich or you get annoyed doing a job twice, skip step 1, at this point it makes sense to me given how many oil pump replacements I've seen necessary.

4.  GD suggests that replacing the cam carrier (cam case/cam tower) orings can also fix some instances of TOD.  Earlier EA82’s (85 and 86 I believe) came with plain rubber orings which are inferior for this application. The later EA82’s and all ER27’s come with a metal reinforced oring at that location.  Other than Subaru I’ve only seen them available at www.thepartsbin.com , though I’m sure other places have them. Just make sure they are the metal reinforced variety.

 

GD's discussion on these orings and other HLA nuances:

http://www.ultimates...ent-experience/
 

Oil/Treatments and TOD:

Changing the oil or playing with oil viscosity or treatments is not the answer though covers up the symptoms for a bit, though possibly by inducing wear to the HLA's.  GD covers the mechanisms involved in that in the thread linked above. Given the cause is likely still present (oil pump or orings), this is likely a band aid and not a great long-term solution. TOD is highly variable and as such a lot of results are anecdotal like changing oil weights, etc.

 

*NOTE - HLA failure:


If the TOD is isolated to one HLA then that HLA is likely failed and needs replaced.  No amount of oil treatment or oil pump maintenance is going to help. The only time I've seen this is on HLA's with blown headgaskets that were run for an extended period of time (localized overheating, speculation).  So I guess I haven't solved "every" TOD with a new oil pump, but every case that wasn't due to a blown headgasket/seized HLA.  A good ear or mechanics stethoscope will isolate where one (or two) bad HLA's reside.  Pulling the valve cover you can even see them if they're seized, you'll visually see a gap at various points of the cam lobe travel.  Passengers side is far less messy to get access to and check that way.  It's been a few years since I've seen one like this so my description isn't fresh, but I recall being able to identify the seized HLA's without disassembling anything - just pull the valve cover.


New HLA's
Mizpah engineering sells rebuilt HLA’s or will rebuild yours.  Very economical, only a few bucks each.  If you’re going into the valve train it’s not a bad idea to just get a complete set they’re so inexpensive.  http://www.mizpahpre...com/pricing.htm

 

I have never been able to successfully pump up every single HLA's in a bag of oil like the FSM says, so I've just installed them as is and assumed they pump up on the vehicle and have never had a problem doing that.

 

There is also mention that some HLA’s need shimmed, I haven't done that
or found that thread yet but will edit it in if someone else does.


Edited by grossgary, 18 April 2013 - 12:44 AM.


#2 l75eya

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:42 PM

New oil pump fixed the ticking on my EA82 as well. Count me in there.

Also,

This should be stickied


Edited by l75eya, 21 February 2013 - 08:46 PM.


#3 GeneralDisorder

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:44 PM

It won't do it in all cases but it's the biggest piece it would seem. I've had to do pumps, rebuilt lifters, and cam tower o-rings to make it stop - only to have it return not that many miles later. Bottom line is the engine design is prone to ticking and you may or may not ever get rid of it permanently. It's a crapshoot at best and as a shop I have to tell people that it's something they may end up living with no matter how much time and money they spend on it. 

 

Generally though I agree - new oil pump has the highest probability of fixing it if you are going to point at any single repair. 

 

GD



#4 NickNakorn

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:45 PM

I've not replaced the whole pump because I got a good deal on a new pump rotor assembly from my local Subaru dealer; it did  not solve the problem at all - but there were massive oil leaks and numerous other problems - not least, overheating. Since then I've rebuilt the engine with all new seals and new lash adjusters and it runs very quietly. But I've not yet used the car because I'm doing numerous other jobs on it. I hope to report that the TOD has gone for good once I've put some miles on the rebuilt engine.



#5 theflyingdoorstop

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 02:09 AM

its not the oil pump router its the seal as they age they crack and the porly desind pump housing alowes it to suck air insted of oil those not pumping up lifters so a $30 ebay seal will fix it. on ea82 it can be replaced in the car



#6 Rust

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 10:06 AM

This topic should be stickied, I agree w/ GD whatever you do it's a crapshoot.   I have 3 ea82 cars that see regular use.  They have all had the TOD at some point.   My biggest success is feeding the engine a seafoam/ATF/risoline cocktail.  On 1 of my cars the TOD has not returned after a cocktail flush (this car at 60,000).  Another car it has come back after 15,000 miles, but after another cocktail flush it went away (this car is at 170,000) and the third car it  it comes back on a pretty regular basis.  This car has also had a new oil pump and seal as well as the cocktail treatment.  The TOD came back quiker after the pump/seal replacement, than with the cocktail flush. This car usually requires a cocktail flush every other oil change to keep the TOD at bay. (this car is at 300,000)

 

Bottom line the older the engine the more the TOD is going to be a regular issue. My personal opinion the cocktail flush is just as effective as a seal/pump replacement.  I would not replace the pump/seal unless there was a pressure issue.  I have spent a whole saturday replacing an oil pump only to have the TOD soon return, v.s. spending around 45 min, to do the cocktail flush and have the TOD stay away for much longer. 



