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1995-2002 Range Rover P38A
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting this loud ticking noise only at idle and low RPMs, and only once the car is warmed up. Watch video to hear it. Just had the head gasket and RH exhaust manifold replaced. It was ticking like this when I brought it in and he said, at the time, it was the lifters. When I picked it up, he noted that he checked the oil pressure and that it was low at idle. I didn't notice the ticking again until the next day. He says it's due to the oil pump not having enough pressure at idle. Is this what you guys think it is?

And if so, do I just buy the oil pump rebuild kit like this one from AB?: http://www.roverparts.com/Parts/8979K Or do I need to buy the entire BOSCH front engine cover? http://www.roverparts.com/Parts/LJR105040

I've looked all around on the forum at posts related to this, and most of what I am seeing seems to just be about oil viscosity. I've got 15w full syn in there, but I think it's a lot more than just the oil itself.

Also, whatever I need I am going to order myself....so I'm going to have to wait until I receive whatever it is I need. Am I harming the engine by driving it like this

And notice in the video, towards the end, the little spurts of oil. It's been leaking a tiny bit of oil, which it was not before the gasket and manifold repair.


Thanks for your input guys!
 

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Does sound change with engine rpm?
It is louder ticking noise than I expect from the evap purge valve, but you can check by disconnecting the wire to the purge valve.
 

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If that's oil squirting out in blobs at the end of the vid, and it wasn't doing that before you had the head work done, I'd be throwing it back at the people that did the gasket change.
The noise sounds metallic and lifter related, but I'm in the middle of doing the heads on my Vogue SE which was making a similar noise to that, caused by the head gasket blowing into the valley. That also had oil coming from unusual places because the combustion gases were directly pressurising the crankcase.
It could be a failed seal in the pressure relief valve. You need to have a close look at where it's actually coming from.
You haven't put any of your car details into your sig, so I've no idea if it falls into the VIN range for the TSB for failing rocker arms (which would make that noise).
An oil pressure check could be done by any reasonably competent shop (just a matter of putting a gauge where the warning light switch fits) which will tell you what the oil pressure is really doing.
Given the noise and the squirting oil, I wouldn't drive it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Does sound change with engine rpm?
It is louder ticking noise than I expect from the evap purge valve, but you can check by disconnecting the wire to the purge valve.

It goes away (or as far as I can hear it goes away) at about 1750-2000 RPM.


Hmmm...I will have him try that. Haven't heard that suggestion yet in my research. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If that's oil squirting out in blobs at the end of the vid, and it wasn't doing that before you had the head work done, I'd be throwing it back at the people that did the gasket change.
The noise sounds metallic and lifter related, but I'm in the middle of doing the heads on my Vogue SE which was making a similar noise to that, caused by the head gasket blowing into the valley. That also had oil coming from unusual places because the combustion gases were directly pressurising the crankcase.
It could be a failed seal in the pressure relief valve. You need to have a close look at where it's actually coming from.
You haven't put any of your car details into your sig, so I've no idea if it falls into the VIN range for the TSB for failing rocker arms (which would make that noise).
An oil pressure check could be done by any reasonably competent shop (just a matter of putting a gauge where the warning light switch fits) which will tell you what the oil pressure is really doing.
Given the noise and the squirting oil, I wouldn't drive it!
First of all, I completely agree with getting pissed about the oil leaks. It is very minor though when I look under the car in the morning....like maybe 2 dime sized spots. But nonetheless, before the gasket job I was actively inspecting the ground for coolant leaks....to which there was a lot. Head gasket job fixed that. But there were no oil spots before. So that's definitely something I am going to bring up and want addressed. BUT this ticking noise was just as loud before he did the head gasket and RH manifold work. He also claims to have done a valve job on it at the same time. I think, thinking that it was the lifters causing the noise.

He did say that he checked the oil pressure and it was low at idle. So that's his reasoning as to why the tapping is occurring at idle.

I've got a US '01 4.6 HSE vin SALPM16461A454597. Thanks for the info on the failing rocker arms
 

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It has hydraulic lifters and the ticking should stop after running a bit. They have to pump up. A weak lifter normally isn't that loud. Has this engine been overheated? You had been chasing coolant leaks. Guys, could this be liner failure? Hate to even suggest but kinda sounds like it.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It has hydraulic lifters and the ticking should stop after running a bit. They have to pump up. A weak lifter normally isn't that loud. Has this engine been overheated? You had been chasing coolant leaks. Guys, could this be liner failure? Hate to even suggest but kinda sounds like it.

The coolant leak was a head gasket issue and has been fixed. Even when the head gasket was an issue, I wasn't overheating...and didn't ever overheat. But I'm worried it is a slipped liner. I spoke to Scotty and that's what he said, and even talked to one of his guys. But I am also seeing other people say it's something different. I'm thinking of getting an oil change and putting in 15W 40 Rotella non syn oil for now at least. Seems unlikely that's it, I know, but better start with the cheapest and simplest fix to see what that does. If it doesn't do a thing, not really going to hurt and at least I tried.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess he did already change the oil when he did the head gaskets. 15W 40 "Euro blend" full syn.
 

