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1995 2.2L HLA question


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#1 tbolt1003

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:32 AM

Aside from my introductory post in the new member section, this is my first real post.

 

I asked this same question on another Subaru forum and basically was laughed at for asking for help.

 

I have a 95 Impreza wagon with the 2.2 and 119k miles. I've owned it for about 3 years. Love the car!!

 

About 2 months ago, we had our first cold night this season with temps dropping to the upper 20's. The day prior, the engine was very quiet with no noises, as it's been for the 3 years I've owned it. The following morning after the cold temps at night, I drove about 2 miles and the engine started making a ticking sound, which I have found out is the HLA's. I researched the issue and pulled the passenger side rocker assembly off, reprimed the (1) intake HLA which was collapsed and reinstalled everything. The noise disappeared, but returned about 2 days later. I pulled the valve cover and found all (4) intake HLA's were now compressed. The exhausts were nice and solid. I went to my Subaru dealer and got (4) new HLA's, replaced all (4) intakes and put her back together. The tick was gone, but reappeared soon thereafter.

 

Yesterday morning, after dealing with the tick for a few weeks, I pulled the passenger side apart again and found all (4) intakes collapsed, while the exhausts were still nice and solid. I reprimed the intakes, blew out the oil feed holes with air and went to put it back together. I thought about this, seeing I'm having a problem with the intake side - I put the known good exhaust HLAs in the intake rockers and put the reprimed intake HLAs into the exhaust rockers. I put it all back together, turned the key, and she fired right up, purring like a kitten. I let the engine idle for about 10 minutes, revving to 2000rpm a few times and the noise was still non-existent.

 

Now, here is where I'm pulling my hair out. About 3 hours after the repair, I left to go run some errands. The engine started fine, no ticking, nice quiet ride to my destination. An hour later when I came back to my car, the tick was back. It was not loud, but you could tell it was there. I drove home, the tick became more noticable and is now roughly as loud as it was yesterday morning before the teardown.

 

I haven't pulled the valve cover off yet to see which HLAs are compressed. The engine runs great, has all sorts of power...just has the annoying tick. Am I overlooking something or is it possible the new HLAs I got from the dealer were defective out of the bag? While cleaning things out, I did notice the oil ports for the exhaust side were draining when I blew air through them. I didn't seem to be getting anything from the intakes. There also doesn't seem to be any ports where the intake HLAs sit for oil to access the top of the rocker, only a small hole in the side of the part of the arm where the HLA sits in. I've read that there may be crud or deposits blocking the ports that feed the intake rockers on the rocker shaft. If this is a possibility, can these be accessed without taking the entire rocker assembly completely apart?

 

I change my oil & filter every 5k and use Pennzoil 5W-30 with a Purolator classic filter. Any thoughts on how to fix this? I'm pulling my hair out. What am I missing? Sorry for being long-winded, I like to be thorough. Thanks in advance for all help!



#2 johnceggleston

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:00 PM

my first guess was low oil levels.

i had a leaky 95 ej22 that would click when the oil got low.

add oil and the click went away.

how was / is your oil level.?

but it sounds like you have address that.

 

with HLAs noisy is not deadly.

it probably will not run as well and quiet properly working HLAs is better than noisy non-working ones,

but it is not going to kill your engine.

 

i would add some kind of engine cleaner with the oil for a few hundred miles.

i have done this on new used engines to ''clean it up'' after install.

it is possible , maybe, that you have dirt in the oil galleys feeding the HLAs.

 

other folks, when installing an new used engine with HLAs that are clicking,

recommend a ''spirited'' drive to loosen them and to pump them up.

i am more confident in a bottle of MMO, or even just some AFT added to the oil

and letting it idle.

each to his own.

 

do you know the history of the engine?

has the oil pump been resealed lately.

there have been stories of excess RTV oozing into the oil pump and flowing with the oil into the cam shaft assembly.

iirc, this was on ej25s.

but the next time you remove an assembly, try blowing it out with air.

 

obviously it is not the HLA, it has to be the oil supply.

 

good luck.



#3 Gloyale

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:09 PM

Oil supply issue.  It's not ussual for HLA's to go flat, over and over, espescially not brand new ones.  Might want to blow out the rocker assembly passases that supply the HLA's.  Or even swap out to a different rocker shaft and see if that changes the results.

 

Also, after haveing a few different experiences with odd oil issues on EJ engines, and with what you are describing, I would personally pull the oil pump and check the screws on the backing plate.