#7 l75eya

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 09:52 PM

Rust, could you describe exactly how you flush the engine out with that engine additive "cocktail" you use?
 



#8 grossgary

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 10:46 PM

This topic should be stickied, I agree w/ GD whatever you do it's a crapshoot.   I have 3 ea82 cars that see regular use.  They have all had the TOD at some point.   My biggest success is feeding the engine a seafoam/ATF/risoline cocktail.  On 1 of my cars the TOD has not returned after a cocktail flush (this car at 60,000).  Another car it has come back after 15,000 miles, but after another cocktail flush it went away (this car is at 170,000) and the third car it  it comes back on a pretty regular basis.  This car has also had a new oil pump and seal as well as the cocktail treatment.  The TOD came back quiker after the pump/seal replacement, than with the cocktail flush. This car usually requires a cocktail flush every other oil change to keep the TOD at bay. (this car is at 300,000)

 

Bottom line the older the engine the more the TOD is going to be a regular issue. My personal opinion the cocktail flush is just as effective as a seal/pump replacement.  I would not replace the pump/seal unless there was a pressure issue.  I have spent a whole saturday replacing an oil pump only to have the TOD soon return, v.s. spending around 45 min, to do the cocktail flush and have the TOD stay away for much longer. 

 

I think crapshoot, though ambiguous to start with, is overstating it mathematically speaking. There are many documented successes replacing the oil pump.  It's not %100, although for me it's been 100% out of quite a few TOD's in the past 20 years of owning like 50 Subaru's and working on many more.

 

But I've never worked on 85/86 models with inferior orings and mine are always "low" mileage, 100k-175k, i've only worked on like one 200k engine.  Stuff rusts too quickly to see many 200,000+ mile vehicles here.  I rarely see or work on them any more.

 

What year is that vehicle (is it the early 85/86 variants that get the standard oring only in the cam carrier passage?)?

How many TOD vehicles have you replaced an oil pump on?

 

In any event, a 300,000 mile EA82...particularly one with the known substandard orings may not be much more than an outlier statistically speaking.  Meaning, I don't know how comparative a 300k motor is to a 150k motor.


Edited by grossgary, 06 March 2013 - 10:49 PM.


#9 grossgary

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 10:53 PM

Rust, could you describe exactly how you flush the engine out with that engine additive "cocktail" you use?
 

Can you start a dedicated thread for engine flushes, I'd start another thread about flushes and PM him for a reply to it.  That gives two specific topics that can both stay more specific and focused. 



#10 NickNakorn

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:22 AM

I found flushing made TOD worse than before.  I've only had TOD on one of my 4 (I used to buy an old one, wait for it to turn to rust then by another) EA82s since 1993 - all were high mileage when bought.



#11 GlenSz

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 01:42 PM

wow, glad i got a chance to read and hop on this thread, especially cause i'm in mid-TOD elimination process, with the help and experience of @175eya, who's been telling me this whole time to explore the various discussions concerning TOD on the USMB. this one's a gem and should be "stickied" or highlighted as mentioned by @Rust, who's also been helpful with some general concerns i had, including what i didn't even know at that point was my very own TOD! so again would like to say the USMB is a great resource, and friendly and approachable even for very unexperienced newbies like myself. thanks folk, back to my question,


I think crapshoot, though ambiguous to start with, is overstating it mathematically speaking. There are many documented successes replacing the oil pump. It's not %100, although for me it's been 100% out of quite a few TOD's in the past 20 years of owning like 50 Subaru's and working on many more.

But I've never worked on 85/86 models with inferior orings and mine are always "low" mileage, 100k-175k, i've only worked on like one 200k engine. Stuff rusts too quickly to see many 200,000+ mile vehicles here. I rarely see or work on them any more.

What year is that vehicle (is it the early 85/86 variants that get the standard oring only in the cam carrier passage?)?
How many TOD vehicles have you replaced an oil pump on?

