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Ticking noise, 2003 Ford F-150, 4.6L engine

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here Ticking noise, 2003 Ford F-150, 4.6L engine

This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Nhoj Zepol Nhoj Zepol 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    Topic
  • #843825

    I’ve been chasing this ticking problem since the beginning of the year and still have not found where it is coming from. Sounds like the noise is coming from the passenger side valve cover using a Mechanics Stethoscope is my best guess. Very tough! Here is what I have done to my 2003 F150 4.6L in all these months.

    Truck runs very good and strong. Ticking noise gets faster the more you accelerate. Turning the ignition key off, noise rattles down.

    Replaced:
    – Front Timing Chain Cover Gaskets & Seal, Timing Chains, Guides, and Tensioners (good thing I changed, long guides were broken)
    – Right Side Exhaust Manifold and Gasket
    – Serpentine Belt Tensioner
    – 16 Brand New Lifters, 2 for each cylinder
    – Checked rock arm bearings for looseness. They are fine and tight..
    – Valve Cover Gaskets
    – Torqued New Plugs
    – New Coil Over Plugs (COP)

    Checked:
    – Loose nuts bolting Torque Converter to Engine Flex Plate (Flywheel). (4) Nuts to Studs were tight!

    It’s not a rod knock. Too much of a tick for rod knock. Does seem like it is quieter when engine has warmed up.

    What’s left????? Someone mention to me worn out valve springs.

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #843830
    Brian
    Brian
    Participant

    You’ve tackled the timing chain tensioner which is common on those, so that’s out.

    What grade of fuel are you using? Is it 87 octane or higher? Too high of an octane causes predetination and that sounds like a knock to most ears.

    I’ve heard this complaint from some who use Lucas brand oil additive. You can try pouring in a bottle of zmaxx to see if that loosens it all up a bit. It could be a little starved for oil if the oil galleys are clogged.

    #843922
    none none
    none
    Participant

    The 4.6 engines are really prone to breaking exhaust manifold studs. The most common ones to break at the ends of the heads. When you replaced the manifold, you should have replaced all the studs and nuts at the same time. If you didn’t, that leftover broken stud is most likely going to be your problem. Your observation that the noise abates with engine temperature really makes this the best logical place to start looking.

    The studs are actually pretty easy to remove (most days) if they didn’t break flush with the head. Get some vise grips and start turning. If the stud broke flush to the head, you can build tack welds onto what’s left of the stud until you’ve got a nipple protruding out from the head. Then you can weld a nut onto the nipple and wait for it to cool; And then, finally, you can turn it out like a regular bolt.

    The manifold to pipe flanges can occasionally be a little fickle when you’re bolting them back together too. Double check those flange nuts while you’re down there. You could have fixed the symptom at one end of the manifold and recreated it all over at the other end. It happens.

    #843954

    [quote=”no_common_sense” post=151478]The 4.6 engines are really prone to breaking exhaust manifold studs. The most common ones to break at the ends of the heads. When you replaced the manifold, you should have replaced all the studs and nuts at the same time. If you didn’t, that leftover broken stud is most likely going to be your problem. Your observation that the noise abates with engine temperature really makes this the best logical place to start looking.

    The studs are actually pretty easy to remove (most days) if they didn’t break flush with the head. Get some vise grips and start turning. If the stud broke flush to the head, you can build tack welds onto what’s left of the stud until you’ve got a nipple protruding out from the head. Then you can weld a nut onto the nipple and wait for it to cool; And then, finally, you can turn it out like a regular bolt.

    The manifold to pipe flanges can occasionally be a little fickle when you’re bolting them back together too. Double check those flange nuts while you’re down there. You could have fixed the symptom at one end of the manifold and recreated it all over at the other end. It happens.[/quote]

    Exhaust manifold is not the problem. I am very maticulus when I take something apart and put it back together. My profession is a Mechanical Engineer. I had 2 studs break, so I welded nuts onto the broken studs with a mig welder. Was able to extract them with just a pair of pliers. I know what an exhaust noise sounds like. Not it. I didn’t say the noise goes away after the engine heats up. I said the noise lessens. Still ticks but not as loud. Until you let it sit at idle. Then it becomes noticeable..

    Why would I not replace the studs and nuts with new ones? The old ones were all completely broken. If you have had so much knowledge of exhaust manifolds you should know that.

    #843957
    none none
    none
    Participant

    [quote=”lmarkie” post=151510]Exhaust manifold is not the problem. I am very maticulus when I take something apart and put it back together. My profession is a Mechanical Engineer. I had 2 studs break, so I welded nuts onto the broken studs with a mig welder. Was able to extract them with just a pair of pliers. I know what an exhaust noise sounds like. Not it. I didn’t say the noise goes away after the engine heats up. I said the noise lessens. Still ticks but not as loud. Until you let it sit at idle. Then it becomes noticeable..

    Why would I not replace the studs and nuts with new ones? The old ones were all completely broken. If you have had so much knowledge of exhaust manifolds you should know that.[/quote]

    You’re a mechanical engineer. Good for you. I’m glad I know that now. If we can trust that you have a degree to back that job title, then you’re heavily overqualified to be asking questions on this forum that’s dedicated to DIY’ers. And since you’re technically overqualified for this forum, then it’s reasonable to surmise that you’re not actually a very good mechanical engineer.

