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Old 02-18-2011, 05:14 PM   #1
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Clicking or Ticking noise from front of motor

I did search, so I know a little better what to ask and what to describe. I did not, however, find anything in the other "noise" threads that seems to fit my issue, so here it is for any thoughts you may have:

Not sure how long ago this started, maybe 3 weeks?
Truck makes no noise when started up cold, and actually makes no noise for 10-15 minutes until it gets warm.

Once the clicking starts it's there, and you can hear it in the cab while driving. The speed of the "clicking" increases when the gas pedal is pressed, however, unless my tires drown out the noise it seems to only be noticeable at lower speeds/RPMs, seems to go away once I am going faster than maybe 35mph.

Now, strangely, once the clicking starts it's "timed" with the gas pedal/RPM, BUT, it's not ALWAYS there, just most of the time when you start off from a stop especially. But like I said not always.

So then I get back home and back into the garage, clicking is present as I gas it a little backing up the driveway into garage. Put it in park and give it a little gas, and get a little clicking, so we can rule out anything that's not related to motor speed.

My issue is when popping the hood and giving it gas at the throttle body, it appears to be coming from the front of the motor. I thought it might be pvc or rear emissions stuff back there, but that seems to rule that out. For the life of me I still cannot tell if it's internal to the motor or external, so I have not ruled out something going on with the belt and accessories. The belt I replaced a few months back with a slightly longer one due to the OBA compressor I did.

I can't see how this would be an exhaust leak due to what I described. Could it still be a manifold/vacuum leak if it comes and goes like I describe and only occurs once warm? Is there any other emissions crap up front that might create this? If it's internal, what might cause a clicking once warmed up, RPM timed, but not 100% constant?

It's not a loud click. much more noticeable once you pop the hood, if it decides to do it when warmed up. I call it a click vs. a tick just because I can't even tell if it's a sound that is "metal" related....metal on metal kinda ticking. It's also definitely not any kind of popping or puffing sound.

No issues with the truck, idling great, starts right up, good gas mileage all things considered, just generally running very good. Did fresh oil/filter about a month ago, fluids full, coolant fine. Could the clutch fan be getting noisy? No issues with temps, just wondering about any external to the motor things to check.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:46 PM   #2
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Valve noise? Hard to say without hearing it. I wrecked an old medical stethoscope I had and you remind me I need to pick-up a mechanics stethoscope. One of those might help you track it down.
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:48 PM   #3
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or a hose.. listening with hose in hand isolate the noise. possibly lifters?
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Old 02-18-2011, 05:58 PM   #4
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a broom stick works well also.

the exhaust leak makes sense because once the motor warms up things expand and if the header is bent it may not be sealing well. perhaps its a stuck lifter.
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:02 PM   #5
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How bout a plug wire arching? That would be RPM related though.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:12 PM   #6
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keep in mind, would a stuck lifter or arcing plug also have the truck running beautifully? And isn't it weird that it's only making the noise once warmed up? and even then it's not consistent, will not make the noise all the time.

maybe it's a manifold or exhaust leak once warm, but why does it seem to go away as you get going up to speed? And wouldn't this sound a little different than a clicking?

So maybe I should put a hose up to like the drivers side head and see if I can more readily diagnose if it's an internal click?