In any event, a 300,000 mile EA82...particularly one with the known substandard orings may not be much more than an outlier statistically speaking. Meaning, I don't know how comparative a 300k motor is to a 150k motor.



i'm just about to buy a new oil pump, cause it seems i have a pretty good chance of getting rid of my '94 Loyale (105k miles) tick of death by doing the swap. i considered doing just the seals, to save money, but then reconsidered and decided to buy a new one, along with a new water pump to put in since i'll be in there anyway, might as well, and it's a cheaper part.

but first,

i'd really like to know more about or read the new thread about the "Cocktail" @Rust mentioned and @175eya requested more info on.

Can you start a dedicated thread for engine flushes, I'd start another thread about flushes and PM him for a reply to it. That gives two specific topics that can both stay more specific and focused.



before i buy an oil pump and water pump and make @175eya show me how to do EVERYTHING (eternally humble servant), why not try the "cocktail" flush, especially because my TOD has been coming and going, ticking about 60% of the time, ever since i did an oil change and used 15-40 and some Slick-50, i guess a "cocktail" of it's own, but maybe another trip the bar for a "stiffer drink" or cocktail, as it were, will do the trick. i've only got 105K miles on it and already made progress by introducing a different weight oil.

so why not try the cheapest, easiest solution first?

if not, i would actually look forward to getting to know my subie's insides a bit better when putting in a new oil pump and water-pump.

was there a new thread topic ever started for a detailed description of the TOD cocktail flush method?

Edited by GlenSz, 17 April 2013 - 01:43 PM.


#12 Caboobaroo

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 11:39 PM

I did a reseal on my XT6 1000 miles ago and since, I've had a phantom TOD, exhaust valve, #5 cylinder. When I was in there, I soaked the lifters in automatic transmission fluid while the heads were apart, primed each one by hand with 5w20 oil before install.
I've done three l changes and ran ATF through it for 30 minutes between the second and third oil changes and it didn't help. If it sits for a couple weeks, it has ticked for a few minutes (dead of winter) but only a few seconds most the time.

If I go back in, I'm replacing them all. Hopefully I have my new engine built by then.

#13 grossgary

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 01:00 AM

Helpful if oil discussions went in another thread to avoid cluttering this one up.

 

woso why not try the cheapest, easiest solution first?


was there a new thread topic ever started for a detailed description of the TOD cocktail flush method?

 

Link already in first post for thread about what oil additives do and why they may cause HLA's to always tick due to resultant wear:

http://www.ultimates...ent-experience/

There is no detailed description. Use whatever you want to or get results you like from, etc. ATF, diesel oil, additives, MMO...doesn't matter, results vary based on engine condition/issue.

 

Changing the oil and water pumps is not hard and rather simple actually - you don't "see the insides" really, so don't be too timid.



#14 GlenSz

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 02:24 PM

i'm now finally posting some info and pics of swapping my oil pump to eliminate my T.O.D.
 
sorry to clutter up this thread w/ oil thread questions, which i learned are definitely not as relevant to TOD as oil pressure/Oil pump replacement. 
 
@GrossGary said:

 

Helpful if oil discussions went in another thread to avoid cluttering this one up.

 

Link already in first post for thread about what oil additives do and why they may cause HLA's to always tick due to resultant wear:

http://www.ultimates...ent-experience/

There is no detailed description. Use whatever you want to or get results you like from, etc. ATF, diesel oil, additives, MMO...doesn't matter, results vary based on engine condition/issue.

 

Changing the oil and water pumps is not hard and rather simple actually - you don't "see the insides" really, so don't be too timid.

 
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
@175eya said: 

 

New oil pump fixed the ticking on my EA82 as well. Count me in there.


Also,

This should be stickied

 
 
after telling @CoyotePaws that i was gonna get some local USMB help (@175eya) to swap the pump, and that i was looking for one online at a reasonable rate, he said he'd keep an internet eye out for one too.
 
sure enough, i get a text from @CoyotePaws in the middle of the day about a week or whatever later w/ a link to a new one, still in the plastic and box, that's on Craigslist for only $40! as opposed to the $180 or so i generally was seeing them for everywhere else online.
 
i confirmed w/ @175eya that it was the right one and would fit, and managed to negotiate a paypal payment over the phone w/ someone i could barely understand, which seemed a little risky, but i figured i'd take a chance. 
 
a week later, i had the new oil pump and seals, all of which were still in the plastic, via the PayPal purchase. $50 total, including the $10 for shipping.
 
IMG_20130430_105215_671_zps5fa034d3.jpg
 
@175eya gave me the go ahead for the following weekend to do the swap.
 
so, started taking stuff out...
 
