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1996 Subaru Legacy Outback 2.2l Manual
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Just purchased a 1996 OB with an EJ22 Engine and Manual transmission. From a little bit of digging I have gathered that the 1996 and older EJ22 engines have hydraulic valve lifters that do not require adjustment and would thus be very unlikely to make a ticking noise. That leads me to believe that my oil pump may be failing, because I've heard it can have a distinct ticking sound when nearing failure. Sound is most noticeable at idle, seems to come and go at random intervals. Ticking sound may be present while driving in gear, although that is harder to hear definitively. Anyone know if that is an indication of oil pump malfunction?
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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18,665 Posts
is the sound repetitive with engine rpm when you hear it? heat shields can buzz or rattle.

sometimes timing belt tensioners can make or cause a noise to be made.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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27,123 Posts
does it make the sound while parked? does it make more or less sound after the engine heats?

if so you maybe able to use a cheapo mechanic's stethoscope (or have a mechanic use one), to try to locate the sound.

a 96 EJ22 does make a whole lot of clicking though.


_______

presently in my own 2002 EJ251 I am getting an occasional classic air cooled VW beetle clicking sound while driving down the road,
and I am unsure of what that is.
(I did search a bit here though) :8:
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,385 Posts
subaru oil pumps don't really fail, where did you hear that? i'd like to see a link to the person/thread/information that says that.

ideally you give us a better description - does it change based on temps, first start up, driving, RPM, coasting, reving in neutral, driving, steering, speed, right side, left side, center of engine, front or rear of engine....is it ticking like a stick in bicycle spokes or more random like something moving/vibrating or knocking rap rap rap or like marbles in a can or some whirring sounds too...

ticking could be many things particularly on an unknown 20+ year old engine you just bought.

any number of bearings can tick - alternator, A/C, srpentine tensioner, and timing pulleys.
use a mechanics stethoscope to rule those out.

piston slap - classically they are loud at start up and diminish as they warm up. ignore it, you're not fixing it without splitting the block and replacing or knurling pistons.

HLA's can make noises. change the oil frequently - these are less forgiving of poor oil maintenance.

heat shields

transmission input shaft bearing - does the sound change with clutch pedal use/engagement/disengagement?
 

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'98 Outback
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254 Posts
If it turns out to be valve train noise, I agree the HLAs can cause noise. I've heard they can collapse under low oil pressure. I've solved that in other cars by high engine revs in neutral, over 3000 rpm, for a minute or so.

IDK if this is a known Subaru problem, and it's never happened in any of mine.
 

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I got the 2.2l in a 1998 and have a ticking noise for the past 100,000 miles. i was told it is piston slapping and common. No effect on engine as it is at 233,000 miles and still going. But your ticking noise may be something different. Good luck.
 
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