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Old 12-17-2003, 06:51 PM   #1
Blugin
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Unhappy bad ticking after new STi motor install...Please help!

Well, the shop got the motor running and everything's fine except a bad ticking sound coming from one of the heads... This motor was supposed to be almost brand new too. It's an EJ207 with a turboback and TXS topmount. The tick is rpm dependant. What do you guys think it could be? I hope it's only a stuck lifter from sitting but it could be worse... Any ideas???
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Old 12-17-2003, 06:56 PM   #2
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Timing belt tensioner... They can go bad if not properly compressed by a vertical press. It's a $100 part and I'd have a shop install it if that's the problem. If this was an entire long block install the chances of it being the tensior are less likely.
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Old 12-17-2003, 07:01 PM   #3
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Could be alot of things. Stuck lifter wouldn't be too bad. Any damage to the front cover (whatever its called, I forget, the black plastic guard that covers the timing belt) when you got the motor? Hope its a lifter and it clears itself up...but I dont know how long I'd wait. Scary
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Old 12-17-2003, 07:05 PM   #4
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Yes! there was damage to the front cover... I thought it might be a tensioner, but they seem to think it's a head.
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Old 12-17-2003, 09:08 PM   #5
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In RPM dependant do you mean it goes away or gets stronger at higher RPMS.

The reason I ask is because I had a problem very similar to that at lower RPMs it was loud but as I got on it the sound would go away. Turned out to be cams replaced em and never had another problem!!!
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Old 12-17-2003, 09:45 PM   #6
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Who did the work for you .. was it Wasabi? I know someone up there was getting a swap done.

How much did this run you btw?

Chris
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Old 12-17-2003, 10:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blugin
Yes! there was damage to the front cover... I thought it might be a tensioner, but they seem to think it's a head.
Ok that narrows it down to anything that the timing belt touches basically. Not much help but the damage to the cover (whatever is behind the cover at the busted spot) is probably whats causing the ticking. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious but thats why I asked if the cover was ok
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Old 12-17-2003, 11:25 PM   #8
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well... the cover has 2 small holes cracked in it over the pulleys. It's not collapsed or touching anything, they pulled it off before the motor was dropped in and checked. It's a metallic tap- like a rocker arm that stays the same volume throughout the revs- just gets faster or slower depending on rpm.

Yes- I'm the one at Wasabi. Cost?

1 Arm
+
1 Leg
+
Tax


I could buy another STi motor with the money its costing.
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Old 12-18-2003, 09:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Blugin
well... the cover has 2 small holes cracked in it over the pulleys. It's not collapsed or touching anything, they pulled it off before the motor was dropped in and checked. It's a metallic tap- like a rocker arm that stays the same volume throughout the revs- just gets faster or slower depending on rpm.

Yes- I'm the one at Wasabi. Cost?

1 Arm
+
1 Leg
+
Tax


I could buy another STi motor with the money its costing.
It sounds to me like you might have gotten on of the Frontal Impact Crash Test Motors. THey are commonly sent over from Japan for sale in the US. It is possible one of the cam gears are damaged. Have you taken the cover off anf run the motor with it off? (don't rev it with the cover off). It could be a vlave lash issue. Or it could be a stuck lifter. I have also seen it where the cam has shifted in the Bearing caps. Causing the Lash Adjustment to be off. That was also the case in a Fontal Impact motor.

BTW. There are not rocker arms in our motors. It is a solid lifter design.

Last edited by cjm04WRX; 12-18-2003 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 12-18-2003, 12:28 PM   #10
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AFAIK, it is a frontal impact motor. They took the cam cover off and there is no apparent damage to the gears. If the cam shifted in the bearing cap, wouldnt that affect the entire valvetrain for that head? There is just 1 unique tapping sound. They are doing a compression and leakdown this moment. After that's done, they will pull the valvecover. How difficult is it to free a stuck lifter? That's what it sounds like to me. We have a 93 L and it made a similar tapping sound from a rocker arm.
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Old 12-18-2003, 07:13 PM   #11
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I had a ticking sound comming from near my uppipe area, and many heard it and thought it might have been some valvetrain part. It turned out that the rear passengerside ignition COIL was loose, causing the voltage to spark or something....anyhow i tightened it down and the ticking went away. See if that might be the problem...

Jeff
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Old 12-18-2003, 07:41 PM   #12
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Ok, The wrx heads don't have lifters.
Are you absolutely positive that it is coming from A head and not a piston? A compression/leakdown test could help to locate the problem. Which side is it coming from?

Did the shop provide the engine? I would take it back and have them remove/fix it. It sounds like you paid enough for it, there is no reason you should have to live with that. If you agreed that it was an "as is" install then we'll keep plugging away at it for ya and hopefully get it figured out.
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Old 12-18-2003, 11:42 PM   #13
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OK! Good news and bad news....

Good News: The ticking has gone now that the car has been fully warmed up. Leakdown was 0%.

Bad News: compression is 95psi on all cylinders, the car runs like crap and throws 7 codes.

