1994 Subaru 2.2L valves clatter after timing belt change



Subaru Legacy SW 2.2L: 20 miles past a timing belt change (along with oil seal change) by a local shop the valves are clattering. The valves clatter most when iddling and quiet down when reving up. Is there any possible connection between the timing belt change and the valve noise?


I’m not too familiar with timing belt cars, but it sounds like the pulleys where the belt goes were turned slightly and are now out of sync.


The engine shouldn’t sound any different with a new timing belt than it did with the old timing belt.


The 2.2 is not an interference engine, so even if the cam timing is off, the valves won’t hit anything, and I think you’d notice a performance difference if that were the case.

I seem to remember that this engine has hydraulic lifters. Perhaps you have a sticky lifter, and that’s what’s making the noise.


Question first. Is the clatter present all of the time; even at an idle?

If the clatter is present only on acceleration when the engine is hot then I might suspect the ignition timing is advanced too far due to improper reinstallation of the distributor.
If this is the case, then it must be remedied quickly as this can cause engine damage.


Take it back and have it rechecked. It sounds like the valve timing may be off.


The clatter clearly there all the time under idle but will quiet down when revving up.


I’ve rebuilt a few subies and the clatter may be 1 of two things that I could think of 1, the belt is out of sync, is the power the same or better than before the belt was changed? is the noise louder on one side? 2, dose it sound more like a rattle? the cover and bolts are tricky to get in right due to the rubber seal wich distorts with time.