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  1. #1
    FEP Power Member fgross2006's Avatar
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    Default ticking in rebult motor

    I have an 84 LX 5.0 convertible.

    Two summers ago I had the motor replaced with a crate motor I got from Gear Head. Last summer I had the car body worked and painted.

    Right after the paint job was done I started noticing a bad ticking from the driver side of the engine. The worst thing is that I really don't feel comfortable having any mechanic pull apart the top of the engine after just having the car painted.

    The warranty from Gear Head sucks because they want me to pay a mechanic to replace the lifters then send them the paid invoice of which they will partially reimburse based on their billing of no more than $50 an hour.

    I tried to free up the lifter with additives. Two days ago I dropped a can of sea foam in the oil on top of what's in there and drove it on the parkway for about 10 miles. Then yesterday I drained 1 quart and replaced with Marvel Mystery oil and drove for about 5 miles. The ticking is still loud and clear. I'm gonna run this for about 20 miles then drain and refill with fresh oil. Does anyone have suggestions to free up the lifter short of pulling apart the top of the engine? I'm thinking a quart of Lucas with my next oil change.

    Seriously if I opt to replace the lifters I think it would be a good idea to make a full upgrade out of the project and swap the cam for a roller cam. Any suggestions?

  2. #2

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    Slick 50 silenced my lifter noise at about 215-220K. It’s been just fine all the way past 455 and counting.

    put a magnet on the pan to catch metal if you’re going to run a ticking engine.

    tick tick boom

  3. #3

    Default

    Replacing only the lifters in a flat tappet situation is a serious mistake to never ever do. The "teeth" of new flat tappet lifters would likely wipe out previously broken in cam lobes in short order (speaking of this, are you certain that the cam and lifters were broken in properly? (cam break in lube on lobes and lifter faces, engine first started and immediately run up to and at 2500rpm for a half hour, and then change the oil...)). Their brain is obviously in roller cam land, and I would not listen to them. Ticking is, 9 times out of 10, about clearance where there shouldn't be any, not about something needing to be freed up. My suggestion would be for you to remove the valve covers and... previously outlined elsewhere, lifter preload and non-adjustable bolt-down fulcrum rocker arm check/set procedure:

    Pull the valve covers and spark plugs, rotate the crankshaft to #1 TDC compression stroke (indicated by the balancer/pointer, and the distributor rotor pointing at #1 plug wire terminal), mark the balancer or crank pulley at TDC, put another mark 180-degrees from that, and marks halfway between both those at the 90-degree spots, so you've essentially (because your balancer's TDC mark won't be straight up) got marks at 12 (TDC), 3, 6, & 9 o'clock (the cylinders fire every 90-degrees), then while still at 12 o'clock, #1 TDC compression, check #1 cylinder's (front passenger side) rockers/valves for any slack between rocker and valve stem tip, and if none, just for good measure, loosen and re-torque those two rockers bolts to their torque spec, then rotate the crankshaft clockwise 90-degrees to your 3 o'clock position and check the next cylinder in the firing order (the firing order of the camshaft, and therefore the ignition plug wire routing, is known and has been checked/verified, yes?)... continuing the same for each cylinder in the firing order, rotating the crankshaft 90-degrees between each cylinder checking/setting with your 12 & 3 & 6 & 9 o'clock marks, until all 8 cylinders have been checked/set.

    ... but in general, see that all of the rocker arm fulcrum bolts are tight and with a torque wrench value of 25ft-lbs... the spec for them is 18-26ft-lbs....
    Last edited by Walking-Tall; 04-14-2018 at 08:19 PM.
    Mike
    1986 Mustang convertible 3.8L ---> BUILD THREAD
    1983 Mercury Cougar 3.8L LS
    1986 Ford Thunderbird 5.0L ELAN
    1966 Ford Fairlane sedan 200-6
    1966 Ford Fairlane GT (390ci 4spd)
    1981 Mercury Marquis Brougham
    1980 Capri RS Turbo
    1971 Mustang Fastback
    1974 Pontiac Luxury LeMans

  4. #4
    FEP Super Member cb84capri's Avatar
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    Default

    I lost a cam right after my car was painted. It sucks, and I'll never build a flat tappet motor again.

