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Engine Noise Help

This is a discussion on Engine Noise Help within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Ok, I have searched and read a few posts, but none seem to fit my description enough for me to ...

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    Engine Noise Help

    Ok, I have searched and read a few posts, but none seem to fit my description enough for me to tell. I am new the LS1. I have a 1998 T/A Manual w/ 128k miles. I just bought the car, like this morning. yep you heard me right I bought a 128k mile car. It was way cheaper than replacing the 67 I had a few years back (I will try to hold back the tears). I haven't tried the screw drive hearing test, just the inside the car driving hearing test. The car makes a constant clicking or tapping noise from the engine bay area. It is there from cold start until I turn off the car. Its sound follows the engine's RPM. By that I mean it may get faster or slow down but really doesn't change pitch that I can tell. The car feels like it has the right amount of power in every gear and speed, so I would say no power loss. I have only driven one car that was mis firing or had a bad cylindar, and this bird is not running rough. I can even hear it over the exhaust and engine, so it is a loud noise IMO. I found this idea in another thread and wanted to know if this could be it.

    post from another thread start

    First I would get the car off the ground and take a look at your ac compressor. Mine through a rod and it had a ticking noise that sounded like a lifter. If it looks good i would try using an oil that has a valvetrain addative. it really could be you ac. mine still blew colda air with a threwn bearing. Last thing you want to do is rip apart that engine and find out its not a lifter.

    post from another thread end

    In the morning I plan to see if I can figure out the best I can where the noise is coming from. Oh, and the SES light keeps coming on. I had the seller turn it off once already and it is back on. It is not flashing, just on and not going away. I haven't taken it into have the code read, that's Sunday. No the seller didn't hack the thing, he just runs a small auto shop and has the gear to hook into the darn thing. BTW, I have no idea if it is stock or not and the seller doesn't either. It looks stock from my view with the hood up. The exhaust is the only thing the two of us can confirm is not stock.

    I am taking it in on Sunday to have the code read and get a few thoughts from the mechanics, but would love to hear from LS1 experts to make sure I don't follow a wild goose chase.

    Thanks

    JJ

  2. #2
    Ebaaaaaaaaa Speedy_Gonzales's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool-aide View Post
    Ok, I have searched and read a few posts, but none seem to fit my description enough for me to tell. I am new the LS1. I have a 1998 T/A Manual w/ 128k miles. I just bought the car, like this morning. yep you heard me right I bought a 128k mile car. It was way cheaper than replacing the 67 I had a few years back (I will try to hold back the tears). I haven't tried the screw drive hearing test, just the inside the car driving hearing test. The car makes a constant clicking or tapping noise from the engine bay area. It is there from cold start until I turn off the car. Its sound follows the engine's RPM. By that I mean it may get faster or slow down but really doesn't change pitch that I can tell. The car feels like it has the right amount of power in every gear and speed, so I would say no power loss. I have only driven one car that was mis firing or had a bad cylindar, and this bird is not running rough. I can even hear it over the exhaust and engine, so it is a loud noise IMO. I found this idea in another thread and wanted to know if this could be it.

    post from another thread start

    First I would get the car off the ground and take a look at your ac compressor. Mine through a rod and it had a ticking noise that sounded like a lifter. If it looks good i would try using an oil that has a valvetrain addative. it really could be you ac. mine still blew colda air with a threwn bearing. Last thing you want to do is rip apart that engine and find out its not a lifter.

    post from another thread end

    In the morning I plan to see if I can figure out the best I can where the noise is coming from. Oh, and the SES light keeps coming on. I had the seller turn it off once already and it is back on. It is not flashing, just on and not going away. I haven't taken it into have the code read, that's Sunday. No the seller didn't hack the thing, he just runs a small auto shop and has the gear to hook into the darn thing. BTW, I have no idea if it is stock or not and the seller doesn't either. It looks stock from my view with the hood up. The exhaust is the only thing the two of us can confirm is not stock.

    I am taking it in on Sunday to have the code read and get a few thoughts from the mechanics, but would love to hear from LS1 experts to make sure I don't follow a wild goose chase.

