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Eric Wettschreck

That annoying lifter tick

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Not too long ago I bought a 96 cutlass from a friend of mine. It's got a 3100. I only dropped a couple hundred bucks on this car and use it as a back and forth to work car. For about 40,000 miles before I got it, it had a lifter tick.

I do not believe in mechanic in a can. But, is there something I can pour in with the oil to quiet this down?

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In a word...no!

I haven't found anything that will silence, let alone cure it. Its not an uncommon thing for that motor though. I had one for 229,000 and it did it for a long time. No ill effects other than being annoying.

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In a word...no!

I haven't found anything that will silence, let alone cure it. Its not an uncommon thing for that motor though. I had one for 229,000 and it did it for a long time. No ill effects other than being annoying.

Had one just 3 month ago doing the same thing. The customer didn't want to spend the money to put in new lifters. wink Well, the customer came back a month later with an even louder "tick". The lifter finally colapsed far enough, the pushrod popped out, causing one dead cylinder. Luckely the pushrod didn't do any more damage, other than bend. Put all new lifters, and couple of pushrods in, Happy customer. grin

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That would be the proper repair for a car worth doing the repair on, if it is indeed lifters. BG was looking for an "in a can" repair that he paid 1/2 to 1/3 of what lifter replacement would be. Thats why I replied no. I certainly would have replaced mine if it had gotten louder. After turning wrenches for 35 years, I wasn't to eager to do it unless I thought a problem was imminent. smile

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Half a can of Seafoam Motor Tune in the oil. Run it until the tick goes away. Change the oil. Add the other half to the new oil. Enjoy!

I have yet for this not to work, Especially on GM vehicles with hydraulic lifters!

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That would be the proper repair for a car worth doing the repair on, if it is indeed lifters. BG was looking for an "in a can" repair that he paid 1/2 to 1/3 of what lifter replacement would be. Thats why I replied no. I certainly would have replaced mine if it had gotten louder. After turning wrenches for 35 years, I wasn't to eager to do it unless I thought a problem was imminent. smile

I wasn't selecting you for the quote, just the part that it is a common problem with them. I guess I should have deleted most of it, and just left the part I was pertaining to. I meant no disrespect to you.

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Thanks fellas. Like I said, cheap car not worth me putting new lifters in. If it dies, it dies.

I'll give the seafoam a shot. If it helps so be it. If not this car owes me nothing.

Thanks again.

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Half a can of Seafoam Motor Tune in the oil. Run it until the tick goes away. Change the oil. Add the other half to the new oil. Enjoy!

I have yet for this not to work, Especially on GM vehicles with hydraulic lifters!

Yep this is what I would do.

I have also had good luck using a quart of Type F and DexIII trans fluid also. Not on a 96 or this car, but older V-8's with dirty/noisy lifters.

The high detergent content in the trans fluid cleans things, but once this is done, an oil change is a must (50-100 miles max).

If Seafoam does not do the trick for some reason, another cheap option for ya.

Most likely neglect on oil and filter changes are the reason for the noise. wink I am not a GM guy, so these lifters might just be picky grin

Good luck BG!

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STP Motor Honey!!

Do they even have that stuff anymore? It worked! But adding heavy gear oil would probably have worked too. smile

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Cool to hear BG! Sounds like it will be working out for ya.

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They say you know when a motor is about to blow because it starts working better than ever! grin

That's funny, and so true. That's what our driver said right before the motor blew in the stock car.

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They say you know when a motor is about to blow because it starts working better than ever! grin

Let her blow!!! That will give me something to sight my scope in on!!!!

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When putting seafoam in the oil do you need to drain some oil out? Or in the case of a new oil change do you put in less oil to allow for the seafoam so you dont over fill it? have the same engine with the same problem and want to try this but dont want to over fill anything

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Half a can is maybe a qurter to half a quart. Most of which will eventually "flash" off with the heat of the engine. Fill with oil as normal. If your really concerned add a quarter less quart after the oil change.

Add the Seafoam to directly to the old oil, no need to drain any out before hand.

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I have a '04 ford f 150 with the 5.4 triton the I purchased used from a dealership in the northwest metro. I am hearing a lifter tick and wonder what, if anything I should do. Will this get worse with age? The truck has 60,000 miles on it.

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Is it only on start up? Or all of the time? Is it worse hot or cold, same?

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I have a '04 ford f 150 with the 5.4 triton the I purchased used from a dealership in the northwest metro. I am hearing a lifter tick and wonder what, if anything I should do. Will this get worse with age? The truck has 60,000 miles on it.

Are you sure it is a lifter tick? These are more prone to having exhaust manifold bolts breaking off causing an exhuast leak. Sounds like a lifter tick, but it is the exhaust leak between the manifold and the head.

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It is quiet on start up and you can hear it when the engine warms up some. I would have to rule out manifold leakage as it has a definate clicking noise to it and I have looked. I put some seafoam in yesterday and did not seem to quiet it down any.

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I would make sure you have 5w20 synthetic in it first. They were somewhat common for having bad lifters and timing chain rattle, but they were more common on a cold engine. I guess what I would do is drive it, as long as it isn't really bad, or it doesn't get worse, I wouldn't worry about it.

You could always stop by a Ford dealer, and ask if you can have a tech listen to it to determine if it is excessive. They listen to these engine every day and would be able to teel right away if it is something to worry about or not, and alot of places wouldn't charge you to do that.

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I would have to say that if it is the timing chain clattering, it is the hydraulic tensioner being the problem.

Take a long screw driver, and put the handle against your ear, and the blade on the valve cover towards the front on the cover(while the engine is running, and making the ticking noise). Work your way back to see where the noise is more pronounced. If it is the timing chain clattering, you will hear it right up front on the valve cover. You can do this to both covers to see where it is coming from. The sound will travel up the screwdriver to help locate the origin of the tick.

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