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Rebuilt 2.9 taps when cold.

richard booth

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So I pulled and rebuilt my wife's 88 b2 2.9. Replaced cam lifters,pushrods, new heads (odessa) and it runs great! Problem is it has very noticeable tapping when you first start it up? Run it all day and nothing. I checked and all the pushrod to reused rockers "seemed" good. Do I need to adjust the rockers that are tapping? Tricky to figure which ones. Is there a tried and true way to get the lash good on all the rockers? Thanks for your time, Rich.
 


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franklin2

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Might be a faulty lifter that is leaking down. You can't buy anything these days that is of any quality. If this engine had some miles on it I would recommend a can of Rislone in the engine to help break down any varnish and free up any sticky lifters. Not sure if a can of that would help your situation since the engine has been apart and cleaned up recently.

The valve adjustment gets you in the ballpark, the lifter adjusts it the rest of the way, unlike my 2.8 which has solid lifters in it.
 
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franklin2

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I was just reading up again on the 2.9 in the tech section, and came across this.

Additionally, oiling problems were common, and added to the poor reputation of the North American 2.9. Many poorly maintained or high mileage engines exhibit serious valve train noise. This problem is due to a number of design faults. Valve train oil pressure was entirely dependent upon a supply fed through the two center cam bearings. Even slight bearing wear could cause complete loss of oil pressure to the hydraulic valve lifters, rocker shaft, and rockers. Excessive internal “bleeding” through the half-moon camshaft thrust plate also contributed to this, though this can be remedied by reinstalling the thrust plate in an upside-down position. This condition is sometimes mistaken for ticking fuel injectors. This condition isn’t a cause for alarm unless it does it very loudly or after long freeway trips. If it does have the oil pressure checked, it could be low.
 

wildbill23c

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Normal 2.9L noise. Mine does it in my 88 Bronco 2 at first start up too....so does the 2.9L in my 87 Ranger. The engine in the Bronco 2 is a long block replacement from Promar, with about 15k on it since being installed and its done it from day 1.
 

gaz

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Richard Booth,

If the 2.9L's Hydraulic lifter preload is set correctly, it will not make this type of noise.

If you want to troubleshoot this, 1st determine of your lifter preload is correct. If this is correct and your engine makes audible valve train noise, then pull your rocker arms and do a "parade rest clean and inspect"; take them apart down to the component, inspect and thoroughly clean. Additionally, all oil passages should be drilled 1 size larger, chamfered and polished.

After reassemble and correct hydraulic lifter preload is set, it will sound like a beautiful, quiet mechanical orchestra.
 

gaz

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Richard,

This hydraulic lifter preload is MFer to get correct on purpose, if you want to learn how i do it, just say so 🙂.
 
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richard booth

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I was just reading up again on the 2.9 in the tech section, and came across this.

Additionally, oiling problems were common, and added to the poor reputation of the North American 2.9. Many poorly maintained or high mileage engines exhibit serious valve train noise. This problem is due to a number of design faults. Valve train oil pressure was entirely dependent upon a supply fed through the two center cam bearings. Even slight bearing wear could cause complete loss of oil pressure to the hydraulic valve lifters, rocker shaft, and rockers. Excessive internal “bleeding” through the half-moon camshaft thrust plate also contributed to this, though this can be remedied by reinstalling the thrust plate in an upside-down position. This condition is sometimes mistaken for ticking fuel injectors. This condition isn’t a cause for alarm unless it does it very loudly or after long freeway trips. If it does have the oil pressure checked, it could be low.
I did install the thrust plate like this and oil pressure is good, thanks for sharing.
 

richard booth

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Richard,

This hydraulic lifter preload is MFer to get correct on purpose, if you want to learn how i do it, just say so 🙂.

Yes, I do want to get it right, gotta pull the rockers as you explained, drill and chamfer the oil holes. They're clean, I broke them down and cleaned them doing the rebuild, but I'll do it how you explain. Thanks a lot for your time!
 

gaz

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Richard,

In regards to the up drilling. It is important to point out/understand that the size doesn't go from ⅛" to ¼", go up just one size from a Machinist's drill index; so whichever size fits in the hole, just the next size larger bit, which will be only like 1/64" larger.

Just sayin
 

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