Lifter noise after warmup - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 8 Old 02-09-13 Thread Starter
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Lifter noise after warmup

Hello guys, I am new to this forum and Alfa engines as well.
I'm racing in spec series called Formula Alfa in Georgia. These are single seater slicks and wings cars with 2 liter TS engine. Problem is that my car started to make very loud lifter noise. Once started cold the engine sounds very smooth and nice but after 2-3 minutes or so it starts to make lifter ticking noise which becomes louder and louder as the engine warms up. After I drive it for a while at mid RPMs the noise goes away and it is not audible even at idle.

I use Elf competition synthetic oil 5w50
I also have a mechanical oil pressure gauge and pressure is good, around 2 bar at idle with warm engine and at mid RPMs it already hits 6-7 bar.

Common answer would be that oil is getting thinner but the engine started to make noise instantaneously. One day I started it up and it started to make noise after warmup
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are these standard TS engines, or do they have exotic cams? variator still in place?

check for excessive play in the hydraulic tappets, could be one is leaking too much oil. it'll wear out the cam lobes if left like this. if the tappet feels soft if you push on it with your finger it's no good anymore.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 8 Old 03-09-13 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuore_Sportivo_155 View Post
are these standard TS engines, or do they have exotic cams? variator still in place?

check for excessive play in the hydraulic tappets, could be one is leaking too much oil. it'll wear out the cam lobes if left like this. if the tappet feels soft if you push on it with your finger it's no good anymore.
Thanks for the reply. Engines are completely stock, no modifications allowed. Variator is also in place, but is there a way to get rid of that thing completely and set the cam for top end power?

Last edited by beqa16v; 03-09-13 at 07:05.
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yes, but you'll loose mid and low end power.

feed a constant 12v to the solenoid (easiest way, you could wire in a switch aswell) or set the cam manually (advanced) and disconnect the variator.

it'll run badly at tickover though.

I'd leave the variator as is and play with the exhaust cam timing to create more valve overlap
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(Post Link) post #5 of 8 Old 03-09-13 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuore_Sportivo_155 View Post
yes, but you'll loose mid and low end power.

feed a constant 12v to the solenoid (easiest way, you could wire in a switch aswell) or set the cam manually (advanced) and disconnect the variator.

it'll run badly at tickover though.

I'd leave the variator as is and play with the exhaust cam timing to create more valve overlap
Thanks a lot. Looks like I have to check the variator as well. When I started the car last week it did not make any ticking sound at all, this week it was back.
One important observation is that the sound is coming from the exhaust side of the engine, it feels like the exhaust itself is ticking. The engine is installed longitudinally in a formula car so I have the possibility to listen from both sides.
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isn't it a leak from the exhaust manifold in that case? sounds exactly like ticking (check especially if the flange isn't warped)
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(Post Link) post #7 of 8 Old 04-09-13 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuore_Sportivo_155 View Post
isn't it a leak from the exhaust manifold in that case? sounds exactly like ticking (check especially if the flange isn't warped)
Engines have custom performance catless exhaust and manifolds. I was thinking that the exhaust had this metalic sound because exhaust valve tappet ticking was resonated by the exhaust manifold. Have to check everything now
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(Post Link) post #8 of 8 Old 06-09-13 Thread Starter
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OK, removed the header yesterday and started the car without it - no lifter sound (the exhaust is without silencers so there was not much difference in loudness). Then we put the header back on, tightened all bolts properly and started it agan - no ticking again. I was happy!

The only concern is that when we removed the header and started the car the RPMs never dropped below 1500-1400 which could result in higher oil pressure and silence the lifter if was indeed a lifter noise. For now, however, I am happy. I will report back if there are any updates.
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