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Old 04-21-2011, 05:55 AM   #1
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"Ticking" sound from engine

Gents,
I've had a nagging exhaust leak for some time, but yesterday, I changed my oil and while I had my car in the air, I wanted to see if I could figure out where the "ticking" sound was coming from (the ticking that I thought was the exhaust leak)

With the top engine cover off, I tried to pinpoint exactly where the sound was coming from and it sounds like it's on both sides of the engine right where the intake manifold tubes connect.

Now, I'm gonna show my engine illiteracy here, but I know only the term "lifters". I believe we have "hydraulic" lifters, but I don't exactly know what that means. Do these "tick"? The exhaust leak "tick" gets louder with RPM and I didn't figure out where it was just from a visual/listening inspection.

The one by the intake manifold didn't sound like an exhaust leak though and has me a little nervous.

I'm at 70k on a '00 base.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:53 AM   #2
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I've got the same sound with mine

67k on 2000 base. At idle you can hear the ticking sound but it goes away if you rev the engine to 1200-1500 and hold it there briefly. If you let off the gas and let it idle for a moment again, the sound comes back....most noticeable under really light throttle application like when I leave a stop or am backing out of the drive. I am pretty sure it is the lifters. They are hydraulically actuated. I am not sure what to do to fix the problem as the car has always been this way since I have had it. Perhaps changing to a different grade of oil may help some...I am still running 0W40 M1.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:09 AM   #3
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You know, I thought about oil AS I WAS FILLING IT WITH $70 worth of new oil!! ugh..

The whole time I was wondering If I should have gone with a higher valued viscosity like a 40w or even 50w. I'm running 5w30 Mobil 1 Extended Performance.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:49 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofidleness
You know, I thought about oil AS I WAS FILLING IT WITH $70 worth of new oil!! ugh..

The whole time I was wondering If I should have gone with a higher valued viscosity like a 40w or even 50w. I'm running 5w30 Mobil 1 Extended Performance.
Do a search on the oils that are recommended, but I'm pretty sure you aren't suppose to run 30 weight. I believe I've read that 30 doesn't provide enough protection, and that you should always run 40 weight
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:04 PM   #5
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I am certainly no expert, but I would put money on an oil change to a different weight, such as 5W40 or 10W40, will solve your issues. 0W40 is too thin, let alone 5W30. I've run 10W40 Castrol Syntec for the last few years and 5W40 Royal Purple before that...no ticking from my lifters.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:27 PM   #6
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A hydraulic lifter takes the place of the older valve tappet where a small space was left between the valve and the camshaft (or rocker arm). The tappets were noisy and required adjustment to maintain the correct clearance due to temperature and wear.

A hydraulic lifter works by filling the space between the valve and lifter with pressurized oil. This provides zero valve clearance which is quiter and performs like a solid lifter because the oil is incompressible.

Drawbacks are that the oil can drain down while the engine is off and then the lifters rattle for a few seconds at startup until the oil fills the space and the pressure comes up. This normally isn't an issue but a permanently rattling lifter typically indicates that the oil passage is blocked or there is some other mechcanical problem with the lifter and should be investigated.

Wayne over at Pelican Parts has a very nice write up on what it takes to get to those noisy lifters and Fig. 13 shows a very nice picture of the lifters:

http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/Boxster_Tech/16-ENGINE-Camshaft_Swap_and_Chain_Tensioner/16-ENGINE-Camshaft_Swap_and_Chain_Tensioner.htm
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:37 PM   #7
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First of all, get that 5W-30 oil out of your engine; at a minimum you should be running a 5W-40, and preferably 10W-40 oil not from either Mobil or Exxon as they are the same company. That alone tends to address a lot of start up noises.

Secondly, these engines are well known for having noisy injectors. Get a good stethoscope (any drug store) and try listening to the injectors along the fuel rail at the side of the manifold. We sometimes find one injector that is just carrying on, but it can often be cured by running some Techron with the gas. If that doesn't help, replace the injector.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:40 PM   #8
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i have a similar issue on my 3.4L, and had the same thing on my 2.5L. i have developed a theory.........

the boxster actually has an oil pressure regulator that is dependent upon temperature, of all things. it consits of a spring and piston that install into the oil pump under the car. the design is supposed to DRAMATICALLY increase oil pressure on cold start (100+ psi) and then back it off to around 20psi at idle when warm. my theory is that these actually go bad pretty quickly. the result is that it backs of the oil pressure at idle too much and can't keep the lifters pumped up.

i plan to replace mine at the next oil change interval. it's like $35 worth of parts. i'll try to post a pic later; my PC here won't let 'print screen' do its thing.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:45 PM   #9
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interesting. i have too noticed the ticking, but only when my engine compartment was open and i had the motor running. i don't think i hear it when i am actually driving, but then again, i have have just become attuned to the "ticking". never thought anything about it since the car seems to be running fine. i fiddled with it one day, but just gave up when i couldn't find the source.

at next oil change, i'll go with higher viscosity and see if it improves.

ps. i love this forum.
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Old 04-21-2011, 01:47 PM   #10
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mannnnn.... seriously... ugh... guess i should've read the manual/forums a little better first. That's an expensive lesson to stomach. It's good oil too. What should I do with it?

guess i'll head back to auto-zone tomorrow and look for some 10w40. if they have an even higher number, would that be better? (like a 10w50)?