The only thing I can think of is that the timing belt skiped a tooth. it is firing out of the exhaust valves which would tell me that the cam timing is off. Maybe the belt broke and they might have replaced it in Japan improperly or something. It throws several cam timing codes though and the car runs but it sounds like a helicopter and has no power. I've taken the car to FIS (drove it 30miles actually ) and it awaits their expertise.

I cant think it would've had a bent valve just because the motor was stock and has almost no miles on it- if the timing belt broke it wouldve bent at least 4 or more valves and I wouldnt be able to drive it.

What do you guys think?

edit: On the bright side- I LOVE the 6-speed!
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Old 12-19-2003, 02:18 AM   #14
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Ya, sounds good. Get a new belt on it correctly and fire it up.
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Old 12-19-2003, 05:48 PM   #15
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Well, the timing belt is on correctly... It still runs poorly. They are gonna redo the compression test.
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Old 12-20-2003, 11:25 AM   #16
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anybody.... anybody.... Buller....?


The car is wired up correctly, the timing belt appears to be on right. It makes no wierd noises anymore. It has no short term fueling and wont run in closed loop. It also idles at 1500rpm.
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Old 12-20-2003, 03:00 PM   #17
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That sucks.. Wasabi wouldnt or couldnt fix it for you? I want to do this swap sooo bad too.

Chris
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Old 12-20-2003, 04:01 PM   #18
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Won't run in closed loop and idles at 1500 RPM... plus big time bad cam codes, I'd really check the cam sensor itself. A couple of the frontal impact V7 STi engines the pdxwrx group up here have installed have had broken off cam sensors... its possible yours isn't busted off but maybe misaligned a bit, or perhaps interally has some "issues".
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Old 12-20-2003, 06:31 PM   #19
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Well I made the mistake of letting my sister borrow my car. She rearended someone. The impact was to the hood, grill, headlights and not the bumper. Everything got pushed back into the belts. The radiator hose was torn up, the coolant overflow tank was ruined and the timing belt cover was in bits.

After I fired it up it had a horrible knocking/taping noise. It also had a high idle. I did a compression test and got 130 psi (138-166psi is spec). I was freaking out. I was about to kill my sister.

I tore the timing belt cover off and found that bits were interfearing with the gears creating the tapping/knock. As soon as the cover was off the noise stopped.

The high idle was a vaccum leak. I found it in two seconds. It was the hose between the BOV and boost guage. I have no idea how it was ruined.

The low compression was actually a bad compression gauge. I had the same compression on all cylinders and checked the cam gears and the belt hadn't moved. There was only damage to the left cover and the right cylinders had the same compression. If the valves were bent there wouldn't be any compression at all.

I hope everything works out for you.

Pete
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Old 12-20-2003, 07:08 PM   #20
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Did you redo the compression test with the new belt installed properly?

If so what were the #'s?

Did you use a Subaru belt and installation procedure?

What are the 7 codes the ECU shows?

Considering it's a shimless bucket set up in the head, you can pretty much rule out valve lash.

As for shifting the cam in the journals because of a frontal impact, you would almost have to crush the entire cam gear assembly to get that kind of movement.

I would pull the front timing covers and inspect every idler pulley (spin them freely and listen for noise), Check for debris (including behind the cam gears), inspect the rear covers for damage.

If everything there checks out, then consider pulling the valve cover to look internally.

On a side note have you inspected the AVCS solinoid for damage?

-Dylan
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Old 12-21-2003, 11:58 AM   #21
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Well, as I posted above, the tapping noise has gone away- because the motor was fully warmed up. The reason I took it from Wasabi is because they seemed to have no clue how to diagnose anything and I had already spent waaay too much money with them. The timing marks appear to be lined up and there is no damage to the cam gears or idlers. FIS is going to try to systematically get rid of every code and go from there. The compression was consistant which makes me think it's a bad gauge or something. Also, the car dosent drive like it has low compression and the 0% leakdown would indicate that the engine is perfect. I'll have them test for vacuum leaks- that's a good point.
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Old 12-21-2003, 12:55 PM   #22
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Why would they use such a bad-ass engine in a crash test!?! I guess they cant substitue anything?

Downshift: Which timing belt do you reccomend? regular subaru, STI, or PE?
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Old 12-22-2003, 12:45 PM   #23
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Bump for more ideas!
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Old 12-22-2003, 12:53 PM   #24
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How fast does the car turn over? Does it fire right up, or do you have to crank on it a bit before it fires?

The reason I ask is that the car WILL start with the cam sensor being bad or even unplugged, but it does take a few cranks to get it to turn over. I still think you have a damaged cam sensor...
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Old 12-23-2003, 04:54 PM   #25
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The shop I took it to after the origional one couldnt cut it found that it was a bad IAC valve and they ordered a new one. They swapped it with another one and it ran flawlessly! So they will wire up the AVCS and pop in the IAC and it will be ready! They also found that the old shop didnt install my rear axles correctly and they are going to fix that...

No idea why the other shop said the cam timing was all messed up. And I bet they had a bad compression gauge too... The car runs too good for bad compression..
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