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Loud Knocking Noise (Lifters?)

Discussion in 'Under the Hood' started by ADonato, July 22, 2009.


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    1. ADonato

      ADonato New Member

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      I have had my 2003 Explorer for the past year and a few months and have had a knocking noise from time to time when I start the engine. It was very light at first and barely noticable until this winter when it got a bit louder. At that time it would go away fairly quickly tho (10-20 secs). Now this summer it has been knocking much louder and continues to knock for a minute or up to 5 mins. I took it by a Ford dealer just to get a quick opinion to see if it was anything that needed attention and they said it was my lifters and that this happens with Explorers as you put mileage on them. Mine has 99,000 miles. They told me if I thickened my oil from the recommended 5W-20 to a 10W or 20W that it would stop the knocking noise. I changed it to 20W-50 and it completely stopped for a few days but the knocking noise is back now. It is very light but it is there again and stays for 30 secs to a minute or two. Can anyone give me an idea of what is going on or let me know if you have had this problem as well. I want to make sure this isn't serious and I am treating this properly.
      Thanks for your help.
       
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    3. 07XLT4x2v8

      07XLT4x2v8 New Member

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      I also have this issue on my 07 v8. I was told to try the oil change and will do that soon. Hope that this solves the problem.
       
    4. Joey P

      Joey P Well-Known Member

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      Changing oil may mask and even stop the problem as you noticed but you really need to find out what the problem is to fix it right. And then, don't go back to that dealer if that is what they told you to do. Changing oil won't "fix" anything. Is your explorer the v6 or v8? v6, I might lean towards timing chain issue? Just a guess because I do not know.
       
    5. jrford

      jrford Well-Known Member

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      First make sure you don't have a cheap oil filter in there, use Motorcraft Filter 820s (V8), been there done that.

      i can't listen to your truck from here, . . .post a clip maybe??
      with Worn Lifters noise is not so much a knock but more of a tap.
      The frequency of the noise might point a finger at something. . imo.
      Example:
      tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap etc (all lifters are bad, or noisy injectors, or the cheap filter on startup for like 10seconds)
      tap, x, x, x, x, tap? Each 'x' is kinda of like a single piston firing off no noise . . . (one bad lifter)
      or are you hearing more of a
      A knock, you can almost feel it too, is usually bottom end issue.
      Ex.
      knock, y,y,y,y,y,y,y,knock Each 'y' is a single piston (This would be a bottom end problem, Piston Slap, Rod bearing, doom)
      sorry for the weird quesiton but . . . can you describe it a little better . . .hopefully this will point you in the right direction for starters.
       
    6. 07XLT4x2v8

      07XLT4x2v8 New Member

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      Well for my X (07 v8) it is definately more of a tap. Very consistent noise that finally goes away after several minutes. I have 65k miles on it.

      i don't understand why the oil filter would cause this noise. I have to look tomorrow and see what brand is in there.

      Thanks for the replies.
       
    7. jrford

      jrford Well-Known Member

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      cheap filters sometimes have a poor or omit the drain back valve, it prevents the filter from draining all of the oil out of it while its shut off, on startup the oil pump has to fill the filter first before oil get to the valves thus the 10-20 second delay, but this would be all valves, its sounds almost like a diesel.

      If you really have a lifter problem it might be a diy as the cam/lifters are on top of the head.
       
    8. 07XLT4x2v8

      07XLT4x2v8 New Member

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      Well I checked and I have a Fram toughguard filter on there.
      When I change my oil next - should be due very soon - I will put a Motorcraft filter on it.
       
    9. kawaleks

      kawaleks New Member

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      I also have the knocking issue on my 2000 explorer, but it is constent. changed the oil and the back half of the exhaust to no avail, my mechanic thinks it may be the timing chain, he estimates at least $1400 to possibly fix with no gaurentees. the truck has 160,000 miles on it. any thoughts about oil additives that might reduce the sound. unfortunately it is at the end of its days and I want to get every mile I can out of it. any thoughts
       
    10. Tech By Trade

      Tech By Trade Well-Known Member

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      check cam phaser failure.
       
    11. cober

      cober New Member

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      replace rocker arms and knocking sound will go
       
    12. Chris imler

      Chris imler New Member

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      I have
       
      Last edited by a moderator: August 22, 2017
    13. Chris imler

      Chris imler New Member

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      Check to see if your tensioners for timing chain are bad.
       
    14. bigred4x4

      bigred4x4 Elite Explorer

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      Could be piston slap lifters more likely though use the stethoscope method to pin point the noise your in no immediate danger unless it's rod or main knock. Then again iv only dealt with pushrod engines. Less power but less problems also.
       

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    15. Chris imler

      Chris imler New Member

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      Check your rod bearing. That's a possibly
       
    16. bigred4x4

      bigred4x4 Elite Explorer

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      Also might want to check oil pressure and make sure it's in spec that'll give you an idea of the severity of the issue. The gauge in The cluster doesn't tell you anything except you have the bare minimum oil pressure which is like 4~7 psi you should be at 40-60 psi warm at 2k rpm. When the bearings start to go you'll typically lose oil pressure due to increased clearance between bearings and journals. But the bottom end is usually pretty stout it's the top end ie.. Valve train in your case the timing cassettes that usually produces issues first in these motors.
       
    17. 08EddieCA

      08EddieCA Elite Explorer

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      My former dealer told me to use 10/30 in my V6 reman to quiet the top end. Someone made a comment on the forum about how ridiculous of a suggestion that was. I switched back to 5/30 synthetic at 1,000 miles on a reman engine (contentious topic) and the noise went away. Quality oil filters are good insurance against dry starts. I don't use Fram so I don't have an opinion regarding Fram..
       

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