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93_deuce
01-03-2009, 12:34 AM
Ok so I think I have figured out my fuel/spark problem but now I have another one. I am hearing a ticking/rattle/knock noise from the motor. I can hear it while idling if I am outside the truck and it sounds like it is coming from underneath the truck.

When I am driving it gets louder with the RPMS and goes quiet ( or inaudible) at around 2,000RPM. I also noticed today that if I am cruising around 60 and slightly press the gas and let off I can hear the ticking very fast for a couple of seconds.

I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas if it is lifter noise or what. Hopin' somebody has had this problem. It's a 93 4.3 CPI but it only has 76K.

Please help!

stenz
01-03-2009, 12:43 AM
Ahh yes, the dreaded "lifter tick"

After a long time of research and a few motor builds, the tick actually comes from a nick/or chip in the polished surface that the roller lifters ride on.
When the oil fills the chip the tick isn't heard. When under light throttle the engine isn't oiling enough to fill the holes.

I went through this on a couple motors before narrowing it down to that.
Now, if you're injectors have ever been rebuild, or rejetted they can sometimes have a tick.
My 454 injectors (rejetted down for the 4.3 - longer duty cycle=more gas), have a tick at idle.
But if it's at low rpm, and pretty loud it's more than likely what I described above.
Regardless of what people will tell you, it's not about to explode. It sounds rough as hell. But they will run for many years like that.

dummyface
01-03-2009, 03:45 AM
Stenz.. that sounds about right to me.. id just deal with the noise.. (my 305 s10 has a faint lifter tick..) and i run it at the strip LOL

lil brown 2.5
01-03-2009, 11:45 PM
is this tick common for 2.5 motors? i just rebuilt my 2.5 and it has a consistant tick, kinda like a bit noisier sewing machine. the lifters are new.

stenz
01-03-2009, 11:50 PM
Make sure your it's ot your injector ticking. The solenoid valve in them will hammer sometimes, making a tick sound with every pulse.
Also check that 2.5 manifold. They had a bad problem cracking and it will just make a tick if it's a small crack.

lil brown 2.5
01-04-2009, 12:34 AM
its a consistant tick. explain the intake tick you speak of due to a crack.

93_deuce
01-05-2009, 01:01 PM
Is there any way to check the spring tension or unclog the oil ports? I am running some sea foam in the oil and I also added some to the intake and the fuel.

I am planning on running some marvel mystery oil when I change the oil and then changing it again.

The tick is pretty audible at idle and very fast when I let off the gas around 60 for like 3 seconds. I am just hoping it is nothing serious. I will try and post an audio clip soon.

zerobudget S10
01-05-2009, 01:34 PM
is this tick common for 2.5 motors? i just rebuilt my 2.5 and it has a consistant tick, kinda like a bit noisier sewing machine. the lifters are new.

dude, mine ticks like a whore...it still runs strong...
when the cam bearings wear out, it'll do this too. and yes...i'm sure the cam bearings do this too, dad's a mechanic...lol

88Jimmy
01-05-2009, 04:09 PM
Use some Lucas oil stabilizer... It'll kind of put a damper on the sound if it's from one of the rollers. My 88 did it when I first got it and I run 15w40 Rotella T (1 gal) and a whole bottle of Lucas oil stabilizer as my 5th quart...

zerobudget S10
01-05-2009, 04:28 PM
or just fix the prob instead of putting a band-aid on it lmao :D

88Jimmy
01-05-2009, 05:10 PM
or just fix the prob instead of putting a band-aid on it lmao :D

True... LOL... I actually think my truck quit ticking... I think it had some oil gunked up from sitting for a few months...

stenz
01-05-2009, 06:50 PM
Well, the lucas trick will lean you in the right direction. it will dull out a lifter tick, or the cam bearings, or even the chipped cam surface.

Kinda hard to tell which it is from that experiment.


As for the crack I was talking about. The exhaust manifold will form small cracks sometimes, due to vibration. They will make a fast ticking sound as the exhaust gas escapes.

The intake injector tick is also very fast.
Use a mechanic's stethoscope, or piece of rod touched to your ear(not it it though). Then touch the other end to the fuel injector, and the exhaust. See where it sounds loudest through the stethoscope or rod.
You can use this trick to find more problems then you think.
You can also check on the valve cover to listen for having rocker slack. Which can make some awful noise too.

mud351
01-05-2009, 07:30 PM
my truck to ticks. 4.3. just put new lifters in but to no aviel. goes awy as soon as off idle.put a quart of lucas oil in it seemed to quite it down quite abit.

stenz
01-06-2009, 06:22 PM
my truck to ticks. 4.3. just put new lifters in but to no aviel. goes awy as soon as off idle.put a quart of lucas oil in it seemed to quite it down quite abit.

That sounds like the polished surface is chipped.
What year is it?

