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Old 01-03-2013, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Lifter Ticking...Why?

Hi again, Ok, this time we are working on a 1996 Phase 1 engine with lifters in the heads. We redid the heads but used the original lifters. Put the engine back together and the driver side head is ticking. Ran the car for 20 minutes...still ticking. The passenger side is quite and running great. What did we do wrong? Any suggestions on how to fix the ticking (besides putting in new lifters )? Thanks!
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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did the engine tick before you did the job?
it's not piston slap is it?
did you install all the lifters in the same location? (although this shouldn't matter, i've done it countless times with no ill effect)

I would run it a little bit more, when the engine has been apart the lifters can take awhile to fully pump up and prime.

baring that i would try some oil changes and maybe even some additives like MMO or seafoam in the oil.

on older EA engines with HLA's that were prone to ticking, if it can be pointed down to one HLA sticking (rather than all of them being noisy due to oil supply) - it was fairly common to run a quart or two of ATF in place of oil to help clean them out. not saying i recommend it but i would entertain that verses pulling the engine back apart if it came to it. hopefully the first few suggestions take care of it for you.

on older 1980s' HLA equipped engines like this the ticking, while annoying, doesn't matter and the car can be driven 100,000 miles like that. so you got time and I don't believe...although i have every limited experience with EJ ticking valves since it doesn't happen much (older EA engines are *very* prone to this)...it is an emergency by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What he said........Plus, it is amazing how much an exhaust header leak can sound like a ticking lifter. DAMHIK.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks, guys! Only the driver side head was ticking (loudly) and we let the car run for close to an hour (we were working on something else) and when I checked on the car the ticking was gone! I then took the car out for a ride into town and on the freeway and it ran great. Only had this funky "thwaping" sound occasionally coming from the back of the car which I'm guessing is a heat shield that didn't get tightened down. I appreciate all the responses.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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great, glad that's what it was, simple! they're like that sometimes. i've tried priming them per Subaru FSM methods and that doesn't help so i don't bother any more, just run them, they end up sideways while you assemble the engine. change the oil often to keep them high mileage happy, they are far more susceptible to dirty oil than the newer screw adjuster style valve adjustments. but at least HLA's never need adjusted, that's a good thing.
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