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Mike6

Loud ticking noise coming from top of engine

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Took the car out for a nice run down to Brighton at the weekend. Behaved itself really well apart from its usual jerkiness. On the way home in the evening decided to open her up a bit on the A/M23 and cruised nicely along at around 90mph with hardly any other cars around. When we pulled off the motorway the wife said should could hear a ticking noise coming from the back and sure enough when I pulled up at home there was a fairly loud ticking coming from the engine. Left the car for a few days to let everything settle down and have today checked everything out and oil level etc seemed fine. Started her up - fired first go - but the ticking is still there and sounding fairly loud. It sees to be coming from the top of the engine so I guess it is a tappet or worn cam. I should point out that the oil pressure has been running a bit on the high side (5 0n the guage) although it does drop back on tickover.

Any ideas on what I should be looking for and will I need to pulling the timing belt to check tappets and adjust with shim. Its an abolute bugger as I was looking forward to taking car to Brands Hatch tomorrow and then a few meets over the next week or so.

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If it is only a tappet (I think they're called lifters on overhead cams) It should be safe to go to Brands. If you have an automotive stethoscope (or you're a doctor) you can pinpoint the source of the noise. Do a compression check to make sure it's not more sinister, and do an oil change, as they sometimes get noisy as the oil reaches the end of it's serviceable life.

I have one that's a bit noisy until the engine warms up, I don't worry about it.


Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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Manifold?


British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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Manifold.

Trevor.


I'll get around to it at some point.

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Thanks for responses. Noise definetly seems to be coming from under the top cam tower, so guess I will need to pull that and check valve clearances before thinking of more serious problems. When you say the hose connection do you mean the flexible pipe that takes air from the filter to the turbo.

Just hope it isn't the manifold, would have thought smoke would be getting into the engine bay on start up

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Mike, before you start taking anything apart, grab a length of hose or something and listen through it to isolate the source of the noise. Also a screwdriver with your ear to the handle will help to isolate anything mechanical. Tappets and cams don't just wear significantly over a few miles, but manifolds do quickly develop cracks and holes. Pointless taking anything off until you've located the noise.


British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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Thanks for responses. Noise definetly seems to be coming from under the top cam tower, so guess I will need to pull that and check valve clearances before thinking of more serious problems. When you say the hose connection do you mean the flexible pipe that takes air from the filter to the turbo.

Just hope it isn't the manifold, would have thought smoke would be getting into the engine bay on start up

I don't know the '88 very well, but on my 89SE, if one of the rubber hoses that connect to the intake manifold cracks or pops off, I can suddenly and very clearly hear a loud valve ticking noise.

The 89SE has these connections, your 88 will be somewhat different.

1) hose from the charcoal canister on the front of the intake manifold (near the thermostat)

2) a Tee on the intake manifold which connects from the crankcase breather to the fuel pressure regulator

3)MAP sensor

4)boost pressure transducer

if any of the1-3 hoses above (they look like color coded vacuum lines, seen on the chart under the lift-gate) is loose or cracked, you'll hear loud ticking!


Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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Well I had the same sound on my S4 when I bought it and immediately noticed a tappity tap but rather loud. As the car had been off the road for a few years I but it down to the very badly rotten exhaust rasping, even though it did sound like top end tappet rattle. As the restoration got to the engine out stage a few weeks back, a day or so later the manifold came off and low and behold..... a hole. right by the mounting flange on number two. It had corroded badly in this area leaving a pinhole. So I was half right, it was the badly corroded exhaust system, albeit the manifold and it was no doubt the sound of the engine doin what it does inside that I could hear!

So its been shot blasted and is currently off to a very good old chap who deals with these things...

Darren

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Just spent a few hours crawling over the car. I am content that it isn't any connections (this is a carb turbo) and I spent ages trying to get a view of the manifold. Cannot swear that it hasn''t got a tiny hole in it but to be honest it looks relatively new and all the nuts and locking tabs look as fresh as the day they were put on so as a guess I would say its been changed a year or so before I got the car. Otherwise I would have thought the nuts would have corroded away.

I tried the test with a pipe to my ear but couldn't hear anything going on under the cam towers so now moving away from the idea that it may be tappet related. Unfortunately the exhaust noise is so loud it makes listening for the origins of other noises very difficult. It does appear to be coming from the front of the engine around cam belt area. I am wondering if it could be as simple as a bearing breaking up on the alternator, cam belt tensioner or similar.

I think I will now take the car down to my local garage and get them to put it on the ramps and try and get a diagnosis from them. They have been helpful in the past and mine is the first Esprit they have ever MOT'd. Will post up what they think in case it helps others

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Vac pump exhaust maybe ? If the rubber 'exhaust' pipe has come off the pump the tick, tick sound that they sometimes make could be heard in that area. Usually the sound comes from near the left hand side half shaft / gearbox area where the pipe ends and can be quite loud if you have a vac leak somewhere.


