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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, 96 outback 2.5 dohc, just had heads machined, valve job, new subaru mls gaskets, new t belt, all gaskets, seals etc. passenger side head is got a loud valve tick. Not normal sound. Not bottom end, light and tinny sounding. Sounds like back passenger cylinder. Stuck lifter? Car runs decent, no leaks besides water pump(going to fix) jus afraid of running it too much with this noise. Running Dino 10-40 oil. No leaks, just resealed everything. 4 1/2 quarts of oil. I triple checked the timing belt marks, and everything is dead on. Some friend of mine told me I have hydraulic lifters in 1996 model, and that one could be stuck? Should I pour seafoam in the oil? Marvel oil? Pull the camshafts out and free the lifter? Please someone help... I have been fixing this car for months(due to funds) any ideas which is the best approach?
 

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I would start with the cheapest option and use a different weight of oil. If it's more of a distinctive (i.e. not lifter) noise, then I doubt this will cure it. But then again, I can't hear it.
 

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What are the valve lash set to? With those engines, the people who know them like to leave the valve lash a little loose because the valves tend to tighten overtime. This is especially true with the exhaust valves, where burnt valves seem to be a common problem with folks who never get their valves adjusted.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Correct me if I'm wrong but this 1996 model does not have adjustable valves. Hydraulic I believe. Anybody know for sure? Please someone who knows tell me what's going on.
 

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Why such a heavy oil? Car was spec for 5w30.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Does anyone have any experience with this valvetrain? Some good info would be helpful.

And I'm running 10-40 oil, because oil is oil.
 

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What do you want to know?

What did the shop do to the heads?

As I mentioned before it sounds like your valve lash is a little high. Probably not an issue though. I would start by talking to the shop that did the head work.

Short of taking off your valve cover gaskets and measuring your lash there is not anything else you can do to get started if the shop can't tell you anything.
 

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I would change the oil to something lighter.
That would be the easiest, least expensive thing to do, taking little time, compared to even having remove just one valve cover.

Sure, it may do nothing, but then again, it may just solve your problem. How expensive and how much time could it possibly take you?

I'm sure a LOT LESS TIME than doing anything else with the engine, including measuring valve clearances!
 

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And I'm running 10-40 oil, because oil is oil.
...no. No, it is not.

What your are running is much thicker at both start up and operating that what the vehicle is speced for. This may have something to do with the noise, it may not.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The machine shop(which I had given the heads to..) did a valve job, and resurfaced the head( gasket mating surface)

I assembled the engine and re-installed it myself. Being that it is HYDRALIC lifters. It is not adjustable, so it was installed assembled as it was, and all torqued to spec. 1996 only year with HLA.

So what I am asking is that, is the lifters not pumping up with oil due to a bad lifter? Or could it be stuck? Plugged oil passage? It's rather obvious by the volume of the tick, that something's wrong in the valvetrain, not some minuscule oil viscocity issue...
 

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OK, since we cannot go where OIL-VISCOSITY is an issue, let us assume you have a bad lifter.:D

I recommend you remove both heads and install all new lifters to solve the problem.:D:17:
 

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I didn't realize the 96 EJ25 had HLA. Since it does then I would definitely try a lighter oil.

There is an issue where they can get air stuck in them though. There is also a procedure to get the air out but it involves removing the lifter.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok so I will drain and pull valve cover off and timing belt, cams, etc and when im done ill refill with 5-30.and pull the lifters and bleed them in a bucket of oil? Or do I remove the head? Would love to keep the head on just spent 100$ on head gaskets from subaru dealer....
 

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We had a 1972 Oldsmobile 350 V8 I used to race around in. When revving the engine to red line, occasionally, after a race, the car would have a loud valve tap. No matter how you drove, the loud tap was there, very loud.

Someone told me to take the RPMs in Neutral up to about 2 to 3 thousand and hold it there for five or ten seconds, then very slowly, let the RPM's drop back to idle.

In the 20+ times, or so, that it happened with that car, every time I did that engine race then slowly let it drop to idle, the valve tap would go completely away until I revved the engine too hard again the next time I had it out and was racing it.

I believe it had something to do with pumping up the lifters.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
We had a 1972 Oldsmobile 350 V8 I used to race around in. When revving the engine to red line, occasionally, after a race, the car would have a loud valve tap. No matter how you drove, the loud tap was there, very loud.

Someone told me to take the RPMs in Neutral up to about 2 to 3 thousand and hold it there for five or ten seconds, then very slowly, let the RPM's drop back to idle.

In the 20+ times, or so, that it happened with that car, every time I did that engine race then slowly let it drop to idle, the valve tap would go completely away until I revved the engine too hard again the next time I had it out and was racing it.

I believe it had something to do with pumping up the lifters.
I agree in that I think it is a lifter failing to pump up. When I get my new water pump I am going to pull the valve cover and cams and try soaking/filling them with oil
And hope that does it. Before the car blew the head gaskets, it never had any abnormal valve noise, so the lifters should be ok(theoretically)
 

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I think you are right, even though, technically I do not know exactly what is happening with the lifters.

Maybe thinner oil would solve the problem altogether, if it can get into tighter clearances than thicker oil!
 

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I think there could be a couple of issues.

1. From my understanding, air can get into the lifters if there is low oil pressure. Also, low oil pressure can cause them to not be pressurized enough. Might want to check oil pressure before doing anything drastic like taking the cams out.

2. The lifters can get clogged and stuck over time. This is very common. Its possible that one or of yours are clogged and then during reassembly, or at some point, one (or more) of the clogged ones got pushed down a bit (ie some of the gummed up oil got pushed out) but since it is clogged it is not taking fresh oil and is staying in a partially collapsed position.

Did you or the shop inspect the lifters while the heads were off. My understanding is the the 96 lifters do not have a check ball and should bleed and collapse pretty quickly when the motor is not running.

3. You have a lifter with air stuck in it from assembly and it is partially clogged and not bleeding correctly.

If its items 2 or 3, then removing the lifter and thoroughly cleaning it should solve your problem.
 

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96 model year had hydraulic lifters, therefore no adjustment. Could be a leaky lifter not holding pressure. 97-99 had mechanical. What year is your block/heads? Ever been replaced?

If they are mechanical, in order to get proper adjustment, you need a feeler gauge, the timing cover and head covers off and if the lash is out, shims.

Intake .0071-.0086 in.
Exhaust .0098-.0114 in

The lobes should be pointed away from the valve that you are measuring. The shim kit is available from Subaru. No shims = remove cams to adjust.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thank you Glennda5id, that would make the most sense that they Are clogged or full of air, not a big deal to pull the cams for me at this point due to the leaking water pump(I knew better and should have replaced) so I will have the timing covers off and belt off anyway, what's a valve cover 2 cam sprockets and cam caps at that point... I will visually inspect the oiling passages in the head and take a good look at the lifters And post some pics tomorrow when I pull it apart, for now I'm busy at the shop fixing every one else's cars! Lol thanks for the help everyone.
 
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