Tough to diagnose ticking noise


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Ledfoot Lou

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Found this thread sounds similar to us and is again pointing towards exhaust leak.

I hooked up my shop vac output to the exhaust and sprayed the whole exhaust with soapy water and didn't find any leaks. I also used the shop vac hose up to my ear and pointed the other end around the exhaust manifolds and wasn't able to identify any leak. If the noise were loud enough to be heard in the cab then surely I could spot it with a tube pointed directly at the manifold. However I encourage you all to try these steps too, as I may have overlooked something when doing my diagnosis. It would be better if we could have multiple people ruling out certain causes.
 
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I cant get the link to work.
I can't either wth, it works if you paste it into your browser. For me anyways.

I hooked up my shop vac output to the exhaust and sprayed the whole exhaust with soapy water and didn't find any leaks. I also used the shop vac hose up to my ear and pointed the other end around the exhaust manifolds and wasn't able to identify any leak. If the noise were loud enough to be heard in the cab then surely I could spot it with a tube pointed directly at the manifold. However I encourage you all to try these steps too, as I may have overlooked something when doing my diagnosis. It would be better if we could have multiple people ruling out certain causes.
I know you said your noise doesn't matter if its cold or warmed up but for me it has to warm up first. My thoughts were that when its cold the gap/opening is pulled shut so thats why the vacuum trick doesn't work for me, not only that but I find it really hard to get soapy water covering every bit and actually being able to see if there is bubbling. But the fact yours doesn't care about temp makes me doubt myself. This is all the more reason I want to smoke it out again because it only works when the engine is nice and hot when the noise is present. Dunno if I'll find the time to try today between work and school but I really wanna try it. The smoke makes it so obvious, and soapy water just evaporates when the engine is hot enough to make the noise for me.
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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I can't either wth, it works if you paste it into your browser. For me anyways.


I know you said your noise doesn't matter if its cold or warmed up but for me it has to warm up first. My thoughts were that when its cold the gap/opening is pulled shut so thats why the vacuum trick doesn't work for me, not only that but I find it really hard to get soapy water covering every bit and actually being able to see if there is bubbling. But the fact yours doesn't care about temp makes me doubt myself. This is all the more reason I want to smoke it out again because it only works when the engine is nice and hot when the noise is present. Dunno if I'll find the time to try today between work and school but I really wanna try it. The smoke makes it so obvious, and soapy water just evaporates when the engine is hot enough to make the noise for me.
It sounds like you might actually have an exhaust leak. You should post a video of the noise when you get a chance.
 

Mazepam

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Yeah mine is there regardless of the temp. I haven't really hardcore ruled out an exhaust leak though, my buddy owns a body shop near me I'm going to take it to him in the next week or so and have them really look at the manifold area and such just in case. I know these cars are almost guaranteed to have one at some point.
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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Yeah mine is there regardless of the temp. I haven't really hardcore ruled out an exhaust leak though, my buddy owns a body shop near me I'm going to take it to him in the next week or so and have them really look at the manifold area and such just in case. I know these cars are almost guaranteed to have one at some point.
Part of me thinks I should just change the gasket so I can rule it out. I could also look at the manifold for cracks while I'm there. Let me know what your buddy thinks.
 

Mazepam

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Would you be able to see something like a manifold leak with sea-foam? I know its a pain to get to the manifold because the air intake is on the same side so the soapy water method would take some effort.
 
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Would you be able to see something like a manifold leak with sea-foam? I know its a pain to get to the manifold because the air intake is on the same side so the soapy water method would take some effort.
I think so. When I first did it I had a decent amount of smoke coming from the manifold area, especially when I revved the engine up with the throttle body by hand to probably that 2k mark. Soapy water later showed me the 4 bolts at the precats needed tightening but I can't be sure if that much smoke was coming from them. Since the fan creates so much turbulence its easy to see the smoke but not really where it's coming from.

If the fluttering noise really is an exhaust leak then smoke should make its way out along with the exhaust. Smoke present + noise present = leak.
 

KingCarGuyZ

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Dude your engine bay is beautiful lol, but judging from the video it seems to be loudest when you were next to the bell housing.

Also I can confirm that mine does it even when the engine is not on, I killed it in gear and the noise didn't change, other than slowing down along with everything else as expected.

I'll have to do that tomorrow, I'm planning on doing the seafoam smoke test as well so I'll get a video of both.

Today was quite a bit colder than the rest of this week and it seemed to be louder than normal. Idk if this is because I've had seafoam in the crank case the last few days (have hardly driven it) or if it's really temperature related.

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I kinda went down the rabbit hole on engine oil today and some people say they have quieted up their engine noise with Rotella T5/6, it's a diesel engine oil but it has higher levels of ZDDP (Zinc) like the older motor oils had when the 4.0 was being made. Apparently it's really beneficial for the motor, lots of people swear by it. People mostly use it for lifter tick but I'm wondering if it would affect our "tick", wherever it is. I know you guys are due for an oil change soon but if you don't wanna risk it I'm gonna give it a shot and can report back here. Probably won't be for a few weeks though.

This guy explains it better than I can if you have the time to watch:
Little late to the party, but I use a zinc additive in my VW and a High milage synthetic in Both the VW and the Jeep, the Zinc seems to do a lot for the random tic's in the VW and it helps with the older Cam, might have to try it in the jeep, I to have a weird lifter tick like noise after warming up on a cold day.
 