Do I need to worry about taking the filter back off and dumping what little oil is in there too or should it be fine?

Did I read that correctly that I should NOT use Mobil 1 or Exxon? I've looked for Royal Purple, but it's pricey! I saw they had a sale on both Valvoline and Castrol full synthetic yesterday.
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insite
i have a similar issue on my 3.4L, and had the same thing on my 2.5L. i have developed a theory.........

the boxster actually has an oil pressure regulator that is dependent upon temperature, of all things. it consits of a spring and piston that install into the oil pump under the car. the design is supposed to DRAMATICALLY increase oil pressure on cold start.
How does the current design or the pump’s pressure regulator supposedly respond to changes in temperature? Just wondering……………..
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Old 04-21-2011, 03:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by JFP in PA
How does the current design or the pump’s pressure regulator supposedly respond to changes in temperature? Just wondering……………..

i'm not 100% positive, but my educated guess is that as the spring heats up, it changes length, moving the piston into or out of the oil pump to alter flow. i have verified the oil pressure goes sky high at cold start & that this is normal. this is detailed in the owners manual. i think this is a pretty old design for porsche & is on a lot of their older cars.

a lot of the cars that tick experience mildly low oil pressure at idle, generally around 1 bar rather than the 1.5 spec'd in the manual. i'm thinking that over time, the spring's ability to properly actuate the piston diminishes, resulting in slightly low oil pressure at idle. i think this is the reason the ticking goes away with event a TINY application of throttle (i.e. 1200 RPM).

the spring and piston (25 & 26) in this photo are the parts at work. sometimes, the piston can get stuck & cause issues as well.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:02 PM   #13
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Actually, the spring is under compression when the shaft and seal (#4&5) are installed into the pump housing. With the spring pre compressed to its installed height, if it got hot, if anything it would tend to try and grow slightly in length, increasing the pressure it exerts against the relief valve (#26), raising the pressure at which the valve relieved. An argument could be made that heating the spring could lower its tension slightly at any installed height, potentially offsetting the slight gain from its increase in length, which would probably bring the relief pressure back to somewhere near its ambient temperature starting point.

This design had been around for a long time; if you pulled the oil pump out of a 1955 Chevy 265 V8, you would find it uses pretty much the exact same spring and valve set up. For years (before they realized that oil volume is more critical than pressure to component life), engine builders altered the pump’s pressure characteristics’ by shimming the spring (adding a thin stainless steel washer under one end of the spring) to increase oil pressures, often well beyond 100 PSIG, which often led to other problems. Today, the focus is on delivery volume rather than high pressures, becasue high pressure actually sap horsepower due to the load on the pump. With the M96 design, raising the pressure by altering the spring pressure brings another issue into play as the higher pressures created by the gear section increase the load on the oil pump drive shaft (#3), which is already a weak spot in these engines. LN Engineering developed a heat treated chromoly pump hex drive that sells for about $20 after seeing several engines blow when the OEM hex drive snapped in two. If you are contemplating altering your pump’s pressure profile, you might want to look into replacing the shaft as well.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:28 PM   #14
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Gonna steer this back into the realm of what I understand for a quick question

Do I need to worry about doing a "Flush" and all that jazz if I switch to a different brand of oil tomorrow?

I've heard good things about the Castrol stuff, so I may go with that.

I'm still a little confused on what "cold" viscosity I need. 0w40, 5w40 or 10w40?

It's hot here, and only gonna get hotter. Does that equal 10w40?

Thanks guys. I'm actually semi-excited to think that it might quiet the lifters a bit.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:55 PM   #15
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1000 internet cool points to whoever can find a coupon or special for Castrol Syntec at a FLAPS (by tomorrow).

looks to be about 8.19 a quart! might as well go for the royal purple for .75 more.

stupid question, but what does the "jug" look like that is recommended? i'm not familiar with the different Castrols.
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Old 04-21-2011, 09:15 PM   #16
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Sorry to hijack your thread alittle bit... but i noticed no one answered your question on viscosity of the oil yet...

The opc here recommends 5w50 weight oil for older cars here and I'm currently on 5w50 elf oil. Seems to have quieten down the start up clatter to just a split second after turning the key.

Are there any cons of using the 5w50 weight oil ?? Besides the more sluggish feel ? It is tropical here so the weather is pretty much in the 75-95 degrees F region. I'm just wondering if it'll stress the engine or oil pump or anything else.... I remember the manual recommending a broad range of engine oil weights for the box, even down to 30w (winter ??), but not as high as 50w.

