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Question about hydraulic ej22 lifters and bleeding


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Bushwick

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:02 PM

Finally got around to pulling the rocker assembly and inspecting the lifters. 8 out of 16 seem to have issues. 1 of those 8 had a bad check valve. The remaining 7 seemed to be stuck at about the half way point. The 8 good ones extend about a 1/4" if I had to guess and are solid feeling when pressing normally w/o pressing the check valve in and after bleeding. The 7 bad ones, even after bleeding in clean oil, the tips only extended about half as far as the 8 good ones, or maybe an 1/8". They still feel smooth when pressing the tip down and pressing the ball check in the back, but nothing was/is getting them to return to full height. 

 

 

So, just want to make sure those actually are bad? 8 lifters out of sync with the rest seems a little high, is this normal?


Edited by Bushwick, 19 October 2013 - 07:04 PM.


#2 Fairtax4me

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:18 PM

I don't remember if Subaru spec'd different lifters for the intake and exhaust sides, but that might be worth checking.
Otherwise, its entirely possible those "short" ones are just gummed up inside. I don't think they can be disassembled, but you might be able to get the gunk cleaned out by soaking them in kerosene or diesel and working the plunger occasionally.

#3 Bushwick

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:38 PM

Out of the 7 that are stuck "short", 5 were on the exhaust side and 2 were on the intake side. I thought about cleaning them out like you mentioned, but don't want this to keep happening, especially if there is something defective internally. One of the pull-a-parts near me has several Legacys and one Impreza (93-96 model years) so I'm thinking of running up and checking those. p-a-p only charges $0.51 per lifter so I'd rather do that and get a full set for $8, or as many good ones as I can find, and just wanted to make sure before running up, though it sounds like these are bad or severely stuck. It's weird that they all stuck at the same height though. 


Edited by Bushwick, 19 October 2013 - 07:41 PM.


#4 Fairtax4me

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:00 AM

Not really. They all got stuck at "zero lash" which is the point where they would normally sit when the cam lobe is opposite of the rocker.
Someone neglected some oil changes at some point which caused varnish buildup in the lifters and the buildup is just preventing them from opening any further.

I would buy a lot of lifters for $0.51 a piece.

#5 Bushwick

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 01:30 AM

Not really. They all got stuck at "zero lash" which is the point where they would normally sit when the cam lobe is opposite of the rocker.
Someone neglected some oil changes at some point which caused varnish buildup in the lifters and the buildup is just preventing them from opening any further.

I would buy a lot of lifters for $0.51 a piece.

 

Well, I know the car had been sitting in the PO's garage since at least July 12' as that was the last date on the plate's registration sticker (probably trying to sell it since then with the completely rotted out rear member and lifter noise scaring everyone away LOL). They stated they changed the oil every 4k miles and there was a note scribbled in the old lady's handwriting with several of the last oil changes in the glove box. They were the 2nd owners, so maybe it was something with the original owner. There was typical varnish on the inside of the valve covers, but otherwise clean with no sludging evidence. I did notice however that when the lifter was pushed back into the rocker opening, the oil it pushed out through the oil squirt passage in the rocker arm was darker than the engine oil and darker than what was coming out of the lifters while bleeding. I poured some fresh oil in the lifter holder and pushed the lifter back in which helped force out the dark stuff. Handful of openings were spitting out the dark gunk, others were just the fresh oil. Wondering if that gunked oil might have built up in the passages causing the issue with the lifters?

 

I'll try soaking the collapsed lifters in something other than oil and see what happens. Yeah, $0.51 a lifter is an awesome price if it works. Gotta love flat-rate prices and bone yards that DON'T artificially bump up prices on a car to car basis. Only downside with the place is they won't tell you anything about the car over the phone, so that means a 40 mile trip there to find out if it even has an engine let alone the correct one. If you are looking for a few extra lifters yourself for your ej22 (even just thinking ahead to have spares) I'll probably have some left over. Considering their size and weight, they could be sent wrapped in saran wrap by envelope.

 

 

Just a stupid question here, but when I was bleeding them in a container of oil, I pushed the check valve in while pumping it to push everything out. Are you supposed to keep the check valve pressed in after you pump it down and release? Or should you release the check valve then let it return to it's position? I tried both ways and it didn't seem to matter as it returned to full position and was holding pressure. Do you know if that matters?



