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I looked at the video showing the lifters, and the first one seems to have a visibly badly worn top piece (I'm not sure what it's called). Compare it to the adjacent one to see.

What does the mating rocker arm look like?

Usually a lifter "tick" is a sharp rapping sound when the hood is open, whereas the sound in the video is a bit duller. I also am wondering if the noise is transmission related. Is it manual or automatic?

As for running with both lifters deactivated, I did this for many miles when I had a very bad lifter tick on a road trip. I was worried that the lifter's little wheel would be banging around and twisting on the cam lobe, so I took out the lifters and rocker arms for that cylinder and carried on.
However the car was having real problems on the steep uphills and shaking badly as I was in mountainous terrain. Eventually I decided to do a roadside overhaul of the lifters, which was successful.
 

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Does the noise change pitch under load? Louder, quieter, same?
When idling in PARK there is no noticeable ticking sound. When I rev the engine like in the last video that is the sound you will hear.

When driving, if I am cruising along at, for example, 50 kmph and then step on it a little up to 60 kmph, I won't hear any ticking noise until I take my foot off the accelerator. The ticking under these circumstances lasts about 3-4 seconds at most.

So the common denominator in both cases is acceleration/rpms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I looked at the video showing the lifters, and the first one seems to have a visibly badly worn top piece (I'm not sure what it's called). Compare it to the adjacent one to see.

What does the mating rocker arm look like?

Usually a lifter "tick" is a sharp rapping sound when the hood is open, whereas the sound in the video is a bit duller. I also am wondering if the noise is transmission related. Is it manual or automatic?

As for running with both lifters deactivated, I did this for many miles when I had a very bad lifter tick on a road trip. I was worried that the lifter's little wheel would be banging around and twisting on the cam lobe, so I took out the lifters and rocker arms for that cylinder and carried on.
However the car was having real problems on the steep uphills and shaking badly as I was in mountainous terrain. Eventually I decided to do a roadside overhaul of the lifters, which was successful.
The rocker arms all look fine.

The lifters have all been replaced.

The timing belt was replaced.

Transmission is automatic.

Checked my oil drain container for metal filings, etc. A couple of very tiny pieces but no guarantee it was from the Escort.

Engine idling sounds fine. Cruising along the road sounds good (until I accelerate and then let off the pedal) with no problems in performance on the flat or up a hill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Does the noise change pitch under load? Louder, quieter, same?
PLEASE IGNORE THE PREVIOUS POST BY "SASKADOOMTUBE". POSTING FROM WORK, NOT PAYING ATTENTION, LOGGED IN UNDER A DIFFERENT GOOGLE ACCOUNT - DOH!

ALREADY ASKED TO HAVE ACCOUNT DELETED - LONG DAY.......o_O



When idling in PARK there is no noticeable ticking sound. When I rev the engine like in the last video that is the sound you will hear.

When driving, if I am cruising along at, for example, 50 kmph and then step on it a little up to 60 kmph, I won't hear any ticking noise until I take my foot off the accelerator. The ticking under these circumstances lasts about 3-4 seconds at most.

So the common denominator in both cases is acceleration/rpms.
 

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Light to no load noise is definitely perplexing, have you checked oil pressure while it's making the noise?

Maybe a mechanics stethoscope could help narrow down the source of the noise, they're pretty cheap and might get you on the right track.
 

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I had a rapping noise that was the timing belt slapping against the plastic timing belt cover. A re-tension of the timing belt fixed it. It happened after the engine would idle down, was easy to hear even with the hood shut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
To help rule out lifter or valve noise, after running the engine until normal operating temp., I did the following tests:

  • KOEO (result; code 11)
  • KOER (result; code R 41)
  • "balanced cylinder test" 3 times consecutively (result; code 90 after all 3 tests)

Despite the code 41 (that's going to be another potential rabbit hole...) would the results of the balanced cylinder test rule out issues with the lifters and valves?
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Light to no load noise is definitely perplexing, have you checked oil pressure while it's making the noise?

Maybe a mechanics stethoscope could help narrow down the source of the noise, they're pretty cheap and might get you on the right track.
Yes, I've used the stethoscope many times. I think it sounds like it's coming from somewhere around the valve cover but never quite sure. Tried the stethoscope all over the top and around the engine. Nice little clicking sounds around the fuel injectors... Rev the engine while using the scope and although I can hear the nasty sound I can't isolate it. Even the timing belt cover, as denisond3 suggested it could the belt hitting the cover, but that wasn't it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Today, I had a new event as I try to narrow down the ticking sound.
Cold morning (close to 0 Celcius), car parked on the driveway, tried to start it and it turned over but wouldn't start. Checked if the "fuel cut-out" button in the rear tripped but that looked good. Tripped it anyway and reset it. Wouldn't start. Pushed it into the garage.
  • Checked battery voltage - 12.7 V (no load)
  • Checked the plugs (only a year old) - plugs looked fine but mostly dry.
  • Checked the fuel pump for power - pump has power.
  • Checked the gas cap for tightness - seemed good.

