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can0fspam 01-06-2020 12:18 AM

Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I have a 1999 SL2 (auto swapped to mp2 manual), 189,000 mi.
It makes a constant ticking noise immediately upon cold startup and it doesn't go away until the temp needle starts rising. When warmed up, the engine sounds totally normal and the ticking is gone.

I've run the engine without a belt on it, and the ticking sounds exactly the same. I've also recently replaced the belt tensioner and alternator.
The noise depends only on engine temperature. Regardless of how long the car has sat (overnight versus a few hours), it will make the same sound if the engine's cold. On a hot restart, it doesn't do it.

Stepping on the gas seems to make the ticking stabilize for a second - it's loudest at the cold idle speed of 1200 RPM.

Oil pressure is good, oil is always topped off, fresh oil doesn't affect it, and no SES lights are thrown. I have owned the car for 7 months and it's been doing it the whole time.
The sound comes generally from the front of the motor however I've yet to find it with a stethoscope.

Here's a video:
[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c79uOCu0QDY[/url]

Any leads or similar experiences? Thanks for all the advice as always.

billr 01-06-2020 12:33 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I can't really hear anything in that video, but my guess is an exhaust leak or looseness in an exhaust component that tightens up as the exhaust gets hot. Worst case is a crack in the manifold.

fdryer 01-06-2020 12:50 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Valve train noise? It might help to record a before (cold engine noise) and after (warm engine noise gone) video. I hear the noise at the beginning of the video and it sounds like lifters.

can0fspam 01-06-2020 01:00 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Sorry about the audio quality. I will get better videos soon to show you what it sounds like cold versus hot.

Exhaust leak sounds possible as it would expand and contract to seal the leak when warmed up. I'll look for soot spots around the manifold or try to soapy water trick.

Valvetrain noise - I wouldn't be too surprised with the mileage on the car.
If the lifters have excessive clearance should I be able to rock them by hand with the valve cover off? I checked that recently and everything underneath the valve cover feels tight -- the chain is also very tight and barely flexible.

454cid 01-06-2020 08:23 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
How about opening the hood?

I suspect it's the same noise my car makes... I thought maybe it's the timing chain, but I'm not sure that would go away.

toggenburg 01-06-2020 08:59 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
If its a lifter noise, which can go away as the motor heats up, I have stopped it completely on my older suburban (331K) by simply adding a pint of any kind of transmission fluid (or marvel mystery oil) in to the gas tank. I will quiet them down after a days of driving, and the clacking stops even when a cold start.

can0fspam 01-06-2020 01:54 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Next oil change I'm going to try running a zinc additive in the oil.

I ran a can of seafoam in the gas recently and didn't notice a difference, although it was probably good to do. I wouldn't think that putting something in the gas would ever affect the lifters though.

And yeah, hopefully it's not timing chain. The noise has stayed constant without any worsening effects for as long as I've known the car, which sounds like lifters. I'd think a chain would have gotten worse by now or had some noticeable play in it.

fetchitfido 01-06-2020 02:27 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I wouldn't expect putting anything in the gas to help lifter or valve noise, only injector or fuel pump noise.

The lifters are hydraulic, no adjustment available.

Add half a quart or a full quart of cheap actual Dex III or Dex/Mercron to the oil and run it at idle for 15-20min before the next oil change. Try not to overfill it with the ATF so try to time it for when it's already burned off a quart or so (on the DOHC's I had that'd be a measly 600 miles).

toggenburg 01-06-2020 02:29 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Actually, from my own experience, the ATF idea will work a whole lot faster IF in the gas, not oil.

Try it and see. You cannot hurt anything by adding a pint to the gas.

Waiex191 01-06-2020 02:35 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
[QUOTE=toggenburg;2338519]Actually, from my own experience, the ATF idea will work a whole lot faster IF in the gas, not oil.

Try it and see. You cannot hurt anything by adding a pint to the gas.[/QUOTE]

How does it get from the gas to the lifters though?

toggenburg 01-06-2020 04:34 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
It really cannot IF it's truely a lifter issue, however, since I have only resolved the 'ticking' on non-carburetored cars, I might presume that the noise is basically the fuel injectors that are opening and closing quickly to allow the proper amount of gas to enter the combustion chamber.

