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Old 03-24-2015, 10:52 AM
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4.0 Tick/Seafoam and nothing

Ive got an 2003 4.0 TJ and like many, have the dreaded "Tick". Like many it only occurs on cold mornings and goes away as the motor warms up. Along with the tick, it also shows a slight loss of power until it warms up as well. After hours of searching the forums and reading similar problems I believed it was the common cracked exhaust manifold. I decided to do the Seafoam test and gave it a shot this morning.

When I pulled the Jeep out of the shop, so as not smoke out the building, I did not hear the tick. I gave it the Seafoam anyway, believing that the smoke would at least find somewhere to escape. To my surprise, nothing(under the hood anyway). Question is, should I try it again when the tick is present or did I just eliminate the exhaust manifold as the cause?

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Old 03-24-2015, 10:27 PM   #2
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I have never ran into this problem before but wouldnt you be able to visually see the crack. And if it goes away could it just be a lifter?

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Old 03-25-2015, 08:04 AM
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In my research, both a lifter and cracked exhaust manifold have been listed as causes. Theory being the metal expands on the manifold( closing the crack) and oil pressure rising( quieting the lifter). Im leaning toward lifter now. I was just wondering if the lack of tick before putting the Seafoam in makes a difference on the outcome of the test.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:57 AM   #4
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I have that same tick, I was going to try to switch to a full synthetic oil and higher grade oil filter and see how it helps. My thinking is the synthetic oil won't get at thick in the cold weather and get to the top of the engine with more eaze. If not I'll try the seafoam trick you just did. Imo I think you eliminated the exhaust manifold with not seeing smoke under the hood with the seafoam
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:56 AM   #5
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I have that same tick, I was going to try to switch to a full synthetic oil and higher grade oil filter and see how it helps. My thinking is the synthetic oil won't get at thick in the cold weather and get to the top of the engine with more eaze. If not I'll try the seafoam trick you just did. Imo I think you eliminated the exhaust manifold with not seeing smoke under the hood with the seafoam
I have a slight lifter tick on my 4.0 and I started running Mobile 1 high mileage along with a Mobil 1 filter and it as disappeared mostly.
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Old 03-25-2015, 02:32 PM
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I have a slight lifter tick on my 4.0 and I started running Mobile 1 high mileage along with a Mobil 1 filter and it as disappeared mostly.
Ill give that a try the next time I change my oil. Of course now its starting to get warm out and I might not know if it works till next fall.
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:33 PM   #7
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I have had AMC cars and trucks and the 258's which the 4.0 was built off of and they all had lifter noise at start up once they got miles on them. Thru the years at our service station we tried Winns Friction Prof. STP and bout all the different types of oil additives that have been on the market. You would stop it with one and then the next customers car it would not work on. I think the ticking at start up is a part of a AMC engine. Just a thought and hope it helps.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:44 PM   #8
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I have a slight lifter tick on my 4.0 and I started running Mobile 1 high mileage along with a Mobil 1 filter and it as disappeared mostly.
This is exactly what I want to hear! Can't wait to try
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:59 PM   #9
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Marvel mystery oil stopped my lifter tick.
Mine was ticking for 30 seconds when cold
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:11 AM   #10
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The tick is probably a lifter. Marvel mystery oil helped mine but it would still occur sometimes. I've found the Lucas oil additive helped the most as far as oil additives go.
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:32 AM   #11
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I'd dose it with Marvel Oil, if its dirt that will clean it up. If its a mechanical part that's bad it will do nothing.
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Old 03-29-2015, 03:16 PM
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Ill give the MMO a shot. If that dont work ill try the synthetic oil. If that dont work I suppose ill live with it like most everybody else.
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Old 03-29-2015, 04:38 PM   #13
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Is the tick at 1/2 rpm frequency or at rpm frequency

Lifter is 1/2 frequency while piston skirt is at rpm frequency
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:26 PM   #14
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MMO silenced mine!
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:11 PM   #15
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MMO helped my 4.0, but frequent changes with a quality synthetic (PP has a good dose of Calcium as well), and a FL-400s (a good thread on this on JF) cured it for good. Had temps in the negative this winter. Not a tick since. Helped in my CJ's 258 too.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:11 PM
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Is the tick at 1/2 rpm frequency or at rpm frequency Lifter is 1/2 frequency while piston skirt is at rpm frequency
What do you mean by RPM freq? Can you explain a little more?
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:12 PM
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mmo helped my 4.0, but frequent changes with a quality synthetic (pp has a good dose of calcium as well), and a fl-400s (a good thread on this on jf) cured it for good. Had temps in the negative this winter. Not a tick since. Helped in my cj's 258 too.
"pp"?
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:29 PM   #18
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Sorry. Pennzoil Platinum. FL400s is filter designation.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:33 PM
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Sorry. Pennzoil Platinum. FL400s is filter designation.
Thanks. I was figuring the first P was Pennzoil, but was lost on the second.
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:03 PM   #20
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What do you mean by RPM freq? Can you explain a little more?
Well, I think he means that since a lifter is only called into action during a phase of the combustion process, you should hear a ticking at some fraction of your engine RPM.