#6 Fairtax4me

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:40 AM

As long as its submerged I don't think it really matters.
I never bother to bleed them because when they're pumped up all the way they can cause the valves to hang open and you get no compression. Makes for a stupid problem trying to get an engine to start after fresh head gaskets or timing belt and 3 cylinders have no compression. I just pop them in empty and let the oil pump fill them. It makes some racket for 10-20 minutes but it doesn't hurt anything.

It does help to disassemble the rocker assembly and clean out all the little passages, then prime the rocker shaft with fresh oil before putting the lifters in and bolting it back on the head.
Be sure to torque the rocker assembly to head bolts properly.

#7 MilesFox

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:46 AM

If you are going to the yard and pulling lifters, you may as well pull full heads(if you can afford them) as there would be a market for ej22e heads with egr, especially form 1995 to slap onto 2.5 blocks building frankenmotors. The whole head can be removed without removing the valve cover



#8 Bushwick

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:31 AM

If you are going to the yard and pulling lifters, you may as well pull full heads(if you can afford them) as there would be a market for ej22e heads with egr, especially form 1995 to slap onto 2.5 blocks building frankenmotors. The whole head can be removed without removing the valve cover

 

 

I hope the engines actually still have the heads! After looking on rockauto and cross-referencing different engines throughout the early/mid 90's, many used this same lifter, so might not even come across a 2.2L. What are the complete 2.2L heads worth on the open market? Aren't they the same for '96? Also, do people use the 2.0L head on 2.5L? Or is it too restrictive, too high compression, etc.? Are cams the same throughout the years? Any performance bumps from different years or engines running one cam over the other? 



#9 MilesFox

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 10:55 AM

the ej22e has the dual port exhaust. 96 and later moved to a single port exhaust. the 95 has the dual port and egr to run in 96-98 cars that have an egr such as the ej25d, if anyone was using their original ej25d in car with 2.2 heads, or using a 2.2 car, keeping its original heads onto a 2.5 block. This applies to phase 1 engines 90-98



#10 Fairtax4me

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 11:33 AM

I hope the engines actually still have the heads! After looking on rockauto and cross-referencing different engines throughout the early/mid 90's, many used this same lifter, so might not even come across a 2.2L. What are the complete 2.2L heads worth on the open market? Aren't they the same for '96? Also, do people use the 2.0L head on 2.5L? Or is it too restrictive, too high compression, etc.? Are cams the same throughout the years? Any performance bumps from different years or engines running one cam over the other?


Lots of people put the early 2.2 heads on 2.5 blocks. It makes a higher compression engine with good bottom end torque because of the small valves and ports.

Cams and rockers changed in 95. From 90-94 they were tappet style. 95 they switched to roller rockers. Slightly different profile, and the old tappet style cams had wider lobes with oil holes in the faces to oil the tappets on the rockers.
95 they changed the cams to match the roller rockers.
97 switched from hydraulic lash adjusters to solid adjusters.
But from 90 to 96 the HLAs are the same in both 1.8 and 2.2 engine.

#11 johnceggleston

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 12:04 PM

when cleaning the HLAs, you need to keep the check valve ball depressed, open, while you pump them.

this allows the cleaning agent to work in and out much faster and more thoroughly.

 

did you run this engine with these lash adjusters in place?

how did it run?

did it make noise?

 

Finally got around to pulling the rocker assembly and inspecting the lifters.

there must be another thread.

 

 

it is not unusual for HLAs to be stuck after an engine has been sitting for a while.

i let the engine idle for a long time until it frees them up.

some folks call for a ''spirited'' drive to loosen them up.

the point is , this is not unusual.

but replacement is not often needed either.

 

i will sometimes add a pint of marvelous mystery oil and drive it a couple of hundred miles.

this has been known to help loose stuck adjusters.

the best , safest, way to clean an engine is to change the oil often.

 

but if you can get replacements for $0.51 each, have at it.

but the ones in the yard have been sitting as well.


Edited by johnceggleston, 20 October 2013 - 12:07 PM.


#12 Bushwick

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 02:15 PM

Thanks for the tips, advice, and thorough knowledge everyone. It greatly helps and saves hours of sifting through useless threads that often don't answer the questions.

 

Since this car is "new" to me, and so easy to work on the lifters, I wanted to be sure they were indeed bad or sticking and causing the noises and not something else. At least one of them was truly bad as the check valve broke or was broken and seeing all them "stuck" was reassuring.

