View Full Version : Clanking noise is getting worse on startup.....

02-11-2008, 06:38 PM
I haven't driven my car much in the last 8 months but notice an unnerving noise that sounds like it's coming from the front of my short block on startup. A clanking noise. Seems to go away after warmup and not real obvious when driving. Up she goes in the air this week, pull the pan and see what I can see. I did notice that my thrust washers look like they are going or gone. The ole push-the-crank-back-then-engage-the-clutch trick shows visible movement. Not good. I will stick a dial gauge on it and see. Not sure what I can see peering into the bottom of the short block with a strong light but will check all bolts and look for anything else that might be going on. Would be great it if is only a header rubbing, don't know. Not in the mood for major work.

02-11-2008, 06:46 PM
We'll keep our fingers crossed for you Bill.

02-11-2008, 06:48 PM
Look fer th' "dumb stuff" first, Bill. Broken alternator bracket, loose mounts on starter, etc. If it's a "clank" it means to me it's more than likely external. Except for that "fore-aft" crank movement... yuck.

02-11-2008, 07:17 PM
Oh, my gosh. Another noxious thought....timing chain?
Do they do the "noise at startup," thing that goes


Actually, I like the sound of the alt bracket.
Hmmm, how about alt bearings??? Naw, too obvious.
You'd know, of course, if the water pump is going.

Oh, well, just poking around. You know wayyyyy more
about these things than me. Hope it's simple.
Keep us, errr, posted.

02-11-2008, 08:56 PM

How about disconnecting the fan/water pump/alternator and then start the car to see if that eliminates anything? At the very least you might be able to narrow down the location without the background noise of the accessories.

Keep us posted on your progress.


02-11-2008, 08:59 PM
I like Shannon's idea for starters.

But I don't like the "visible movement" statement, assuming that would be to the naked eye.

Did you machine the lower bearing cap and pin the thrust washers when you rebuilt it?

02-11-2008, 09:16 PM
[censored], it's always the thrust washers! You guys got
me and ole Tinster having nightmares.

Just last night three thrust washers burst into my
bedroom, put a bright light in my face and tried to
abscond with my box of TR parts. Thought I might lose em,
then I woke up to find it was all a bad dream.

02-11-2008, 09:17 PM
Oppps, got censored for using the "d" word.

02-11-2008, 09:30 PM
When that happens you can just go back in and edit the word in question and all will be well.

I guess that you don't have to wonder how I know that works.

02-11-2008, 09:30 PM
A clacking noise that goes away when it warms up, sounds like a rocker arm to me.

02-11-2008, 09:32 PM
Poor Dale is more worried about thrust washers than Chupacabras.

He has no visible movement in his crankshaft, so he has no real worries, just the reoccurring bad dreams.

02-11-2008, 09:34 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:] A clacking noise that goes away when it warms up, sounds like a rocker arm to me.[/QUOTE]

I would say possibly with hydraulic lifters, but not so much with solids. It's usually the lifter in that case and not the rocker, although by looking, it appears to be until it "unsticks" itself.

02-11-2008, 09:44 PM
Thrust washers, U-joints, pumpkin mounts. It's really hard to remain detached when you read some threads. I had a psych. teacher that warned the class about this. He said it was easy to imagine the book was about you.
I can still have all the symptoms that I read about in medical books.

02-11-2008, 09:48 PM
I was thinking that the adjuster had come loose.

02-11-2008, 09:52 PM
Quite possible, but they usually stay loud even after warm up if that's the case.

BUT, I could be wrong because anything is possible with a 30+ year old car. It's an easy thing to check, simply by removing the valve cover. Probably better to be sure than not.

02-11-2008, 10:55 PM
has the engine got a lot of running experience?(high mileage)were a lot of things could become suspect? Can you use a long extension/piece of pipe etc.as a stethoscope on the block to get a better idea of location of errant noise?
Here's what's happened to me on occasion of long winter shut downs.I alway's oil the cylinder's when it's parked for an extended period and under first time start up a piece of carbon stuck under the exhaust valve which made the rocker rather noisy,also had a dead hole at that point.Had to remove valve cover and whack the valve a few times till the carbon broke up/fell off and all was well with the Standard lump.

02-12-2008, 06:19 AM
Hey 2 !!

Wow! You read my mind.

I now use my TR6 as a repair shop on wheels since
I need to carry so many tools and gizzmos in the trunk.

I was down at my boat doing some routine maintanence
yesterday and while driving home I began to worry the
thrust washers will fall out and eat up my engine.

I am using the clutch as little a possible and I'm getting
pretty good a rpm shifting. Still, the dang thrust washers have me worried sick.


02-12-2008, 10:37 AM
Hey 2 !!
I am using the clutch as little a possible and I'm getting
pretty good a rpm shifting. Still, the dang thrust washers have me worried sick.


Dale, replacing worn thrust washers is less expensive then the transmission. You said you measured the end play and found it to be OK. Trust your assessment and drive the car as it was designed to be driven. Use the clutch to shift.

Don Elliott
02-12-2008, 10:41 AM
Dale - I had a noise in my 1958 TR3A back in 2002 or so and it sounded like 5 or 6 teaspoons rattling in a coffee can. I thought od every possible thing that could make such a noise. I finally found out it was in the starter.

02-12-2008, 12:19 PM
Hi Bill I had a noise once that was hard to diagnose, so I took it to my buddy to look at. He grabbed his stethoscope that had a long rod about a foot long and 5/16 in diameter sticking out the bottom. He kinda poked it around and said hear listen and it turned out to be the armature in my NEW generator that I bought from Moss for like 50.00 flopping around. The stethoscope worked really well. I could distinguish between the timing chain, the belt, the pump, and some of the other noises, so maybe nail this thing down a little more before you unplug it. I blamed myself for the product because I should have known I get what I pay for. Anyways, still got the generator sitting in an old box for 5 years and kept it for perhaps some of the casting parts. I figured it would cost me too much to send it back.

02-12-2008, 01:32 PM
And as far as valve train noisemakers, could be the rocker shaft is worn, grooves in the shaft, until the lube fills them up will cause a noise on startup, not usually a lower pitch "oh my God, my engine's gonna blow up noise", more a medium, "wonder how long that's gonna last, until I have to fix it" type noise.

02-12-2008, 07:49 PM
Only problem with a stethoscope is that it also shows you perfectly normal noises that you've never heard before ! The racket inside the timing chest is simply incredible.

One other distant possibility (to have nightmares about) is piston slap ...

02-12-2008, 08:40 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:]One other distant possibility (to have nightmares about) is piston slap ... [/QUOTE]


I think that Bill's engine is relatively "new" from a rebuilt standpoint and I thought that he said that he replaced his pistons when he did it.

02-12-2008, 08:55 PM
You're probably right Paul, and I did say it was a distant possibility. OTOH it does sound like there is something wrong, and mistakes are sometimes made during rebuilds.

02-12-2008, 10:00 PM
Piston slap is a good point especially if they are forged. See if you can rule out the the fuel pump, if you are still mechanical, because they certainly can make some noise.

02-12-2008, 10:04 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:] mistakes are sometimes made during rebuilds[/QUOTE]

And my old flat rate tickets can attest to that!!!!