    Thanks

    JJ
    does the sound go away after it warms up ? mine does that but goes away after it warms up. its the ole LS1 piston slap. check the thread I listed below

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    Ebaaaaaaaaa Speedy_Gonzales's Avatar
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    Unfortunately no, it is there from cold start until you turn the engine off. It gets louder when you climb in RPM. Well I have found out it is really three noises. The first is a lower or deeper kind of knocking noise almost completely hidden by the next noise. A GM tech said that is a bad push rod. I have a higher sound that is more of a tapping or clicking and less of a knocking. The tech said that was a lifter. The third is a roaring sound, and no that's not the cool manly exhaust. They think that may be a water pump since it is coming from the front. I did a screw driver to the engine ear test, cuz I don't know any better. I only hear roaring at the top, the intake. I here more of a type of rotating engine noise I dare not describe at the valve cover. I hear a clicking or tapping when I get to the exhaust manifold. It is louder and worse on one side but you can hear it on both sides at this point. Now the clicking/tapping noise is the loudest and almost drowns out every thing else. It took the tech ten minutes of telling me don't you hear that before I even heard the lower deaper knocking. I said Oh you maen that knocking sound like a deisel engine. He said it is not a deisel engine, but hey that's all I could equate it too. He also said that was not piston slap either. Now the car had about 20-30 miles on it by the time the GM tech listened, so it was not cold and had plenty of city miles of drive and sift and all three sounds were still there. I have been told I am looking at buying a new LS1, by two seperate shops. I guess I am screwed.

    Thanks

    JJ

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    Ebaaaaaaaaa Speedy_Gonzales's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool-aide View Post
    Unfortunately no, it is there from cold start until you turn the engine off. It gets louder when you climb in RPM. Well I have found out it is really three noises. The first is a lower or deeper kind of knocking noise almost completely hidden by the next noise. A GM tech said that is a bad push rod. I have a higher sound that is more of a tapping or clicking and less of a knocking. The tech said that was a lifter. The third is a roaring sound, and no that's not the cool manly exhaust. They think that may be a water pump since it is coming from the front. I did a screw driver to the engine ear test, cuz I don't know any better. I only hear roaring at the top, the intake. I here more of a type of rotating engine noise I dare not describe at the valve cover. I hear a clicking or tapping when I get to the exhaust manifold. It is louder and worse on one side but you can hear it on both sides at this point. Now the clicking/tapping noise is the loudest and almost drowns out every thing else. It took the tech ten minutes of telling me don't you hear that before I even heard the lower deaper knocking. I said Oh you maen that knocking sound like a deisel engine. He said it is not a deisel engine, but hey that's all I could equate it too. He also said that was not piston slap either. Now the car had about 20-30 miles on it by the time the GM tech listened, so it was not cold and had plenty of city miles of drive and sift and all three sounds were still there. I have been told I am looking at buying a new LS1, by two seperate shops. I guess I am screwed.

    Thanks

    JJ
    sorry to hear all that dude

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    may have good news on engine noise

    You guys have been helpful and very nice. I'm sure its not every day a bone head like myself rolls the dice and gambles on a car. I guess that's why you will never see me in Vegas, cuz I would lose it all and my family refuses to live in a cardboard box. I think my photo should be posted on a hall of shame for maximum embarassment. Thanks for the links and support. Now to what may be the good news. The "dealer" is willing to swap the bird for a camaro. Of course I will be listening to the camaro engine for hours. They didn't cash the check and I guess they want their customers to be happy, cuz in my state that three day take it back law is urban legend. This is rare coming from a guy that sells used cars on a side street using the internet. I guess the plus is one year newer and 40k miles less, oh and has a CD player. The big downside and hence my poor gambling no manual transmission. I guess I will be saving my pennies for a 6 speed. I guess I should count my lucky stars and thank my gardian angel cuz I sure screwed up on this one. If any one has links to the best way to drop that auto for a manual I would greatly appreciate it, thanks.

    I'm still ticked the "GM shop foreman buddy" of his said that those noises were normal. When I told that to another GM guy he immediately wanted to know who it was as if to say oh man he should be fired.

    Are they any normal LS1 noises that I should know about, so I don't freak out? And what noises should I stay away from, like knocking coming from the engine, clicking or tapping, and so on.

