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Old 10-13-2010, 05:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Knocking only on cold start...could be lifter tick?

I a 91 vr4 with about 80k on the motor. The last few mornings its been getting cold......this morning was enough to put frost on the windshield. Probably coincidence but 3 days ago it was a cold morning and I was startled by a knocking sound for a second or two when turning over the car, my eyes went straight to the oil pressure gauge and it seemed to have shot up quicker than usual. The next morning which was much warmer and not "cold" there was no knocking sound so I chalked it up to lifter tick possibly. Then this morning it was cold again, and I heard it knock again.
I use mobil 1 5w30 full synthetic. Never had a problem till now. I do have an oil pan gasket leak so its been leaking oil consistently but Ive been good with keeping it full. The oil level was 3/4 the first knock incident, and full the second knock incident. Is it time for a fire sale or is this something not to worry about?(lifter tick) When I take it out for lunch at work, and then again to drive home there is no knock sound whatsoever. I also do not use the K&N filter with the fancy drainback valve if that matters.
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Knocking only on cold start...could be lifter tick?

there is definitely a difference between KNOCK and tick. Unfortunately your description sounds like s knock but if it goes away and you have good oil pressure you shouldnt have problems.

-SP
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Knocking only on cold start...could be lifter tick?

not to hijack, but i also have a question along these lines

92 3kgt sl
newly replaced engine from osakajdmmotors
new water pump, new tensioner, new oil pan gasket

i get a ticking sound on cold starts, usually only the first of the day. after that it doesn't seem to be as prominent, but i can still hear it ever so faintly. i'm constantly checking my oil pressure since my last engine caught a conn rod in the cheek. it always seems to be good, but it never gets up past halfway. only a little above half is the highest it ever goes. ive only had the balls to get it up to 100 to check it but at WOT the whole way, it has never gone farther than a single tick mark past half.

i remember the original motor, before it sploded, psi would get all the way to 3/4 up the guage, especially at WOT.

could it possibly need a new oil pump? or oil pump related gaskets? is this even something to be worried about? or would that be high enough pressure to keep the bearings lubed up all nice n sexy?
apparently its got plenty of pressure to stay running. but im worried if i thrash it up and down the interstate like i want to, its gonna cave on me.

osaka claims that all engines they stock will be under 35k miles, but who knows how true that really is. plus they've been sitting in a junkyard for god knows how long.

i'm thinking i'm going to replace the oil pump and gaskets for good measure, but they're not cheap and i would have to spend quite a bit of money to get the tools and garage/storage space necessary to do it, so i wanted to get multiple opinions first.

whats do yous guys thinks?

Last edited by austin from texas; 10-14-2010 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Knocking only on cold start...could be lifter tick?

siting in a junkyard = rust = poor seating of lifters check valve

1. use seafoam, run in crankcase
2. change oil with fresh 5-30w regular oil (not synti) and run for awhile

if this doesn't repair problem, THEN go deeper.
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Old 10-14-2010, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Knocking only on cold start...could be lifter tick?

why o why are people using 5w-30 oil in a 20 year old engine???

there are countless posts about oil here, but one thing I know for certain is that turbo engines or engines that produce lots of heat and pressure, like our DOHC/TT require a different approach on oil, mainly a thicker type that can provide better protection...

with that out of my chest... doesn't sound like knock, more like a nasty case of lifter tick
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Old 10-16-2010, 09:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Knocking only on cold start...could be lifter tick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelvinTurbo View Post
why o why are people using 5w-30 oil in a 20 year old engine???
Because thats whats SUPPOSED to be in it!! The only reason to go heavier is to cover up engine wear problems.

Low oil pressure is from TWO reasons. 1- Oil [pump is worn out or damaged and cannot produce enough pressure. 2- Bearings are worn enough for too much oil flow past the bearings back into the crankcase. Usually an engine "rattles" when it gets that far. The rattle on startup can be an indicator too.

There are two long lines on the oil pressure gauge. The bottom one is idle and the top is at highway speeds WHEN HOT. If you have something different change the oil sensors first AND confirm pressures with a mechanical gauge. Rule of thumb for MINIMUM oil pressure is 10# for each 1,000 RPM. If you have less you have problems or will have them.

-SP
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Old 10-16-2010, 04:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Knocking only on cold start...could be lifter tick?

shit, this means i will have problems
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Old 10-16-2010, 05:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Knocking only on cold start...could be lifter tick?

My 92 TT has suffered lifter tick intermittently on cold start for the past 10 years.

I've found a very simple cure (well it works on mine) if it ticks on start up switch the engine off and immediately re-start it, 9 times out 10 it goes away.

I think what happens is that the hydraulic adjusters sometimes dont inflate properly with the first rush of cold oil, switching off & re-starting seems to settle them down, thats my theory and it works on mine.
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Old 10-16-2010, 06:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Knocking only on cold start...could be lifter tick?

My car runs on road courses for the most part, and I run much heavier oil due to heat.
Often a 50 weight if it's over 90 degrees out. And I have the stock block after 19 plus years.
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Knocking only on cold start...could be lifter tick?

isnt factory recommanded oil 10w-30? btw my wrx did that only once and never happend again. its not just your car, so i would assume its normal.
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