Valve slapping, lifter and injector sounds are all audible 'ticking' but the actual cause of the sound may hard to isolate, no?

So actually, me not knowing exactly which is ticking, I just add ATF to the gas and this has so far resolved it for me.

can0fspam 01-06-2020 09:21 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I went out and got videos of the engine running dead cold and after warmed up, from under the hood.

cold idle with noise:
[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtgwmxD8Vps[/url]

warm idle without noise:
[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbACqSWJrO4[/url]

The noise is pretty obvious from these videos. Let me know what u think!

me.theuser 01-06-2020 11:19 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
doesn't sound like lifters to me are you sure its the engine and not the air injection pump?
with it cold try disconnecting it its on the front passenger side (might set the CEL).

A screwdriver or toilet plunger handle could work as a stethoscope (don't get it in the belt though) so you could narrow down where its coming from

can0fspam 01-06-2020 11:26 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I don't think this car has air injection unless you saw it in the video. It's a non-california 1999.

me.theuser 01-06-2020 11:36 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
You didn't show the area it'd be in in the video but looking closely I don't see the metal tube going to the header so yeah no air injection
Its hard to get a feel for the noise on your video but it seems like the belt side of the engine

does the noise get louder/faster when you rev the engine, I assume it does, how long before it warms up and stops?
do oil changes make a difference
how long has the noise been there
have you tried removing the belt

me.theuser 01-06-2020 11:40 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
it just sounds really sharp to me like something vibrating like the prop rod or a loose pulley but maybe someone else will have more insight

Waiex191 01-07-2020 12:11 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I'm with billr on this one - exhaust leak somewhere that seals with the heat of expansion. See if you can feel exhaust shooting out somewhere before it gets hot.

billr 01-07-2020 01:15 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Attach a leaf-blower to the tail pipe (engine[I][B] not[/B][/I] running!) and feel around for leaks. If you can create smoke to suck into the blower inlet, even better...

can0fspam 01-07-2020 01:45 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
[QUOTE=me.theuser;2338547]You didn't show the area it'd be in in the video but looking closely I don't see the metal tube going to the header so yeah no air injection
Its hard to get a feel for the noise on your video but it seems like the belt side of the engine

does the noise get louder/faster when you rev the engine, I assume it does, how long before it warms up and stops?
do oil changes make a difference
how long has the noise been there
have you tried removing the belt[/QUOTE]

It gets faster when you rev the engine, however it seems loudest around 1200 RPM. It seems like it settles down in volume if you rev it higher and you don't hear it as loud when inside the car. However if you bring it up to 2500 and shift when it's still cold, you can hear it going pretty fast in the background. This is the part that makes the worry it's chain-related, it sounds almost like a noisy bike chain when you drive on it.
I'll get another vid with some throttle input next time.

It gets less noticeable when the temperature reaches 1/8 of the gauge, and it's gone completely when it's at operating temp (between 1/4 and 3/8 of the gauge).
Again, when I'm driving the car, I don't hear it very much so I'm not sure when it completely goes away.

Oil changes make no difference and I do them every 3k. Noise has been there for as long as I know (7+ months).
I have removed the belt and it does not affect the noise.
Car has copper NGK plugs and the correct 4123 firing order

At this point I wouldn't be surprised if it was an exhaust leak. My buddy who sold me the car also has an old Nova which sounded like it had a bent pushrod and it was a single exhaust leak all along.

toggenburg 01-07-2020 09:11 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
It ain't no lifter or valve lash that's for sure.
And no amount of additive anywhere will resolve this one for sure....sounds though like a cold exhaust leak that some metal expands as it gets hotter.

fdryer 01-07-2020 11:18 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I have two flex pipes on my L300. Both cracked their internal corrugated section with black exhaust covering the stainless braid used in flex pipes. The outer rings rusted then broke away leaving a ring to vibrate. I simply jacked up the car, removed a wheel then started the cold engine and felt the flex pipe by hand. A cold engine won't heat up the exhaust system for at least a minute or two, enough to feel for exhaust blowing past a hole in piping. The upstream flex pipe is just past the first bend on a downpipe. The second flex pipe is further downstream, before the catcon. It was found leaking the same way, corrugated section broken and leaking exhaust thru its stainless braid cover. Exhaust pressure pulses are felt before the pipes get hot. Same sounds at startup then lowering as the pipes heat up, expanding to close off the cracked section. Mine's a 3.0L V6. The rest of the exhaust pipes are fine. GM was smart to use stainless exhaust to prolong exhaust systems as emissions creates water that can corrode from the inside out. Unfortunately the corrugated section of flex pipes are not stainless.