 

you can also remove the rocker shafts, and blow through the oil line that supplies the engine (center port of Oil Filter mounting)



#4 tbolt1003

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:12 PM

This is the type of response I was hoping for. Thank you for the reply.

 

The oil level is right at the full mark. A friend of mine and I replaced the timing belt, cam and crank seals, water pump, all pulleys and resealed the oil pump around May of this year. The car has been running like a dream.

 

With the returning noise and it being isolated to the intake HLAs, I've been wondering if there was some form of a blockage to the intake oil ports. Considered doing MMO or SeaFoam to the crankcase, but I've heard good and bad about additives.



#5 tbolt1003

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:17 PM

Oil supply issue.  It's not ussual for HLA's to go flat, over and over, espescially not brand new ones.  Might want to blow out the rocker assembly passases that supply the HLA's.  Or even swap out to a different rocker shaft and see if that changes the results.

 

Also, after haveing a few different experiences with odd oil issues on EJ engines, and with what you are describing, I would personally pull the oil pump and check the screws on the backing plate.

 

you can also remove the rocker shafts, and blow through the oil line that supplies the engine (center port of Oil Filter mounting)

When we did all the work in May, we saw one of the screws on the backing plate of the oil pump had worked its way loose. We removed all the screws and applied some type of LocTite to the threads - don't remember exactly what he used, but it's what they use at his shop.



#6 Gloyale

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 02:27 PM

When we did all the work in May, we saw one of the screws on the backing plate of the oil pump had worked its way loose. We removed all the screws and applied some type of LocTite to the threads - don't remember exactly what he used, but it's what they use at his shop.

 

Well that's good then!

 

That would make me think there is a restriction in the intake rocker shaft or one of the ports that feeds it.  Check the mating surface of the rocker holder to the head and make sure there is not a nick or scratch that could be allowing oil to seep out before reaching the rocker shaft.



#7 Fairtax4me

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:09 PM

There are feed holes in all of the rocker arms. You'll have to disassemble the rocker shaft again.

There are spring washers between the rockers and the center block to keep the rocker arms in position. Make sure the spring washers are still there. They are known to break and fall off. That can cause some issues with proper oil pressure reaching the HLAs.
The washer halves usually wash down into the oil pan and settle on the bottom, nothing to worry about, but if they are missing from the rocker assembly they should be replaced.

#8 darsdoug

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:15 PM

My guess is there has to be some type of restriction in the oil passage's or possibly intermittent low oil pressure? I've seen this before when I was a teenager. Might as well have been during the Crusades for some of you. ha ha.

The standard 1950's FoMoCo Y-block V-8's were notorious for it. Lack of oil getting to the rocker shaft assembly's resulting in squeaking, clacking, poor performance and eventual failure. Let us know what the cause of the problem is when you get it figured out.



#9 tbolt1003

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:24 PM

Thank you, all for the excellent and informative responses. This has far exceeded my expectations - this forum has definitely gained a new and happy member!!

 

How difficult are the rocker assemblies to disassemble? At the end of the shaft, there was some type of a clip, while the other end appeared smooth. Do I need a special tool to remove this one clip? And, then the individual rocker assemblies simply slide off the shaft, correct? Again, sorry for all the questions. I'm new to Subaru engines, although I'm certainly enjoying the ease of disassembly and re-assembly they offer. Definitely easier than the V-8 on my truck or any other car I've owned.



#10 Fairtax4me

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:40 PM

The 10mm bolt in the middle of the end blocks. Remove those and the end blocks will slide off the shaft. Then the rocker arms will slide off. The center block can get a bit sticky but just wiggle it and it will slide off as well. Be sure to lay the arms out in order, and be sure to mark or note the orientation of the rocker shaft so you don't flip the shaft when rebuilding the assembly.
There is a spring and check ball in one end IIRC. Make sure that end points the same way when you put it back together.

Blow the rocker shaft out with cleaner and compressed air. Make sure you get all of the little holes in the shaft clear.
Remove the HLAs from the rocker arms and blow the ports in the arms out.

When you put it all back together, dunk the rocker shaft in a container of oil to fill the center and let all the air out. Also oil the arms or wipe the bores with assembly lube before sliding them onto the rocker shaft.

#11 tbolt1003

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 09:55 PM

The 10mm bolt in the middle of the end blocks. Remove those and the end blocks will slide off the shaft. Then the rocker arms will slide off. The center block can get a bit sticky but just wiggle it and it will slide off as well. Be sure to lay the arms out in order, and be sure to mark or note the orientation of the rocker shaft so you don't flip the shaft when rebuilding the assembly.
There is a spring and check ball in one end IIRC. Make sure that end points the same way when you put it back together.

