Question about 1984 Subaru Gl

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Pinging noise under heavy load at higher rpm

I have a 1984 subaru gl wagon. It starts to make a noise, like a pinging sound, at heavy load (full throttle, up a hill) at around 3000rpm. A mechanic told me the timing was set just fine, so I am wondering if it could be a distributor advance problem?

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  • kmacquoid May 11, 2009

    I replaced the plugs almost a year ago, but it acted just the same right after I replaced them (I used NGK, the ones you listed). I have tried running premium (one tank at a time, I don't know if that makes a big difference), no difference, still pings under full throttle. I did try some seaform in the fuel tank, maybe a quarter of a can, and I think that minimized or eliminated it, but I would rather try to fix the problem as opposed to using fuel additives all the time. How do you find (or identify) spark plugs that are hotter?

  • heartless500 May 11, 2010

    My mistake - after reading a little, it seems you should try a cooler plug, not hotter - for info on finding the right NGK plugs:
    http://www.ngk.com/glossary.asp?kw=How+d...=

    hope that helps.

  • heartless500 May 11, 2010

    if it runs fine otherwise, i would try running a couple tanks of the next higher grade of gas thru it - see if the pinging stays or goes - if it goes, you may need a change of sparkplugs (hotter spark) to run the lower grade gas. (btw: when was the last time your plugs were changed? and what kind are they? Subaru's prefer NGK sparkplugs - I believe the NGK BPR6ES-11 was the OEM plug)

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This seems to be an issue with this car. I have the same year and model as you. The book states that the car should be operated with gas with an octane of 91 or above. With gas prices like they are, I usually use regular. My car knocks and pings like crazy on a hill or full load. When I put premium in, it still does it but is a lot more quiet. My best friend also owns the exact same car - and is a mechanic - and says that this is not abnormal in a car of this size. He adjusted my timing the other day, and between that and my using premium gas - no matter what the cost - it has more power and is quieter. I've been driving my car like this for 14 months and it has 130k on it. He says not to fret over it, so I just get in the right lane and wind on down the road. (amazing that once this little baby gets moving, it's hard to stop it!!)

I know this didn't likely help you any...just wanted you to know that it's not all bad.

Posted on Jul 16, 2009

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I'd really check your spark plugs to make sure they are not fouled as well as running some higher octane gas to see if it helps.

basically, your getting combustion earlier then you're supposed to. This could be to various reasons.

Check in this order, Spark, Timing.

Check to make sure the spark plugs are all sparking and clean / properly gaped. Pull one coil/wire at a time off the plug to see if the pinging stop (pull a wire, start the car. Turn off car, re-attach wire, move onto next plug.) If it stops on a specific cylinder that means you're having detonation issues on that cylinder. If it never stops, then it sounds as though it could be timing related or have a valve train issue.

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