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ANOTHER Engine Ticking Post

Old 04-17-2019, 12:38 PM
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Default ANOTHER Engine Ticking Post

Hey everyone,

I am pretty new to the S2000 world, but have already learned so much about this awesome car, especially from S2Ki!

Anyways, I am hearing this ticking noise at idle and just want to see if it sounds normal. 2002 AP1 ~127k miles
YouTube Link:

Details on sound:
- It is a light metallic ticking noise, maybe clicking noise?
- Its frequency goes up with RPM
- It sometimes is apparent from a cold start, sometimes it appears when the engine is warmed up.
- You can still hear it with the hood closed
- It is quieter when standing on the intake side, audible from the front, and a little bit louder from the exhaust side.
- If I put my head down behind the front passenger side wheel, it sounds louder.
- Sometimes the tick mysteriously stops for a minute or two
- Sometimes I can hear it at idle ~800 RPM , then blip the throttle to ~1k/1.5k and it goes away until back to idle
- I can hear the tick in the cabin, but cannot hear it after about 3k rpm because of engine noise

Things I've tried:
- Searching around S2Ki for all engine ticking posts, but could find none that really sounded like mine...
- Valve Adjustment (twice)
- Poked around with a mechanics stethoscope (could hear the tick resonating through on some parts, but nothing obvious)
- Tick frequency seems to match individual injector noise, but all of them sounded the same and seemed to be OK
- Disconnect injectors one at a time to see if noise got quieter (no change, same for all)
- Disconnect coils one at a time to see if noise got quieter (no change, same for all)
- Remove serp belt for ~30 seconds (ticking still there)

Possible Causes:
- I don't think common TCT problem, car has GenX Billman TCT from previous owner. Is it possible this is installed incorrectly? Any way to check?
- I'm not good at adjusting valves
- Header is missing engine bracket, maybe this caused an exhaust leak where header mounts to head? Is this bracket necessary? 11941-PCX-000
- Is there a good way to test this other than soapy water when engine is on?
- It is normal injector noise and I am being paranoid (maybe one is on its way out?)
- Normal mechanical valve-train noise (why does it go away sometimes?)
- Other Engine damage?? (hopefully not....)

Next Steps:
- New Plugs (current look OK but are 4 years/10k miles old) - torqued to 25 lb-ft
- New Coils (I have a VERY slight misfire at idle every once in a while when car is hot, no CELs or performance issues) I can hear/feel the puff out the exhaust.
- Remove header and check for leaks
- ????

I know its hard to diagnose a noise from a video, but if anyone can give me any other ideas or items to check, it would be greatly appreciated!!


Last edited by joelzeller; 04-17-2019 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:51 PM
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Likely still a loose valve, nothing serious. The other thing is possible tct related, and again not serious at this level if that's what it is.

Injectors do make a clicking sound when they fire, but that should be consistent.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:53 PM
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Oh, let me update: Car does have a Billman GenX TCT on it from Previous Owner.
I plan to do the intake retainers in the next few weeks.. so that means another chance to get the VA right! Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2019, 01:17 PM
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Checked idler bearing
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:25 PM
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That engine sounds pretty darn good to me.
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:33 PM
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No abnormal noises there at all.
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Old 04-19-2019, 04:27 AM
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Thanks everyone for taking a listen! I'll just keep listening for any change and enjoy the car
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