 

Anyways, the trip to Pull-A-Part was a SUPER success! First Legacy I came across was a 96' ej22e with virtually everything there. 10 minutes later and the passenger side rocker assembly was out. EVERY single lifter :clap: looked like my good ones! Seemed promising so off came the driver side and 7 were like my good ones, with just the 1 stuck about half way. Grabbed all 16. Then went and looked at the other 7 or so Legacy/Outbacks. About 4 were ej25 (3 were engine-less) and the rest were ej22e. 1 had 125k, 3 had 17xk, and the rest were digital speedo. There was an Outback with heated leather that was SO tempting to transplant, but f*** a*holes tossed the exhaust manifolds on them and they were too messed up. Was also tempted to grab some really nice Outback bumpers that'd match mine but decided to hold off. Several good hatches there and 2 basically complete '93 wagons. If anyone is around Cleveland, Pull-A-Part (West Cleveland) has a bunch right now. They typically only keep cars on the lot for a month (more popular cars around 6-8 weeks) so they cycle new cars in often. Also, many of these cars are driven in and parked. Considering 15 of the lifters were fully raised, I'm guessing this one was driven recently. I tossed all the lifters in a plastic Giant Eagle bag and handed them to the girl at the counter. She was like "What are these"? I was like lifters, they are $0.51 on the web site's pricing. The girl next to her  :wub: handed the bag back and said "Have a nice day"!  I got all 16 for FREE!  :brow:

 

Time to go clean them and see if the hard work has paid off!



#13 Bushwick

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 06:50 PM

OK, ended up using all 16 of the donor lifters as the one that was stuck freed up shortly after removing. Installed new NGK plugs, new wires, air filter, fuel filter (couple days ago), and fired it up. It ran like the plug wires were crossed but eventually cleared up some. The CEL came on though. I idled it about 5 minutes and revved it some. All the horrid clacking is gone! Engine sounds like the PO's 2010 Impreza, so thankfully no piston slap. Very happy with how quiet it is now.

 

I tried disconnecting the battery but the CEL won't go out (does it need disconnected for a period of time or something?). Far as I can tell everything is hooked back up correctly. Engine feels like it has a slight miss or dead spot that wasn't there before. Does it need to idle/run more to set the lifters? It's really low on gas now so I wasn't going to run it until I get a couple gallons in it and change the oil + timing belt. No idea what code it's throwing and no plates yet so can't find out.



#14 Fairtax4me

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Posted 20 October 2013 - 09:31 PM

Usually disconnecting the battery for about 10 minutes will clear any codes.
When you reconnect, start the engine and let it figure or for itself how to idle. Do not try to maintain high idle speed by keeping your foot on the throttle. If it stalls, simply restart and let it figure itself out. Let it idle until the fans cycle the go for a drive.

#15 Bushwick

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 03:00 AM

Good advice Fairtax. Went out after letting it sit for awhile, hooked battery up, and code was gone. Took for a quick drive and it seemed to run OK. Gonna be REAL hard getting used to it's power output though! But the lack of tq/hp is probably what makes it so good in the snow (had an 84' Rabbit diesel non-turbo that was 50hp FWD and it'd go through snow no matter how deep since it was near impossible to spin the tires). Something feels funny with the rack and pinion, but that'll get saved for another thread. It's at least drivable now and super quiet!


Edited by Bushwick, 21 October 2013 - 03:02 AM.


#16 lmdew

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 04:14 AM

It can sometimes take a few days for the lifters to pump up if the engine has been sitting a long time, years in some cases.

 

I've seen it on numerous used engines I have installed.  I've never had one that didn't clear up.



#17 Bushwick

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Posted 21 October 2013 - 11:13 AM

@Imdew  I did the math from the title and the car was only driven about 14k miles between 4-09 to 7-12 (about 4.5k a year) and I'm guessing only periodically started over the last year, so these lifters were stuck/defective. I tried manually pumping them, soaking them, spraying some carb cleaner through the check valve and pumping, etc. and they stayed at the half-way mark, plus the one had a check valve unseated or a broken spring (whatever causes the ball to pop back isn't). I really didn't want to drive it with the noise it was making w/o being 100% certain it was only lifter noise (plus winter is coming and it'll be too cold to want to mess with it mid November). Anyways, a full set of pumped lifters with about 10k less mileage for free because the P-A-P lady didn't want to get her hands dirty and considering how small the lifters are (as opposed to say pushrod Ford lifters) they didn't charge me. I have no regrets and it beats driving for a couple months with a loud clacking noise that may not have even cured itself.


Edited by Bushwick, 21 October 2013 - 11:16 AM.





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