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Thread: Valve/Lifter knock question

  1. #1
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    Valve/Lifter knock question

    So I'm looking at getting a new Daily Driver to replace my pickup, and I found a nice one, but one of the problems is a Lifter or Valve train knock. Its apparently louder when it first starts and then quiets down as it gets warmer (and i'm assuming as the oil circulates more)

    My question is, is this a huge issue to stay away from or not a big issue? Most of the responses I saw only said not to worry about it, guys have had that noise from their lifters/valvetrain for 100k km's without problems. The vehicle is in really good shape with decent mileage (1999 Ford Explorer Sport 4x4 w/ 154,000 km's) and is going pretty cheap

    Are there any good tests or things to do to potentially fix the problem or help it before having to check push rods and rocker arms or taking off the heads and replacing some lifters?
    1987 Jeep YJ - Daily driver/trail rig - On the road but Currently under construction

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  2. #2
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    I guess I should rephrase it a little, its not really a knock, just noisey lifter or valvetrain

    And its the 4.0 v6 engine

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    Are you sure it's lifters? It could be piston slap, quite common on newer engine and the Ford 4.0 is no exception.
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  4. #4
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    Apparently its Lifter/Valvetrain noise. I'm going to look at it tomorrow and take it for a test drive

    Whats the difference in noise?

  5. #5
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    Went to look at it and took it for a drive, drives nice.

    It definitly sounds like its from the top of the motor, more like a chatter then a knock. The guy at the small dealership had taken it to Ford to have it checked out and they said its either lifter or valve train, but wouldn't know until they could pull the motor apart to check it out.

  6. #6
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    Hmmmm, forgot about this post.

    Might as well update then. Bought it and picked it up just before Christmas (on the 23rd)
    Gas mileage sucked, but it was good in the snow and crappy weather recently until last week

    The rattle (similar to a disel sound) was actually a very common problem on these Ford 4.0l SOHC motors (no, not piston slap) its a timing chain issue (one of the 3+ timing chains on this motor). Apaprently the issue thats very common on these motors is that the guides and tensioners wear quickly or break and cause the timing to get thrown off. I found out this is the problem with mine last thursday while driving to my ball hockey when the motor started to feel like it was losing power and then just stalled. It would crank but not fire, seemed like it wasn't getting gas. Had it towed to the mechanic and after almost 3 hours of investigating, he found the problem, the rear timing chain appears to have jumped a tooth causing the timing to be off.

    Its a very simple and easy fix, Just yank the motor out to get access to the rear of the motor and find out what broke and fix it, while re-adjusting the timing chain. The put the motor back in and find out if there was any damage to the valves or the heads. Pretty much the mechanic said to me "Don't want to scare you, but we have had this before and a few times we just pulled the motor out and swapped in a new one from the wrecker becuase it was cheaper then fixing the damage.

    Atleast I got about a months worth of driving out of $2,500. Can't really go back after the small dealership I bought it from since I technically bought it from them "As-Is" and just had them do the safety work for me after.

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    That sucks!

    But thank you for updating us. It's good to know, and may help someone else in a similar situation.

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    So is the motor trashed or are they just trying to scare you into replacing the motor? A quick leak down test will tell you if the valves hit the pistons and are bent.

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    Don't know yet, they were gonna pull the motor and then give me an idea what needs to be done. They were supposed to have the motor out yesterday but didn't have it out at noon when I called

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