    JJ

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    Ebaaaaaaaaa Speedy_Gonzales's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool-aide View Post
    You guys have been helpful and very nice. I'm sure its not every day a bone head like myself rolls the dice and gambles on a car. I guess that's why you will never see me in Vegas, cuz I would lose it all and my family refuses to live in a cardboard box. I think my photo should be posted on a hall of shame for maximum embarassment. Thanks for the links and support. Now to what may be the good news. The "dealer" is willing to swap the bird for a camaro. Of course I will be listening to the camaro engine for hours. They didn't cash the check and I guess they want their customers to be happy, cuz in my state that three day take it back law is urban legend. This is rare coming from a guy that sells used cars on a side street using the internet. I guess the plus is one year newer and 40k miles less, oh and has a CD player. The big downside and hence my poor gambling no manual transmission. I guess I will be saving my pennies for a 6 speed. I guess I should count my lucky stars and thank my gardian angel cuz I sure screwed up on this one. If any one has links to the best way to drop that auto for a manual I would greatly appreciate it, thanks.

    I'm still ticked the "GM shop foreman buddy" of his said that those noises were normal. When I told that to another GM guy he immediately wanted to know who it was as if to say oh man he should be fired.

    Are they any normal LS1 noises that I should know about, so I don't freak out? And what noises should I stay away from, like knocking coming from the engine, clicking or tapping, and so on.

    JJ
    what year is the camaro ?

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    Member BADBLUE02's Avatar
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    If it's a LS1 yes. You'll probly hear a ticking noise when the car is cold, but it will go away when the engine warms up. I'm on my 3rd LS1 and this one is the worst. The first time I heard it I freaked out, called the dealer and accused them of selling me a car with a bad motor. The service manager was a friend of mine and assured me it was nothing. He was right.
    If you hear any knocks or taps other than the one I said walk away.

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    HAIRY MEMBER apss's Avatar
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    if its a ticking noise. possible bad lifter. try running a lighter oil.

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    Engine noise

    The Camaro is a 99 with 90k on it, automatic. It looks good and I don't recall any odd noises when I first heard it. I am on my way out today to look it over again for the swap out.

    Well, I am confused on the firebird. The ticking every one seems to agree is a bad lifter (how many don't know). The ticking is always there cold or hot starts and running, never goes away and follows the rpm. The ticking or tapping is so loud you can hear it over the exaust, it is VERY loud and embarassing. Well my wife won't let me rebuild the engine, not enough money for it right now. So we don't want to risk me driving a 6 speed engine with noises and 128k miles. One bad shift and I fear I can break it even more. Since someone is telling me it has a bent rod. I feel I am liable to punch once or twice and blow the whole darn thing. The miles don't bother me it is the noises. They are loud and scary and I have two mechanics who say you are doomed and only one guy saying that is perfectly normal. Personally I don't know why any one would say noises like that are normal. Now normal or not I won't know how bad the engine is until it is opened up. Well I would prefer to put about 20-25k (that's two years for me) miles on the car personally before having to crack er open for a peek see.

    I could be swapping a "good" engine with problems for an engine without moises and be making a huge mistake. On the other hand I could keep the firebird and all of its noises and be making a bigger mistake. I couldn't tell you which engine would last longer. All I can tell you is letting go of the 6 speed bird makes me cry. I dig the Camaro, and I love the blue color, but it is an auto and that tears me up inside.

    Thanks for the help, I am just crossing my fingers.

    JJ

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    Engine Noise

    Bad Blue, did your ticking noise follow the RPM of the engine, getting louder and such? I think the only reason the other GM guy says that is normal is maybe he doesn't hear the knocking, cuz that Tapping is so freakin loud. I thought mine sounded like a ticking when I first drove it and ask the guy what's that noise. But I think a tapping is a better discription, because it sounds more like two metal objects smacking together. The knock you hear doesn't go away either and all the posts I have seen about piston slap say it goes away after the engine warms up, mine doesn't. Oh well, I was just curious about your LS1 and ticking noises.

    Thanks

    JJ

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    Engine Noise

    Well for any one left out there still reading this sad story I have more news. Ok, so I have read a little about piston slap. The 98 firebird made a distinct noise I refered to as a deisel engine sound. The 99 Camaro I just swapped for the bird makes the same noise. Now this noise is present from cold start (and hot) until you turn off the engine. I drove about 18 miles or so home after letting the engine run at idle for about 45 minutes plus a test drive. I wouldn't exactly call that a cold engine any more. I also heard the same slapping ticking tapping noise on the Camaro. Now granted it was a lot quiter than the firebird. The firebird tapie tickie was so loud it would drown out everything. I am convinced the guys that look at the firebird for me may have been wrong. I don't think the engine was 100%, it does have 128k miles on it, but I don't think it was a doom and gloom bird. In the end I took the Camaro, even though it is an automatic. It has less miles, a CD player, and is the color blue I like. I figure I can always have a 6 speed dropped in any time I want. I am still no expert on cars or these LS1 F-Bodies. I just think sometimes you have to say what the heck and go for it. If buying a cool red 6 speed T/A makes you happy then heck who cares about 128k miles and funny noises.

