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ticking engine noise??


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21 replies to this topic

#1 fnlyfnd

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 11:48 AM

So the car has done this ever since I got it. Never really worried about it, just thought I see what you guys think.

While the engine is running and the hood is open you hear a loud ticking. You can also hear this with the window down, driving next to a wall. It increases with the rpms. I figured it was just the engine being itself. I am wondering if anyone else has this, and If I should run sea foam thru the top again. Last time I did seafoam was 3-4 months ago

its a 96 2.2l 5spd

#2 cookie

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:18 PM

Is it an old 2.2 with hydraulic lifters? I have heard a number of them tick a bit from stuck lifters.

#3 Olnick

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 12:55 PM

Is it an old 2.2 with hydraulic lifters? I have heard a number of them tick a bit from stuck lifters.


Would fnlyfnd be wise to run seafoam in the crankcase just before an oil change? Maybe it would help "clean" some of the channels and passageways?

I'm no expert here so someone else please chime in.

Oh, and cookie--the 2.2s aren't all that old!!!

#4 dmanaenk

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 04:14 PM

I have ticking which I tought was valvetrain noise. But actually it goes away with depressed clutch, so in my case it's probably some part of clutch. So its not necessarily related to valve lash adjusters.

#5 cookie

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 05:52 PM

For Olnick sorry,

I hate to say anything that might disparage a 2.2. For dman, yup that sounds like clutch stuff. On the other hand the clutch sometimes ticks on until it slips.
Some folks say they have had luck cleaning with Seafoam or adding Marvel Mystery oil to free up stuck lifters. I have always dissasembled and replaced the lifter myself. One other thing to remember is that sometimes 2.2s tick when the oil pump gasket leaks because they don't make full pressure. If it were mine I'd check the pressure with a guage to be sure.

#6 powderhound

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 08:39 PM

I would be concerned if mine didn't tick. I know its been said before but...It's a subaru it ticks to tell you its alive.

#7 fnlyfnd

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 08:56 PM

thats why i am wondering if i should run seafoam in the oil and risk the leaks. or just let it keep on ticking

o yea, its got 116k on it

#8 JPX

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 04:19 PM

I'm in the middle of troubleshooting a tick/knock on my rebuilt 2.2L motor. Took off a valve cover and found a squishy hydraulic lash adjuster.

I tried to bleed it out in a cup of oil. But it just wouldn't hold pressure.

I'll be putting in a replacement lash adjuster this weekend and hope that this changes the tone of the tick/knock.

#9 Gnuman

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Posted 05 May 2006 - 04:33 PM

If the ticking sounds like metal hitting metal (valve train) then take the valve covers off and clean/bleed the lash adjusters. If it is more like the sound a relay makes, it may be the injectors. I have been told that Subarus use a fairly loud injector.

the ticking that goes away with the clutch being pressed in is the pilot berring. I have the same problem until I get my new clutch in.

#10 JPX

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 04:02 AM

So tonight's hydraulic lash adjuster changeout went fairly smoothly. Getting all 8 of the valve train bolts on evenly was time consuming. An in-lbs torque wrench is critical.

When I started the engine, the noise was gone! Yay!:)

Drove it around the block and the sound came back:mad: , although the tone is a little different.

I guess I have to go back in there and double check the oil galleys again.:rolleyes: Seems like I have a similar situation that is described here:
http://www.lovehorse...sterReplace.htm

#11 JPX

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:39 PM

Hmmm...so two rounds of taking off the valve train and I still have a knock in there somewhere. :mad:

The HLA (hydraulic lash adjuster) I replaced was re-bled in clean oil.....the oil that came out was darker (the color of the existing oil in the engine). This means the oil is recirculating through the HLA?:confused: It was still firm and not squishy.

I changed the oil in the engine since it has 800 miles on the rebuild. I'm hoping this helps everything resettle in.

One thing that concerns me is if the pocket in the rocker where the HLA sits may have been worn from the harmmering of the faulty HLA. A bad leakby or something like a messed up seating surface might be setting up the noise.:o

The car is drivable and certianly quieter than it was earlier. So I guess we'll see how it goes for a couple of hundred miles.:-\

#12 jjou812

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 08:24 PM

mine makes a ticking noise when the engine is warm, never when it's hot or cold. it has 196k miles. what's that mean????

#13 cookie

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 09:27 PM

Often lifters tick JJ. a little slap at mileage like that would be normal too.
JPX, have you done your cam belt and front end service yet? I knew an Ozzie who chased ticking lifters for months to find out he did not have enough oil pressure because his pump back scews were loose. He serviced the oil pump and the cure was a real relief to him.

#14 JPX

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 10:34 PM

JPX, have you done your cam belt and front end service yet? I knew an Ozzie who chased ticking lifters for months to find out he did not have enough oil pressure because his pump back scews were loose. He serviced the oil pump and the cure was a real relief to him.


Good advice. But I have to rule it out for the moment as the engine is a longblock rebuild. I'm going to check the left side HLAs and see if any of those are squishy. If this continues, then I may have to revisit the oil pump possibility.

#15 Andyjo

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 10:48 PM

I've tried to sea foam the oil gallery, ran marvel mystery oil through her... still no help for the 2.2 tick, and i'm scared to take off the valve covers... anyone have a walk-through, with pics? :brow:
n/m, i clicked on the link, and forgot about it.. d'oh!

#16 fnlyfnd

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 11:52 AM

My ticking noise is no where near as loud as that link. Maybe its just in the begining phase of sticking. It seems to be coming from the driver side bank, if I put a long screw driver on it to listen.

#17 myshoeisonfire

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 12:07 PM

My car made that noise Louder then the video, and all i did was put a whole botle of SeaFoam in the crankcase, and drove it for 65 miles. It went completley away! I was amazed!

#18 grossgary

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 12:14 PM

it all went away with one bottle of sea foam? that's awesome.

#19 fishy

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 01:26 PM

Call me stupid (if necessary) but can't an exhaust leak at or near the manifold tick like this? My 94 turbo wagon started ticking recently and as soon as I got under the car for the oil next time I noticed that the crossover pipe has a couple little holes brewing in it with soot around them. They weren't there last time I was under there which was also before the tick. Something to think about anyway.:banana:

#20 fnlyfnd

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 03:08 PM

Yea exhaust leaks do tick.

I am afraid to put seafoam in because of the potential risk of leaks. I'll just wait a couple weeks so I have some $$ to repair the leaks (if I get them). I did notice my pass. side valve cover leaking already - SOB.

#21 nipper

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 04:17 PM

On the older forums, this is called the tick of death (don't know why). When was the last time this thing had an oil change. Also it may be worth while to throw an oilpressure gauge on the car and see what your readings are. after you check your oil journals.
If you have a long dowel or scredriver, you can use it as a stethascope and get a better idea where the noise is coming from and what it sounds like.

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#22 fnlyfnd

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 06:33 PM

I went back out today to try and find it using the screw driver trick again. I cant figure it out. I am thinking its a loud injector.

I noticed that if I hit the throttle hard the tick goes away (this is all while I am under the hood) when the rpms are increasing rapidily, but on the return to idle rpm the tick gets real loud. Then it quiets down at idle but is still present.

I also noticed that both VC seem to be leaking, slightly. I degreased the engine and washed it down so maybe tom. I will be able to better diagonose the leaks.




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