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Over this past summer I re-built the bottom end of my engine (block decked and bored, J&E pistons, Eagle rods, and a new oil pump). I bought and installed a "take-off" low-mileage stock head from CFM. And finally, I installed Tom's turbo kit. The car runs AWESOME, except...

Over the past month or so, I've developed an increasingly loud "clack" in the valvetrain. It started as a flutter but has now ramped up to a "clack." It's loudest during 1st and 2nd gear and diminishes a little once I get to low-rpm 3rd and 4th gear. It definitely gets louder as the car warms up. And it's way louder than the standard ticking that our Zetecs produce.

The clacking seems to be located under the valve cover, near the #1 cylinder (passenger side) on the intake side. I've visually checked the cams and tappets and they appear to be okay. Valve springs and retainers were intact. The lash was pretty consistent: .003 on the intake side and .011 on the exhaust side (yes, that's a little tight on the intake side). I replaced the timing belt tensioner but that didn't seem to help.

Any ideas or suggestions?
 

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Side clearance of a tappet maybe. I can see someone scarring a lifter bore pretty easy, or any burr on a lifter would ware on the bore and cause the clearance to open up.

It's a bandaid fix but, thicker oil might be your only solution if you want to keep using that head. But that has consequences too.
 

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Has any one tried running the zetec with out the valve cover on ? I used to do my small block chevy's like that. Put the clips on to keep oil from squirting every where and adjusting the lifters. Since the zetec cams are oiled from inside , I wonder how much oil would actually get out. Maybe a valve cover with the tops cut off. Just to actually , see and hear which buckets are making the noise. I would like to compare the clearances hot. To see what the diff is between quiet and noisey ?
Edit :
Well , after thinking about this for a bit. You can't even open the oil filler hole with out spraying oil every where. So no valve cover is not an option.
Maybe a modified one with the tops opend up.
 

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I <3 my SVT
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My friend tried that, and he said it sprayed oil EVERYWHERE.

I would write down all clearances from the buckets (.011 is out of spec), remove the cams and buckets and inspect all of the surfaces. The cams buckets need to be between .006 and .010, i would keep them as close to the first number as possible. I'm sure you already know, but the higher the number, the louder the cam lobs will be as it rotates.

Matt
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Discussion Starter #6
Has any one tried running the zetec with out the valve cover on ? I used to do my small block chevy's like that. Put the clips on to keep oil from squirting every where and adjusting the lifters. Since the zetec cams are oiled from inside , I wonder how much oil would actually get out. Maybe a valve cover with the tops cut off. Just to actually , see and hear which buckets are making the noise. I would like to compare the clearances hot. To see what the diff is between quiet and noisey ?
Edit :
Well , after thinking about this for a bit. You can't even open the oil filler hole with out spraying oil every where. So no valve cover is not an option.
Maybe a modified one with the tops opend up.

I wish there was a cheap clear plexiglass valve cover on the market for this very purpose!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Side clearance of a tappet maybe. I can see someone scarring a lifter bore pretty easy, or any burr on a lifter would ware on the bore and cause the clearance to open up.

It's a bandaid fix but, thicker oil might be your only solution if you want to keep using that head. But that has consequences too.

I hadn't really thought about the side clearance. I only checked the lash between the cam lobe and the top of the tappet. So what's the fix? Just get new tappets or ream the bore?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My friend tried that, and he said it sprayed oil EVERYWHERE.

I would write down all clearances from the buckets (.011 is out of spec), remove the cams and buckets and inspect all of the surfaces. The cams buckets need to be between .006 and .010, i would keep them as close to the first number as possible. I'm sure you already know, but the higher the number, the louder the cam lobs will be as it rotates.

Matt
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I thought .011 was within spec on the exhaust side. Anyone know for sure?
 

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I <3 my SVT
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The spec shouldn't be different from cam to cam. .006"-.010" is the spec. Any higher than that and it will tick everytime the lobe rotates.

Matt
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I wish there was a cheap clear plexiglass valve cover on the market for this very purpose!
I think I will have to fabricate one up. I will get to pick a part next week and buy a junk one and cut it up. I have very noisy valvetrain also..
 

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will you really be able to "see" the buckets ticking against the cam?
 

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With valve cover off the oil will go EVERYWHERE , it will make such a mess with as little as 5 sec running even on the windshield

To get a hot gap just heat up the engine and pull the VC , get about 5 feet of garden hose and listen around the engine you will be shocked how much you can hear through the hose

.011 is a little to the high side , I would shoot closer to .008-.009 the is .003 not below the Min. Int valve lash

Tom
 

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I have a stethoscope. I can pretty much tell which ones are louder. I doubt you could see the lifter making noise. It just seems with a visual , you can pin point the noise. But in the end. The hot measurement is the best bet. Just want to see them . I will come up with something that works.
 

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maybe if you pull the valve cover off and have someone hold it 6-10" above the cylinder head, to stop the majority of the oil, then have rags handy for exess. I would also use the garden hose, or some other sort of tubing you can stick in your ear. even a screw driver on the cam caps and the handle to your ear with the engine idling will give you a good idea of where the noise is coming from. make sure its a long screw driver or you will be soaked in oil!

Matt
 

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I think Tom meant listen with the valve cover still on. If you take the vc off while its running, there are no edges to hold the oil in. Gonna run all over the place. Need maybe a taller cover with a removable top ?
 

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what about removing the fuel pump relay and spark plugs and cranking? the starter would obviously be making noise but the oil pressure would be lower. put a large blanket around the rest of the engine bay so it makes less of a mess.

I will try all sorts of crazy things to fix valve tick. hah

Matt
 
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