After checking everything and the car being in the garage for awhile I tried to start it again and it started. Dunno...

Went through the KOEO, KOER and balanced cylinder tests again. Same results as stated previously. Nothing except code R 41.

Ordered a new oxygen sensor and will get back at it once it is replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Oxygen sensor isn't relevant in starting or initial warmup (open loop).

Try disconnecting the serpentine belt and driving the car for a bit to see if the noise changes.
Removed serpentine belt, started the vehicle, revved the engine and I heard a couple brief ticks and then nothing.

I'm going to put the belt back on and let the engine warm-up a little. Then I'm going to make sure I can rev it and hear the ticking. Then I'm going to try without the belt again.

BTW, snowed last night. Let the games begin :)!
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Oh-boy, ran engine after it was warmed a bit, with the serpentine belt off, revved it, and tickety-tickety-tick. I guess we have a serious problem with valves, bearings or something...
 

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Well it appears to not be the accessories or their drive.
You could try a leak down test, I did this recently on a Honda and confirmed a bad exhaust valve. Of course the head then had to come off for repair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
I have read some different opinions but I am uncertain under what circumstances people are describing good or bad lifters.

Hydraulic roller lifters - after the engine has been running, you shut the engine down, remove the valve cover, remove the rocker arms, and you push down the button (lash adjustment) on top of each lifter, assuming they are all working properly, you should:

a) be able to push each button down a little bit?
b) not be able to push the buttons down at all?
c) depending on where the engine stopped, some may push down a little, some not at all?

Is the above a definitive method to rule out good or bad lifters?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Well it appears to not be the accessories or their drive.
You could try a leak down test, I did this recently on a Honda and confirmed a bad exhaust valve. Of course the head then had to come off for repair.
I followed the "Hydraulic lifter clearance" procedure as described in the Haynes manual:

  • number one cylinder at TDC on compression stroke
  • check valve stem-to-rocker arm clearance on No. 1 intake, No. 1 exhaust, No. 2 intake
  • rotate 180 degrees
  • check valve stem-to-rocker arm clearance on No. 3 intake, No. 3 exhaust
  • rotate 180 degrees
  • check valve stem-to-rocker arm clearance on No. 4 intake, No. 4 exhaust, No. 2 exhaust

All stems and rockers were in contact, zero clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Once again, I would appreciate some feed back on how these lifters should respond when the rockers arms are removed. After performing the test above I removed the rocker arms. While loosening the rocker arms the lifter buttons (lash adjustment) all pushed up. After removing the rockers, I pushed down on the buttons with my finger. Some were almost solid or barely moved, while others pushed down a great deal. What should happen?
 

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I think it depends on where the camshaft stopped turning. It would seem that the lifters on valves that were held open on shutdown would slowly bleed down from spring pressure, so that when the rocker arm is removed, the lifter would expand by sucking in air. Then it would feel springy when tested by hand.

But in my experience lifters usually have very limited travel due to normal varnish build up over the years, so essentially act solid when testing them outside of the engine.

Whenever I have lifter ticking I take out all of them and clean them up. I find this so fascinating that I have even done it on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
See post #39 here:

 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I think it depends on where the camshaft stopped turning. It would seem that the lifters on valves that were held open on shutdown would slowly bleed down from spring pressure, so that when the rocker arm is removed, the lifter would expand by sucking in air. Then it would feel springy when tested by hand.

But in my experience lifters usually have very limited travel due to normal varnish build up over the years, so essentially act solid when testing them outside of the engine.

Whenever I have lifter ticking I take out all of them and clean them up. I find this so fascinating that I have even done it on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.
See post #39 here:

I have read discussions on other websites people giving advice about the necessity of cleaning lifters in an "ultra clean environment". Along the roadside would probably not meet their standards. :)

During this whole process of trying to understand hydraulic roller lifters I've taken several apart, sometimes more than once, to see what's going on inside. A clean rag, latex gloves, and a chunk of cardboard on my work bench is my sterile environment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
On a positive note - while checking for codes to help troubleshoot the ticking noise I did get a Code 41 which led to replacing my O2 sensor. The old 3-wire sensor when measured between the heater wires was 6.7 ohms, almost double what the new sensor reads (Bosch 13942). After replacing the sensor, warming up the engine, and running a KOER test the Code 41 did not appear. The old sensor had a little bit of carbon built up:

Automotive tire Gas Cylinder Auto part Font
 
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