Thanks for all the replies.
I've updated the link at Message 9 on this thread so that it works. The noise I experienced is very similar to the noise starting at 1:55 on the youtube video. Notice how loud it is our side the car.
I've done some research on the internet. But it's impossible to figure out anything since everyone contradicts each other, although there are a lot of youtube videos on subaru noises.
It can't be tensioner noise since I have heard that myself. It can't be rod knock because the 97 has put on 20K since the noise stopped, and I doubt that a bad bearing would last that long. It certainly could be lifter noise especially on the 95 since it has hydraulic adjustment which could get plugged and then later unplug. But the 97 has fixed lifter adjustment and, as I posted before, I adjusted each valve very carefully, but didn't stop the noise or even tone it down.
In any case, I've been driving the 95 for the last two weeks. What a great car! The engine is nice and quiet, at least for a subaru. It's quick and feels like it has great acceleration. I'll bet that it accelerates faster then my 2.5 2014. I'll have to set up a drag race when my son returns with it.
I will be keeping these 90's cars for a lot of years and will update this thread in a year or two if anything develops to explain the sound, other then piston slap.
Edited by mikec03, 18 December 2017 - 02:48 PM.