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Question on EA81 valves


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12 replies to this topic

#1 jeffroid

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 03:36 PM

I posted a couple of weeks ago trying to figure out whether or not I should change my head gaskets. To make a long story short, I forgot to mention that my clutch is slipping, so I decided to put it all back together and drive it for as long as the clutch allows. That will give me a chance to troubleshoot so I can do everthing required when I yank the engine to change the clutch. I've been driving it for a week or so and it runs pretty damn good with no sign of head gasket leak, but the valves are noisier than hell. I hooked up a mechanical gauge and the oil pressure is decent.

Sorry for the dumb newbie question, but how do I tell if I have hydraulic or solid lifters? I did do a search, but I am still confused because it sounded like from the posts (and reference materials) that the hydraulic lifters can be adjusted as well. So that must mean that there are adjustment nuts and screwdriver slots on the rockers for both solid and hydraulic, right?

The wagon is an 83, but it is definitely not the original engine, and there are no stickers on the valve covers. All I know is that the engine says EA81 on it. There may well have been stickers on the valve covers that have long since been gone.

How do I tell if I have solid or hydraulic? Is there a visible and easily describable difference evident by simply taking off the valve covers?

#2 GLCraig

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 08:04 PM

for 83 and 84, only subarus with and automatic transmission got engines with hydralic lifters

#3 CIS Subaru

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 09:19 PM

for 83 and 84, only subarus with and automatic transmission got engines with hydralic lifters


But he said it's not the original engine. The best way I know of to tell the difference between the hydraulic lifter engines and the solid lifter engines (in a situation like yours) is by knock sensor hole.

The hydraulic lifter blocks have a thread boss cast into the top of the block about an inch in front of the dipstick tube. It is almost perfectly in front (toward the crank pulley) of where the dipstick tube meets the engine block, and it is a flat round spot about an inch in diameter with about an 8mm to 10mm threaded hole in the middle of it. This hole is where the knock sensor would be mounted if it were a turbo engine.

The solid lifter blocks do not have this thread boss. They are just cast smooth in this area.

I realize this might seem hard to judge if you haven't looked at both before, but if you look at the top of the block behind the intake manifold in front of the dipstick and do not see any hole that looks like something could be screwed onto the block, then you do not have a hydraulic lifter EA81.

#4 jeffroid

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Posted 27 October 2004 - 10:51 PM

Thanks very much. Great response, exactly what I was looking for. As it turned out, I went out and pulled the valve covers off while it was still light out, before reading your post. It was obvious while trying to adjust them that they were solid lifters. I got them adjusted and it quieted down nicely. They were all pretty loose. Seems like kind of a dumb question now. There was definitely no boss in the casting as you described.

The only thing I'm still wondering about, and perhaps leading to my confusion is that I have another wagon that I am using for a parts car. It doesn't have the boss in the block casting either, but I seem to recall that it had the bendable lockwashers under the rocker arm adjustment nuts. The one in my good car that I worked on today doesn't have the lockwashers.


Anyway, thanks again.

#5 LUVMYBRAT

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 08:49 AM

when you did your valve adjust how tight or what did you do? I dont know how to adjust valves and my solid lifter is very noisy, wouldn't mind quieting it down.

#6 jeffroid

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 09:14 AM

when you did your valve adjust how tight or what did you do? I dont know how to adjust valves and my solid lifter is very noisy, wouldn't mind quieting it down.


It wasn't all that easy, access is tight in there. The left side wasn't too bad, probably would be a lot worse if you had AC. To get to the right side I removed the battery. The upper radiator hose was kind of in the way but I worked around it.

I did mine one cylinder at a time, by putting the piston at TDC. I don't think you have to do it that way, I'm sure that there are times when there are several valves open at the same time, but it was easy to keep straight this way.

First you have to crack the locknut loose with a 12mm wrench. Instead of the screwdriver slots in the rocker adjusters that I'm used to on other cars, they have square drive studs that stick up through the locknuts. I didn't have a small enough end wrench handy, so I ended up using needle nose vice grip pliers to grab on to and hold the square drive. That actually made it a lot easier than having to hold an end wrench on there while trying to tighten the locknut. I believe the clearance is supposed to be 0.010" for the intakes, and 0.014" for the exhaust, but I don't have the info in front of me. You'll have to do it a few times to get it right, I tried to adjust mine until the feeler gauge would just slip in without effort.