IMG_20130504_144851_883_zps1dd01c92.jpg
 
the old pump and shitty off-brand oil filter the guy who sold it to me used:
 
IMG_20130504_144929_114_zps5ed3ef8b.jpg
 
IMG_20130504_144944_737_zps57c8f832.jpg
 
hardest part of the whole thing had to be getting the 5 hard-to-get-to screws on the radiator fan off and back on.
 
IMG_20130504_144959_930_zpsc25ded0a.jpg
 
btwn us, we had everything we needed...taquitos no pictured. 
 
IMG_20130504_145718_270_zps6e7b23c3.jpg
 
IMG_20130504_151205_404_zps616f1179.jpg
 
IMG_20130504_151212_526_zps068d3908.jpg
 
IMG_20130504_153555_147_zps988001ae.jpg
 
IMG_20130504_153823_390_zps036869e6.jpg
 
 
got the old one out, and it looked ok...not like it's possible to eye the difference btwn a functioning and non-functioning oil pump.
 
IMG_20130504_161639_235_zpsfa12900b.jpg
 
IMG_20130504_161704_436_zpse5007e59.jpg

 

but once i looked at the mickey mouse gasket from the old one and the new one that was going in, it was clear what the difference was: one seal was FLAT, the new one was ROUNDED...but the old one was so consistently flat, i thought maybe it was just a different type/design altogether, possibly even the reason for most the EA87's and any other engine with T.O.D. that used the flat and not rounded gasket design style...just a thought.
 
IMG_20130504_161845_714_zpsfd6a77d3.jpg
 
IMG_20130504_161935_197_zpsab6e4f14.jpg
 
 
there was a pile of junk from @175eya's swap, including belt covers he took out and encouraged me to leave out as well. i'd read they were extraneous already and thought it was better to leave mine out as well.
 
IMG_20130504_162153_755_zps1c70fac0.jpg
 
 
it was pretty easy to get the new one seated and attached. 
 
IMG_20130504_165758_882_zpsfff69fad.jpg
 
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everything was looking good when we put everything back in, fans, belts, alternator, A/C, battery, etc., but when we went to crank it over, it was running rough, w/ T.O.D. then eventually sputtered out. 
 
@175eya immediately recognized the timing was off and needed to be reset. 
 
but he had never actually done it. i was pretty nervous, not only cause everything had taken longer than we thought and we were losing light and i wasn't sure we'd be able to get it right, but also because i still heard ticking for the brief time it ran before stalling out and we'd gone to all this trouble to swap out the oil pump to get rid of the T.O.D. 
 
first we tried to turn one of the pulleys back a few ticks on one side, hoping that was the one that i had accidentally moved or slipped out of position when we were taking the belts off. after manually clicking through almost all the positions that one pulley had, turning it clockwise, putting on the belt and trying it in each position, it seemed none were right, and i was in trouble.
 
well, we looked at @175eya's old and worn subaru repair manual that i had a practically new version of in my trunk as well, and eventually, with @175eya's brilliant suggestion, found the YouTube video that was a tutorial of how to reset the timing on a EA87 that @MilesFox had posted! haha, as you can see in the picture, the internet literally won and came out on top, as far as useful resource. 
 
IMG_20130504_193455_096_zpscb3d70d1.jpg
 
we mimicked the video and got it everything in the right positions, including the main fly wheel, put everything back on and back in, and it started up perfectly....and the best part, after about 5-10 minutes of running, maybe less, the T.O.D. was completely and totally gone. i've been driving it for a over 2 months now, on the highway, start & stop city traffic, etc, and it's quite as a friggin' church mouse! that is to say, there's no sign of any Tick of Death anymore. 
 
additionally, it's a good thing we didn't put the belt covers back on or we woulda never finished before dark and woulda been doing it with headlamps in the cold till past midnight.
 
i'm really satisfied this was done. learned a lot, including how to redo the timing.
 
next thing on my list is looking for whats causing the rhythmic pulsing in the front breaks, probably just a warped router, but would like to get that gone, and then look at the relatively soggy front-end suspension. 
 
Thanks again to @175eya & @CoyotePaws for the help and support. 
 
-Glen  :headbang:
 
oh and this is what "Joan Crawlins" is lookin' like nowadays w/ her budget Pepboys safari rack and fog lights
 
IMG_20130608_112842_zps53de4cb8.jpg
 

Edited by GlenSz, 04 July 2013 - 02:33 PM.


#15 l75eya

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 07:51 PM

Looks great! Liking the fogs and the roof rack. Been on the beach with her yet?

Been meaning to text you and say whatsup, I've actually been in your neighborhood a couple of times the past few weeks, but I always get either caught up with work, or, if not working, just caught up not doing anything =P
 






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