Blow the rocker shaft out with cleaner and compressed air. Make sure you get all of the little holes in the shaft clear.
Remove the HLAs from the rocker arms and blow the ports in the arms out.

When you put it all back together, dunk the rocker shaft in a container of oil to fill the center and let all the air out. Also oil the arms or wipe the bores with assembly lube before sliding them onto the rocker shaft.

Again, thank you for the detailed description. Guess I know what I'll be doing the day after Christmas.

 

Am I doing any harm to the engine by running it with the compressed HLAs? It runs fine and has tons of power now.



#12 Fairtax4me

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 11:04 PM

My only concern would be that the intake rockers may not be lubricated where they pivot on the rocker shaft. But that's a pretty slim chance.

#13 WoodsWagon

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 02:09 AM

You could also use a 96-98 2.2L rocker assembly with the manual adjustment rockers, no HLA's to fail. 95 was the first year of the roller rockers and the last year of the HLA's.



#14 tbolt1003

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:12 AM

My only concern would be that the intake rockers may not be lubricated where they pivot on the rocker shaft. But that's a pretty slim chance.

 

I was wondering about that, as well.



#15 tbolt1003

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:13 AM

You could also use a 96-98 2.2L rocker assembly with the manual adjustment rockers, no HLA's to fail. 95 was the first year of the roller rockers and the last year of the HLA's.

 

Good information to know. Thank you!



#16 tbolt1003

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 06:15 AM

Thank you, everyone, for your help. In comparing the response from this forum to the other forum I was on, USMB is definitely 100% better in response and helping its fellow members!!



#17 Fairtax4me

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 04:16 PM

95-96 are roller rocker with HLA.
97-98 are roller with Solid lash adjusters.

We're happy to help!

#18 Bushwick

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 10:52 PM

When I got my 95', it'd been sitting for about a year and had MANY lifters that were either collapsed, or only partially pumping. People were like "run kerosene in the oil", do this, do that, run it hard, etc., none of which I wanted to try with them fully collapsed, or wait a month to "see" if they'd unstick. I did however put fresh 10w30 Mobile One in and idle it to death, with some revving and nothing changed. I found a bone yard car with a little less mileage, popped the covers off, and all but 1 lifter were fully primed (though it did extend on it's own during the ride home in a plastic bag). I sprayed all of them down, poured fresh oil in a half cut off bottle, stuck a tiny pick in the check valve, and METHODICALLY pumped each lifter until only clear was coming out when pressing the plunger down. Empty oil from bottle half, fill with fresh again (2 lifters would blacken the oil) then pump again to be 100% clean oil was in there.

 

After all that was done, I pour a cap full of oil in the lifter recess inside the rocker assembly, then inserted the lifter. The lifter being pressed in should force oil out of the feed hole in the shaft. I did that a couple times to get any gunk out. 

 

So far, it's been OK and holding up. W/o reading through everybody else's replies as I'm in a hurry, I'd say you have an obstruction somewhere (sludge, heavy tarnish build up, debris, etc.) with the oil feed and there isn't enough oil getting to the lifters. The real test will be pulling the cover and rocker assembly again and seeing which lifters are collapsed. If the intake side is down again, it'll be clear you have an oil starvation issue as they aren't getting enough. If the exhaust side is now collapsed, then I'd suspect you aren't priming them correctly.



#19 tbolt1003

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 08:03 PM

*** UPDATE ***

 

I took the passenger side apart again this morning and confirmed that all (4) intakes were, once again, collapsed. I removed the rocker assembly from the engine and took it inside to completely take apart. I was amazed at how easily everything came apart. When I started to look at the ports that feed the rocker arms, they all seemed fine and clear of obstructions. When I took the end cap off that has the oil supply hole, BINGO!!! There was a small piece of black rubber or silicone partially blocking the oil feed hole. I went through the process of cleaning out every single port & hole in the shaft and each rocker arm. The (2) springs were in great shape. I put it all back together with assembly lube, re-primed the intake HLAs, checked the exhausts (which were still solid) and put the assembly back on the car and buttoned it all up. Turned the key and after a few seconds of running rough, the engine smoothed out, but the tick was still there.

