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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:03 AM   #1
Catnip 0_o
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Default Engine ticks until warm, diagnose

2002 TJ 4.0L 142k Miles
10W-30 Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil
Oil Changes every 3k miles

Well I have had the jeep for about 2 years now and in the time that I have had it I have noticed that when it gets cold out, especially this time of year, the engine will make a ticking sound. It has been doing it ever since I bought it, but like I said, it is really only noticeable when it is cold out, and once the engine warms up it seems to go away. From my knowledge, it sounds like it coming from under the valve cover.

It doesnt seem to be anything to serious, but once the warmer weather starts to break through I was going to replace/paint my valve cover anyways so I figured I might as well take a look and see what might be the cause of this tick.

Now I dont have much knowledge when it comes to engines, but I can be pretty handy with a wrench. What should I be looking for in particular that usually causes this noise and how can I diagnose it?

Thanks :)
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:10 AM   #2
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oil not warm enough to move up to the top of the engine fast enough. try running a lighter weight oil, or over fill a little, its typical of any engine to make that noise with heavy oil, it use to be an old rule to run a lighter oil in the winter, buit now that most engines run a 5w-30 its not seen as much.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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Its a jeep!
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Don't over fill your oil
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 12:45 PM   #5
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Don't over fill your oil
WTF are you looking at?!
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 12:49 PM   #6
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oil not warm enough to move up to the top of the engine fast enough. try running a lighter weight oil, or over fill a little, its typical of any engine to make that noise with heavy oil, it use to be an old rule to run a lighter oil in the winter, buit now that most engines run a 5w-30 its not seen as much.
NEVER over fill your oil unless you like rebuilding your motor. Over filling a crank case causes the oil to be whipped by the rotating assembly like in a blender, filling the oil with air bubbles. Air bubbles dont lubricate very well.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 12:58 PM   #7
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Jeep in line sixes are notorious for making lifter noise more then other motors. Because the lifters are right against the block instead of burried inside like a v8, you hear them more. When things get cold they shrink, so every thing is a little loose inside your motor.
The loose clearences and cold oil mean it may take a few minutes for everything to be lubricated and up to operating temp.
It is probobly nothing to worry about and I deffinently would not recomend a oil thinner then 10w30 in a jeep inline with it's old castings, loose clearences, and non roller old school camshaft/lifters.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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It's a pretty common thing with just about any vehicle, regardless of what some people say; I think it is best to run a lighter weight oil such as 5w30 in the winter, so when the engine is cold and the oil it cold it will run much easier through the passageways. untill it warms up a bit and thins out. Both my 96 chevy 1/2 ton and my 06 colorado did it untill I switched oil for the winter to 5w30 from 10w30. The 96 still does it but it's very little and goes away really quick
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:00 PM   #9
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Well regardless I have a remote start installed on it for the sole purpose of this awful cold weather. On average I let it warm up for it least 10 minutes before driving it in the harsh winter months. And even after I take off I still drive it easy so the other lubricants can warm up as well.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 03:37 PM   #10
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I personally think its normal, my '98 XJ did it on cold mornings, and my dads 04' TJ that i've been driving for a couple weeks does it pretty bad. Runs fine, just noisy and gets better when it warms up. My 2.5l TJ doesn't seem to do it though, which is strange to me because i've heard the design between the 4.0 and 2.5 is similar.
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Old January 23rd, 2013, 05:57 PM   #11
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I personally think its normal, my '98 XJ did it on cold mornings, and my dads 04' TJ that i've been driving for a couple weeks does it pretty bad. Runs fine, just noisy and gets better when it warms up. My 2.5l TJ doesn't seem to do it though, which is strange to me because i've heard the design between the 4.0 and 2.5 is similar.
Yeah it's starting to sound like all jeeps do it, it least the 4.0Ls
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Old January 26th, 2013, 07:44 PM   #12
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I didn't even read past the first 3 lines of your post
It's a 4.0l thing
I've been told its because of short piston skirts
You don't have anything to worry about
It's completely normal
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Old January 27th, 2013, 09:25 AM   #13
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mine has been doing it for the last 80,000 miles . I have 155,+++ miles on it now and it still runs fine
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Old January 27th, 2013, 10:00 AM   #14
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I have a 3.8 with just over 6,000 miles on it, it does the same thing. The old motor did it as well.
I don't think I've ever owned a Jeep that didn't do it. My husbands 5.3 Chevy did it too.
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Old January 31st, 2013, 02:14 AM   #15
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I had a tick for a while, found a similar article to this one. checked the cam synchronizer and that was my issue.


http://www.wranglerforum.com/f5/cam-...ing-52662.html
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Old January 31st, 2013, 09:18 PM   #16
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that motor is on its way out!
probably only has 250,000 more miles left in it with noises like that!
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Old February 1st, 2013, 04:53 PM   #17
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I would make sure you are using a filter with an anti drain back valve in it. I always run Napa gold filters in my 4.0's because the anti drain back valve helps keep some oil in the top of the motor. I also use Mobil 1 High Mileage oil in them too, no mater what the mileage is on the motor. The Mobil 1 High Mileage has additives, (Zinc I believe) in it to help the flat lifters in the 4.0 live longer and run quieter. I have replaced the lifters in an 03 and an 04 Rubicon, because I didn't like the noise. It went away, but it cost a lot of $. As some of the other posters have said. It will probably run forever, but it will be noisy. As an alternative, you could always install a better radio...Good luck with the noise, as I hate it too. Now with the economy getting better I just store the Jeep in the winter and bounce the old Explorer off the snow banks in the winter...ahhh the lap of luxury.
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Old February 7th, 2013, 10:56 AM   #18
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Like said it is normal for the 4.0 to tick cold and hot.. They use a cast piston that will shrink when cold and expand when hot kinda like all the chevy ls motors. They also use a flat tapped lifter that is prone to noise.

I would check for exhaust leaks around your header/manifold some times they will tick till warm from the exhaust shrink and expand..

Word of advice dont go beating on the motor til it has fully warmed up, it will give the pistons and lifters time to expand and decrease the amount of wear on those parts..
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Old February 8th, 2013, 07:27 PM   #19
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the previous 2 posts are excellent advice...along with those that say "it's normal."

I have personally owned 3 4.0's and help maintain another 4 or 5....all living in this region. 5w-30 has given me the quietest results over all my experiences. My TJ just turned 55k...knock on wood it only had lifter tick once this cold season. I switched to Mobil 1 about 1,500 miles and over the last few years really decided to do some dry reading and now look for a ACEA A-3 oil, that typically happens to be the high mileage stuff....

but don't go going to a syn oil if you have always run dino oil. Run a good filter, use some 5w-30 and let her warm up in the cold...but she will still talk to ya from time to time... as long as the 4.0 is not screaming all the time it's fine.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #20
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I think you guys running 5w 30 in a inline jeep motor are nuts. The engine was engineered almost 100 years ago to run on straight weight oil. The lifters rattling a little when they are cold is not a problem. Running a old flat tappet lifter cam on too thin of oil with no zddp in is a problem.
5w 30 is good for roller cams, tail pipe sniffers, maximum fuel economy. It is not what I want in my old jeep motor. I have a lot of money in my inline stroker and I promise it will never see 5w30.
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