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Old 11-22-2001, 01:58 AM   #1
Joelk
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Default really bad cold start sound (not your average ticking)

I've noticed this a few times, but it was really bad this morning. When I started my car for the first time in the morning, I heard a REALLY loud knocking noise from the engine for about 3 to 4 seconds. Then it went away. To me, it sounded like a bad rod or a broken piston, but it went totally away after a few seconds.

This noise was definitely above and beyond the ticking of the valves and the tapping of my cam belt. Both of which I am familiar with.

I've done a search, most people are talking about cold engine noise that goes away when the engine warms up, I have this too, but this was different.

My car only sat overnight, I hadn't done any work to it, no oil changes, etc etc.

Seems like the noise lasted just long enough for the oil pressure to come up. On any other engine, my first thought would be a collapsed lifter, knocks for a few seconds, then gets enough oil pressure and gets queit again(my old Exploder did that if I let it sit for a week). But the 2.2 has solid lifters, right?

I'd like to get this in under warranty if it's a problem. But I can't reliably reproduce it. Anyone had a similar experience?
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Old 11-23-2001, 12:15 AM   #2
Richard L.
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I used to hear a similar noise from my engine when I was using Valvoline 5w-30 motor oil. I no longer hear the noise ever since I switched to Castrol GTX 10w-30.

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http://www.whitetyphoon.com/impreza/
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Old 11-23-2001, 03:20 AM   #3
HndaTch627
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sounds like piston slap to me....you can take it in but unless it's a real HEAVY knock(rod knock) they'll tell you it's normal operating condition.

jeremy
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Old 11-23-2001, 08:43 AM   #4
Peaty
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I had this too, I only had it when the car sat and was very cold. but, it lasted for about 8-10 minutes. Maybe yours is just starting to go bad. Sounded really nasty. What it turned out to be was the cam belt tensioner pulley. Apparently it's not uncommon, even with other year and type Subaru's. What happens is the pulley spring mechanism gets week (it's supposed to push down on the cam belt and keep tension on it) and it lets the belt smack the plastic shroud. It sounds really nasty. Scared the crap out of me.
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Old 11-23-2001, 11:17 AM   #5
FuJi K
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our MY93 Legacy AWD L had this knocking noise also!! i was thinking it must been the pistons not expaning yet. that's what i thought.


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Old 11-23-2001, 11:44 AM   #6
Joelk
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HndaTch627, is that what piston slap sounds like on a Subaru? I didn't think it would go away after a few seconds like that. I had an old Suzuki with bad piston slap and it was more of a constant clack that never really went away.

The cam belt tension makes sense to me, especially if it is hydraulic. I'm looking at my Haynes Legacy manual now, that doesn't look too hard to change... Seems like it would be really easy for the belt to slip a tooth if the tensioner isn't working, even if it's only for a few seconds.

Thanks
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Old 11-23-2001, 11:54 AM   #7
Richard L.
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If it was the timing belt tensioner, why would the noise stop after a while?

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Old 11-23-2001, 12:28 PM   #8
HndaTch627
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the pistons in subarus are known to have cold start slap cause they use a special type of design where as they heat up they swell to the correct size....and yes on most i4's piston slap is a constant clacking....but if it's as loud as you thing sounds a lil more serious...i thought the timing belt tensioner only went bacd on 99's. but i could be wrong.

Jeremy
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Old 11-23-2001, 01:47 PM   #9
Joelk
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard L.
If it was the timing belt tensioner, why would the noise stop after a while?

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http://www.whitetyphoon.com/impreza/
Well, again looking at my Haynes Legacy manual here. it appears that the cam belt tensioner uses oil pressure, not a spring, to keep tension on the cam belt.

If there is a bad o-ring or seal, the oil could drain out of the tensioner when the car sits. The tensioner would be loose and allow the belt to slap on startup and make the noise only until the oil pressure comes back up and fills the tensioner.
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Old 11-23-2001, 03:44 PM   #10
Joelk
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well dammit. when I _want_ it to make the noise, it won't... anyway, here's a clip of my car NOT making the bad noise when it starts. I'll try again when it gets colder, but you know, the one day I don't bring my camera out there, it's gonna do it...

http://www.jacera.com/i-club/MVC-773v.MPG

heh heh... , if I crank up my subwoofer it almost sounds like I have a cool exhaust...
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Old 11-24-2001, 05:48 AM   #11
HndaTch627
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let it cool overnight and try again.

jeremy
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Old 11-24-2001, 08:50 AM   #12
Peaty
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard L.
If it was the timing belt tensioner, why would the noise stop after a while?

--
Richard
Whatever the reason, that is *exactly* what it does. We've had several people on the list, including me, that have had this repaired. Cost for the part is around 130 if you do it yourself. The tensioner may be hydraulic but it's not oil from the motor. To install it it comes pre-tensioned. There is a bolt or something that holds the pulley in the retracted position. After it gets installed you pull the pin and it moves into piston and holds pressure on the belt.

Someone said a possible reason for premature failure was putting the car in gear afte stopping, parking on a hill and not using the handbrake. This will make the car roll a little and put pressure on the timing belt and also the tensioner. Not sure if this is right but it could happen I guess.

After a search I found a post that had sound clip.

http://www.i-club.com/forums/showthr...threadid=53343

But the sound clips are gone I just discovered, I say e-mail 8-Complex for them and see if it sounds like your noise

Here is the note for the repair:

I had a Timing Belt tensioner go on my '99 RS at about 18,104 miles. Here is the info off my dealer servce receipt:

Labor Op. 241-201
Failure Code ADX-25
Coments:
"Found ticking noise from engine area behind timing belt covers. R&R timing belt covers. Found T/blet sprocket noisey/wear mark on cover from T/Belt. Tensioner weak. Replaced
T/belt Sprocket & Tensioner.
Parts:
Qnty: 1 Part No.: 13033AA002 Description: ADj. AY Belt Ten.
Qnty: 1 Part No.: 13085AA010 Description: Idler CP Belt

Peaty
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Old 11-24-2001, 10:15 AM   #13
Richard L.
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Part No.: 13033AA002 Description: ADj. AY Belt Ten.



Part No.: 13085AA010 Description: Idler CP Belt



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http://www.whitetyphoon.com/impreza/
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