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Thread: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

  1. #1
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    Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    My friend just bought a CJ. One thing I noticed was a little ticking tapping sound coming from the engine. I don't know much about engines malfunctioning, mine all work fine, I have never had one die so I don't know all the different symptoms and how to id them. Knowing what I do know I decided to put Rotella T 15-40wt(I think) in his Jeep figuring that a little heavier oil might make things a little more comfy for the tired old motor. Sure enough within 2 seconds of the engine firing up the oil pump started flowing oil to the top end and the sound went away. It didn't go away instantly so to me it seems like the noise is in the top end. If it were the bottom I would think the sound would not have been affected by the oil pump as all of the bottom end is soaking in oil all the time. Would this be a sign of a bad or sticky lifter? I want to hear what some of you guys think. I'm know this is common from the searches I have done. I guess either way it is a bad sign, my 4.2 sounds downright great so I know it isn't just a jeep thing.


    I am paranoid and don't want to see the engine crap out on him, everything else in the Jeep has in the month he has owned it(not the Jeeps fault, jackass PO is to blame). Sad thing is he sold his running '61 Scout to buy it because he thought Jeeps were more reliable....ironic. Also interesting is that IH outsourced the 258 from AMC so it is possible to get a Scout with a 258 AMC engine( a few IH trucks came with the AMC 401 when the IH 392 was scarce, the holy grail of IH engines is the AMC 401), the transmission options are similar and the some manufacturer, axles are the same(per year), t-cases are the same, everything is the same except IH has more engine options, comfort options, off-road options, beefier frame and more useful body. Seems like someone looking for the more reliable of the two wouldn't pick the Jeep.
    Last edited by CaptainMorgan; 11-06-2009 at 03:28 PM.

  2. #2

    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    as long as it has decent oil pressure i'd put some 10 40 and a quart of lucas stabilizer and call it good if oil pressure is low go with 20 50 and 2 quarts of lucas. i ran my 258 for years on the second setup with about a max of 10-15 psi of oil pressure. they always tick alittle

  3. #3
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    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    rocker arm noise:
    sticky valves
    worn cam
    Quote Originally Posted by amber.hodge View Post
    Steve is so innocent. Its really cute, actually. Ah to be a kid again....
    "anyone who says they know everything about anything is either a fool or a liar"

  4. #4
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    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    Mine doesn't tick at all, it must be special.

    But good to know, my friends makes about 10-15psi oil pressure. Great to have a motor that will keep turning. I was afraid it might be a rod knock, but hearing that so many 258s have knocks, pings, ticks and taps makes me feel better. And I guess Adam was incorrect about my 258 being tired and about to die 2-3 years ago...still makes 35-50psi oil pressure(cant remember), runs smooth as silk and doesn't burn any oil at all. From the sounds of things it might be one of the best 258's around. I thought they were all like mine. I guess since I bought my Jeep from this group it was well taken care of. Greg (iamtheonewho) was very honest about everything he thought was wrong and right with it.
    My friend bought his off CL and didn't take anyone with him who knows Jeeps(his first Jeep purchase and second 4x4). No parts, no history, nothing. It has club stickers but nobody knows whose it was, it is a green '65 Tuxedo Park on a '74 frame w/swampers and MT wheels...too bad not everyone is as honest as Greg.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    My rockers clatter a bit right in the front of the motor. Normal wear and tear. You could adjust them or do what I do.......... turn up the radio
    1976 Cj-5, 258 inline 6, 8 inch SOA lift, 35 12.50's, Full cage

  6. #6
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    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    Lifters ticking in older engines is all but normal. They bleed to to quickly and that is what causes the ticking as a general rule.

    On the other hand if they don't pump up fast enough you can also get the ticking. It can be a the 'tappet' to push rod connection or at the rocker arm push rod connection.

    Not a big deal unless they do not quiet down...then that cylinder will suffer some slight power loss but still nothing to spend money on.

    I suggest a high quality engine oil of the synthetic type and a good multi-grade as you are now using or even a 20-50 wt which I run in my TJ in the summer.

    I do not recommend any engine additives such as Lucas, etc. For the express reason that IMO I do not think they are needed if you use a top quality oil. I don't think there is a negative to them other than in your wallet.

    They are made at the same refinery, using the same oil additives as other oils on the market, no more, no less. The specs of additives to the oil may be their own formulation but is materially no different than any other major brand oil. This goes double if you change your oil more often than every 5k miles or so.

    Today's modern oils and engines are good for somewhere between 7500 and 25,000 miles between changes. This is due primarily to better tolerances in the head and around the engine piston rings. 'Blow-by' around the pistons is what contaminates the oil and is the driver as to how often you change.

    Got a engine less than 7 years old and many go 25k between changes...no need for additional additives there. Have an older engine that smokes a quart every 1-3k miles and then its time to change...again, not much justification in adding an additive to see it get burned out the exhaust...

    Just my opinion FWIW.
    Don

    17 Oaks Ranch, Boerne, Texas

    www.savagesun4x4.com

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    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    Cool, sounds like he has some time. I wasn't sure if that could have been a sign of something worse.

    So all you guys 4.2L's make a bunch of racket huh? I had no idea that was so common. Good deal.

  8. #8
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    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    Quote Originally Posted by SavageSun4x4 View Post
    I suggest a high quality engine oil of the synthetic type and a good multi-grade as you are now using or even a 20-50 wt which I run in my TJ in the summer.

