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GlenSz

Lifter Tick aka "The Tick of Death" / question / 94 Loyale 3AT wagon

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Trying to assess my current '94 Loyale / 3AT situation, concerning the ticking sound which accompanies the generally rough sounding idle. 

 

Not a knocking but a tick, which i've been told is commonly referred to as "Lifter-Tick" or "the Tick of Death", and can be caused by a few different things. 

 

I'm getting help from another USMB member and fellow Loyale owner, @175eya, who said he eliminated his by swapping out his oil pump, but don't quote me on that, i think there was more to it than that.

 

I've also heard simply using a particular type of oil treatment, not sure off the top of my head which one, and then using a heavier weight oil will more temporarily solve the problem. 

 

additionally, it's been suggested the valve covers need to be adjusted. 

 

i can live with the noise, but i'm looking to increase the performance of my little 90hp engine and more importantly, help save it from any potential damage i'm currently doing to it buy continuing to drive it while it's ticking.

 

even being able to get it up to 70mph at 42k RPM, rather than 65 at the same RPM would make highway driving better, and i'm hoping that solving the ticking issue could help w/ that. 

 

thoughts?

 

thanks, the generosity of knowledge and expertise i've experienced here on the USMB already has fantastic and i'm truly grateful. 

 

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The tick you describe is most commonly a collapsed hydraulic valve lash adjuster (commonly referred to as a “HLA”)  this little device takes up any lash at all the valves in the engine, using oil pressure and a “shock absorber” like function. If one collapses, which it sounds like it did, then it will bottom out and fail to transfer the energy from the cam to the valve stem, thusly not allowing the valve to open fully, hence the performance loss and rough idle.  I would suggest evaluating your oil pressure, and if its within spec, then plan on replacing the HLA’s.  Other members feel free to correct me, but
that’s my 2 cents.  Good luck.



 

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There have been many EA82 TOD threads here and elsewhere and having read huge amounts and having replaced all the relevant parts I think that any one of the suggested remedies might work or it might take a combination thereof - as well as the HLAs needing to be working, there needs to be adequate oil pressure and oil flow. I started by replacing very leaky camshaft oil seals and had a few minutes without the TOD; next replacement was oil pump seals (all of them) and new oil pump rotor - that resulted in a few quiet miles of driving but the TOD returned. I then tried various oil additives (waste of money) just on the off-chance that snake-oil might work. But there was still a major oil leak from the cyclinder head to cam tower 'o' ring. After that, I took the engine out, re-built it with all new gaskets and seals (amongst many other things) and a set of brand new HLAs. After the first 1000 miles since the rebuild it runs smooth and quiet and I hope it will be quiet for another 100,000 miles. My old green car (another EA82) did 200,000 miles with no TOD lasting more than a few minutes. But that car had a better history.  Rebuild pics at:   http://www.nagara.co.uk/carhome.htm

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Go back and undo whatever you did, just before the TOD began. You might have gone with a lighter oil for instance. You also may have baked the engine and toasted the O-ring between the cylinder head and camtower.

 

Replaced oil pump and/or the seals is not a simple task. Neither is resealing the 3 oil channels seals between the cylinder head and the camtower.

 

The order that I would use to fix it is:

1. Go with 15-40W oil, instead of say 15-30W or 10-30W

2. Change the oil filter

3. Isolate which side the noise is coming from. Remove that camtower cover and feel for a soft hydraulic lifter. If no soft ones then you might take a chance and remove the camtower. Check again to see if you have any soft lifters. Replace any that are soft. Reassemble using the genuine Subaru O-ring and lightly butter the other 2 flat oil channel surfaces on the camtower with your gasket maker, that contacts the back side of the cylinder head. You will want to have both surfaces cleaned of all oil naturally, before apply the gasket maker. Using the same gasket maker, coat the edges and the groove on the camtower before assembly.

4. Then think about replacing the oil pump and/or the (2) oil pump seals. If you baked the engine, those seals may have lost their softness and lost their ability to seal. Once you get this far into the front of the engine, you can be replacing timing belts, follower pulley, tightener pulleys and water pump.

5. If this did not fix the TOD, perhaps the tick came from the other side of the engine.

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@Scoobie; his car was ticking before he purchased it, IIRC.

@Glen, yeah, it was just changing out the oil pump. New pump + new "Mickey mouse" gasket, and no more ticking.

Like some have said here, it took a bit of work to get rid of their tick. From reading on these boards though, it seems most have had their issues resolved just by doing what I did. It also makes more sense to do it that way as it's the most cost effective way IMHO.

I don't think I'm going to be able to help you out this weekend though, as my boss has lined up a camera job for me, which kinda sucks, but at the same time is some welcome extra income =P

I'll let you know how next weekend looks though and lemme know when you've sourced a pump!

