Tappet noise

Tiny
TERCEL
  • TOYOTA COROLLA

Toyota Corolla-1997; 88,000 miles; 1.6L-4FE engine: A couple of weeks back, I got the tappet valve seals replaced due to mild smoke from the exhaust at high acceleration. Since then, the engine (tappet) has become noisy. There is no noise at all when the engine is cold. The noise comes on as soon as the engine is warmed up and remains. The seals were replaced by pressurising each cylinder with compressed air, without removing the head. At that time, engine oil & filter was also replaced. The workshop replaced the engine oil again. No use. Then they added "RESTORE" - engine oil additive. No use. The noise is worrying. It has been a very smooth car all along. What should I do next?

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Monday, January 29th, 2007 AT 12:23 AM

15 Replies

Tiny
MMPRINCE3000
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They may have the timing belt/chain off a notch. Have them check it. If the belt is off a notch it will make a lot of valve noise.

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 9:24 AM
Tiny
TERCEL
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Thanks v much. It has a timing belt, I had the timing checked with a strobe light - it was around 10 deg and we adjusted it back to around 7 to 8 deg by moving the distributor. No change in the noise. Is that sufficient or should I look for timing marks or something on the gears or any other method? I heard that some of the hydraulic lifters could be making the noise. Is this possible & could they be replaced? This happened immediately after the seals replacement.

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 1:19 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE3000
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Could be the lifters, also could be it was not shimmed properly. I would have them check the clearence between the cams and the shims (usually a cold engine), and verify the belt is not off.
Bottom line is that if they did the repair and it made noise afterword, there is a very logical chance they did something incorrectly.

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 1:25 PM
Tiny
TERCEL
  • MEMBER

I too feel that they mixed up the shims. Is it possible to check the clearance in the hydraulic type? Is it done the usual way? Can I do it myself? They said that there is no need for any adjustment - it adjusts by itself.

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 1:40 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE3000
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You need a special tool to compress the shims and a pick tool to pull them out.
The shims have a tolerence between the cam and the shim. With engine at TDC#1 you can check the clearence on #1 intake and exhaust. There is a procedure in the Haynes manual or the factory service manual.
You can check the clearence yourself, but if you do not have the special tool and a supply of various shims (thickness), it would be tough, or time consuming at best.
Assuming they got the wrong shim on, you would have to measure each intake and exhaust clearance, the thickness of each shim and compare to the factory specs, then put the proper shim in the proper place.
I would insist they do it, since from what I've read it wasn't making valve train noise until after they installed new seals.

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 2:00 PM
Tiny
TERCEL
  • MEMBER

Thanks! I don't have the special tools, so I will go back to them to get it done. I have 2 more questions: (a) Is there any harm if I leave it like this say for a couple of months? And (b) How can/should I check the lifters at the same time?

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 2:10 PM
Tiny
MMPRINCE3000
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If it is making valve train noise, as in an improperly shimmed valve train, then you will cause undo wear to the cam.
I am not sure there is a procedure for checking lifters, other than replacement, in which case you have to remove the camshafts.
That is the reason I mentioned the timing belt, if it is off a notch is will make a definate rattling noise and advancing or retarding the timing would not help since only one cam may be off.
Get a Haynes manual and check to make sure the belt is on correctly and use the procedure to check valve clearance. The only thing it would cost you is the cost of the Haynes manual and a valve cover gasket.

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 2:25 PM
Tiny
TERCEL
  • MEMBER

Thank you very much. Will do these and will keep you posted. Thanks again!

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Tuesday, January 30th, 2007 AT 2:28 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
  • MEMBER

Maybe they clogged-up the oil passages to the head or block and its not being lubricated BTDT. If this is not the case-these 2 are partners in crime lifters and Camshaft.
One goes the other follows.

Good Luck!

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Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 AT 2:08 AM
Tiny
TERCEL
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Maybe they clogged-up the oil passages to the head or block and its not being lubricated BTDT. If this is not the case-these 2 are partners in crime lifters and Camshaft.
One goes the other follows.
Good Luck![/Quote]
They did the seal replacement w/o opening the head - by using air pressure through the spark-plug holes to hold up the valves. In such as case, is it possible to clog up the oil passages? Your 2nd point is what someone at the OEM recommended:- replace the camshaft and the lifters. But that is expensive!

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Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 AT 9:01 AM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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No, it will not-The air pressure will hold the valves up thats all it does-if the noise is not there before you had them seals replaced-then its something they did wrong. Maybe during the oil changed and using the Restore.

Open the valve cover and check whether the oil is making it all the way up there. Check your oil pressure with a pressure gauge start from there-to rule out a clog pick-up screen and a sloppy pump

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Wednesday, January 31st, 2007 AT 3:29 PM
Tiny
TERCEL
  • MEMBER

Thanks. Btw, how safe is it to start the engine with the tappet cover opened? Will it spray or splash the oil all over the place? The exhaust manifold cover is just beside it. If its ok, it would be a great way to see if proper lubrication is taking place.

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Thursday, February 1st, 2007 AT 1:41 PM
Tiny
RASMATAZ
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Thanks. Btw, how safe is it to start the engine with the tappet cover opened? Will it spray or splash the oil all over the place? The exhaust manifold cover is just beside it. If its ok, it would be a great way to see if proper lubrication is taking place.[/Quote:fa5073c9b1]

No nothing is gonna jump out there to hit you-just get plenty of rags beside it. Its nothing compared to a push rod engine. Give it try.

My guess they overtighten the valves and worn out the lifters and camshaft before the oil got to it. There's such thing as cold and hot valves adjustment-by using a feeler gauge.

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Thursday, February 1st, 2007 AT 3:39 PM
Tiny
MK70CHALLENGER
  • MEMBER

Guys! Sorry I didn't see this back when it was posted. Everyone missed it! This post is for those of you that are reading this for info as I'm sure Tercel has probably sold his car by now. Toyota used the "shims in a bucket" method to adjust the valve lash (.008 intake, .010 exhaust) on several engines. They also used one timing belt to drive two camshafts, which means there has to be a set of gears driving the cam not hooked to the timing belt. To keep the gears running quietly, they used "Preload" on the gears. If you look carefully at the gear without the belt pulley, you will see that it looks like there is a split in the middle of the gear, which there really is. If you are changing the valve stem seals, you have to remove the cams and if you don't reload the tension on the gears, they rattle and sound just like noisy lifters. To reload the tension, the undriven cam has to be removed and the split gears have to turned against an internal spring so that an alignment hole in the gear shows straight through. Place a rod or small bolt in the hole and reinstall the cam, obviously making sure you have the timing marks lined up. Remove the bolt in the gear, the internal spring tension will apply the needed pressure to keep the gears running quietly and it will sound new again.

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Sunday, April 9th, 2017 AT 9:36 AM
Tiny
2CARPROS KEN
  • ADMIN
  • 10,960 POSTS

Hey,

Great addition to this thread! Please feel free to help out on the site whenever it can add information that will help.

Best, Ken

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Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 AT 10:23 AM

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