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Little late to the party, but I use a zinc additive in my VW and a High milage synthetic in Both the VW and the Jeep, the Zinc seems to do a lot for the random tic's in the VW and it helps with the older Cam, might have to try it in the jeep, I to have a weird lifter tick like noise after warming up on a cold day.
Yeah like ledfoot said the zinc is not good for cats, but if I'm doing damage to my cam then I guess I'd rather hurt the cat than the cam. My engine has gotten a lot noisier and I'm just gonna try the zinc stuff next change and see how big of a difference it is.
 

KingCarGuyZ

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Yeah like ledfoot said the zinc is not good for cats, but if I'm doing damage to my cam then I guess I'd rather hurt the cat than the cam. My engine has gotten a lot noisier and I'm just gonna try the zinc stuff next change and see how big of a difference it is.
In a perfect world (I seriously doubt out high mileage Jeep engines are it) putting Zinc in the oil should have no effect on The CAT’s that being said. I’m trying to be nice to mine as I just replaced them. (Obv this is of no concern in the VW. 1966. Screw the environment 😁)
 
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I managed to get a little time to get the sound recorded. I was surprised to see that it only gets picked up on video on the drivers side foot well. In person it's clearly heard anywhere in the cab. Also I don't know if its because its cold out now but its moved down from around 2000 RPMs being the loudest to about 1600.


Tomorrow I should have the time to do the smoke test. If there is smoke then I'm getting a manifold gasket at O'Reillys and going for it. Going on a camping trip this weekend and I'd like to have this sorted out by then.
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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I managed to get a little time to get the sound recorded. I was surprised to see that it only gets picked up on video on the drivers side foot well. In person it's clearly heard anywhere in the cab. Also I don't know if its because its cold out now but its moved down from around 2000 RPMs being the loudest to about 1600.


Tomorrow I should have the time to do the smoke test. If there is smoke then I'm getting a manifold gasket at O'Reillys and going for it. Going on a camping trip this weekend and I'd like to have this sorted out by then.
Drivers side floor/firewall is where mine is the loudest as well. Ive wondered if it's just exhaust noise without a leak, but then I wonder why all jeeps aren't that loud.
 
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Drivers side floor/firewall is where mine is the loudest as well. Ive wondered if it's just exhaust noise without a leak, but then I wonder why all jeeps aren't that loud.
I don't think it is, mine hasn't always sounded like this it's relatively new. Plus as time goes on it's becoming louder. I remember when I barely noticed it for the first time I thought I was imagining it.
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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I don't think it is, mine hasn't always sounded like this it's relatively new. Plus as time goes on it's becoming louder. I remember when I barely noticed it for the first time I thought I was imagining it.
Well, I guess we now know it's not just the 05-06 wranglers. That makes me feel better.

I got a chance to probe the starter with a stethoscope while the engine was ticking and unfortunately it was clearly not the cause, it was significantly quieter than the bell housing or engine block.
 
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Finally tried the smoke test with seafoam. I tried getting a video but it was dark and windy so the camera didn't pick anything up. After revving it up for a few seconds at the point where the noise came out smoke started coming out of the right precat/manifold joint which I had previously tightened up. It kinda seemed to be coming out on the back half so it was hard to tell if it was really coming from that joint or maybe it's cracked right above it. I tightened it up some more and seemed to get the smoke to stop but by that time I think it was just done smoking altogether, sound didn't change at all. I'm at a loss. Didn't really learn anything new from that. Dammit lol.
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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Finally tried the smoke test with seafoam. I tried getting a video but it was dark and windy so the camera didn't pick anything up. After revving it up for a few seconds at the point where the noise came out smoke started coming out of the right precat/manifold joint which I had previously tightened up. It kinda seemed to be coming out on the back half so it was hard to tell if it was really coming from that joint or maybe it's cracked right above it. I tightened it up some more and seemed to get the smoke to stop but by that time I think it was just done smoking altogether, sound didn't change at all. I'm at a loss. Didn't really learn anything new from that. Dammit lol.
I found a slight leak at my pre-cat joint when doing the soapy water test with a shop vac. I put some sealer on it to get it 100% sealed and it didnt help the noise. Even though they might have a slight leak, I don't think it's responsible for the noise.
 
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I found a slight leak at my pre-cat joint when doing the soapy water test with a shop vac. I put some sealer on it to get it 100% sealed and it didnt help the noise. Even though they might have a slight leak, I don't think it's responsible for the noise.
Yeah I'm with you, the amount of messing around with that area and I haven't seen any change in noise I'm going to rule it out. I'm going to try that rotella next week and see what it does, it's driving me nuts. I've been running it with seafoam in the crank case and that definitely got rid of a lot of the random clicks and noise but your supposed to change out the oil after 100-330 miles like that. I'm taking it on a small road trip this weekend and that should put me in that range. I'll report back whenever I get that done.
 

KingCarGuyZ

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Finally tried the smoke test with seafoam. I tried getting a video but it was dark and windy so the camera didn't pick anything up. After revving it up for a few seconds at the point where the noise came out smoke started coming out of the right precat/manifold joint which I had previously tightened up. It kinda seemed to be coming out on the back half so it was hard to tell if it was really coming from that joint or maybe it's cracked right above it. I tightened it up some more and seemed to get the smoke to stop but by that time I think it was just done smoking altogether, sound didn't change at all. I'm at a loss. Didn't really learn anything new from that. Dammit lol.
I had to replace my Cat’s because they cracked there, (bank 2 cat, top of the actual cat where they weld on to the cone) I replaced mine for emissions, but there is no way I could have seen the crack without taking them off.