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I'm putting known good lifters in my loyale tomorrow. Think i can do it with the cam tower in place. I'll let you know how it goes. There is also an oil rail in there with some SMALL holes for oil delivery. Gonna blow that out while I'm in there.

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Before my timing belt broke, my lifters were ticking. I replaced water pum, and oil pump while I was in there but never touched the HLA's. it keeped on ticking along until I found old liters and sent them off to Mizpah to have them rebuilt. Installed them..no more ticking. Long story short, why not do it all while you have it torn apart and just do it one time. I would pull old HLA's from a junk yard donor and send them to Mizpah to be rebuilt. I think it costs like $48. $48 compared to spending hours doing it again and again. Fix everything in one shot. That is my opinion , for what it's worth. Edit: just one thing, when I suggested pulling HLA' s from a donor car it was to save down time. Pull you own and you are not going to be able drive it till you get HLA's back from Mizpah....:-/ just saying. Time - Time ticking in my head

Edited by superpoo93

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I have good lifters that i daily drove for 3 years. I would rather trust those than the rebuilds honestly.

 

Couldn't get the lifters out without removing the cam tower. I've never done one of these. Anybody know what sealant is best? And what to clean the mating surfaces with. Acetone? Sorry for the minor thread jack. I'm sending the old lifters out for rebuild if i ever get an email back from mizpah.

Oh i didn't have a sucked in o-ring. But it was pretty flat.

Edited by zukiru

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nothing wrong with known good used, but I will personally vouch for mizpah, having used them several times and never hearing a single bad thing about him/them. except they never seem to have em in stock so you have to wait. plus, you can have them completely rebuilt for less than one new lifter

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Trying to assess my current '94 Loyale / 3AT situation, concerning the ticking sound which accompanies the generally rough sounding idle. 

 

Not a knocking but a tick, which i've been told is commonly referred to as "Lifter-Tick" or "the Tick of Death", and can be caused by a few different things. 

 

I'm getting help from another USMB member and fellow Loyale owner, @175eya, who said he eliminated his by swapping out his oil pump, but don't quote me on that, i think there was more to it than that.

 

I've also heard simply using a particular type of oil treatment, not sure off the top of my head which one, and then using a heavier weight oil will more temporarily solve the problem. 

 

additionally, it's been suggested the valve covers need to be adjusted. 

 

i can live with the noise, but i'm looking to increase the performance of my little 90hp engine and more importantly, help save it from any potential damage i'm currently doing to it buy continuing to drive it while it's ticking.

 

even being able to get it up to 70mph at 42k RPM, rather than 65 at the same RPM would make highway driving better, and i'm hoping that solving the ticking issue could help w/ that. 

 

thoughts?

 

thanks, the generosity of knowledge and expertise i've experienced here on the USMB already has fantastic and i'm truly grateful. 

Changing the oil pump will fix your tic....

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I use brake cleaner to take the oil off of the cylinder head and camtower. Before you start spraying it brake cleaner, lay a clean rag over your CV boots so that they do not get hit with it. For the gasket maker, I use ThreeBond 1211 silicone liquid gasket, that you can get in a good motorcycle shop. Once you smear ThreeBond on the contact surfaces of the two oil channels, and run a bead around the edge of the camtower, you let it sit for 20 minutes before installing it. Jack the car up on the side that you are working on, to keep oil from flowing out of the cylinder head, and to also help keep the rocker arms on the lifters. Hold the rocker arms in place with axle grease.

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@175eya it's no problem about this weekend, i gotta help someone down in middletown move, so i can't anyway, and you definitely should get that money when ya can, i'm in the same boat. but we'll figure out some time soon, which leads me to my question for everyone on this thread, especially the guys who are clearly knowledgable and experienced enough to be discussing the finer points of inner-engine repair and mechanics, so outta my range that it seems as complicated as open-heart surgery, and thus far have learned some peripheral stuff, like finding the leak in a break line and bleeding them, by watching @175eya, thanks again buddy, but even the lengths that need to be taken to change the oil pump seem way outta my league, and would gladly help in anyway i could and at least watch and learn, but could never do myself. no garage, not a whole lotta tools, and almost zero experience, the only thing i have on my side is a decent amount of mechanical logic and some light construction work experience. 

 

what i need to know is if i continue to drive it with the tick/TOD, until i can figure out what it is, trying the most inexpensive/simple solutions first, will it damage my engine, damage it worse if i'm running, not necessarily it hard, like 65mph on the highway occasionally (cause i gotta conclude if the engine is not operating at peak performance, it's struggling more, the harder i push it, and could therefore do more damage to it), will i be damaging it? 

