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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-08-2005 Thread Starter
mrski's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 6
Help, Loud Ticking Noise 1999 3.8L

My Stepson returns from his fathers house with a loud ticking noise at the left rear (driver's side) of his 1999 3.8L. The best way to describe it is; a rhythmic ticking that increases in volume as engine RPM increases. It sounds like blasts of air from a compressor (not deep and throaty like an exhaust leak). The noise is loud enough to be heard as the car drives away (as much as 30 yards or so).
I immediately suspected a bad valve, lifter or pushrod and don't laugh but I used the old wooden handle trick to substitute for a stethoscope and listened for valve noise. I couldn't detect any tapping or change from the back of the valve cover to the front. We pulled the header and checked it for cracks (none), reinstalled it with a new gasket and tightened all exhaust components, all to no avail.
The engine runs fine, has no coolant or oil loss and no smoke or steam in exhaust. Could the head gasket have blown at the rear of the head near the firewall WITHOUT leaking coolant? Is there some type of emission fitting on that side of the engine that I can't see? Any input would be appreciated...

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