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Thread: Exhaust leak or lifter noise?

  1. #1

    Default Exhaust leak or lifter noise?

    My jeep did not make this puttering noise until after a trip on the trails last Saturday.

    Will not putter at idle even when revving the engine.
    Only putters when moving and sounds worse in a higher gear going up hill (with load on the engine).

    It sounds like either a bad lifter or an exhaust leak.

    I did notice that the front exhaust pipe to the flange has some space between the pipe and the manifold, but those bolts are so rusty I can't imagine it backed off and caused this.

    Is there a way to diagnose certain loud ticking noises such as lifter noise, etc?

    TIA.
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    2001 WJ, 4.0L, stock


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  2. #2
    Registered PovertyByJeep's Avatar
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    I vote for exhaust leak- only because it doesn't make the noise all the time. A collapsed lifter makes the noise all the time. The likely reason why you have the noise with the engine under load is that it flexes the engine in the mounts enough to spread whatever crack or leak you have and cause it to leak worse.

    The exhaust will sound different than top end noise, but it's hard to explain the difference without something to compare to.

    The easy way to diagnose lifter issues is to pull the valve cover, and take either a stethiscope or a long screwdriver and check each one for noise with the engine running. If you use the screwdriver method, put the tip on the rocker stud, and the other end against the bone in front of your ear, each one should have a slight whirring with a tick each time it opens, if you have a bad lifter the culprit will be very loud.
    Forgive your enemies.
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  3. #3
    Registered -Holiday's Avatar
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    -=- originally posted by PovertyByJeep -=-
    I vote for exhaust leak- only because it doesn't make the noise all the time. A collapsed lifter makes the noise all the time. The likely reason why you have the noise with the engine under load is that it flexes the engine in the mounts enough to spread whatever crack or leak you have and cause it to leak worse.

    The exhaust will sound different than top end noise, but it's hard to explain the difference without something to compare to.

    The easy way to diagnose lifter issues is to pull the valve cover, and take either a stethiscope or a long screwdriver and check each one for noise with the engine running. If you use the screwdriver method, put the tip on the rocker stud, and the other end against the bone in front of your ear, each one should have a slight whirring with a tick each time it opens, if you have a bad lifter the culprit will be very loud.
    wait a second..did you just say pull the valve cover, and then run the engine?? Wouldnt that be slightly messy??
    '80 CJ-7;
    MODS: Rebuilt 258,RE 4.5" 1" BL, 35" BFG Mudds,AMC 20 (1 Pieced),D30, t176,d300, Weber, TFI, OBA,YJ PB Upgrade, 95 YJ Tub, ect ect ect.

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    Registered PovertyByJeep's Avatar
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    Messy? Only if you rev the engine!! (should've typed that in the original post)
    Forgive your enemies.
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  5. #5
    Registered ChiliPepperTJ's Avatar
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    When I listened to jadams CJ last night I heard it a little when he revved it and the hood was open. It sounded more noticable on the driverside of the engine. So I would guess its exhaust related. Just my $.02. James should have a complete new exhaust on it by tomorrow or friday .
    Kevin
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  6. #6

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    -----------------------
    2001 WJ, 4.0L, stock


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    There's a donut gasket between the manifold and exhaust pipe that can wear out. I once used a long piece of vacuum hose from the engine compartment into the cab to try to find the source of a noise under acceleration. Tie the engine side of the hose to whereever you want to check and hold the other end to your ear while driving. I know, a bit silly, but it worked.
    80s-ish CJ7, 258, MegaSquirt'ed w/GM TBI, TFI coil/cap + HEI module, TF999, 4" BDS lift, full cage.
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    Registered -Holiday's Avatar
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    -=- originally posted by RainLuver -=-
    There's a donut gasket between the manifold and exhaust pipe that can wear out. I once used a long piece of vacuum hose from the engine compartment into the cab to try to find the source of a noise under acceleration. Tie the engine side of the hose to whereever you want to check and hold the other end to your ear while driving. I know, a bit silly, but it worked.
    Only some 258's had that gasket. Mine curretn one, does NOT have it, but one of my old ones did. The exhaust manifold is flanged at the end. All you have to do is torque thepipe on there.
    I think these changed after 79 or 80, but i'm not sure.
    '80 CJ-7;
    MODS: Rebuilt 258,RE 4.5" 1" BL, 35" BFG Mudds,AMC 20 (1 Pieced),D30, t176,d300, Weber, TFI, OBA,YJ PB Upgrade, 95 YJ Tub, ect ect ect.

    Three Clowns Auto -- "What we lack in know-how we make up for in pure stupidity"

  9. #9

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    Yeah Brian is correct on the gasket thing.

    however, I do think that's a funny technique to diagnose the problem Rain... I'll give it a twirl, can't hurt.
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    Registered JKBogle's Avatar
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    jadams I had a similar problem. I noticed a noise like you were describing and I found that my exhaust pipe where it met the manifold was a little loose. I figured that part of the flange had rusted away. I puleld it apart(busting the lobes on the exhaust manifold) only to find that the flange was entached. I didnt have a lead gasket in between. I think the guy before me never put one in or the 2 bolts backed out. Oh yeah Im doing the manifold this weekend. Watch out for the cast iron lobe on the exhaust manifold they always bust.
    78 CJ7, Fiberglass body and fenders, Custom Grand Cherokee seats, GM heater blower motor, MC 2100, TFI ignition, Tie rod flip, OBA, Full cage Custom 4" lift.

  11. #11
    unregistered ToddS112's Avatar
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    Yup, my 75 does the same thing. Idle you can't here a thing, under acceleration you get that "tfft" ticking sound. PO told me it was header gasket on driver side. Looked at it and it looks like the flange on the header is warped/bowed a bit.

    I too heard that if it was a valve or lifter you would hear it at idle.


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