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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to diagnose this ticking noise coming from my engine. It is heard instantly when the engine turns on and never goes away. It also increases speed with rpms. I have SSAC headers with the flex section it came with and I have heard that it makes a ticking noise, but I don't think this is from the flex section. Is it possibly a collapsed lifter? Is there an easy way to figure this out like by just taking off the valve cover? Any help would be greatly appreciated! I really don't wanna have to take the intake back off. I just got the thing put back together.
 

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You should try and get a video of the ticking. Sounds like it might be valvetrain related, does it sound more like its coming from the front or back?
 

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wrap the flex pipe in header wrap and if the ticking quiets down you can move on to the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It is coming from the rear of the engine, most noticeably around the rear valve cover. I removed the cover earlier today just to take a look and the pushrods weren't loose and the rockers were still tight. Now when I turn it on the ticking doesn't start right away but after a minute it starts and it's loud.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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That's pretty hardcore, definitely doesn't sound like it's the flex. How's your oil pressure...?
 

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Rule out the exhaust then start praying to the car gods that it's not a rod bearing which our cars are most famous for.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's pretty hardcore, definitely doesn't sound like it's the flex. How's your oil pressure...?
Yea I got under the car near the flex and it just sounds like exhaust. The oil pressure gauge show just over 40 on the dash. Oil level looked ok but it's also the first oil the new rockers and springs and everything have seen. Could there just be an oil hole blocked by a lifter possibly?

Rule out the exhaust then start praying to the car gods that it's not a rod bearing which our cars are most famous for.
Yea I had pretty much ruled out the exhaust yesterday after I re-tightened the rear header to make sure it wasn't the gasket. What causes a rod bearing to go bad?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just watched some videos of the sound of a rod bearing and mine in person doesn't sound at all like it. It is high pitched ticking and sounds in very close timing to the valves. The farther I get away from the rear valve cover the quieter it gets and I really can't hear it at all near the front or bottom of the engine. I am going to change the oil pretty soon anyway so I will probably just to be safe drop the oil pan and check the rods and look for anything that shouldn't be in the oil like shavings or stuff from the coolant blockage I had.
 

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i had a problem just like this. Did you use the gasket that came with the headers? i've heard they are junk! also did you use copper RTV? i'm willing to bet that the problem it the exhaust.

your best bet it to jack the car up and start the engine then carfully run your hand near all the exhaust feeling for leaks. theres a good chance there is a leak on the rear manifold gasket.

hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
no I didn't use those pieces of junk... they were already falling apart when I got them out of the box. I used GM stock metal gaskets. I did use copper on my rebuild but not on the exhaust manifolds. I guess I will check the rear header while I am under there checking the rods and oil too. Might as well while the car is up in the air, not that it's hard for me to get it on stands.
 

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ok i have the same sound when i blow my primary. so i had it fixed and put it back together. and when i started it back up i had the exact same sound. beside mine was coming from the front so it was alot easier. i just keep retorquing the bolts and it went away.

and i think if it was something internal when you change the oil it should be filled with metal shrapnel.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ok yea I am definitely gonna check the rear header section to see if it's sealing right. Also I noticed while I was playing with the throttle body when the engine was running, I reved it up a bit and let it off and when I let off I heard a high pitched whistling noise for a moment. It doesn't last long. That sounds like a vacuum leak to me but I wanted to get some input. I think it might be the vacuum thing in the back of the UIM where the brake booster connects cuz I didn't replace that o-ring when I did the rebuild.
 

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I found a pesky exhaust leak when I seafoamed the engine... All the smoke came out of the problem area and was really easy to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I was actually thinking about trying seafoam a while back just to clean out what I didn't take apart during the rebuild. Does it really work in your opinion? Also does it just get put in the oil?
 

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You can mix it with gas, oil, or my favorite pour into the intake. I've only ever used it on two motors I think, on my wife's 3400 with about 90K and my l32 after I installed it with supposedly 80K. What you do is unplug the vacuum line going to the brake booster and I get a tiny funnel to ram in there and then with engine running and warm you start to pour very slowly then when you get almost half-way pour pretty fast til the engine dies, then plug the vacuum line back in and wait anywhere from 10-15 like I think the can says, or up to some say an hour. Then I usually take the other half of the can and pour in the oil and run for a bit before I change it. My results for my wife's were amazing... I think I waited about half an hour and man did that thing smoke... and then when I thought it was done I drove it, and every time I took off from a light I left everyone in a dense white smoke for like 15 minutes or more... The l32 was either much cleaner to begin with or had a lot less miles than the junkyard said cause it smoked some but nothing like my wife's. What it does when poured through intake is it gets the entire inside of the intake, inside of intake on heads and the back of the valves... maybe some makes it to the exhaust side, dunno. But it dissolves all that junk and then the smoke is that junk burning off showing you it worked. To the point though is when that smoke goes through the exhaust it will come out any leaks you may have and be easy to see... Hope that helps and hope its just a leak...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just pulled the oil pan and it was filled with thick black oil and some chunks of stuff in the bottom but the pickup looked good and the only movement in the rod bearings is slight side to side which is ok. So now it's down to exhaust leak, lifter or valve. I am gonna try some nice synthetic oil and see if it fixes the sound as a lifter issue.
 

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good to hear. kinda doesnt sound like internal problem. but i have heard the same noise and your video almost makes me 100% sure it the exhaust. if it was an internal problem it would be a bit more spread out. because it would make the sound when it was opening and closing the valve or something. the sound i hear sounds like a leak on what i bleave is the rear bank. youll be releaved to get it all fixed up. good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Yea thanks. I just got the oil pan bolted back up and the bottom of the pan was coated in about 1/4 or more of thick black sludge stuff. Got some nice synthetic oil in now and it definitely isn't lacking in performance so I am sure it's not a lifter, but it could be a valve clicking too cuz I cleaned the heads and everything myself and I am not perfect. I will be checking the exhaust next but it will have to wait till tomorrow cuz I work really late. Thanks for all the help.
 

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You should have pulled the rod caps one by one and looked at the condition of the bearings while you were in there.
 
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