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Old 12-05-2012, 02:04 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Glasgow, KY
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Car: 87' GTA
Engine: 350 L98 TPI
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Stuck Lifter? Collapsed Lifter? VIDEO INSIDE

Hey folks..

So the problem here is that once my car warms up to operating temperature, there is a nasty sounding tick coming from the passenger side of the motor.

I have ruled out a loose rocker arm because less than a couple hundred miles ago I swapped the stock rocker arms for 1.6 full rollers at 3/4 of a turn and then another 1/8 after the lock nut was jammed into place. I KNOW I adjusted them correctly. The noise isn't that of a rocker arm hitting the valve cover either, I've had that happen before, it's not the right pitch.. This noise has been around since I did the rocker arm swap.

http://s58.beta.photobucket.com/user.../Tick.mp4.html

From the videos I've seen elsewhere a lifter ticking seems to be the most logical answer...
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no idea how many times people would come up to me and ask if i knew the engine was making a "weird winding noise"... i eventually stopped explaining that it was a gear driven timing set and started telling people not to worry... its just the Japanese children i use for gas... then imagine the odd looks i got
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I'd rather invest several thousand in restoring and upgrading a good-looking old car than buy something new.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:34 PM   #2
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Re: Stuck Lifter? Collapsed Lifter? VIDEO INSIDE

Before you condemn the lifter, try isolating the noise to one particular rocker and swap the original 1.5 back on. See if the noise goes away.

A pushrod that has bottomed out in the pushrod slot in the head (which your 87 heads almost certainly still use despite being a "centerbolt" head) can cause a binding that will first show up as a rocker tick and later as a worn-through pushrod. This can happen because 1.6 rockers get their increased ratio by moving the pushrod cup closer to the rocker fulcrum.

Also possible the added lift and generally increased valvetrain stress quickly accelerated the demise of a valve guide. I've had this happen before- one that just goes totally bonkers worn out very quickly. It will also produce a valvetrain tick that kinda comes and goes at different RPMs and throttle positions and will drive you absolutely bonkers trying to track it down.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:32 PM   #3
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Re: Stuck Lifter? Collapsed Lifter? VIDEO INSIDE

So if the valvetrain is in a bind due to increased lift, causing the tick... Then what can be done to remedy this? Valve springs made to handle more lift? Different length pushrods?

And how long is this current setup able to be ran without any damage?
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Old 12-06-2012, 09:25 AM   #4
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Re: Stuck Lifter? Collapsed Lifter? VIDEO INSIDE

First off, I don't KNOW what the problem is. I'm just trying to share a few things I've run into that act and sound similar to a lifter problem (for instance, if you change the lifter out and the noise doesn't go away).

I doubt you're maxing out the valvespring side with too much lift (assuming a stock cam in the motor). I'm talking about the pushrod binding at the bottom of the pushrod slot in the valve deck area of the cylinder head. That's a must-check thing whenever you use higher ratio rockers with stock heads.

The valve guide wearing out possibility can happen for reasons both known and unknown. My experience with it is that once one of them starts to let go it goes downhill pretty fast. If you take off the valve spring(s), open the valve slightly by hand and then try to wiggle the valve stem back and forth you would definitely notice something like this. A little tiny wiggle is normal wear, a totally shot guide the valve stem can be rocked back and forth by 1/8" or more. Enough you know it's definitely shot if you find one in such condition. The reason this one isn't usually caught by most people is that the valve LOOKS fine with the spring installed- nice and straight, just like the others, held so by spring tension. It's only when running that the valve slaps back and forth in it's worn-out guide.

Last edited by Damon; 12-06-2012 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:33 PM   #5
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Re: Stuck Lifter? Collapsed Lifter? VIDEO INSIDE

I guess for the sake of the motor I need to put the stock rocker arms back on...

The only other thing that stands out with this is that it only taps like that when it gets to operating temp, quiet on cold start.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:36 PM   #6
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Re: Stuck Lifter? Collapsed Lifter? VIDEO INSIDE

see this: http://www.thirdgen.org/techboard/tp...or-making.html (Fuel pressure regulator making loud ticking?)
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:05 PM   #7
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Re: Stuck Lifter? Collapsed Lifter? VIDEO INSIDE

I remember that thread... I made a post in it due to the fact that my FPR likes to be really noisy when the car gets warmed up... I just haven't gotten around to loosening up the fuel rails to see if that keep the injectors from bottoming out on the manifold, which (hopefully) is the source of the noise...

As far as this issue goes, I bought a stethoscope today and prodded around the engine, the tapping is definitely on the passenger side, towards the rear of the valve cover... Been extremely busy lately so as soon as I get time I'm gonna take it off and see if anything looks/feels out of place.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:31 PM   #8
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Re: Stuck Lifter? Collapsed Lifter? VIDEO INSIDE

That sounds more like a lifter, but using a heater hose to isolate the source of the noise will help. If its coming from one area of the valve cover, then you need to open it up and see if something is binding or loose. Sometimes you can find the bad one if its way out by checking the ones that are on or near the base circle of the cam. If the lash has opened up a lot, the rocker will be noticiably looser than the others. It could also be a stud backing out, or binding due to the new rockers altering the geometry, or one of the rockers themselves. Only an inspection will tell where the noise is coming from the valvetrain.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:35 PM   #9
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Re: Stuck Lifter? Collapsed Lifter? VIDEO INSIDE

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Originally Posted by quisterio View Post
Hey folks..

I KNOW I adjusted them correctly.
How did you adjust them? Sure its probably ok, but its the easiest thing to fix if one is just out of adjustment.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:59 AM   #10
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Car: 87' GTA
Engine: 350 L98 TPI
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Axle/Gears: 3.27 9-Bolt

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Re: Stuck Lifter? Collapsed Lifter? VIDEO INSIDE

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Originally Posted by dimented24x7 View Post
How did you adjust them? Sure its probably ok, but its the easiest thing to fix if one is just out of adjustment.
When I get time I'm gonna take an old valve cover and cut the top off, then put it on the passenger side and run the car to see if I can pinpoint the cause of the ticking....

Even though I made every effort to make sure that they wouldn't come out of adjustment, I'd be so happy if all that was wrong was just a loose rocker..

Here's to wishful thinking

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Old 12-11-2012, 11:59 AM
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