View original topic: Engine knock knock tick tack: Lifters, bearings or what?
roterT3 Sat May 20, 2017 5:56 pm

Just finished a rebuilt of a 2.2 liter GoWesty Vanagon engine after an overheat; the head gasket blew. The repair included new pistons, sleeves and cylinder heads. I did not remove or split the engine, but checked for wear and clearance as much as it's possible with the engine in the van.

The compression an all four cylinders is equal but low, a little over 120, maybe okay for the break in time and with the valves not perfectly adjusted and working yet? My tester might also be a little bit China.

A "clacking" sound is coming from the engine block and reminded me of a sticky lifer issue I faced before a couple times. I first removed all lifters and bench bled them, no change with the sound. Then I drove the van for over 30 minutes and accelerated up to 4000 rpm a couple of times, still no change with the sound. Oil pressure is higher when engine is cold but accurate when warmed up, about 10 psi for each 1000 rpm.

Some of the lifters were a little spongy the next morning, so I replaced them with new ones. I also bench bled the new lifters, again no change to the sound, even after an hour of driving.

I also tried all kinds of different approaches for the valve adjustment to simply vary from the Bentley manual as it is often suggested on various forums on the web, but I had no success to make the sound go away with any of the methods.

I filled the engine Castrol GTX W20-50, but added 10% of a thinner, Marvel Magic Oil. I am actually not so keen on the additive, but multiple threads pointed in the direction of using a thinner oil. I am located in northern Utah and it's not really warm outside yet, so I gave the thinner a try. The ports for the lifters are clean and oil well, all push rods are straight and seated well. Current valve adjustment (also in the video) is 1 full turn after initial contact with the adjustment crew.

I am slowly thinking to myself maybe it is a rod bearing, or something else and it just sounds like a lifter issue?

Any thoughts?

vwjetboat Sat May 20, 2017 6:31 pm

does not sound like bottom end.. exhaust leak ? you re check things? pull valve covers and take a peek ?

roterT3 Sat May 20, 2017 8:09 pm

Thank you vwjetboat!

There is no exhaust or vacuum leak.

I did check things, especially the valve adjustment. So, yes I did remove the valve covers multiple times and even tested two different sets of hydraulic lifters.

Any other tips for finding the air bound lifters?

tbucktruck Fri May 08, 2020 8:14 pm

I've been having similar knocking and shaking. Blown water jackets after overheating.. van starts after the rebuild but knock and shakes with mild violence. Didn't split the case either, just heads. havent driven it yet. Original lifters, 1 and a half on the valves. 20w-50.
What was your solution? Anyone else want to weigh in?

kirtfitzpatrick Sun Nov 15, 2020 9:27 am

roterT3 is there any chance you can repost that video? I'm having an engine knock too and it would be helpful to see if mine sounds similar.

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