I didn't get mine perfect, but they are a lot closer than they were. It made a difference in the noise, but it's still not like it's sewing machine quiet.

#7 LUVMYBRAT

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 09:24 AM

I think I understand, let me repeat for approval. Break locknut loose, slide feeler gauge between rocker and lifter -tighten sqaredrive stud until gauge is snug but still able to slide in and out, then tighten locknut, all while piston is at TDC. any torque specs? and can some one chime in about .010,.014 clearances are these correct?

#8 jeffroid

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 09:56 AM

You've got it right. The hard part is holding on to the square drive while you are trying to tighten the locknut.

I just did a quick search, and a couple of others backed me up on the .010 for intake, and .014 for exhaust. It was on the sticker on the inside of my hood, but I'm not under my hood right now!
I guess you are supposed to do it with the engine cold. Mine was kind of "lukewarm", I don't know how much difference that is going to make.

#9 LUVMYBRAT

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 09:58 AM

cool! thanks alot this will help out alot

#10 NorthWet

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 01:25 PM

I think I understand, let me repeat for approval. Break locknut loose, slide feeler gauge between rocker and lifter -tighten sqaredrive stud until gauge is snug but still able to slide in and out, then tighten locknut, all while piston is at TDC. any torque specs? and can some one chime in about .010,.014 clearances are these correct?

The hard(er?) part is that as you tighten the locknut the gap will try to change. Sometimes the locknut will turn the adjuster screw, sometimes it will just take up wear-slack, other times it will do both. On really old engines (talking non-subaru) each valve adjuster has its own personality.

I only did my EA81 once... well twice, but the second time was because I made a mistake the first time. The manual SPECIFIES where the engine is supposed to be for EACH valve, and it really made a difference. the first time, I did it the way that I have always done it and the way (insert diety here) intended it to be... and several of the valves were WAY off.

IMHO, follow the manual. If you can't find it in a manual, post so and I (or someone who knows more) will assist.

#11 subiemech85

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 02:33 PM

http://www.ultimates...t=adjust valves

also helps if you do the adjusting from the bottom, and use two different colored ones, adjusted valaes twice this way, 83 ac 84 nothing, quieted them considerably

#12 jeffroid

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 04:16 PM

Wait a minute, what difference does it make what order you do them in as long as you get each cylinder at TDC and do both the intake and exhaust valve for that particular cylinder while it’s at TDC?



What I did is to rotate the crank until the flywheel timing mark was at zero then looked where the distributor rotor was pointing. That was cylinder number 2. I adjusted both valves for that cylinder, then rotated the crank until the distributor rotated 90 degrees. That put the rotor pointing at cylinder number 4, so I did those two valves. Then I rotated the crank until the distributor rotated 90 more degrees and the rotor was pointing at number 1, and I did those two valves. 90 more degrees on the distributor and I was at number 3, so I finished up with those two valves.



All I have is an old Chilton’s manual, which is pretty crappy because it covers like about every Subaru ever made. I read their procedure, after the fact, of course, and the only difference I can see is that I went 2-4-1-3, where the book said go 1-3-2-4. The Chilton’s was actually ambiguous because it said “rotate the crank 180 degrees after each valve adjustment”. I think they meant to say after each cylinder-pair of valve adjustments.



So I ended up going 2-4-1-3, instead of 1-3-2-4, and I used the rotation of the distributor to tell where I was at instead of the marks on the flywheel and/or pulley. How could that possibly matter?



Not trying to stir the pot or be argumentative, just want to understand. I also want to get it right, and if it’s wrong I’ll do it over again.



THANKS ! ! !

#13 NorthWet

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Posted 28 October 2004 - 04:50 PM

Wait a minute, what difference does it make what order you do them in as long as you get each cylinder at TDC and do both the intake and exhaust valve for that particular cylinder while it’s at TDC?...


My first (and second, and third) thought... what difference could it make? But it did. Working with rather old memories... and just looked at my Haynes, and it doen't match with my memory... hmmm... :confused:

Well, it is either in another manual, or the voices in my head are confusing me. Again. PLEASE ignore what I said unless/until I find what I was sure that I remembered. :banghead:




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