I'm not sure if it's quite 1/2; I would think more like 1/4 but either way, a lifter will tick slower than a piston skirt.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:13 AM
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Well, I think he means that since a lifter is only called into action during a phase of the combustion process, you should hear a ticking at some fraction of your engine RPM. I'm not sure if it's quite 1/2; I would think more like 1/4 but either way, a lifter will tick slower than a piston skirt.
Ill have to see if I can determine that, however it seems to be cold weather related. I haven't heard it for a week now that its starting to warm up.
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:55 AM   #22
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Is it lifters or is it a loose rocker arm. I would attempt to pull the valve cover, remove the rocker arms one at a time and inspect them. Also take a piece of glass like a mirror and roll your push rods to see if any may have a light bend in them. If all is good then reinstall and torque your rocker arms down to 21ft lbs. Its not that difficult of a process. I did it to a friends jeep and it took away the noise issue he had.
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Old 03-30-2015, 11:33 AM
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Is it lifters or is it a loose rocker arm. I would attempt to pull the valve cover, remove the rocker arms one at a time and inspect them. Also take a piece of glass like a mirror and roll your push rods to see if any may have a light bend in them. If all is good then reinstall and torque your rocker arms down to 21ft lbs. Its not that difficult of a process. I did it to a friends jeep and it took away the noise issue he had.
Did it just end up being a loose rocker arm? And was his also only a cold weather issue?
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:05 PM   #24
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I had the same issue MMO does help but all it does mostly is thin the oil if you're far from a change use it but if you're close to a change try a thinner oil my Jeep loves the thinner stuff. When I first got it I ran 10w40 and felt it sluggish and extremely loud. 10w30 Defy with mmo was alot better. Now I use 5w30 and the Jeep loves it. Plus you say its good after its warmed up, chances are the oil is too thick at start up and takes a while to properly lubricate everything.

I'm part of an oil forum as well and I can tell you most noisey Jeep 4.0's on there like Pennzoil Yellow Bottle 5w30 or 10w30 (I would use 5w30 in your case) both oils are the same once warm the 5w30 just starts off thinner than the 10w30 which you want. This is one of the reasons many new cars use 5w30 or even 5w20. Another fine choice is Pennzoil High Mileage 5w30 its the same formula but slightly thicker and has gasket conditioners in it to help prevent leaks. This and the oil filter I noticed has some influence, my Jeep did not like fram orange can but likes K&N and Royal Purple filters (my 1st choice is rp) they filter better because they use better filtering media and have valves that keep the filter always full with oil on start up. Give it a try next change.

If you want to check out some of this stuff yourself, bobistheoilguy.com
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Old 03-30-2015, 09:23 PM
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I had the same issue MMO does help but all it does mostly is thin the oil if you're far from a change use it but if you're close to a change try a thinner oil my Jeep loves the thinner stuff. When I first got it I ran 10w40 and felt it sluggish and extremely loud. 10w30 Defy with mmo was alot better. Now I use 5w30 and the Jeep loves it. Plus you say its good after its warmed up, chances are the oil is too thick at start up and takes a while to properly lubricate everything.

I'm part of an oil forum as well and I can tell you most noisey Jeep 4.0's on there like Pennzoil Yellow Bottle 5w30 or 10w30 (I would use 5w30 in your case) both oils are the same once warm the 5w30 just starts off thinner than the 10w30 which you want. This is one of the reasons many new cars use 5w30 or even 5w20. Another fine choice is Pennzoil High Mileage 5w30 its the same formula but slightly thicker and has gasket conditioners in it to help prevent leaks. This and the oil filter I noticed has some influence, my Jeep did not like fram orange can but likes K&N and Royal Purple filters (my 1st choice is rp) they filter better because they use better filtering media and have valves that keep the filter always full with oil on start up. Give it a try next change.

If you want to check out some of this stuff yourself, bobistheoilguy.com
In my research on this topic I found several people saying their Jeeps did not like Fram filters, which is what I have currently. Ive never run 5W30. Between you and everybody else that posted with possible remedies, it looks like ive got some experimenting to do. Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:44 PM   #26
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I have that same tick, I was going to try to switch to a full synthetic oil and higher grade oil filter and see how it helps. My thinking is the synthetic oil won't get at thick in the cold weather and get to the top of the engine with more eaze. If not I'll try the seafoam trick you just did. Imo I think you eliminated the exhaust manifold with not seeing smoke under the hood with the seafoam
Synthetic 10w-30 has the same viscosity as regular 10w-30, meaning it will be the same thickness as any other oil with the same viscosity. If you're thinking you may have a lifter noise, try a higher weight oil like 15w-40 and see what happens.

I also put 6 pistons in a 4.0 that had 3 cracked skirts, and it rattled like crazy.
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:54 AM   #27
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Sounds like lack of lub to me maybe the oil pump isnt doing its job or it could just be a lifter adjustment.

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