93_deuce
01-06-2009, 07:36 PM
Still have ticking after running the seafoam in my oil, intake and gas. I am gonna try some Marvel Mystery Oil and I hope that works.

If not is there anything I can do to adjust/clean the lifters?

Some people have also said it could be spark detonation/knock. How could I distinguish between these?

I'll try and post an audio clip soon.

zerobudget S10
01-06-2009, 07:52 PM
still think you need to do cam bearings if you already haven't.....if you did, my bad

93_deuce
01-06-2009, 11:15 PM
Added the Marvel Oil and listened for the tick. I tried to record an audio clip to post on here but couldn't hear it over the fan. I am going to try and get a better clip tomorrow.

I can't seem to pinpoint the noise but i am leaning towards possibly the timing chain. Any tests for this being bad?
still think you need to do cam bearings if you
already haven't.....if you did, my bad

How do you replace those?

stenz
01-07-2009, 06:48 PM
Almost gotta take it to a machine shop unless you've got the installer and remover tool for the bearings.

As for the marvel and seafoam. They are "thin" oil additives. Good for cleaning. Lucas will fill gaps and stop leaks.
So if you try lucas and it gets better i would bet on the cam having a chip.
I've done about 3 motors with the tick, including the two I did for MY truck, that all had the chip in the cams.
Normally happens on 1st gen motors, occasionally second gens tho.

As for the timing chain, you would get some noise, but not a tick necassarily. More of a slapping sound. Only real way to tell for sure is to take off the timing cover and look. As always, if theres the slightest doubt... replace it.
I'm running a Cloye's double roller setup on mine - same as 350.

zerobudget S10
01-07-2009, 11:41 PM
2.5's are notorious for shittin the cam bearings....mine has that problem right now. sounds like a.....ummm....ticking thing...lol

93_deuce
01-08-2009, 12:35 AM
Yeah but mines a 4.3 with only 76,000. Granted it's 15 years old but damn. I am still lost with this whole deal and going to tear into it this weekend with my dad.

Does anyone think it could be a cracked exhaust manifold?

stenz
01-08-2009, 11:46 AM
The back and forth thing will actually show a little slack either way. Since the distribtor gear is a worm gear style. It will actually raise slightly before turning backwards. So account for this if you do this test.

Seeing as it's 15 years old AND a 4.3 I still lean toward the cam.

93_deuce
01-09-2009, 12:19 AM
Posted an audio clip so you guys can hear it.

It is wierd that all I have read on here about lifters says that it usually gets quieter or stops when the engine warms up. Mine is opposite. If it is cold you can't hear it but the more you drive the more audible it is. It gets faster and louder with RPM's and if I'm cruisin at 60 and just put the weight of my foot on the gas pedal and let off you can hear it for like 3 seconds really fast (sounds like a rattle)!

I am really stumped on this and am afraid it's gonna ruin my engine.


What is it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z-643oU8IvU

93_deuce
01-09-2009, 09:24 AM
You can't hear the tick/knock? I thought it was pretty pronounced

stenz
01-09-2009, 09:39 AM
Yeah, that describes a rod knock to the T.. or main bearings.
Watch the crank while it's idling. See if the crank pulley is jumping around while the noise is happening.

I never thought of rod knocking.. we were all concentrated on lifter noise.
The cam chip thing will still make the sound warm, but it is just a tick.. if you have a rattle then I'd be watching that crank to see if you've got slack.. and use the stethoscope trick on the side of the block to listen for the noise.

88Jimmy
01-09-2009, 09:42 AM
Dude that sounds like a damn spark plug wire arcing somewhere else... When was the last time the plugs/wires/coil pack was replaced? I would do all 3 before you did anything else. The plug wires are 30 bucks, the coil is 30 bucks and the plugs are about 15. Save a headache before you pull it apart...

vivalahammer
01-09-2009, 08:13 PM
Dude that sounds like a damn spark plug wire arcing somewhere else... When was the last time the plugs/wires/coil pack was replaced? I would do all 3 before you did anything else. The plug wires are 30 bucks, the coil is 30 bucks and the plugs are about 15. Save a headache before you pull it apart...

don't throw parts at it.

it sounds internally. the way you described it getting louder as it gets hot, sounds like it's either a lifter/valve/rod. the only way to know for sure, is to pull it apart. i wouldn't waste money or time by putting tune up items on it.

just my 2 cents.

stenz
01-10-2009, 10:51 AM
Just watch the front of the crank pulley and see if it moves.. then move to rods

I agree that trying to make out what it is through a sound clip doesn't work too well.
The best way would be to have it right in front of you.
If it's a clack sound I'd lean toward main and rod bearings. A tick would be lifter or cam.

lil brown 2.5
01-12-2009, 12:38 AM
dude, mine ticks like a whore...it still runs strong...
when the cam bearings wear out, it'll do this too. and yes...i'm sure the cam bearings do this too, dad's a mechanic...lol

what oil do you run? do you run 40 wt to offset this or run the normal 30?

zerobudget S10
01-12-2009, 10:49 AM
what oil do you run? do you run 40 wt to offset this or run the normal 30?

i don't run anything different....its just a tick...truck is fine. drive it. lol.

srry can't be more helpful....:(

93_deuce
01-12-2009, 12:41 PM
Changed my oil with 5w-30 and a quart of lucas oil stabilizer this weekend. Changed the Spark Plugs and Tightened the air intake bolts.



