08 4.6L engine ticking noise under load. | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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08 4.6L engine ticking noise under load.

pjw73nh

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08 4.6 with 136k on it. I got it with 60k and it has been religiously maintained in all aspects. Oil & filter every 4-6K with synthetic oil.

Today on a 90 mile trip I noticed part way into the trip as I was accelerating on an on-ramp, I heard a faint ticking. The ticking is not there at ANY rpm when not under load. It only appears with accelerator load, is commensurate with rpms and it gets louder with more load, and fainter with less. It's not a loud RAP, it's a faint ticking. Kind of reminds me of the old days of tappet noise, but quieter. No performance issues at all. Engine is smooth, powerful and runs great.

With all of this said, I did (and do) have the dreaded manifold leaks. I had them repaired (re-studded) at a local exhaust place a long time ago, and within 6-8 months they were leaking again. I don't care. It goes away.

Like the rest of the folks with the manifold leak, it's worse when cold, and goes away after 30 seconds or so.

Could they have gotten worse, and this (hopefully) is the ticking I am hearing ?

Thanks for any insight or further troubleshooting you may be able to provide.

P.../NH
 
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Mitchs07explorer

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08 4.6 with 136k on it. I got it with 60k and it has been religiously maintained in all aspects. Oil & filter every 4-6K with synthetic oil.

Today on a 90 mile trip I noticed part way into the trip as I was accelerating on an on-ramp, I heard a faint ticking. The ticking is not there at ANY rpm when not under load. It only appears with accelerator load, is commensurate with rpms and it gets louder with more load, and fainter with less. It's not a loud RAP, it's a faint ticking. Kind of reminds me of the old days of tappet noise, but quieter. No performance issues at all. Engine is smooth, powerful and runs great.

With all of this said, I did (and do) have the dreaded manifold leaks. I had them repaired (re-studded) at a local exhaust place a long time ago, and within 6-8 months they were leaking again. I don't care. It goes away.

Like the rest of the folks with the manifold leak, it's worse when cold, and goes away after 30 seconds or so.

Could they have gotten worse, and this (hopefully) is the ticking I am hearing ?

Thanks for any insight or further troubleshooting you may be able to provide.

P.../NH
Before I read the end of your post I was starting to possibly guess exhaust leak. When I picked up my 97 5.0 it was ticking under load as well, turned out to be a cracked EGR pipe. Wouldn’t hurt to have a technician listen to it and make sure it’s not something mechanical and in need of more immediate attention.
 
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Explorer_PL

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That sounds more like timing, valves, phasers.

Can you listen to the valve covers with a stethoscope ?
Remove the oil cap on one side, that may help with listening.
 
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pjw73nh

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Mitch and ExpPL, Tnx for the replies.

I like both suggestions. I am away from home now so it'll have to wait. I am not sure the stethoscope will work as it only rears its head when under load. But m going to give it a whirl when I get back.

Tnx again.
 
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boominXplorer

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If it's worse when cold it's exhaust leak. If it's consistent during all tempatures you have a cam follower bearing going bad. Consider pulling the cams and having them all replaced. A Ford racing kit to do it is around $300.

It's probably just an exhaust leak though since you notice it under load. A follower tick really doesn't change but with rpm.
 
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pjw73nh

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Well, I just got back from my trip and have to run out again. I can't get to the testing until at least Weds. What I did determine is that if I am stopped and put the gear selector in "3" (this will have the vehicle start in 3rd gear to simulate a lot of load) and with my foot firmly on the brake, I give it gas, the noise starts to appear at about 1800-2000 rpms and gets louder with load/rpm. It is not audible AT ALL at idle, lower than 1800 loaded rpms, or ANY unloaded RPMs.

Hopefully soon, I'll find time to check with a stethoscope, try unplugging the VCT solenoids (rule out phasers), change the oil (just in case), check spark plugs for looseness (I had a number 2 loosen up on me when I first got the car) I have since replaced them all at about 75000. I didn't break a single one. :), Lastly as I was driving home, I realized I bought a full tank of gas just before I left for my trip. I wonder if it's bad gas. The noise "sort of" sounds like the days of old valve timing pinging, but just sort of.

I am stumped because the car runs absolutely perfectly. It always has. I would think if it was a cam follower or cam shaft phaser, it would make the noise all the time, not just at higher rpms, and not just under load.

Thanks.
 
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Explorer_PL

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To simulate a load, if you can, use a tow rope or a chain and hook it up to another heavy vehicle, or park it front in gently against a large tree. Then you can put in D and get out of the car safely to listen to the motor under load.
 
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pjw73nh

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UPDATE: (Not much of one) :-(

1. Having an assistant outside the car, the noise is hard to hear, but is more pronounced on the drivers side.

2. The noise is heard louder INSIDE the car than outside. Probably due to normal engine noise masking it on the outside. See if these two vids from my dashcam help. Remember, the noise fades/goes away as the load decreases https://photos.app.goo.gl/tkxKXogpoY5Sk1nM7 These were recorded under heavy load starting in 3rd gear.

3. I unplugged the VCT solenoids. No difference.

4. I used a stethoscope on both side valve covers near each cylinder. There was no discernible noise (that I could detect) under load coming from either side. While the drivers side has a VERY faint tick at idle (near the front of the car (Cyl 5?)), it's what I would call normal, and has been there since I purchased the car. Nothing at higher RPMs or under load from this particular area.

5. I did a full oil & filter change yesterday, even though there was only 3500 miles on this oil. I always use synthetic and a good filter. Oil was good in color, no visible or palpable metal detected in the oil or on the magnetic drain plug. The filter was B1+ch to get off. Very unusual as I am the one who installed it. I hope to cut the filter open soon and examine it.

6. I stopped by a shop a friend of mine owns. He couldn't put it up on a lift as all his bays were occupied, but I demonstrated the symptoms for him. He used his stethoscope and felt it might be exhaust related way in back near where the manifold joins the down-pipe to the cat. But he also wasn't entirely positive. Remember I KNOW I have manifold issues with this engine (like all 4.6L).

7. Ran the tank pretty low and got a new tank of fresh gas. I did think that was the issue, but I had to get fuel anyway.

I am not sure where to go from here. No codes set, no performance issues, mileage is where it should be. Maybe if someone hears the noise on the vids, they might have a better idea where to look. My OBDII scanner will do live data and freeze frame. Is there anything I can look at within these parameters that might give me a clue?

Thanks again for any help or suggestions you may be able to provide.
 
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Explorer_PL

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Mine sounded like this:


It ended up being the torque converter, nothing wrong with the engine itself.
 
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pjw73nh

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Ex_Pl, Thanks for the reply and the vid.

I have nothing at idle or no load. Your's seems to make the noise all the time. Did it get louder with higher RPMs/load or just increase in frequency, or both ?
 
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Explorer_PL

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Mine was making the sound only in gear when stopped to 0 at a red light. Once I was moving, it would go away.

The locked up torque converter was stalling the engine and the oil pressure was dropping below the point where the valve train did not have enough pressure to keep everything tight.
I hope I am making sense here.
 
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