 

Determined to fix this today, I took the passenger side all apart again, only this time to find (2) exhaust HLAs collapsed. I took the rocker assembly off the engine again and back inside to my work bench I went. The intake HLAs were still nice and solid. I pulled all (4) exhaust HLAs and re-primed the collapsed ones, as well as went through the process for the (2) solid ones...just to be sure. I remember reading the suggestion to fill the rocker shaft with oil, so I did that this time and went back outside. Reassembled everything, turned the key, and....wait, do you hear that? Hear what? Exactly!!! No more ticking!!! The engine runs so smoothly and it so quiet now, it's hard to believe it's the same engine. I let it idle for about 30 minutes before heading out for the day. After multiple stops and restarts, I'm happy to report the tick is still non-existant. It's also nice to hear that distinct Boxer growl again without a tick-tick-tick overpowering the growl.

 

Thank you, everyone, for your help and input. I would never have gone as far as to disassemble the rocker assembly completely had I not asked for help and it was suggested. USMB has found a member for life in me. Thanks again!!!

 

Now, can anyone make it snow here??? Hehehehe!!!



#20 Fairtax4me

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 09:36 PM

Silicone is probably from the oil pump. At some point someone resealed it and used too much silicone.
You'll want to remove the pump and clean all the silicone off of it and the block. Reseal with Anaerobic sealant.
A big enough piece of silicone from the oil pump can clog the feed ports for the camshafts and starve the cam bearings. It wrecks the bearing journals and the camshaft. Then you need a whole new head.

#21 tbolt1003

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 09:07 PM

Silicone is probably from the oil pump. At some point someone resealed it and used too much silicone.
You'll want to remove the pump and clean all the silicone off of it and the block. Reseal with Anaerobic sealant.
A big enough piece of silicone from the oil pump can clog the feed ports for the camshafts and starve the cam bearings. It wrecks the bearing journals and the camshaft. Then you need a whole new head.

 

I was thinking about that, as well. If one piece of silicone got loose, what are the chances another will, too.

 

As of today, the engine is still super quiet and runs great. I think I can actually feel it has a bit more giddy-up and go, as well.



#22 Haight

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 10:21 AM

I was thinking about that, as well. If one piece of silicone got loose, what are the chances another will, too.

 

As of today, the engine is still super quiet and runs great. I think I can actually feel it has a bit more giddy-up and go, as well.

Butt-Dyno playing tricks on you  :P



#23 Gloyale

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Posted 28 December 2013 - 01:37 PM

Butt-Dyno playing tricks on you  :P

 

Maybe.....but actually if the intake HLA's were not pumped up then he wasn't getting full lift/intake opening.

 

I know I can feel the difference when I properly adjust valves on the Solid ones.....makes sense that fully pumped up would make a few more ponies than collapsed.



#24 jakes

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Posted 09 November 2014 - 03:39 PM

Hello and thanks for this thread!!! I did a 2.2 swap into my wifes 98 forester as I have had enough

of the issues of the 2.5 dohc. The donor engine was resealed along with new  timing components,waterpump, etc,,,. The engine ran great but had this clacking valve train that I couldn't get fixed. Well low and behold there was rtv plugging the oil feed in the rocker shaft! Just the intakes would never pump up. All is well with the EJ now ,and I just wanted to say Thank you for this forum and in particular this thread. It has saved me much grief. Thanks again.



#25 Bushwick

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Posted 10 November 2014 - 06:21 PM

I bought my 95' with the same issue. It got louder at the PO's home after letting idle for 30 minutes. I took a gamble anyways. Once home and able to get at them, I removed one side and 60% were collapsed (something like 80% total were stuck, most wouldn't prime up again regardless of cleaning). I cleaned them in FRESH synthetic oil, then tried priming. A couple pumped back up, but others were dead. Got lucky and found a 96'? with 25k less miles, pulled ALL of it's lifters, took them home, and methodically cleaned each one as all but 1 were technically collapsed. In the oil, I made sure each pump was discharging the black goo, and was replaced with fresh oil. When my oil source was dirty, I emptied and added more (used a cap from a 1qt bottle). Spent roughly 5 minutes on each lifter. After they were completely CLEAN internally and no black goo was coming out, I pumped and bled, then dropped it in fresh oil. Reinserted all the "new" lifters (I made SURE each lifter hole also had fresh oil so the lifters were covered) and fired it up, and it's been quiet ever since.

 

I suggest replacing all of them in one go and properly cleaning them out (if used) and bleeding any bubbles off. I think what happens is both intake and exhaust lifters need to be in unison. I've seen countless other stories where people replace "only the intake" lifters then a day later there's an issue.

 

 

EDIT: Oops, didn't even realize this was an old thread.  :drunk:


Edited by Bushwick, 10 November 2014 - 07:02 PM.





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