Tough to diagnose ticking noise


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Feb 1, 2019
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Tri-Cities, Wa
Still no solution found. I took the Heep out to the mountains for a snow camping trip and drove it in higher RPMs for about 200 miles with seafaom in the crank case. Also I got better gas mileage (16-17 MPG) than normal (10-13 MPG). Got back into town and did my oil change, what came out had no glitters, metals, or debris so that was relieving. But it was really dark, I only had about a thousand miles on that batch so the seafoam and/or my more aggressive driving definitely had some sort of effect.

I went ahead with the Rotella T5 10W-30 Syn Blend and it did not fix the ticking in the cab noise. It did however make the engine sound smoother altogether and less ticky, other than this weird very random and unpredictable rattle/tick that doesn't go away until things are warmed up. Reminded me of a throw out bearing noise but a lot louder. So it quieted things up and introduced a new noise lol.

It's hard for me to say if it had any effect on the ticking in the cab noise, part of me wants to say it's quieter at times and louder at others depending on how long I've been driving it. It could just be placebo so I won't make any real opinions until I've been driving with this stuff in for a week or two. After this I may try Rotella T6, or I'm just going back to plain old conventional.

I did notice that the EVAP purge solenoid was clicking really loud at idle. Can't hear it with my head in the engine bay when I rev over the motor but either way I don't think this is what we're hearing. I haven't looked into it, just figured I'd mention it.
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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Thanks for reporting back. Unfortunately I don't think swapping oils in going to fix it. I ordered some rocker arms and pushrods and plan to change them out over Thanksgiving break. I'll let you all know if it solves the problem.
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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Thanks for reporting back. Unfortunately I don't think swapping oils in going to fix it. I ordered some rocker arms and pushrods and plan to change them out over Thanksgiving break. I'll let you all know if it solves the problem.
I got my rockers in earlier than expected so I pulled off the old ones to check them out. Unfortunately (or fortunately maybe?) all the rockers looked nice and evenly wearing, with no abnormal signs that might cause a tick. The pushrods were also nice and straight with no mushrooming. I was going to install the new rockers anyway, however the Melling MRK 551-2 rockers I ordered don't have the oiling hole in the same spot. I didn't trust they would oil well enough, so i'm going to return them. I lubed everything up and put it back together with the stock parts. Still ticking, but I now feel pretty confident it's nothing to do with the rockers, or push rods. The springs, valves stems, and valve seals also looked good.

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beaufrusetta

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I'm incredibly interested in a solution here. I've got the same noise...however, it didn't appear until after I took the cats off to replace my oil pan. So then I've figured it's an exhaust leak...but no amount of tightening has cured the issue. Made it a little quieter at one point, but it came back and still persists.

I do need to do a smoke test...because I haven't ruled out a cracked exhaust manifold.

2004 Rubicon 5-speed
 
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Well it’s weird timing that this thread gets revived today as I had a small update.

I went on another camping trip after switching to the Rotella, so around 170 mile round trip, on average around 2100rpms for most of the highway, I tried to keep it above that the entire time. It was COLD out there and it’s finally cold here (below freezing day+night) and when I finally made it back and was driving I’m at slower speeds through neighborhoods I realized that the noise was almost entirely gone. I can hear it faintly still now up around 2600rpms, but in the lower rpms where it was loudest and super obnoxious before I can’t notice it. But, wow it sounded like it’s old self again!

I don’t know what to attribute it to, long drive higher rpms, new oil, low temperature or all of the above or none of the above? Also I did drive it pretty hard a few times while we were out there. Turns out using your tow strap to drag fallen trees back to your camp and whipping them around corners is a lot of fun lol.

I haven’t driven it today and just got back in town last night, I didn’t want to say anything and get everyone’s hopes up, or my own for that matter until I’d driven it a couple more times and knew it was staying away for good. For all I know next time I start it back up the noise will be back with a vengeance. I’ll report back here with any changes.

Update: Decided to drive around for a bit and it’s back. Just as bad I’d say. Now it ticks around 1600-1700rpms half of the time and when it does it’s much louder than the other rpms. I’m back to assuming it’s an exhaust leak.
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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... I wonder if swapping to roller rockers would help...
I too wanna know the answer to this. Anyone know of any inexpensive roller rocker sets? Or know someone with a set installed that is still experiencing this problem?

I was playing with mine today while in line at a drive through with the window down. I could hear it echo off the wall really well and find it very interesting that it comes on almost like a light switch at 1800 rpm. I wonder if they changed the ramp angle of the cam on the later engines and the valves slam shut harder at higher rpms.
 

