Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Central Illinois
Not trying to hijack a thread here, but I was just coming to see if I could find anyone else that had this issue, and/or ask about it myself.
I have a rattling sound that seems to be coming from the engine area on the driver side. I can only hear it when I'm driving, and it is most noticeable at the lower end of 3rd and 4th gear. I can make it happen in 1st/2nd gear under certain conditions (putt putting between stop signs in town on a hill). I originally thought it was just a loose exhaust shield since it's really only noticeable on the lower RPM range of any of the gears. All this being said, I can occasionally hear it if I step on it to pass someone on the highway. But if I go easy on her, it will only happen on the lower RPM range (or the engine itself just drowns the sound out at 60-70mph). But a few weekends ago I was doing an oil change and crawled around trying to jiggle anything I could, and everything seems to be solid. If I park it, get out, and rev the engine from the engine bay, I cannot reproduce the sound.
I replaced my valve cover gaskets, grommets, and stem seals that same weekend. While I had the valve covers off, I noticed the tensioner arm was right up against my stop block, but there seemed to be plenty of tension on the chain despite this fact. If I manually turn the crankshaft, I can see the tensioner pulse in and out (although very slightly). I'm concerned that my tensioner is failing, or has, and for whatever reason the rattle just seems to be coming from the driver side.
Unlike the OP, I cannot make the sound go away by stepping on it.
All timing chain components are maybe 5 months old, and 100% OEM.... not that this guarantees nothing will fail. If that was the case, I wouldn't have a stop block.
I'm still battling an oil leak from the timing cover... Replaced the gasket twice now, used gasket maker on the part that mates with the oil pan... still leaks like a sieve. I'm going to tear it down again, and just use a shit ton of gasket maker around the whole timing cover. That's how it was when I originally broke into it. It never leaked until I mocked the previous owner, and installed a Fel-Pro gasket because it seemed like the right thing to do.
When I do that, I'm considering pulling the tensioner, checking it out, and resetting it to see if that helps... Anyone want to loan me a tensioner reset tool, or explain how to make one/do it shade tree style?
Unlike the OP, I put a ton of miles on the car -- Almost 500 miles per week. I'm pretty sure my suspension is completely shot too. I don't know a lot about suspension, but I checked it over, and it appears to be all original... after re-reading the sticky about after market struts, maybe I'll just make sure nothings broken, and deal with some clunking when I go over bumps, and a non-luxury ride experience.
I planned on keeping the car for as long as possible. But it's almost 20 years old, and it's starting to get expensive to keep. I hope to keep everything held together and running until next spring when I'll just replace it :(
It does bum me out though. I just found a Trep ES w/ 3.5L HO engine, and literally everything (aside from the instrument cluster) that I've wanted to put into this car. Supposedly, the only thing wrong with that car is the transmission.. I've considered buying it, moving my tranny, tires, and anything else I can salvage to it. The guy I bought the wife's van from has it way in the back of his lot... he offered it to me for $500 bucks since we bought the van there, and we're returning customers. Battery was dead, and I was more concerned about getting the wife more wheels so I didn't really check it out much... The hood lifts actually held the hood up though!
Just posting here for collaboration purposes. If it's a totally different issue, I'll remove my wall of text, and make a new thread. I've tried recording the sound, but since it only happens when I'm traveling, it is very difficult to hear. I'll try to do it in a lower gear to isolate as much engine/road noise as possible tonight.