: Tapping Lifters at start

06-14-04, 12:15 PM
About two months agoI noticed one morning I getting a tapping sound from my lfters. The sound left in about five min. I had it checked out any way. I eventually had the oil pump changed but it still happens. After a good running u can't even tell it running. Also my oil light flashes some times:confused:

06-14-04, 03:10 PM
About two months agoI noticed one morning I getting a tapping sound from my lfters. The sound left in about five min. I had it checked out any way. I eventually had the oil pump changed but it still happens. After a good running u can't even tell it running. Also my oil light flashes some times:confused:

I assume you mean the oil pressure warning light..???....if so, then you should probably have the oil pressure warning light sending unit or switch replaced. It is located just above the oil filter on the oil filter adapter. The switch will start to wear at the toggle point and become erratic. Not too unusual for a higher mileage car.

Any idea of the type of car, engine, year, miles, etc....???

I wouldn't worry about an occasional lifter tapping at startup. It may get air in it from sitting with the cam lobe holding the valve open and collapsing the lifter. Then, when you start the engine, the lifter has to take up the complete travel from being collapsed and it can suck some air in. Sometimes the engine is more prone to this on one brand of oil or another. You might try a different oil brand next time to see if it diminishes. Changing the oil pump was probably unnecessary. The Northstar (I assume this is a Northstar...??) oil pump is very very robust and should never wear out or need replacement.

06-15-04, 01:30 AM
The car is a 96 deville and it has 191000 miles on it. :) Thanks for the info I just needed some form of back to no my baby as OK!!!!:worship:

06-16-04, 08:12 AM
The next time you need to add oil, try adding 1 quart of Marvel Mystery Oil. It acts like a penetrating oil and can often free up sticky lifters.

It is inexpensive and will not hurt your engine. You will normally get results in minutes and lasting results in a day or so, under normal driving conditions.

It is not a miracle cure, but is very useful product for freeing up sticky lifters and rings.


06-16-04, 03:26 PM
What was the oil pressure before and after the oil pump was changed??

At 191,000 miles the bearings may be worn enough to lose oil pressure, maybe down near 0 even though the pump is putting out plenty of oil.

In this condition it might be worth putting in heavier oil or an additive. (Yeah, This is one of the few times I recommend heavy oil.)

06-17-04, 01:23 AM
The shop never told me if there was a different in the pressure before and after. I quest i should get that info if they even check it:tisk:

06-17-04, 01:53 AM
It should have been checked but too late now.

Now try a thicker oil or add a bottle of STP and see what happens.

06-17-04, 01:34 PM
Do yourself and your Northstar a favor and do NOT put any STP anywhere near it. STP is not even worth using to lube door hinges much less to put in an engine. Geez....

06-17-04, 07:35 PM
I'll take exception to your kind comments on STP! I use it on engines that are run infrequently,it keeps an oil film on the cylinders longer. For years everyone (OK, maybe not you Bbob) recommended using 50% STP and 50% oil as an assembly lube. The other use would be increasing oil viscosity,for the engine that started this thread.

The problem with STP is people adding it and never changing their oil because of a leak. Many times I heard the " I add enough oil that I never have to change it " line. STP got the blame for their running the engine into the ground.

06-17-04, 10:32 PM
I think STP got the reputation for an assembly lube in the belief that it is so thick so it wouldn't drain off.

STP is useless for two reasons. It causes ring belt deposits that will eventually stick the rings and cause a loss of compression and exacerbate oil consumption.

STP does not have any "anti-wear" properties due to the total lack of ZDP in the STP. At one time there was none at all. I think that they now add a trace of ZDP so as to avoid any truth in advertising problems. As long as there is a trace they can say "reduces wear" or some such garbage. There is so little anti-wear properties that it is virtually useless.

STP added to a worn engine will appear to improve oil burning and such for a short period of time due to the added viscosity. But, in the long run it can be very harmfull. I would not even recommend it for door hinges.

If you want the best possible assembly lube use the GM EOS (Engine Oil Supplement). That has added viscosity due to the thicker base stock. It also has copious amounts of ZDP in it. It is heavily fortified with the anti-wear ZDP which is why it is relatively expensive. But that is also why it works when things like STP do NOT.

