Lifter Ticking?

Tiny
MLHECK
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 6 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 106,000 MILES
I am at my wits end trying to figure out how to fix the lifter noise in my son's '99 Grand Am with a 3.4. I am positive that it is lifter noise and not piston slap. The car has had the LIM gasket replaced twice. Once by a GM dealer and once by us. The car has 106K miles on it. The lifter noise started last fall. At that time we tried running some Risoline through the motor and that didn't help. Last month we tore into the motor and replaced all of the lifters, making sure to put the push rods back exactly where they came from. A visual inspection was made of the cam surface and it showed no usual wear on the noisy cylinder. All lifter bores were cleaned and checked for blockage. After re-assembling the motor we still had the exact same noise, so we replaced the push rod, and then the rocker arm. We still have the exact same noise that we had when we started. We have run a compression check on all of the cylinders and have found them all to be with in 10% of each other. We have not run a leak down test yet. It is the No. 4 cylinder Intake Valve, that is making the noise (front middle). The lifter appears to be pumping the same amount of oil through the push rod as the quiet ones. We ran the motor with the valve cover off to verify this.

We are ready to take another look at the motor, but I'm not sure where to go from here. If anybody could shed some light on how to solve this I would be very thankful.
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Sunday, July 4th, 2010 AT 7:42 PM

9 Replies

Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Only four things come to mind, oil pressure spec is 50-65 psi at 1200 RPM, normal operating temp. Oil level OK?
Cam journal clear? Main crank journal clear?
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Monday, July 5th, 2010 AT 7:55 AM
Tiny
MLHECK
  • MEMBER
Haven't checked oil pressure yet. Lifter bore and oil passage was checked for blockage. This engine has a horizontal bore that runs the length of the lifter bores and appears to supply the oil for the lifters. The lifter is pumping oil, and since I haved checked the lifter bore for blockage, I am assuming that there is sufficient oil flow. I'm not understanding how the crank or cam journals would affect the lifter.
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Tuesday, July 6th, 2010 AT 5:47 PM
Tiny
MERLIN2021
  • EXPERT
Crank journals supply the cam, cam journals supply the lifters. Check oil pressure as the first step.
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Thursday, July 8th, 2010 AT 12:01 PM
Tiny
CIRCUTZ
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 PONTIAC GRAND AM
  • 145,000 MILES
Suddenly getting engine lifter noise when I turn on air conditioning. It's a GM remanufactured 2.3L. Seems like it's dragging down engine. I don't use the air now for fear of engine damage. I hooked a gauge up to the low side and turned on air for a minute and I didn't see the pressure drop.
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Monday, June 14th, 2021 AT 10:33 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Is the ac comoressor clutch engaging when turning on the ac?Does the center of the ac compressor turn freely when turning it by hand with the engine off?
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Monday, June 14th, 2021 AT 10:33 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CIRCUTZ
  • MEMBER
Yes, it turns and the a/c works.
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Monday, June 14th, 2021 AT 10:33 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
The ac blows cold?It shouldn't if the low side doesn't drop with the ac on.
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Monday, June 14th, 2021 AT 10:33 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CIRCUTZ
  • MEMBER
Problem solved. It was the a/c compressor. Noise was resonating from valve cover making me think it was lifter noise. I added 4oz pag 100 oil and noise went away. Got lucky on this one.
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Monday, June 14th, 2021 AT 10:33 AM (Merged)
Tiny
SATURNTECH9
  • EXPERT
Sounds like the vanes in compressor were sticking that's why the pressure didn't drop on the low side when the compressor kicked on.
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Monday, June 14th, 2021 AT 10:33 AM (Merged)

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