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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, first post on this forum. I've also posted this on volvoforums.org.uk

I have an engine noise and I'm hoping its the tappets although I'm not quite sure and I'm worried its something a little more serious. I've adjusted the tappets using a click adjust so all should be good on the clearance front. Saying this though I will go over them again to see if that makes a difference. I'm also going to try the ground down feeler gauge option that caters for wear at the point where the valve meets the rocker arm.

I've posted a short vid on the tube so that you can have a listen. To me the sound has more of a donk the a light tap and hence the worry. I've also done a longer round trip of 100 miles on Sunday whereas I usually potter 5 miles back and forth to work. Maybe this longer trip has uncovered an issue with the engine.

http://youtu.be/siAvoQtfqYg

Any help is much appreciated.

Cheers

Tony
 

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There may be something else going on, but from what I heard it could be an exhaust leak (ex manifold)?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Welcome to Swedespeed, Tony.

My guess is a flat cam lobe on #3 exhaust.

George Dill
Cheers George

I've set the valve clearances so would that eliminate the flat lobe as the noise is still there?

When I started the car this morning initially it sounded ok for the first ten seconds or so and then the noise you can hear in the video came back and stayed although slightly better when colder. I'll see if its the same tomorrow when I start it first thing in the morning. It seem to start, run and pull ok in all honesty.

I've just read another thread on here about timing gears and rod bearing causing a similar noise, any ideas?

Thanks again

Tony
 

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Valve adjustment is done when the high point of the cam lobe is not acting on the pushrod.

Closely inspect each valve spring for a hidden fissure.

If the B20 has a fiber cam timing gear it (the gear) may have a chunk missing and/or have a separation at the steel insert.

During hot idle with the noise going strong place your finger against the PCV valve to determine if the ticky-ticky is the valve.

Look at all four spark plugs - any with "bad" deposits?

A rod bearing can make such a noise but it would usually not be quiet at cold start.

Do you have the history on this B20?

George Dill
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the replies

George:
Yep that does make sense now regarding the valve clearance is set not at the high point of the lobe, don't know what I was thinking there to be honest.

I've had a look at the valve springs this evening and I can't see anything obvious.

The noise did not seem to get any louder when taking the oil filler cap out.

The PCV valve does not seem to be making any noise.

All plugs taken out and they all look the same with a light brown colour.

I used a hollow pipe to listen around the engine and it was quite difficult to pinpoint anything particular as it does not seem to be the quietest of engines. Saying that though I could hear a ticking placing the pipe on the timing gear cover although it does not appear to be the same sound that I am looking for. Would you expect a sound like I have from these gears and how easy is it to check.

As far as history goes - I've had the car for about 18 months and serviced it twice. This noise could have been there for a while but maybe not as prominent and hidden by the tappety nature of the engine. After my recent long trip maybe whatever was worn has just got worse in that short space of time. There was not a huge amount of service history with the car but it appears to have been looked after. It starts and goes well although I would like it to be a bit quicker, maybe now it the time!

I do feel that the noise seems to be more on the left of the engine while looking at it from the front.

I've not checked for an exhaust manifold leak yet but the sound seems to have a metallic noise that may not come across in the video clip.

Thanks again for the replies, its a great help as I need to get this sorted as its my daily driver and I'm worried that I may be doing more damage.

Cheers

Tony
 

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When did the noise start; was it suddenly or gradual?
What did you do, if any, previous to the noise starting?
Are there any changes in the noise between idling and driving?
Do you have a mechanic's stethoscope? If not, get one as they're inexpensive and a great tool for locating noises such as the one you have now.
From your video it looks like the engine isn't shaking and is idling evenly; is that so?
I've listened to the vid a few times now, and from the top it sounds like an exhaust leak, but from the bottom it definitely sounds metalic, so there could be more than one issue here.
Get yourself a stethoscope and start probing around and note when and ware any unusual noises show up and report back. :thumbup:

Oops, we crossed posts ... but a stethoscope is better than a pipe, so I suggest you get one and try again.
 

