'88 GT Convertible - Croatia, Europe

snovak

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Oct 9, 2020
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Hi guys!

I had no extra time to open valve covers unfortunately. I had 2 chances to drive, so I gave stang a walk instead...

To refresh..
Engine had lower intake off, I cleaned all hydro rollers in petrol, was running okay after that for a while until end of winter. Then we changed complete front part (water pump, chain & sprockets, cooler clutch, harmonic balancer). Knock started in winter in between balancer changes (had 2 faulty ones delivered).

Sympthoms:
-at cold start, rpm raises a bit by itself as normal procedure - no knock...
-after few seconds idle normalizes and I can hear knock - tap, tap, tap (in rhythm with timing light)
-when coolant warms up knock fades away
-there is no knock or at least I cant hear it when driving or if I raise RPM and/or under load
-when driving, at around 1000rpm I can sometimes hear thin can rattle, like catalyst heat shield is loose or cat is falling apart inside.

What I did:
-since knock started, I give it a good warmup before each drive, for knock to fade away
-used Liqui Moly hydro roller additive few hundred km before oil change - no effect
-changed oil for Mobil1 5w-30 full synth and KN PS-3001 filter - no effect
-tightened smog air tube behing motor (I fixed complete smog system in December)
-checked spark plugs - tight
-tightened exhaust manifold bolts at heads - were loose a bit, but no change

I have uploaded video of cold start knock to Youtube:
View: https://youtu.be/pyhb7CmkZDc


On Saturday I bought STP Oil treatment Petrol and poured in...
It may have to do something with "fear and large eyes"... but I may think that knock started to have a extended time to "fade" and it "fades away" a little bit less in warmed up engine... at least I can hear it after using STP.

I still hope that this is sticky lifter.... engine runs as hell, no power loss, nothing! Oil pressure normal.
Please take a look at video and suggest something...

Thnx!
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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I wouldn't run that engine anymore till that knock is found.
Likely a rocker arm, push rod or lifter issue.
It will eventually get worse possibly destroying things.
 
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snovak

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I wouldn't run that engine anymore till that knock is found.
Likely a rocker arm, push rod or lifter issue.
It will eventually get worse possibly destroying things.
Thnx.
Okay, took my time and long thin metal rod dia ~1/8 inch.
Sound was most noticeable on dizzy!!! So I concentrated in that front area. Found noticeable click on cyl #5 (first front driver side). My heart stopped. Pulled wires from dizzy one by one, thanks God no change in sound.
Got my brains back working and probed valve covers. Sound dissipates thru top engine but to my ear it is coming from mentioned #5 lifter/pushrod/rocker. Clear tap tap tap transferred to ear and followed by outside "knock".
This time I am sure it is now present on warm engine, so it is getting worse I think... Time to open covers soon? Or as soon as possible?
 

snovak

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Yeah, it was not ment to be open but driven in this nice weather, but I need to open covers if there is something visible or I will start to change tired valvetrain parts...

In case of damage I want to be ready, so yesterday night I spent looking for valvetrain parts as close to stock as possible. Don't want a fancy stuff, just want to keep original parts as much as possible and stock look.

My plan is if the lifters are blown, to change them but also pushrods + rockers.
Rockauto has some limited options, good ones are out of stock.
Usually I don't preffer it, but I found some parts on ebay shipping to Croatia.

I have few questions for thoose who rebuilt some enignes, @General karthief / @jrichker / @90sickfox, anyone... :

"Elgin Industries", is this a good brand for Fox? US made or another rebranded parts "made in china" like Dorman?

Found a nice Elgin set of pushrods, rockers, fulcrums and bolts:
-says suitable for 302 CID (5.0L) 1978-1988 After serial # BE0,001.
-pushrods PR281S, dia 5/16", lenght 6.876"
-rocker RK548
-link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Rocker...d=link&campid=5335821607&toolid=20001&mkevt=1
This should fit my 1988 302 H.O. I suppose? Or there is a difference between HO and non-HO in valvetrain?

Regarding hydraulic rollers, Elrin also has rollers available, there are Ford racing M-6500-R302 available, but for a one sunday motorbike drive less worth I could get Ford racing M-6500-R302H.
I lean more to Ford Racing ones, if they are authentic Ford...
Thoose should be suitable as a stock replacement in 302 H.O. valvetrain? Is it worth a few dozen bucks more on our foxbodies, does it really matter on stock engine is it Elrin, R302H or R302?

I will report back here in between when I find time to open valve covers what I have found or with questions...

Thnx for advices and greetings!
 

LILCBRA

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From what I understand I wouldn't be afraid of running Elgin parts. From their page:


Based in Elgin, Ill., Elgin Industries has long been one of the transportation industry’s premier manufacturers of engine and chassis components. The company’s ultra-modern, fully-integrated manufacturing complex has earned IATF16949 and ISO14001 status and a broad range of quality awards and certifications from such leading customers as General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Navistar, Federal-Mogul Corporation, Mack Trucks and Harley-Davidson.