bumpdraft 01-07-2020 11:47 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
fdryer, Are you sure the flex section is not stainless? On my SC2, when the original downpipe corroded at the clamp, I bought a very expensive O.E. ([I]Hecho en Mexico[/I]) downpipe and cat.
Some Einstein at the shipper made the unit much more shorter by folding it at-the-flex 180-degrees and taping it. As a result, the wire braids all broke and the flex section is unsupported. It is jumping around under the car and, 8 years later, is still unmolested and intact.

Start-up noise: When my car sat for a year after it was wrecked (while I was stopped for a school bus), some on-line Einstein suggested I pack the oil pump with Vasoline just like a rebuilt 1974 Chevy small block. I did, (like a f-in’ idi:drool:t), and a lifter has ticked ever since.

can0fspam 01-07-2020 01:42 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Alright, sounds like it probably is an exhaust leak then. I'd be okay with that (although I want to track it down when I can).
I've looked at my flex pipe before when I was diagnosing a noise caused by my belt tensioner. It doesn't seem to be loose at all although I wasn't exactly sure what to expect from it.
With that being said, I wouldn't be surprised if the exhaust manifold was cracked, warped, or improperly sealed. That would explain why the noise comes from the front of the motor and can't be heard on a stethoscope.

I really was mainly hoping it's not timing chain. Does a bad chain *need* to have slack in it (visible under the valve cover) in order to be going out? Because mine looks and feels just fine.

fdryer 01-07-2020 02:30 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
bumpdraft, the outer braid is stainless, not the inner corrugated section. Each of mine went at different times with the front one going first after around 12-13 yrs/85k miles. The second one about a year later. I do almost all maintenance and under the car for most service so I tend to see things but wasn't expecting exhaust system problems until similar startup noises began followed with quiet after engine warm-up. The rings on each end of the stainless wire braid rusted and broke of its weld as the beginning tell tale as it rattled freely on the pipes. Once noises got louder from repeated startups, I began to suspect the flex pipe damage. Verification from feeling the flex pipe on cold engine startup before the exhaust system heated up. Both were found this way. Stainless is harder than regular steel so it may not lend itself to being formed into corrugated tubing for flexing. It's my suspicion only and I can be wrong as I haven't researched it to prove otherwise.

I never suggested packing the oil pump with Vaseline to prime an empty oil system. I've never come across this suggestion in factory engine assembly so the idea may be from engine rebuilders as a way to get oil pumped into the system sooner. With serious engine rebuilders, my guess is they lube everything for initial protection against dry metal to metal wear. The thick prelube assembly grease may be all that's needed, applied to the oil pump gear and housing as the initial seal to promote suction when the engine is turned over the first time. My understanding of hydraulics is that grease, oil or water act as seals in enclosed volumes; water pumps, shock absorbers, hydraulic cylinders used in light to heavy duty equipment, brake systems, etc. Engine oil pumps only need some lube oil to create a temporary seal to draw in fresh oil from the sump a few inches below. Monitoring the oil pressure gauge is all that's needed to observe when oil is picked up and pressurised to open the pressure switch, turning off the oil light. A genuine oil pressure gauge fed oil from the pressure fitting will show the same but as actual pressure.

fdryer 01-07-2020 02:46 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
can0fspam, I would suggest a cold engine startup with hood open and feeling the exhaust manifold before it gets hot. To have a good idea of your exhaust system, feel it before starting to see if there are any sharp edges that may cut skin so you can determine how quickly to move your hand over the exhaust manifold. If a thin cotton glove fits and won't interfere with feel into tight areas, you'll need to be a little more sensitive to exhaust leaks blowing onto fingers. Don't just listen for noise as your hand aren't ears but can feel moving air. In this case you're feeling for escaping exhaust from anywhere on the exhaust system that's supposed to be sealed against exhaust leaks with the only opening at the end of the muffler. Moving your hand over the exhaust system doesn't mean just sliding it as you can home in by touch then moving to another spot. If you summon your inner 'Zen', imagine blowing exhaust from a crack and knowing it how it should feel on your fingers before getting burned. Listen and feel. It's not rocket science to use the senses we are borne with.

can0fspam 01-07-2020 05:08 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I went and felt for an exhaust leak before driving today. Nothing yet, nothing was obvious.