Too many Toys are never enough !

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I'm with the vacuum leak theory. On my S2 Esprit I had exactly the same sound and it was at the same place. Turned out to be a hole in the vacuum take off pipe for the brakes. Same thing happened on the Eclat too, but that time it was for the vauum that operated the heater flaps.

Are there any other changes? Brakes getting heavier or heating system not working quite right? Any of these would point in the same direction.

Edited by matk

Regards

Mat

post-1-0302470001278592957.jpg

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Thanks for all the comments. The car is now booked in for first thing Monday and the garage will go over the car wih me to give me their view. Interesting point about vacuum lines. I have replaced all these except at the vacuum pump itself and boy did these need replacing. They were cracked or unnatched all over the place and braking and boost has improved tremendously. However I have not checked back at the pump but I am beginning to thing that a bearing is breaking up, possibly vacuum pump, possibly alternator or even water pump.

With such good weather at the moment its a real pain that I cannot use the car but I have faith in this garage so hopefully Monday will reveal what has gone wrong. Will post up the findings - for those cars that are working have a good weekend.

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Sod the Grand National - I'm putting it all on the manifold.


British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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Might even be worth an each way. on cracked cam follower,, seen a few and they have that noise.!!!

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It seems I haven't fallen foul of the manifold disease. The mechanics say its definitly a tappet which could have dried due to infrequent use of car. He reckons put some oil thinner in, drain then whip the top of the cam tower and check for anything untoward and check clearances and then clean and oil nicely then refil car with nice new oil and recheck. Worse secenario is cam top will have to be removed and propably new shims.

They thought the car was ok to drive but think I will also drop the sump as oil pressure seems to have increased and check whether oil strainer has become blocked.

Can anyone point me in the direction of what sealant to use for the cam top and sump as I don't think gaskets are used.

Thanks again for all the help

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It sounds like your mechanic possibly thinks that the engine has hydraulic tappets, just check this isn't the case before dropping thinner oil in.

The cam covers use a gasket and the cam housings and sump use Permabond A136. All joint surfaces to receive the sealant are specified as being treated with Permabond A905 surface conditioner first.

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sorry to be a naysayer, but that diagnosis just doesn't ring true. Has the noise been isolated to a particular valve?


British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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Thanks for info about sealant

Hi Sparky - mechanic says its around the middle on the top cam tower. He listened for cracked/holed manifold and said it wasn't that and I did give it a really good check and it looked fairly new. The car is probably due for an oil change anyway but don't think I will use flushing oil. I have wanted to drop the sump for a while to check the oil strainer as I have previously had a car which was bunged up - won't do any harm cleaning all the inside out and check for any metal flakes - memories of Dave Freemans car. The mechanic didnt suggest doing this.

Checking tappet clearance will not be too ardous a task and if nothing is out I suppose that might bring me back to the manifold but I would rather eliminate other stuff first. The idea of breaking the news to my wife that a piece of iron is goint to cost £500 is just going to be too painful!

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Could be what Dave suggested then - follower damage. I'd probably be doing a compression test before any dismantling, too. It does indeed sound like the garage has assumed hydraulic tappets, so a 'dry' one is definitely NOT the issue!


British Ambassador to Florida, New York, Denmark and Newfoundland.  And Sweden.

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As for dropping the sump, I wouldn't at this point. I would think a blocked oil strainer would show a drop in oil pressure as it is the feed to the pump and therefore would starve the feed resulting in a drop?. Do what Sparky suggests and carry out a compression test first.

Trevor.


I'll get around to it at some point.

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What should the oil pressure show on the guage at tickover?


Amateurs built the Ark

Professionals built the Titanic

"I haven't ridden in cars pulled by cows before" "Bullocks, Mr.Belcher" "No, I haven't, honestly"

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Will do a compression test later today and post up results

Thanks

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I did have some cam follower damage that I noticed during my rebuild at 74k miles

IMG_2587.jpg

several of the exhaust followers had hairline cracks from the center, so I replaced all of them with new steel ones rather than the original iron.


Travis

Vulcan Grey 89SE

My Lotus Photo and Projects Album

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Not sure where to go from here. Did the compression test with hot engine ,clutch and throttle fully depressed and fuel and spark isolated. Absolutely zero, nuffink, didly squat on all four cylinders. Its a new guage, fairly cheap (Am Tech) but I tried it on my Mondeo and the guage was dancing around so I assume it works.

I can feel my blood pressure increasing and the wife hiding my wallet. Could this explain the top end noise and how on earth could the car start and run with zero compression. It doesn't even smoke and passed the MOT not long back. Oil looks ok and not as black as you would assume if the engineis knackered.

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