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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the skinny:

This is my old 97 T-Bird 4.6L that I sold 4 years ago to a nice guy in Peoria, Illinois. He sends me a message saying it's making a noise and then takes this video. He has run it with the belt removed, so it's not an accessory making the noise.

The motor has been headswapped with new Ford Romeo heads and cams and ran perfect when it was sold. The owners brother is a diesel tech and is saying it's cam/chain related.

What do you guys think?

http://s118.photobucket.com/albums/o103/ctcsoft/?action=view&current=tbird.mp4
 

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Amateur Expert
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Discussion Starter #3
does it speed up along with the RPMs? seems like it does in the video, but hard to tell with the rest of the engine noise
It doesn't seem to follow RPM's per se, I thought it was an accessory because it got faster with RPM, but not as fast as the motor.
 

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WOT Junkie and avid corn burner
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jeez, that almost sounds like a diesel.:eek:
 

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Pretty car! I assume it still runs pretty good? I have seen the chain guides go and make noise as they scrape on the metal parts of the guide. If you keep driving it with broken guides and you dont somehow throw the chain, the cam sprocket will wear out. I would find someone with a stethoscope and see what part of the engine makes the noise the loudest. If its on top, pull the valve covers and check it out. In the front? Pull the timing cover? Inside the block? Put a PI engine in it, lol. I agree with XR7 though, it does almost sound like lash adjusters there is just so much other noise it is hard to say. Not to mention, if the guy is a tech, especially a diesel tech, it will be in his instincts to check the oil level first.
 

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yep still runs strong as the day I bought it from Jim.

the only problem is this noise. no acceleration or power problems.

I haven't been driving it for the last year. Just occasionally starting it and taking it around the block. Did this maybe 3-4x's.

Oil was changed today. Not low. I've only put about 4-5k miles on the car since I bought from Jim. That is extremely low miles for 3 yrs of sporadic driving. I always stored it in the winters and had 2 other birds at the time I bought this one.

Thanx for the tips thus far maybe next weekend I can get up to Jims place..
 

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if it was me, I'd have already replaced all 16 lash adjusters and torn off the front cover to inspect things....but that's just me
+1 In my experience, the things that go wrong are the things that were disturbed, in your case the heads and timing chains. I haven't listened to your video (something wrong with my speakers in my laptop), but aren't there auto-tighteners that keep the timing chains tight? If one of those were to fail, wouldn't that make a h*ll of a noise with that chain flopping around (and eventually beat a hole in the cover).

I'm not a 4.6L expert by any means, but that makes sense from what you described; take off the valve & timing covers, and see what you're dealing with as GM said!
 

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First off I do not know. Not enough experience with problems on the 4.6. However tons of engine experience elsewhere.

Sounds like followers. Definitely sounds like valves hitting the head. But I suppose the chain running along the guides could sound like that too.
The sound lags a bit when the engine is revved. It is not an immediate increase in noise.

Just have to tear it down and see. I would pull the valve covers first to see if something is amiss. Even start it to watch.

R
 

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did you ask what kind of oil he's using. those engines are designed to run on thin oil to get it to the top of the motor as quick as posible. using too thick of oil and the first thing to get shot is cams, cam bearings, lifters and posibly timing chains.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
UPDATE: The tensioners were replaced, along with the passenger cam chain. New front cover gaskets and crank seal as well. When I was timing the motor, I was rotating the passenger side cam to line up the chain and sprocket, and whaddya know the cam bolt is loose. Maybe half a turn to get it tight. I suspect the noise I was hearing was the sprocket moving back and forth. So, anyway, that noise is gone. Now we have a NEW noise on the drivers side head. I shot a video of the sound, then I pulled the cam cover back off and here's what I found:

VIDEO:
http://s77.photobucket.com/albums/j56/faxisis/T-Bird/?action=view&current=100_4245.mp4







On the inside of the cam cover, I noticed an area by a bolt grommet that seems to have lost some material, and there are little bits of it all over the inside of the head, and possibly on the above lifter if you look close. I guess my theory is the plastic that came off of the cover is possibly blocking the oiling passages in one of the lifters, creating the noise? Remember, it wasn't making that noise prior to teardown. Any thoughts appreciated.



 

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Faster than Porkchop
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I cant bring up the video to see it but that really sucks , Hope its an easy and cheap job !
 
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