 

this afternoon i'm gonna do an oil change and use a heavier weight oil, 15-40W, and use some of that Slick-50 stuff. 

 

also, wouldn't getting my oil pressure checked first tell me if it in fact the pressure is low and could be helped by a new oil pump, before going ahead and finding the part and doing the work? wouldn't that make sense to have the pressure checked first?

 

maybe i'll get lucky and the oil treatment and 15-40W will work, even if for a little while. 

 

thanks to everyone who've put in there opinion and offered advice, it's greatly appreciated and never taken for granted. The USMB have proven to repeatedly prove itself to have the nicest, most generous members of any BBS i've even been on, thanks again.

 

-glen

 

@joesubaru

@superpoo93

@scoobiedubie

@Subeast-EA81

@NickNakorn

Edited by GlenSz

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I think checking the oil pressure would be worth it, as long as it does not cost you a mint at a shop. I used Lucas oil stabilizer and GTX 20-50 (summer) and 20-40 in Winter. It helped a little, to quite it down but sometimes it would fade in and out. Make sure your changing your oil regular too.

Edited by superpoo93

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Oh just thought of something. How many miles on your timing belt/pulleys?? I'm all about not going in to repair, two or three times when you can it in one shot. If you change timing set, replace everything pulley/belt.

 

Noel

Edited by superpoo93

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Hi Glen, you're most welcome.  I ran my red EA82 wagon (very gently for the most part) with severe TOD for a few thousand miles and when I stripped it down the only obvious damage was to the rims of the HLA buckets. The damage was not serious and I used a fine file to remove the turned edges. Amazingly the valves were still fine but the valve seats were somewhat pitted - though, to be fair, that damage could hyave been caused by other things such as overheating. I replaced the valve seats as I was having other work done to the heads and the additional cost was not great. So while there is no guaranteee that TOD will not harm your engine, I can say that in my experience the damage was slight. As my TOD would go away somewhat with sufficient revs, I think the worst damage was to my wallet. Before the rebuild got about 30mpg and now I get nearly 40mpg and I expect that will get better as the engine loosens up.   

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I had asked the same questions when the Loyale we have developed the tick. We went a good 5-6,000 miles with it ticking pretty bad, and it's when the lady was doing clinicals so she was running it on the highway every day. Changed the oil pump as soon as we could and all was well.

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just an update, I added used 15-40W oil and used Slick-50 and after a few hours of driving locally, the tick almost completely went away.

 

I took a trip to Jersey over the weekend during which I drove on the highway up to 70mph and greater distances like an hour and a half on the highway at 65mph, and unfortunately by the end of the weekend the tick came back. But the next day which was also a warmer day it disappeared again.

 

also, when the ticket isn't there I noticed a slight improvement in performance, i can hold it at 70 mph and it's at 4200rpm.

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the oil pump either needs resealed or replaced.

http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/136547-ea82-er27-ticking-tod-hydraulic-valve-lash-hla-noise-diagnose-and-repair/?hl=hydraulic

 

did you say how many miles you have yet?

 

I'm not sure we know for certain that oil pressure is strictly to blame. What if it's volume and not pressure?  Or air bubbles introduced into the supply via the oil pump (though GD i think seems to think this not the case)...anyway, I'm unsure of the failure mode of the pumps, ever replaced pump that I've had showed no visible or other signs of wear/issues. 

 

everything you're saying is common and expected. it comes, goes, some things seem to help, some don't...it's still there.   folks on here would have told you that you can try various oil treatments, changes, types, brands, synth, dino.....and it'll come and go...some things help more than others.  the problem is still there.
 

Edited by grossgary

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If it isn't banging really bad, you can employ the factory supplied anti-ticking device. It will be in the middle of the dash.

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If it isn't banging really bad, you can employ the factory supplied anti-ticking device. It will be in the middle of the dash.

 

the one i can even use my head to push?  :banghead:

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It is frustrating, after flushing the motor with risoline,ATF fluid, seafoam, or whatever is on hand I run the thinnest oil I can get, usually 5w30.  Good luck, If you ever find the magic cure for the TOD, let us know. 

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It is frustrating, after flushing the motor with risoline,ATF fluid, seafoam, or whatever is on hand I run the thinnest oil I can get, usually 5w30.  Good luck, If you ever find the magic cure for the TOD, let us know. 

 

it's easy - replace the oil pump, that is the most common issue by far 

sometimes resealing the pump works.

 

http://www.ultimatesubaru.org/forum/topic/136547-ea82-er27-ticking-tod-hydraulic-valve-lash-hla-noise-diagnose-and-repair/?hl=hydraulic

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