Engine 2013 Mustang GT (Track Pack) - Coyote Tick / BBQ Tick Thread (Official)

KHills5058

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Well this is my first post so I am going to keep it brief but to the point.

Starting off, I picked up a 2013 Mustang GT with the track pack and Recaro seats on the 8th of September. I was very careful to check for the coyote BBQ motor tick that seems to plague some of these cars and after some inspection, brought the car home. One week after daily driving, the motor developed the BBQ tick.

Moving another week ahead, I replaced the motorcraft oil with Castrol Syntec 5W-50 and replaced the oil filter with a K&N gold oil filter. Upon startup after the oil change, the motor ran whisper quiet. After about 10 miles of driving that day, the tick came back even louder and was constant from idle to about 3k rpm when the motor was up to temp.

After the tick came back louder, I decided to bring the car to the local Ford dealer (the car is covered under the cert. pre-owned warranty). After several days of patiently waiting I called the dealer to ask how things were coming along. They informed me that the tick was noticed, the oil and filter were changed to motorcraft brand and the ticking had quieted down substantially. After asking again about the next steps for the car, they informed me that one of the techs had stethoscoped the motor and could not pinpoint the sound to any specific location. After discussing the time frame for further diagnosing (2-3 weeks) I decided to pick the car up from the dealer.

Driving home from the dealer the tick was barely noticeable until getting off of the freeway. I could hear a slight ticking/pinging noise when near curbs and other cars but nowhere near as loud as before.

In summary, I could really use some help/expertise on diagnosing this well known problem on the coyote 5.0 motor. My last car was a 4.6L 3V mustang so my experience on the coyote motor is quite limited for now. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Noobz347

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I got a chance to talk with you a little bit about this a few days ago.

The solutions I've seen so far are from people who are running Rotella T6 5W-40. The rationale is that this is a diesel oil with a very high zinc content. The counter-argument is that Rotella T6 doesn't meet the minimum requirements for oil in the Coyote motor and that it's not specifically engineered for direct injected vehicles.

Then *sigh*: The counter argument to [that] is that nearly all diesel motors are direct injected. Lol


Here's what I've discovered so far:

Ford still doesn't know or will not admit that this is an issue. They've told many folks that it's 'normal' and sent them home. These are the folks that are running the Rotella in their Mustangs. One of them has a ProCharger installed. They've eliminated the 'tic' and have thus far, not had any ill effect from running Rotella.

What I'd like to know from all of you guys is: What's the latest on this? Anyone going through this process with Ford? What are you being told and what are they actually doing to address the issue?
 
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KHills5058

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I found another alternative to the Rotella T6. Ford had been using their own zinc motor oil additive as part of the break in process for the first 500 miles of ownership called XL-17. Turns out I cannot find any for sale online but, Lucas Oil has a zinc additive that can be used for break in periods or as an additive for extra wear protection. I found another thread on a different website where some people have had instant results where the ticking noise goes completely away but if the zinc additive isn't used at the next oil change, the tick comes back. Thoughts on trying this while I wait for Ford customer service to get back to me?
 

Noobz347

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I would definitely try it and particularly if Ford is recommending the additive. Whomever your service guy is, I would ask to ensure that this is Ford accepted and that no harm comes to the warranty (just for the sake of being able to say to them: "You told me to!").
 

KHills5058

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Just to give an update:

I picked up a bottle of Lucas Oil Products ZDDP Oil Additive after the dealer told me that it wouldn't mess with the warranty. Being that the oil level was already at full and these cars are apparently temperamental to the oil level being too high, I only added half of the bottle of ZDDP. After letting the car run for about 5 minutes and then cool down for about 5 minutes, I checked the oil level. It was slightly over the full mark which concerns me a little bit, and not having enough time last night to drain the excess oil out, I drove it normally to work. I couldn't hear any ticking at idle but, I did hear some ticking around 1500 rpm. The ticking only occurred between 1400-1600 rpm, which is far better than before where it would tick from idle to 3000 rpm.

Should I drain the excess oil and add the rest of the bottle when I get a chance?
 

Hoytster

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I would, I'd run the full bottle and see if it quiets it down. Another thing I would do is run the recommended oil in the car for 3-5K and then send the oil in for analysis to see if there are any metal deposits in the oil, mainly bearing material. I always do this with my new-to-me cars.

