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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Vehicle has made this noise for as long as I've owned it, about 60k miles. Thicker oil cleans up the chatter but leaves the deeper knock. Engine runs fine, but mileage just took a sharp drop-off so I'm troubleshooting.

I think the poor mileage is a result of spark plugs... I don't think they've been changed in the life of the vehicle. I'll be replacing those ASAP but I'd really like some expert thoughts on what that knocking noise is.

Thanks in advance

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Ok, if it is the lifters, can someone ballpark a repair amount? I would work on it myself, but I don't have tools or a place to work on it.

Also, it's been making that noise for as long as I've had it, mileage is now around 160k miles and the noise hasn't changed in that time (got the car with about 105k miles). Should I just leave the motor alone? I've been slowly rebuilding this car in the time I've had it.

New ball joints and struts front and rear
new timing belt, belt tensioner, and water pump
new brakes all the way round
tires have about 20k miles on them
transmission flushed and filter replaced, shifts are firm
brake lines flushed recently
AC has been repaired (had a leak at one of the evaporator fittings, and the orifice tube filter was plugged.)
Power steering fluid has been flushed and replaced
new sway bar links (the old ones rusted to powder) and new bushings on the links

The next thing I'm going to do mechanically is have the radiator and water hoses replaced (maybe the thermostat while I'm at it) because I have a small coolant leak and I think it's coming from the side of the radiator where the metal core meets the plastic sides. Also going to do plugs and wires, was planning on staying with the OEM autolite platinum plugs.

I figure I've come this far with it, and since the car is paid for I plan on keeping it for as long as I can keep it running.

What should I do next?
 

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Lifters are very easy to replace, can be done even in the parts store parking lot, and only require a socket set and pliers.
1. Remove 3 bolts holding valve cover down.
2. Remove rocker arm bolts for intake and exhuast valves and remove rockers and fulcrum.
3. Remove lifter retainer and remove lifters. Coat new lifters in engine assembly lube and install.
4. Do this for all 4 cylinders.
5. Snug rocker arm bolts but don't lean into them too hard.
6. When reinstalling the valve cover, use new gasket.
7. Drink a can of your favorite beverage because you're done!
 

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Hardest part of all of that would be the thermostat as the bolts like to break off in the head. If you're going to have the shop do any of it, have them do that so when the bolts snap off, it's their problem. The hoses are just an issue of getting to the clamps, which can be difficult but not impossible. The radiator is fairly simple to do. Like on most Fords, remove the electric fan and shroud as an assembly, disconnect your hoses, disconnect your auto transmission lines, and remove the radiator.
 

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Be sure to top it off.

I've had the radiator changed twice in the Durango now. Both times, my mechanic didn't bother to refill to transmission fluid. He also dumped out a fresh gallon of washer fluid (the green bug killer stuff) and left all the spilled coolant all over the place.

It only took 3/4 of a quart to top it off, but that's the difference between catching reverse on the first try or not for a well worn Chrysler overdrive in cold weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The plugs were factory OEM. The wires had the ford logo on them. Plugs were branded motorcraft. 160k miles on these plugs

The electrodes on the plugs were so worn that I'm astonished the engine was running with no problems. I don't have a decent camera but I have a buddy that does and as soon as I can I'm going to post pics. Amazing stuff.

I also tip my hat to PB blaster for being a good penetrating lubricant that kept me from destroying threads. I soaked the old plugs with the stuff and let it sit for about 30 minutes before trying to get the old plugs out.

The new ones have anti-seize and plenty of dielectric grease on them.


EDIT

What does it cost to have the heads rebuilt for the spi 2.0L? I'm thinking that I have enough miles on it that I should skip the lifters and save to get the entire head rebuilt so I have new valve seats, new valves and all that happy stuff.
 

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I dont know what a rebuild head would cost, the ones I took in for rebuilding cost me about $300 by the time I got them back. Thats assuming you do the removal'replacement yourself. That a little more than I would attempt in the parts store parking lot - even in mild weather.
If you open up the engine to look at the lifters - check to make sure the roller on the bottom is still round, and doesnt have a flat spot. One of the members here had a very noisy engine - similar to yours, all caused by one or two of his lifters having damaged rollers on the bottom. He only replaced the lifters, didnt replace the cam, and was happy with his quiet engine.


Another thing about dong the work yourself; you get to fix other things that might need attention. There are many things that are MUCH easier to reach (starter, rear heater hoses, etc.) when the head is off the car.

And as for buying tools; no matter what tools you buy, I expect they will have paid for themselves the first time you use them. I never buy cheap tools - its worth it to get good ones.
 
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