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Tapping driving me crazy

This is a discussion on Tapping driving me crazy within the V6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hi, I recently purchased a 2001 Firebird with a 3.8 and am in need of some advice. I have owned ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    2001 Firebird

    Tapping driving me crazy

    Hi, I recently purchased a 2001 Firebird with a 3.8 and am in need of some advice. I have owned an 83 Firebird and 95 Formula but haven't owned any kind of sports car in almost ten years. My issue is that when I purchased the car it made a tapping or ticking noise that wasn't to loud until after a few weeks. Then it became loud enough that I was embarassed to drive it anywhere. When I got it home I changed the oil using four quarts of Mobil 1 10w30 fully synthetic oil and one quart of synethic Lucas oil additive and a K&N filter. For about two weeks the tapping went away and then suddenly a few days ago I cranked the car and I noticed the tapping noise again. At first it was fairly quiet and went away after a few seconds. However, after each day it progressively gets louder and doesn't go away until I have driven it a few miles and if I happen to turn it off for just ten minutes then the noise is back again. I have searched this site and everyone has good advice but I don't know which way to go. It seems that most people on here do not like Mobil 1 but I'm not sure how much brand has to do with it as much as weight. I could go thicker but is that going to solve the problem? I have also considered putting Seafoam in the crankcase to see if that might help but I'm hesitant to do so since it seems that everyone says that the tapping is normal and I don't want to break free to much carbon and clog the oil screen. I have noticed that there are several other products out there such as z-max and valve medic but I'm not sure about those either. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    I would like to add that I used this site to find out the easiest way to change a headlight gear and also how to fix a problem involving the BCM. Thanks again.

  2. #2
    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    2008 Hummer H3

    First off don't waste time or money on engine oil additives. They do nothing and could be harmful more than good.. Which also leads me to the "thicker" thing.. Running a heavier than specified motor oil can sometimes do m ore harm than good.. As modern engines run tight tollerences that don't always like the thick schtuff..

    Now on to your "tapping" whomever told you "it's normal" does'nt know the 3800-II very well.. There's nothing "normal" about a roller engine having exsessive valve train noise.. I'd start with checking rocker lash first.. Sounds like a possible sticky lifter to me tho.. A possibly, likely, cause (not being a d*ck here, it happens) is by you or the previous owner not keeping tabs on the 3800's notorious oil consumption. Nearly ALL 3.8/3800's 90* v6's consume/burn motor oil when put under WOT often. It's just thier nature, drive it normally and it will consume normal levels of oil.. Anways, most likely the valve train pumped dry for a few seconds and now has damage.. OR the roller has begun to develope a flat spot.. Bent push rods are'nt all that common on the 3800-II but also a possiblity.. It's also possible that the lifter guide may have broken. The guides keep the lifter from rotating in its bore.. If the guide is damaged it could allow the lifter to chatter/walk also. Over time this too can create a flat spot on the roller.. Once a flat spot begins, it will get worse.. Essentially what happens is the roller intermittently stops turning. Causeing a "hammering" effect on the cam lobe. Eventually this can lead to cam damage, and worse case senerio, hardend metal fragments being spread into the engine..

    Imho, the top end needs to be pulled, down to the lifters and inspected. Remove the keepers for each set of lifters (held inplace with one 8 or 10mm bolt) and check lifters and such for damage. Start with the easy stuff and work your way down.. If everything checks out, then I'd move on to a possible oil pump issue, or a balance shaft issue. Though those are not a common issue for the 3800..
    Last edited by Smittro; 07-30-2010 at 06:37 AM.

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  3. #3
    Member transamgirl89's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Dacula, Georgia, United States

    2001 RS Camaro

    That was one of the first things I noticed when I bought my Camaro back in December. I picked it up from the shop and I cranked it and ping ping ping was all I could hear. I did an oil change right after and went with 5w30 instead of the 10w30 it calls for. Our cars like the thin stuff. My issue turned out to be a loose rocker arm and I tightened that and no more pinging noise so far. If you do go with a 5w30 do freak when you see your oil pressure gauge go above 60. And Smittro is right about these cars being oil hogs. Just make sure to check your levels every other gas fill up and top it off when needed and you should be good to go. Hope this helps!

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