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Old 01-29-2008, 01:58 PM   #1
Teufelhund
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Default Engine ticking or tapping or slapping noise

And I'm not talking about a new song.

I'm talking about my trusty 'ol EJ20 and I have owned the car since it's beginning back in '02. It's got 96,000 miles and has been running with a Vishnu 321 uppipe, Hayward and Scott downpipe, Vishnu underdrive pulley, and a custom tune by none other than Shiv himself for the last 75,000 miles. Well last week I did a wot pull in 3rd gear right up to 7,100 rpm and let off while leaving it in 3rd gear. (I didn't upshift... just let the engine do some engine braking, then once I got back to 70 mph I upshifted to 4 then 5) I'm still kicking myself for doing that on an old motor. It's not like this engine is as capable with revving like my GSX-R 1000 motor is. Dumbass.... anyway.

Then I got the dreaded ticking sound that had the same frequency as the exhaust note... same freq as the engine rpm in other words. Something is loose, broke, or banging... I don't know what exactly, but it doesn't sound good. It happens around 3,000 to 5,000 rpm at a light to medium throttle setting while the engine is under a load. Trying to replicate the sound in the garage is hard, so pinpointing the sound is harder with your head hovering around the engine bay. i.e. with no load, it's hard to get it to make the sound, but under a load, it's very prevalent. Deisel like almost.

Searcing is inconclusive. Some say it's the cam chain tensioner, some say piston slap, some say connecting rod bolts being loose... I just don't friggin know. What do some of you guys think? I'm headed to the dealership next week and I would like to tell them my opinion before they tell me that they think that I need a new power steering pump, alternator, or something else retarded. (yes, I do think that the po-dunk ass mechanincs around here that mainly work on dodges are retarded)
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:03 PM   #2
aross
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What type of engine oil?
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:39 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teufelhund View Post
Some say it's the cam chain tensioner, some say piston slap, some say connecting rod bolts being loose... ...tell them my opinion before they tell me that they think that I need a new power steering pump, alternator, or something else retarded. (yes, I do think that the po-dunk ass mechanincs around here that mainly work on dodges are retarded)

I can say with 100% certainty it isn't the cam chain tensioner. (subaru's have timing belts to drive the cams, not chains) But the tensioners do tend to let go and make a noise like that. Although usually at all RPM's.

Don't discount that it MIGHT be a power steering pump or alternator, or one of the idler pullies associated with either. Especially the idlers, they tend to make a ticking noise in the early stages of death.

change your oil, catch some in a clear plastic cup, and then let it settle overnight. look for any metallic particles.
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Old 01-29-2008, 04:09 PM   #4
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I was joking about the alternator and power steering pump... I think you were too, but I don't fully know. But anyway, I feel more confident that it is the cam chain tensioner more than anything. As for the oil, it's always been Mobil 1 5w30 (what else right?) I changed it 400 miles ago and I usually run a 3k-4.5k mile interval between changes. If we don't find the cam chain tensioner to be the culprit, then I'll examine the oil for bits and pieces, but I'm pretty damn sure that I'm not pinging around metal bits with a piston head. Something is loose elsewhere.
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teufelhund View Post
I was joking about the alternator and power steering pump... I think you were too, but I don't fully know. But anyway, I feel more confident that it is the cam chain tensioner more than anything. As for the oil, it's always been Mobil 1 5w30 (what else right?) I changed it 400 miles ago and I usually run a 3k-4.5k mile interval between changes. If we don't find the cam chain tensioner to be the culprit, then I'll examine the oil for bits and pieces, but I'm pretty damn sure that I'm not pinging around metal bits with a piston head. Something is loose elsewhere.

see above... no chain in a subaru motor. (and no tensioner)
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:29 PM   #6
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Anything with a bearing can make a ticking noise - or it could just be coming from your heads... Subaru heads are known for making a ton of noise...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Teufelhund View Post
I was joking about the alternator and power steering pump... I think you were too, but I don't fully know. But anyway, I feel more confident that it is the cam chain tensioner more than anything. As for the oil, it's always been Mobil 1 5w30 (what else right?) I changed it 400 miles ago and I usually run a 3k-4.5k mile interval between changes. If we don't find the cam chain tensioner to be the culprit, then I'll examine the oil for bits and pieces, but I'm pretty damn sure that I'm not pinging around metal bits with a piston head. Something is loose elsewhere.
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Old 01-30-2008, 03:41 AM   #7
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check for exhuast leaks, my last car I had a 96 mustang gt and I put an off-road x pipe on it... didn't have a good gasket for like a week and it ticked like a mother ****er and got louder as the rpms rose... so I would check out the exhaust, as you may have blown a gasket somehow
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:50 AM   #8
Teufelhund
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkramer View Post
see above... no chain in a subaru motor. (and no tensioner)
Whoops! I read your post incorrectly. I meant cam timing belt.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:15 PM   #9
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After listening to another guys post about a ticking sound that had a video of what a spun rod bearing sounds like... I am pretty sure that I've got the same exact problem. That sucks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chip18 View Post
Listen to my video. I had a spun rod bearing in my 2.0 engine. The sound only happened while I was in a certain rpm range, mostly in between 3-5k. I took a video while I revved the engine to hear the sound. I know the video sound quality isn't that great, but if you listen closely you will recognize the sound. Since your car is already making a strange noise if you hear the noise in the video, and yours sounds like this, then you may have found your problem. Hope the video helps. If it is a spun bearing say hello to an STi shortblock!

