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Old 10-10-2017, 10:14 PM   #1
ehunter
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Location: Pacifica by San Francisco 5sp Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 214k.
Posts: 1,459

1996 SL2
Default Rocker arm click

Hi guys... back for a little advice as you can see.

A few days ago I moved the 96SL2 out of the garage. I noticed a loud clicking from the cam cover.

I did not think much about the clicking as I was thinking since the car has been sitting for 4 weeks, the oil will distribute and the sound will go away. That last drive was for maybe a 100mi and the car ran great the whole way, no sounds.

Anyway, This evening I had time to check the oil after work to follow up on that clicking. The fill level was right to FULL line, sitting cold. Then I idled the car for 10 min and checked the oil again... 90% up to the fill line and the car clicked the whole way.

I admit I have not changed the oil in a few years but at the same time I have put maybe 2-3,000 miles on the car that whole time.

What do I have to worry about or what steps should I take to advert any kind of long term problematic situation? Thanks !
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:48 PM   #2
OldNuc
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Rocker arm click

Depends. If the cam sits holding the valve open the lifter can bleed down and stick. Usually fixed by completely warming up the car and going for a decent 45-60 MPH drive to get hot oil at high pressure up into the head. This gets it unstuck and pumped up.

The issue is this How loud is it? A noticeable single valve tick at idle or several ticks compared to a relatively loud CLACK. How to proceed depends on what is actually going on. There is no real quick oil treatment that fixes this so ATF/Marvel Mystery oil etc is not a solution.

The lifter will bleed down and actually jam in the collapsed position. This is why the cleaner in a can does not fix this issue.
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Old 10-11-2017, 07:30 AM   #3
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1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: Rocker arm click

Welcome back! I have no constructive advice but just wanted to say thanks for your rebuild thread. I read it a couple times before and during my rebuild.
...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:31 PM   #4
ehunter
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pacifica by San Francisco 5sp Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 214k.
Posts: 1,459

1996 SL2
Default Re: Rocker arm click

Well, in terms of how loud it is...

I only backed out the garage to park the car across the street. It was loud enough for the neighbor to notice and say I needed to get some oil into the engine.

When I first started the car, the clacking sound was startling loud to me because I know what it is supposed to normally sound like. But after 5-10 minutes running the sound was notably muted but definitely still there. I only ran the car until the temp hit the 1/4 mark on the temp guage before shutting down to recheck the oil again.

But OK... after work I will run it up and down the freeway to cruising operating temperature. Hopefully it goes away.

Glad 191 got some value out of my rebuild thread. One thing I wish I could go back to add was to highlight that when re-mounting the generator when the motor is out of the car is to make sure the long pivot bolt is inserted into the side opposite from the frame. A year ago my generator went out on me and I ended up having to cut out the bolt. After the engine is dropped into the frame you cant slide the bolt out if it is inserted from the frame side. Cost me a trip to the bone yard for a bolt with all of the time you waste along the way.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:02 PM   #5
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1999 SL2
1998 SC2
Default Re: Rocker arm click

I put that bolt in the wrong way too. Whoops!
...
Bryan Cotton
'99 SL2, 5SP bought new
Rebuilt at 204,067 September 2017
Engine, subframe, diff pin mod, brake lines, headliner, alternator, and so on!
'98 SC2, 5SP bought 2018
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Old 10-12-2017, 12:18 AM   #6
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Rocker arm click

Always check for a richpin06a video before doing any minor maintenance.

As to the lifter noise. That is the classic clatter from a bled down semi-stuck lifter. As long as it quieted down it will be OK but it can take some time to clear up.

The fix for this is to disassemble and clean the 91-98 vintage DOHC lifters and replace the 99-02 DOHC lifters with the latest design. Both types are used in several GM engines.
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Old 10-14-2017, 02:33 PM   #7
ehunter
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pacifica by San Francisco 5sp Engine rebuild with the help of people here at 177K due to 500mi/qt oil consumption. After 2yrs I am back to 40mpg+ after discovering the refirb head I used was bad. Car runs better than a top. Now at 214k.
Posts: 1,459

1996 SL2
Default Re: Rocker arm click

You were right OldNuc

I went bombing up and down the freeway for a good 30min.

Noise went away.
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Old 10-14-2017, 03:20 PM   #8
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2005 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: Rocker arm click

I had the same problem with rocker clicking on an 05 Vue 2.2.

You have a real problem on your hands if it is the same cause.

Mine was caused by little pieces of plastic getting sucked into the oil pump pick-up screen, partially clogging it.

The plastic is from the timing chain guides, breaking up from chain slap. You will need new chains and the guides.

The parts come as a kit (cheap on ebay) but the labor might be expensive. I did it myself and it was not hard, but time consuming.

If you wait to long more plastic will get in the screen and then the head will not get enough oil and you will ruin the head cam bearing surface (there is no cam bearing per se).

I waited to long and had to buy a rebuilt head w/ cams.

Best to not even run it
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Old 10-14-2017, 05:44 PM   #9
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Rocker arm click

Quote:
Originally Posted by ehunter View Post
You were right OldNuc

I went bombing up and down the freeway for a good 30min.

Noise went away.
It is just one of those things that happens with this design of overhead cam lifters. Minor irritation though when it first happens it is quite disconcerting.
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Old 10-14-2017, 05:47 PM   #10
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1998 SC2
Default Re: Rocker arm click

Quote:
Originally Posted by kbar View Post
I had the same problem with rocker clicking on an 05 Vue 2.2.

You have a real problem on your hands if it is the same cause.

Mine was caused by little pieces of plastic getting sucked into the oil pump pick-up screen, partially clogging it.

The plastic is from the timing chain guides, breaking up from chain slap. You will need new chains and the guides.

The parts come as a kit (cheap on ebay) but the labor might be expensive. I did it myself and it was not hard, but time consuming.

If you wait to long more plastic will get in the screen and then the head will not get enough oil and you will ruin the head cam bearing surface (there is no cam bearing per se).

I waited to long and had to buy a rebuilt head w/ cams.

Best to not even run it
The Vue is a different configuration where it is more probable that plastic shards will end up clogging the oil system.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:01 AM   #11
TomM96
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Default Re: Rocker arm click

One of the lifters on my '97 sticks for a few seconds after startup sometimes.
Generally fresh oil cures it...
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