update; got the ranger started, ran for about a minute. sounded good and smooth. shut off, now I get nothing. will not restart. wondering too, anyone know what kind of valve cover gaskets I could install that don't leak?
having a lot of trouble with leaking valve covers. used felpro metal with rubber liner on inside this time. still got one leaking. inspected them when I had them off. the looked and miked out fine. perfectly level with no blemishes.
got a new crank sensor installed as well. new info, after a couple hours I went back to try to start my engine. low and behold, it started right up, but this time there's a ticking / slight knocking sound coming from somewhere
anyone have this experience before?
Re: Leaky Valve Covers
I second Eddo Rogue's recommendation of giving the valve covers themselves a once over. Make sure the pan rails are not deformed by putting the cover on a flat surface and checking for gaps. Use a hammer and lightly massage any high spots. The thin sheet metal has a tendency to warp around the bolt holes. You can use stainless 22mm fender washers (might have to ream the I.D.) on the valve cover bolts to provide more even pressure, particularly on the corners.
Make sure both mating surfaces are clean - oil and grease free. Wipe down with a degreaser soaked rag, then follow up with some acetone or brake cleaner and let dry completely. If there's any pitting, smear a bit of Permatex Right-Stuff RTV in those areas. Also put a dab of silicone where the lower intake meets the cylinder head, and around each bolt hole on the valve cover.
For gaskets, I've had the best luck with the plastic/silicone overmolded type. Examples are the Fel-Pro PermaDryPlus #VS50368T or Victor Reinz #151057601. Use loctite on all the bolts. Follow the RTV instructions to the letter when installing - install the cover immediately after applying, but only run the bolts in finger tight. Come back after an hour and tighten one turn. After another hour, torque to spec. Wait 24 hours before running the truck (heat and oil will prevent RTV from curing correctly).
Re: Ticking/Knocking Sound
As Eddo mentioned, valve train ticking is normal with these engines but should go away when warmed up with full oil level. If it's a chirping or squeaking coming from the back of the block, it's probably the cam synchro again. Chirping is also possible from the front accessory drive - idler, alternator, water pump, A/C compressor. To help narrow it down, a mechanic's stethoscope is your friend.