    Cale

  5. #5
    FEP Power Member fgross2006's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Walking-Tall View Post
    Replacing only the lifters in a flat tappet situation is a serious mistake to never ever do. The "teeth" of new flat tappet lifters would likely wipe out previously broken in cam lobes in short order (speaking of this, are you certain that the cam and lifters were broken in properly? (cam break in lube on lobes and lifter faces, engine first started and immediately run up to and at 2500rpm for a half hour, and then change the oil...)). Their brain is obviously in roller cam land, and I would not listen to them. Ticking is, 9 times out of 10, about clearance where there shouldn't be any, not about something needing to be freed up. My suggestion would be for you to remove the valve covers and... previously outlined elsewhere, lifter preload and non-adjustable bolt-down fulcrum rocker arm check/set procedure:

    Pull the valve covers and spark plugs, rotate the crankshaft to #1 TDC compression stroke (indicated by the balancer/pointer, and the distributor rotor pointing at #1 plug wire terminal), mark the balancer or crank pulley at TDC, put another mark 180-degrees from that, and marks halfway between both those at the 90-degree spots, so you've essentially (because your balancer's TDC mark won't be straight up) got marks at 12 (TDC), 3, 6, & 9 o'clock (the cylinders fire every 90-degrees), then while still at 12 o'clock, #1 TDC compression, check #1 cylinder's (front passenger side) rockers/valves for any slack between rocker and valve stem tip, and if none, just for good measure, loosen and re-torque those two rockers bolts to their torque spec, then rotate the crankshaft clockwise 90-degrees to your 3 o'clock position and check the next cylinder in the firing order (the firing order of the camshaft, and therefore the ignition plug wire routing, is known and has been checked/verified, yes?)... continuing the same for each cylinder in the firing order, rotating the crankshaft 90-degrees between each cylinder checking/setting with your 12 & 3 & 6 & 9 o'clock marks, until all 8 cylinders have been checked/set.

    ... but in general, see that all of the rocker arm fulcrum bolts are tight and with a torque wrench value of 25ft-lbs... the spec for them is 18-26ft-lbs....
    When I called Gear Head to ask the procedure to break in the cam I was told it wasn't necessary because the cam is used and already broken in. That annoyed me but nothing I could do about it after having already bought and installed the engine.

    My local machine shop guy told me to break it in anyway using 1 bottle of zinc additive with the first oil fill up and run the car at 2000 to 2500 RPM for 30 minutes. I did that myself to make sure it was done. Drained the oil. replaced it and filter with AMSOIL break in oil and a Wix filter. Ran that for 500 miles then drained it and replaced with Valvoline and a bottle of Lucas zinc additive. I have dropped a bottle of zinc in with each oil change since installing this motor 2 summers back. That's about 4 oil changes by now.

  6. #6

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    A new crate engine comes with a used, already broken in flat tappet camshaft and lifters, does it?... Sounds like a large load of BS to me, and if "warranty" instructions instruct you to do what will surely not only cost you more initially and maybe part will be reimbursed, and then both camshaft and lifters would have to get replaced after the train wreck of performing and paying for and maybe getting reimbursed for their first instruction to you... the train wreck being rounded camshaft lobes on the original camshaft... warranty, like in SO MANY other instances, means NOTHING. There used to be a time when putting out hard earned money and the ability to trust that somebody else will provide $hit and pay attention to detail while preparing it and definitely know their a$$ from a hole in the ground afterward, with logical remedies to issues... that time and logical realistic scenario doesn't seem to exist any more. Here we go again like with so many other things... it's a pet rock to them... they're not too concerned about function, ONLY ABOUT NUMBER OF SALES. If you follow their advice/instructions for their warranty procedure, you will be in a bigger and much more expensive mess than right now. Wiped out camshaft lobes don't just evaporate, but follow oil flow and gravity and end up in the oil pan... for things like the oil pump to take in... etc... etc...

    It's a hard pill to swallow, but bottom line today is... even more so today... is that if you want something done right, do it yourself. Their knowledge and warranty mean zero in your situation... that's obvious with what was suggested to do. My suggestion remains what I suggested above, to protect your own a$$ and at least give it a fighting chance and to at least check yourself and maybe salvage what's there without any of their exponentially increasing nonsense. I wish I lived down the street from you to lend a hand if needed... you've suffered enough nonsense jumping thru hoops to accomplish what should be very simple straight forward things... good luck with it.
    Last edited by Walking-Tall; 04-15-2018 at 03:34 PM.
    Mike
    1986 Mustang convertible 3.8L ---> BUILD THREAD
    1983 Mercury Cougar 3.8L LS
    1986 Ford Thunderbird 5.0L ELAN
    1966 Ford Fairlane sedan 200-6
    1966 Ford Fairlane GT (390ci 4spd)
    1981 Mercury Marquis Brougham
    1980 Capri RS Turbo
    1971 Mustang Fastback
    1974 Pontiac Luxury LeMans

