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Old 11-19-2012, 08:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Is my engine shot? loud knocking sound... video inside

I picked up a 99 forester about 3 months ago from a friend for cheap. I fixed a few things (brakes, wheel bearing, o2 sensor) and have been driving it for about 2 months now and it now has about 200K miles on it. All of a sudden on my way home from work i heard a a loud ticking/knocking sound. Is the engine done? Is it worth swapping with a used one or just salvage the car?

1999 Subaru Forester Engine Knock - YouTube
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No codes?
Any better idea where the noise is coming from? Sounded like middle front(?)
Does the noise increase if RPMs increase?


I had a power steering bolt back out on me shortly after I bought my SF, it was connecting with the pulley and making a terrible ticking noise. It could be something as simple as that or a bad pulley/tensioner. At 200k, it is time for the timing belt maintenance again.
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Old 11-19-2012, 04:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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difficult to tell, but does sorta sound like a messed up roller/tensioner for the timing belt from the doppler effect in the video.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Pull the Acc belts and see if it still does it... with them out of the way, try and localize..

IF it's timing belt, it's not that bad, unless it pops, then it's rather bad.. You can also pull the acess cover and see if the Tbelt is acting funny in corrilation with the noise maybe...
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Old 11-19-2012, 10:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Seems to run fine except for the noise.

If I didn't hear the noise I would say the engine is running good. There isn't any shaking or rocking and the engine idles well. No smoke. Like others have said check the visible moving parts. If you cannot find any thing externally your next step is a compression check.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ADaughen View Post
No codes?
Any better idea where the noise is coming from? Sounded like middle front(?)
Does the noise increase if RPMs increase?


I had a power steering bolt back out on me shortly after I bought my SF, it was connecting with the pulley and making a terrible ticking noise. It could be something as simple as that or a bad pulley/tensioner. At 200k, it is time for the timing belt maintenance again.
I pulled the codes today and found: P0301, P0302, P0304, and P0341. I checked again today and it seems like the sound is coming from the middle of the right side of the engine bay. The knocking does increase and get faster as the RPMs increase.

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If I didn't hear the noise I would say the engine is running good. There isn't any shaking or rocking and the engine idles well. No smoke. Like others have said check the visible moving parts. If you cannot find any thing externally your next step is a compression check.
The car has a very rough warm up now when you first start it up for the first time. It never used to do that. When your first start it, it idles rough and shakes a bit but after a while it calms down and then just makes the knocking sound.


Any ideas where to go from where? P0341 is the camshaft position sensor. Not sure exactly where or what that is but should it be replaced?
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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As others have pointed to, check the timing belt tensioner and the timing belt alignment.

If the belt has jumped due to a bad tensioner or a failed idler pulley that has allowed slack in the system it would explain the misfire codes and cam position sensor code.

You may also be flirting with disaster if any the above I mentioned is the case. Don't wait to check.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by flstffxe View Post
As others have pointed to, check the timing belt tensioner and the timing belt alignment.

If the belt has jumped due to a bad tensioner or a failed idler pulley that has allowed slack in the system it would explain the misfire codes and cam position sensor code.

You may also be flirting with disaster if any the above I mentioned is the case. Don't wait to check.
Sorry for the newbie questions but this is all kinda new to me. How exactly woud I check the timing belt tensioner, alignment, and for a failed idler pulley? What would I look for. Is there alot of work involved to gain access to these to visibly inspect?
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Edit: I didn't notice you replied with codes.

Don't run the motor until you get those sorted out. If 301, 302 and 304 are because your timing is off you can do damage to the motor.

P0301 Code - Cylinder #1 Misfire
P0302 Code - Cylinder #2 Misfire
P0304 Code - Cylinder #4 Misfire
Symptoms may include:

the engine may be harder to start
the engine may stumble / stumble, and/or hesitate
other symptoms may also be present


I would start with this one, which can cause the others:

P0341 - Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Range/Performance

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/rep...96b43f8037f312



This will probably not resolve the noise you are hearing...

Last edited by ADaughen; 11-20-2012 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by srikid View Post
Sorry for the newbie questions but this is all kinda new to me. How exactly woud I check the timing belt tensioner, alignment, and for a failed idler pulley? What would I look for. Is there alot of work involved to gain access to these to visibly inspect?
Sort of a loaded question. Much of it depends on your mechanical aptitude.

Really to properly check the belt and tensioners you are looking at:

Option 1
  • disconnecting the fans
  • drain and remove the radiator
  • remove the accessory belts
  • remove the crank shaft pulley
  • remove all of the timing belt covers
This allows you to see the entire belt, idler pulleys, and tensioner, along with lining up the timing marks on each cam pulley and the crank sprocket to their respective spots.

Option 2
A less in depth route is to remove the right hand timing belt cover to see if you can see any slack in the belt and judge the belts condition. In this route you can start it and leverage the tensioner down and see if the knocking goes away.

My personal opinion is I would be hesitant to start or run the engine at all before going with option 1.

My gut says either a idler failed(guessing the toothed one) or the tensioner is done, judging from the video.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:55 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Sounds exactly like my 04 XT did two weeks ago.

Remove timing covers and look for shredded bearings from the idler gear.

Most likely will be time for a new timing belt kit.

Good luck!
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flstffxe View Post
My gut says either a idler failed(guessing the toothed one) or the tensioner is done, judging from the video.
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Sounds exactly like my 04 XT did two weeks ago.

Remove timing covers and look for shredded bearings from the idler gear.

Most likely will be time for a new timing belt kit.

Good luck!
Finally got around to this and this was exactly it! I took the TB cover off to find the toothed idler gear completely shredded!!! The inner ball bearings were all over the place and falling to the floor as I was taking off the cover.

If I order a TB kit and replace the components should I be ok? Could this have caused some other damage elsewhere? Dont want to invest the time and money on replacing timing belt components only to find out that this failed idler gear caused some internal engine damage as well. Any thoughts?

Here some pics of the failed gear:


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Old 12-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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If the engine didn't jump time, you will be fine. Just to be sure, you can do a leakdown test. Remind me, did the car have any CEL's? If not, you're probably GTG and one VERY luck person. Make sure you re-seal and replace the oring for the oil pump. Other than that, buy the full TB kit and get it back together. Water pump is up to you, but also a good idea at this point.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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If the engine didn't jump time, you will be fine. Just to be sure, you can do a leakdown test. Remind me, did the car have any CEL's? If not, you're probably GTG and one VERY luck person. Make sure you re-seal and replace the oring for the oil pump. Other than that, buy the full TB kit and get it back together. Water pump is up to you, but also a good idea at this point.
It did look like the timing was off a bit when I checked. The car had these CELs:

P0301 Code - Cylinder #1 Misfire
P0302 Code - Cylinder #2 Misfire
P0304 Code - Cylinder #4 Misfire
P0341 - Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Range/Performance

Ideally I'd like to just buy a full TB kit and put all back together but I'm concerned that the failed gear threw the timing off a bit and might have cause a bent valve or something else. I guess a leakdown test would tell me that. I'm pretty new to all this type of work, is that something I can do or do I have to tow it to a shop for them to do the test?
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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As long as the timing was within a couple of teeth when you took it off you are likely to be OK. It was running before it came apart, just that the tensioner was knocking due to the extra slack in the belt.

Gates makes a nice timing belt kit(TCK304) that includes factory original idlers and tensioner and a Gates belt which can be bought for much less than just the idlers and tensioner can be picked up from the dealer.

The toothed idler is typically the one that we see fail first.
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