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2.9L & 3.0L V6 Tech General discussion of 2.9L and 3.0L V6 Ford Ranger engines.

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Old 04-20-2017
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Ticking.

Just recently, my engine began making what I can only describe as 'ticking', when warm and when cold. Appears to be louder when warm but I could be wrong on that.

3.0 V6 Vulcan, 1999, automatic transmission.

Hoping it's not the cam synchro.
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Old 04-20-2017
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What part of the engine does it sound like it's coming from ?
Maybe a video might help _ ticking isn't much to go on.
If it was the cam synchro, that usually makes a chirpy dry sleeve bearing sound.
At any rate, the cam synchro is easy to deal with anyway.

Maybe a noisy lifter has developed ?
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Old 04-20-2017
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I'll take it out tomorrow and capture a video.

The sound of the cam synchro going bad was described to me as it sounding like a nest of baby birds under the hood.

I don't think its the synchro, but I'm glad I have enough spare cash on tap for one if I need it.

Oil is half way up the cross thatched area, nice and clean. Has only been in the engine for 2,000 miles. 5-30 penzoil, conventional.

I always run it until it's warm and then some, doing my best to avoid short trips whenever possible.

Motorcraft/autolite copper spark plugs, new with new wires. New air filter, too.

Only engine light I have is for the EVAP system, as I have it plugged off due to a faulty valve killing my gas mileage.

....not sure how much help that info is but, the more the better, right?
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Old 04-20-2017
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Lifters can fail even if the oil is changed regularly, but it's unlikely they do fail.
I just couldn't think of anything else at this time.

Any leaks in the exhaust manifolds ?
I ask because if the gasket has failed the sound can imitate a ticking lifter.
This happened on a car that someone I knew, she was driving her self crazy trying to adjust the lash on her lifters as she though that is where the ticking sound was coming from, in her case her car did not have hydraulic lifters.
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Old 04-20-2017
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No, no leaks coming down on the manifold. Only oil 'leak' (more damp than anything) I have is at the oil drain plug, but that's because I need to replace the gasket on my next oil change.
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Old 04-20-2017
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We'll wait for the video then.
What about your idler pulleys ?

Remove the serpentine belt and run with out it for a few seconds just to see if the ticking goes away.
Don't run it for more then a minute since you won't have any water pump.

Last edited by Jeff R 1; 04-20-2017 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 04-20-2017
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Idler pulley and bearing were inspected not too long ago due to another (solved) sound issue. Bearing and pulley checked out O.K.

I doubt it went bad already (Was replaced upon purchase of truck) but I'll give it a look before I heat the engine up on my test drive.
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Old 04-21-2017
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If you remove the belt and the ticking stops, then somethin other then the idler pulleys is causing the sound.
Alternator, power steering pump, water pump, clutch fan and air conditioning.
It's unlikely that any of those things cause a ticking sound, but then removing the belt is relatively easy and it eliminates allot things that may cause a ticking sound.
It's hard to say at this point.

All that stuff on the front of the engine also makes allot of noise, by taking that away, it may make it easier to pin point the ticking sound.

Last edited by Jeff R 1; 04-21-2017 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 04-21-2017
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True. I'm going to head downstairs and begin the search.
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Old 04-21-2017
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Well, my Ranger is making a giant liar out of me. For half an hour I tried to make it reproduce the noise, with little success. I think I may have caught it, but I'm unsure. I'll have to listen to the footage.

EDIT: Aha! Caught it! It's faint, but it's there. It's a rythmic 'tick tick tick tick tick'. Seems to be heard best when standing where I am in the very first part. Although not seen here, I used a stethoscope on the camshaft synchro and I couldn't hear any noise at all coming from it. So I don't believe that's the issue.


Last edited by TheArcticWolf1911; 04-21-2017 at 08:41 AM.
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Old 04-21-2017
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What I'm hearing in the video when you rev it is what sounds like a dry bearing making an odd noise now and then _ sounds like a cricket.

You're juts going to have to wait until it becomes more pronounced again I guess.
Very frustrating that's for sure.

