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Old 01-13-2011, 08:03 PM   #1
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Default The dreaded ticking sound..... UPDATED...

My truck (162,000 miles)(2002 F150 4x4 5.4L), has a clicking/ticking sound which seems to be coming from the drivers side - above the front tire straight back to the engine (roughly where the dipstick is or enters the engine). At first, I thought it might be low oil causing a valve to act up and making a clicking sound while it idles or during driving.

Things I noticed during my investigation:
1. Foamy light yellow substance on the bottom of the oil fill cap? I looked inside the oil fill down into the crank shaft, and it looked okay, or normal oil color, as I thought maybe water or antifreeze maybe getting into the oil. The antifreeze overfill looks good, and is full, and no discoloration. Also, no discoloration on the oil dip stick.

2. The oil dipstick doesn't show any oil - reading? I change my oil about every 4,000 miles and add 5.6 qts of oil. Although, about the last 8x, I noticed that only about 3 - 4 quarts come out, or unusually low amount. After the oil change, I run the truck, and turn it off, let sit about 3 minutes and take 2 - 3 readings. Honestly, it's hard to get a reading - bizarre! .........anyway, I recently added 2 quarts of oil and it started to register this time after I changed the oil 2,000 miles ago? Very bizarre, and no reduction in oil pressure, or substantial.

3. The Check Engine light has never come on.
4. Gas mileage and power seem to be okay
5. Truck seems to run okay.
6. When I am changing the oil under the truck, I don't see any indication that there is a oil leak, or substantial oil leak. Or, excess oil on or around the engine.
7. I read other posts regarding a ticking/clicking noise, possibly manifold connection to engine?
8. Should I try removing each spark plug wire one at a time to see if it stops?
9. When I apply gas, it seems to be a little quieter, and gets a little more distinct when idling.
10. I don't use 4x4 that often for it to be a fried gear box in the front. At least I don't think so. And, when I last used it, it seemed to work fine.

Any idea what this could be?

Last edited by SmokinBarrel; 01-27-2011 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 01-13-2011, 08:21 PM   #2
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Ticking sound is most likely the header gasket blown out, very common, pretty cheap and a pain in the *** to do. As for the oil, check to see that the bottom of the dip stick tube is still there. I know that on my uncle's it rusted right out and the dipstick didn't go anywhere
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:50 AM   #3
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NYsprint,

Thanks for the response.

1. About how much would it cost to replace the header gasket (ford dealership)?

2. The gasket is probably cheap, but I don't have much experience replacing header gaskets. The best or furthest I have gone is replacing the spark plug coils when they've gone bad.

3. I will check the dip stick tube. As a note, it does give readings, but seems the truck is burning the oil, or it is disappearing somewhere. The truck does not smoke. If it does, the smoke is very very minimal - that I cannot detect it.
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:58 AM   #4
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I just did my manifold studs and gaskets two days ago and it was bad. The worst part was getting them put back on so if you do do it then you need to drop the Y-pipe to take away the interference. If you aren't used to dealing with this I would just have it done at a shop. I have done headers before and my truck was lifted and it still took me about four hours to complete both sides.

As for the oil, my truck uses a lot also and doesn't blow smoke, you'll find this to be common with these trucks, it seems like everyone is complaining about it, just fill it up and keep on truckin.

Last thing, if you do take the truck to the shop have them check the EGR tube where it connects to the driver's side manifold. This is the first place my manifolds began to leak and I had the same sound that you were describing. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:18 AM   #5
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The drivers is a pain because it has a egr tube that rusts tight to the manifold and you end up replacing the manifold and tube. I got my tube from Ford and it was like $85 they wanted $200 for the mainfold and $20 for the gasket and new studs so I got them online for less than half that price. My dealer said it was 5 book hours at $48 per hr. to do the work but they it could take longer it they broke bolts and had a problems getting them out. Then they said that if they couldn't get them out the head had to come off and that was 8-10 hrs more. It took me 7 hours to do the drivers side with all the right tools due to a couple of studs that were frozen in the head.
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Old 01-14-2011, 09:49 AM   #6
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if it is your manifold leaking, if you take it to the shop like i did, i will cost you around $500, mine was $480 to take them off, replace gaskets, replace studs

that still might not be your problem though, mine still has that ticking sound after i got this done
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Old 01-14-2011, 02:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
I looked inside the oil fill down into the crank shaft, and it looked okay, or normal oil color
Theres your problem!!! if you can see the crankshaft from the valve cover you have something really wrong!
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Old 01-15-2011, 08:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racin4ds View Post
Theres your problem!!! if you can see the crankshaft from the valve cover you have something really wrong!
Valves? lol.

I listened again and the is coming from the area wear my manifold connects to the catalytic converter. I think I said that right. I think I'll crawl up under there and listen today. It bugs the sh&! out of me!!
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:39 AM   #9
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Default That which ticks may not be your wristwatch!!!

Usually an exhaust manifold gasket which goes. Mine went at 34,000 miles and it cost me 240.00 at a tuffy dealer. It was a knuckle buster cause of a couple frozen bolts.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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AND, the problem is...........

Gasket Manifold! Congratulations to those who made the call.

I took the truck into a Ford dealership and it was a manifold gasket.

$280 to replace gasket.
$26.99 for oil change
$77 for fuel filter change (I thought this was very pricey, but they do good work. So, I decided that $400 was my limit and said change it).

Besides, at 160,000 miles, I have never had this truck in for a repair! Unbelievable, so I wanted to throw some work their way. Although, I'll be more careful in the future, as cash is getting tight.

Thank you Ford for a great truck! Now if you can get the kinks worked out of the new Flex Fuel Triton engine, I'd like to buy one in 4 - 5 years.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:02 AM
 
 
 
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