KingCarGuyZ

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I too wanna know the answer to this. Anyone know of any inexpensive roller rocker sets? Or know someone with a set installed that is still experiencing this problem?

I was playing with mine today while in line at a drive through with the window down. I could hear it echo off the wall really well and find it very interesting that it comes on almost like a light switch at 1800 rpm. I wonder if they changed the ramp angle of the cam on the later engines and the valves slam shut harder at higher rpms.
I think newcomer racing has a youtube video on cheaper high-quality roller rockers, but he was using them for power.

it is uncanny how it comes on right about 1800. and then gets overwhelmed by other noise right about 2500, occasionally ill have it "stick" and come back down to Idle, but it will never just start making the noise while idling.

I have an 01 4.0 BTW
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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I'm incredibly interested in a solution here. I've got the same noise...however, it didn't appear until after I took the cats off to replace my oil pan. So then I've figured it's an exhaust leak...but no amount of tightening has cured the issue. Made it a little quieter at one point, but it came back and still persists.

I do need to do a smoke test...because I haven't ruled out a cracked exhaust manifold.

2004 Rubicon 5-spee
I think newcomer racing has a youtube video on cheaper high-quality roller rockers, but he was using them for power.

it is uncanny how it comes on right about 1800. and then gets overwhelmed by other noise right about 2500, occasionally ill have it "stick" and come back down to Idle, but it will never just start making the noise while idling.

I have an 01 4.0 BTW
That's Interesting that you've heard yours all the way down to idle. I've tried to replicate mine in every situation imaginable, and it only does it when I'm at 1800 rpm or more. While it becomes harder to detect at like 2800 rpm +, it definitely is still happening, it just blends together because the ticks happen so rapidly.
 
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That's Interesting that you've heard yours all the way down to idle. I've tried to replicate mine in every situation imaginable, and it only does it when I'm at 1800 rpm or more. While it becomes harder to detect at like 2800 rpm +, it definitely is still happening, it just blends together because the ticks happen so rapidly.
Mine does that “stick” thing as well. I was shifting out of first gear at like 4500rpms just to see what would happen and out of frustration, overall it made the noise much worse and do the “stick” way louder. After driving normal it just goes back to normal. Driving it hard as you can seems to make it worse.
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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I think newcomer racing has a youtube video on cheaper high-quality roller rockers, but he was using them for power.

it is uncanny how it comes on right about 1800. and then gets overwhelmed by other noise right about 2500, occasionally ill have it "stick" and come back down to Idle, but it will never just start making the noise while idling.

I have an 01 4.0 BTW
Is yours an auto or manual?
 
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Ledfoot Lou

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Oklahoma City
I'm incredibly interested in a solution here. I've got the same noise...however, it didn't appear until after I took the cats off to replace my oil pan. So then I've figured it's an exhaust leak...but no amount of tightening has cured the issue. Made it a little quieter at one point, but it came back and still persists.

I do need to do a smoke test...because I haven't ruled out a cracked exhaust manifold.

2004 Rubicon 5-speed
Beaufrusetta, what transmission do you have? Is the oil pan the only thing you changed, or did you do a rear main seal?

Makes me wonder if something you did while changing the oil pan caused the noise, or if you just started paying more attention since you had just done work to it.
 

WilliamPetit05tj

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I posted a while ago in this thread trying to diagnose what the problem may be. I have been slowly replacing parts and listening to where the ticking is coming from. In my case I think I had a bad idler or tensioner pulley. I replaced both and that ticking has gone away. It’s very odd that I could hear it in the cab as much as I did. In my case I think I solved my problem. Hopefully this helps some people out.
 
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I posted a while ago in this thread trying to diagnose what the problem may be. I have been slowly replacing parts and listening to where the ticking is coming from. In my case I think I had a bad idler or tensioner pulley. I replaced both and that ticking has gone away. It’s very odd that I could hear it in the cab as much as I did. In my case I think I solved my problem. Hopefully this helps some people out.
Thanks for reporting back on your findings!
 

KingCarGuyZ

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X2, it’s appreciated. Really helps the next guy


I changed to a 10W-30 conventional (Castro’s GTX) from a 10W-30 synthetic. Seems to have helped idk if it’s just the change or the conventional vs synthetic, might be the colder weather to. I changed at 3,000 miles. Still has the diesel like chatter of a 4.0 at idle. But no annoying tic on acell
 

MW11

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I’m having the same noise in my 05 with a six speed. I had an exhaust leak at the cats which is been repaired. And I replaced a noisy tensioner. Both helped quiet things down but that noise after 1800rpm is still there. I’m just curious if any of you have had luck finding anything.