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Old 04-24-2009, 09:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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1995 Dodge Dakota 4x4 3.9 Liter V6 MAGNUM engine tick...

I have this problem with my truck, and it, like a lot of other trucks that are the same engine type, has a tick in the engine, but mine is BAD. Now it doesn't happen if the truck hasn't been run in like 10+ hours, but when it warms up, the tick is LOUD.

Anyone know what the fix might be? Any help would be great especially since I have tried many diff. things and have had many different responses from different mechanics, and no idea has worked in fixing this problem yet.

I have tried unplugging each of the 6 fuel injectors one by one and seeing if they tick(which they don't), I have tried taking the serpentine belt off and its not any of the pully's or the belt, and it doesn't seem to be an exhaust leak either. Thanks for any help and ideas any of you may have.
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Check valve lifter clearance. maybe a collapsed lifter.
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Old 04-25-2009, 10:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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But it only ticks when you have the engine warmed up and doesn't do it for instance when you start it in the morning without it running all night. You think the heat can collapse the lifter and make it tick like it does? Also I just want to add that, when it's ticking, the ticking stops once the engine gets to a certain RPM but at idle the ticking is horrible....sounds like 6 spraypaint cans rattling around under my hood, LOL.
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Old 04-26-2009, 06:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Get an engine stethoscope and see if you can pinpoint where it's coming from. It may indeed be a lifter. Once the oil thins out, the lifter collapses. Is it skipping?
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:49 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Once the oil warms up and gets thinner, the lifter will not inflate as much and cause more valve backlash. (ie; the tick that you hear)
Often the fix for this is to take the valve rockers off and check for wear (replace if worn), examine the push rod to see if it is not wholey or partially clogged (if it is, clean it out or replace it.) Fill the rod with oil and use a air hose and blow the oil back into the lifter to inflate it. Reassemble and start it up, leaving the valve cover off. Watch to see that there is oil pumping through all the rods and then adjust rocker tension to spec.
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Old 04-30-2009, 09:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I replied to this last night but it didn't post for some reason. But anyways...

"Smallengineguy - Get an engine stethoscope and see if you can pinpoint where it's coming from. It may indeed be a lifter. Once the oil thins out, the lifter collapses. Is it skipping?"

My mechanic had tried a stethoscope months ago and couldn't find the tick. Also, it isn't skipping but it does have an idling problem. It's supposed to idle at 700 RPM's but most of the time only idles at 400 sometimes even down to 200, so the gauge says. I have tried fixing that problem as well, by replacing the PCV valve, testing hoses for leaks by using carb cleaner spray on the hoses when the engines running to see if it stalls, and by replacing the ICU and none of that fixed that problem.


"RJ Gleason - Once the oil warms up and gets thinner, the lifter will not inflate as much and cause more valve backlash. (ie; the tick that you hear)
Often the fix for this is to take the valve rockers off and check for wear (replace if worn), examine the push rod to see if it is not wholey or partially clogged (if it is, clean it out or replace it.) Fill the rod with oil and use a air hose and blow the oil back into the lifter to inflate it. Reassemble and start it up, leaving the valve cover off. Watch to see that there is oil pumping through all the rods and then adjust rocker tension to spec."


The thing is, this ticking started a couple hours after I changed my water pump, the October before last. It is not the water pump or any pulley's since I had run my engine for 15 - 20 seconds w/out the serpentine belt on, and it still ticked. That same day I also replaced the distributor cap and rotor. Think I should replace the cap and rotor again to see if that itself is ticking, or is that very unlikely? I ask because I heard that, once the cap and rotor get heated up, if there's a crack or any problem with either, it can make a tick like that. I had gotten a quote for new rockers last year and to replace all of them on my engine, just for the cost of the rockers themselves, would be about $76. I just want to make sure it is not anything else before I go replacing them. If it is the rockers ticking, it would cost in engine performance too wouldn't it? I would guess that it wouldn't allow to let the valve or valves open and close correctly causing flow problems and hindering performance, correct? Thanks for all the help so far guys, have a good night.
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd be tempted to redo your water pump install... For all you know, you got a bad water pump that is making a ticking noise or the impeller is hitting something.
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Old 05-01-2009, 11:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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You should only have to replace any worn ones.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"RJ Gleason You should only have to replace any worn ones. "

So can you buy them piece by piece, or do you have to buy all 12 and replace them one by one?

"JheLrey I'd be tempted to redo your water pump install... For all you know, you got a bad water pump that is making a ticking noise or the impeller is hitting something. "

Like I had said in the response to RJ, "It is not the water pump or any pulley's since I had run my engine for 15 - 20 seconds w/out the serpentine belt on, and it still ticked." See my water pump and clutch fan (since the clutch fan is connected to the water pump), air conditioning unit,and power steering pump are all run by the serpentine belt. When I had taken by belt off and run my engine for around 15 seconds, I know it is not the water pump because it wasn't moving when the engine is running since I had the serpentine belt off. Almost impossible for the water pump, pulley's, A/C unit, or even the power steering pump to make noise when they are not even moving. Also, the impeller is solidly mounted inside the water pump so that it doesn't move unless the water pump is moving because the serpentine belt is mounted and moving which it wasn't during the "tick test" I will call it. Thanks for the response Cartman, , but no, it is definitely not the water pump that is ticking or faulty in any way especially since it had been inspected after I had installed it by a certified master mechanic.

Thanks for the help so far guys
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You can buy them individually and replace only as needed.
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Old 05-01-2009, 09:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It was suggested since there was no tick before, and now mysteriously there is. I did not read it clearly... It's one of those have to see its...
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Old 05-02-2009, 01:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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"RJ Gleason - You can buy them individually and replace only as needed."

Ok, thanks, I will have to check it out.


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"JheLrey - It was suggested since there was no tick before, and now mysteriously there is. I did not read it clearly... It's one of those have to see its... "

That's ok, thanks anyways. Yea if you ever want to go check one out, they are a dime a dozen and most are still running...hell mine has 205,000 miles on it and is still kick'n. Original engine, tranny, frame, and body& paint and I get compliments on it's looks all the time.

Well anyways, thanks for the help guys .
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Old 05-02-2009, 06:03 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It's almost definitely a lifter. You might be able t otell by doing a compression test once the engine is warmed up. One cylinder will be pretty different from the others, that's the one to start looking into. Do the test both hot and cold.
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