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I have a 03 stock motor in my Mach 1. When I purchased the car it had a tapping noise that would come and go. We thought this was a timing chain issue. So over the winter last year we replaced all of the chains, tensioners, lifters, installed stage 3 cams. We also replaced the stock tensioner bolts/ keepers with aftermarket up graded bolts. After all of the above low and behold the tap never left!!!!!
Any suggestions as to what this could be?
Has anyone experienced this noise?

Thank you all in advance for the help.
 

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My 1st thought is worn valve guides. Just a wild guess though. I went through a similar experience and I believe we have the same engine. I bought an 03 marauder with a leaking tensioner and a timing chain noise so loud I didn’t notice the tick until I buttoned it up. Removed valve covers hoping to find a collapsed lash adjuster or at least something and found nothing wrong with the valvetrain. Heads are off now and all I can find out of spec is the valve guide clearance on the exhaust valves
 

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The tapping sound you hear is most likely the same one the Cobra guys ran into. The diverside head originally had a cooling problem towards the rear of the head. Ford later improved the cooling back there with a new gasket style that most manufacturers offer today. You will not have it, if your engine is as delivered by Ford.

The tapping is associated with a guide or exhaust seat that has loosened up in the head. The exhaust seats were installed with a notoriously light press fit. Sometimes you get lucky and both the seat and the guide are bad.

The fix is always the same, replace all the seats and all the guides, any valves as required, do a valve job to properly seat the valves on their new valve seats and you should be good to go. As long as you have the heads off and torn down that far give some serious consideration to replacing the OEM valves with a set of Manley Stainless valves, intake and exhaust.


Ed
 

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Thanks for the advice Ed. I was waiting for the OP to chime in but he’s probably still in shock. Only thing I don’t like about doing both guides and seats at once is I’m not going to narrow it down to which one was causing the ticking noise but like you said it could be both. Can’t wrap my head around how a valve seat could be so loose it makes a ticking noise but not fall out? I’m an old heavy duty mechanic and the detective work to find the exact cause and why a part failed is all I did for years so not knowing the exact problem is going to drive me crazy but I’ll follow your advice. I hope the OP reconnects here to let us know how he dealt with the problem. This is the best forum on internet for the 4v and your knowledge is invaluable Ed. Thank you
 

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Thanks for the advice Ed. I was waiting for the OP to chime in but he’s probably still in shock. Only thing I don’t like about doing both guides and seats at once is I’m not going to narrow it down to which one was causing the ticking noise but like you said it could be both. Can’t wrap my head around how a valve seat could be so loose it makes a ticking noise but not fall out? I’m an old heavy duty mechanic and the detective work to find the exact cause and why a part failed is all I did for years so not knowing the exact problem is going to drive me crazy but I’ll follow your advice. I hope the OP reconnects here to let us know how he dealt with the problem. This is the best forum on internet for the 4v and your knowledge is invaluable Ed. Thank you

Thank you for the kind words.

You might get lucky and just have a seat problem but you'll kick yourself if you do just seats and you need guides also. This is a link to a post in a thread in the 03/04 SVT Cobra forum that addresses the same issue in more depth and with pictures. Rather than retyping it over here it is easier to just provide a link to it over there. Click here => 4V Head Tick Problem for a more in-depth explanation of what is happening.

BTW the reason the seat doesn't fall out is it has not loosened enough yet — it will and it will eventually fall out. Most of the time the owners fix the problem before it gets to the total failure threshold. The tick you hear is the valve reseating the seat in the head each time it closes. The link above to the other thread / post will add considerable light to the how come and why-fore
questions.


Ed
 
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