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Old 01-04-2012, 10:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Popping noise heard after cylinder head gasket job

I recently finished a cylinder head job on my 2000 Taurus 3.0L OHV, and when I start the car now, I hear a very pronounced popping noise, like a backfire, or something along those lines. I have three ideas of what could be the problem.

1) I noticed after I put the EGR valve onto the intake manifold that there was supposed to be a gasket between the mating surfaces.

2) I also noticed when working on cranking down the rocker arms, that one of the rocker arms would not tighten down (and yes, I did make sure to rotate the engine to TDC of the compression stroke for the cylinder whose rocker arms are being tightened.). I also follow the firing order when tightening the rocker arms, but one of them, the one closest to the drive belt on cylinder #2, would not tighten down. The hold down bolt itself would tighten down, but the rocker arm was still loose. Could this be a valve train problem? If so, would I have to take the cylinder head off to fix it?

3) Lastly, I thought I had to take out the synchronizer (AKA distributor) in order to replace the camshaft position sensor, which it turned out I didn't have to do. Long story short, I put the synchronizer back in, but at a wrong angle (the repair guide says to install it at 38 degrees counterclockwise from the engine center line). From what I have read, this generally causes a chirping noise when worn, but I have yet to hear of anyone doing anything like this. Also, the installation procedures in the repair guide only outlines how to install it if someone marks where the synrchronizer previously was, which I did not do. From what I have read, I assume that I should turn the engine to TDC on piston #1, and then install the synchronizer at 38 degrees from the engine center line.

Any help on this would be much appreciated.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by entryleveltech View Post
I recently finished a cylinder head job on my 2000 Taurus 3.0L OHV, and when I start the car now, I hear a very pronounced popping noise, like a backfire, or something along those lines. I have three ideas of what could be the problem.

1) I noticed after I put the EGR valve onto the intake manifold that there was supposed to be a gasket between the mating surfaces.

2) I also noticed when working on cranking down the rocker arms, that one of the rocker arms would not tighten down (and yes, I did make sure to rotate the engine to TDC of the compression stroke for the cylinder whose rocker arms are being tightened.). I also follow the firing order when tightening the rocker arms, but one of them, the one closest to the drive belt on cylinder #2, would not tighten down. The hold down bolt itself would tighten down, but the rocker arm was still loose. Could this be a valve train problem? If so, would I have to take the cylinder head off to fix it?


Any help on this would be much appreciated.
Maybe a collapsed or stuck valve lifter might cause an issue like that.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's one thing I forgot to mention, I replaced the valve lifter for that rocker arm, and the looseness persists. I think the problem may now be a bent valve train, or some other valve problem.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's one thing I forgot to mention, I replaced the valve lifter for that rocker arm, and the looseness persists. I think the problem may now be a bent valve train, or some other valve problem.
Did you check to see if the rod was bent?
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well, the new lifter wouldn't be pumped up when you first install it, so what you felt would be normal. But why was it replaced?
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, the new lifter wouldn't be pumped up when you first install it, so what you felt would be normal. But why was it replaced?
My question would also be who did the heads when they were off the car,
and what was done to them?
Valves ground?
new seats?
head decked?
were the heads warped?

Me thinks the heads have to come back off and checked.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I took the heads to an engine repair facility and they pressurized the heads and found no leaks. They said that there was .003 warping in them, but decided not to machine them because the gaskets compensated for .006 warping. I can't remember the exact name of the tool they used, but it was much better than what I used to clean the surface of the engine block.

I took the advice of a dealership mechanic friend and borrowed his pneumatic wheel tool and used that to clean the block to head mating surface. I learned later that doing that can curve out the coolant passages and cause a leak. The dealership mechanic that I talked to advised me upon lending me the air tool that I should put a very thin bead of sealant around the coolant passages (I suppose mask the cause of the problem instead of realizing that the procedure used is wrong), which I did, with type 2 gasket sealant.

I ran the car at idle and it started smoking from what seemed like either both heads or both exhaust manifolds. The popping noise sounded like it could be coming from the intake manifold or the egr valve.

A note on the Intake manifold, when installing the lower intake manifold, I tightened down all the bolts to spec only to realize that a piece of tape was stuck under the gasket. I then removed the intake manifold, took the piece of tape out, then re-installed the intake manifold with the new gasket that had already been tightened down on once already.

I'm sure this important information which I left out the first post will help.

Yes, I did check the rod to see if it was bent, rolled it on a level surface and found that it wasn't bent.

The reason for why I replaced the lifter was that I read that wither the push rod, valve spring, or lifter could be the cause of a loose rocker arm. There was no abnormal wear on the rocker arm, so I decided to be a parts changer and give it a try since it didn't cost too much for one lifter. A mechanic I talked to thinks I may have put the incorrect lifter in as apparently there are different lifters for the intake and exhaust valves.

Last edited by entryleveltech; 01-05-2012 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 01-05-2012, 02:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by entryleveltech View Post
I took the heads to an engine repair facility and they pressurized the heads and found no leaks. They said that there was .003 warping in them, but decided not to machine them because the gaskets compensated for .006 warping. I can't remember the exact name of the tool they used, but it was much better than what I used to clean the surface of the engine block.

I took the advice of a dealership mechanic friend and borrowed his pneumatic wheel tool and used that to clean the block to head mating surface. I learned later that doing that can curve out the coolant passages and cause a leak. The dealership mechanic that I talked to advised me upon lending me the air tool that I should put a very thin bead of sealant around the coolant passages (I suppose mask the cause of the problem instead of realizing that the procedure used is wrong), which I did, with type 2 gasket sealant.

I ran the car at idle and it started smoking from what seemed like either both heads or both exhaust manifolds. The popping noise sounded like it could be coming from the intake manifold or the egr valve.

A note on the Intake manifold, when installing the lower intake manifold, I tightened down all the bolts to spec only to realize that a piece of tape was stuck under the gasket. I then removed the intake manifold, took the piece of tape out, then re-installed the intake manifold with the new gasket that had already been tightened down on once already.

I'm sure this important information which I left out the first post will help.
Something is causing a issue with the one valve. If you had a leak-down tester, you could pressurize that cylinder with air with both valves
closed and see if you have substantial leakage. If you do, that would mean a bent valve, bad seat, cracked head, or other. You could do this
without pulling the head back off. Is it possible this head was dropped or hit by something while you had it off?

Have you asked the machine shop that looked at the heads there opinion on what the issue could be?

One other bizarre possibility: The cam could be flat spotted on the one lobe.
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Last edited by soundu; 01-05-2012 at 02:20 PM.
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