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Ticking/slapping noise on start-up but then goes away

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I am unsure what the problem with my 90 legacy wagon is. It has been doing this ever since I put new oil seals on the oil pump. Whenever the car starts (cold) it makes a loud tapping/slapping noise but the noise goes away when the car is warmed up. I changed the oil and filter thinking that might help but that made no difference. Like I said, it never did this before I did the seals. Is the timing off something fierce? What gives? It is driving me nuts! Would a bad O2 make it do this? I have run numerous bottle of injecto cleaner through to see if maybe I had valve depostis and that did nothing. Someone please advise.

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Valve lifter maybe? That produces a distince ticking noise, though. Slapping is pistons. Ever heard a Diesel Ford Transit van idling? THAT'S piston slap for you!

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Did you change the oil when you did it? How long does it take for the noise to go away? Did you remove the oil pump when you replaced the seal?

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It takes about 5 or so minutes for the noise to go away (basically untill it is warmed up but keep in mind I live in FL). I did change the oil when I did the pump. Yes I did have to remove the oil pump from the vehicle because it was the rear seal on the pump that I was replacing. The niose sounds like it is coming from the drivers side. could the timing be off enough to produce this unwanted effect?

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Sounds like pure coincidence as to the timing of the noise and your seal replacement. I would wonder if the two are related at all, and that your engine has just got to the point where the usual Subaru piston slap issue has arrived. My 97 OBW developed it at 23 000 km and still had it at 127 000 km when I traded it. It was just an annoyance on cold days until the engine warmed up and it went away. All the threads on this forum on the topic agree that although it is annoying, it will not hurt the longevity of the engine. It didn't deter me from buying an 02 OBW at all. As I said, it may just be coincidence.

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It takes about 5 or so minutes for the noise to go away (basically untill it is warmed up but keep in mind I live in FL). I did change the oil when I did the pump. Yes I did have to remove the oil pump from the vehicle because it was the rear seal on the pump that I was replacing. The niose sounds like it is coming from the drivers side. could the timing be off enough to produce this unwanted effect?

If it does last for 5 minutes then it is most likely piston slap, or perhaps a bad timing belt tensioner. The timing belt tensioner is on the driver's side, assuming you have an EJ22 like the ones I have worked on.

 

What brand and viscosity of oil were you using before and after the repair? What brand of oil filter? Sometimes poorly constructed oil filters can cause a bad startup noise but usually it only lasts a few seconds.

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I thought it was something to do with the timing because I never felt the belt was on just right. I have always used castrol synth blend and fram sure-guard filters. I forgot to mention that there is a loud belt squeling noise when the car is first started too. It makes the same noise when I take a corner at slow speed. (weird)

 

I just found it extremely odd that is started that slapping noise after putting a new seal on my oil pump. I know it's not the tensioner because I checked the tension of the belt and it is nice and solid with no slack.

 

Does anyone know if the timing being off a little would make a difference as far as this ticking/slapping is concerned? Maybe valves not opening up at the exact moment or not closing when they should be? It's really driving me nuts. This car was an awsome car before I did that F'n oil seal. (Kicking myself for not taking it to the dealer)

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you may have actually lowered the oil pressure and could cause lifter noise. An Aussie complained of this problem a while ago and said after fitting a new o ring his was cured.

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Hmmm. I didn't replace the O ring I just put some super grey on it. I waited 24 hours before driving the car. I wonder....

 

It's going to have to stay like that if that is the case because I am not pulling it apart again.

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Hmmm. I didn't replace the O ring I just put some super grey on it. I waited 24 hours before driving the car. I wonder....

The reason I originally asked if you had removed the pump is because sometimes these symptoms occur after this kind of repair because sealant gets into the oil passages. I would be tempted to remove the pump, look for sealant that got loose, and put a new o-ring in it. Putting a mechanical oil pressure guage on it to find out what the oil pressure really is probably isn't a bad idea regardless of what else you do.

 

I'm not sure if one can really tell by belt tension when the tensioner has gone bad, I just don't know.

 

Fram filters are notorious for startup noise (and other deficiencies). I would throw a Napa gold or purolator on there just for giggles.

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I am unsure what the problem with my 90 legacy wagon is. It has been doing this ever since I put new oil seals on the oil pump. Whenever the car starts (cold) it makes a loud tapping/slapping noise but the noise goes away when the car is warmed up. I changed the oil and filter thinking that might help but that made no difference. Like I said, it never did this before I did the seals. Is the timing off something fierce? What gives? It is driving me nuts! Would a bad O2 make it do this? I have run numerous bottle of injecto cleaner through to see if maybe I had valve depostis and that did nothing. Someone please advise.

That sounds a hell of a lot like a stuck hydraulic lash adjuster. i had the same problem....I took off my valve cover, found the stuck one (just push on 'em) tapped mine with a rubber mallet and voila!

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You Could try this! Worked for me

 

Having read the tech advice heres one from the land of ingenius kiwi land!

The single turbo on these engines is supplied with oil from the end of the right hand side head immediatly below where the turbo is fitted to the up pipe exhaust.As this oil supply has already fed 8 camshaft bearing along with 8 cam lifters(hydraulic) this supply is now further depleted by an oil greedy turbo!

no wonder you get ticking going on!!

Re routing the oil supply to the turbo from where it leaves the oil pump by installing a 1/8 tee under the oil pressure switch and then using an oil rated 100 psi flexible hose directly to the turbo has all but stopped the ticking on my two engines.By installing an up graded oil pump(more pressure) the ticking has ceased entirely,Power has returned and smooth running has also returned!

This due to a more even oil distribution and also feeding that most oil hungry turbo as soon as possible with oil at (direct) pressure.

I guess you could also cool this oil prior to re entry to the turbo to further enhance the lubrication of the turbo.

EJ 20 Quad cam single Turbo'89 and '90 Auto 4 speed and 5 speed manual

I will taek all that into consideration and hit it full speed this weekend. Thanks for the tips. If anyone else has anymore please feel free to fill me in.

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