Ticking valvetrain noise from fresh engine

cudachris

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Hey folks,
a long story short: My engine is a 1997 318magnum block in a 69 barracuda, complete rebuild, new rings, new bearings, new valves, new guides, new flat tappet cam 262/268, new hydro lifters, new pushrods, new hughes springs, stock stamped rocker arms on magnum heads. 4bbl intake and tti headers. Broken in with mineral oil, hughes hp additive and cam lube on the lobes, I have done several mopar LA small blocks before)

Did the 20min break-in yesterday, engine had a ticking noise to it after a couple of minutes. It´s hard to hear from the passenger compartment, even hard to hear if you´re next to the car and the hood is closed, but it´s noticable when you open the hood. Sounds brighter than a flat cam lobe. Hardly noticable at idle, noisy at 2000rpm.
Noise is only on the driver´s side bank.
Took off the valve covers, put a stetoscope?!? (hearing aid) onto each of the rocker´s fasteners and found #1ex #3in and #5ex to be the source of the noise.
Exspecting the worst (cam failure), I removed the intake manifold and found all cam lobes to be in perfect shape. Pushrods were fine, Rockers looked great, so I replaced the only suspect left: the lifters
But even with three new lifters (with new oil, additive and cam lube) the noise came back within the first few minutes of the second break-in on the same 1ex 3in 5ex rocker arms.
I´ll get back at it after tomorrow, but I´m out of ideas today... any suggestions what this could be?
Thanks
Chris
 

66plyValiant

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did all your lifters pump up good? I suppose you shouldn't have that problem twice, good oil pressure?
 

cudachris

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Oil pressure was 75-70PSI at 2000rpm all the time. Oil came plenty and evenly when I took of the valve covers.



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Robbie2734

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Saw a set of heads here that had the valve stems at different levels. Run a straight edge accross them and check that too.
 

cudachris

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Saw a set of heads here that had the valve stems at different levels. Run a straight edge accross them and check that too.

Heads were rebuild at a machine shop, new 2.02 / 1.60 valves were installed, all lined up like they should...
 

plymouth67

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Sounds to me like the preload in the lifters is too soft. You need some adjustable rocker to adjust that out of them.
 

LETSRACE

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I know this is wayyyyyy outside the box but have you checked the header gaskets. I have heard knocking noise come from leaking header gaskets.
 

1972DusterPaul

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Like suggested I would start with "lifter pre-load" and "header gaskets".

I put headers on my Duster this Summer and had a bad gasket leak on the driver side which gave it that "ticking sound"...once sealed up properly the tick went away...

Paul
 

cudachris

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Thanks for your replies, I´ll check that today... preload is 0.60" shouldn´t be too soft?

Chris
 

cudachris

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Hello, spent some time on the engine but the noise is still there.

Here´s what I did, one step at a time:
-new header gaskets (old ones were fine)
-shimmed the rockers up 0.020" to reduce preload
-checkt the rocker bolts length to make sure they dont bottom out
-made a leakdown test, all cylinders are 90-95%
-checked valve height with a straight edge
-switched all rockers from driver to passenger side

I have been driving approx 150miles with this, it´s neither getting worse nor better.

Everytime I start the (cold) engine, the valvetrain is quiet, but the ticking starts after 50-60 seconds.

The engine is running great, nothing else to complain about.

WTF is this!?!

Thanks
Chris
 

412 Stroker

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Hi Chris,

Lifters installed in with the bleeding hole pointing towards the intake?

Michael
Aren't the lifters supposed to spin?? if so how can you locate a hole anywhere as soon as you start it up they are going to spin. unless they are roller lifters, but the OP states it is a flat tappet.
 

RustyRatRod

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Heads were rebuild at a machine shop, new 2.02 / 1.60 valves were installed, all lined up like they should...

Did you actually CHECK them or are you taking for granted the machine shop did it right? Valve stem height on non adjustable valve train engines is the single most popular mistake machine shops make. It takes time to set up properly and a lot of them simply do the valve job and never measure a thing. It sounds to me like you have eliminated everything else.
 

JoeDust451

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Ok, Is there a roller cam in it, or did you go with a flat-tappet? At any point i wouldn't keep throwing new parts at it, If its a roller cam then the lifters will not rotate, Roller cams will make some noise, but there shouldn't be any clatter, they tend to be a bit noisier when you increase the throttle, you can't here the cam when the hood is closed or in the car, shouldn't be able to anyways in most cases, now what i would do at this point is take a video of it with sound of coarse & post it as a link so we can hear it, this will help.
 

river rat

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Are you using a rubber gasket on the valve covers? The rockers could be hitting the valve cover, try a thicker gasket on the valve cover
 

360duster

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Aren't the lifters supposed to spin?? if so how can you locate a hole anywhere as soon as you start it up they are going to spin. unless they are roller lifters, but the OP states it is a flat tappet.

oh, missed the part when he said "flat tappet cam"....thought Magnum = Roller.

Good luck chris chasing this bug!

Michael
 

raymond

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What brand of lifters are you using, are they Comp? If so there's your problem right there, they are noted for giving problems!
 

cudachris

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Thanks for your support!

I did check the valve´s installed height with a straigth edge, they were dead even.
Yes it´s a flat tappet cam :)
The valve covers were removed for inspection and the engine was run with cardboard splash shields, no interference there...

Talked to an engine guy and he came up with this:

Running a flat tappet in a roller block, maybe some of the holes feeding oil from the galley to the tappets dont allow enough oil to enter the lifter. I´m using cheap summit lifters, maybe the groove in them is to high above the lifter´s face?

I´ll try to take and upload a video or audio file.

Thanks so much
Chris
 

moper

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It may just be those lifter bores are a little more worn than the others. You said you tried less preload... How much do you have now? It requires pushrods, but have you tried more preload? Aftermarket head gaskets may be a thicker compressed distance than factory, adn all else being equal, you may not have enough preload. I find at least .050 is good with stock type tappets, which is what you have.
 

64physhy

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The oil groove in the roller lifters is higher than the groove in flat tappet lifters, so I doubt that is your problem. I have heard that blocks that have run roller lifters can have trouble with the lifter bores when going back to flat tappet lifters...something about the roller lifters making the bores out-of-round or worn out. were the lifter bores checked out during the rebuild?
 

slim 67

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I started a thread on here a few years ago with the same problem and got a lot of good responses but never found the problem. I have the same scenario with a roller block ( '89 360) with flat tappets and the noise seems to be drivers side near the front. I changed header gaskets 5 times tried 2 different cams (comp and lunati) and 3 sets of lifters and nothing ever changed. I am curious to see what you find.
 

cudachris

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I started a thread on here a few years ago with the same problem and got a lot of good responses but never found the problem. I have the same scenario with a roller block ( '89 360) with flat tappets and the noise seems to be drivers side near the front. I changed header gaskets 5 times tried 2 different cams (comp and lunati) and 3 sets of lifters and nothing ever changed. I am curious to see what you find.

You´ve got no idea how curious I am... :)
Do you still run that engine?
Did you use the same brand of lifters all 3 times?
Thanks,
Chris
 
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