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Old 06-07-2009, 07:07 AM   #1
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Valve tap

I have a 2003 Wrangler with the 2.5 4 cyl. all stock. The exaust manifold came loose and I drove it like that a month or so. I now have a valve tap at idle or whenever driving at low rpm 2000 to 2300 rpm's. At about 24 to 2500 it goes away. I run regular oil 10-30. It has 66000 miles on it. Tried some additives (not the teflon ones) nothing seems to work. Any ideas?

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Old 06-07-2009, 09:00 AM   #2
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Did you actually replace the manifold gasket, or just tighten it?

A small exhaust leak often sounds like a valve tapping.

Try this:
Dark garage, lights out. Use a strong pencil beam flashlight to look around the manifold area while you spray a little FI cleaner (make sure it says "safe for O2 sensors") down the Throttle body - while it's running of course.

The cleaner will make smoke in the exhaust system. The exhaust system should be tight and carry all the smoke out the back. If you see smoke in the engine compartment from it, you can probably see where the leak is.

Listening through a hunk of heater hose like a stethoscope helps locate the noise too.

Or remove the rocker cover to use the hose, and/or put your fingers on each rocker, one at a time. Your fingers will feel the "bump" better than your ear can.

Betcha it's still an exhaust leak.

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Old 06-07-2009, 09:03 AM   #3
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Is the valve tap continuous at all times even when the engine has been running a while/warmed up fully? And as rrich says, it still might be nothing more than an exhaust leak.
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Old 06-07-2009, 11:12 AM   #4
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I just tightened the bolts... but the leak was where the manifold connects to the exauhst not the manifold itself to the head. I just looked around and also noticed a small hose leading from the air cleaner to the valve cover has huge 2 inch splits in it. I'll try the flashlight idea tonight. You people are cool!! Free advice is very groovy.
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