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How hard is it to replace Valve Lash Adjusters?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 simpreza2

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Posted 03 September 2004 - 04:25 PM

I bought a 96 impreza about 2 months ago and b4 I bought it the guy had the vla's replaced and when i picked the car up it was still tapping and he said that it shoudl quiet down after 20 or so miles. I quieted downa little but there is still 2-3 vla's that wont quiet down. I tried to get in touch with him but he wont call me back. So im going to replace the vla's myself if tit isnt too hard. I have done all the basic and some hard mechanic stuff(brake swaps, timing belts, filter changes, and a engine swap) I just have never done anything with the inside of an engine and I dont want to mees it up. Should I be able to handle it? Any advice or tips?

Thanks
Jon

#2 canajun2eh

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 02:53 PM

Give it a little more time. If they're still noisy after a week, do an oil and filter change and use somewhat heavier oil. 10W40 would be OK. On my 92 Legacy (now retired after 470,000 km), noise in the valve train was always an indication that either the oil level was low, or the oil needed changing. I used 10W40 all the time except in the summer, when I switched to 20W50.

Listen carefully to your engine. You should be able to tell which side and which cylinder is noisy.

The lash adjusters are easy to change. You remove the valve cover and the rocker arm assembly. Nothing else needs to be removed.

Pull each lash adjuster out, one at a time, and inspect. Look for a collapsed adjuster. Check the surface that mates with the rocker arm for pitting, both on the rocker arm and on the adjuster itself. Replace the adjuster if there's any pitting. It's important that you put the adjusters you're not going to change back in the original location. Be careful when you install the adjusters. It's possible to damage the O-ring. A little oil on the adjuster helps.

Instead of changing the entire adjuster, it's possible to change just the O-ring. They're a special-order item from the dealer, under $3.00 each. That's usually the cure for a collapsed adjuster.

#3 simpreza2

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 04:23 PM

Thanks for the info. Ill check it out sometime this week.

I also heard some more noises comming from the engine area and I thought it was a losse heat shield but I took the losse shield off and it still makes a rattling noise. After checkingit out a little closer it sounds like its comming from the same side as the tapping vla's. Would a collapsed vla make any kind of a rattling sound or is it something else?

#4 joeo

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 06:20 PM

It's not bad at all - just have to keep stuff clean. I did a write up about it with pictures. Hope it helps.
Legacy Valve Lash Adjuster Replacement.

#5 canajun2eh

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 06:35 PM

After checking it out a little closer it sounds like its comming from the same side as the tapping vla's. Would a collapsed vla make any kind of a rattling sound or is it something else?

That's hard to say. A collapsed valve lash adjuster can certainly make a rattling sound. If the noise varies with engine speed, then you should suspect at least one collapsed adjuster. If you have more than one bad adjuster, the noise will be much worse. It's often very hard to describe the noise -- it will sound as if the engine is about to blow up. Don't worry -- it won't.

If it's a loud clacking noise, you need to worry. That would be a connecting rod bearing.

Where in NY are you? I might be persuaded to see you. (I have a bunch of O-rings & a couple of lash adjusters, none of which are doing me any good at all.)

#6 joeo

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 06:59 PM

In the above link there is an MP3 with how my own bad valve lash adjusters sounded before I replaced them.

#7 simpreza2

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 08:37 PM


Where in NY are you? I might be persuaded to see you. (I have a bunch of O-rings & a couple of lash adjusters, none of which are doing me any good at all.)


Im kind of far away, about 6 hours, but I live 50 miles north of the city in Garrison. Its across the river from West Point Military Academy. But maybe we can meet up somewhere possibly, its always nice to meet another subie lover.

#8 simpreza2

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Posted 04 September 2004 - 08:38 PM

It's not bad at all - just have to keep stuff clean. I did a write up about it with pictures. Hope it helps.
Legacy Valve Lash Adjuster Replacement.

Awesome link and write up. Thanks!

#9 simpreza2

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Posted 05 September 2004 - 03:03 PM


If it's a loud clacking noise, you need to worry. That would be a connecting rod bearing.


How would I be able to tell if its a spun bearing? My brother had one is his mr2 but it was REALLY loud. Mine isnt half as loud but now Im worried that it might be a rod bearing. :(

#10 Setright

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Posted 05 September 2004 - 03:53 PM

Rod and crank bearing failure is rare in Subes, dont worry about it :-)




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