By the way, I didn't post this, but the truck has 145k, not all that much for a well cared for 5.8. And burns no oil.
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:15 PM   #7
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Bet ya 5 bucks it's your fan hitting your fan shroud. Mine only does it when it's warm. One of the little ears for my shroud is gone, and the local yards don't have anything I can use, so just chilling till I get money to pick up a new one. I couldn't figure it out, untill I shut the truck off, climbed under the front, right under the bumper, and looked upwards twards the pullys and things. Seen something odd..scratches / gouges from my fan hitting the shroud. Ran my fingers under the edge of it, and sure as anything, there's marks, about an 8th inch deep in that bugger. I've monkeyd with it a bit, and now it mostly only does it turing in and out of a few local parkinglots, with some humpped up or down exits. My guess is just the normal front end flexing it sees. But other than that it's fine most times. Have a look, see what ya see. Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2011, 08:09 PM   #8
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If you really think about how many parts are moving from front to rear when a vehicle is in motion....gee it could be a gazillion things making that ticking noise!! HAHA
I know a guy that is a nuclear physist or however you spell it but quit to become a auto mechanic, when asked why..."Diagnosing car problems is a much bigger challenge"
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:12 AM   #9
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If you really think about how many parts are moving from front to rear when a vehicle is in motion....gee it could be a gazillion things making that ticking noise!! HAHA
I know a guy that is a nuclear physist or however you spell it but quit to become a auto mechanic, when asked why..."Diagnosing car problems is a much bigger challenge"
guess you're not following along, I already indicated that it will make the noise in park, in the garage (after being warmed up/driven). so this eliminates all drivetrain stuff like hub bearings, driveshafts, brakes, blah blah blah. I also stated I was certain it was underhood noise, and pretty darn sure from the front of the motor, though not sure if internal to the motor or not. So I wasn't looking for guessing about squeaky rear driveshafts or something, I know what I'm doing. What I am not good at is engine related stuff. I built my truck as far as SAS and everything else, and have redone my tcase, but the motor, well, it's totally stock, has always been very reliable, and aside from maintaining it, that's all I've done. Never been in it, so it seems to me my first mission is to figure out whether it's external, like the fan suggestion which I will check tomorrow, or internal. If internal I intend to turn it over to someone that is a little more knowing than I about the internals.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:18 AM   #10
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Have you tryed varying load vs rpm?
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:27 AM   #11
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The mechanics stethoscope is a great idea. Harbor Freight has a cheap one. Works way better than a hose. I had a clicking noise in my wifes van and with the stethoscope I had it down to the water pump in less then 5 min.

What about your belt tensioner? Mine made a clicking noise before it went out. Blew apart while on the highway. Hard to steer that pig over.

I don't remember if my fan clutch ticked when it went out, but man o man you don't want that to happen. Dunno if you remember when it happened to me, but it took out the water pump and timing cover mucho bad-o.
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Old 02-19-2011, 12:36 AM   #12
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thats exactly what mine is doing. and id really love to know what it comes down too. but there is a small difference in mine, it does it all the time. if the engine is running, its very lightly clicking. but i think its coming from passenger side rear of the engine. ill get one of the stethoscopes and try and narrow it down tomorrow.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:44 AM   #13
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Mine is doing the same thing, when it first started doing it, I thought it was a timing knock. But after checking the timing and listening to it closer I ruled that out. I took it to my buddy that usually helps me with my mechanics projects and he listened under the hood for a while and ruled it to be an exhaust leak somewhere. I dont know if thats true, but thats what we came up with. Im planning on replacing the motor and tranyy soon anyways so I really dnt care but maybe that will help you
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Old 02-19-2011, 11:32 AM   #14
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i figured out that there was an exhaust leak a couple months ago so i changed the header gasket and it got significantly quieter but i can still hear the slightest tick. maybe it isnt tight enough?
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:12 PM   #15
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Mine is making a similar noise and I have traced it down to a bad alternater bearing. It doesn't do it all the time but I wasnt paying attention to if was was warmed up or not. it's a 3g by the way.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #16
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How were you able to trace it down to a bad alternator bearing, just keep listening when it's making noise, put your ear right down there?

Edit: I guess once I get it to start making noise again, I can shut it down and pull the belt and just spin alternator pulley by hand?
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:44 PM   #17
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i'm siding with a manifold leak, have you tried to create the sound under a brake-torque condition?
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:51 PM   #18
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so updates, have not driven it again today, but I went out and checked out the whole shroud, not seeing any sign of touching. However this was worth looking at as the fan is not sitting perfectly in the shroud...the blades get close to the shroud at the top and drivers side, so I loosened the shroud and tried to adjust that a little bit. It's not very adjustable, but again there was no sign at all that there was any touching.

as far as testing under load all I can say is that the clicking is most noticeable starting off from a stop. Trying to hit the gas and give it extra load seems to do nothing. I also held my foot on the brake and gave it gas in the garage yesterday, and that did nothing to make it happen.

In a little bit I'll be going out, so will check again to see how long it takes to start making noise, and then when I get back I think I'll try to remove the belt and then spin the alt. pulley by hand if I think that could be a possibility.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:02 PM   #19
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run it without the belt after it makes the noise too. just go around the block once......or attempt to anyway. i'm sure 37" tires wouldn't be a walk in the park to turn without assist.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:36 PM   #20
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I had trouble finding where my noise noise was coming from, but I had to replace the seal in the timing cover and when I went to put the belt back on I noticed the alternator pulley would move in and out a little bit and up and down. When I would spin it it sounded rough, I threw on a spare i got from a junkyard and the niose is gone
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