    You’re not very good with effective communication either. You didn’t mention you were a mechanical engineer. You didn’t mention that you replaced any quantity of studs or nuts. You never mentioned you were so meticulous. Only now, we’re finally hearing about how the noise changes with extended idle.

    What you did communicate after the fact is two studs were broken, but then all the studs were broken. So now you’re bad at basic math as well. Engineer your way out of this one for me please. Vocabulary, I hear, is part of effective communication. For example:

    I didn’t say the noise goes away after the engine heats up. I said the noise lessens.

    In my first post to you, I said this:

    Your observation that the noise abates with engine temperature really makes this the best logical place to start looking.

    Abate = To lessen or to become less intense. Grab a dictionary for this one. I’ll wait.

    I never said anything about the manifold itself. I did stress the importance of replacing the studs and nuts. Since you’re likely not a very good mechanical engineer, let me tell you that the problem with a broken stud is that lack of clamping force allows the pressure of exhaust gases to force its way out between the head and the manifold. There’s that really tiny gap even with a gasket in place so the exhaust gases still get to push their way out. Then as the manifold and head heat up, they expand. That expansion of the metals abates the gap. Get the dictionary back out. Abate still means to lessen. Lesser gap means less noise.

    Now because this site is dedicated to DIY’ers, I felt fine assuming you just might be a DIY’er. As such, I can also assume the possibility of a lack of tools and experience to deal with something like a broken stud. (You’re here asking questions after all.) A lot of DIY and other novice mechanics shy away from attempting a repair like this and they’ll replace the manifold & gasket not realizing that the last stud was actually that critical in the repair they were attempting. It happens. Those rear studs do really well at hugging really close to the firewall. There’s a lot of really cool mechanically engineered stuff in that area that can make it tough to access or even see that last stud I was talking about. It could be you just overlooked it. Every qualified human being will overlook something at least once in their life. That last stud is begging for it. Another thing I can safely assume is that people looking for free advice on the internet are sometimes cash strapped. Some of these DIY’ers are on such a tight budget, they couldn’t afford all the studs & nuts. People are sometimes actually forced to cut those corners. So sure, I made a lot of assumptions. One thing I never had any good reason to assume though, is that you’re a mechanical engineer.

    I gave you good advice and a likely problem source based on a lot of practical experience with 4.6 engines, but also with your failure to tell me or anybody else everything we’d need to know. All you had to do, was to simply continue the dialogue and fill in the blanks. You did it wrong.

    If you have had so much knowledge of exhaust manifolds you should know that.

    We’re trying to convey ideas from opposite ends of the earth via the internet. There’s no way I can know the exact condition of anything attached to your truck. This is just an expression of your butt hurt. You hang on to that as long as you like. But realistically, you owe me an apology.

    #843962
    Donald
    Donald
    Participant

    I think you’ve exhausted what ticks on 03’s. Now if it had cam phasers….. So much more possibilities. I would look into narrowing down to cylinder. I think it might be connecting rod related. Possibly. I’ve heard rod bearing failure that sounds like lifter tick before.

    #844076
    Rick
    Rick
    Participant

    lol wow

    #844077
    Rick
    Rick
    Participant

    I’m with no_common_sense on this 100%

    I’m a mechanical engineer by trade also. And I work on cars professionally. I can 100% say if you spoke to someone like that in a shop they would hang you out to dry.

    If you want advice on an issue, try dropping the fucking attitude………..

    #844079
    Mike
    Mike
    Participant

    [quote=”lmarkie” post=151510]Exhaust manifold is not the problem. I am very maticulus when I take something apart and put it back together. My profession is a Mechanical Engineer. I had 2 studs break, so I welded nuts onto the broken studs with a mig welder. Was able to extract them with just a pair of pliers. I know what an exhaust noise sounds like. Not it. I didn’t say the noise goes away after the engine heats up. I said the noise lessens. Still ticks but not as loud. Until you let it sit at idle. Then it becomes noticeable..

    Why would I not replace the studs and nuts with new ones? The old ones were all completely broken. If you have had so much knowledge of exhaust manifolds you should know that.[/quote]

    This is not of the appropriate courtesy level for this forum. As a matter of fact, the last guy I saw banned from this site was banned because he routinely made rude replies putting people down who were trying to help him because they didn’t tell him what he wanted to hear. He also tended to ask really dumb questions in the first place, which you’re not guilty of here, but please try to be more gracious in the future. The only reason any of us help folks like you out here is to be nice. Please keep in mind that this community is kept alive by that virtue alone.

    #993470
    Nhoj Zepol
    Nhoj Zepol
    Participant

    I’m wondering if this ever got solved. I have a 2003 Lincoln Aviator with the 4.6L engine. I had the timing chain replaced about 20K miles ago. About a year ago, it blew a spark plug out. I put in an insert and all ran perfectly with zero codes, etc. Put about 5K on it after that. One day, it started ticking away, as described. Sounds like a lifter, but I have difficulty believing this for one reason: It is silent right up to the point that the engine hits operating temperature, then it starts in ticking. If it were a lifter, it would likely be heard when it was cold, or at least get progressively louder up to operating temp. However, this is like an on-off switch. Below operating temp, silent. At operating temp, tick. By the way, the sound is like that of the bearing in a spray paint can when the can is about empty. I wonder if a broken exhaust manifold bolt could result in such a problem at operating temp. Any ideas?

Viewing 9 replies - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

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