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Thread: Lifter or Tappet Clicking Sound?

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    JackWood's Avatar
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    Lifter or Tappet Clicking Sound?

    OK, more out-of-warranty paranoia……..

    Anybody had any lifter issues recently, on higher mileage cars? I know Ken had one back in ’06 but I can’t see anything else since.

    I now a have a constant “ticking” noise that can be heard from outside the car when the engine is hot or cold, at idle.

    The rate is around 3-4 TPS (Ticks Per Second) at idle when the engine is warm and is there all the time.

    It is a metallic sound, and is directly linked to engine speed, but cannot be heard as the engine revs get higher.

    It is NOT the oil valve piston (had that replaced twice, so I know it is not that noise) and is not radiator/exhaust/intake warming/cooling.

    What I really want to know, is does everyone have this clicky noise or do I have to take it in to the dealer again?

    The radiator fan was replaced last week, and at the time they said no other faults were showing on the PIWIS system.

    Would a faulty lifter show up on a fault diagnosis? Am I just being paranoid?

    Cheers

    Jack
    Cayman S - Since December '05

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    beez's Avatar
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    hmmmmmmmmmmmm, Jack... It does sound suspiciously like a non-inflated lifter... couple of questions before the paranoia sets in... Is the ambient temperature still pretty cold there? Are you using 0w-40w oil... and how loud is it?

    If it's still very cold, you might get some mild lifter noise even if the motor is warmed up - but it still should go away in a few minutes of easy driving... if it can't be heard as the revs get higher, then it's probably ok. I don't think this is an official "fault" to be found by the PIWIS machine...

    brad
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    Brad, it is around 7C today. But I gave the car a good thrash home tonight and as I pulled up on the drive it was still doing it.

    As for the volume, mmmm, how would you define it? If it was windy out, you wouldn't hear it. It is louder from OUR drivers side (your passenger). I need to have a really close listen in the morning after my commute, and see if it goes away at higher revs, or just gets drowned out.

    Will it do any damage, or will it just not perform at full chat on the one cylinder?

    The oil is and always has been Mobil 1 and is currently right on the full mark. It hasn't used ANY oil in the last 15,000 miles!!
    Cayman S - Since December '05

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackWood View Post
    Brad, it is around 7C today. But I gave the car a good thrash home tonight and as I pulled up on the drive it was still doing it.

    As for the volume, mmmm, how would you define it? If it was windy out, you wouldn't hear it. It is louder from OUR drivers side (your passenger). I need to have a really close listen in the morning after my commute, and see if it goes away at higher revs, or just gets drowned out.

    Will it do any damage, or will it just not perform at full chat on the one cylinder?

    The oil is and always has been Mobil 1 and is currently right on the full mark. It hasn't used ANY oil in the last 15,000 miles!!
    44 F is not that cold, (compared to northern Alberta, for instance) but, still on the cold side of things... Make sure the Mobil 1 that's being used is 0w-40w - not 5w-40w or 10w-50w... your lack of oil use is impressive, so the motor is tight.. see if you can have someone else work the throttle while you listen to it outside the car to see if it persists as the revs go up and down... usually a non or partially inflated lifter is louder than you describe... it might also be an idler pulley losing its bearings - they can sound like that too when they go... Your only recourse might be to take it into the OPC and see what they say... if the lifter is not fully inflating with oil, they might be able to tell as far as the valve lift action goes and be able to spot it when they hook the car up to the big diagnostic computer (as opposed to the PIWIS machine)... if it is a lifter problem, I hope they might have some mercy, since the car is 60 days out of warranty... sheesh. I know they were not accommodating on the fan problem, but this is a much different kettle of fish...

    brad
    Last edited by beez; 02-12-2008 at 02:57 PM.
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    Hmmm, mine has alway made a bit of tappet noise too, (2.7 engine) much along the lines that you describe, and more noticeable from the drvers side (UK) too. It does not seem to be particularly temperture senitive either, I hear it from cold, and also when the engine is hot after a good thrash. Nor is it consistent, it can vary.

    I have run the problem thro the Personal Porsche Paranoia filter too, but have so far concluded that as the engine runs like a sweetie in every other respect, that's just the noise it makes.

    Not sure I now want to re-run the PPP filter programme though!




    Do these engines have hydraulic tappets? (I'm assuming they do)

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    Bugger,

    I have done nothing but thrash my CS within an inch of it's life every time I take it out on the road/track/wherever.............. Now I begin to Worry.....