06-18-04, 04:39 AM
I don't use STP as assembly lube anymore. As I said: Everyone used to do that. Good assembly lube has been around for a long time now.( I hate to think I'm that old!!)

I only suggested using it here for the one thing you agree it does...increase viscosity. If there is fresh oil in this engine STP is cheaper than refilling it to see if the tappet noise is eliminated with heavier oil. If it helps the problem the next oil change could be 20W50 and NO STP. If there is little oil usage I'd say leave it with 10W30. Agreed?

06-18-04, 07:25 AM
At that kind of mileage, your bearings are worn. Replacement will correct your low oil situation.

06-18-04, 02:28 PM
I assume u r talking about tearing the engine down and replacing the main bearings:rolleyes:

06-18-04, 02:39 PM
At that kind of mileage, your bearings are worn. Replacement will correct your low oil situation.

I would doubt that the bearings are worn sufficiently to cause the oil pressure to drop. In my observations of very high mileage Northstar engines at teardown the bearings are virtually unscathed and this has been confirmed by a number of posters on this and other forums that have also torn down engines with a lot of miles on them.

Besides....low oil pressure will not cause a ticking lifter, despite old wives tales to the contrary. The lifter hydraulic element that acutally takes up the lash in the system (and causes ticking if it doesn't) is self priming and self filling with oil. No oil pressure is required to actually make the lifter work. As long as there is a tiny bit of oil pressure to keep the secondary chamber in the lifter supplied with oil then it will fill and the primary chamber will work fine. The lifter is virtually immune to engine oil pressure to function properly...basically, as long as there is some oil pressure (just a few PSI will do) the lifter will function fine.

A lifter that is full of oil will run in the engine quietly for several minutes after start even with zero oil pressure.... There is a sufficient reserve in the secondary oil cavity of the lifter to supply the primary pressure cavity with oil for operation.

If the lifter ticks on startup then it is bleeding down due to a check ball that has a minute bit of debris in it or something like that. It isn't an oil pressure problem even if the bearings were worn.

06-19-04, 01:44 AM
So what do i need to do to stop the ticking of the lifters (actually just one I think!) because it is getting on my nerves :banghead: I love this car but that sound tick tick tick tick is getting trapped in my head.

06-20-04, 11:12 PM
Isolate the ticking lifter and replace it. It sounds like it has a problem and/or there is debris in it that is not getting flushed out....

06-20-04, 11:54 PM
how hard would it be to replace a lifter on the front head and can i do it without taking to engine out?:confused:

06-20-04, 11:55 PM
how hard would it be to replace a lifter on the front head close to the waterpump? Also can i do it without removing the engine

06-21-04, 11:45 AM
how hard would it be to replace a lifter on the front head close to the waterpump? Also can i do it without removing the engine
I would think it would be pretty easy. Not knowing all the specifics of it, you'd just have to remove the waterpump pulley, remove the valve cover, install the tool that holds the chain in place, remove your sprockets and cams, and remove your lifters.

06-21-04, 12:35 PM
Has anyone ever removed one lifter in the manner stated above? sound good but does it work like that?

06-21-04, 08:14 PM
I'm not sure there is enough room under the hood to do this with the engine in the car. At very least it would be a giant PITA. IMHO

06-21-04, 11:08 PM
It is actaully fairly simple to remove and replace a lifter, particularily on the front bank. You have to remove the cam for that lifter but there is a special tool that locks the timing chain so the cam sprocket can be removed. There is also another version of the tool that bolts a small detail to the cylinder head so that the sprocket can be slid onto the detail where it rests while the cam is removed...then the sprocket is slid back onto the cam and bolted in place. It just takes patience and care.

You will have to remove the water pump drive pulley from the inlet cam...a power steering puller does that and a piece of threaded rod or long bolt will pull the pulley back on when finished.

It is easily done in the car without removing or jacking up the engine.

Just get one of the tools to hold the cam sprocket or chain and the power steering pulley puller before you start because you have to have them to do the job successfully. One of the posters on the forum with an Aurora made the detail to slide the sprocket onto to change the cam (he changed cams in the car and can verify how to do it.) so he might be availalbe to loan the tool...???

