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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I have an '01 Taurus with 167k miles on it. I've had it since new, and it's always been treated right. I always use Mobil 1 5w30, and change it every 5k miles with filter. I think my valvetrain is wearing out, as I'm hearing an audible tapping coming from the front valve cover, right near the water pump. If you put a long screwdriver on the closest valve cover stud to the water pump, you can hear a very distinct tapping that changes with RPM. I'm planning on pulling the valve cover this weekend, is there anything I can check that will point me in the right direction? I'm thinking the cam is wearing out, but maybe it could be valve springs?
 

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Hi all, I have an '01 Taurus with 167k miles on it. I've had it since new, and it's always been treated right. I always use Mobil 1 5w30, and change it every 5k miles with filter. I think my valvetrain is wearing out, as I'm hearing an audible tapping coming from the front valve cover, right near the water pump. If you put a long screwdriver on the closest valve cover stud to the water pump, you can hear a very distinct tapping that changes with RPM. I'm planning on pulling the valve cover this weekend, is there anything I can check that will point me in the right direction? I'm thinking the cam is wearing out, but maybe it could be valve springs?
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This may sound stupid but.. check and make sure your serpentine belt is in good shape. Mine was missing a few chunks on the underside and sounded exactly like a valve train tick. Worth a quick peek anyways
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<div class='quotemain'>
Hi all, I have an '01 Taurus with 167k miles on it. I've had it since new, and it's always been treated right. I always use Mobil 1 5w30, and change it every 5k miles with filter. I think my valvetrain is wearing out, as I'm hearing an audible tapping coming from the front valve cover, right near the water pump. If you put a long screwdriver on the closest valve cover stud to the water pump, you can hear a very distinct tapping that changes with RPM. I'm planning on pulling the valve cover this weekend, is there anything I can check that will point me in the right direction? I'm thinking the cam is wearing out, but maybe it could be valve springs?
[/b]



This may sound stupid but.. check and make sure your serpentine belt is in good shape. Mine was missing a few chunks on the underside and sounded exactly like a valve train tick. Worth a quick peek anyways
[/b][/quote]


Not stupid, always check the simple stuff. It's not the serpentine belt, or the water pump belt. Definitely valve train. I wonder if there's some sort of lash adjuster. Time to read the chiltons manual.
 

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Wow, good find. Funny they dodn't mention any Loctite...seems like just re-torquing to factory specs would result in them loosening up again eventually?
 

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Ya, I'm going to use loctite. No sense taking chances.
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The TSB is to correct for cam caps that were not tightened to the correct spec in the factory. Re-torquing should resolve the issue. I have never used Loctite on the cam cap bolts, and regularly wind these engines to 7000+ rpm without tapping cams. I don't think it would hurt to use Loctite though. Just be very careful to prevent over-torquing.
 

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<div class='quotemain'>
Hi all, I have an '01 Taurus with 167k miles on it. I've had it since new, and it's always been treated right. I always use Mobil 1 5w30, and change it every 5k miles with filter. I think my valvetrain is wearing out, as I'm hearing an audible tapping coming from the front valve cover, right near the water pump. If you put a long screwdriver on the closest valve cover stud to the water pump, you can hear a very distinct tapping that changes with RPM. I'm planning on pulling the valve cover this weekend, is there anything I can check that will point me in the right direction? I'm thinking the cam is wearing out, but maybe it could be valve springs?
[/b]



This may sound stupid but.. check and make sure your serpentine belt is in good shape. Mine was missing a few chunks on the underside and sounded exactly like a valve train tick. Worth a quick peek anyways
[/b][/quote]

you know mine had the same tick and i changed the serp belt when i did all my suspention work and you saying that made me realize i have not noticed it since then idk if i have just not been noticing it or if that was the problem i will have to listen to it in the next few months when it warms up again and see if anything changes
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm still not absolutely sure this will fix it. The car has a LOT of miles, so the valve train components could just be worn. I'll do this today after work, and see what happens.
 

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I'm still not absolutely sure this will fix it. The car has a LOT of miles, so the valve train components could just be worn. I'll do this today after work, and see what happens.
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It does have a lot of miles. The TSB generally covered cars that started ticking with lower miles. Valve train wear usually effects the chains, tensioners, and guide rails. When these fail, the ticking will come from the passenger's front, from the front face of the engine. The cams do not have bearings, they ride on an oil film.

I've seen some speculation about the angle of tension on the camshaft from the water pump belt tensioner causing wear on the cam. Earlier 2.5L Duratecs and '00+ Taurus 3L Duratecs use a belt tensioner on the water pump belt. Ford changed the design and later 3L Duratecs (Escape, Mazda6, 500, etc) do not use a belt tensioner. The belt tension angle is moved, and there is less tension. However, there are plenty of '00+ Taurii and 2.5L Duratecs with high miles that have never experienced any noise from that area.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, I did the TSB today, and it still ticks when it gets warm. The valve train is probably worn. The cam definitely had wear marks on the lobes. There's an 02 Wagon in the local salvage yard with only 20k (not a typo) miles on it. I may just go and snag the heads off it. Looks like it was parked and just junked. The car is actually perfect in every way, but has some corrosion on some of the aluminum engine parts. My theory is the car was stolen, and never claimed, or the owner was elderly (we have a lot of those), and passed away. The car sat, then it was junked. Maybe I should just grab the whole engine. . .

Can I run the engine at idle with the valve cover off without making a mess? I'd like to pinpoint which lobe is making the noise. . .
 
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