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Discussion Starter #1
So, this is my second Subaru (my first one was an '89 GL Turbo- absolutely loved that thing-- ran it into the ground at 297k) and i'm very happily surprised at how much has advanced since my first one. I love it, and have already put almost 2,000 miles on it in the 13 days i've owned it. Just got back from a week-long camping trip which was its maiden voyage. It got 33MPG on the freeway, and about 19 in the hills (serious 4x4 trails, mud, rocks, trenches, slides, etc). The car has 134k on it, and the engine is very clean (or at least was until I took it camping ;) ) but it does seem to have a little noise from the valves.

I know some valve noise is totally normal with the boxer engine; they just sound that way. I don't really mind it, as I've had many small 4 cylinder diesel cars and love the sewing machine noise. However, under decent acceleration I seem to hear some loud "clattering" that sounds exactly like pinging. I've read a few posts on this forum and others where people claim that the engine should not ping because of various computer parts to prevent it, and if it does I would get a CEL. Is this correct? Do I need to stop driving my car til I figure this noise out? I drive alot and love the little thing, just scares me to hear that clattering under decent acceleration. Up in the hills it definitely did it more than down here at sea level, but I can get it to do it pretty much anytime as long as I give it more than about 60% throttle.

Any and all help/questions/hints/jokes would be apreciated! Thank you in advance to anyone who offers help.

Thanks for reading!
-Tom :D

EDIT: I changed the spark plugs and the oil/filter/fuel filter/air filter when I first got it, before my camping trip last week. I neglected to do the wires, but maybe that will help? Low on $$ at the moment, so would love to keep diagnostics cheap and easy lol!
 

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Pinging is generally a sign of detonation. When you get it on acceleration, it indicates lack of fuel or timing is not retarding properly. It could also be octane related. Since you have replaced the fuel filter, try running the fuel out you have now and fill it with a major oil company premium unleaded and see what happens.

You may also have varnish build up on the fuel injector nozzle that is hampering proper fuel delivery. Try a full can of Sea Foam with a fill up in the gas tank to dissolve any deposits in the fuel system. It will start to change after half a tank is run through.

If neither of the above do the trick, you may need to look into the various sensor outputs to the ECM.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the reply! When you say "major oil company" who should I be going to for fuel? Is Safeway brand fuel okay? Gas prices here where I live are dumb right now, $4/gal avg :mad:. I love Seafoam, would it be okay to do the induction method into the throttle body or is it preferred to do it in the gas tank? I have a Scangauge II in her right now, shows no codes stored. Are there any programs I can install on my Windows laptop that will allow me to connect to my OBDII port via the ethernet->OBDII cable that came with my Scangauge? Thanks again! I know I ask way too many questions but I have nobody else to ask so I empty them all out when I can!

-Tom
 

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For the bay area, look for Exxon, Shell, 76, Sunoco... there are others but that should get you started.

I would specifically avoid any grocery-store branded fuel stations to comply with Cardoc's suggestion.

You can try FreeSSM to monitor your car's ECU with the computer. I don't have a scangauge so I can't tell you if it is compatible with that cable, but there certainly are cables that will work. Not sure about 2001 but for some years you can get direct monitoring of the air/fuel ratios and knock sensors. You can't record results in FreeSSM, so you'll want to have someone else drive while you monitor the readout on your computer.
 

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If you haven't already done so I would check the plug wires as well, one may not be on all the way. I always replace the plug wires when doing a tune up on Subaru's that don't have direct coil on plug. I know they don't always need to be replaced but it just seems that when I don't replace them that is the time I break one of the wires internally. You can't tell when that happens but it has the exact symptoms you are describing. Make sure you put some dielectric grease in the contact points as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Interesting you say that about the plug wires, now that I think about it i didn't start hearing the clattering til AFTER I did my tune-up. If seafoam and a nice big tank of premium from 76 doesn't fix it, those wires will be next. I'll keep y'all updated! Thank all you for the thoughts!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I know its been a while, but ive been busy! I have put close to 10k miles on the Subaru since I bough it mid november, and the pinging noise has not stopped. I have been running nothing but 91 from shell or 76 since I was instructed to do so previously in this thread, and although it does seem a bit more lively, the sound does not change much.

