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2016 ATS Premium 6-spd MT
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Discussion Starter #1
I've put 900 miles of my car since mid November, mostly with the windows up, so I haven't noticed this before yesterday. With the windows down, I can more distinctly hear a "tap, tap, tap" sound at idle ... the frequency is RPM dependent. I've read posts where others have heard clicking sounds after their headers were installed and just thought that valvetrain sounds were being telegraphed or whatever. My motor sounds precisely like a valvetrain-related noise, particularly a lifter. I mean, a header leak never entered my mind ... I thought for sure it was a lifter. :mad:

Yesterday, a mechanic told me that a header leak will sound just like that. Needless to say, I would be FAR happier to have a header leak than be looking at a valvetrain repair. When I do the MMs and FW in the next month or so, I'll be putting in new header gaskets, too, and hopefully take care of the problem without tearing into the heads.

For those who've had header leaks, is that the way you'd describe the sound you heard?
 

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'05 CTS-V, '00 SLS, 98 SLS, 89 Eldo, '80 Eldo
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I've put 900 miles of my car since mid November, mostly with the windows up, so I haven't noticed this before yesterday. With the windows down, I can more distinctly hear a "tap, tap, tap" sound at idle ... the frequency is RPM dependent. I've read posts where others have heard clicking sounds after their headers were installed and just thought that valvetrain sounds were being telegraphed or whatever. My motor sounds precisely like a valvetrain-related noise, particularly a lifter. I mean, a header leak never entered my mind ... I thought for sure it was a lifter. :mad:

Yesterday, a mechanic told me that a header leak will sound just like that. Needless to say, I would be FAR happier to have a header leak than be looking at a valvetrain repair. When I do the MMs and FW in the next month or so, I'll be putting in new header gaskets, too, and hopefully take care of the problem without tearing into the heads.

For those who've had header leaks, is that the way you'd describe the sound you heard?
Never had a header leak..........
 

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Platinum 2004 CTS-V
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Sounds kinda like a sewing machine? If that makes sense. Telegraph sounds right too, but not so loud.
Mine were great for about 150 miles, then I had to retighten the bolts only once. Now mine barely make any noise, but they are wrapped. <- probably makes a big difference.

Factory GM gaskets are the way to go, but being the smart man you are, you already knew that :cool2:

RPM dependent sounds weird though. Wouldn't a leak come through regardless of RPM?

Never had a header leak..........
:bigroll:
 

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'06 Z06, '05 CTS-V 453rwhp/434rwtq (sold)
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I had an exhaust leak between my magnaflow and stock cats before and it did sound like something between a "tap tap tap" and a "click click click." It also DID increase frequency of the tapping with RPM increases. Which makes sense, you have more waves of exhaust coming through at higher rpm.

I imagine a header leak would sound similar. What gaskets did you use when you installed them?
 

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2004 CTS-V
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my car has a very distinct tick tick tick at idle as well, i thought the same as you. valvetrain.

waits for more responses :)
 

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04 CTS-V, 05 STS, 07 SRX- All sold :(
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Don't get excited by expecting it to be an easy fix of throwing a new gasket in. I really hope it's just a leak, but three sets of gaskets, one bottle of copper gasket sealant, two sets of spark plugs and roughly $500 in labor later, and my CTS-V still sounded like a Singer Sewing Machine from the time I installed the Kooks until the day I sold it.
 

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2016 ATS Premium 6-spd MT
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Discussion Starter #8
... What gaskets did you use when you installed them?
The ones Kooks sent me with the headers.


Don't get excited by expecting it to be an easy fix of throwing a new gasket in. I really hope it's just a leak, but three sets of gaskets, one bottle of copper gasket sealant, two sets of spark plugs and roughly $500 in labor later, and my CTS-V still sounded like a Singer Sewing Machine from the time I installed the Kooks until the day I sold it.
I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.

I must confess, I never did go back and retorque the header bolts. :hide:

You know, saying I have this tapping noise I should add that I could easily live with this. I mean, it's not awfully audible. It's just that it bugs the crap out of me to have it less than it should be.
 

