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Engine knock or tick. No one can give me an answer.

Darthdabr

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So I recently got a 93 Exploder, 5 speed manual, 4x4. I've slowly been fixing alot of different things, many of which I notice we all have occurring. So I'm glad I'm not alone here. I have an engine knock or tick that is occurring, it is louder at start and dies off some after warm up, the odd thing is it will knock then stop then start again, consistently. Almost sounds like a paint can being shaken but not as loose. Has a somewhat hollow sound to it. That makes me think exhaust or manifold issues but the inconsistency of the noise makes me think other wise, rods lifters etc. Pushing in the clutch, running heat or cold, higher rpms, non of which seem to alter the noise. Any ideas??? I've heard a possible cracked exhaust manifold, rods lifters rockers, fan clutch or pulleys... I could replace the whole truck at that rate. Please throw any ideas my way. Thanks!
 
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trashtruck

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if I read your post correctly, the tapping/ticking remains constant even with increased rpms? if this is true I suspect your issue may not be engine related.
 
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Darthdabr

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Okay I guess I worded it wrong. The tap increases its tempo with the RPM increase but it doesn't get worse for lack of better words or change the coming or going of the tap it goes and comes in almost a pattern but just faster
 
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trashtruck

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if the noise doesn't get louder with increased rpms, I would suspect upper engine. a tap to me would indicate lifters while a tick would indicate valves.
 
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Darthdabr

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I have a video of the truck making the noise just couldn't figure out how to upload it. If it is top end, are there any bandaid options to help it. I feel like since it evens out to a degree that it isn't severe yet. Until I can afford to break into the engine
 
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trashtruck

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you can use a screwdriver as a stethoscope and at least try to pinpoint which cylinder is causing it. or you could turn up the radio.
 
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Rhett

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I have a video of the truck making the noise just couldn't figure out how to upload it. If it is top end, are there any bandaid options to help it. I feel like since it evens out to a degree that it isn't severe yet. Until I can afford to break into the engine

Bandaid would be to run a thicker oil, like say 10W-40 or even Valvoline 20W-50, which may, if you're lucky, quiet it down completely. Valvoline makes a pretty good heavier oil, which contains a lot of anti-wear additives. Some of the hotrod guys use it on engines that don't do well with the modern fuels we have.
 
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Darthdabr

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Awesome thanks Rhett. I was recently told it was most likely lifters due to the tick, tick, tick stop tick tick tick. I was also informed to upgrade to heavier oil as a temp solution. I'm running 5w30 now and was gunna go to ten. But from what you said the 20w50 might be a good idea. Do you think that's too drastic of a change?
 
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natenkiki2004

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I have a hard time believing that a thicker oil will help a starved valvetrain. The ticking is either due to slop from worn pushrods or rocker arms or it is due to clogged lifters not getting oil. Thicker oil shouldn't help in either case. If it's worn parts, the lifters are extending as far as they can and not making contact, when slop is taken up, you get a tick. If it's clogged lifters, thicker oil will just have a harder time getting in, making the ticking worse and possibly accelerating wear.

Thicker oil is always a mask and can often cause issues elsewhere. About the only circumstance it's good in is sloppy connecting rod bearings where the thicker oil flows slower and thus helps build pressure so that other parts receive proper oiling. People also use it to quiet down an engine that's knocking or one that has shot piston rings and is burning oil like crazy. It may work in those circumstances but it's not helping your engine at all. Thicker oil may cause more cold starvation as the pump tries to build pressure but relieves itself at 60 PSI, it may take a long time for the oil to get up to the cam and lifters. This may mean accelerated wear.

For what it's worth, my engine ticks when cold and quiets almost completely when warm. I replaced the pushrods & rocker arms. Made no difference. It's almost certainly clogged lifters. No way I'm going to invest in head gaskets, machining heads (maybe even new heads), new head bolts, new lifters, hassle with exhaust manifolds, intake gaskets and more just to get rid of a tick that doesn't affect engine performance. Maybe if I blow a head gasket but even then, I'd have to question it on a 231,000 mile engine.

My recommendation from the research and personal experience I have; either live with it or pull a valve cover and inspect the rocker arms & pushrods. If you see massive amounts of wear on those parts and you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, maybe tackle that. If they look fine and you feel like taking a gamble, grab a mechanic in a bottle like Seafoam and try it in the engine oil to see if it cleans the lifters. Probably won't work but if you're desperate, it's a cheap gamble. Don't get too aggressive down that route, you may wind up with oil leaks that will aggravate you more than the tick.
 
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rodb

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I had the same noise, think it was also from clogged lifters. Somewhere I read about a fix using one half bottle of Seafoam in oil. I put in the 8oz and drove for about 3 days, all noise is now gone. After the 3 days I drained oil and refilled with 5/30 weight. Problem solved. I'm a believer in Seafoam!
 
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Darthdabr

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I have heard some good and bad about seafoam but haven't actually seen the bad results firsthand. How long ago did you try this and has it been running good since?
 
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rodb

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Used the Seafoam two weeks ago for several days before doing oil change, but running fine ever since, no more noise :)
 
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2stroke

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Used the Seafoam two weeks ago for several days before doing oil change, but running fine ever since, no more noise :)

I'm not sure why people are so afraid of "Band-Aid" fixes. Thicker oil certainly does quiet an engine down. All 4.0's tick eventually. While they last a long time, Ford simply doesn't build good motors. By design the valve train will wear out, and you might as well try a thicker oil.

Adding cleaner to oil is very dangerous. It breaks free sludge and carbon that settles in the oil pan. You do not want to clog the pickup tube. That's the fastest way to blow up an engine following running it low on oil.
 
