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Old 05-21-2013, 04:36 PM   #1
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Valve Train Ticking Advice

1997 Trooper V6 3.2L SOHV, 162,000 miles, no issues other than below ...

I need some expert advice. Here's the situation.
  • well known lifter ticking started about 4 years (45,000 miles) ago
  • initially ticking only occurred when oil needed changing and when this was done ticking quit
  • over time problem got worse but still was not constant being louder at times and then quieting down
  • one day when it was at its loudest a guy came over from about 5 bays away in a big gas station and told me I better add some oil before I destroyed my engine. I mention this as a gauge of how loud it was. No, I was not low of oil at the time.
  • one year (12,000) miles ago I decided to try the Mobile-1 0w-30 synthetic recommendation. Initially no change but have noticed last couple months that noise has quieted down. Currently it is so quiet that I cannot really hear any ticking when driving on a smooth road, no radio and no fan. No, I am not hard of hearing. When I pull into our garage and idle the engine I can still hear a little ticking but so little that I'm almost wondering whether this is the normal sound of this engine.
Here's my quandary. Since I have never had a constant level ticking I am assuming that I have more of a lifter tensioner issue than worn lifters or rod. My reasoning being that worn rocker arms/rod should result in a relatively steady ticking level.

What do you recommend? I was planning on tearing the engine down and replacing what was needed (rocker arms, rod, and tensioners). I might still do that but am now wondering whether I should hang tight and and see what happens. One problem I have is that I would only be able to do this work during the summer and the cost of having this work done by a someone else is prohibitive. I do not want to push the engine until I'm in a bind and forced to sell the vehicle because the problem became critical during the fall, winter or spring.

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Old 05-24-2013, 12:59 AM   #2
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Re: Valve Train Ticking Advice

I would hang tight and keep up a regular quality oil change schedule.

I have the same year & motor as you and about the same mileage. Very robust and reliable vehicle - daily driver (rural not 'burbs).

I change at least quarterly (do quite a lot of towing). Been using Castrol Magnatec 10w-40 for several years. Our air temp range is about -2C to 45C.

A lot of USA folks use the 5w-30 spec - I guess it would depend on locale.

Never had the tick.
Aussie 1997 3.2V6 SOHC 6VD1 Holden Jackaroo SE (Isuzu Trooper/Bighorn/Monterey) 5-speed manual, rear LSD, front Lokka (manual free-wheel hubs).
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