Ticking valvetrain???

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Oct 20, 2002
Okay looking at abuying a little 86 or so V-6 BroncoII......I know not the best little truck to get but the price is unbeatable. It's got about 130K on her and starts right up and purrs like a kitten.Rev the motor and it feels plenty strong.Kinda funny how tight the motor feels. Anyways.It has that ungodly tick in the valves! Not blowing any smoke or anything and runs just great. What are my options on shutting this ticking up!. This truck will be strictly for towing my boat short distances and seeing as it's 4WD and not really costing me anything.The boat and trailer weigh approximitly 3500LBS.No hills in Florida remember and only a few miles to the ramps.
I think those suckers have hydraulic lifters and are notorious for needing replacement with that much mileage. Ever notice that practically every one you see on the road has that sound? If you don't really care that much about the truck and it didn't cost you much, then just turn up the radio. It'll cost more to replace the lifters (assuming it's done at a shop) then what you probably got the truck for!
auto-rx it (2 treatments) then if that doesn't work throw in some 50weight oil and some Lucas oil Stabilizer to at least quiet it down all together. Other than that rebuild it as these V6's are known head gasket blowers and if so, you may have some coolant in your oil. Jason
I'm fairly sure the 86 2.8L V-6 has solid lifters. They all made noise. I would check and verify this, if so, have them adjusted. If they're hydraulic, follow the advise already given for cleaning your engine.
Check the valve clearances before you change to a thicker oil. There is a very good chance that they need adjusted...regardless of whether they are solid or hydraulic lifters. This process, especially if you do it yourself will allow you to make a good determination of your engine cleanliness. You can start buying the AutoRX after you look under the valve covers.
Hello.. I registered on these forums just to reply to this post [Smile] I'm a Bronco II owner, and I love these little trucks. First of all, let's get one thing straight: if this truck IS a 1986, it has the 2.9 V6, unless the owner has changed it to something else. The 2.9 impossible to incorrectly identify, as it actually says "2.9 EFI" in HUGE letters on the intake manifold. This is a chain-driven overhead valve engine with hydraulic lifters, but as an added bonus the valves CAN be adjusted. Anyone who knows the Ford 2.9 will tell you that valvetrain noise is very common in these engines. There is no single certain cause, as it can be anything from worn rockers to a blown oil pump, but the most common causes are: 1) Obstructed oil pump pickup screen. Most 2.9s that I have torn apart have at least some slight buildup on the oil pump pickup, and in worst cases, the pickup tube was filled with buildup and had to be replaced. If you would like to clean the pickup, the engine can be raised a good four inches with wooden blocks, but on 4x4 models you will not get the oil pan off without pulling the engine. Trust me. 2) Worn cam bearings. Although I love this engine, I will admit that it has a horribly designed top-end oiling scheme. Oil is pumped up to the lifters via the cam bearings. If they are worn, they must be replaced, or a thicker oil must be used. 3) Poor oiling design in general. In some cases, the top-end oiling problems can be all but solved by removing the front cover and rotating the camshaft thrust plate by 180 degrees. In its default position, the thrust plate allows too much oil to escape the top-end and flow back down into the pan. Rotating this thrust plate retains adequate oil flow to the timing chain and associated apparatum, and restores proper oil volume and pressure to the top end. Aside from these causes, the 2.9 valvetrain noise issue can sometimes be a complete mystery that is better left unsolved. I know some people who have rebuilt their 2.9s from the ground up, cranked it up, and received a hearty chunk of lifter noise. They then proceeded to drive their engines for another 200k (the 2.9 will last very long if you treat it well) with little to no negative results. Another thing to check for is cracked heads, which are common with the 2.9. Just remove the oil cap and check for any vaseline-looking gunk. If it's there, stay away. Otherwise, flush out your cooling system as soon as you get it home. Despite its two main annoyances, the 2.9 is a good engine with lots of torque (170lb @ 2600rpm) for its size. If you treat it well (this means using SYNTHETIC OIL ONLY. I cannot emphasize on this enough), it's also a VERY reliable engine. Sorry for the length of this post, but I just thought I'd let you know everything that you need to know before you make this purchase.
Despite its two main annoyances, the 2.9 is a good engine with lots of torque (170lb @ 2600rpm) for its size. If you treat it well (this means using SYNTHETIC OIL ONLY. I cannot emphasize on this enough), it's also a VERY reliable engine.
Lot of good info but Please, unless you can qualify this statement as to why you recommend only synth oil, I'd like to interject that it is NOT essential to use a Synth Only oil to have this or any other engine to be VERY reliable. There are many types of oils that will do every bit as good when it comes to wear/ engine protection which are not synth. bob
Well, it is not essential to use only synth oil in this engine. However, Sven Pruet - who probably knows more than anyone else on earth about the ford Cologne V6 engine series - has stated himself that "use of petroleum lubricants in Cologne engines qualifies as ABUSE." The reason being is that these engines have some very tight bearing clearances, and are not very tolerant of sludge buildup, so a good lubricant is essential to long life. If you're interested in Ford Cologne V6 engines (2.5, 2.8, 2.9, and 4.0L V6), his book "Building and Modifying Ford 60-degree V6s" is essential. I would also like to add some minor follow-up information to my previous post. The 2.9 does have some very loud injectors, and the fuel rail has had at least one noise-related recall issued in the vehicle's lifetime. Unless this ticking is VERY loud - say, louder than a snap of your fingers - it could just be the injectors. [ April 12, 2003, 08:28 PM: Message edited by: Manimal ]
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