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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It runs and idles great without missing. Starts right up, no problems. 93,800 miles. When I start it it has a clicking sound. I know about the feared valve seat drop, this is my 5th Escort, and not one of them had the seat issue. But all of them had the start-up click almost like a lifter sticking. When I take a dowel and put it up to the head near cylinder 4, then across to each cylinder I hear no tapping(hopefully ruling out a seat), but the fuel injectors definitely click. It sounds like it is coming from behind the motor by the intake or near it. After it runs for a few minutes it goes away, and is barely noticeable. OR, sometimes it stays and gets a little more loud. Am I being paranoid about a valve seat or is it a lifter, or possibly a loud fuel injector? It's not really loud, but I notice it. Also, sometimes it will tick. I can shut the car off, wait a minute, start it, and it will stop and not tick. It is more at idle than while driving it or under load.

Pull the head and put a new one in? What is the best way to check my lifters? I am going to do a compression check tomorrow on it. What is normal for these motors?
 

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hehehe... yeah they're make'n me paranoid about that seat drop as well. :)

It's so hard to diagnose sounds over the internet because many folks have differing descriptions for them. Is it more like a higher-pitched "tick" or a mid-range "knock" ? With that mileage, I'd begin to suspect the waterpump. If you disable the serpentine belt, does it sound like it may be coming from the passenger side of the engine where the t-belt is ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nope, definitely not a knock, surely it is a tapping sound, more on the "bad side" of the motor... 3+4 Cyl side. My luck is that it will be a seat. I am praying for a bad lifter($25), rather than a new head($300+, and a butt load of work). I yanked the spark plug out of cyl #4, and looked down into it, and all I see is the top of the piston with a bit of carbon, normal black piston top. Plug is fine. Wish I had a mini cam to shove in there to look at the seat!!! I am going to pull a compression test, and pull the valve cover off and check my lifters.
 

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u won't be able to see the seat thru the spark plug cylinder. u will if u take off the valve cover like u said u would.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
juggalo said:
u won't be able to see the seat thru the spark plug cylinder. u will if u take off the valve cover like u said u would.
Can't see the seat unless you yank the head off. Or use a fiber optic mini cam to look into the cylinder. Gonna check my lifters when I pull the valve cover off tomorrow.
 

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Ca441970 said:
......... use a fiber optic mini cam to look into the cylinder. ............
Don't suppose there's any chance that an O'Reilly's or AutoZone would lone one of those... ;)

I think they're probably still wwaayy too expensive at this point but maybe we can put a bug in somebody's ear at corporate headquarters or something. There might be a cheaper alternative available.

Check'n the roller lifters is the next logical step. I've had to replace a couple and probably need to replace another now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If I find a bad lifter I will do the happy happy joy joy dance.... Easy fix. Better on my wallet too... Hoping my compression is good too. If it is a seat ready to drop, I will yank the head before it does. I have no urge in replacing the entire engine...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Think I found the answer

Well, I pulled the valve cover off this morning took off the cylinder 4 rocker arms, and the intake lifter is squishy, barely any pushing down on the tappet, and it goes flat. The exhaust lifter is solid, I can barely push it down. So I think I got out of the head seat drop deal. I am going to get a new lifter this week.
 

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92TurboRacer said:
I think it's your exhaust manifold.
if that was the case there would be a constant tick. but the OP says it goes away after a while.
 

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juggalo said:
92TurboRacer said:
I think it's your exhaust manifold.
if that was the case there would be a constant tick. but the OP says it goes away after a while.
Oops, my bad.
Anyway, that's my problem, but I don't care.
 

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yeah u tried. it's all good bro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, I am going to get a new lifter today. It does it at idle only as I found out yesterday. When I bring the idle up to 2K it fades away after 10-20 seconds(More oil pressure sent to the lifter?) When I let it return to idle after a few minutes it will come back. That lifter is definitely squishy, it has no pressure in it. When I drive it, it never ticks... It is perfectly quiet. idles excellent, good power for these 88HP motors(88HP, what was Ford thinking?)

I'll post after I replace it hopefully today.
 

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To learn

Ca441970 said:
Yeah, I am going to get a new lifter today. It does it at idle only as I found out yesterday. When I bring the idle up to 2K it fades away after 10-20 seconds(More oil pressure sent to the lifter?) When I let it return to idle after a few minutes it will come back. That lifter is definitely squishy, it has no pressure in it. When I drive it, it never ticks... It is perfectly quiet. idles excellent, good power for these 88HP motors(88HP, what was Ford thinking?)

I'll post after I replace it hopefully today.
For my [and everybody's] edification, does a good HEALTHY lifter "squish" with finger pressure? with a LOT of difficulty? need FIRM pressure? or almost impossible? Car NOT running that is, ha.

Now that I wrote it, ha, I guess I should go to AutoZone and ask them to handle one, huh?

thx,

LarryR : )
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hydraulic Lifter.
-Problem: TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK... One or more Lifter is squishy and wont hold oil pressure.
-Fix: Remove the rockers and push down the top of the lifter, if it's soft then it needs to be replaced. You can try taking it apart and cleaning the check ball valve, but chances are if it's been ticking for awhile, it will be too worn out to hold oil pressure. They can cost as much as $25 each.


I found this^^^ in the "Common problems" thread, and this is what led me to check my lifters before buying $400 worth of a new head, gaskets, etc. My exhaust lifter is extremely hard to push down, my intake is the opposite. I pulled a lifter from the adjacent cylinder it was hard to push down on too, therefore my #4 intake lifter is doo doo, so I will be replacing it today after Napa opens up.
 

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Wonder if folks ignoring the head ticks and taps helps break up the valve seats ? (that's in addition to overheating, head cracking and high thermal gradients)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Intuit said:
Wonder if folks ignoring the head ticks and taps helps break up the valve seats ? (that's in addition to overheating, head cracking and high thermal gradients)
Like myself. I just bought the car last week from a 78 year old man, I doubt he bothered to have it looked at. I want to catch it before a huge catastrophic failure happens.... I doubt the bad lifter is any help with the #4 intake seat issue if the lifter is bad, right? I will change it and that will tell me if I need to yank the head. I swear it is that one lifter that has no pressure and while driving it makes not a sound. only at idle it ticks... We'll see.
 

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I let my head tap go for awhile many years ago. Wore and pitted the exhaust cam lobe. (2nd cyl exhaust) Didn't wear it enough to cause any problems, but I'm trying to imagine what a bad pushbutton can do to the other end of that valve ? Hard contact instead of soft ? So far I've not had any soft buttons. THey've all failed at the roller.

All buttons in the past have been hard as a rock. Some I've wondered whether they were stuck, but thanks to this thread I know that's probably normal.

TIP: Prime the engine. Hold accelerator pedal to the floor while cranking the engine after oil/lifter changes. Do this for like 10-20 seconds and it'll eliminate the the head clatter clack rattle you get for a second after that oil/lifter change. Probably not good for the starter to crank for extended periods. Cranking on a hot engine is hard on starter motors.
 

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Just food for thought

Intuit said:
Wonder if folks ignoring the head ticks and taps helps break up the valve seats ? (that's in addition to overheating, head cracking and high thermal gradients)
I dunno, but seems to me that as the lifter tries to UNSEAT the valve [open it] it does JUST THAT.... then depending on it's "condition", succeeds in opening it fully, a lot, a little, or sumpin'................ can't see that as adding any "stress" to the SEAT?

dunno, just thinking.

LarryR : )
 
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