And, in my opinion, I'd go with the R302H lifters as they're advertised as being an upgrade to the Ford Racing R302 lifters.

Just got caught up on your thread - nice looking car! :nice:
 
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snovak

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Yeah, that valve cover needs to come off at the very least,
@General karthief You recommended me a Seafoam not long ago, when lower intake was off.
Before tearing apart, it this a good time to try a SF thearpy to make sure the lifters are singing?
I mean if knock ain't lifters, I have nothing much to loose except ~100 bucks for seafoam + Mobil1 oil change...

BTW I listened again for another 20 min:
- car starts quiet due to fox procedure of raised rpm, as soon as it falls back to idle noise starts
- stethoscope points to valvetrain in middle of passanger side (#3) and front of drivers side (#5), but sound bounces alot so it's possible source is only one of thoose
- to my ear it comes from valvetrain, bottom has exactly that but faded valvetrain noise (or I wish so so I hear it like that :-/)
- noticable tick under VC, but when it finds way out of the engine sounds like knock on youtube video I uploaded... still, anything is possible
- i think it is oil pressure dependant, on idle tick/knock is stable and if you raise rpm if fades away but returns soon as rpm drop to idle
- if I put in D and step on brake, tick/knock stops as engine get's load
- it is really hearable on stable low idle mostly
- I have done KOER test, result 1 1
- I have done also cylinder balance test, result 9, during KOER car run's fine, no noise due to raised rpm's

Eitherway, I will have trained ear, a mechanic to listen it next week.

Before tearing anything apart, it this a good time to try a SF thearpy to make sure the lifters are singing?
I mean if knock ain't lifters, I have nothing much to loose except ~100 bucks for seafoam + Mobil1 oil change...

To be honest, I am even not scared of a rebuild, but tearing down in middle of summer and loosing this season. I planned to drive this car thru summer and see where it goes...

@LILCBRA thnkx for Your support!
 

snovak

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All I can tell you is what I would do.
I don't do ' mechanic in a can '
Respect :hail:!

I also don't believe in snake oils to be honest, but this points to a leaky lifter to me, bleeding down more and more, so I would try a 8 ounces of seafoam in crankcase before tearing down...
May have a cleaner hands on disassembly afterwards if nothing else :D

But, seriously, I am thinking if it's a sludge in lifter it could change sound or go quiet after seafoam, if it is something else like bearing it could sing more louder in its glory for rebuild when flushed. If no change occurs then it is mechanical obviously. I may be wrong but this is in my mind before pulling it out...
 

snovak

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Hi!

Due to the limited time, I managed only to pour half a bottle of Seafoam to crankcase and warmup. As I doubted, no change. Sound from engine bay is more 'mechanical'.

I took a look at my log since last known run and knock:
2/27 Drove to car shop, driving ok. Changed HB (Autotechnica from rockauto)
2/28 Noticed vibrations from 1300-1400rpm, drove some 70miles, no change so pronounced new harm. balancer faulty
3/7 Lifted engine and changed both engine mounts
3/8 When checking HB bolt, one of the flexplate to converter bolts (pointing from engine towards back) came loose when I inspected if they are tight (I was too strong underneath I suppose). Bolted back in.
3/8 Lifted tranny, crossmembed bolts loose, changed transmission mount
3/11 Mounted NEW DAYCO HB, ***KNOCK UNTIL WARM*** and new HB wobbles, pronounced faulty again

3/18 Mounted original old rusty OEM Ford HB ***KNOCK UNTIL WARM***
3/21 Drove 60 miles, when it stopped knocking ***KNOCK UNTIL WARM*** (cold start)
3/22 Poured in Liqui Molly Hydraulic Roller additive, run for 15 minutes no change
3/31 ***KNOCK UNTIL WARM*** driven to car shop
3/31 Front engine parts changed: fan clutch, water pump, timing chain set, new PB1086 HB and new oil and filter (Mobil1 5-30W synt + K&N pro black filter). No change, knock on cold
4/1 Drove some 70 miles, no changes, ***KNOCK UNTIL WARM***
5/9 Poured in "STP Oil treatment petrol". After first shutdown again knock until warm, but now I heard ***KNOCK WHEN WARM***, only 170 miles since first knock.
STOPPED DRIVING

Althru it sounds close to rod knock, I unpluged spark plugs one by one and I heard no noticable change in knocking... stethoscope points to valvetrain cyl #3 (under throttle). I still did not manage to lift the car.
Also, why would it knock only on idle?
Why it stops knocking in D or 1 or R?

