I’ve never had a motor that didn’t have some sort of top end tick, whether that’s worn cam follower or cam chain slap or whatever, I’ve always heard ‘tick tick tick’ in all my engines. I tried hard to make the Corvette quiet but was unsuccessful. This holds true for the FireTurd.
I put on a set of admittedly Chinese rocker shafts, hoping to quell the tick. If anything, this made the ticking much louder and more noticeable. I decide that I probably had a bad lifter. I cleaned up and reinstalled the 141,000 mile lifters in my junkyard creampuff rather than replace them. I jammed a piece of hose against my ear and moved the other end all around the valve covers to determine the noisiest point. Unfortunately I found the noisiest point to be under the intake manifold on the passenger side. I decided to pull the intake manifold and take a look-see at the offending lifter.
For the true-blood Chevy guys out there, you’ll immediately say “You can’t get to the lifters on an LS engine from under the intake manifold” and to you folks I say “Yes but I didn’t remember that from when I had the engine apart three years ago”. So I yanked the passenger’s valve cover and the intake manifold, only to realize with despair that I would have to pull the heads to check the lifters. I just leaned on the fender and stared at the passenger’s side head for a while being depressed about it. That’s when I noticed the shiny push rod.
It turns out that #4 intake push rod was rubbing the hole where it passes through the head. Awesome! Problem found. In order to fix it right, by drilling the hole out larger I should pull the head. Terrible!
So I got to work. But by “got to work” I don’t mean pulling exhaust manifold, draining coolant, etc. I mean I dipped a drill bit in grease and drilled the hole out bigger. I also stuck a paper towel down the push rod hole too, just in case the grease didn’t work so well. And I wrapped the whole job up into a nice “It shouldn’t matter because the shavings will be aluminum and they should get picked up in the filter” self justification. I don’t know how many shavings fell down into the engine, but so far it is running fine. It still ticks a little bit but it’s way quieter now. I think I’ll just run it until it blows, then I can worry about making the next junkyard motor quiet.