You can rev it from inside the engine bay, just reach up where the accelerator pedal cable hooks onto the throttle body valve under the plastic cover.
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Old 04-21-2017
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I've done that method before, but I found it was easier to hear the noise when I was not in the engine bay, otherwise I would have.

I'll keep an ear out, and if I get a chance for when it's real loud, I'll pull my camera out and get some more audio.

I'll also toss this out there, I'm not finding any symptoms other than the noise. No loss of power, no starting issues, no idling issues, etc.
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Old 04-21-2017
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Wait until engine is stone COLD
Get a longer hose, large vacuum or small heater hose size, for stethoscope

Unhook fan belt so fan can't turn, also no alternator or water pump, you can run engine 2 minutes this way with no problems
And it will be quiet

Start engine and get to listening
Fuel injectors tick
Synchro squeals
lifters tick

And could also be a bearing in one of the accessories, i.e. alternator, tensioner or idler pulleys, which will be off at this time
So if noise is gone then hook up fan belt, start engine and check for bearing noise
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Old 04-21-2017
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Exactly what Ron is talking about.
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Old 04-21-2017
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OK, I'll check that out tomorrow after the engine has sat over night. For christmas I did get an actual mechanics stethoscope. Thanks for the help so far, hopefully it turns out to be something inconsequential.
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Old 04-22-2017
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3 or 4 cold starts later and I cannot get the engine to tick when cold. I either need to retract my earlier statement or this engine is making a liar out of me.

Even when it does tick, I'm unable to pin point it. I have noticed that it's the easiest to hear under the truck, and can barely be heard when your head is in the engine bay. Can't hear the ticking when I probe the rocker covers nor the camshaft Synchro, alternator, power steering, etc.

Is it possible it could have anything to do with the timing chain/sprockets?
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Old 04-22-2017
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You and I have the exact same engine, even the same year.
My engine is still in a million pieces and I have become very familiar with it and know the timing chain.
It involves no tensioners that would allow the chain to come lose and make noise.
It's such a simple arrangement that ticking sounds like that don't intermittently come from the timing chain, it will make noise all the time or not at all.

Did you slip off the fan belt as Ron suggested _ only takes a second _ you don't have to remove it as per my earlier suggestion ?

For now I'm going to stick to my lifter theory _ a tiny bit of carbon may have got into one of them causing the noise.
If that's the case it probably dislodged itself and now the ticking is almost gone _ or so faint you can barely hear it.

Also with the fan belt off, you can physically turn the various pulleys by hand to see if the bearing are OK, that and see how much play are in things.
And when I say things, I mean the clutch fan, alternator, etc, anything that moves on the front of the engine that the fan belt drives.

You also say you can hear it better under the truck _ I'm guessing it's on a concrete floor which reflects sound better so the ticking is more easily heard there.
Maybe try putting you probe one the oil pan ???

I've got nothing else, if I think of something. I'll let you know.

Last edited by Jeff R 1; 04-22-2017 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 04-23-2017
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Yes, I did slip the belt off when cold but was unable to figure out the noise.

Haven't thought about probing the oil pan, and yes it is a concrete floor. After I shoot some paint on the bumper I'll feel the bearings while it dries.

Thanks for all your help. I'll report back later tonight.
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Old 04-23-2017
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Did you stick your stethoscope on your fuel rail? On my truck the injector on the passenger side closest to the firewall is pretty noisy. Eventually I plan to replace it.
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Old 04-23-2017
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Yes, +1 on Ford fuel injectors, noisy things

Also check starter motor, gear may not be pulling back all the way so you get a "tick" when first starting as it gets pushed back by ring gear, which would be louder under the truck
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Old 04-23-2017
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I did probe the fuel injectors. I hear 'em ticking, but it's not the same tick. Different 'note' for want of a better word.

Planned on feeling some bearings, but my project took much longer than anticipated.

I suppose my choice of oil weight wouldn't have anything to do with it? Owners manual calls for 5w-30, which is what I pour in. Haven't heard of a TSB which applies to my year and engine.
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