In between balancers triology I messed with engine and tranny mount, also one bolt was touched on flexplate (3/7 and 3/8).
I could have moved exhausts also when lifting engine to change mounts, I dit not loose them...
I will stethoscope bellhousing and re-check flexplate to converter bolts as I didn't put in any loctite. I heard that knock is possible from flexplate also.
What is the proper torque for four flexplate-to-converter bolts reachable from inspection cover (slightly above converter drain)?

Any other suggestions from experienced crew before taking valve covers and pan off?
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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I just don't understand why the hesitation to pull the valve covers, that is the first place I would look, I damn sure would not have run it another 170 or whatever miles you put on it, when I hear a tic or knock coming from inside an engine I picture a cartoon like that 'slap'n my forehead' emogi, now slap yourself on the forehead in time with the noise of the engine, it will become painful.
What may have originally been a small problem 170 miles ago may not be so small now.
 
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Willybill32

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Hi!

Due to the limited time, I managed only to pour half a bottle of Seafoam to crankcase and warmup. As I doubted, no change. Sound from engine bay is more 'mechanical'.

I took a look at my log since last known run and knock:
2/27 Drove to car shop, driving ok. Changed HB (Autotechnica from rockauto)
2/28 Noticed vibrations from 1300-1400rpm, drove some 70miles, no change so pronounced new harm. balancer faulty
3/7 Lifted engine and changed both engine mounts
3/8 When checking HB bolt, one of the flexplate to converter bolts (pointing from engine towards back) came loose when I inspected if they are tight (I was too strong underneath I suppose). Bolted back in.
3/8 Lifted tranny, crossmembed bolts loose, changed transmission mount
3/11 Mounted NEW DAYCO HB, ***KNOCK UNTIL WARM*** and new HB wobbles, pronounced faulty again

3/18 Mounted original old rusty OEM Ford HB ***KNOCK UNTIL WARM***
3/21 Drove 60 miles, when it stopped knocking ***KNOCK UNTIL WARM*** (cold start)
3/22 Poured in Liqui Molly Hydraulic Roller additive, run for 15 minutes no change
3/31 ***KNOCK UNTIL WARM*** driven to car shop
3/31 Front engine parts changed: fan clutch, water pump, timing chain set, new PB1086 HB and new oil and filter (Mobil1 5-30W synt + K&N pro black filter). No change, knock on cold
4/1 Drove some 70 miles, no changes, ***KNOCK UNTIL WARM***
5/9 Poured in "STP Oil treatment petrol". After first shutdown again knock until warm, but now I heard ***KNOCK WHEN WARM***, only 170 miles since first knock.
STOPPED DRIVING

Althru it sounds close to rod knock, I unpluged spark plugs one by one and I heard no noticable change in knocking... stethoscope points to valvetrain cyl #3 (under throttle). I still did not manage to lift the car.
Also, why would it knock only on idle?
Why it stops knocking in D or 1 or R?

In between balancers triology I messed with engine and tranny mount, also one bolt was touched on flexplate (3/7 and 3/8).
I could have moved exhausts also when lifting engine to change mounts, I dit not loose them...
I will stethoscope bellhousing and re-check flexplate to converter bolts as I didn't put in any loctite. I heard that knock is possible from flexplate also.
What is the proper torque for four flexplate-to-converter bolts reachable from inspection cover (slightly above converter drain)?

Any other suggestions from experienced crew before taking valve covers and pan off?
My '86 owners manual called for 10W30 oil. 5W30 is thinner and could be a contributor to your issue.
 
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snovak

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I just don't understand why the hesitation to pull the valve covers, that is the first place I would look...
Wrenching itself is not a problem, time to do it is. It is not winter anymore. I don't want to have motor open for 3,4 weeks. That is why I look for shortcuts, to see where to begin - upper or bottom part.

According to today I WILL dig into valve covers. Good warmup or rev faints knock, it may be valvetrain if I have a bit luck. After a while on idle it returns. On hot engine it was barely hearable.
Vacuum 18 steady, spout 11 Deg, manifolds not leaky, pulling plug wires does not change knock. Found leaky injector, stethoscope slaps me in ear on that injector, but it is not source of knock. But just around there under throttle I hear a metallic tap under valve covers. Allthru I hear it everywhere on engine, even on dizzy or under HB on oil pan. Oil clear on dipstick, getting black due to seafoam.
Klack-klack-klack is more hearable if I open the hood and go a little bit in front of the car.
I need experienced mechanic to listen (will stop by tomorrow).

My '86 owners manual called for 10W30 oil. 5W30 is thinner and could be a contributor to your issue.
I am on another continent friend.
HQ full synt mostly in 5w30, step up is 10w40 synt blend. 10w30 very rare but work machines or boat oil...I think dino.
I was thinking for further about 10w40 blend (valvoline maxlife or similar), as I just threw damn seafoam in like 50 bucks mobil1 synthetic.
I forgot that this could happen, I should have just run another round of cheaper oil until I see how it runs... Guts told me it was only lower intake leak, but it was not....

