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Old 08-28-2010, 02:10 PM   #1
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Engine ticking

So my engine (4.0 Auto) will occasionally sound like something is smacking around in the engine on a a cold start. within seconds it stops. I do hear what sounds like a valve tapping. It taps for a few seconds then stops then starts then stops. It does this after the JEEP warms up and continues throughout driving. Pretty sure I have a lifter sticking? Anyone know how easy this is to remedy? I just did a seafoam thinking it would help.

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Old 08-28-2010, 02:25 PM   #2
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It sounds to me that its the lifters. My TJ ticks on idle but when im driving and oil psi increases it goes away. It also ticks at high revs. This I6 has been ran hard off road thats what I chalk my ticking to.

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Old 08-28-2010, 02:32 PM   #3

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Seafoam..........1 and 1/2 ounces per quart of oil.
Same if you add it to dirty oil but make sure you run it 100 miles before you change the oil.
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Old 08-28-2010, 02:49 PM   #4
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If you use something like seafoam I would highly suggest keeping a close eye on your oil pressure for a while. If you have a lot of miles and/or a dirty engine inside you can clog the oil pick up and not even know! Not really that likely, but just a word of caution.
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:55 AM   #5
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Often a small exhaust leak sounds like a lifter problem. Use a hunk of heater hose held to your ear to try to find the noise source.

Exhaust leaks often change sounds or stop as the engine temp changes, the leak gets bigger or smaller.

If you remove the valve cover a lifter noise will get louder, and exhaust leak won't be affected. Try listening through the oil filler hole too.
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Old 08-29-2010, 03:53 AM   #6
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Well this is a pretty odd situation. The ticking noise will begin very subtle then grows to a full valve type ticking for about minute then suddenly stops for about 2 minutes then begins quietly again then grows to a peak ticking noise then again suddenly stops and it will continue to do this while idling. It also ticks when I take off from a dead stop and then eventually stop at a higher RPM.. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:28 AM   #7
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It could be a lubrication problem, changed the oil recently?

If it is a lifter you should hear it louder by listening at the oil filler hole, see my previous post.

An exhaust leak - headpipe, manifold etc - a small leak can expand and contract depending on the temperature, changing the noise you hear.

You said: """""it ticks when I take off from a dead stop and then eventually stop at a higher RPM.."""""
When accelerating the volume of exhaust is greater - with greater pressure, so an exhaust leak gets louder. Decelerating it usually gets quieter.

A decent way to look for it -
Dark garage or at night. Use a strong pencil beam flashlight underneath to look while someone sprays carb cleaner, Sea Foam, WD-40 or down the throat to make it smoke. Do it under the conditions where the noise is the loudest, hot, cold etc.
The pencil beam will pinpoint where it's coming out. A wide beam or droplight won't show it as well.

TJ's are famous for cracks in the exhaust manifold. Do a search on here to verify it.

Replacing the lifters will cure it too - when you take it all apart then reassemble you will have replaced or tightened wherever it was leaking too. It's just lots more work!

The ticking noise may also be "up top." If you can't find an exhaust leak and you hear it better through the oil filler hole - remove the valve cover. Check the rockers and pushrods, you may get lucky with something awry there. (Much less work.)

Let us know what you find.
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Old 09-05-2010, 09:52 PM   #8
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I just lived this very same situation. The ticking/tapping started after I had the oil changed for the first time on my recently purchased TJ. The dealer I bought it from had changed the oil so this was around 3000 miles after that last change. It has 133K miles now. The ticking only happened when the engine was cold, and would cycle off and on about every 30-45 seconds. Once the engine was warm the ticking stopped. After lots of researching on several forums, I decided to try the most simple thing. I purchased a filter from the nearest Jeep dealer for $5.99. I replaced the filter and the ticking stopped. I would only guess the other filter didn't provide the correct oil volume flow.

Good luck!!!

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