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Old 05-05-2012, 07:36 PM   #1
pcxrs
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Default Engine Noise rattle/click/knock 1998 Impreza Outback

Hey guys,

I swapped my tires yesterday with my new impact drill, drove the car out of the garage, and was welcomed with a new noise.

rod knock? valve lash? it's coming from the drivers side of the block/timing belt area. more the front of the block than the back. Tried listening through a breaker bar to different parts but couldn't discern any noticeable source.

tell me what you think (phone is sitting on top of coolant with mic towards the engine)


almost makes me wish I would have done the tire swap with the usual tire iron
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:11 AM   #2
pcxrs
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A couple more bits of info that may help:

- I bought the car as a winter beater 2 years ago with 202,000kms, at 245,000 now
- It's always had a bit of a hesitation at certain RPMs
- It's been throwing a knock sensor code for a while now, P0325, but I haven't installed the replacement sensor.
-A friend of mine has suggested idler pulley bearing or one on the timing belt.

Any other things I can check to eliminate possible issues?
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Old 05-07-2012, 09:20 AM   #3
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It doesn't sound like rod knock to me, most likely some part of the accessory drive or possibly exhaust.

Very unlikely to be caused by your use of impact on the wheels.

Incidentally I hope you only loosened your wheels with an impact gun...
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:15 PM   #4
pcxrs
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Thanks!

I watched a few more videos of rod knock last night and have to agree with you. It isn't as hard of a knock and also isn't directly correlated with engine RPM.

I'll feel around under the engine tonight for loose heat shields etc.
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Old 05-07-2012, 10:18 PM   #5
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Are any of the accessory pulleys wiggling or shaking around? Does it get louder with the A/C on? Any rocks in the exhaust manifold heatsheild?
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:30 AM   #6
pcxrs
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Accessory pulleys seem good except the crank pulley has a extremely small wobble to it. It's barely noticeable but if you're splitting hairs, it wobbles. The more I hear/feel around the more I'm convinced it's coming from inside the timing belt cover.

Another note, I have a slow oil leak from my Pressure switch on top of the block and some oil/gunk has come over the front and flow over the timing belt cover. It is entirely possible that some may have leaked in and brought other debris.

I'm just watching Meaty's timing belt guide right now to learn a bit more about what's going on inside there.
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:47 PM   #7
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You could always just pull the side timing belt covers off and take a look to see if there's any foreign objects in there. You have to pull the crank pulley to get the center cover off, but the side two are just held on with three 10mm bolts. (one on top and bottom and one toward the fender) Once you take the bolts out you can slide the cover towards the front of the car and they come right off. If you don't see anything right away, start it up and see if anything flies out. (Obviously make sure the pulleys aren't about to come off before starting it, but if they were being held on by the covers alone i'd be pretty surprised it's running at all.)
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Old 05-08-2012, 04:56 PM   #8
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I like that idea. I'll post how it goes tonight/tomorrow.

If I find oil/crud/grit on the belt/idlers/pulleys should I attempt to clean them off somehow? good ideas vs bad ideas. (water/towels/degreaser/toothbrush/scrapper)
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:15 PM   #9
98OBS rust bucket
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Odds are if there is grit, debris, or other crap in there you have a bigger problem then just cleaning it out. if you just find a piece of broken plastic from one of the covers and some dirt, I would try some compressed air to blow out the dirt and a new cover. Obviously if you take the covers off and your noise is still there, all that goes out the window, but I would stay away from cleaners or scrapers that could nick or react with the rubber or the belt. After all detonating a motor because of a broken belt sucks.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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Given what I know about the guy that sold me the car, it's probably well due for a new timing belt along with a multitude of other things.

I did the clutch last summer along with spark plugs. My front struts are leaking/and shot. I got an Evap code and my fuel neck is rusted up good. I want to do enough to keep it running, but not sink too much money into parts in case anything major happens. I'm guessing you're probably in the same boat with your rusty OBS. Better to leave the rusted bolts right where they are.
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:53 PM   #11
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Im actually at the point of getting my old jeep running again. I'm past doing anything more to my subie. All I can hope for is it blows up in a way that is at least cool looking or sounding...well, that or the control arms are going to snap off. Which happens first is anyones guess. A timing belt kit really isn't that pricey for the 2.2's though, I had to do mine a couple years ago and i got the belt and a new tensioner for less than $100. I don't know if it's still that way, but the pricey part is getting someone who knows enough to not screw it up. (I got lucky and was owed a favor by a mechanic ) Junkyards are also fantastic for cheap parts. My title might say 98, but the car is from 94-2000. (actually my steelies are from 02 i think...)
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:08 PM   #12
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Luckily I can carpool with my Wife so it's ok if it takes me a week to attempt fixing things myself. Money aside, I like when these things happen to my car because I'm learning so much about how everything works.

Here's hoping I'm not in the market for a new scoobie this summer!
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:14 PM   #13
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Nice, well keep us posted on what you find and good luck.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:18 AM   #14
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It's definitely the timing belt area making that noise. I pulled off the covers tonight and found some metal fragments stuck to the oil on the insides of the covers, more so on the drivers side. I'm uploading some videos right now (they're a bit long) and then I'll post them.