ANd is that anything wrong with the mobil 1 engine oil ?? My indie uses that and I'm due for an oil change now...
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:39 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA
Actually, the spring is under compression when the shaft and seal (#4&5) are installed into the pump housing. With the spring pre compressed to its installed height, if it got hot, if anything it would tend to try and grow slightly in length, increasing the pressure it exerts against the relief valve (#26), raising the pressure at which the valve relieved. An argument could be made that heating the spring could lower its tension slightly at any installed height, potentially offsetting the slight gain from its increase in length, which would probably bring the relief pressure back to somewhere near its ambient temperature starting point.
when the car is off, the spring and piston would be fully extended. when the car is started, oil pressure would force the piston down the bore & compress the spring. through some mechanism, heat will alter the piston's position and, in turn, the oil pressure. i started learning about this aspect of our cars when i first fired it up after installing an accusump. i opened the accusump valve & the pressure guage went sky high! made me nervous as hell. i watched as the car warmed up & the pressure slowly dropped from ~ 105psi to ~17psi at idle. started reading & found that lots of folks have experienced high/low oil pressure issues that were solved by replacing the spring/piston.




Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA
Today, the focus is on delivery volume rather than high pressures, becasue high pressure actually sap horsepower due to the load on the pump.
right. as long as the oil pressure is above the minimum required to properly actuate all of the hydraulic systems within the engine (lifters, tensioners, etc), then volume is king. it just so happens that at higher RPM's, significant pressure is often required to deliver sufficient volume. pressure without volume is useless.




Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA
With the M96 design, raising the pressure by altering the spring pressure brings another issue into play as the higher pressures created by the gear section increase the load on the oil pump drive shaft (#3), which is already a weak spot in these engines. LN Engineering developed a heat treated chromoly pump hex drive that sells for about $20 after seeing several engines blow when the OEM hex drive snapped in two. If you are contemplating altering your pump’s pressure profile, you might want to look into replacing the shaft as well.
i put one of these in when i did my 3.4L. for those considering this, be sure to lock TDC & remove the chain tensioner before you pull the oil pump.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:53 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shlim8
Sorry to hijack your thread alittle bit... but i noticed no one answered your question on viscosity of the oil yet...

The opc here recommends 5w50 weight oil for older cars here and I'm currently on 5w50 elf oil. Seems to have quieten down the start up clatter to just a split second after turning the key.

Are there any cons of using the 5w50 weight oil ?? Besides the more sluggish feel ? It is tropical here so the weather is pretty much in the 75-95 degrees F region. I'm just wondering if it'll stress the engine or oil pump or anything else.... I remember the manual recommending a broad range of engine oil weights for the box, even down to 30w (winter ??), but not as high as 50w.

ANd is that anything wrong with the mobil 1 engine oil ?? My indie uses that and I'm due for an oil change now...

5w50 is fine. mobil 1 is fine. the additive packages for mobil 1 vary greatly across viscosity grades & people have strong opinions one way or another. as long as your oil change intervals are reasonable, i don't think the additive packages matter all that much. wear is not really the problem in these engines anyway.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stateofidleness
Do I need to worry about doing a "Flush" and all that jazz if I switch to a different brand of oil tomorrow?

I've heard good things about the Castrol stuff, so I may go with that.

I'm still a little confused on what "cold" viscosity I need. 0w40, 5w40 or 10w40?

It's hot here, and only gonna get hotter. Does that equal 10w40?

Thanks guys. I'm actually semi-excited to think that it might quiet the lifters a bit.

my suggestion, if i were in your shoes:

i would just do a regular oil change - drain the old stuff and put in mobil 1. replace the filter. change to good stuff by 3k or so, depending on how often you drive it. the little bit that would still be in the engine should be okay, if you're doing daily driving. if you're doing track days / ax / HPDE then i would be a lot more thorough and change a lot sooner. it's not like you're going to leave 5 quarts in there.

i would not go with RP, just my opinion. i used RP and found no reason to like it over anything else but it's your $. i didn't notice any ill-effects so it's probably okay. i think some people on the forum don't like RP because they do not have the same certifications that other oils have - (please no new oil wars). i ran it for 6k miles (7 mo). a few people have stuck with mobil 1 and when i do a short fill that's what i use.

but as you've found - never xw-30. i run 10w-40 and drive in the summers. while we don't get to 100+ very often, we do on occasion. i have driven to TX a few times in the summer on 10w-40, done the dragon on 10w-40, ran in porsche-palooza on 10w-40...
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:58 AM   #20
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stateof...I used to fill with Royal Purple because my Porsche wrench swore by it. I changed over to Castrol Syntec 10W40 due to it's excellent write-ups and value over RP. I would think in Texas, you'd have even better luck running a 50 weight with the heat. I'd also suggest looking into the LN low temp t-stat and a coolant flush; you could lower your coolant temps by 20-25 degrees, which translates into lower oil temps.
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