I did however get this video of the noise reacting to some throttle input, tell me what you guys think:
[url]https://youtu.be/cdz2eiZVnwA[/url]

onlinebiker 01-07-2020 05:35 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
The flex pipe just before the catcon can exhibit these symptoms... You may have a crack in the flex that gets smaller when it heats up and expands....

fdryer 01-07-2020 05:48 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I'm inclined to believe noise is initial loss of hydraulic pressure from clogged valve lifters, making noise from metal to metal contact until hydraulic pressure develops to separate lifters from cams to silence the noise.

Thanks for taking the time to video. It helps to put anyone reading your post almost next to the car to see and hear what you're observing.

There are good suggestions about temporarily coping with valve lifters clogging. Xmission or heavy weight motor oil may provide a temporary solution and help diagnose whether or not its valve train noise or not. Similar to suggestions to run your hand over a cold exhaust system as a cold running engine won't heat up quick enough to feel parts of the exhaust for pressure leaks.

can0fspam 01-07-2020 06:31 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Maybe it could be, but I'm still worried it's a chain noise. However I don't see how a chain could fluctuate like that based on temperature alone.

Waiex191 01-07-2020 06:55 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I would think the chain would get looser with temperature.

billr 01-07-2020 07:25 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
[I][B]"I would think the chain would get looser with temperature."[/B][/I]

No, the aluminum block and head have a greater thermal expansion rate than the steel chain. The center-to-center distance between sprockets increases faster than the chain length. Plus, the (steel) sprockets are also increasing slightly in diameter, taking up more chain. Yeah, even the plastic guides expand and push in a bit further on the chain...

can0fspam 01-07-2020 10:02 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Since I can see it in person, I can tell the noise is coming from the chain-y area of the engine block. Thank you for all of the advice and ideas of course -- I'm glad we could (mostly) rule out lifters and that I know it's not the belt drive.

Luckily, the noise is gone when the engine's warm which means I think I'm good to keep driving it as long as I take it easy until it warms up. It's survived 7 months and 14,000 miles of me doing that so far with no change in the noise, and I'm sure it's been doing this for much longer with the past owner.

I'll plan to get a chain kit and redo it once I get a break from college, but unfortunately classes start tomorrow and I commute, so I need to drive the car daily.

fdryer 01-07-2020 10:35 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Checking the exhaust system for pinhole leaks by hand is free. Mixing in a quart of xmission or thicker motor oil costs a few dollars to find out of the lifters are clogged and silenced with some xmission or thicker oil. I think its much easier to spend a few dollars to find out rather than put all your eggs in one basket presuming the timing chain is the problem. Personally, a timing chain that's worn continues to make noise whether the engine is cold or hot. My opinion but I can be wrong if others can explain how heat can make a noisy timing chain disappear after the engine warms up. You did state the chain was tight and I presume this was checked on a cold engine? In my mind a tight timing chain checked cold can't loosen as the engine heats up. The automatic chain tensioner also comes into play as it adjusts automatically for chain slop with hydraulic pressure from the oil pump to take up slack.

can0fspam 01-07-2020 11:39 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I'll keep trying your suggestions in the meantime. Hopefully it's a simple issue but I'm going to be prepared to replace the chain -- and it would be good preventative maintenance anyways.
Car has 188k on it, no idea if it's been changed before.

Thank you for the help!

billr 01-08-2020 12:38 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Those chains are not a "maintenance" item that needs to be replaced periodically, and they are not that much fun to change. It should last until the engine needs to be opened up for some other common problem (like a burned valve) or until bearings/rings are shot; probably over 300K miles.