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I chased a low oil pressure at idle problem for a long time. In my opinion using the wrong oil viscosity will highlight a problem that is already there, it is rarely the problem itself.
From my research, if you have low oil pressure at idle it is one of the following issues:
Worn main bearings
Oil pump gears cracked
Oil pump housing worn
Oil pickup o ring missing or failed or pickup tube cracked
Excessive clearance in rocker shaft
Oil pressure relief valve stuck open
And in my case, cam shaft bearing slipped.

I'd start by systematically checking each thing, starting at the easiest!

I discovered my issue by running the engine without the sump attached and just attaching a hose from the pickup hole into a drum of oil. I was then able to see it pouring out somewhere above the centre main bearing. Made a hell of a mess, but worth it to finally find the cause after a year of troubleshooting.

Also, your oil spots may be from the plug the mechanic removed to screw in an oil pressure gauge, not entirely sure but it may have a crush washer or o ring that needs to be replaced?
 

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The coolant leak was a head gasket issue and has been fixed. Even when the head gasket was an issue, I wasn't overheating...and didn't ever overheat. But I'm worried it is a slipped liner. I spoke to Scotty and that's what he said, and even talked to one of his guys. But I am also seeing other people say it's something different. I'm thinking of getting an oil change and putting in 15W 40 Rotella non syn oil for now at least. Seems unlikely that's it, I know, but better start with the cheapest and simplest fix to see what that does. If it doesn't do a thing, not really going to hurt and at least I tried.
Okay. If you still suspect a sticky lifter, consider dosing the new oil with Seafoam to attempt to break down the offending deposits. It sure shouldn't make matters worse. Best of luck, man.

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I chased a low oil pressure at idle problem for a long time. In my opinion using the wrong oil viscosity will highlight a problem that is already there, it is rarely the problem itself.
From my research, if you have low oil pressure at idle it is one of the following issues:
Worn main bearings
Oil pump gears cracked
Oil pump housing worn
Oil pickup o ring missing or failed or pickup tube cracked
Excessive clearance in rocker shaft
Oil pressure relief valve stuck open
And in my case, cam shaft bearing slipped.

I'd start by systematically checking each thing, starting at the easiest!

I discovered my issue by running the engine without the sump attached and just attaching a hose from the pickup hole into a drum of oil. I was then able to see it pouring out somewhere above the centre main bearing. Made a hell of a mess, but worth it to finally find the cause after a year of troubleshooting.

Also, your oil spots may be from the plug the mechanic removed to screw in an oil pressure gauge, not entirely sure but it may have a crush washer or o ring that needs to be replaced?
Thanks Troppo! What's your thoughts though on it being the cause of the ticking noise? The other thing I just noticed last night is that when I am at idle at a light and the noise is happening, if I put it into neutral, it goes away.

Also, how do you know when the oil pump housing is worn? Do you mean the front engine cover? Besides trying to figure out if the ticking is related to low oil pressure and the pump, I'm trying to figure out if I can just buy the rebuild kit for $120....or do I need to get the entire housing for $450?
 

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> The other thing I just noticed last night is that when I am at idle at a light and the noise is happening, if I put it into neutral, it goes away.

Well now you've just described a cracked flexplate.
 

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Yeah, if the noise disappears in neutral, I'd rule out it being caused by low oil pressure. When it's making the noise grab a long screwdriver and put the fat end to your ear and start poking the pointy end into likely places to determine the source of the noise.

The only way I know to check the oil pump housing (yes it's also the front cover/timing cover) for wear is to remove it and check as per RAVE.

To be honest though, the first place I'd check to determine your low oil pressure issue would be the main bearings and big ends. In my understanding this is the usual culprit for low oil pressure, and since you have to remove the sump to remove the front cover anyway, might as well start there. Just don't do what I did and spend the best part of the day wiggling, prying and cursing at the bearing housing wondering why it won't come off. It has an extra 2 bolts in each side. Should have read the RAVE a bit more carefully.

I would also recommend screwing in an oil pressure gauge into the side of the front cover and get your idle pressure and another reading at 3000rpm. Do both for cold oil and again when the oil is hot. This will give you a good baseline so you can see what difference if any your repairs make.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
> The other thing I just noticed last night is that when I am at idle at a light and the noise is happening, if I put it into neutral, it goes away.

Well now you've just described a cracked flexplate.
I hadn't heard that before so I started looking around and reading what other were saying about this, and it does, when reading about the symptoms, sound like what's going on with mine. But then I watched this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBSbgYghhx0 and the sound that this one is making seems way too fast compared to mine. What do you think? But if I do elect to go down the route of fixing the oil pump, it seems like (but I could be very wrong) when it's all apart, mechanic can check the flex plate. And with one from AB only being about $45, might be worth ordering too to have on hand. Thanks Gordon
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yeah, if the noise disappears in neutral, I'd rule out it being caused by low oil pressure. When it's making the noise grab a long screwdriver and put the fat end to your ear and start poking the pointy end into likely places to determine the source of the noise.
So if it's not an oil pressure issue, what do you think it might be?

