Ticking/ knocking After Head Gasket issue. - Nissan Xterra Forum
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#1 Old 11-18-2012, 02:25 PM
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Ticking/ knocking After Head Gasket issue.

I tried searching for an answer or someone with a similar problem to mine but came up short.

I have a 2000 X non-SC vg33E, and at about 185,000 kms the head gasket blew.

The truck sat for about 6 months before i had time to tackle the job. I tore it apart, had the heads machined and checked, used felpro gaskets and felpro head bolts. Everything went together quite well there didn't seem to be any issues.

Came time to do the first start up, beside the battery being dead ( charged it up and tried again ) it started up quite well and sounded great for about 15 seconds till it stalled out.. there was smoke around the crank pulley area which was strange so under closer examination we found that there was a bolt that we put in that must have been too long, that was grinding against the crank pulley, oops. fixed that right away and did another check over to make sure everything looked good to go. I should also note that there was a ton of white smoke that poured out the tail pipe, assumed this was from all the coolant and water that could be in the exhaust system still.

Started it up again, started fine, but this time theres a pretty loud and aggressive ticking/ knocking. fack... listen to see where its coming from and its in the distributor/ drivers side valve area. its for sure on the drivers side and top end. its pretty constant and consistent. it didnt get louder or quieter as the engine warmed up. if you touch the distributor its vibrating alot more than i think is normal ( cant remember what it was like before ) the common sound i hear from people with bad distributor bearings doesn't sound like the consistent knock/ticking im getting. The timing as far as i know should be good ( not sure about ignition timing as i didn't adjust that yet ) but moving the distributor in its adjusting range didnt change the sound. white smoke still coming out ( i feel this is normal until its burns off ) should also note that the number 6 cylinder ( drivers side farthest to firewall ) is the cylinder the head gasket failed.

After all of this i realized we didnt change the oil after head gasket blew.. looked at the oil and of course its milkshake city, thick and sludgy... so now im thinking that disgusting oil has circulated into the lifter and is causing some havoc. i cant say for sure though. we changed the oil, still does it. but maybe i need to do an engine treatment to free up the stick lifter, im not sure. thinking that this sound is no good we shut it down before anymore issues arise.

Anyone think they might know whats going on? I'm 2 hours away from the truck so i can't check things out efficiently, but the engine light did not come on, as far as codes.. not sure as I'm 2 hours away. its not an exhaust leak, this i know. besides seemingly running smooth the RPM did seem to hunt a tad, about a 100 or so RPM up or down after the engine warmed up. figured the ignition timing is a bit out and the computer is trying to self adjust.

Possible things i can contribute the issue to from research is:

-lifters sticking from gunky oil
-valve train issue: rocker broke etc.
-possiblt timing issue ( although seems fine. can't comfirm the 40/43 tooth count )
-possible distributor problem

Thanks for your time!! any help appreciated!
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#2 Old 11-19-2012, 04:21 PM
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did you leave the lifters positioned so that the oil didnt drain out of them while you had it all torn apart. if not, it could be a lifter from that, or it could be a clogged lifter. its also possible the lifter is dry just from sitting for so long without running.

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#3 Old 11-21-2012, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intender View Post
did you leave the lifters positioned so that the oil didnt drain out of them while you had it all torn apart. if not, it could be a lifter from that, or it could be a clogged lifter. its also possible the lifter is dry just from sitting for so long without running.
The Heads were cleaned and machined by reputable machine shop, i assume in the process most the oil left in the heads was removed.