To be continued...(I hope...lost a bit of trust in this engine...)
Any good 302 crate available in us, shipping with USPS? :)
 

snovak

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What may have originally been a small problem 170 miles ago may not be so small now.
Forgot: Thank You, respect and I totally agree.

But You may (or not) understand that after whole winter of repairs and restauration, car was 'okay' after warmup, and I just wanted to enjoy a bit also on the road with it.......

We all do this (hope and trust in 'sticky lifter', a minor problem) at certain point, don't we?
I stopped driving with first knock on warm engine, now it is getting (or is) serious.... maybe it was not 'sticky lifter'

To pull the line - I also agree that this joy of 170 miles may have a price...
 
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snovak

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Huush, just opened DS valve cover this evening. It took me long time to take freshly installed cover. It was like welded :-(

No visible or loose parts...oil and/or seafoam cleaning well, valve train is cleaner than I did it on top end resealing this winter.

Only visible to naked eye are #3 rocker arms are not centered on valve tip.
I am not sure if this would cause a horrible knock sound? Would it? @General karthief ?
But just there... interesting...right under throttle and egr plate on valve cover my ears heard most clatter from stethoscope.

Quick test: There is no play left/right nor up/down. Lifters are rock hard.
Will re-check tomorrow play, pushrods, boroscope thru pushrod hole...
 

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snovak

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Today we started engine without valve covers after checking all rockers. For first few minutes engine worked flawlessly, and mechanic asked me why did I call him :)
Then it started old habbit and knock in valvetrain rhythm. Oil flow is normal thru pushrods.

Cyl #3 and #8 rocker bolts transfer most ticks.
Mechanic told me lifters, but I should not take him for granted. So, like most probably.
Took a risk. Ordered new Melling pushrods, Elgrin set of rockers & bridges & rocker bolts and Ford racing 302H roller lifters.

Now help me god and wish me luck...If it's not valvetrain, stang will be parked and wait for winter....

I will give it a careful ride before parts arrive (in two weeks).
 
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snovak

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Hi...

I have some time while waiting for lifters and valvetrain parts so I put my efforts this sunday to spark plugs, plug wires, upper intake, dizzy and finally on leaky injector on cyl#2.
I did not pull fuel rail cause we will eitherway take all apart due to lifters change...

Pulled the plugs (should have done that earlier) and found traces of overfueling on #2.

This makes me think (maybe too much, You will tell me):
In winter I had gooood puff of white smoke on start which I auto-assigned to condensation (it was cold like hell) and it went out of my head.
Rewinding past, on first crank few days later after changing HB (plus engine and tranny mounts) I got this mysterious knock.
To add, there was no more noticable white smoke, but it was also a lot warmer.
On the other hand, I have a bit of fuel odor in oil cap and dipstick.

Only few days ago I saw small puddle around injector #2. On sunday I saw #2 spark plug with yellow-greenish tip suggesting flooding. #6 and #7 are also suspicious, but not so clearly like #2. See pictures attached.
Is it possible that I have leaky injector causing knocking?
Would a bloody leaky injector knock on idle and go away with RPM, car would run normally?
How can I proof/test this?

Possible or only my imagination?

Be aware I am not in USA, and I can't get another new/used EV1 19lbs injector in less than 2 weeks :-(

P.S. When I saw this puddle I disconnected #2 injector from harness, with no noticable change in knock. But if it is leaky and stuck open, it would make no change, right?
 

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Noobz347

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Today we started engine without valve covers after checking all rockers. For first few minutes engine worked flawlessly, and mechanic asked me why did I call him :)
Then it started old habbit and knock in valvetrain rhythm. Oil flow is normal thru pushrods.

Cyl #3 and #8 rocker bolts transfer most ticks.
Mechanic told me lifters, but I should not take him for granted. So, like most probably.
Took a risk. Ordered new Melling pushrods, Elgrin set of rockers & bridges & rocker bolts and Ford racing 302H roller lifters.

Now help me god and wish me luck...If it's not valvetrain, stang will be parked and wait for winter....

I will give it a careful ride before parts arrive (in two weeks).
Wait... you ordered all of that but skipped the lifters???? Are lifters [that] expensive where you are? Did you measure the pushrods? Are they mushroomed at the ends?

I ask because you can physically inspect and measure pushrods to see if they are good or not. There's no reliable test that I'm aware of for checking hydraulic lifter functionality. They're either good or no good. Knocking in the engine after having eliminated the bottom end is essentially the test.

I recommend that you replace the lifters. I have a feeling that if you throw all that stuff in there that you're just going to end up pulling it all apart again.