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 ive been noticing a tick when the engine is cold that goes away within a minute or 2 of driving i have provided a video of the sound u can hear it more near the end when i stop and open the door at the end of my driveway. this is on a 2001 outback 2.5 engine. what do you guys think this could be? ive been thinking maby a valve tick?

 

 

Edited by sirtokesalot

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Try this tool to locate the noise. Some times I use my 18 inch screwdriver but you can use a 1/2 dowel rod sharpened somewhat to a point on one end.

Hold the other end of it in your hand like making a fist and put your first finger and thumb against your ear.

Touch the other end on different places and listen to the noise. First try it on the alternator front and back. Then put it on the bolt of an idler pully.

If the noise is a lifter you can move the stick along the edge of the head or on the bolts of the valve cover. Somewhere the noise should be louder.

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That sounds like a dead cam belt tensioner. 

Removed LHS cam cover and check if the tensioner is bouncing. There are plenty of YouTube videos about this. 

If you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it’s good, use the above link to the stethoscope and use this to properly diagnose the issue. 

We had one go bad on our EJ251 and it looked fine while running but the stethoscope pinned the noise with the tensioner. Swapped for OEM and no issues since ;)  

Cheers 

Bennie

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4 hours ago, el_freddo said:

That sounds like a dead cam belt tensioner. 

Removed LHS cam cover and check if the tensioner is bouncing. There are plenty of YouTube videos about this. 

If you can’t see it, it doesn’t mean it’s good, use the above link to the stethoscope and use this to properly diagnose the issue. 

We had one go bad on our EJ251 and it looked fine while running but the stethoscope pinned the noise with the tensioner. Swapped for OEM and no issues since ;)  

Cheers 

Bennie

would the cam tensioner get quiet after a few minutes of the car running? that sound will completely go away after driving about a mile or 2. or if i leave it idling for 10 or so minutes.

 

   heres another vid of it running with the drivers side timing cover off the tensioner seems prety stable to me but the sound does seem to be coming from the center of the engine vs one or the other side. u can tell by the end of the video however that it is already starting to get quieter from just running for the couple minutes it was running messing with it. should i let it warm up and make another vid of how it sounds warm? this sound only happens when the engines cold.

 

 

Edited by sirtokesalot

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Probably not the tensioner if it goes quiet then. 

I’ll have to watch the video tomorrow and get back to you, I’m sure someone will have an answer for you. 

Cheers 

Bennie

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honestly - to me, it sounds a bit like my 02 Forester (EJ251) which has piston slap.. the colder it is outside, the worse it sounds on cold startup, but goes away once fully warmed up.

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2001 I don't think is known for piston slap is it? that is something that seems to stop after warming-up.

 

 

ugh - beat by 6 minutes!

Edited by 1 Lucky Texan
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if thats piston slap thats the loudest piston slap i ever heard in one of these engines. this engine i was told only has 115,000 miles on it.

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16 minutes ago, sirtokesalot said:

if that's piston slap that's the loudest piston slap i ever heard in one of these engines. this engine i was told only has 115,000 miles on it.

you haven't heard mine in the dead of winter, LOL When it is 10 below, on a cold start, the damn thing sounds like it is going to blow up it rattles so bad. Give it a few minutes to warm up and it sounds much better.

but in all seriousness.. the number of miles on it makes little difference - if that is what it is.

oh, and for the record, I have over 253K on the old girl now and still going strong.

 

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To me just about every Subaru I ever owned ticks when cold at least a little. Some loud , some barely.

And the piston slap thing too. Seems fine after running some. 

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it seems the more i drive it the louder it is getting still only while cold though and it is not getting louder fast but definitely seems louder than it was before. however u can still hear it when it warms up while accelerating just not very loud. i don't think its piston slap a friend of mine seems to think its a rod knock but i dunno about that ither as it doesn't sound like any rod knock ive heard before. what is the cheapest way to fix an engine with low compression can i just put rings in it and new gaskets or is there more to it than that? i have a 2001 forester block that had low compression when we pulled it last year before scrapping the car.

Edited by sirtokesalot

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im starting to believe its a bad tensioner. i took the drivers timing cover back off and with a 2 foot extension i listened around the block with one end to ym ear and the other on spots around the block. the left and right heads are pretty quiet if i take the oil cap off and listen inside the crank case i hear nothing knocking if i put the extension above the timing tensioner i hear the knock and if i put the extension down on the tensioner its self i hear it the loudest through the extension and i can feel the knocking as well on the side of my ear while listening to it. im going to pull the tensioner off my 2001 forester parts engine and see if that fixes it hoping to get the job done tomorrow night or Thursday. the timing belt was new about 4000 miles 1 year ago but the tensioner was reused. it should be fine to just reuse the belt i would think yes?

Edited by sirtokesalot

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I’d reuse the belt unless it is damaged during removal. 

Best of luck with the replacement tensioner, I’m also glad to hear that’s what it is and not bottom end knock. 

Cheers 

Bennie

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