Today I changed the spark plug wires and put in some "import direct" OE replacement wires from Kragen. I had the dome lights off and the battery came out for the job so I could more easily access the plugs, and from what I've read it should have cleared my ECM? After the job was done, I hooked the battery back up and when I first drove, the noise was jon existant. I drove it to the gas station to fill up, and just because i always want to make sure, I see ecided to do as I had read on other sites that I could creset my ECM by connecting two green and black connectors under the dash. I dir as ibsteuctedx and got the engine light to blink. Drove it for a second, then stopped and unplugged them. After that, the noise seemed to come back; possibly even worse.

Anyone have any ideas? I have driven it since then, and it seems the noise might have gotten a little quieter but It's definitely still there. It sounds like a diesel that is starved for fuel, very "clattery". Only under acceleration and during certain RPM areas though...

Help!!
 

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have you tried listening to what part of the engine it's happening at? rev the engine while standing there with the hood open? use a stethoscope if you have one, mechanics stethoscopes can be had for like $10 from harborfreight.

check the engine block, fuel injectors valve train, timing covers, rear of the engine, etc.

I would listen for noise at the front drivers side of the engine - right behind the plastic timing belt cover under the A/C compressor.

the tensioners can fail and slap around, making what is usually called a "knocking" sound so it doesn't sound immediately the same but those words aren't technical. they can only make noise under load sometimes. with the timing belt cover removed you can see the tensioner bouncing around, but you won't be able to see the tensioner/belt with the cover in place.
 

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I know its been a while, but ive been busy! I have put close to 10k miles on the Subaru since I bough it mid november, and the pinging noise has not stopped. I have been running nothing but 91 from shell or 76 since I was instructed to do so previously in this thread, and although it does seem a bit more lively, the sound does not change much.

Today I changed the spark plug wires and put in some "import direct" OE replacement wires from Kragen. I had the dome lights off and the battery came out for the job so I could more easily access the plugs, and from what I've read it should have cleared my ECM? After the job was done, I hooked the battery back up and when I first drove, the noise was jon existant. I drove it to the gas station to fill up, and just because i always want to make sure, I see ecided to do as I had read on other sites that I could creset my ECM by connecting two green and black connectors under the dash. I dir as ibsteuctedx and got the engine light to blink. Drove it for a second, then stopped and unplugged them. After that, the noise seemed to come back; possibly even worse.

Anyone have any ideas? I have driven it since then, and it seems the noise might have gotten a little quieter but It's definitely still there. It sounds like a diesel that is starved for fuel, very "clattery". Only under acceleration and during certain RPM areas though...

Help!!
Can you record the noise and post it? It would help.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
have you tried listening to what part of the engine it's happening at? rev the engine while standing there with the hood open? use a stethoscope if you have one, mechanics stethoscopes can be had for like $10 from harborfreight. (moved from lower down in post to here) I would listen for noise at the front drivers side of the engine - right behind the plastic timing belt cover under the A/C compressor. the tensioners can fail and slap around, making what is usually called a "knocking" sound so it doesn't sound immediately the same but those words aren't technical. they can only make noise under load sometimes. with the timing belt cover removed you can see the tensioner bouncing around, but you won't be able to see the tensioner/belt with the cover in place.
The noise seems to be coming from the driver's side of the engine, and only presents itself when under decent load (>50% throttle) AND between ~2,200 and 2,600 RPM. I have tried reving the engine by hand with the hood open and it does not happen when in neutral or with no load on the engine. What should I look for on the tensioner as far is wear is concerned?

check the engine block, fuel injectors valve train, timing covers, rear of the engine, etc.
Visually, everything appears in very good shape and is pretty clean for 140k. Small leak from the oil pan gasket, but that's easy to fix. So small right now that it doesn't appear wet and my oil level doesn't drop at all between changes, might wait a bit on it.

