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Ford truck, ticking noise

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by bossman34, May 2, 2012.

  1. bossman34

    bossman34 Member
    Messages: 67

    I have been pondering what it is that is making a ticking noise in my 2003 5.4 F250. The engine has 120,000 miles on it and runs great. But at idle when your outside the truck or next to a building with the window open. The noise is faily loud and is driving me nuts. I am a mechanic and have been for 15 years but this is my first 5.4 and dont know much history on it. Any one else have or had any issues like this. Thanks
     
  2. USMCMP5811

    USMCMP5811 Senior Member
    Messages: 267

    Check your exhaust manifolds. They're notorious for breaking manifold studs causing leaks at the head.
     
  3. bossman34

    bossman34 Member
    Messages: 67

    Ya I do know that one, one of the reasons I bought this truck is the heads were done at the dealer just before I got it. So it has new studs and nuts. This is more of a metalic noise like a lifter tick. Not sure what's under the valve cover or how the overhead cams work the valves in this engine.
     
  4. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    if i remember correctly, that is the cam phaser making the noise.
     
  5. trqjnky

    trqjnky Senior Member
    Messages: 620

    WINNAR!!! If its a gas engine that sounds like a diesel, its a cam phaser. and i have just the tool for you!!! the timing chain wedge is 126 dollars new. i used it once on a customer car and dont see myself needing it again anytime soon. ill selll it to you for 80!
     
  6. dieseltimmy

    dieseltimmy Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    2003 SD has 5.4 2valve engine, so NO cam phaser..SD's got 5.4 3 valve engines in 2005. The older 2 valves are more common for manifold studs, piston slap and somtimes collapsed lifters. Your best bet is to have an experianced heavy line tech at a Ford Dealer to look at it.
     
  7. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,005

    More than likely its a bad cam, or valve train out of adjustment. X2 on dealer only if u font know 5.4s
     
  8. bossman34

    bossman34 Member
    Messages: 67

    Thanks for the feedback, after some research I found out that 03 was the last year for the 2 valve and I dont have any of those variable timing issues. I can tell you that this noise has been around really since i bought the truck and both heads have been off my the ford dealership for leaking coolant from the left head gasket. So I am assuming that the cams are not worn. I found a site with certified ford techs giving feedback and the biggest issue is a collapsed lifter. (which I think fits the noise) They recommended running a quart of transmission fluid for a day or so before you change the oil. I personally have had this same issue on a dodge caravan with a 3.3 in it with a bad lifter tick. My service manager had me put a quart of Sea Foam in the oil. After about 5 min. the noise was gone never to return. I have been an avid user of sea foam since then and thats about 13 years ago. Now I am on the ropes about using that to see if I can free up what I now think is a lifter noise, which I think would work as well or better than trans fluid-- I have also done that for years in my mustang 5.0. So what do you guys think??
     
  9. tjctransport

    tjctransport PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,390

    well since a 5.4 is an overhead cam engine, i don't think it would have lifters. just a cam, rocker arm, and valve.
    it will not hurt to put a can of seafoam in it though.
    the most you will do is waste the $15 the seafoam costs.
     
  10. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,005

    just b/c the heads have been off doesnt mean that the cam, or valve train cant be worn. there are no lifters in the motor. just cam, cup, and valves.
    running anything in the motor isnt going to help,,,,only do to nothing in the top end thats going to benefit. the only item in the motor would be your cam tensionors......but thats not your problem.
    again,,either cams or valve adjustment.
     
  11. bossman34

    bossman34 Member
    Messages: 67

    See I have worked on several overhead engines that had rockers and what you would consider a lifter. The cam actuated the valve via running on the rocker that sat on the valve and the lifter. I need to do some digging to see how the valve train works. I only assume that since Ford techs worked it the would have spotted a worn cam or other parts.
     
  12. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,005

    No. When I did the head gskets I never looked at the valve train
     
  13. bossman34

    bossman34 Member
    Messages: 67

    Glad to know there is a reason to trust a tech at a Ford garage. Guess I will just have to rip it apart and do it right. It did take them 2 times doing the head-gaskets to get them to stop leaking....:gunsfiring:
     
  14. dieseltimmy

    dieseltimmy Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    yes there are lifters! the "follower" as Ford calls it has the valve stem tip on one end and the "lifter" on the other end..the follower rides on camshaft...it would be worth a shot to run some trans fluid or sea foam through it but in my experiance 5.4's are generally clean engines so....best bet is to use a stethescope to isolate tick and then r&r valve cover and do further inspection. may be able to rock or wiggle the follower to find the collapsed lifter.
     
  15. bossman34

    bossman34 Member
    Messages: 67

    Thank you sir! I am glad there is one other intelligent person here. I am going to try the sea foam before doing as you stated, I am waiting until my next oil change to do that. As synthetic Mobil one is expensive. Thanks again!
     
  16. bossman34

    bossman34 Member
    Messages: 67

    Just to put a finish on this thread, I have finally determined the tick noise. I found a loose spark plug. tightened it up and no more tick... ya