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*MYSTERY PROBLEM* Severe ticking after 20 mins of driving


ibanezblazer43

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Hello everyone!

I have a mystery problem that has been plaguing my mind and soul for a solid two weeks now. I will start off by giving you a history of how this issue started, and then just dive right into the specifics of the problem.

THE HISTORY
I had been driving my Bronco II for a solid 8/12 months without any issues whatsoever. During this time I had been doing all my regular maintenance like clockwork. Oil pressure was in the normal range, temp was in the normal range, both oil and temp sensors had been replaced recently. Life was GREAT.
I do an oil change every 5000-6000 kms religiously, and it was at about that point. When I do oil changes, I buy the FRAM Tough Guard oil filter that has an efficiency rate of 99%, and use only high grade oil.
It was a warm and dry summer here in BC, so I decided to put my Bronco II's rear end on jack stands and fix all the rust on it. The rust project lasted roughly 4 weeks, during which I did not start the vehicle whatsoever. At the end of the rust project, I did my routine oil change.
There was roughly 20L of fuel left in the tank.
**Please note that the rear end was elevated for an extensive amount of time.

THE PROBLEM
After the 4 week rust project was finished, I felt quite pleased with myself.
I also made the mistake of joking to a friend "boy, wouldn't it be funny if I did all this work, and there was something wrong with my engine? lololol!". I started the engine and it ticked AWFULLY.
I thought, "oh maybe it just needs to be driven for a bit because it's been sitting for so long". I drove my Bronco II, the ticking went away, then came back worse than before accompanied with an painful loss of power.
I stumbled it back home, at which point I decided to do an oil flush with the "Gunk Engine Cleaner";replaced the oil filter, put new oil in, and it ran better. No ticking! Success! ...Not quite. I continued driving it, and the loud ticking returned after a 10/15 minute drive.
I decided to take off the valve covers and clean whatever gunk was built up in there. Turns out there was a decent amount of gunk. So I cleaned out as much gunk as I could humanly remove, did another oil change with engine flush, replaced the filter, and replaced the oil with 10w30 valvoline. Drove it, and no ticking. Success! ...Not Quite. After about 15/20 minutes the ticking returned.
I did some researching, and discovered that it could actually be the fuel injectors. I sprayed some carb cleaner in the intake manifold, and it reduced the ticking substantially... for about 15/20 minutes. The power loss when the ticking returned was less prominent, than before. I just bought Fuel Injector Cleaner that you pour into your fuel tank and am currently testing it out. So far, the issue remains the same:
-Start Bronco II--> ticks lightly;
-Start Driving-->ticking goes away, and drives like a damn new bronco II;
-After 15/20 mins of driving (temp stabilizes at the 5/10 minute mark, and oil pressure is perfect)--> 20 minute mark hits, and the engine ticks horribly with a major loss in power.

I will post a video with the sound of the ticking later today/tonight.
Please help me. I love my Bronco II, and I don't want to see it go down like this. I will be checking this forum regularly, so if you have any questions I will be able to respond fairly quickly.

Thank-you for your help. I really appreciate it.

Vehicle Specs:
1986 Bronco II
V6 2.9 L
Standard
356,000 kms
2 Door
No A/C

Grant D.
 


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TexCaliBII

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Hello,
Welcome to the forum!
Now this is my2 cents here. Well, these 2.9s are subject to the oil passages from the heads plugging up due to gunk building up from long oil change intervals. Since you started doing them regularly it most likely knocked the goo loose and if the rear was high enough it might have made it settle in the front of the heads, right where the oil drains are. Initial ticking is wear on the rocker arm/pushrods. I "fixed" my 2.9 by snugging the rockers a bit tighter. My 4.0 is currently a ticker until it warms up. After you truck warms up the lack of oil to the rocker arm area will cause a bit of valve float and that will lead to compression bleeding out of the valves, hence the loss of power. Must say I've not tried the injector cleaning to drop the ticking on mine, I just turn the radio up a bit louder. Good luck on getting this fixed!
 

RonD

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Ticking is almost normal for that engine.
http://www.therangerstation.com/tech_library/2_9_Page.html

Sever ticking with power loss could be injectors but most likely a valve train issue.
If the Seafoam in the tank(or whatever you used) doesn't stop the ticking, so not an injector issue, then you might try Marvel Mystery Oil or something similar to it in the oil.
This, IMO, is not a "fix", but can tell you it is time to clean the push rods and lifters.
Lifters not getting a steady oil supply will not push the valves open all the way causing lack of power and a louder ticking from the slack in the push rod.

