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Old 08-11-2003, 09:09 PM   #1
fr0st
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Exclamation EJ25 piston slap....how irresponsable can ya get ?

hi people,


i'm not here to blow off some steam about this very common problem on the 2.5L subaru boxer engine.

i bought a 2002 impreza TS with 22000 km in spring 2002. I never heard before of the dreaded piston slap / knocking before. knowing very well ( to my experience) that after owning 2 GL-10 before fuji heavy industries engines were indestructible..and of course the beauty of AWD

but then came winter 2002 and it started.. after owning 15 cars from all manufactures i KNOW what was valves clicking, piston knocking and a loose crank is ( obviously not all my cars were bought new) i heard that sound and took it to the dealer ( the only one in the region and which also sales benz's and volvo's..wich is too much)
the dealer's diagnostics , before checking it out was ( must be a timming belt binder ( wich i knew was impossible).. and it turn out right , piston number 3 was dancing in the combustion chamber. now me, knowing above normal how an engine works and what "can" cure that, asked them and even called subaru canada to my expense since they even have a 1-800 number! to get told that it's a caracteristic on boxer engines...yeah right... i asked them how come a 40 K $ WRX doesnt have that piston slap..they said " the cranck and piston are made more solid to take more abuse since it's turbocharged and has a somewhat 60 hp more. Real nice for an answer and it just proves my theory even more. i had to battle with the dealer ( who is incompetent to a level unheard of they drop the dashboard on the floor trying to fix the A/C and to fix it so we would not noticed they put in a dash from a another used car they had for sale..nice ) and SOC to try to get it fix wich they would not...after a few months i went back and they told me SOC( subaru of canada) "admits" having a misconception problem with 2 of the 3 compagnies that make EJ25's. ( yes there are 3.. fuji is one and the others are something like hayabasuya ect, ect.) one of those 3 has no problem at all the others have it and they are looking for a cure... i'm thinking " hmh.. a new engine..cool"

but.. i went back today ( august 11 2003) and i was chosen to be one of the 10 who has piston slap EVEN when the engine is hot they found a solution and we are the beta testers...
there solution? no, i'ts not a new engine. they found that piston 3 and 4 and most probable cause of piston slap son they will " replace piston 3 and 4 ONLY"...ONLY! this means i will have a now 41000 km car with 2 brand new piston with an uneven compression from one side to the other...this has to be the lamess thing i ever saw from a world wide well reputated car constructer... come on ..i seen dodge neon having piston slap and getting a brand new engine...how low can ya get ??


Fr0sT
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Old 08-12-2003, 02:01 PM   #2
MY99 2.5GT
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Ever seen Dodge's sales figures for the Neon?
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Old 08-12-2003, 02:25 PM   #3
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There should be nothing wrong with rebuilding the engine. If you'd like, do a compression test before and after and compare them. More then likely, you'll see that they're very nearly identical. Replacing the slugs doesn't mean a hell of a lot, nor does replacing those rings.

And BTW, a timing belt tensioner does sound just like piston slap... I had mine go years ago and they waranteed it.
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Old 08-13-2003, 04:00 AM   #4
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8 complex is correct regarding the T-belt tensioner. I've got a well-tuned ear when it comes to engine internal noises and on my 99 2.2L (27K miles) I would have gone to the bank with my belief that the piston(s) was/were slapping in #1 and/or #3 cylinder on cold and near cold startup. Turns out it was the T-belt tensioner. Replaced under warranty and sound g-o-n-e! Car #2, 98 2.5L (28K miles with Phase I engine which has a low piston skirt/documented piston slap noise) and thought for sure this time that it was the piston slapping. Again, turned out to be a T-belt tensioner, again replaced under warranty and again, sound g-o-n-e!

Before I'd let them crack my engine open and "repair" your pistons, I'd at least get them to check the T-belt tensioner. They apparently have a higher than normal incidence of "failure"/replacement so I'd check that out.

Keep us appraised on your course of action, solution and outcome.

Br, Dale
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Old 08-13-2003, 09:27 AM   #5
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I agree with Subietonic and 8complex. The pistons have been redesigned with longer skirts to get rid of this issue a long time ago. I'd look at the tensioner just to be certain and potentially keep you from having to have the block cracked open.

Jay Storm
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Old 08-13-2003, 04:16 PM   #6
fr0st
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no no no no...i know what a piston slap is.. and its louder under load..anyway the diagnostic by the dealer has been done...it's NOT the belt tensioner...it's piston #3...that is official...in the begining it was louder only when cold.. now we can still hear it when the engin is warmed up...it is so loud that some people i know,who dont know anything about car engines nor cars in any way, thought the engine was diesel...does that give you a good idea?

and another thing i asked the dealer if the ""new pistons" had longer skirts and he tole me no...frankly i'm thinking there putting in slightly oversized pistons.....but the reason they put ONLY 2 and not four must be for the cost...since the pistons dont have the same weight ( if there are oversized..maybe) and the compression will be diffrent...that i cannot believe that a dealer would do such a thing...

as four the neon engine thing, yes there are many of them on the raod.. and i also know that subaru is supposed to be better than a neon.a lot more than subaru's..but that d'oesn't justify it.. i gotta a friend who works in a chrysler dealer and h'e's a class "A" and e too, thinks you "should not" put only 2 piston.. at the least you should do all four.

but subaru will have ALOT of those to change i believe that opening ONLY one head and "patching" the problem will solve it temporaly..but dont think other subaru car owner i know are happy about it.. they know and understand whats going on..and in a region with 300 000 of pop. with only ONe dealer.. news goes fast...and there starting to get a bad name here.

as what you mean for the pistons have been installed with longer skirts well here it seems that the problem wasn't fixed... subaru said it was because of the cold climat that piston slaps here.. yeah right i got and old corolla for a second car and you don't hear nothing at -40 celsius without and any bloc heater..not even a valve and the car has 200 000 km on it

the dealer said that SOC admits now to have a problem and Is looking for a solution...i wqas another news group this spring and saw that some dealers in the USA installed piston with longer skirts and that would cure it.. but my dealer ( wich i think is as incompetent as you can get ) told me that that didn't work..anyway, it's a messed up, complicated story and all i know is what my dealer tells me and what i know mecanically..and i ain't stupid...if I was to rebuilt this engine ( and i did it before) i would not put 2 pistons on it if one would knock...i would do all four... wouldn't you ??





frost

Last edited by fr0st; 08-13-2003 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 08-13-2003, 04:56 PM   #7
Subietonic
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Yep!
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Old 10-16-2003, 11:31 AM   #8
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There are a bunch of us out here with this slap - I have had the t-belt tensioner replaced to no help.

Anyone have comments on longevity of a slapper?
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