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Thread: Loud Ticking noise ... Relative to engine speed?

  1. #1
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    Default Loud Ticking noise ... Relative to engine speed?

    Asking for a friend: Car - BMW e46 Auto...

    Last couple of days it's developed a loud ticking noise fron the enigine... It's definitely relative to engine speed I.e. If you rev it the tick gets faster...

    First thing I thought of this morning when I heard it was injectors... However it's not like my injector ticking as it sounds like only one is doing it (all of mie tick so it sounds regular)... There's no other effects in terms of drivability etc either, just a noise.

    Maybe a lifter? (Not very knowledgeable about this to be honest)

    Any other Ideas? I don't think there's been any work done lately but can get more info if needed - please just ask!
    1995 XJR: 4.0L S/charged straight 6 Auto

    What... It's not broken??? I can still fix it

  2. #2
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    What I would do is use a stethoscope and try to locate the noise.
    Is it valve train? Is it a pulley?

    Tell him to try to run a thicker oil to see if the noise change.
    Could be a belt tensioner?
    Last edited by Bruno; 03-04-2009 at 03:08 PM.
    '85 Euro 635csi Race Turbo, megasquirt, Group A
    '92 525i Touring 5 speed, 3.46 diff, UUC 8.5lb flywheel, soon to be turbo.
    '02 Subaru WRX Wagon with STI springs, bigger sway bars

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by e34.535i.sport View Post
    Asking for a friend: Car - BMW e46 Auto...

    Last couple of days it's developed a loud ticking noise fron the enigine... It's definitely relative to engine speed I.e. If you rev it the tick gets faster...

    First thing I thought of this morning when I heard it was injectors... However it's not like my injector ticking as it sounds like only one is doing it (all of mie tick so it sounds regular)... There's no other effects in terms of drivability etc either, just a noise.

    Maybe a lifter? (Not very knowledgeable about this to be honest)

    Any other Ideas? I don't think there's been any work done lately but can get more info if needed - please just ask!
    If its a lifter they normally only do it for a few seconds when cold. Agree you would hear more than one injector. Where is it coming from - front or back? Try taking the oil filler cap off - it may help locate the source.
    PS Dont put your ear to the filler hole while the engine is running if you want to stay clean

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruno View Post
    I do not agree the 535i does not have hydraulic lifters so if there is a problem with a rocker arm... It will be there until you fix it.
    Maybe an excetric got loose and you are having a big gap?
    True. But I think he is talking about an E46 and not his own car?

  5. #5
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    Vanos...?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskychaser View Post
    True. But I think he is talking about an E46 and not his own car?
    Oups... not use to answer E46 questions in the 5 series forum :-)
    '85 Euro 635csi Race Turbo, megasquirt, Group A
    '92 525i Touring 5 speed, 3.46 diff, UUC 8.5lb flywheel, soon to be turbo.
    '02 Subaru WRX Wagon with STI springs, bigger sway bars

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by e34.535i.sport View Post
    Asking for a friend: Car - BMW e46 Auto...

    Last couple of days it's developed a loud ticking noise fron the enigine... It's definitely relative to engine speed I.e. If you rev it the tick gets faster...

    First thing I thought of this morning when I heard it was injectors... However it's not like my injector ticking as it sounds like only one is doing it (all of mie tick so it sounds regular)... There's no other effects in terms of drivability etc either, just a noise.

    Maybe a lifter? (Not very knowledgeable about this to be honest)

    Any other Ideas? I don't think there's been any work done lately but can get more info if needed - please just ask!
    Is it slow ticking (about once a second) or is it fast ticking (twice a second)?

    Listen very carefully, is the tick in time with the engine firing over or is it out of synch with the running noise?

    As a rule of thumb a fast ticking is crank speed, a slower ticking about once a second is a cam related tick.

    Very fast ticking is an auxillary device - as these tend to run at 2-3 times the speed of the crank.

    A stethoscopes a good idea, however a more practical piece of kit is a meter of garden hose. Ram one end in an ear, go hunting with the other end (helps if you stick a finger in the free ear here :P ) makes it very easy to locate the source of the noise as it picks up noise extremely directionally!

    It's very possible the vanos has gone ****up, as the E46 is extremely prone to throwing it. However, think simple things first - when I first picked up my 540 it was making a loud ticking noise at idle - turned out one of the spark plugs had backed themselves out.

    Check for exhuast leaks, some of the cars around this era were fitted with flexi pipes, though I think it may have only been V8s on the E39s fitted. Still - leaks close to the manifold will show as a ticking noise.

    Find out where it's coming from with a piece of garden hose and we'll try and guide it from there

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferret View Post
    a practical piece of kit is a meter of garden hose. Ram one end in an ear
    Reminded me of this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVaeKVSddHA
    May not be relevant but makes me smile

  9. #9
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    Thanks for everything so far, all ideas welcomed. I was planning on using the screwdriver technique tomorrow to get a better idea...

    I only heard it for a short time this morning but if I had to put a number on it I would say twice a second on idle and then it increases with revs.

    I'll try to narrow it down a bit tomorrow and update the info...
    1995 XJR: 4.0L S/charged straight 6 Auto

    What... It's not broken??? I can still fix it

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by e34.535i.sport View Post
    Thanks for everything so far, all ideas welcomed. I was planning on using the screwdriver technique tomorrow to get a better idea...

    I only heard it for a short time this morning but if I had to put a number on it I would say twice a second on idle and then it increases with revs.

    I'll try to narrow it down a bit tomorrow and update the info...
    Hmm, I've just realised something - the ticks/sec are not an accurate measure lol, I'm used to a v8 ticking over at around 500 rpm - an E46 I can imagine being between 8-900 rpm

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