Question about 1993 Subaru Loyale

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Tapping sound in the engine started 2 days ago. The sound comes and goes at startup (not always present at startup), and disappears on deacceleration. Engine oil is OK. Temp doesn't register above normal. Anybody have any idea what this is? My neighbor says it's a rod, but I had a rod go years ago on a Ford, and this doesn't sound like that. This is the second engine in the car, and this engine had a vacumn seal issue from the time I received it. (but shipping it back to CA would have cost me a fortune). The motor has never been "quiet", always had that sort of sewing machine sound, and sometimes had that tapping, but it always went away. It seems a litlte louder now, and more present. I drove it @ 6 miles on Sat, and not at all today. Is it safe to drive?

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  • collettegill Oct 27, 2010

    Hi - Sorry it took a few days to get back to you. We've been in the middle of the first winter storm, and I don't have a garage.

    Anyways, the bad lifter is near the front. But there's also a defintie rod knock now as well. So I think I have a double problem.

    I'm thinking it may be R.I. P. for this Subie. It looks like it will cost me as much in just parts to fix it as the car is worth... :-(

  • collettegill Oct 28, 2010

    The car body has a lot of rust, and it's not looking like it makes sense to go through this much work and expense on it. A rebuilt engine would run me @ $1,000 min, and that's not including the work.

    So... it sucks, but I think I'm looking for another car. ..

  • collettegill Oct 28, 2010

    With the combination of the bad lifter and the rod issue and the rust and ... and... and... The transmission and clutch are the original parts, too, so they're probably going to be the next to go.

    I REALLY appreciate your help though. No one else identified a failed lifter as a possible problem. And one of the lifters IS bad.



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Usually caused by a failed hydraulic lifter. You can verify by removing the valve cover and finding a valve with excess clearance. The lifter/adjuster should be replaced ASAP to avoid damage to the cam lobe. If you would like instructions on replacing the part, please get back to me.

Posted on Oct 24, 2010

Testimonial: "Found a sound clip of hyd. lftr fail on the Web - that is EXACTLY what my car sounds like. Would LOVE yr expert advice on replacement! THANK YOU!"

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  • collettegill Oct 24, 2010

    This is my first time at FixYa, and I entered my testimonial in the wrong box. Here's what I would have said:
    "jturcotte is awesomely helpful! His answer immediately helped me pinpoint the problem, and probably save me having to buy another car. He ROCKS!"

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Oct 24, 2010

    OK, I'm looking at the manual as I have not worked on this engine before. To do this by the book will take many many hours as you will be taking much of the engine apart. I have a shortcut in mind, but it will only work if the bad lifter is at the back of the engine. Can you tell where exactly the bad lifter is? I mean how far back from the front of the engine along the valve cover?

  • Jeffrey Turcotte
    Jeffrey Turcotte Oct 28, 2010

    Well, I guess you know what what bad rods sound like. It is definitely a lot of work to get one of those out on this type of engine. However, if the rest of the car is good and you like the car, maybe you could get a rebuilt engine! In any case, it will be a lot of work. Let me know if you would like the instructions, and enjoy the winter wherever you are...



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