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Old 03-20-2023, 05:23 AM   #1
Piet
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Default engine ticking

Hi,

I hear my roadster's engine ticking.
if the spark lever is up, the engine ticks less or not at all. When the sparklever is down I hear the engine ticking quite loudly.
Anyone have an idea what this could be?

I timed the engine, new spark plugs and points. But I can't get the engine to run very well either.



https://youtu.be/8-1CrNZZbBU



Thank you for the assistance!!

Last edited by Piet; 03-28-2023 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 03-20-2023, 05:45 AM   #2
Marshall V. Daut
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Default Re: engine ticking

Exhaust manifold gasket leak comes to mind first. A tapping would be a lifter adjustment. You wrote "ticking". Classic blown exhaust manifold gasket sound.
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Old 03-20-2023, 05:47 AM   #3
Piet
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Default Re: engine ticking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marshall V. Daut View Post
Exhaust manifold gasket leak comes to mind first. A tapping would be a lifter adjustment. You wrote "ticking". Classic blown exhaust manifold gasket sound.
Marshall
Thanks!
it's not unfortunately. It's really in the engine...
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Old 03-20-2023, 06:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: engine ticking

What oil are you using? Amsoil 20/50 may be the best or any 20/50 with zinc.
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Old 03-20-2023, 07:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: engine ticking

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Originally Posted by meteorgray View Post
What oil are you using? Amsoil 20/50 may be the best or any 20/50 with zinc.
Also some Marvel Mystery Oil in the gas. Helps with the valves.
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Old 03-20-2023, 06:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: engine ticking

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Do this: Use the manual throttle on the steering wheel column to set the engine rpm to a fast idle. Now move the spark lever up until the engine rpm just falls off a bit. Now move it down one click. That spark lever position or one click up is where you should be driving. See if you click goes away and performance is improved.

This position is called the knee in the spark ignition curve. It is where advancing the ignition will not improve performance but retarding the ignition will hurt. The knee actually is different for different driving conditions. A little more retarded for heavy loads at low rpm and a little more advanced for light loads at high rpm. Experiment and remember where the lever is set under different driving conditions.

Now, if that does not solve your problems, adjust the valves. The tappet clearance will be different for different cams but a good starting point is 0.012 inch for all valves.

If the ticking goes away under load or idling, you may have loose rod bearings. If that is the case then you will have to pull the pan to measure and adjust the bearings as needed.

It is normal for a Model A engine to have more engine noises than a modern engine. Have another Model A owner listen to your engine. It can also be a worn cam gear or any number of other things.

One idea is to record the sound using your iPhone and then play it back at 1/4 speed. Gear noises clearly sound like gears at low playback speed. You can also publish the recording and have a link to it so that people on the Barn can listen.
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Last edited by nkaminar; 03-20-2023 at 06:50 AM.
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Old 03-20-2023, 02:02 PM   #7
Oldbluoval
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Default Re: engine ticking

Distributor??
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Old 03-22-2023, 09:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: engine ticking

Worth checking the valve lash as just routine maintenance (assuning you have adjustable lifters). One or more maladjusted lifters (especially to little lash) will result in a rough idle that cannot be cured by other means.
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Old 03-27-2023, 09:46 AM   #9
Piet
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Default Re: engine ticking

thanks for the answers!

It took a while but it worked. Below is a link, video of the engine running.

https://youtu.be/8-1CrNZZbBU
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Old 03-27-2023, 11:02 AM   #10
Jim Brierley
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Default Re: engine ticking

I had a B engine once that ticked on a funny routine, it would get louder, then quiet down, and repeat. It turned out to be a worn tappet hole, oversized tappets cured the problem.

If it doesn't get worse, don't worry about it.
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Old 03-27-2023, 12:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: engine ticking

Play back the video at 1/4 speed. It sounds like there are two things going on. It sounds like there is some gear noise when the ignition is retarded or in a normal position. Check the gear for the camshaft by removing the side cover. When the ignition is advanced by pushing on the lever on the distributor, you are getting knocking. This can be very bad for the engine, leading to rod bearing failure. Find the knee in the ignition curve, see post #5, and run the ignition there or one notch retarded (up).

Jim has some good ideas. Take the cover off the valve area and check for loose valves or lifters and while you are in there check the valve clearances. The valves and lifters should have to perceptible side movement.

A simple way to check the valve clearance is to use the rule of 9. This means that if number 1 valve is up, check number 8, and if number 2 is up, check number 7, and if number 3 is up, check number 6, etc. In each case the numbers of the valves add up to 9. To check number 1, 8 would be up, etc.
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A is for apple, green as the sky.
Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
Driving's a blast, a blast from the past.

Last edited by nkaminar; 03-27-2023 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 03-28-2023, 08:08 AM   #12
Piet
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Default Re: engine ticking

Too bad!
I don't have adjustable tappets...

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Old 03-28-2023, 10:08 AM   #13
Bob Bidonde
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Default Re: engine ticking

That ticking sounds like ignition knock. Does your engine have a hi-compression cylinder head? If so, the engine will use less spark advance.
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Old 03-29-2023, 08:48 AM   #14
Joe K
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Default Re: engine ticking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Bidonde View Post
That ticking sounds like ignition knock. Does your engine have a hi-compression cylinder head? If so, the engine will use less spark advance.

Vince Falter at his most excellent site Fordgarage.com has some useful timing description at https://www.fordgarage.com/pages/timingiseverything.htm

One observation of note: the Model A is entirely too "adjustable" in timing. Proper timing position for anything but extreme high speed is about half way down the the sector. The Model B timing is "automatic" but only has built in about the same 60 percent range of the Model A total span.

Plus the Model B compression being a bit higher the "sweet spot" is different.

Nkaminar's "Do this" above (post 5) is a way to "check" the sweet spot. That "bricppt" (points arc sound) when you're there is MOST satisfying to hear.


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Old 03-28-2023, 10:23 AM   #15
Ernie Vitucci
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Default Re: engine ticking

Good Morning...Just a thought...With an engine that original could the problem be warn valve springs with less tension than they should have? Ernie in Arizona
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Old 03-28-2023, 10:32 AM   #16
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Default Re: engine ticking

I had a ticking in my engine and it ended up being damaged teeth on my Cam gear. Replaced the gear and no more ticking. I was able to isolate the source by using a mechanical stethoscope. sound was definitely in the front by the cam gear. None of the teeth were completely gone but about 25 to 50% of the damaged teeth. The car ran fine.
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Old 03-28-2023, 10:34 AM   #17
nkaminar
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Default Re: engine ticking

Piet, You can still measure the valve clearance without adjusting it. That will at least tell you if this is the cause of the noise. If it is, you can ignore it and keep driving or schedule a valve job where you can change to adjustable lifters and modern valves.

Did you try to move the valves/lifters sideways as Jim suggested? Did you look at the cam gear?
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A is for apple, green as the sky.
Step on the gas, for tomorrow I die.
Forget the brakes, they really don't work.
The clutch always sticks, and starts with a jerk.
My car grows red hair, and flies through the air.
Driving's a blast, a blast from the past.
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Old 03-29-2023, 08:15 PM   #18
CT Jack
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Default Re: engine ticking

Try this simple test.
Remove the timing pin from the front cover. Take a 1/4" diameter wood dowel pin approx. 2" long and round off the end. Start your engine, run it at idle speed, and advance it to produce the noise. Slowly insert the wood dowel into the timing hole and move it in enough to rub against the rotating cam gear. If the noise reduces or goes away this is an indication that the cam gear is worn and needs to be replaced.
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