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Old 06-04-2016, 12:29 PM   #1
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Loud single lifter tap, only after it's warmed up (solved)

UPDATE:

A wiped rod bearing was the root cause of the top end noise and probably the reason the cam lobes were a little ate up. The bearing was wiped, but did not spin. It wasn't making any noise either....at least not enough to hear over the engine and the lifter noise. The only way I was able to get the bad cylinder to make noise was to unplug either the injector or the coil. When the cyl wasn't firing, I could hear a dull knock. It was definitely detonated as the bearing was deformed, no crush. There wasn't any fine metal flake in the oil. But once I drained it, large chunks of bearing material came out.

The lifter noise had to have been from low oil pressure. I thought this engine had always been on the low side from also feeding two turbos, not this low though. Also a lot of denial. :/



Since the bearing didn't spin, the crank was still in decent shape. All the rods are good as are all the pistons. I'm having the crank cut .010 under. New main, rod and cam bearings. Should be good as new.

Guess I should've waited to see what the actual carnage was before impulse buying an SDPC 416ci forged short block.

-------------------- ORIGINAL THREAD --------------------

Looking for an explanation of why a lifter would make a lot of noise, but only after the engine has warmed up. I understand that thinner oil could be the reason it starts ticking, but the oil pressure is the same now as it's always been. I use Rotella 15W-40, pretty thick. I check the level and change it regularly, and replace the filter each time. (K&N brand oil filter)

When it's making noise it's quite loud. I'm 100% certain it's internal to the engine as the noise is loudest when placing one end of a rubber hose over the open end of the oil dipstick tube and the other to my ear. So it's not the flexplate, TC bolt or anything like that, like I was hoping. When it's cold, it's dead silent though. Zero tick, even using the hose on the dipstick tube. Idling or revving.

Once it's warmed up, it's embarrassingly loud. Very similar to rod knock. But I've had rod knock before and this is different. The rod knock happened cold or warm, and was louder when the engine decelerated. This noise is constant. Unplugging each coil pack one-by-one makes no difference. Oil has no metal flake in it and the operating oil pressure has not changed since the engine was fresh (~30,000 miles ago). This is the same time the new LS9 cam, LS9 springs and LS7 lifters were installed.

I'm going to check the push rods for straightness. But could a slightly bent pushrod be whisper quiet when the engine is cold? I hammer on it every time I drive it, but not over revved, the rev limit in the tune is still the stock setting.

How much oil should flow through the pushrods out of the top of the rockers? I took a rocker arm cover off, left the coil packs attached but moved out of the way, and started it to see if I could isolate the noise that way. It took what seemed like a long time (maybe 30 seconds or so) before *any* oil came out of the rockers. And when it did, it was barely a dribble. I was expecting a mess, but it wasn't even enough to spill onto the exhaust manifold. Is that normal? Again, the oil pressure is good, between 40-50PSI at the time I was checking.

I suppose I'm just looking for someone who's had the same experience and what they found.

I can fix whatever it turns out to be myself. But I'd like to avoid doing unnecessary work by determining the actual cause before tearing into it, if possible. Using a stethoscope near each exhaust port didn't help isolate which cylinder. They all sounded the same.

Maybe I should pull both rocker arm covers and use the stethoscope on each rocker arm's bolt?
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Last edited by GNXClone; 01-23-2017 at 04:50 PM. Reason: Update
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:01 PM   #2
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I had a similar issue which turned out to be the lifters scoring the cam and creating flat spots on the lifters which then started making a tick sound that turned into a chirping sound. To diagnose, I unplugged one side of the coil packs(It will run on the 4 cylinders and started loosing the rockers til the sound stopped or reduced( I had 2 cylinders with bad lifters). It was a little messy but not a ton of oil came out while doing this. Its a good way to work cylinder by cylinder. Hope this helps. I have been through 2 tear downs to replace lifters/cam over the past 3 years.
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Old 06-04-2016, 03:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip! Was it completely quiet when cold?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rollingGTO...View Post
I had a similar issue which turned out to be the lifters scoring the cam and creating flat spots on the lifters which then started making a tick sound that turned into a chirping sound. To diagnose, I unplugged one side of the coil packs(It will run on the 4 cylinders and started loosing the rockers til the sound stopped or reduced( I had 2 cylinders with bad lifters). It was a little messy but not a ton of oil came out while doing this. Its a good way to work cylinder by cylinder. Hope this helps. I have been through 2 tear downs to replace lifters/cam over the past 3 years.

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Old 06-08-2016, 06:06 PM   #4
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My engine with less than 3k miles is doing the same thing. Don't know what it is.
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Old 06-08-2016, 06:47 PM   #5
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i had the same type of noise, and it ended up being this...







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Old 06-10-2016, 05:11 AM   #6
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How many miles did you have on that cam? Did Comp Cams do anything to help you out?
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Old 06-10-2016, 05:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix...View Post
How many miles did you have on that cam? Did Comp Cams do anything to help you out?

eh, around 35k - 40k miles. did a valve spring change, always kept the
oil changed with jg ls30.. and no..
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:31 PM   #8
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My comp cam and lifters looked really similar to yours and I also had 40,000 on mine and took great care as well. Comp didn't help me out either.
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Old 06-10-2016, 12:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elephantrider...View Post
i had the same type of noise, and it ended up being this...









What did your oil look like?
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Old 06-13-2016, 05:54 AM   #10
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eh, the magnetic drain plug started to get a very small beard on
it after, say, 25k miles or so.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:16 PM   #11
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Videos

Rattle

Knock


The knock is exactly 5 per second at 600 RPM, half the engine revolutions, which points to valve train. Good oil pressure and no metal in the oil which also makes a spun rod bearing less likely. But it sure is loud like a spun bearing.