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rodb

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Oil pan was dropped and valve body cleaned after Seafoam treatment, also new filter installed, cut open old filter, no sludge or particles inside :)
 
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jd4242

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I have a hard time believing that a thicker oil will help a starved valvetrain. The ticking is either due to slop from worn pushrods or rocker arms or it is due to clogged lifters not getting oil. Thicker oil shouldn't help in either case. If it's worn parts, the lifters are extending as far as they can and not making contact, when slop is taken up, you get a tick. If it's clogged lifters, thicker oil will just have a harder time getting in, making the ticking worse and possibly accelerating wear.

Thicker oil is always a mask and can often cause issues elsewhere. About the only circumstance it's good in is sloppy connecting rod bearings where the thicker oil flows slower and thus helps build pressure so that other parts receive proper oiling. People also use it to quiet down an engine that's knocking or one that has shot piston rings and is burning oil like crazy. It may work in those circumstances but it's not helping your engine at all. Thicker oil may cause more cold starvation as the pump tries to build pressure but relieves itself at 60 PSI, it may take a long time for the oil to get up to the cam and lifters. This may mean accelerated wear.

For what it's worth, my engine ticks when cold and quiets almost completely when warm. I replaced the pushrods & rocker arms. Made no difference. It's almost certainly clogged lifters. No way I'm going to invest in head gaskets, machining heads (maybe even new heads), new head bolts, new lifters, hassle with exhaust manifolds, intake gaskets and more just to get rid of a tick that doesn't affect engine performance. Maybe if I blow a head gasket but even then, I'd have to question it on a 231,000 mile engine.

My recommendation from the research and personal experience I have; either live with it or pull a valve cover and inspect the rocker arms & pushrods. If you see massive amounts of wear on those parts and you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, maybe tackle that. If they look fine and you feel like taking a gamble, grab a mechanic in a bottle like Seafoam and try it in the engine oil to see if it cleans the lifters. Probably won't work but if you're desperate, it's a cheap gamble. Don't get too aggressive down that route, you may wind up with oil leaks that will aggravate you more than the tick.
Best advice anyone could give..nailed it on the head. :thumbsup:

I will add..it is possible to take a lifter apart to clean it or rebuild it with the heads on..its very hard but can be done and you dont remove the lifter body..you take the cone off and use a magnet to pull the top plunger out,then spring,2nd plunger and final spring/ball..clean,check springs and reassemble. .

Now this is if you know what lifter it is or have tons of time on your hands but this also doesnt guarantee and oil passage isnt clogged going to a specific lifter. .being these lifter dont flow oil through them into the pushrods,things clogg much easier
 
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FR-425

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For what it's worth mine also has the cold tick.

One lifter leaks down over night (if it is under pressure from the valve spring)

After it warms up it goes away completely.

So what I do now especially since it is sitting with a busted trans and only gets run every other week is to crank the engine just a touch after shut down to get the spring pressure off that one lifter.

I have verified by looking at the timing mark that my engine stops in the same spot 99% of the time. If I give the starter just a bump after shut down the cold tick goes away.
 
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smegun

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he nice trick .... timing chain? ...wondering about that myself
 
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Centaurious

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It's an Exploder and you are surprised that it ticks? Of course it ticks, it's going to explode!

When it does you might consider getting an Explorer as they are much more reliable. Lots go over 100,000 miles, many go over 200,000 miles and some even go over 300,000 miles! But them Exploders are bad news.
 
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gmbroy

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I have a hard time believing that a thicker oil will help a starved valvetrain. The ticking is either due to slop from worn pushrods or rocker arms or it is due to clogged lifters not getting oil. Thicker oil shouldn't help in either case. If it's worn parts, the lifters are extending as far as they can and not making contact, when slop is taken up, you get a tick. If it's clogged lifters, thicker oil will just have a harder time getting in, making the ticking worse and possibly accelerating wear.

Thicker oil is always a mask and can often cause issues elsewhere. About the only circumstance it's good in is sloppy connecting rod bearings where the thicker oil flows slower and thus helps build pressure so that other parts receive proper oiling. People also use it to quiet down an engine that's knocking or one that has shot piston rings and is burning oil like crazy. It may work in those circumstances but it's not helping your engine at all. Thicker oil may cause more cold starvation as the pump tries to build pressure but relieves itself at 60 PSI, it may take a long time for the oil to get up to the cam and lifters. This may mean accelerated wear.

For what it's worth, my engine ticks when cold and quiets almost completely when warm. I replaced the pushrods & rocker arms. Made no difference. It's almost certainly clogged lifters. No way I'm going to invest in head gaskets, machining heads (maybe even new heads), new head bolts, new lifters, hassle with exhaust manifolds, intake gaskets and more just to get rid of a tick that doesn't affect engine performance. Maybe if I blow a head gasket but even then, I'd have to question it on a 231,000 mile engine.

My recommendation from the research and personal experience I have; either live with it or pull a valve cover and inspect the rocker arms & pushrods. If you see massive amounts of wear on those parts and you have some money burning a hole in your pocket, maybe tackle that. If they look fine and you feel like taking a gamble, grab a mechanic in a bottle like Seafoam and try it in the engine oil to see if it cleans the lifters. Probably won't work but if you're desperate, it's a cheap gamble. Don't get too aggressive down that route, you may wind up with oil leaks that will aggravate you more than the tick.
I will have to agree with natenkiki2004 . I run 5w-30 valvoline max life . the oil holes on these 4.0 l is very small . the thinner oil flows to the top end a lot better . You can get new rockers & push rods for about 200 . i change my oil every 3000 miles . Most of the time the tick is caused by wear on the rockers or push rods . if you search this forum you can find tons of info on this . it is possible to have a clogged lifter . but thicker oil will kill the top end of these 4.0's . mine has over 300,000 on her . original engine . Hope this helps you some .
 
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