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Discussion Starter #1
Over the past several months my engine has been making what sounds like lifter tick. The strange thing about it is when it happens. I can go several weeks without the noise and then it comes back again. I ran a compression test and all the numbers come back in the 180-195 range, the strange thing is #4 comes back at 210 the first time I test it but if I test it again it consistently comes back at 185. Another strange part is the engine can be ticking when I start it, I immediately turn it off, do a compression test, and when I'm done with the test I restart it the sound is gone. :? It also only seems to happen after I do a bunch of short trips. If I do any longer trips the sound will vanish and not come back for awhile. Is a lifter tick normally this sporadic? The car only has 57K miles and the engine runs great, idles smooth, and has good power. I have to do something. My beautiful wagon is starting to sound like a junk heap. :(
 

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yeah all I know is my 1.9 would do that from time to time even with a fully rebuilt motor, those lifters get picky if they get in just the wrong position. the short bursts of driving where it's warmed up some shut down, then warmed up and shut down, those lifters hate that. so it's not just you but yes it's annoying :/ I changed my oil every 2k miles with my short commute driving to college and back I'd only drive 8 miles a day, so every 2k miles was good the oil was lookin dirty and lifters were a tickin at that mark. long drives will free them up good too, and I was told by a trust worthy mechanic to run my 1.9 on the freeway in 3rd gear going 55 so the RPM's are up there for 5 miles, so 5 minutes on the freeway in 3rd and it gets enough oil through the lifters to clean them real good and get any air that's in them out! might try that, plus it's fun to hear the engine wound up that high lol, just don't do what I did, 3rd pulls from 50 to 70 :p up down up down up down ha ha.

HTH man
 

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Apparently it common for our engine to do that on short trips, mine does that too like Escort92Man said our cars dont like to many short trips. In last week to many short tips and my car did the same I did one long trip the tick was gone. Also dry starts which I really hate because I know the damage it causes, can cause the ticking.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I just changed the oil and am hoping that will help the problem. After I changed it and started it up it made the most racket I have ever heard and engine make after an oil change. I know this is because the oil hasn't fully circulated but I have never heard an engine this loud. After about 2 seconds it was quiet though. An engine with this few miles should not make that kind of racket. If it keeps up I'm going to look into replacing a lifter or two.
 

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oh I hear you it is ANNOYING, my 1.9 has 4k miles on it after a FULL rebuild and I start it every few weeks and it ticks like a siv for a minute or so then quiets down, I just let it warm up on high idle then I rev it to 3k rpm for a few minutes after it's warm to keep it going you know.

so you'll find even if you replace the lifters it's still gonna do it, did you try the freeway trick in 3rd gear? with fresh oil that will clean them out and evacuate any air that might be stuck in them. you know they're roller lifters I assume too, which is awesome, but they do clatter a bit more than regular hydro lifters. that got me too because I rebuilt that 1.9 and I swear I'd start it on a cold morning cold start just after the rebuild even and it'd tick for a few seconds, just building oil pressure I guess.

did it ever do it before or is this a lately thing? hook up an oil pressure gauge maybe?

just bouncing ideas out there for ya!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I know they are roller lifters. I have also see some pictures of the rollers getting flat spotted and failing but I would like to hope that isn't my problem.

It started happening about 2000 miles ago. I have owned the car since it had 32K miles on it and I never had lifter noise before let alone the racket I got after an oil change that I got today. I have only ever used Mobile 1 5w30 and Motorcraft filters. I was doing extended drain intervals with the synthetic oil but I never let it go to far.
 

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ok ok yeah, you know what's up just double checking man :)

yeah crack the valve cover off real quick and make sure all those clips that keep the lifters from spinning in the holes are still there and intact, that's a good start, if you want to also pull the rockers off and pull the lifters out that's an easy job too, take you an hour or so to pop em all off, and make sure you retorque the rockers back down to I think 22 ft lbs IIRC. then you're golden, but yeah it's an easy and quick job to just take a peek under the valveular cover. that's what I'd do fo SHAOW!

lemme know what ya find man. it COULD be a lifter that's gotten a flat spot on the roller but then I don't think the ticking ever goes away not sure on that tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If the noise keeps up I will pull the cover and check it out but I will need to barrow or buy a torque wrench first.
 

