Tick noise. - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017 Thread Starter
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Tick noise.

Hello.

I have some ticking noise in my 2003 Mustang GT Centennial and I can't really find out where it is.

The noise only comes when the car is warm and at idle. It's hardly noticeable when revved.

Not noticeable at all when the car is running cold.

The car is stock, except for muffler delete. It's a 4.6 2v engine. 88k miles.

I recently changed the oil, filter, coils and spark plugs because of misfire. Fixed the misfire but not the tick.

I've seen other threads and videos of something similar but not quite the same.

Just wondering if anyone else here has had this and knows what could cause this?

Here's a video I recorded:

Thank you,
Markus.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017
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Belt tensioner loose??

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90lxwhite View Post
Belt tensioner loose??
I tried torquing the belt tensioner to specs, made no difference.

I've gone all over with stethoscope, it's hard to pinpoint but I think it's coming from drivers side and from the timing chain. Maybe a timing chain tensioner. I'll remove the cover soon and check. I'll let you people know if I figure this out.

Thank you,
Markus.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017
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Could it be a lash adjuster?
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017
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My bet is valvetrain, two most obvious culprits mentioned above.

Are you the original owner? You mentioned oil change in conjunction with misfire: had it gone a long time without a change?
The mileage isn't that high, but excess wear in those components (caused for instance by long-term neglect of oil changes) can make that noise.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-28-2017 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dB Racing View Post
My bet is valvetrain, two most obvious culprits mentioned above.

Are you the original owner? You mentioned oil change in conjunction with misfire: had it gone a long time without a change?
The mileage isn't that high, but excess wear in those components (caused for instance by long-term neglect of oil changes) can make that noise.
I bought the car in august, I've driven it around 1000 miles since. I didn't get any book containing info about oil changes so I changed the oil and filter right away. I think the oil it had didn't look bad.

It was misfire-ing/hesitating at high rpm when I bought it and I fixed that with changing the ignition coils and spark plugs.
This tick noise was also when I bought it, just didn't think it was big of a deal. I'm not experienced with this stuff but am I right to think it can't be that bad if it doesn't increase when I rev the engine? It can only be heard when the engine is at idle and it's warm.

But I'm guessing I shouldn't drive it until I'm sure I know what it is and maybe I get it fixed?

Thanks,
Markus.
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2017
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Sometimes the early stages of spark plug blow out will present as a sound very similar to a tick. The preventive fix is to be certain that the spark plugs are torqued to factory specs. No more. No less. I promise you (from first hand experience) that it's easier to re-torque spark plugs than the repair pulled out threads.

You would also be surprised what can be learned by:
  • Removing the valve covers and performing a visual inspection
  • Cutting the oil filter open and inspect the filter element for debris
  • performing a compression and/or leak down test.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-10-2018 Thread Starter
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So I finally had some time tonight to do something with the car.

Managed to remove left side valve cover. I haven't checked the valve lash with a feeler gauge yet though.

But I noticed this, you know if this is normal slack on the timing chain? No slack on top though, only bottom.
See video:

In 79k. miles the car got 2 new timing chains, 4 guides and 2 tensioners.
It has 88k. miles now.

Hopefully I will have time tomorrow night to remove the right valve cover.

Thank you,
Markus.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-12-2018
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When I listen to that first video on my headphones, it sounds to me like what we call "rod knock" around my parts. Usually when that sound pops up, the oil pan comes off next for an inspection of the rods and caps.

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Diagnose Noises with a timing light?

Valve train noises occur at half of crankshaft speed so even if your ear can't tell whether the noise is happening at 700 rpm (raps per minute) or only 350 rpm, your eyes can. Hook the timing light to any one cylinder and watch the flash illuminate the timing mark. Stare at it for a while and see if the flash jives with the knock. If it does, then it is more likely to be rocker arms, pushrods, lifters, camshaft, cam bearings, timing chain and gears. If the noise seems twice as fast it is probably in the crank, mains, rods, rod bearings, wristpins and pistons.
Old school.
Rod knocks are loudest at higher speeds (over 2500 RPM) Feathering the gas pedal may result in a distinctive back rattle between 2500 and 3500 RPMs.
Bad rod knocks may double knock if enough rod bearing material has been worn away allowing the piston to whack the cylinder head in addition to the big end of the connecting rod banging on the crankshaft rod journal. It will sound like a hard metallic knock (rod) with an alternating and somewhat muffled aluminum (piston) klock sound.
Wrist pin knock in modern engines is very rare today but is a favorite for the misdiagnosticians.
Determining which cylinder contains the noisy parts may be aided by shorting out the plug wires one by one with a common low voltage test light.

Now you won't get the bulb to light up but it is a convenient way to short the cylinders without getting zapped or damaging the ignition coil.
Attach the alligator clip to a convenient ground, away from fuel system components, and pierce the wire boots at the coilpack or distributor end of the wire.
Some guys will use straight pins stuck in the ankle of the wire boots in the distributor. You know. The guys with tattoos and key rings stuck in their eyebrows. Then they touch a grounded jumper wire to each one. If the noise is changed when the plug wire is shorted to ground, you can figure that the problem is in the reciprocating bottom end parts. (piston, wrist pin, connecting rod or connecting rod bearing) The reason the sound changes is that when you short the cylinder plug wire you are stopping the combustion chamber explosions that are slamming the piston downward making the inside of the big end of the connecting rod bang against it's connecting rod journal. Or in the case of piston slap, no explosion changes how the piston is shoved hard sideways against the cylinder wall.
Valve train noises generally are loudest up to 1500 rpms.
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