  7. #7
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Default tick, click

    Possible guesses:
    1. Bent push rod
    2. Broken, defective rocker
    3. Bent valve
    4. Broken valve spring
    5. Collapsed or defective lifter
    6. Bad rocker stud
    7. Some debris loose or floating around in there
    8. Low oil pressure or blockage in a certain spot

    Mechanics stethoscope, or long screwdriver to the ear, can help isolate noises.
    Hand held vac gauge may show something.

    Engine factories use no additives in new engines.
    No reason to dump any in there. Good quality and correct type oil is enough.
    If the problem goes away, well. But something was going on in there.
    Success with additives usually are temporary but can give clues. Repair is the fix.
    Never flush engine internally.

    Would never reuse any cam, lifters, push rods, on any rebuild. Maybe springs too.
    Ida changed them out before install to complete the job.

    Reman and rebuild are different levels of builds.
    Places like that may mix parts (not from same cyl).
    Parts quality varies. QC varies. Build quality skill varies. Shop conditions vary.
    Rebuilders are like that to keep costs down.
    Wet test for leaks no dyno. Time is money.
    Last edited by gr79; 04-18-2018 at 12:03 AM.

  8. #8
    FEP Power Member fgross2006's Avatar
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    Default

    I called ATK which is the company that builds Gear Head's engines. They still say I should have my mechanic tear it apart, tell them whats wrong, pay him to fix it and submit a bell to them.

    My mechanic says he thinks the right way is to replace all the lifters, the push rods and rocker arms all at once. We wont know if theirs a problem with the cam until we pull both valve covers off.

    Whats the best options for a kit to replace lifters, rockers and push rods keeping it stock?

    I was told I cant switch to a roller cam unless the block was made for it.

  9. #9

    Default

    ... is there some kind of problem with simply and freely checking if all the rocker arm fulcrum bolts are tight? This could all be over in a matter of minutes...

    You're dealing with people with even less of an idea what's going on than you do.... check if all the rocker fulcrum bolts are tight.

    The right way? Yes, of course, spending other peoples' money and still doing things wrong, that's the right way. There will definitely be a problem with the camshaft if it is not also replaced in the tidal wave of replacing parts that probably don't need replacing.... check if all the rocker fulcrum bolts are tight.

    None. Cam and lifter kits are available. Rockers and pushrods are not relevant unless deemed to be also requiring replacement. Unless you ran this thing past 8500rpm to bugger up all of the valve train pieces minus the camshaft, or neglected oil changes over a hundred thousand miles to gum up lifter/s... check if all the rocker fulcrum bolts are tight.

    Very tiny box some people live inside. Can't... is false. Nothing is impossible, and though it's also irrelevant to the situation at hand, retro fit roller $hit has been available for a good while... ... check if all the rocker fulcrum bolts are tight.

    If I didn't previously mention it, check if all the rocker fulcrum bolts are tight.
    Mike
    1986 Mustang convertible 3.8L ---> BUILD THREAD
    1983 Mercury Cougar 3.8L LS
    1986 Ford Thunderbird 5.0L ELAN
    1966 Ford Fairlane sedan 200-6
    1966 Ford Fairlane GT (390ci 4spd)
    1981 Mercury Marquis Brougham
    1980 Capri RS Turbo
    1971 Mustang Fastback
    1974 Pontiac Luxury LeMans

  10. #10
    FEP Power Member fgross2006's Avatar
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    Default

    Gearhead engines are made by ATK VEGE. Did some Googling and found mostly bad **** about them on Google and Ripoffreports.com

    Literally had about 2500 reports on ripoffreport

    One of their usual games is to request the old parts be returned to them before they issue a check or send out a replacement motor. Almost always they will say they found nothing wrong with the motor or parts and deny the claim. The claim rep I talked to today was the same guy I talked to last summer and he told me the same thing. I have to pay my mechanic to repair the problem, then send them the invoice along with the old parts for them to inspect. it's a recipe for denial.
    I'm gonna have to bite the bullet and have the work done and assume I'm not getting anything from ATK. Seems to be their way of doing things. And again the guy defended the use of old cams in their "rebuilds".