Have you removed the valve cover and inspected the chain and upper sprockets with the engine cold? Be sure to rotate the engine several revolutions to see [I]all[/I] of the chain length.

can0fspam 01-08-2020 02:08 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
1 Attachment(s)
I have inspected it with the valve cover off. I didn't turn the engine with it off, but the chain had almost no slack in between the cam gears up top. However i think it's still possible for it to generate slack when the engine is ran.

billr 01-08-2020 03:03 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Did you push down hard on the chain, did you rock the engine back-and-forth to try maximizing any slack at that top point (the valve springs will often try to move the cams and take up slack right there)?

If there really is little slack up there, and no other obvious problems like badly worn sprockets or broken chain link or missing chain bushing, then I would [I][B]for sure[/B][/I] leave that chain alone!

I gotta say... noises are notoriously hard to pin-point the source. They can often sound like they are coming from a [I]completely[/I] different place than they actually are.

fdryer 01-08-2020 03:05 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
With spark plugs removed, compression is lost so turning the engine over by hand using an appropriate socket and long pry bar is easy. Even bump starting will work; momentarily flicking the ignition key to START for less than a second to turn the engine over. Either method allows moving the timing chain for inspection. A magic marker or nail polish paint can be applied on the chain link plates so you can gauge how far the chain moves. Wipe off oil before applying magic marker or paint spots.

I too do not think the timing chain is stretched or damaged. If you believe the timing chain is damaged, put plugs back in, connect plug wires and startup. A cold engine will idle higher until it warms up but you only need to run the engine less than a minute to listen for chain noises. Some oil will spatter, to be expected with the valve cover off.

can0fspam 01-08-2020 04:40 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I pushed up and down on the length of chain visible between the cam gears.
I was barely able to move it in either direction -- it was almost unnoticeable.
I always try really hard to diagnose noises because i pick up on them easily. I am not worried about anything going bad at the moment -- but i am prepared for the worst.

The saturn needs an oil change soon so i will try running a quart? of ATF before draining and maybe adding a zinc additive with fresh oil.

toggenburg 01-08-2020 05:38 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I also pour in a full quart of ATF in each oil change on all cars since the 1970's.
It won't hurt a thing, but it will clean up an engine, better and cheaper than Marvel Mystery oil, or Rislone products. Never had any engine opened up for any reason yet. That's on many engines and cumulative mileage easily of over 1M miles. It won't hurt your engine to keep ATF in the oil year round.

454cid 01-08-2020 08:24 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
[QUOTE=toggenburg;2338743]I also pour in a full quart of ATF in each oil change on all cars since the 1970's.
It won't hurt a thing, but it will clean up an engine, better and cheaper than Marvel Mystery oil, or Rislone products. Never had any engine opened up for any reason yet. That's on many engines and cumulative mileage easily of over 1M miles. It won't hurt your engine to keep ATF in the oil year round.[/QUOTE]

That's a lot of ATF for our engines.

Waiex191 01-08-2020 09:28 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
[quote=454cid;2338750]that's a lot of atf for our engines.[/quote]
~22%!

cgg17 01-08-2020 10:20 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Based off of the noise, I would be more inclined to say that it is the timing chain. Out 99 had a sporratic noise that sounded like that, but not quite as bad.

can0fspam 01-10-2020 12:36 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
I found a thread: [URL="http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=234263"]http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/showthread.php?t=234263[/URL]

... in which a user suspects his timing chain is bad. However the video he posted sounds a lot like mine. Like, almost identical. Later commenters told him it sounded like lifters and he was able to resolve the issue by running different oil and putting some additive through to clean out the lifters.

I finally found my nice long handled screwdriver and listened on the intake and exhaust sides of the head -- as close as I could get to all 8 lifters.
I definitely heard noises through the handle. Most of them sounded like metallic whirling in-time with the "chain" noise, but one of them on the front was distinctly clicking through the screwdriver.

I'm almost relieved it seems like it *might* not be a chain ready to let loose. Just rolled over 189,000 so I think I'll add some ATF and change the oil soon. The new oil is going to be a nicer brand than the cheap walmart special I've been using...

Of course, my apologies for dragging this thread out, but the documentation of the issue might help someone else later on...

