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Engine tick on startup #5214141 09/16/19 08:44 AM
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 216
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Broo Offline OP
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Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 216
Car is question is a 1984 Supra with a 5MGE inline 6 engine, no mods whatsoever.

My car developed a startup ticking noise about 3 years ago.

I run my car only once every weekend for a long drive. At startup, there will be a tick tick tick noise (don't know how do describe it better, but it's definitely mechanical and coming from the engine) for about 4 to 5 seconds then goes away.

Starting the car while warm doesn't do this, and it also doesn't happen if I start the car the next day. No noise either on idle. It seems to take a couple of days off to do this noise on startup.

This leads me to think it might be due to the oil draining down. When it began doing this, I was running a genuine Toyota oil filter, the next year I switched to a Wix and it still does that noise. I don't think I could have got 3 faulty anti-drainback valve filters in a row over 2 brands.

I've had the car for 9 years now, always ran the same oil type, Castrol GTX High Mileage 10W30. I change the oil every year, so it's about a 3000 KMs (1800 miles) interval. Engine is currently at 174000 KMs (108K miles). No noticeable smoke.

The problem didn't get any worse since it began 3 years ago.

What might cause this and will that damage the engine over time ?

Re: Engine tick on startup [Re: Broo] #5214154 09/16/19 08:58 AM
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Lapham3 Offline
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It sounds like a hydraulic lifter is bleeding own over time and takes a bit of time to pump back up upon startup.

Re: Engine tick on startup [Re: Broo] #5214155 09/16/19 08:58 AM
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ARCOgraphite Offline
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Likely HLA pumping up. Also Sometimes V belts and idlers make a racket as they loose their wrap memory.

Just know that most all engines make racket whilst warming up. Only excessive and long lasting racket could be a concern.

I don't recall if this is a dry timing engine. Has the cam Timing system been refurbished since you have owned the car?

Also you don't have to change the oil every year - it doesn't help and may hurt.


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Re: Engine tick on startup [Re: Broo] #5214172 09/16/19 09:15 AM
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Astro14 Offline
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Hydraulic lifter has lost its pump.

Or, exhaust manifold leak.

Exact same symptoms.

Given the car’s age, could be either.

A stethoscope would be a great investment.


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Re: Engine tick on startup [Re: Lapham3] #5214177 09/16/19 09:19 AM
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Trav Offline
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Originally Posted by Lapham3
It sounds like a hydraulic lifter is bleeding own over time and takes a bit of time to pump back up upon startup.


+1 That is with 99% certainty what it is on this engine.

OP This causes no damage long or short term, on some engines its totally normal, probably just a little varnish in them. You could try running a 16oz bottle of Rislone high mileage the next oil change for a full OCI, if it makes it better fine if not forget it.
With an engine this age I would be a little cautious with strong solvent type additives, the Rislone HM seems to do a pretty decent job for a few bucks from Walmart.

I have some seals of different type materials including some old school neoprene ones sitting in it for the last 3 months with nothing to report, no change in size or suppleness.


ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.
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