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'06 Z06, '05 CTS-V 453rwhp/434rwtq (sold)
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The ones Kooks sent me with the headers.
Use GM gaskets this time around. I've put at least 5 or 6k miles on mine since they were installed with the GM gaskets and still no leaks and I never retorqued them.
 

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2016 ATS Premium 6-spd MT
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Discussion Starter #11
Use GM gaskets this time around. I've put at least 5 or 6k miles on mine since they were installed with the GM gaskets and still no leaks and I never retorqued them.
I've got about 20k on mine. Installed them in Feb '06.
 

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I've got about 20k on mine. Installed them in Feb '06.
:eek:

I saw 900 miles and didn't even think about it for more than second. See what happens when you try to do 5 things at once, and then post on caddilacforums at the same time! :lol:
 

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Where is the tap-tap-tap noise the loudest? Where the headers bolt to the heads or where it bolts to the catback (prolly looked into that, but might help us)? Or even crazier, do you have cats? You check them? I think I saw a thread around here one day where someone burned through a kook's cat.

My catback came loose off of my old stock headers and it was obvious where it was coming from. Also when I put a few miles on after my header install I went in to re-torque the bolts and found that the shop that put em on used locktite, so you may inquire to that also.

On a third note, you may your tech put some ARP hardware on there for easy future removal, but hopefully that won't be necessary (knock on wood). If times are tight and you want to go against the other guy's and my suggestion of using GM gaskets, I believe that I still have the cardboard set that kooks sent with mine, I could put em in the mail.

Good luck.
 

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'05 CTS-V, '00 SLS, 98 SLS, 89 Eldo, '80 Eldo
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:eek:

I saw 900 miles and didn't even think about it for more than second. See what happens when you try to do 5 things at once, and then post on caddilacforums at the same time! :lol:
You got 900, from 20,000. Don't you work in payroll..........
 

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You got 900, from 20,000. Don't you work in payroll..........
:lol: yes, I do work in payroll. I am quite good with numbers, usually...

see below

I've put 900 miles of my car since mid November, mostly with the windows up, so I haven't noticed this before yesterday.
 

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2016 ATS Premium 6-spd MT
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Discussion Starter #16
:eek:

I saw 900 miles and didn't even think about it for more than second. See what happens when you try to do 5 things at once, and then post on caddilacforums at the same time! :lol:
Good thing it wasn't happy hour, too! :alchi:


Where is the tap-tap-tap noise the loudest? Where the headers bolt to the heads or where it bolts to the catback (prolly looked into that, but might help us)? Or even crazier, do you have cats? You check them? I think I saw a thread around here one day where someone burned through a kook's cat. ...
Hard to tell where it's the loudest. I really started to notice it when I had the window down and was near a curb allowing the sound to bounce back to me. Popping the hood the other day didn't seem to help me better isolate where the sound is loudest. It definitely didn't say, "Here I am!" that's for certain, so your theory that it could be the cat connection coupled with the fact that I heard in echoing off the curb makes some sense.

Since we'll be disassembling the exhaust and headers at some point coming up, I'm hoping that when we reassemble it the sound is taken care of. Even if we don't cure it, it really is tolerable. Oh, btw, I have Kooks hi-flow metallic cats.
 

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Randy, check for cracks in the header. I had a small crack and had it welded up, it was hard to find, it was near the collectors. About 2months into my headers, it developed the same "ticking" sound, I just replaced them with GM gaskets when I did my H/C and motor mount install, and it went away (so far). Or just add a X-pipe and make your neighbors happy.
 

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2016 ATS Premium 6-spd MT
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Discussion Starter #18
... Or just add a X-pipe and make your neighbors happy.
:eek: What I'd love to do is have a switch to go between yours and mine. That would be fun.

Dennis, I don't recall ... did you do the UUC MMs?

Oh, and btw, you need to tell me where to send this bushing tool.

I think I'm going to have Mike do some more work on my car, too. :thumbsup:
 

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