    You have already had stuff changed, and still you have problems.......... Now you are out of warranty? Time to declare war on Porsche GB and demand an extension to our warranties, as the US have (even they pay less for ther cars).
    Cheers Karel



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    i have the same problem on my CS too. On sunday i drove over 30 miles and the temp was around 70. The noise was still there.
    I actually took my car to Beverly Hills Porsche Dealer to take a look or listen a couple months back. I was told it was normal to have lifters noise and i just have to live with it.
    So far with all the rattling, clunks and problems, I am very close to regretting purchasing the car. I am wondering if this is a ploy from Porsche AG to put out an inferior entry level product so that customers will upgrade to a more expansive product.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John H View Post


    Do these engines have hydraulic tappets? (I'm assuming they do)
    Well, sort of... they have lifters that are "inflated" by the motor oil and is part of the extensive oiling system... the little holes that allow the oil to go in and "inflate" the lifters are very small, hence my question to Jack about using 0w-40w oil, which must be used so that the oil gets in there...

    Some lifter noise is normal, which is also why I asked about how loud it was - trying to differentiate "just out of warranty paranoia" (no offense, Jack) from what's really going on

    Quote Originally Posted by 340_mad View Post
    i have the same problem on my CS too. On sunday i drove over 30 miles and the temp was around 70. The noise was still there.
    I actually took my car to Beverly Hills Porsche Dealer to take a look or listen a couple months back. I was told it was normal to have lifters noise and i just have to live with it.
    So far with all the rattling, clunks and problems, I am very close to regretting purchasing the car. I am wondering if this is a ploy from Porsche AG to put out an inferior entry level product so that customers will upgrade to a more expansive product.
    Most everything that's used on the more expensive models are used on these cars too so I don't think it's a ploy... the more expensive cars have their problems and foibles, too... if you're not satisfied with your dealer's response to the problems you've brought to them, try going to anther dealership - there's a lot of them in the LA area that wouldn't mind having your business.

    brad
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    I've also have the same problem - for almost 2 years. The sound is constant, very "lifterish" sounding, and entirely a function of engine rpm's. Took the CS to my dealership, and they said it was an exhaust leak on the right side of the engine. Since I have Fabspeedicon headers (supplied/installed by others), I took it to the tuning shop (who installed the headers) to get the header bolts tightened. Apparently they were NOT very loose and tightening made a slight, but minor improvement. Given that the engine works great otherwise, I just accepted the situation, but more and more I'm thinking that it's really a lifter problem. Since the CS is hibernating for the winter, it's been a couple of months since I've driven it, and it will be a couple more before it sees the light of day. Come spring I think I'll have to investigate the lifter issue further. REAL interested to see if others have the same or similar experiences ...
    ___________________________________
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    I hear it too.... It seems to have a cadence ... like it's trying to tell me something...but then the other voices in my head drown it out ...
    Cold Croc



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    Just to let you know, my car had a lifter noise from the very beginning. The first dealer said it was chain noise. That earned them a "no confidence" vote from me. I know a lifter when I hear one.

    Dealer #2 said it was a lifter, ordered new ones and replaced all of them on that (driver's) side. They can't tell which particular one is not right, so they replaced all of them.

    It's been fine since.

    Now if they will just fix my brakes...


    - Mark
    Rare Cayman Cabriolet S in Meteor Gray,
    Cocoa top, Cocoa full leather interior, Sport
    seats and steering wheel, a new set of 350 mm Girodiscs that replaced the PCCBs, a sweetly singing Borla (especially nice with the top down) and a SRP with stock DME programming.

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    Brad, yes it has always been 0W-40.

    So, it doesn't sound like it is just me hearing things. Quite a few others seem to hear the same thing, and it could be lifters............

    Funnily (and rather typically) there has been no noise today.

    The next question is, if it is just lifter noise at and around idle speed, what are the consequenses? Is it doing damage? Is it causing lack of performance (it certainly seems to feel fine to me)?

    Are the lifters on every valve?
    Cayman S - Since December '05

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackWood View Post
    Brad, yes it has always been 0W-40.

    That's good. It needs to be for the VarioCamPlus to work properly.



    So, it doesn't sound like it is just me hearing things. Quite a few others seem to hear the same thing, and it could be lifters............

    Your description makes it appear to be a lifter.


    Funnily (and rather typically) there has been no noise today.

    That didn't happen to mine. It was consistent. Inaudible, of course, at engine speeds much above idle, but always there.



    The next question is, if it is just lifter noise at and around idle speed, what are the consequenses? Is it doing damage? Is it causing lack of performance (it certainly seems to feel fine to me)?

    I ran an entire DE with mine before it was fixed. This was at the advice of the dealer who I think was hoping it was just a bit of something caught in a lifter that might get "washed" out with high speed driving. It didn't.



