Lifter ticking 1998 forester - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 01:10 AM Thread Starter
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Lifter ticking 1998 forester

Lifter gets quieter but never goes away when warmed up. Using 5-30 quaker state
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Any ideas why this is happening
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-29-2012, 11:23 PM
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Lots of the 2.5 engines have either a bit of piston slap or some ticking. I've had a 1996 DOHC and my 2003 SOHC both have a bit of slap. The 2006 XT my folks have is quiet though. I've found oils with a decent dose of Moly in them (currently conventional Pennzoil has a lot and conventional Quaker State has about half the Pennzoil amount) made a difference. Your engine may vary.

Some folks have had success adding a little MMO to their oil, but that will only help if it is ticking due to sticking a bit.

How many miles on your 98? Service history?

2003 Outback 2.5 AWP.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 07:27 AM
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Im in this boat as well. My EJ has ticked from the day I bought it. I was always under the impression that it is really nothing to worry about. Ive read through a countless number of posts discussing it, and it is the general consensus that its pretty normal. Many people, myself included, have had ticks for close to 100k and have seen no ill effects. Ive tried MMO, Lucas, Seafoam in crank, seafoam in brake booster, and a seafoam cylinder soak, with no real improvment. Ive read about some people seeing improvement using a full synthetic 5w30 diesel oil, and some improvment using a heavier weight oil. The diesel oil is heavy on additives, and aids in the internal cleaning of parts. I assume the heavier oil just masks the sound. l I plan on adjusting my valves this spring to see if that helps.

I switched to Synthetic Rotella 5w30 in all my JDM cars following the advice I received on a different forum for different cars. Ive noticed a sleight decrease in valve noise in my subaru, and a HUGE improvment in my 2nd gen Troopers MPG and oil consumption.

Good luck to ya,

-Kaya
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2012, 07:35 AM
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The tick...

Both Subaru's here tick. I have a Miata that ticks as well, it actually has the "normal for a Mazda pressure bleed"...

MMO or Lucas Oil(I'm from Indiana and the Colts play at Lucas Oil Stadium...so hey...) seem to help all three cars...but the tick never goes away.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 04:30 AM
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Valve adjustment?

I hear many Foresters drive by with ticking from the valve adjustment (or lack of adjustment). Valves (without hydraulic lifters) are supposed to be adjusted at the same interval as timing belt replacement, 105k miles.

Click on the SOA link on this link Subaru Maintenance Schedule (US) and choose your model year (MY).

DOHC's are a bit harder/more expensive to adjust.

FYI - My son and I fixed a P0420 (Cat Efficiency), on my daughter-in-laws 2001 Forester, by adjusting the valves.

Rear disc brakes.
245,563 miles (395,195 km)

Last edited by bendorfold; 03-04-2012 at 04:32 AM. Reason: additional info
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 02:15 PM
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For later EJ253 SOHC owners, that engine doesnt have ANY lifters at all - hydraulic or solid. They have roller cam followers and a version of VTEC. Any loud VT noise when warm (independant of load) would be excessive valve lash or injectors. The rockers have a jam nut adjuster, IIRC. Be carefull as too tight is MUCH worse than a bit loose.
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'12 Honda FIT Sport 5M; '11 Forester X 5M;

Last edited by AlleyCat; 03-04-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-04-2012, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyCat View Post
For later EJ253 SOHC owners, that engine doesnt have ANY lifters at all - hydraulic or solid. They have roller cam followers and a version of VTEC. Any loud VT noise when warm (independant of load) would be excessive valve lash or injectors. The rockers have a jam nut adjuster, IIRC. Be carefull as too tight is MUCH worse than a bit loose.
Correct on the lack of lifters... the cam(s) operate directly on the rocker arms. They do not have lifters as typically experienced in American cam-in-block engines. I would not mess at all with valve lash unless you are previously experienced, and regardless, it's likely not the source of your noise anyways.

As mentioned, piston slap is most likely the cause, and is of no real concern anyways, partly because unless you're going to tear the engine down and put new pistons in after measuring tolerances, it will never get quieter.

But that's a dubious point anyways, as many Subarus have gone hundreds of thousands of miles without incident... people get to tolerating the noise when they see it's not negatively affecting reliability. FWIW, the Chevy LS engines are notorious for piston slap as well, and they are considered bulletproof. I have an '09 Pontiac G8 GT, and even at 9k miles, when it is less than 30*F and the engine is cold, the piston slap is so loud you'd swear there's an elf in there with a small ballpeen hammer! Never used any oil, never had any problems.

Enjoy your car... it will give you a louder noise than a little tick or ting when it's unhappy with something :) LOL
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  Subaru Forester Owners Forum > Technical Forums and Vehicle Assistance > Engine and Exhaust > EJ25 - 2.5L Non-Turbo (1998-2010)

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