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TR2/3/3A rattling noise on TR3a

2billydavies

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hi everyone.... me again!
so most of you know I just went through my engine rebuild. here's my latest question: there is a distinct, constant rattling noise coming from the engine somewhere. I dont think it's from the rebuild as the same exact noise was there before. I thought it would have gone away with the rebuild. my guess is its something to do with the head.... valves, rockers.... something in there. any guesses from anyone? it doesn't do it when under load or when I push the gas pedal.... mostly only idling. it will stop for a moment, but mostly its pretty constant/consistent. if you could envision putting some bolts into a metal bowl and putting it on the hood of the car and listening to them vibrate.... thats the nearest description I can give.
my guess is the head and the pieces in it. if this is true.... do you think adding one of those additional hose so that oil gets pumped directly into it would help? I just don't see much oil getting up there at all when I take the oil filling lid off and peak in while the engine is running.
of course.... this may not even be the issue, im just guessing what makes sense to me. it's tough pinpointing it even with my ears over the engine during idling.
any guesses/input would be awesome.... as usual!
 

M_Pied_Lourd

Darth Vader
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Timing chain/tensioner...

Cheers
Tush
 

CJD

Yoda
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What are your valves set to? Nothing else in the head is "rattleable"! Rattling would be timing chain.
 

Geo Hahn

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...do you think adding one of those additional hose so that oil gets pumped directly into it would help? I just don't see much oil getting up there at all when I take the oil filling lid off and peak in while the engine is running...

You shouldn't see a lot of oil there - in my experience it is more of an 'ooze' than a major flow. The extra oil lines have reportedly resulted in greater oil consumption in some cases.
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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I agree with Geo. A mechanic's stethoscope can be very helpful for mystery noises; although you have to realize that all noises will be amplified even the normal ones.
https://www.harborfreight.com/mechanics-stethoscope-69913.html

As long as you get some oil oozing from all the rockers eventually, then more oil up there is not likely to help and can potentially cause serious problems. The designers went out of their way to limit flow to the head (it is basically metered by a cam journal). Here's what happened to me with the external oil feed:


Loose valves (either bad adjustment or excess wear) sound more like tapping at idle, not what I'd call a rattle. I can't think of anything that you shouldn't have found during the rebuild, unless maybe there's a bolt dragging on something around the flywheel/clutch area.
 

TomMull

Luke Skywalker
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I'd second the stethoscope but you might try running with the belt off to eliminate gen or water pump. Also play with clutch pedal to see if that changes the noise. Tom
 

sp53

Yoda
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Try what Tom suggested. I have experienced the generator making that noise, but again you might hear it with the stethoscope also.
 

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
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Try the above but also try this.

Take a big sponge and slip it between the rod that supports the bonnet (engine hood) and the inside of the engine hood. This is with the rod secure in the rubber bung near the wiper motor. It will stop the rattle if it is caused by the hood rod vibrating. Then latch down the hood closed. This rattling usually only happens at idle - between 600 to 1200 RPM.
 
OP
2billydavies

2billydavies

Senior Member
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wow.... good stuff. I'm scratching the extra oil hose idea. lol
timing chain tensioner makes sense. never gave that a thought. from what I remember when removing/putting back on that tensioner just sort of leaned into the timing chain and the cover just went on. ill have to check that out this weekend. thanks!
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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timing chain tensioner makes sense. never gave that a thought. from what I remember when removing/putting back on that tensioner just sort of leaned into the timing chain and the cover just went on. ill have to check that out this weekend. thanks!
Yup, that's all it is. But they do sometimes break, apparently from the constant flexing as the chain rollers go by.
 

Don Elliott

Obi Wan
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If your engine is running with a bit of throttle, you won't hear the timing chain rattling. It's when you suddenly let up off the gas that the timing chain will rattle, then, in most cases, you won't hear it again until you repeat the above steps. The timing chain will make a rattling sound because the tensioner is worn and/or too weak to hold the chain out at it's full-tension position. It only rattles when you have no positive torque when accelerating on the system. But let up and the chain goes limp and rattles.

In 195,000 miles on my 1958 TR3A, I would guess that I have changed the timing chain tensioner about 5 times. The chain and sprockets are still the ones that came with the TR brand new.
 

PeterK

Yoda
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Mine had an odd squeaky rattle. Turned out to be the grille vibrating against the cowl opening. Before opening up the front of the engine, try pushing and holding other bits to see if the sound emanates from elsewhere.

For a DIY stethoscope, you can use a long handled screwdriver with the handle side pressed against your cheekbone in front of your ear and you press the blade end on the suspect parts. Or if HF is close, pick up one of theirs for low $.
 
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