View Full Version : Tapping noise coming from right under my valve cover.
01-29-2005, 01:46:00 AM
I have a 1981 Camaro Z28, with the 350 cu. in. V8, that has been in storage and not driven very much. The car has under 2,600 miles. I have noticed a valve tap noise in the engine, right below the valve cover. It is louder when the engine is cold, but the noise lessens as the engine warms up, but the noise is still there.
I need to find a product that will help get rid of this noise. I can't go to a garage, because the car has no plates. I can't change the oil myself, but it is clean, 10W30 conventional oil, changed a few months ago.
There are many products on the market and the internet. I have been told to try Lucas Oil "Heavy Duty Oil Stabilizer" and their "Fuel Treatment w/Upper Cylinder Lube", "Valvoline SynPower Oil Treatment", "Valvemedic" (I think Gunk makes it, but I'm not sure), etc.
The weather here is cold, so I need a product that will be able to flow well and do the job in the cold, and not hurt my engine.
Any advice anyone?
Thanks in advance!
01-29-2005, 01:54:00 AM
Only 2600 original miles on that car???? thats pretty dang low..
Rather than try to do a quick fix with a "snake oil", it'd be best to investigate the source of the noise and make the necessary repairs/adjustments.
Pull the valve cover and see what things look like. Check that all the pushrods and springs look ok.
Check your valve lash, reset if necessary
Could even be a bad or malfunctioning lifter..
Also, make sure it isnt just an exhaust leak or something of that sort. Sometimes these things can sound similar
01-29-2005, 10:05:00 AM
If the car has truely under 2,600 miles on it, don't put any of that junk oil treatment stuff in it. Give us some more info on the car. Was the car in long term storage, or just started up once in a while. Was the car beat on when it was last driven? Are you sure there is enough oil in it
01-29-2005, 10:14:00 AM
Long periods of storage on a low mileage engine often means a "stuck lifter" when you hear this kind of noise. The good news is that this isn't anything serious. You just have to get it unstuck, and once the engine gets a lot of miles, it shouldn't do this anymore because clearances get looser. Cold weather seems to aggravate these situations because there is condensation in the oil, and the detergents in the oil get saturated with water.
I have always been able to clear stuck lifters like this by adding a product called CD-2 (concentrated oil detergent). It is an oil additive that simply adds more oil detergent to your oil that has lost its detergent cleaning capabilities. I pour the little can into the engine while it is running, and it should clear up the noise in a minute or less if it is a stuck lifter. After that, I drive the car a week or so, and change out the oil with new oil.
This same thing happened to me on my 70SS Camaro back around 1972 when I wasn't driving it much. It sat in the garage a lot at that time, and one time when I started it, I had the clicking lifter. A can of CD-2 and about 30 seconds, and it was gone. That engine is still running strong today without any kind or rebuild or any mechanical work to it.
[This message has been edited by Gary S (edited January 29, 2005).]
01-29-2005, 05:08:00 PM
You might also have something as simple as a exhaust leak right at the manifold/header.
01-30-2005, 01:25:00 AM
The car has been started and run frequently, but not driven on the road in quite awhile.
When it was driven, I never abused it and the engine is stock, with no modifications or tinkering done.
I've checked the oil level and it's O.K.
When I first start it (cold engine),the noise is loud, but then it lessens when the engine warms up, but it still doesn't go away completely, but almost.
I suspect that it's not a mechanical problem, but I need to add something to the oil to help clean any gunk that may have formed.
In case any of you are interested, I have found a just-released, new version of the CD-2 Oil Detergent, called "CD-2 Maxx", it also comes it the yellow bottle with the red cap.
I was also told to try a product called EOS (engine oil supplement) that you get from a GM dealer.
Is anyone familar with EOS?
[This message has been edited by adreed24 (edited January 30, 2005).]
01-30-2005, 06:49:00 PM
I would try to stay away from all kinds of "additives" and just stick to a good brand of motor oil.
Most of the time a small exhaust leak will make noise when its cold but as the engine temp goes up and metal/gaskets expand a bit it will become a little more quiet.
Try having someone hold a some rags over the ends of the exhaust pipes when you cank the car for the first time that day (so its cold)to build up backpressure...If there is a leak it will be much more easy to hear and it will also try to push out where ever its leaking from much harder so you can tell where the leak is.
Now if you have a lifter that is stuck and ticking here is a trick that has worked for me on many old cars that have sat for a few years... Try adding one quart of dextron mercon III auto trans fluid to your oil and then crank the car and bring to full temp while at idle (no need to drive the car)...Then drain the oil and filter and then do a oil change with a good name oil such as mobil, castrol etc.
The reason the trans fluid works is its full of detergent that will help clean out the crud built up in the engine and at the same time not harm the bearings such as some motor flush's will.
[This message has been edited by Blown72Camaro (edited January 30, 2005).]