    Are the lifters on every valve?
    Yes.



    Best,

    - Mark
    Rare Cayman Cabriolet S in Meteor Gray,
    Cocoa top, Cocoa full leather interior, Sport
    seats and steering wheel, a new set of 350 mm Girodiscs that replaced the PCCBs, a sweetly singing Borla (especially nice with the top down) and a SRP with stock DME programming.

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    Re: Lifter or Tappet Clicking Sound?

    Looks like I too have the same problem.

    The local dealership is saying the problem is normal, so no fix. What's the long term ramifications of this?

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    Re: Lifter or Tappet Clicking Sound?

    I've had a similar noise with my 3.4 (and actually with my 2.7 Boxster before that) but it has never been consistent. I've had it in warm weather, colder weather (above 0C though), on start up, after it's warmed up, etc. Then, it has always disappeared, again without a consistent pattern as to when it does that. It might last for days, or just during warmup, etc.

    I'm not vouching any connection, but when it was clicking some this fall, then I changed oil and the click went away - could just be coincidence though. But I know the loudest the 2.7 ever got was on start up after winter hibernation - and that went away after a day, if I remember correctly.

    Otherwise, it isn't worrying me but it has me intrigued. I drive around a lot without the radio on either, and usually with a window down in town, where you notice it more as it can echo off the curb, other cars, etc

    If it blows up after warranty, I'll just tell my wife that it had a 3.8 to begin with! (not that she'd notice the difference!).
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    Re: Lifter or Tappet Clicking Sound?

    Also have ticking at idle when engine is warm, seems to be louder on left side, driver side. Took it to dealer to check, Service manager and mechanic had a listen and said its normal sound for these cars, then said engine sounded great ! Go figure ?

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    Re: Lifter or Tappet Clicking Sound?

    I don't know if this is a 'fact', but I remember bringing my first Subie in one time to get checked - I had noticed what I thought was a valve 'tick' that wasn't consistent in nature (sound familiar?). Mechanic - who I knew and trusted - said 'ah, they all do that at some time', then went on to say that because the Subie is a flat engine the noise from the valve train tends to get noticed a bit more than in other engine configurations. And seeing as Porsche has a flat engine.............maybe it's just more easily noticed than on other cars we have? Just a thought.....

    Also, if you've ridden bikes, then if you've got a more open engine, valve train noises are typically a lot more obvious.
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    Re: Lifter or Tappet Clicking Sound?

    Mine has it too. US passenger side, UK driver's. It almost comes out of the heat exhaust hole. I thought it was a normal sound of these cars. It can be heard though.
    Tomasz

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    Re: Lifter or Tappet Clicking Sound?

    My 2007 Cayman S (M97.21 engine) developed the similar/same RPM dependent "tick" that was intially random and finally became constant. Over the next week or so the car developed several other noises that sounded like the exhaust/heat shield rattling. After some investigation the transmission was removed and the DM flywheel was found to have failied (the car is raced). Our hope, therefore, was that this failure was the root of all evil. Unfortunately it was not, and when the car was back on the ground all of the noises were still present.

    Other symptoms included occasional rough idle and hesitation.

    Further investigation focused on the lifters and other valve train components, as the ticking noise certainly sounded like a lifter, and the problem was identifed as a failed hydraulic actuator in the variocam system (996 105 301 XX). The part was repaired/replaced and all nosies are now gone. It appears that the tick was a sticking actuator and the coincident noises were the chains, etc. flailing around as a result of improper postioning/tension (speculation). These noises did not develop until the actuator failed completely.

    I will not share the shops secrets for isolating the problem, but if you contact Dwain Dement at Vision Motorsports in Laguna Hills, CA (949.770.2888) I am sure he can help you resolve your issue.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Krokodil; 08-25-2009 at 06:42 PM.

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    Re: Lifter or Tappet Clicking Sound?

    Krokodil. I hope you can help me further here. Can you confirm that the heat/shield rattle sound was present AFTER the flywheel change?

    I have the ticking, and heat/shield rattle sound at 3,000 RPM. It does NOT go away when warm, and I can reproduce it often. But when I reproduce it multiple times, it needs to spend some time at lower RPM before I can reproduce it again.

    I have 0W40 in the car now, I do not know what was in it before.

    (The reason I found the difference in headers, was that I was spending some time looking underneath my car while my wife revved it to 3,000 RPM. Could not find the source and then my son woke up, and she was no longer helping.)

    I do not rae my car, and hope to have this fixed under warranty. I do have a Fabspeedicon on it, and I am afraid that they will blame everything on it. That is why I am spending some time researching this issue.
    Tomasz

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