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Guest Message by DevFuse

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EJ22 - Diagnose This Sound! (Video!!) 1991

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9 replies to this topic

#1 NuclearBacon


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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:40 PM

Hello to all! I have a video you can download, so lets get that out of the way first...

1) Click this link :

2) You'll now see ad's all over (if you get popup's click the X at the top right
of its window, DO NOT CLICK ANYTHING ELSE TO CLOSE :)) Click on the
ORANGE button that says "DOWNLOAD"

3) in the middle of the screen you'll see a small blue link that says
"Download the file now". Click on that link

4) It might ask you to play it inside internet explorer. Say no, then on the
following screen, Click SAVE and download the file.

OK! now that you have the file in your hands, Listen to it and tell me what you think. The car was at normal operating temprature at the time of the video. it was NOT overheating. You might notice the power steering pump not turning, because that belt has been removed due to a bad alternator pully. The car is running entirely off of a brand new battery. So the car runs fantastic with every idiot light on the dash (because alternator is completly not being used)

My dad who has tinkered with chevy V8's all his life hears this as a rod knock. I have never personally heard the subaru Tick of Death (TOD), could this be it? Also this car has 204,500 miles on it (91 Legacy L Wagon 4WD, EJ22)

Now as it sits with this TOD, is this something that i could drop the pan and get to the rod bearings and replace like i could do with a chevy V8? or is this something that requires a splitting of the block. Is this something even to worry about?? with a car pushing 200,000 miles, is this normal, and it'll just keep going forever? I didn't hear the sound until AFTER i got out of the car and started playing with the throttle. and it is crisp and exacting, even with all the idiot lights, this car runs beautifully.

now, as to disconcern any head gasket problems, the car was run for 6 miles in over 15 minutes of stop and go around our large sized housing devlopment, and it never got hot. not once. Tell me what you think (or if i've left out any crucial information)

Thanks for looking!

#2 ferret


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Posted 31 January 2006 - 08:56 PM


I would pull the drivers front side of the timing cover and check the tensioner. The early 90's had a tensioner pulley and a seperate tensioner plunger against it. It would sound just like a rod knock. just like this. I use a piece of heater hose to my ear and with the other to the vehicle, like a Dr's stethescope, to listen to where the noise is coming from.

A defective Cam tensioner sounds just like a rod knock. The odd thing here is you get it during accelleration AND decelleration. Usually a rod knock goes away during decelleration. (most times that is).

If it is a rod bearing, the entire engine has to come apart (seperate the engine halves). In that case, I might look into a rebuilt, or used engine.

My $.02

#3 seanski06


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Posted 31 January 2006 - 09:41 PM

i've heard that same noise coming from my old buick regal...never thought twice bout driving that thing bak n forth to the jersey shore during the summer months bout 3 hours from here.....its proll def not anything good tho as soon as the regal dies is when i will begin to experiment in automechanics

#4 sasquatch


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Posted 31 January 2006 - 11:09 PM

That my friend sounds like a hydraulic lash adjuster that is sticking...pull of the valve cover, you'll see them right on top, they look like little upside down buckets...they should have a little up and down play, look for one that doesn't...give it a couple taps with a rubber mallet to see if it comes free....mine used to do that periodically

#5 NuclearBacon


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Posted 01 February 2006 - 12:08 PM

awesome responses, gotta go to school. *bump* anyone else??

#6 Setright


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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:14 PM


Valve lifters are usually make a shorter higher pitched noise. More a "click", than your "clunk".

The engine is at op temp, right? Does it sound better or worse when cold?
If it gets worse as it heats up, then it's likely to be a bearing.

I like the idea further above about checking the belt tensioner before going further.

#7 Chef


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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:17 PM

Yeah, sounds like an HLA to me too, but oddly loud and persistant. I'd isolate which side it is coming from and open the valve cover. Maybe a bad spring on one, or just bad varnish buildup. Since it goes way with high rpm, it seems to get unstuck at those speeds.

Or an oil passage to it is partially clogged, and high rpm manages to push enough oil past.

Either way, a necessary check.

Good luck.

awesome responses, gotta go to school. *bump* anyone else??

#8 Handtool


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Posted 01 February 2006 - 05:41 PM

My vote is for HLA's as well. When I replaced the oil pump on my 2.2 and got it back together it sounded just like that. I just held it at 5500 rpm for a good minute and it finally pumped up and quieted down. If I were you I might think about dumping a can of seafoam in the oil and making a few laps around the block, but that's just what I would do.

#9 destey


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Posted 01 February 2006 - 08:24 PM

That my friend sounds like a hydraulic lash adjuster that is sticking...pull of the valve cover, you'll see them right on topy

HLA tick can sound like long fingernails taping on school table (not the cheap newer ones, but the old metal ones). Try locating the tick with a garden hose with one end on your ear and the other moving around the valve cover.

The HLAs will be pushed into the rocker arms from the piston side (as opposed to the valve cover side). You'll see the nipple of the HLA, as I like to call it, protruding out of the rocker arm. Most of the HLA is inside the arm.

How I fixed mine was to do this: Take out the 8 bolts that hold on the rocker assembly. The assy might stick, hit it with something softer to free it up. Take it out and examine the HLAs. If you have a depth gauge, check each one to see if any are low (you might be able to do it visually). I've had a couple that were stuck 3/4 of the way down, and others that would tick only .5 mm collapsed.

Now might not be a bad time to drain the oil out of each one (checking for crud) and feeling for pusher smoothness. Though I've had smooth ones tick. Bleed the HLAs until no air appears, and fill some oil into the rocker arm before insertion.

I just got done fixing this exact thing, so its fresh in my head if you have any questions.

#10 NuclearBacon


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Posted 01 February 2006 - 11:09 PM

THANK YOU! I have a mechanics stethascope, and localized it to the number three cylinder lash adjuster. you can clearly hear the tick through the valve cover.

I started the car up and could NOT get it to replicate the sound while the engine was cold. When it started warming up, it then started the tick... granted this car has oil that looks like it was pumped out of the ground directly into the pan, i'm going to change the oil thursday or friday, get an alternator for it, see if i have any check engine lights...

then probably sell it as a working vehicle. It starts right up, idles and runs GREAT! even with no alternator!

thank you to ALL who helped me out!!!! your input AGAIN was INVALUABLE!!

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