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Do you know if the fiber timing gear has ever been replaced? If it has not, that would be a #1 guess.
A flat cam lobe can be detected by measuring valve lift.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
John2x240:

When did the noise start; was it suddenly or gradual?
I think it has been gradual but definitely worse after 100mile trip at the weekend following higher sustained speed on the motorway.

What did you do, if any, previous to the noise starting?
I've been carrying out a gearbox/od install. I've gone from an M40 to an M410 and all is working fine apart from a little gearbox noise but I expected that to be honest.

Are there any changes in the noise between idling and driving?
I don't think there is although it is more noticeable when driving with increased rpm. I does not alter under load. Would that rule out a rod bearing. I also think the it does fade but only now and again and for a very short period.

Do you have a mechanic's stethoscope? If not, get one as they're inexpensive and a great tool for locating noises such as the one you have now.
Picked one up lunchtime for £5 and going to have a play tonight!

From your video it looks like the engine isn't shaking and is idling evenly; is that so?
Correct, the engine runs fine to be honest and does not shake at all really.

I've listened to the vid a few times now, and from the top it sounds like an exhaust leak, but from the bottom it definitely sounds metalic, so there could be more than one issue here.
I'll try and see if there is an exhaust leak and sort that out if there is one. Yes I agree, its not the quietest engine so there could well be a variety of things going on. I have taken a bit more video with the sound while driving so I'll try and get that online to see if that can help.

Get yourself a stethoscope and start probing around and note when and ware any unusual noises show up and report back.
I'll update this evening after I've had another look.

Walrus3:
Do you know if the fiber timing gear has ever been replaced? If it has not, that would be a #1 guess.
I'm not sure to be honest but I did hear a bit of ticking last night after listening through a piece of copper pipe held on the timing cover. I've picked up a stethoscope now so I'll have another listed tonight. I'll also have a look through the receipts that came with the car but I suspect not.

A flat cam lobe can be detected by measuring valve lift.
I did a check last night to see if all valves opened by a descent amount, they all did so I'm thinking that rules out the flat cam lobe.

Further information about the engine:
It seems to pull fine, does not use a lot of oil, temperature is good, starts fine. It has puffed a bit of smoke a couple of times before when hot and going down a long steep hill off the throttle. Would I be right in thinking that this would be the valve stem seals/guides?

Fantastic help with this guys, I really do appreciate it!!!

Cheers

Tony
 

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The front and bottom of the oil pan look very clean - owner upkeep?

On this 140 with no AC the timing gears can be easily replaced (please pull the radiator).

New fiber gear sets are still inexpensive if you buy generic.

If you plan to change out the timing gears consider a new water pump with new seals, new belts and new thermostat/seal (unless said items are known recent).

Sump gasket replacement can be a pain but makes the timing gears swap much cleaner as no sealant is needed where the timing gear cover meets the oil pan gasket.

George Dill
 

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Hi Tony,

This is my first post here as well, although I have been lurking around for quite some time.

Your thread caught my attention because it reminds me of myself about 2-3 months ago. Don't be scared, but I just dropped my B20 block off at the machine shop yesterday.

I'll explain my whole story in another thread, but it started with a noise (which it had since I purchased the car with 165k miles) which I assumed was the timing gear.

When I pulled my timing cover off (engine still in the car) my timing gear did not look bad at all, but there was way too much axial movement of the camshaft/gear. My engine did not idle as smooth as yours either which probably exaggerated the noise.

What I found after taking the engine out was that the brass retaining plate for the camshaft was worn down significantly and allowing this excessive movement, and the noised was most likely caused from this.

Here is a picture of the brass plate.



There are some great guys on this forum, thanks to them for all of their help.
 

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Tony, to test for a bad bottom end: get the car up to a decent speed (40/50 kliks ... yeah, we have that too now in Canuckistan :rolleyes: ) give her a bit of gas then quickly lift off and listen for noises as you go from acceleration to deceleration. If you get a deep thumb from the engine it's probably the main bearings, if you get a sharp knock but not so heavy it's probably the rod bearings, and if you get a higher pitch rapping it's probably the wrist pins. If you don't get any of these noises your problem is elsewhere.

