1995 Subaru Wagon engine shake, knock

Tiny
LBEAN
  • MEMBER
  • 1991 SUBARU LEGACY
  • 4 CYL
  • AWD
  • MANUAL
  • 200,000 MILES
I have a 1995 Subaru Legacy Wagon 2.2L AWD Auto. It is running a little bit rough:

putting sound each revolution coming from exhaust,
slight knock at higher RPMs,
small lack in power,
and the engine shakes side to side while idling.

These symptoms only happen when the engine is fully warm.
It has about 211000 miles now. When I put higher octane gas in, it is better for about 10 minutes, then reverts to the same symptoms. In the 3500 miles since I got the car I have:

replaced oil/filter twice,
replaced valve cover gaskets,
thermostat,
gave it seafoam (just before last oil change),
treated oil with that stuff for stopping smoking/blowby. It wasn't really smoking, just thought it might help.

What course of action would you recommend to fix this? Everything is in good condition including air filter, and recent timing belt job, and only very slight oil dampness on the valve covers. I don't know any history about the head gasket, but it is a reconstructed car within the last 3-4 years so it could have a rebuilt engine, who knows. None of the things I've done have made any difference in the shaking, knocking, or putting, although I seemed to have a slight bit more power after seafoam. I was losing about a quart of oil/1000mi, don't know yet if that part is better. Hoping to get a bit better mileage and a lot more miles out of the car, it's not too bad at 24-26 on highway but I know it could be better.

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Friday, May 13th, 2011 AT 7:53 PM

11 Replies

Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
First thing I would do is a compression test.
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Friday, May 13th, 2011 AT 9:34 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
So it's a 91 with a 95 engine or the other way round?
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Friday, May 13th, 2011 AT 9:48 PM
Tiny
LBEAN
  • MEMBER
I don't know why it says 1991, that's my other car. I thought I selected all the right info, I'll try adding the car later. Its the 95 2.2 at awd. Forgot to say I also did spark plugs. I'll look into compression. Thanks
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Saturday, May 14th, 2011 AT 4:00 AM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
When did this start? Any relation to timing belt job? Was that just a preventative maintenance thing?
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Saturday, May 14th, 2011 AT 3:36 PM
Tiny
LBEAN
  • MEMBER
I don't know why the timing belt was done, it may have been preventative. The previous owner did do a lot of preventative. It has progressed slowly since about a week after I bought the car.
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Saturday, May 14th, 2011 AT 7:06 PM
Tiny
LBEAN
  • MEMBER
Specifically, I bought the car with 207,000mi, and the shake and putt grew from
208 to 210 and stopped there. I'm at over 211 now.
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Saturday, May 14th, 2011 AT 7:09 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
Any luck yet?
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Thursday, May 26th, 2011 AT 11:39 PM
Tiny
LBEAN
  • MEMBER
Compression tested 140, 160, 150, 160. Talked to a Subaru guy who said not to worry about that just keep checking oil.
The putt coming from exhaust is mostly better now, maybe the ring sealer I put in the oil?
There is still a knock/tap, sometimes varies. Has to do with fuel grade I think, but can't figure out what works best, results are inconsistent.
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Friday, May 27th, 2011 AT 5:45 PM
Tiny
FIXITMR
  • MEMBER
I think the engine needs rebuilding. Tired out.
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Friday, May 27th, 2011 AT 6:33 PM
Tiny
LBEAN
  • MEMBER
Ok well I'm in UT right now, hopin to make it home to AK then I can rebuild. I'll be in touch then haha. Thanks for the help
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Sunday, May 29th, 2011 AT 4:40 PM
Tiny
SIXPACK SUBARU
  • MEMBER
Could be just lifter noise and associated lack of performance as a result. Thicker oil, (anti-smoke compound), would point towards a possible lack in oil pressure due to loose oil-pump backing plate screws, (very common for this model). Is it worse when the engine is cold?
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Monday, June 20th, 2011 AT 10:47 AM

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