Aurora By Olds
06-21-04, 11:08 PM
Has anyone ever removed one lifter in the manner stated above? sound good but does it work like that?Yup, its fairly easy to do, and it doesnt take that long. I replaced both of my intake cams in about 4 hours (including the time it took me to fabricate some details to hold tension on the cam gear).
It really does work that easy, the only tricky part is making sure the timing chain stays taught if you're using the clamp-style tool.

06-22-04, 05:18 AM
Thanks I'm going to look into getting these tools I already have a power steering pulley and will try to get the others anybody kn ow how much a lifter set cost?

07-08-04, 12:33 AM
I had that exact problem, a noisy lifter at initial startup*. 1994 4.6 Northstar Seville SLS, 151,000 miles. (Read bottom of this message for a direct cause-and-effect correlation for tapping - you will be surprised!)

Solution: A cocktail of Rislone supplements at each oil change quiets the lifters and provides smooth, quiet engine operation. Remember a ticking lifter left uncorrected can damage a camshaft.

Use the following and see the difference for yourself.
1. Rislone Engine Oil Treatment (http://www.rislone.com/engine.htm) - a clear blue liquid, quiets top end components like lifters, add 25% of crankcase capacity, so 7.5 quarts x 25% = approximately 1 3/4 quarts (comes in 1 quart bottles, about $3.00 each).
2. Rislone Ring Seal ((http://www.rislone.com) - a special thickening additive that quiets noisy engines and cushions parts, add one 15 ounce bottle (another $3.00). This product can be added to a full crankcase - does not increase the volume, goes into solution.
3. And the remainder of Castrol Oil GTX 10W-30, 5 3/4 quarts.
The lifters will quiet completely within the first 700 miles AND remain quiet if the same mixture is used at the next oil change. Add regular Castrol GTX as needed between oil changes.

*Cause-and-effect: I had changed my oil and used Castrol "High Mileage" formulation - my lifters started making noise, out-of-the-blue!
I implemented the above Rislone treatment and the lifter(s) quieted. A couple of months or so later, I noticed I still had a quart of the Castrol "High Mileage" oil left on the shelf - I added it and the lifter(s) began tapping the next day! So, there is something in the High Mileage type to be avoided.

07-19-04, 01:08 PM
I switch my oil to castrol 10-30 syntecblend and the tapping has happen since.

02-11-05, 12:24 AM
Well after about 2000 miles the tappet noise is back. I don't have any oil pressure issues but for the anoying tappet noise. I have always used Pennz 10/30 but after reading the last couple of posts in this thread from the middle of last year I'm wondering if I should change to a different manufacturer to see what happens. I have been through all the flushing issues of using Rislone and all that so what do you think. Almost ready to peddle this ride for somthing else.

02-11-05, 01:57 AM
TIGHTEN THE HARMONIC BALANCER.... It drives the oil pump but not by keyway. The oil pump drives just from the balancer pressure against it and wih out enough pressure it slips on the crank shaft.

02-11-05, 12:16 PM
Whoever designed that oil pump out to be taken out and shot! *lol* If that harmonic balancer bolt ever breaks or backs out, there goes your oil pressure. And if "momma" is driving it at the time, there goes your engine! A simple keyway, like the other manufacturers use, could have eliminated all that trouble. I would think that after 100 years of building cars, Cadillac could come up with better designs than they are currently using. But then, I guess GM has to pay for all that tooling somehow, and selling replacement parts is one way to accomplish that.

A word of caution on the water pump drive pulley: those things are really on there tight because, once again, there is no keyway, so it relies on a press fit to keep the pulley from slipping on the camshaft. If you can't get a good, straight pull with a power steering puller, bite the bullet and buy the correct puller from Kent-Moore tools. I know a guy that broke his camshaft trying to use the wrong puller to get that pulley off of there.

02-11-05, 02:04 PM
You might change your brand of oil filters. A bad drainback valve will let air into the oil system at startup. Try AC Delco, or Wix/NAPA.

02-12-05, 12:11 AM
I have always used the OEM filter. I believe that if it was designed to have a particular filter such as the A/C Delco that is what it will have. The tappet noise sometimes will be quite noticable and at other times not at all. It is always quiet when started up cold.

Anyway I will be looking at an Envoy tomorrow.