    I do not recommend any engine additives such as Lucas, etc. For the express reason that IMO I do not think they are needed if you use a top quality oil. I don't think there is a negative to them other than in your wallet.

    They are made at the same refinery, using the same oil additives as other oils on the market, no more, no less. The specs of additives to the oil may be their own formulation but is materially no different than any other major brand oil. This goes double if you change your oil more often than every 5k miles or so.

    Interesting, in the IH scene a lot of guys are using the diesel RotellaT and whatnot. Something about how the newer oils and synthetics are void of a few elements/metals that protect your cam and tappets. I think the main one is Zinc, I could be very wrong. I can't really remember the specifics, but the idea is that the old truck engines need certain elements to protect from early wear, the new oils for the new cars do not have the elements and thus are not good for old truck style engines. The guys are using the diesel oil because they say it has those elements still in it...man writing it down made it sound like total BS. Am I wrong? Is it just old IH weirdos saying weird stuff. I know they all recommend using the Diesel oil in the IH v8's, maybe the 258 isn't HD enough? Maybe the IH guys just like the idea of HD oil.

    I am hesitant to go synthetic on such a worn motor. I did that in my Ford years ago and it opened up some serious oil leaks, granted the motor is still running strong. I usually use thick dino juice and change it every 3 months.

  9. #9

    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    i'm not saying the lucas has any great benefits other than it did raise my oil pressure.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    What oil were you using with the Lucas, a 10w-30 I would expect to see an increase with Lucas over say a 20w-50. If using 20w-50, that would be impressive! I know the gauge doesn't even read pressure in my ford without at least 15w-40 in it. Thicker oil=better oil psi.

  11. #11
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    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMorgan View Post
    Cool, sounds like he has some time. I wasn't sure if that could have been a sign of something worse.

    So all you guys 4.2L's make a bunch of racket huh? I had no idea that was so common. Good deal.
    Had an ole Chevy stove-bolt 6 with unkown miles on it, but at least 250k. Tappets were tapping when my dad bought in in '55 (it was a '54) still tapping in 74 when he sold it. Had to run 90 weight to even get oil pressure.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMorgan View Post
    Interesting, in the IH scene a lot of guys are using the diesel RotellaT and whatnot. Something about how the newer oils and synthetics are void of a few elements/metals that protect your cam and tappets. I think the main one is Zinc, I could be very wrong. I can't really remember the specifics, but the idea is that the old truck engines need certain elements to protect from early wear, the new oils for the new cars do not have the elements and thus are not good for old truck style engines. The guys are using the diesel oil because they say it has those elements still in it...man writing it down made it sound like total BS. Am I wrong? Is it just old IH weirdos saying weird stuff. I know they all recommend using the Diesel oil in the IH v8's, maybe the 258 isn't HD enough? Maybe the IH guys just like the idea of HD oil.

    I am hesitant to go synthetic on such a worn motor. I did that in my Ford years ago and it opened up some serious oil leaks, granted the motor is still running strong. I usually use thick dino juice and change it every 3 months.
    There is truth is what you say, whether or not it applies to IH well, who knows. But like old cars use 'leaded' gas and the lead is in the gas...

    In the older days and up thru the 50's some rigs used 'babbitted bearings'. These used tin, copper, lead and maybe some zinc in them and I suspect there were some oils that contained these metals to continue to 'plate' the bearings.

    Babbitted bearings had their premise in containments were EMBEDDED into the soft bearing and not washed out with the circulating oil. They were very soft and adapted to the journals and 'trash' quite readily. It is my guess this is what some of your buddies are thinking of.

    As for adding syn to a worn motor. You are correct and at one time the syn would indeed slip thru gaskets and cause leaks. They now have an additive that prevents that (unless it is already leaking). You can see it labeled on the front of the oil container 'for use in HIGH MILEAGE engines'.

    If your engine is not now leaking then I would not hesitate to add a syn to it, its a far superior oil.
    Don

    17 Oaks Ranch, Boerne, Texas

    www.savagesun4x4.com

  12. #12

    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    Use 15/40 diesel oil it has the additives missing in newer regular oil. I use it and suggest to customers and friends to use it.As for additives not really neede if you use 15/40, and synthetics are a waste of money unless your racing Thanks Tim

  13. #13
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    Re: Ticking, sticking, tapping sound in 4.2L engine.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainMorgan View Post
    Interesting, in the IH scene a lot of guys are using the diesel RotellaT and whatnot. Something about how the newer oils and synthetics are void of a few elements/metals that protect your cam and tappets. I think the main one is Zinc, I could be very wrong. I can't really remember the specifics, but the idea is that the old truck engines need certain elements to protect from early wear, the new oils for the new cars do not have the elements and thus are not good for old truck style engines. The guys are using the diesel oil because they say it has those elements still in it...man writing it down made it sound like total BS. Am I wrong?
    You are correct, most motor oils today have drastically reduced levels of ZDDP. The issue is the vehicle manufacturers are required to reduce emissions on new cars and are using catalytic converters that can be damaged by the trace amounts of zinc and other lubricant metals that get by the piston rings. Newer cars have roller lifters or overhead cams so they don't need the same type of friction protection that older engines do, and (until recently) the diesel oils such as Rotella T had very high levels of ZDDP, so folks with older flat tappet engines used it instead of regular oil. I have several gallons of older Rotella T stockpiled in the garage for use in my '71 Cutlass. Unfortunately, with the new emission mandates on diesels, the ZDDP levels in the current formulation of Rotella T have been reduced, too.
    Kenneth
    1998 TJ 4.0 MT

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