Most my findings are leaning towards a lifter/valve issue, probably related to the gunky oil that has possibly circulated, or the absence of new fresh oil into all the nooks and crannies. Im hoping this is the case anyways. all i can do is try to get some circulation and go from there, easy things first,
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#4 Old 11-21-2012, 01:37 PM
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I'm thinking lifters also.
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#5 Old 11-21-2012, 02:03 PM
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When I blew the head gasket on my jetta it took me about 3 months to tear it down and get the head machined and get it all back together. The guy wanted $75 to pull the head apart so I dismantled it myself prior to taking it to him. He advised me that since it was going to take forever for me to get it put back together to mark all the valves and lifters as to where they came out with a paint pen. Then to take the valves and put them in a pan of motor oil to stop them from getting surface rust. he also told me to let all the oil drain out of the lifters and clean them really well with brake parts cleaner to get the old crap out and then let them also soak in a pan of clean motor oil. then atleast once a week to rotate the way they were laying and shake them while they were still submerged in the oil so that all the air would work its way out. The rotating every week was probably overkill but other than the fact that I completely forgot to decompress the hydraulic cam chain tensioner while submerged in oil it all worked out in the end. unfortunately I had to rip it all apart to get the tensioner out and fill it with oil and put it back together. Pulling the head off a car a second time is no fun!

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#6 Old 11-21-2012, 04:51 PM
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My lifters make a clatter too but i'm just gonna swap both heads out with 2 complete heads when i get a chance.
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#7 Old 11-23-2012, 03:56 PM
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Does this sound familiar?

http://s79.beta.photobucket.com/user...tml?sort=3&o=0

If so and you've resolved the problem, please let me know what it ended up being. I have new lifters that I ordered, just have to find the time to install them as well as redo the water pump as the new one is leaking ;\

eGo
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#8 Old 11-23-2012, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eGoCeNTRoNiX View Post
Does this sound familiar?

http://s79.beta.photobucket.com/user...tml?sort=3&o=0

If so and you've resolved the problem, please let me know what it ended up being. I have new lifters that I ordered, just have to find the time to install them as well as redo the water pump as the new one is leaking ;\

eGo
sounds similar to that. I havent resloved it yet but going to be looking more into it on sunday. If i find anything ill let ya know. Ive had one person tell me they had a simular sound after redoing heads etc, and the sound went away after about a week.
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#9 Old 11-26-2012, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by hymnforthewretched View Post
sounds similar to that. I havent resloved it yet but going to be looking more into it on sunday. If i find anything ill let ya know. Ive had one person tell me they had a simular sound after redoing heads etc, and the sound went away after about a week.
I did a lot of googling and found a lot of videos of other cars/motors that sounded similar/identical to mine. They all pointed to bad valve lifters. Now if I could just find the time to get in there and replace them. Either way, sounds like we'll know the answer soon. If I get to it this weekend and you haven't fixed it yet, I'll post a video of how it sounds afterwards.

eGo
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#10 Old 11-26-2012, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eGoCeNTRoNiX View Post
I did a lot of googling and found a lot of videos of other cars/motors that sounded similar/identical to mine. They all pointed to bad valve lifters. Now if I could just find the time to get in there and replace them. Either way, sounds like we'll know the answer soon. If I get to it this weekend and you haven't fixed it yet, I'll post a video of how it sounds afterwards.

eGo
So i started it up so my mechanic friend could take a listen.. his face went sour very quickly and told me to shut it off.. great. he didn't like the sound of it at all.

So we tear the intake off to access the drivers valve cover since he too thought it was coming from that side. get it off, nothing looks out of the ordinary, seems as if fresh oil has been circulating. since were there we took the rockers and lifters out and cleaned everything with brake clean and inspected them closely. nothing looks broken or out of place. so we install the lifters and rockers back in and then i turned the crank manually while they listened. sure enough we could hear the individual knocks. when you watched a valve open, as it came back up to close, at the last part of its stroke it would catch and then "pop" back up. so basically 3 or 4 of the valves were sticking and releasing causing this sound. at this point we thought possibly i bent some valves from the initial head gasket failure and it eventually hydro locking, but this didnt make sense either.

so we thought what the hell, put it back together and see what happens. go to start it after putting it back together and this time the knocking sounds even worse...loud as fuck... after about 12 seconds the knocking magically comes to an abrupt stop... the engines goes what seems completely silent in comparison to loud knocking before and sounds healthy... we were all stunned and shocked and couldn't believe what just happened.

I have not a clue as why the sound went away. all i know is it seems to have worked it self out. maybe the cleaning did something, maybe there were oil galleys plugged and then released. no idea. wish i knew so i could assist other people in the matter.

now i have a few little glitches to work out, but it moves under own power and is drivable. thanks for all the help and suggestions.
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