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Ticking noise after head swap

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Old 09-14-2017, 12:31 PM   #21
Jaybird29
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Thanks all for the comments and suggestions.

My plan of attack is to start with the easiest/lowest risk item which is the exhaust. I've found a shop that will work with me this weekend on detecting any leak source(s). I properly torqued header bolts with the new GM gaskets so I don't think that's where a leak could be, but I still won't rule it out yet.

After that I'm interested in the shorter pushrods and possibly the trunion upgrade idea. Could just putting in shorter pushrods help? That's an easy test to try. Any other thoughts on this?

If that doesn't work then I'll pull the heads. Really regret not inspecting the lifters on the first go-round. Good lesson for others considering a DIY head swap.

Will update as I learn more.
I am waiting on my heads from AHP and have new lifters coming even though I am not changing cam. Lifters are cheap enough even though old lifters only have 12.5k miles. Also my heads were milled .020" and recommended to use 7.775" PR which seems to the norm.

You mentioned you get a smell in the cabin. What kind of smell (oil, gas, coolant)?

Last edited by Jaybird29; 09-14-2017 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:32 PM   #22
Dan_the_C5_Man
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I don't think you will solve this with a shorter pushrod - it's common knowledge that running less preload can result in more ticking and tapping noises, not less.

Last edited by Dan_the_C5_Man; 09-14-2017 at 04:14 PM.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:50 PM   #23
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I am waiting on my heads from AHP and have new lifters coming even though I am not changing cam. Lifters are cheap enough even though old lifters only have 12.5k miles. Also my heads were milled .020" and recommended to use 7.775" PR which seems to the norm.

You mentioned you get a smell in the cabin. What kind of smell (oil, gas, coolant)?
Good call on the lifters.

It's hard to describe but basically the smell reminds me of running exhaust with no cats. Goes away after 20 seconds or so after startup and it's pretty strong outside the car. At the moment it's the one thing keeping me thinking it's an exhaust leak and not lifter related.
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Old 09-14-2017, 12:55 PM   #24
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If you have a shop vac, or regular vacuum that can be reversed to blow air:

stuff it into one of the tailpipes and seal it as best you can. Ditto for the other tailpipe. Blow the air into the exhaust system and check for air leaks.

Last edited by nuke61; 09-14-2017 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 09-14-2017, 03:01 PM   #25
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I listened to the video again. It sounds like a lifter, especially how the noise increases with rev and lowers when idling. However with exhaust gaskets being fairly cheap, I would replace DS exhaust manifold gasket first and see if that helps.. Did you remove any other exhaust gasket?
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Old 09-14-2017, 10:34 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Jaybird29 View Post
I listened to the video again. It sounds like a lifter, especially how the noise increases with rev and lowers when idling. However with exhaust gaskets being fairly cheap, I would replace DS exhaust manifold gasket first and see if that helps.. Did you remove any other exhaust gasket?
Initially after the swap I reused my original 56k mile gaskets. After talking to Kohle I replaced them with new OEM gaskets on both sides but no change in sound. I haven't replaced any of the other gaskets in the system but may go ahead and replace them (headers to cats & cats to midpipe) just to help rule out a leak since they're cheap and easy to replace.
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