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Tick-tick noise: LS1 vs. Northstar

This is a discussion on Tick-tick noise: LS1 vs. Northstar within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; This is going to be a little different approach to the same old LS1 question of why we get tick-tick ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Seabrook, Texas

    Rally Red
    2002 Camaro Z-28 LS1

    Tick-tick noise: LS1 vs. Northstar

    This is going to be a little different approach to the same old LS1 question of why we get tick-tick noises in our engines during cold starts in the mornings.

    These noises can be root-caused by lifters, exhaust manifolds, injectors, oil pumps, air pumps, and piston slap. All of these except piston slap can be corrected without great expense. GM has explained piston slap, and says it doesn't harm the engine. Some LS1 owners agree with GM, others don't.

    My question is: Why is it that the 32 valve aluminum block Cadillac Northstar engine doesn't produce tick noises (assuming good care), and the 16 valve aluminum block Chevrolet LS1 engine does, at least on cold starts??

    This may be somewhat of an unfair question because the Northstar is considerably more complex and expensive than the LS1. However, both are aluminum, which tends to transmit noises more readily. Yet, the Northstar does not, while the LS1 does.

    So, excepting the well-explained piston slap issue, what are the technical reasons why one engine does not have cold start noises - and the other does?

    Let me offer some background creditionals: I've owned six Cadillacs, ranging from Eldorados ('85, '89 (two), '95, and my present '01) to a '93 Northstar Allante. None of the three of these with aluminum blocks ever had a tick, nor have the other ones with cast iron blocks. I now own a stock 2002 Z-28 LS1 Camaro with 35k miles that performs great, and I dearly love it, but it does have that cold start tick.

    Hope this post generates some interesting responses - and proves helpful.

    Best regards,
    Jack M

    2002 Camaro Z-28, LS1, 35th Ann, Rally Red, Stock

    2001 Cadillac Eldo, ETC, Northstar, Pearl White

  2. #2
    Member z28misfit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    1999 Chevy Camaro Z28

    My 99 z28 with 53,000 on it does the same thing. Once it is warmed up it goes away. I'm not too worried about, but I would love to stop it one day.

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