It's extremely difficult to locate the source, left or right, front or back. But it seems like it's loudest near #6 and #8 cyls.

Absolutely coming from inside the block. Verified with a rubber hose from the open dipstick tube to my ear, loudest this way. So it's not the flexplate, not a torque conv bolt, not an exhaust leak.

My hopes of being able to fix it without pulling the heads is dwindling fast.

Soooo, how hard is it to swap a cam with the engine in the car? I own a hoist and I'm on fence about whether to try fixing it in the car, or just pulling it and fixing it on a stand. Would give me a chance to re-stall my TC while it's apart too.

Last edited by GNXClone; 06-26-2016 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elephantrider...View Post
i had the same type of noise, and it ended up being this...

Was it quiet when the engine was still cold? Seems like damage that bad would always make noise.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:56 PM   #13
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You can do a cam swap in the car by removing the radiator and lifting the AC condenser up and out of the way a little. I've done it a couple of times in my car.
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Old 06-26-2016, 03:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNXClone...View Post
Was it quiet when the engine was still cold? Seems like damage that bad would always make noise.

yup. engine sounded fine when it was cold. once the oil got to full
op temp, it would start making the noise intermittently, then gradually
got worse.
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Old 06-27-2016, 07:07 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svede1212...View Post
You can do a cam swap in the car by removing the radiator and lifting the AC condenser up and out of the way a little. I've done it a couple of times in my car.

I, too, have done this a few times. Easier with two people but not bad by yourself.
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Old 06-28-2016, 04:25 PM   #16
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Thanks guys. Looks like I need to pull the heads and lifters and see where it leads from there.
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Old 08-13-2016, 06:42 AM   #17
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Have you found anything?
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Old 08-20-2016, 03:39 PM   #18
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Thanks for asking! Your post gave me the motivation to finally tear it apart.

Yes, I found the culprit.



I think this is my fault. When I was re-assembling the engine after replacing the crankshaft and a rod, I forgot to put the alignment bar under the rockers and I started torquing down the #1 intake. I could tell something wasn't right when it was getting *really* tight but wasn't seated yet. I figured it out, installed the bar and continued. Several weeks later, the #1 intake pushrod broke and I had to limp it home. I put a used pushrod in and rode-out.

Fast forward a few years and over 25,000 miles. Now this, on the same #1 intake.

My guess is that I compromised the lifter when I overtightened it. The lifter had some slack. Then the constant, fast, hot metal to metal slamming millions of times took it's toll.

So, the engine's going to come out. I'll install a new cam and lifters.

Very seriously considering selling it once it's all back together. That might change as soon as I hit 12PSI though. ;-)
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:11 PM   #19
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At least you found out what the problem was.

Rider - wow, that's some intense grooving.

OP - how did you get that camera shot?

LR

EDIT - and on Comp Cams - two folks have the same problem at the same mileage, and no help from the company, is suspicious to me. Wonder how many others have had a similar experience. And I thought Comp was one of the more reputable manufacturers. What did they tell you when you called them?
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:55 PM   #20
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Iirc someone on facet00bs said something about comp having a run of bad cores.

don't know if this is BS or what, but just introducing it to the discussion.
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Old 08-21-2016, 05:59 AM   #21
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I've had two cams from Comp do that to me, but thought it was because some other engine damage cause that. I'm going to tear down my engine and see what is going on. I barely have 3000 miles on this one.
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Old 08-21-2016, 03:41 PM   #22
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There is a lot of discussion on ls1tech about Comp Cam failures
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:44 PM   #23
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Funny this pops up. I just replaced the stock cam in my 126k mile 06 that's been ticking for a while. Had a pitted lifter and a worn down cam lobe. It was on the #7 cylinder, forgot exactly which one.
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Old 08-21-2016, 07:23 PM   #24
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i didn't even try to call comp. that whole bad cam blank thing is why
tx speed is now grinding their own cams.
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Old 08-21-2016, 10:18 PM   #25
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i hear cam motion is the bomb.

i wonder who ed c has grind his cams?
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Old 08-27-2016, 02:23 PM   #26
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Mine was a GM LS9 cam and GM LS7 lifters. Both were new when installed. I did run it for a while with whatever springs come stock on LSA heads. Later switched to LS3 springs. And this was not due to over torquing the rocker like I thought. Turns out I was off by one and this is the #2 exhaust lobe.

A mechanic friend of mine told me GM is notorious for having lifters go bad. I do still think the lifter started bleeding down and the slack allowed it to beat the piss out of the lobe.

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OP - how did you get that camera shot?

From the top of the engine looking down into the valley. Through the front oil drain back.
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Old 01-05-2017, 12:43 PM   #27
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Finally put the GTO back together. New cam, new lifters. Makes the same damn noise!!!
Same circumstances. Sounds perfect when it's first started cold. Once it warms up a bit, clack clack clack. Frack!

I guess it must be rod, crank or cam bearing related? SMDH
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:41 PM   #28
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Did you check all of the rocker trunnions?
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:31 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GNXClone...View Post
Finally put the GTO back together. New cam, new lifters. Makes the same damn noise!!!
Same circumstances. Sounds perfect when it's first started cold. Once it warms up a bit, clack clack clack. Frack!

I guess it must be rod, crank or cam bearing related? SMDH

What preload?

And, yeah, how many miles on your rocker trunnions?

When you got a chance to swap anything out, did you peak at your cam bearings?
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Old 01-05-2017, 05:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nothubertjfarnsworth...View Post
i hear cam motion is the bomb.

i wonder who ed c has grind his cams?

My ed cam is a lunati .
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