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Old 01-05-2018, 05:04 PM   #1
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Bank 2 ticking/tapping noise when warm

Hello, I have this tapping/ticking noise coming from bank 2 and seems to be most pronounced with a stethoscope at cylinder 4. Spark plugs checked and ignition coils swapped and noise doesn’t move. Running Mobil 1 10w-40. This noise only occurs once the engine is warm.
https://youtu.be/HtHlYpICstI
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:23 PM   #2
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Sounds like a collapsed lifter to me, and probably not going to stay put much longer. Wish I could say something better.

Well at least I didn't jump right to IMSB.

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Old 01-06-2018, 12:03 AM   #3
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Um, yeah. Not too good. I would start the trouble shooting asap, and avoid running the engine.
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Old 01-06-2018, 06:59 AM   #4
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Well at least I didn't jump right to IMSB.
And I thank you for that!
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:23 AM   #5
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+1 for what Monty said.
Here's a few possibly useful threads (for a few lucky people, oil helped):
'03 S Lifter and/or Camshaft failure
https://www.renntech.org/forums/topic/40090-lifterstappets/
https://rennlist.com/forums/996-forum/623466-lifter-noise.html

Informative thread for servicing or replacing them:
Hydraulic cam followers
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Old 01-06-2018, 07:35 AM   #6
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According to jake raby, lifter failure in these engines is rare. Could be scored bores
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:31 AM   #7
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According to jake raby, lifter failure in these engines is rare. Could be scored bores
Are you sure?
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Old 01-06-2018, 09:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for everyone’s input. Before I consider dropping the engine and looking at the cams, lifters, etc, I will inspect and clean the sump and switch to 0w-40. I believe this issue seemed to begin when the climate got colder so it could be oil related. If anyone has any other non invasive troubleshooting tips I’m all ears but please don’t make this into an IMS or scored cylinder thread.
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Old 01-06-2018, 10:14 PM   #9
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Can’t imagine a scored cylinder making that type of noise. Though usually a lifter is more of a tic, and your’s sounds more like a loud tap. Maybe a piston tapping the head, or possibly a valve? Porsche motors are pretty noisy things, all sorts of ticks and taps. Very “vocal” engines really. Ticking on my old 84 911 was actually a good thing.
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Old 01-07-2018, 04:37 AM   #10
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The lifters on my 3.4 went soft and were making a noise. Yours has a more clanking sound to it than mine. Mine sounded more like a spun rod bearing. I hope you find your problem for cheap because 3 chain 3.2's are hard to come by.
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:03 PM   #11
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Issue Solved

During continued inspection of the issue, I made a couple findings including that one of the two screws holding one of the spark plug coils was loose although this did not improve the sound I was hearing, and also that as I backed the car onto ramps the sound got a bit louder. Days went by before I looked at the issue again. I decided I would change the oil to 0w-40 from 10w-40 to help the hydraulic lifters fill. I took the car off the ramps and let it warm up and the sound didn't return. As I learned more about the engine design, I learned what points I should be checking. I checked the valve cover on driver and passenger sides, at the points where the exhaust and intake cams reside. Both sides sounded the same with the mechanic's stethoscope I also checked the intake manifold on both sides and it sounded the same all over. I started checking the whole engine over with the stethoscope and couldn't find any unusual sounds. While I was in there I checked and cleaned the throttle body (it was basically clean) and also inspected the intake passages for excess oil from AOS but all was good. I had to take everything apart twice because I didn't clip the throttle body cable on completely and while I was warming up the car the throttle body actuator started making buzzing and electrical noises and the idle started to fluctuate erratically. Luckily I discovered this before driving off and it was an easy fix, and I didn't damage anything.

I have decided that my issue is resolved and here are my reasons and lessons:
-The weather had been very cold here at 30 degrees but recently warmed to the 60s. Apparently these cars are very sensitive to viscosity changes due to temperature.
-Even though the digital oil level gauge showed it to be at the lowest acceptable level, I did not bother to fill further. Apparently, these cars need to have oil level at least in center of acceptable range.
-The audio from my iPhone seems to have amplified the sounds because when I listen to the video now I don't hear that noise with my ear when standing next to the car. These car's lifters apparently make a good amount of noise but the noise I hear now seems to be normal lifter acoustics.
-Another issue I had like bumpy acceleration which I believe was due to tire imbalance, has also resolved itself as the weather has warmed. Apparently even the tires are temperature sensitive because I just took the car out for a spirited drive and all noises and bumpy ride is gone.

As I conclude this chapter in my Boxster ownership experience, I realize that Porsche owners, including me, are paranoid and over-reactive. If we take care of our cars well, I don't think there should be any reason to expect the worse (ie scored cylinder, IMS bearings, etc). And for me, in the worst case that I do have a catastrophic failure, there is so much information and support on this website that I'm ready to take on any issue. Like many others have said, quit worrying and drive.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:35 PM   #12
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-Even though the digital oil level gauge showed it to be at the lowest acceptable level, I did not bother to fill further. Apparently, these cars need to have oil level at least in center of acceptable range.
Don't trust the digital gauge. It is generally accepted that the digital gauge should read FULL, no bars. Ultimately though, forget the digital gauge and check the dipstick. Make sure it is full to the full line when checked. Running these engines even a little low can potentially be problematic. The concept is, at full there might be a better chance for oil to get into the IMS cavity a bit better/easier, and if you track you car you run less risk of oil starvation on high G turns.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:37 PM   #13
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Mechanic's Rule #2: If a problem goes away on its own, it will come back more expensive.
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Old 01-11-2018, 06:16 AM   #14
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Thstone, I believe in the mechanics rules and I worded my last post incorrectly. The issue seems to have resolved by increasing the oil level-adding engine oil to halfway mark on dipstick (that’s all I had left from last oil change). Therefore the likely initial cause of the noise was the hydraulic lifters. If this issue reoccurs I’ll update this thread. Thanks for everyone’s feedback.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:49 PM   #15
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Thstone, I believe in the mechanics rules and I worded my last post incorrectly. The issue seems to have resolved by increasing the oil level-adding engine oil to halfway mark on dipstick (that’s all I had left from last oil change). Therefore the likely initial cause of the noise was the hydraulic lifters. If this issue reoccurs I’ll update this thread. Thanks for everyone’s feedback.
Believe me, I really hope the best for you. I really do.

But you hit me in my sensitive spot as my experience with engines has been a bit rough. I have engine #4 in my car now. Engines #1 and #2 both suffered lifter failures so I'm a little sensitive to anything that might be a lifter issue. Please excuse my dire outlook when it comes to lifters.
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