  11. #11

    Default

    You have to stop and think about the terms and their use:

    rebuilt - torn apart, parts checked out, “bad” parts replaced and put back together

    remanufactured - ripped apart and fully resurfaced. All wearables replaced with new


    That being said - a master overhaul kit contains a cam and lifters where as a basic overhaul kit is rings, rod bearings, main bearings, gaskets, and an oil pump.....

    That all being said, certain parts prone to failure such as cams and lifters should always be replaced and properly broke in.

  12. #12
    FEP Super Member gr79's Avatar
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    Automaker factories have the capacity to build many variations of current model year engines.
    2wd, 4wd, marine, industrial.
    Most plants are tooled to build 4, 6, 8. Although amazing places, none are flexible enough to do all variations or families.
    Usually two plants are tooled for one or maybe two engine families.
    Sister engine plant also can back up the another in case of shortages.
    They build hundreds per shift to keep up with assy plants. Basically same engine over and over every day.
    Many new parts are on hand to build new engines. Schedule builds per assy plant orders or parts on hand.
    Ford and others build 'service engines', from short to complete.
    Crate engines, warranty, special order per customer spec.
    New is built on the same line as new production. Genuine reman is outsourced to factory authorized remanufacturers.
    Engine plants do not do reman, nor build engines of past years.
    They run extra batches before changeover for future use, warehouse enough for couple years worth of warranty.

    Then there is aftermarket. Not connected to the auto companies. Similar mass production.
    Looked up engines for my two vehicles out of curiosity. Generic builds. Same engine p/n for multiple years.
    Rebuilders rework what comes in the dock door with unknown history.
    Rebuilders do hundreds of types of engines, brands, years. Huge task to pull off, for one, space wise.
    Basically remake different engines, prob in small batches to keep a few in stock. Ford, GM, Toyota, etc.
    Doubt if they stock every exact replacement part, especially the odd balls and special engine versions.

    Independent shops can custom build. Race or stock. Hand built. Result, cost, time, varies widely.
    Seen lots of salvage yard engines and trans that look and are good to go.
    Last edited by gr79; 04-18-2018 at 01:10 AM.

  13. #13
    FEP Super Member
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    I have a criend that bought a remanufactured engine from NAPA .
    He battled with a ticking noise for weeks .
    He then called me , as i am known for my Mustangs .
    Went to his home , started the car with my wooden dowel , started listening , and cound he infact did have a tick .
    He told me he had replaced the lifters with new , and still had this tick .
    I shut the car off , and pulled the driver valve cover , to show him , the baffel spot weld had broken , and allowed the baffel to rub on one rocker arm .
    Changed the cover , no more tick .
    So i ask you this question , have you still got stock valve covers ?
    Have you checked for whitness marks inside the covers to determine if this might be the cause of your tick ?
    I have a flat tappet 347 i built over 20 years ago .
    It has had 100's of bottles of nitrous run thru it , spin it to 7k repeatedly , and have never had camshaft or lifter failure .
    Ran the break in proceedure when built , and have never added more zinc during my oil changes .
    I run Valvoline and an Fl 1a .
    clowns to the left of me , Jokers to the right

  14. #14
    FEP Super Member sowaxeman's Avatar
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    Default

    If you are worried about the new paint job, why not pull the motor yourself so you know it is done with care then find someone to do the work if you are not comfortable doing it yourself? Plenty of people out there know how to pull a motor, or work on the top end and take care of a paint job. I know I'd be a mess about it too, but at some point if you have an issue you either need to tend to it yourself or find someone you trust....and is insured/bonded for any mistakes they may make.
    Jason Smith
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    '05 S-281 Mineral Grey - 16k miles @ counting.

  15. #15

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    At minimum, apply a damn good coat of a protectant to the paint such as a wax before taking on such a task and use fender protectors.

    If you have the space to do it in, consider another route. put the tail section of the trans on blocks then drop the engine/trans out the bottom still attached to the K member. Complete as much work as you can from under the car.

    Ive seen guys remove the fenders and hood before working on an engine. It’s work, but also is an approach that avoids other problems.

    Alignment of parts is a tough one. I was always taught to drill 1/16” holes through the parts and their mating surface. Then small roll pins can be used to realign exactly how it was before disassembly. Works really well for what it’s worth. Makes any future collision repair easier too because you can tell where and how something is tweaked.

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