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when my 1.8 ts had the same knocking noise i had to change the engine,connecting rod bearing inserts went on mine on the way home on motorway and it had the same noise
 

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Fear not! All maybe ok with your engine. I've heard this noise before and it was the alternator clutch pulley. To confirm: remove the aux belt and run the engine. If the noise has gone your engine has life in it yet.

Mind you, it's no fun changing the pulley!
 

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I think dgmayhead is right. It doesn't sound very big-end to me, it's too fast for normal tickover engine speed, and you normally first hear big ends on the overrun. By the time they become loud at tickover there's no oil pressure and the engine is wrecked.
 

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sounds too fast and high pitched for big ends, if its not the alt clutch pulley i would check the top end and the camshafts and followers...
 

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Sounds like a seizing follower or something on the top end. Can't imagine you'd hear the alternator from the camera position. If it's the same with the belt off, I'd take rocker cover off and have a look in case a bearing cap is loose or something, especially if it's had timing belt recently as you have to remove caps on both cams to lock it.
 
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