In the video you can actually see a new fragment hit the inside of the camshaft sprocket then disappear. I'm wondering if an idler would be falling apart or if the crank pulley is slowly grinding away something... maybe part of the block? lol videos below:

















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Old 05-10-2012, 09:15 AM   #15
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Hard to say about the pulleys but it sounds like one of your idlers are self destructing. Judging by the crack in the T-Belt I prolly wouldnt drive it to hard, if at all, until your replace T-belt and pulleys. Pulley may be wobbling into block, as the bearing is wearing out and adding clearance, and grinding itself to death. Either way, you need to replace that belt. If the pully is that bad, you will feel resistance when trying to turn the pulley by hand.

g-luck
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:04 PM   #16
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Thanks. Do you think I should take everything apart FIRST and inspect the components or just buy a full kit and then take it apart to install everything?

Here's some kits from RockAuto:


$20


$120


$150


$240




Thoughts? It's another $60 for FedEx express. Should I just replace the belt?
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:21 PM   #17
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Unless you have info on recent replacement of certain parts, buy the full $240 kit and do everything while you're in there. If those parts aren't bad now, they're good candidates for preventative replacement any way.

You may consider getting the kit from Subaru as well, a local dealer may cut you a break large enough that it's not much more than Rock Auto. That way if you have to take something back, you don't have to ship both ways.

Cracked timing belts and metal filings are scary.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:34 PM   #18
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I would say to at least get the center cover off before ordering parts. Depending on the condition of your water pump you might be able to get away with the $150 kit. If you've been having cooling issues, the water pump might be a good idea anyways, but if it's been running at normal temp, the pump might be okay. Personally i'd get the center cover off and get a good inspection at whats really going on before I started ordering parts. the last thing you want is to spend $150 on parts to find out you need a new motor. But yeah, that belt is fried and you will need a new tensioner. Reusing one that's been on that long is not a good idea.
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:58 PM   #19
pcxrs
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Thanks guys. I'm leaning towards replacing everything. for the extra $100 bucks now, it's probably worth the experience just installing it. Gotta go pick-up a 3/8 drive socket set tonight too and any other tools. Worth using that blue thread lock?
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:04 PM   #20
98OBS rust bucket
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Yeah, thread lock is pretty cheap and can be used for all sorts of stuff.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:27 PM   #21
pcxrs
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Probably will need some kind of rust penetrant just in case.

Any other items I should be changing now or ordering while I got the front area open/apart?
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:22 PM   #22
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haha, just called up Rally Subaru in Edmonton.

$1080 for idler 2, belt, tensioner and labour
plus
$250 + 30min for the waterpump
$70-90 per extra idler needed + labour.

So i'm guessing I'd be spending about 500-600 for the parts I can get for $300 from RockAuto. lol.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:55 PM   #23
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DO NOT I repeat DO NOT get the kit with the red idler pulleys those are cheap pieces of crap..... There is a seller for these timing belt kits over in Yakima WA that has the right pulleys and stuff for what you are looking to do. You want the OEM double sided bearing not the single that comes in the red idler pulleys or the two smooth green idler pulleys. The green toothed pulley is ok though.

Here is the link to the seller on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-1997-1998-...987458&vxp=mtr

As you can see, those two smooth pulleys have the double sided bearing that makes the bearing much more stable and will last longer. This seller also sells a good water pump for about $51 like this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/1990-2006-Su...item5ae5c47f08

Long story short, I had changed the timing belt on my car with the green pulleys and the (2) one sided bearing smooth pulleys leaked some grease. I had to do something with the tensioner on the engine and noticed this. So that is why I am recommending this kit for your car with the better pulleys.

The drivers side cam will move on you when you take the belt off which is fine. Just make sure the notch on the crank sprocket is lined up with the notch on the bottom of the crank sensor bracket before you take the belt off. In reference to you using the blue loctite, I would use a little bit on each of the 4 bolts that hold the 3 pulleys on along with the one for the timing belt tensioner. Once you have everything off, put the left side upper pulley and the tensioner on, then put the belt on making sure to line up the 3 marks, one for the crank sprocket, and the mark on each side for the cam pulleys. The drivers side cam pulley will want to move on you so be patient with it. The passenger side cam pulley will rotate freely some each way so no worry on that one. After you put the tensioner on, do not remove the pin yet that is the last step once the belt is on. When you go to put the toothed pulley on, make sure everything is lined up still while trying to keep the driver's side cam pulley from moving. Once you get that pulley on, the last one is the smooth, left side lower pulley. Put some upwards tension on the belt making sure the driver's side cam pulley doesn't move along with the passenger side cam pulley. Once that is finished torque the 4 bolts down to proper specs which you can find on google and then pull the pin to the tensioner. Then rotate the crank clockwise a few revolutions to make sure everything moves right. There will be some resistance when one side is loaded but that is ok.

The cleaning part. Clean the block off from some of the debris after taking the parts off, by using some brake clean and some paper towels. Let dry and then make sure to clean the inside of the timing belt covers as well before you put them back on

I wasn't sure what you knew, so I hope this helps! If you need to know anything else send me a pm and I'll do the best I can. Btw, I have done 5 complete timing belts jobs now, 2 wrx's and 3 NA's.

Last edited by subi400; 05-10-2012 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:38 PM   #24
pcxrs
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It will definitely be a big help. Honestly, my biggest worry is getting all the little stuff out of the way so I can work on the timing belt/idlers.

I'm not very familiar with how careful I need to be with the rad/cooling hoses and tanks lol. The timing belt stuff seems very straight forward.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:42 PM   #25
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Here's some prices at my local dealer with 15% off already applied

Tensioner (updated) 13033AA042 $ 174.28
Timing Belt 13028AA102 $ 88.36
Idler SCI541006 $ 74.48
Idler 13085AA080 $ 84.24
Tensioner 13069AA037 $ 128.04
Idler 13073AA190 $ 52.85
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