Just bought a 91 Loyale wagon with 4WD but the lifters are quite noisy. Tried some different oil additives but still noisy%2C anyone have suggestions%3F

Asked by Dec 21, 2012 at 06:41 PM about the 1991 Subaru Loyale

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

what to do with noisy lifters? what should idle be set at? feels like it will stall at 600rpm has 330,000
kilometers on the engine...
Don in Canada,eh?

3 Answers


idle shoud be 700-800 rpm, replace the oil the motor in that is a EJ22 and they have hydraulic valve lash adjusters that if the oil gets to dirty start to tick a lot if you really want to do away with the noise you have to pull and clean the lifters, and even then they always have a slight tick I've had a 93 Legacy with the same motor since new and it's always ticked a bit but I have minimized it by cleaning the lifters at 150K miles and only running fully synthetic oil since then, it currently at 197K miles and lifter tick is minimal since cleaning and using Synthetic oil.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Ticking is common for those motors, as it was Subaru's first attempt at overhead cam design and there were a few issues that cause these motors to run low oil pressure as they age. Other than being a nusance, the ticking isn't really a problem, and is humorously referred to in the Subaru community as the "tick of death" (not referring to death of the engine, but death of resale value!) The "mickey mouse" gasket at oil pump pickup will eventually leak and allow air to get sucked into the oil, combined with aging leaky seals around the cam "towers" results in oil pressure that is too low to fully inflate the hydraulic lifters, causing the sewing machine sound. To properly fix it, you will need to pull the oil pump, replace the "mickey mouse" seal, rebuild and reseal the cam towers, and POSSIBLY have to pull and clean or replace the lifters. Probably cheaper just to get a good stereo and turn it up. :o)


yep my ea82 motor in my touring wagon ticks over in aus just the same as in my loyal here in canada, had a 1990 legacy in nz that ticked a little, but it seams that the older the suby the louder it ticks,haha. not a prob, they go well, it's a suby thing.

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