And the Old Fart just had another thought ... is your exhaust system hitting anything? That'll give a metallic knock. Oh yeah, a loose camshaft as your buddy mentioned is another good thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A quick update...

I tried out my new stethoscope this evening and quite frankly it scared the life out of me as the whole engine seems to be making a noise. I have not been able to pinpoint one part in particular to be honest that is making more noise although I am still drawn to thinking the noise is loudest kind of under the manifolds, not sure if that means anything significant. The timing gears do make some noise but they do not seem to be that loud so I'm not convinced they are the problem at the minute. I'm going to upload another video of the engine running while moving to different parts just in case that helps.

George:
I changed the sump gasket when I did a recent gearbox swap hence the clean painted sump.
That's good to know that its not too much of a pain to get at the timing gears and like you said once you're in there its a good time to do the water pump etc.

True142:
Don't worry and then you tell me that your block is in the machine shop :)
I'm interested to find out exactly what you found with yours. Do you know if your noise was at all like the one in the video link that I posted? I'm hoping the whole motor does not have to come apart to be honest at the moment.
Do you think mine could have play in the camshaft as you had with yours?

Cheers

Tony
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Tony, to test for a bad bottom end: get the car up to a decent speed (40/50 kliks ... yeah, we have that too now in Canuckistan :rolleyes: ) give her a bit of gas then quickly lift off and listen for noises as you go from acceleration to deceleration. If you get a deep thumb from the engine it's probably the main bearings, if you get a sharp knock but not so heavy it's probably the rod bearings, and if you get a higher pitch rapping it's probably the wrist pins. If you don't get any of these noises your problem is elsewhere.

And the Old Fart just had another thought ... is your exhaust system hitting anything? That'll give a metallic knock. Oh yeah, a loose camshaft as your buddy mentioned is another good thought.
Thanks John, I was writing my post and you beat me to it!! I'll have a go at that test tomorrow. Its looking like the only way to tackle this is to get into the timing cover and start digging. If I don't find anything then maybe the motor will have to come out for a strip down to see whats what. I've only just got the bugger back on the road!!! If it does have to come out I may have to look at what fairly economical tuning options are available I think :)

Cheers

Tony
 

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A worn cam retaining/thrust plate causes a rhythmic thumping sound that's worst at idle, and reduces or goes away entirely as RPMs increase.

A timing gear separating from its hub can make all sorts of weird noises, but typically not rhythmic.

Take a small mirror and a flashlight and take a look under the exhaust manifold. If the paint is burning off the block down there, you have a leak at the manifold gasket. That can make quite a bit of rhythmic noise.

Cam lobes going flat don't usually make any noise at all.
 

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Let's vote - I'm with Phil Singher on the exhaust manifold leak.

But...

why no mention of a tiny fissure in the headgasket?

George Dill
 

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It sounds like it could come from a single cylinder, so it could be an exhaust gasket leak as Phil suggests. When I bought my 144, it had an exhaust leak on the exhaust header pipe, in the weld between the flange to the exhaust manifold and the pipe itself. You can easily feel this leak with your bare hands, but it's safer to do it on a cold engine.
If your engine burns oil, why don't you mentally start preparing yourself for a complete rebuild?
 

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Lets see now. Let's all make additions to the following to see what we could come up with:
- go around the engine compartment with the stethsocope again, several times if necessary, to try to get really familiar with all the noises
- an exhaust leak can imitate a mechanical knock
- it could be a bad tappet, but you would have found that when you adjusted the valve train
- a loose/worn mechanical fuel pump could be the culprit, but that would negatively effect fuel delivery and pressure
- it could be piston slap, but that should go away when the engine warms up (but a compression test wouldn't hurt)
- something loose that gives a rythmic (sp?) noise
Anyone else? This kind of problem is a bugger to track down when you're not there in person. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks everyone. I've had a busy weekend so I've not had chance to have a further look into this problem. I've now printed out your replies (very grateful for those) and I'm going to start working through them tomorrow evening. So thanks again and hopefully I'll be keeping you posted tomorrow.

Cheers

Tony
 
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