Can you record the noise and post it? It would help.
I'm afraid that at the moment all I have to record the noise would be my cell phone or my Canon T2i, neither of which have great audio that would be able to capture the noise over wind and engine noise :(. My brother and I do have a production company though, and when he's back from the Sundance Film Fesitval tomorrow or Tuesday I could possibly use his digital audio recorder taped to the inside of the engine bay with a wind sock and filter on it and try and get you some noise samples.

Thank you all for your feedback, very much appreciated :):):D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am not sure I am getting proper fuel flow at all. Is that something I can easily measure?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Looked back at the first page- again, it's been awhile. If I can't find someone within driving distance with the right cable and software to read some data from my car's computer i'll buy the Tactrix Openport. What values or sensors would I be looking for readouts on?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
From the NASIOC website I found this relating to my ScanGauge II:

SCANGAUGE ii - XGAUGE codes for Subaru Vehicles
====GAUGE============TXD=======RXF=====RXD======MA TH====NAME===UNITS=====
1. HorsePower - 00 - 400080000000 - 0000 – 000A00170000 - HPR - HP
2. TurboBoost in PSI - 686AF1010B - 0441850B0000 - 2808 - 00910064FF71 – BST - psi
3. TurboBoost in BAR - 686AF1010B - 0441850B0000 - 2808 - 000A0064FFF6 – BAR - bar
4. Manifold Air Flow g/s - 686AF10110 - 044145100000 - 2810 – 000100010000 – MAF - g/s
5. Open/Closed Loop - 686AF10103 - 044105038000 - 2808 - 000100010000 – OCL – hex*
*1:= Open, not yet warm 2:= Closed, normal 4:= Open, due to high load 8:= Open, system failure 10:= Closed, but something's wrong
6. Short Term Fuel Trim - C233F10106 - 04410506 - 2808 - 00C80100FF9C - SF1 - +/-0-99
7. Long Term Fuel Trim - C233F10107 - 04410507 - 2808 - 00C80100FF9C - LF1 - +/-0-99
8. 02 Sensor values - C233F10115 - 04410515 - 2808 - 000100020000 - O21 - 0to99
9. Air To Fuel Ratio 1 - C233F10124 - 04410524 - 2808 - 05B900800000 – AF1 - Ratio
10. Air To Fuel Ratio 2 - C233F10134 - 04410534 - 2808 - 05B900800000 – AF2 - Ratio
11. Lamda 1 - C233F10124 - 04410524 - 2808 - 006400800000 – LA1 – 0.8 – 1.2
12. Lamda 2 - C233F10134 - 04410534 - 2808 - 006400800000 – LA2 – 0.8 –1.2
13. Coolant Temp - 686AF10105 - 03104410505 - 2808 – 00090005FFD8 – FWT – oF


Fuel trim or air to fuel ratio? Which one would help more to figure out if i'm getting enough fuel?
 

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LTFT in the positive means the computer is trying to add fuel which means a lack of fuel delivery or there's a vacuum leak.

LTFT in the negative means the computer is reducing fuel because the engine is running rich due to bad plugs, wires or clogged injector that is streaming the fuel instead of spraying it.

Any LTFT value over 2.5 should be addressed. Especially on an H6 where the fuel trim values are spread out between the two sides.

In a H4 you only have one value for both banks so if the trim is pos, check the fuel delivery first then vacuum. On Turbos, you also have to check for any leaks in the intake system from the MAF to the throttle.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So after programming the LTFT gauge in, it did not work :-(. The values were for a forester, I was unable to find ones for the Outback. I see my IGN (Ingition Timing) going as high as 40 and staying there when I have my foot in it; is that normal? At idle it's around 15, casual driving it is between 20 and 30. Between the same RPM that I can hear the clatter (2300-2800), my engine feels like it's vibrating a bit more than at other RPMs. Can feel it shaking side to side. Normal?

Thanks!
 

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The timing will be anywhere from 10' to 60' depending on the engine load calculated by the ECM and signals from the knock sensor.

Looking back over the thread and course of events, just for giggles unhook the battery for a minute or so and hook it back up and see what happens. Leave the test plugs alone this time. The green ones.
 
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