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Old 01-31-2008, 12:45 AM   #10
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That was my thought. If it's a deep thud relative to rpm's, probably spun bearing.
If it's a light tick it might just be lifter tick.

Also, lifter tick would come from the heads.
Spun bearing would come frome block.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:04 AM   #11
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I would still check your oil quantity and quality even though you recently changed it, just for good measure.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:47 PM   #12
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I have a knock that sounds similar to what you are describing, I mailed an oil sample to http://www.blackstone-labs.com/ that confirmed my suspicion of a bearing failure, elevated copper and lead levels.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:12 AM   #13
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Thanks for the responses, even the ones telling me to check my oil dipstick I'll keep you all updated once the dealership tears into the engine. I hope that they honor the warranty... I only have 4,000 miles left till I hit the magic 100,000 mile mark. Otherwise, it's back to tearing apart an engine and putting it back together with the help of a service manual... I just don't have the time to do that right now. I'm headed for Afghanistan any day now and the wife isn't exactly a motor head like me.
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:13 PM   #14
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Although it may not have prevented a problem (if it's your bearings), try using a thicker viscosity oil.
If you want to stick with M1 try their 10W30 High Mileage or Turbo Diesel 5W40.

I definitely wouldn't any energy conserving xW30 in modified WRX in NC in the summer time. The 10W30 HM meets specs that the regular M1 can't (like ACEA A3).

Good luck and Godspeed.

-Dennis
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:32 PM   #15
Teufelhund
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Update. GOOD NEWS! The Subaru dealership here in Jacksonville, NC said that I will get a brand new shortblock under warranty. I've got 96,600 miles on the odometer! How cool is that? My deductible is $100, so I'm basically gatting a new motor for $100.

They did in fact find a spun rod bearing. They tore down the entire motor to investigate any signs of abuse (because it's being warrantied) and they found that it's been taken care of. That's good, because I did take care of her. I find it cool that even though they noticed the Vishnu 321 uppipe, Hayward and Scott downpipe, lightweight pulley, Samco hoses, ACT clutch, and Prodrive exhaust... they still honored my warranty. SUBARU ROCKS! I guess that I don't have to worry about buying a new car after all.

After I get back from lovely Afghanistan... it's finally VF-34 time!... and on a basically new motor. Too bad they aren't installing a STI shortblock. I'm definately not complaining. They are even going to throw on a new timing belt while they reassemble it. Woo hoo!
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:59 PM   #16
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Good for you, man, my 98k mile shortblock is going to be paid for by...me! Plus I get to do all the work, yipee! Tear down starts next week.
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:12 PM   #17
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did the warranty not explicitly state no modifications? must have been... that is one hell of a warranty! what did you pay for it?
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobbs View Post
did the warranty not explicitly state no modifications? must have been... that is one hell of a warranty! what did you pay for it?
A regional Subaru warranty rep investigated the internals of my engine to see if it was abused or not taken care of. All of my mods were right there in plain sight on the ground (after dis assembly of course). I wasn't hiding anything. I took care of my engine and the proof was all right there in the open... from noting the use on the stock flywheel, to the signs of wear with the internals... and he could see that I took care of it. So based off of that, he decided that I should get a whole new shortblock with everything that comes within it.

I remember something about a court hearing ???Magny vs Mosserman??? case. I don't remember the correct names, but basically it was a court case that said that you can't deny warranty on say "an engine" if you modify something that's not related to the failure of an item in the engine. Someone help me out here.
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Old 02-14-2008, 10:29 AM   #19
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Magnusson-Moss. I believe that relates to using aftermarket maintenance items (oil filter, air filter, etc.) instead of engine modifications. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/.../warranty.shtm

They probably felt that it couldn't be proven that those mods caused the failure. Or either you're just one lucky dude! I would really consider using an oil that I mentioned above.

-Dennis
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:00 PM   #20
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Magnusson-Moss. I believe that relates to using aftermarket maintenance items (oil filter, air filter, etc.) instead of engine modifications. http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/.../warranty.shtm

They probably felt that it couldn't be proven that those mods caused the failure. Or either you're just one lucky dude! I would really consider using an oil that I mentioned above.

-Dennis
Hey thanks man for the correction. I couldn't remember the correct names.

I will be running 10w40 Mobil One once I get back. I run that weight in my Evo IX. I always ran a 5w30 in the suby and it did seem kind of thin... and it probably was. My Evo is pushing 335 whp, which is just right at 100 more whp than the suby is (237 whp), so I kind of figured that I should run a lighter oil in the suby as per the owners manual vs the Evo. My suby also has been relegated to a daily commuter... not a mountain road/trackday blaster. But none the less, I will run a thicker oil in it to try to help things. Oh, and a VF-34 is on the list of things I absolutely "need".
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:00 PM   #21
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so was the protune tuned to stage II (or above) boost levels?
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:01 PM   #22
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so was the protune tuned to stage II (or above) boost levels?
No protune on my car. Ask Shiv.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:10 AM   #23
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did they change your block ?
how much does a STI block cost ??
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:27 AM   #24
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How did you get a warrenty yp to 96k??? Did you buy and extended warrenty plan, where do I sign up??
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:36 PM   #25
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So I have a 05 STI and when a rev the engine (in nuetral) and the revs drop ~2500 a get this loud ticking noise from the engine?? Sound like the same problem? Any Ideas? I have a extended warenty too up to 60K.. 38K now, although I have an upgraded top mouted intercooler.. Do you think they will honor the warrenty?

-Mike
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