Waiex191 01-10-2020 07:34 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
[QUOTE=can0fspam;2338856]... but the documentation of the issue might help someone else later on...[/QUOTE]
This is what it's all about!

toggenburg 01-10-2020 09:06 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
Yes, ~22% ATF in all oil changes.

Tell you what, here is a direct quote right from marvel mystery oil's website itself.

"For example, if your engine has a 5-quart oil capacity, replace one of the quarts with a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil. Repeat at every oil change for optimal performance. Marvel Mystery Oil can be added to engine oil 300 to 500 miles before your next oil change to supplement sludge removal and enhance engine cleaning.
How to use - Marvel Mystery Oil
[url]https://www.marvelmysteryoil.com[/url] › gasoline-engine › automobile"

I repeat, iv'e done this with any brand ATF for decades. Each oil change on all my cars and kids vehicles too. Even on my Audi 5000S and '68 Corvette with IIRC the L88 engine.
Only then, when they would rust out (Chicago rust belt) would I get rid of the vehicle, and even then, their engines had never, never needed any internal work done even up to 331,000+ miles on that engine.

You can lead a many a car owner to water (truth), but you cannot get many to drink (to actually overcome fear and to try something different that works).

can0fspam 01-10-2020 09:33 AM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
[QUOTE=toggenburg;2338875]Yes, ~22% ATF in all oil changes.

Tell you what, here is a direct quote right from marvel mystery oil's website itself.

"For example, if your engine has a 5-quart oil capacity, replace one of the quarts with a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil. Repeat at every oil change for optimal performance. Marvel Mystery Oil can be added to engine oil 300 to 500 miles before your next oil change to supplement sludge removal and enhance engine cleaning.
How to use - Marvel Mystery Oil
[url]https://www.marvelmysteryoil.com[/url] › gasoline-engine › automobile"

I repeat, iv'e done this with any brand ATF for decades. Each oil change on all my cars and kids vehicles too. Even on my Audi 5000S and '68 Corvette with IIRC the L88 engine.
Only then, when they would rust out (Chicago rust belt) would I get rid of the vehicle, and even then, their engines had never, never needed any internal work done even up to 331,000+ miles on that engine.

You can lead a many a car owner to water (truth), but you cannot get many to drink (to actually overcome fear and to try something different that works).[/QUOTE]

Are you saying you replace a quart with ATF before changing, or you put in ATF with fresh oil for the entire interval?

I could see the first one working well but I would be concerned about the weight of the ATF for the second one if it's that much of your oil.

toggenburg 01-10-2020 01:49 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
To be clear: with the fresh oil for the entire OCI interval.
i.e.
An oil change with a 5 qt capacity including filter change:
I put in 4 quarts of whatever synthetic OR dino oil, plus 1 quart Dexron III.
I then drain it out only at the 3000 mile interval, and repeat as stated.
Done this procedure continuously since the early 1970's without engine issues.
Also, until 18 years ago, I was in the Chicagoland area and always passed the annual automobile 'breath analyzer' test without failure.
I don't know if they still do that up there or not though, because Virginia where I am, does not require it at all.:)

can0fspam 01-12-2020 03:53 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
We've got an update:
I pulled the valve cover again and checked for tension in the chain up top as well as down inside the timing cover.
There was significant enough play up top, and the chain was almost completely loose below the front cam gear.
Below the back cam gear, it was fully tight. This makes sense - I think the tensioner is on this side.
However this seems bad enough to me that I will put a new chain in it ASAP. There's enough movement around the front gear that it wouldn't be hard to jump a tooth.

Video (let me know if the quality is too poor):
[url]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEaEwo_BXxs[/url]

Unless this amount of play is in-spec, I think this tells me all I need to know about the condition of the chain/tensioner.

can0fspam 01-29-2020 02:09 PM

Re: Unknown engine noise when cold
 
For documentation purposes:
I replaced the timing chain and the noise disappeared entirely. I haven't yet diagnosed what part of the timing set went bad. I'm guessing it was the tensioner because it wasn't quite fully extended (so the chain probably wasn't too long). The guides were both worn in pretty deep too.

If your car makes a noise like my videos - even if you remove the serpentine belt - it's probably your timing chain.


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