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harbor freight has one on sale for 12.99, it's a 1/2 inch drive, it's what I use to torque everything with, torqued my head on today and it ran under WOT with out a problem no blowing, torque lug nuts, half shaft nuts, it's 10 ft lbs to 150, great tool for cheap! did I mention it's my tire iron too ha ha, that and a 21mm deep walled harbor freight socket!

yeah if it keeps up check that out, the top valve cover bolts aren't very tight so you don't need a torque wrench for them, just hand tight with a 1/4 inch is more than enough torque on them, I've snapped a few till I learned what "snugged down" was :p
 

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I had a bad tick on start up a while back so I replace the intake lifter on cyl 2 after discovering the pin for the roller had come loose. I noticed on the new one I could depress the lifter, but not on the old one So I took it apart last night by popping the retainer off with a small flat head screw driver.

It was full of black oil. I even tried to spread the stuff around in the sink but it didn't even lighten up in color. Pretty nasty stuff. After I cleaned it I put the lifter back together and I can now depress it. I bet the others could use a good cleaning to if this one was this bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
How did you determine which lifter had the loose pin? Did you have to pull each one and look at it? My tick has greatly reduced since the oil change but it is still there for a few seconds on cold starts. I have a feeling it's going to come back. Cold starts don't sound like they used to a few 1K miles ago.
 

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wow lightning that's insane, I'll bet that's what was wrong with my old lifters, which are all sitting in my garage collecting dust! I should tear one apart and look. the lifters don't get much oil flow so it makes sense that they would build up gunk.

and you're right Matt, once the ticking starts it only stays like that or gets worse :/ it's annoying :mad: that's the whole reason I overhauled my 1.9 because of the severe lifter noises just getting worse, on the freeway it was just "clankty tick tick clankty tick tick" not my kind of freeway noises I like hearing.

but only 4k after a rebuild the cold start tick is back, SOMETIMES it even stays around for a few min till it gets to operating temp.

pain in the buttox if you ask me. and yeah you gotta take em all out to inspect em and see what's up, and squeeze em like lightning said and if they don't compress I guess either clean em out or replace em, cleaning sounds better since they are like 30 a piece! that's what autozone lists em as anyway, spendy suckers
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Autozone listed mine for $23.99 each.
rockauto.com has them for 15.08 each but once you add in shipping it isn't worth it for just one. You can however get 8 shipped for $134.64.

When the lifter won't compress isn't that a sign that its doing what its supposed to? Aren't they supposed to fill up with oil and not leak it out because when they leak out you get the dry lifter tick. I won't deny that the filthy oil and junk in them should be cleaned though.

I kind of think my bad lifter may be in the #4 cylinder because of my compression test results. #4 always tests abnormally high (210) at first and when I retest it's normal (185). There is also no tick after I preform the compression test meaning all the cranking of the motor refills the bad lifter.

Also, will I need to replace the gasket when I pull the valve cover?
 

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it depends on what shape the valve cover gasket is in, my 1.9 it still seals and does not leak, I've had my valve cover off dozens of times and it still seals up everytime :) just depends tho I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well, today the lifter noise is completely gone, even on cold starts. I started it twice and both times there was no noise what so ever. Just like that. I didn't even take a long trip with it. Of course, I won't be surprised if it comes back but for now it seems to have fixed itself.
 

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meh come and go, the clean oil got to em good then. sometimes it just gets a piece of dirt in it and makes one tick for a while, annoying yea.

glad it seems to be ok though! that's good!

did you hear my car is totally done :D :) runs like a dream I'll get an exhaust video of it, sounds like a lopey V8 at idle I have to turn the stereo down to listen it's just... OOOF, it's beautiful!
 

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I have a little lifter tick after a start every now and then. It seems the lifters hated 5w-30 oil, and clacked a whole lot more then. Since I went to 10w-40, and now 5w-40, I've had zero lifter tick (even after a change). Engine has about 35k or so on it since the full rebuild. Initially I had a noisy lifter, and it went away after a couple days. I would say your lifters are probably worn, and have a higher leakdown rate. While this doesn't sound good on startup, as long as it doesn't happen while driving you're good.
 
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