He did check the oil pressure at idle and said that it's low.
 

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Just to be clear, it might be likely you have low oil pressure and also a seperate problem causing the ticking noise. It would be a good idea to aim to fix the low oil pressure issue. Hopefully this fixes the ticking noise also! But certainly do some more investigation into what the ticking actually is and where it is coming from.

When I had my issue the engine would have low oil pressure at idle, worsening as the engine warms up until the point it would trigger the low oil pressure light. I would have to let it idle for a minute or two before the lifters would start ticking. And to be honest it sounded a bit different to yours. If I held the revs high the lifters would gradually stop ticking again as they recharged with oil. Hope that helps with your diagnosis.
 

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G`day ,

get or make a stethoscope and have a listen .

It can be a bought one , a length of garden hose type thing , a length of dowel , put your thumb on the end and put it to your ear . Something that won`t conduct electricity .

If you can narrow down where the noise is located you can work out what it could be .

Because of what you say about putting it in neutral , around the bell housing with a helper you can trust could be an idea .

The oil squirt source should be visible with some investigation , could be a loose cooler pipe , sender etc but the head man should fix that .

What revs does it make the noise at when at the lights and what revs is it doing when you select neutral and the noise goes .

Put it in gear with foot on the brake and bring the revs up till the select neutral revs , what does the noise do .
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just to update this thread I started (and for those researching engine ticking noise on their P38s)....today I discovered the ticking noise is gone! The only two things I have done are:

1. I did a serious coolant flush to the system...to which I am actually still in the process of doing. I found that I was overheating sporadically and without an evident reason (i.e. no obvious leaks or low coolant). Long story short, I believe the fact that 6+ months ago I foolishly used a few bottles of head gasket sealant to stop a coolant leak. I have since replaced the head gasket. Then as a result of this crap clogging my system, had to get a new water pump (twice no less) and replaced thermostat. I also just bought a new radiator, but have not installed it yet. Wanted to do a flush of the system before putting in a new radiator to make sure whatever is in there doesn't eventually install itself in the new rad. I bought two bottles of this flush that claims to dissolve that water-glass stuff that seals gaskets. I've got a 3rd flush agent in there now which says to leave in for several days. I flush that tonight. The water in the coolant tank is black now...so it seems to be doing it's thing. I just have to figure out what the best coolant to put back in there (so many opinions on this forum, but know it has to be OAT and likely gold, orange or yellow, not green or blue). Also have to decide if I am going to put in the new radiator. Most likely yes...might as well, since I have it.

2. I added 4oz of Marvels Mystery Oil to 10 gallons of gas about 20 miles ago. I'll do it again on the next fill up. Debating whether or not to add it to the oil. I'm not due for a change for a while (just had an oil change in response to this ticking and added Rotella 10w40, but it did not help the ticking noise dissipate). But might add it about 500 miles before my next change.

Since then, it's been running smoother than ever....and ticking noise is gone, it idles very quietly and accelerations feel very smooth. So, not sure if it was the flush, or the MMO, or a combination of both. RoverScotty after watching the video I posted of the ticking told me, along with his mechanic he conferenced me in with, said it's definitely a slipped liner. My mechanic thought it was low oil pressure...but never got any kind of warning light to indicate such. He didn't think it was sticking lifters because when he did the head gasket job we did a valve job too and he said the inside of the block is clean. If the ticking noise is gone now, seems like it was neither.

Anyway....that's the update.
 

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Hey Man - just curious - been about 2months - how's your tick? I am about to look at a buddies truck with him that is making an identical noise after HG replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hey Man - just curious - been about 2months - how's your tick? I am about to look at a buddies truck with him that is making an identical noise after HG replacement.
Hey grnole....sorry for the lack of update (I hate it when threads just end with no resolution...like a story with no ending! haha). So unfortunately it looks like it's the dreaded slipped liner. In my post above I noticed that after a coolant flush the ticking went away....or it seemed to for a little while. I needed to change my rad, and after that, I think just coincidently, the ticking came back. Though I did do it about two months ago, when it was about 110 out everyday here in Vegas. I called a reputable RR mechanic here who I only occasionally bring my rig into and after just listening to it in person he said it's a slipped liner. Though, that was the owner of the shop telling me that, and when I called previously I spoke with his main mechanic who said that 1 out of 3 times when he hears that ticking they pull the oil pan off and find that there are plastic shavings from where the timing chain rubs against some plastic (?) in there and that can cause the oil to get clogged and low oil pressure at idle. So when I went in there to have them pull the oil pan and see if that's the case, the owner said he didn't want me to waste my money and that it's a slipped liner.

It seems to happen now sporadically. Sometimes the ticking is non-existent, and it idles perfectly; other times the ticking is faint, while sometimes fairly loud. Since I'm not really into the idea of spending $5-$10K on an engine rebuild...esp on a car that's maybe worth $3k (and it's in otherwise beautiful condition....I get compliments on it often at gas stations)...I guess I'm going to have to live with it.

Let me know if you have any thoughts that maybe haven't been explored though....especially with your buddy's truck doing the same.
 
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