Ticking gets louder as oil warms up and thins out.
 
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PGK

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On what planet does oil get thicker when it warms up? Did you type that backwards?
 

RonD

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On what planet does oil get thicker when it warms up? Did you type that backwards?
Yes wrong planet, post was sent to bizarro-earth, ended up here
 

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Yeah, sounds like oiling issues. The 2.9 is subject to a number of oiling issues related to cam bearing, lifter, etc.

Also, if you are using Fram oil filters you are already putting your engine on borrowed time.

Putting a Fram oil filter on your engine is like putting a loaded gun in the crib with your toddler. You are just asking for it to die.
 

ibanezblazer43

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What other oil filter should I use? I've never heard of any issues with fram whatsoever. Why do you believe there is an issue with them?
Also, can anyone refer me to some links that provide me with thorough instructions on how to complete a 4.0L explorer swap? :D I've located an engine with only 203,000kms on it and is mint, so I'd like to put that puppy in.
Thanks for the replies everyone. To fix this issue i'd probably have to pull the head and get the head basically rebuilt and professionally cleaned, which will cost as much as me purchasing a 4.0L and putting it in myself.
 
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adsm08

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Fram filters are inferior internally. The filter medium is not attached to the casing very well and it little more than a piece cut out of a cereal box and folded up like a fancy napkin.

My personal recommendation for an oil filter, the Motorcraft FL-1A. The same will go for your 4.0L.

The 4.0 swap is fairly straight forward, there are install instructions in the tech library. You will need the larger flywheel and clutch and a starter (they are not the same between auto and manual). You will also need the computer, and eventually a transmission, but I've heard of some guys getting away with the 2.9 manual trans for a while. There will be some wire work as well, but it's been done. I have found no good sets of notes for the wiring yet, but I'm going to start my own swap soon and will be taking good ones.
 

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What other oil filter should I use? I've never heard of any issues with fram whatsoever. Why do you believe there is an issue with them?
Also, can anyone refer me to some links that provide me with thorough instructions on how to complete a 4.0L explorer swap? :D I've located an engine with only 203,000kms on it and is mint, so I'd like to put that puppy in.
Thanks for the replies everyone. To fix this issue i'd probably have to pull the head and get the head basically rebuilt and professionally cleaned, which will cost as much as me purchasing a 4.0L and putting it in myself.
You just need to pull the valve covers and intake for access to rockers, push rods and lifters.
 

gw33gp

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I highly suspect a lifter or two or more. Letting it sit for a long time can collapse lifters if they are worn. Starting it up and running it should eventually pump the lifters up with enough oil pressure supplied to them. Sounds like particle contamination may have contributed the problem since flushing improved the problem. Now it sounds like your lifters are just worn since they start ticking after the oil gets warmed up and thinned out. My guess is you probably need new lifters. However, if they are worn then other parts are probably worn also. The engine exchange may be a good way to go. Otherwise, it is probably rebuild time.
 

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What other oil filter should I use? I've never heard of any issues with fram whatsoever. Why do you believe there is an issue with them?
This oil filter article has been floating around the interweb for many many years (shows our Motorcraft FL-1A and those that cross with it).
Basically it demonstrates the Frams as having cheap construction, and skimpy filter media surface area.


A much more recent study shows construction of most Frams hasn't changed much (this time a GM application filter tested)
There's a filtration test this time, and the Motorcraft is actually low-middling, Royal Purple's filter ($$$) is tops for filtration, followed by Amsoil (also $$$) and then Fram XtendedGard (a little less $). Bottom of the pack was GM's own AC Delco brand.

To me it looks like Purolator's Classic (formerly Premium-Plus) and Napa's ProSelect Silver are the ones to get if you don't want to blow out the bank account but still get a decent quality filter. Both have your Fram TG beat by a decent margin in the filtration test, are constructed better, and cost less too.
 

ibanezblazer43

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So everyone... I've fixed the issue, and here's what I did.
I just kept driving it short trips, and stopped driving it soon after the ticking started. Each time I drove it the time between no ticking and ticking grew longer and longer until I finally was able to take it on the highway and really give her. Now, it consistently drives like a damn new vehicle again. I guess it was just unhappy with me because I hadn't driven it in a while. :p
So... That's what I'm talking about :D Thanks everyone for your input!
 

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Must have collapsed the lifters or blocked an oil passage or something.
 


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