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So I've been getting more and more frustrated with this valve tap on my 95 NA. I had only driven the car around town for the first month or so of owning it. And I noticed on start up it would tap a bit, then the noise would go away. Some days this would happen immediately, somedays it would take a few minutes, other days i'd have to rev it up past 3700 to get the noise to go away.

On my recent 500 mi. trip from Virginia to Ohio the problem got worse than ever. After extended periods of driving on the highway when I'd pull into gas stations, the valve tap was very apparent, loud. And it wouldn't go away unless the motor was revving past 3700 or so.

I'm guessing that this has to do w/ the lifters. The oil must've been very hot after such a long drive, and thin... causing the lifters to have problems? That would also explain why they tap on start up... need the oil pressure to build up for second.

On the trip back I put in a bottle of STP oil Thickener and it seemed to help w/ the valve tap.

What do you guys have to say about the lifters on these cars :?: I'm still a newbie to Miata's and don't know a ton about their valvetrains.
 

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whens the last time you did an oil change?

generally the ticking is an indication you're either a little low or its time for a change.

also the oil weights that people use seem to vary quite a bit too.

the PO of my car always used 5w30. My first change I went to a 10w30 mobil 1 synth. It was nice and quiet for about 2500 miles and then it was ticking worse than before I changed it.

I saw a few reccomendations for 10w40 Castrol gtx on .net, so thats what I just switched to this past weekend. Once again, its quiet, but we will see for how long and how badly it ticks when it comes back.

Make sure you use a decent filter. Apparently fram filters are teh suxx for these cars, so Ive been using purolator.
 

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hm. interesting. I just used my Pela oil extractor and threw in some 10w30 w/ no filter change when I got back. If the tick develops again I'll try a different weight and a different brand filter. Maybe the oem mazda one. I have a fram on there now.
 

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when i bought the NA, i used fram and instantly noticed low, low oil pressure. Then 30 miles later changed to the oem filter and oil pressure was back to normal.
 

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sticking lifters? my used 94 NA has 150k on it when bought. it use to tap quite a bit. but i didn't use thicker oil for curing the prob. if its cold in VA, using thicker than 10-30 won't help as its still heavier and won't circulate fast enough thru the engine, also having more drag on the oil pump.

my valves tap 2-3 secs now on first cold startup...but should be normal.

try this. engine flush old oil by adding 1/2-1qt. of ATF while idling for 5min. then drain and add with new oil and filter... ATF has very high detergents compared to motor oil(so don't keep it in there)and is cheaper than motor flush.

as 4 using 10-30, i keep it in its oil viscosity recommendation from the owners manual. having 10-30 can potentially cause oil-pump probs and prolong the time for oil to circulate on start-up...making it tick longer during startup.(if used in colder areas/states)
 

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p.s. WRX, as for valve adjustments...i just tried to avoid it by these quick, easy cleaning methods. i'm not looking 4 top performance, so **** that. its a $2k car. but i can say that having not even needing to remove the valve cover...one said that these are shimmed bucket type valve lifters...so need measurements, shim remover tools maybe, and also buy the shims itself...i think it may be a costly maintenance job with probably only 2-5hp gains and no noise...not worth my time. imo.
 

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Huh, quess I won't be using Fram next time... What makes you guys say that they aren't so good?
 

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like JDMAflac posted, more than a few people have reported abnormally low oil pressure when using them.

Sort of like how no other spark plug wires apparently work quite right like the NGK blues
 

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Huh, that's weird. I've never run across that problem runnins both Miata sized Fram filters and RX-7 sized Fram filters.
 

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hey guys...pls hate me for being a former honda head...on oil filters, apparently the honda oem fits right on there with matching thread pitch and gasket diameter. if honda trust it, why can't i? it already have a magnet for picking up metal shavings built into the filter. i have no worries, and it works just fine.

i think its just the same story compared to air filters... cone filters offer more flow, but also dirties faster. oem is restrictive, but keeps clean longer. i really think some things are just engineered better if one knows how to look for them. sure oem might cost a dollar more, but for that magnet stuck in there for a trade off, having metal shavings flowing around in the oil pan is not worth the compromise.

ok, you can all send me your hate mails now =)
hehe.
 

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id use a honda filter.

i actually run mobil one because it has the backflow valve like the oem mazda one and i can get it at autozone, but it is like 8 bucks...
 

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Here's a good comparison test...

http://diy.prostreetonline.com/techtips/showarticle.asp?articleid=2

Bottom line, the best filters depends on how much you change your oil. If you're religous (anal) about it and change every 3k miles, then a cheap one isn't so bad. But if you change it every 5k or so, then the higher priced ones are more fitting for you. Also, you need to decide the application, for street use, you want more filter, for more spirited driving and track use, you want more flow.

Here's another informative comparison....

http://minimopar.knizefamily.net/oilfilterstudy.html
 
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