I know you don't want to hear this, but from working with shops around here and in my own experience, the "tick" sound is usually rod/bearing related. It's not 100% always the case, but more often than not. Sometimes the tick stays the same and the motor runs just fine, other times it increases and turns into a knock. Running the T6 rotella (5w-40) helps to dampen the noise since it has a higher viscosity at temp than the 5w-20, and a much better additive package being a diesel oil. The 11' coyote motor I bought to rebuild and put in my car was pulled out of a F150 because of the tick (no knock yet). They had replaced the entire drivers side valve train, lifters, phasers, ect to try and get rid of the tick, with no success. This motor had a little over 60K on it and eventually they just pulled the motor and replaced it. When I pulled it apart, I found the reason for the tick.

 
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KHills5058

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I'm worried that the tick has become a knock. I turned the AC on full blast last night with it idling in the garage. After giving it a few revs between idle and 2k rpm, the noise was definitely loud and sounded like smacking two screw drivers together. I forgot to mention this earlier but, the car still runs like a champ so I'm not really sure what to do...
 

Hoytster

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I'd say if you think it's getting worse to definitely send an oil sample in and look for high concentration of aluminum bearing material. I'd scope the engine also to see if you can identify where the sound is coming from (top or bottom), though I know it's really hard to pinpoint on these engines for some reason.

If it turns out to be a rod bearing, some guys have been able to replace the bad rod bearing, slap it together, and it runs perfect after that. It all depends on how bad the condition is and how much and how long bearing material has been circulating through the system. This of course assumes its a rod bearing and not something else.

How many miles on your motor?
 

KHills5058

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It has just over 33,400 miles. I picked up on the 8th of September. Couldn't hear any ticking when I bought it but, after a week of daily driving the tick developed. It has a one year, 12000 mile warranty on it as well. Problem is, when the car was at the dealer, they stethoscoped the motor and "could not" pin point the source. I told em I would drive the car for a little while and if it gets worse, its going back to the dealer. Looks like ill be bringing it back soon with the louder knock sound starting to develop.
 
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Hoytster

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Good, I was hoping to hear you had a warranty. Definitely work with the dealer if the sound is getting worse. They have red tape on their end they have to work through for warranty re-imbursement purposes, so having a continued recorded history of the issue worsening is going to make it easier for them to resolve the issue (aka, resolve it or replace the motor). This helps also if they can't fix the issue, you drive past your warranty, and the motor lets go. You have a leg to stand on when going back to them to now prove the issue you brought up while under warranty, was in fact, an issue.

Doesn't surprise me they couldn't pin-point the issue as that seems to be pretty common. Same reason the dealership that worked on my coyote motor spent so much time and money replacing the top end when the issue was with the rod.
 

KHills5058

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I'm going to definitely use that warranty for all its worth. Do you have any idea how long an issue like this would take a dealer to properly diagnose and then fix?
 

Hoytster

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Really depends on the dealer and their current work load. I wouldn't be surprised if diagnosis takes 1-2 weeks, and if they decide to repair or replace the motor after that, another 1-2 weeks though.
 
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KHills5058

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Would replacing the motor hurt the resale value of the car? Also, quick update:

I cut the old oil filter open and did not see any metal flakes in the filter. I am going to keep the filter material intact and give it to the dealer for analysis on the next visit. I'm starting to think the bearings may be alright and that the noise is a timing chain. Any thoughts on this?
 

Hoytster

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Typically, if the "engine replaced" is on a Carfax, it negatively effects the value of the car or at least raises questions. If you get a smart buyer that understands why it was replaced, then it usually has no effect and can actually have a positive effect if the documentation on the work that was performed is available (and the work was done right).

I know in the failure of my engine, there was no noticeable metal flakes in the filter or the oil. You would have had to send the oil in for analysis (to a place like blackstone) so they could analyze the oil contents in a lab. Test kit is free, I think it's like $28-$30 bucks for the analysis. They are looking for elevated aluminum levels in the oil from the bearing surface wearing away.
https://www.blackstone-labs.com/

It's very possible it could be something else (such as timing chains/guides), I was just letting you know what I've seen it normally turn out to be. That's why I would send the oil in for analysis so you can eliminate the possibility of it being a bearing failure.
 
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KHills5058

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Been a minute so here is a quick update. The lucas oil ZDDP additive did not do anything for the noise. I drained some extra oil out and made sure the ZDDP put the oil level to full. The noise came back immediately after adding the additive. I also let the oil filter that I cut open drain for about a week and after inspecting the bag it is in, there are dark metal shavings in the corners of the baggie. The car is back with Ford as of today, so hopefully they can source the problem this week...