Tick is still there and we think we have pinpointed it to being under the passenger side valve cover near the PCV valve. My dad thinks its a lifter but adding the stabilizer, seafoam, mystery oil - hasn't changed the sound at all. We are plannin to dig into it this weekend and hopefully it's a lifter or rocker arm. I forgot to add that it didn't look like the crank was moving around at all at idle or under throttle. One other thing is that if we held the motor at a constant higher rpm the sound began to be really loud and horrible sounding, and at idle just a constant tick. Thanks for all the help


I was also wondering if anyone knows exactly where the "T" or "R" stamp is on these blocks. I am trying to figure out which block I have and can't see it with all these accessories on. I think it is located behind the alternator bracket on the block. Anyone else know this to be true?

The only thing I can see on the block is a couple of raised dots which look stamped on and from what I read @s10forum.com this could mean its an "R" block cuz a "T" block has numbers stamped on it. Just wondering if anyone else knows exactly where this stamp is and if you have to remove stuff to see it.

lil brown 2.5
01-12-2009, 12:50 PM
i don't run anything different....its just a tick...truck is fine. drive it. lol.

srry can't be more helpful....:(

no sweat, that told me plenty. we just went thru a spare block i had and the cam and cam bearings were the only thing un touched in this build. i'll get one of my other blocks prepped and a new cam and bearings will go into the next setup but that should be a long time off (i hope) unless i get a wild hair and my obsessive compulsive takes over as im a stickler for things to be right.

93_deuce
01-14-2009, 09:24 AM
I was also wondering if anyone knows exactly where the "T" or "R" stamp is on these blocks. I am trying to figure out which block I have and can't see it with all these accessories on. I think it is located behind the alternator bracket on the block. Anyone else know this to be true?

The only thing I can see on the block is a couple of raised dots which look stamped on and from what I read @s10forum.com this could mean its an "R" block cuz a "T" block has numbers stamped on it. Just wondering if anyone else knows exactly where this stamp is and if you have to remove stuff to see it.

Anyone1?:confused::confused::mad:

stenz
01-14-2009, 09:38 AM
You're not talking about engine "code" are you?
If so look at your VIN number , it's the 8th digit.

93_deuce
01-14-2009, 10:48 AM
No. It's a W engine code.

There is an article on S10forum that talks about the rocker systems during these years. Apparently depending on which plant the engine block was made at determines if you have "net-lash" (non adjustable) or adjustable rockers.

I am hoping I have adjustable ones and that would mean my block would have to be stamped with an "R".

The article says that it is on the passenger side on the machined surface in front of the cylinder head. Well for me that is right where my alternator bracket is.

EDIT:

I am trying to figure out if I have "net lash" system or not. One post says it depends if you have a "T" or "R" stamped on the block but then it says that ALL Vortec engines are "net lash" and therefore non adjustable.

Does anyone know this for certain?

Mottley's99
03-01-2009, 07:55 PM
I too was wondering if the lifters are adjustable in my '99 x code. When it first starts up it ticks like a mother, then you can hear it gradually go away as the oil pressure builds and oil gets to it. The previous owner told me he put "Lucas oil treatment" in it and it collapsed one of the lifters, he said it never ticked before that. I don't know if it was stabilizer he put in or what but he said it thinned out the oil. Once it warms up you can hear a slight tick in mine under the truck but it runs steady and good so I'm not too worried about it.

KronicRevival
12-15-2010, 01:57 PM
I think almost all s10s make the dreaded lifter tick. Every s10 that i have heard (besides rebuilt ones) make it. What exactly should you replace or have fixed to get rid of the tick?

unique_w
12-18-2010, 05:55 AM
I have owned a 1997 S15 new and now a 2002 S10 used both had or have 4.3 vortec engines, I have not heard any ticks in either.

Just read this entire thread, excellent posts, the majority of posts herein indicate lifters or cam issues with the possibility of small intake manifold cracks or a possible timing chain slap issue.

Regarding looking for a rod bearing knock - pull a spark plug wire from one cylinder at a time - when the problem rod bearing cylinder is allowed to free float without the expansion from igniting the fuel the knock will not be heard. Realizing the engine will idle rough while each plug does not fire. If the knock does not stop or diminish lean toward a main bearing.

I think almost all s10s make the dreaded lifter tick. Every s10 that i have heard (besides rebuilt ones) make it. What exactly should you replace or have fixed to get rid of the tick?