    Thanks for all of your thoughts, advice, and help. I am sure I will have a million new questions with the Camaro.


    JJ

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    my 98 TA was having the same exact noises as yours. the top end noise and the bottom end noise. the top end roaring noise ended up being the cam from metal shavings from the spun rod bearing and that's the reason for the bottom end noise. the top end ticking was the piston slapping the valve stems due to extra clearence from spun rod bearing. i ended up having to replace my crank, cracked piston, completely rebuilding my heads, new cam and cam bearings, and of course all new bottom end bearings. don't know if i need new roller lifters yet. i'll prolly replace with new since i have it tore apart. the only good news about all of this is the only thing the machine shop had to do to my block was clean it, new cam bearings, honed it and checked my line bore, which was good. i had a friend that had the same problems and he had his crank welded and turned from the spun rod bearing..... well don't do that cause his crank broke on the throw that was welded a year later.
    hope everything works out for you.
    Rob

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    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool-aide View Post
    The car makes a constant clicking or tapping noise from the engine bay area. It is there from cold start until I turn off the car....
    Sounds like your fuel injectors, very common....

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    Senior Member Street Lethal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kool-aide View Post
    The firebird tapie tickie was so loud it would drown out everything. I am convinced the guys that look at the firebird for me may have been wrong. I don't think the engine was 100%, it does have 128k miles on it, but I don't think it was a doom and gloom bird....
    Mileage doesn't have that much to do with it, rather, how the car was literally maintained, that's what counts. Although I initially pointed to the injectors (because it's common), it can be many things. Does the sound sound metallic? Any excess loss of oil (referring to the PCV valve)? The SES light can be an entirely unrelated issue, but we obviously won't know until you get it scanned....

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    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    Now that you mention it, on guy did say he thought it may be a bearing problem. Well, the firebird is someone elses problem now. I have the blue Camaro and after three days I think it will be fine. My goal is to have it run for about 32-38k miles and then see what kind of shape it is in. I figure I have three years on the loan, and it feels like it can last that long and even more. I don't have of those dash board idiot lights on, and she gets up and goes to work for me just fine. You guys have been a great help.

    Whats the proper way to check under the valve covers for lifter and valve damage?

    JJ

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    the 4 valves i had bent looked fine by me but the machine shop said different. sometimes things you can have checked to know for sure from a machine shop costs more than to just buy new parts. i didn't have time or all the tools to do my heads so i had the machine shop do it for me.
    rob

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    i was having a clicking noise that sped up with the rpms, until i switched to royal purple, then it quieted down the valves, now i dont notice if it does it anymore, so you might want to try a full synthetic if u dont already.

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    The Bandit Wesman's Avatar
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    Ticking noises from LS1 engines are pretty common and are usually nothing to worry about, as long as they aren't too loud. LS pushrods are very easy to bend (even guys with automatics have had bent pushrods), so thats something to definitely check for first. If you find a bent one, replace them all, because its probably not the only one thats bent. Lifter tick is also pretty common, I would reccommend doing a motor flush with some Seafoam. Just add it to the oil, drive for a while, and then change the oil with some high performance synthetic. That will cure most sticky lifters.

  20. #20
    Senior Member kool-aide's Avatar
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    well, now that i look back at it I was probably ok to keep the firebird. The guy selling the cars was nice enough to take an even trade and give me the camaro.

    I can tell you this, I sure as heck miss that M6 and want one bad. Every time I think about the conversion i tell my self how much is it worth. I figure it would be about 5-6 grand to get the job down. That's practically as much as my whole car, ouch.

    I apreciate all the feed back. Now i'm not as scared by the odd noises when it comes to an LS1 f-bodies. Ever since i put in the prothane tranny and motor mounts i hear and feel all kinds of stuff. Nothing is that scary any more.

    For all I know he could have done a a roller rock change and not done a good job of getting valve covger clearance. My guess is the former own bent a rod or two and a valve or two. It was really loud ticking, like embarrasing loud. You could hear it over the obnoxiously loud exhaust it was that bad.

    Thanks. Since then I have had a lot of fun with the Camaro, and have donted my share of blood sweat and tears.

    Thanks

    kool-aide

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