Tapping sound on 93 Ford Thunderbird

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  #1  
Old 12-07-02, 02:41 PM
mlflag
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Tapping sound on 93 Ford Thunderbird

I have a 93 Tbird with 3.8 V6, auto tranny and about 86,000 miles on it. I have begun to notice that when I accelerate, or right after vehicle shifts from 1st to 2nd or 2nd to 3rd, I hear a tapping sound that seems to be coming from the engine. I have noticed the same sound when cruising at speeds from 35 on up when I accelerate slightly to pick up speed. I also hear the sound when accelerating hard to get on the freeway. When idling, the engine sounds fine. The check engine light came on several times several months ago but always went out and has not come back on since. Other than this sound, the car starts and runs fine. Anyone else ever experienced this and know what it might be? I hope it is not a sticky valve. If it were a valve problem, wouldn't I hear it when idling also? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

mlflag
 
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  #2  
Old 12-07-02, 04:33 PM
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it doesnt sound very good for the conditions upon which you hear the sound.
the best thing to do is have a technician listen to it and they can give you a better idea of what is causing the sound it may just be an exhaust leak, but it could be alot of things but i know no one can tell you for sure without listening to first.
 
  #3  
Old 12-08-02, 11:25 AM
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I agree with Bejay,you need to have a mechanic take a listen to this thing.I do know they had some problems with a "spark knock" concern,which makes a tapping/rattle sound mainly on acceleration.But as Bejay stated,without actually hearing it,it's hard to say!!
 
  #4  
Old 12-09-02, 04:01 PM
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these guys are right on....Are you sure it is not pinging? Do you know what to listen for for a car that is pinging?

Knock under load that is not a ping is not good.

I have a 94 tbird with the same engine, so the following suggestion comes straight from the heart.

Get rid of it NOW. Not sure if you know this, but the 3.8 is a notorious head gasket blower. It does it usually between 80k and 150k+, but usually right at 100k. It is so bad, that you can count on EACH AND EVERY 3.8L up till 99 blowing a head gasket. it is so bad that ford even has a recall on it, but it doesn't cover all cars like it should, and only counts up to 100kmiles.

While stronger than the aod, your tranny---called the r470w is still not much better, and they blow right around the miles you have.

My 94 tbird blew the tranny at 100k, smoked the fluid filled engine mounts (expensive) right after 100k, and grenaded the head gasket at 129k. They can be real nice cars when running right

same yourself the headache and trade it in. Sorry to rant, but I tell this to ALL people with that kind of ford because I wouldn't want my worst enemy to go through what I and others do.
 
  #5  
Old 12-09-02, 04:14 PM
davidf
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valve tappets need adjusting.That is the time to adjust them,when you hear them.
 
  #6  
Old 12-09-02, 05:28 PM
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mlflag
Have you tried using only premium gas? My two Tbirds seem to like the expensive stuff.

jthompson
Sorry that you've had bad luck with your Tbird. I have two! My '93 has 146,000 and my '96 has 165,000 miles, with none of the problems that you mentioned. The head gasket nearly always is from overheating at some point in time. The gasket doesn't blow at the time of overheating, but it seems that it is weakened, or the head warps, and blows at a later date. Tranny problems on these cars is almost non-existent when fluid and filter is changed at recommended intervals. One thing that causes a lot of tranny problems is having 100,000 miles on the tranmission and then changing the fluid for the FIRST time. This almost always causes failure within a couple of 100 miles. All of the metal particles that have accumulated in the sludge is washed loose by the new fluid. It's better to not change fluid on high milage cars if it has never been done at regular intervals.

I'm even looking at buying a 3rd Tbird, a '96 V8 car. I don't know what it is but I seem to like these cars better than anything else on the market right now.

nashcat
 
  #7  
Old 12-10-02, 05:38 AM
Joe_F
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I agree with Jeremy. This was a poor platform, riddled with problems....so much so, Ford pitched it and it hasn't been around since 1996.

My sister did have a 1990 TBird and it was a nice riding car, but it was cheap quality and I didn't shed a tear the day she pitched it. She got decent money for it in 2000 when she sold it. It was a poorly screwed together vehicle and had a lot of problems early on. I did most of the service work on the car, and it was pretty much a heap .

Give me a rear wheel drive GM coupe of a little older vintage and there'd be half the problems which are all easily rectified .
 
  #8  
Old 12-10-02, 08:11 AM
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sorry to come across so harsh with the car. It is kind of a love/hate relationship. For the $$$ it rides like a luxury car 4 times it's value, it is twice as quite as my wifes brand new jetta and looks good too. while being underpowered, I really love the car. However, the mechanical failures are too abundant. You are right about the tranny, unfortunetly it is difficult to find someone who has changed the fluid on schedule, usually that is the first thing someone neglects.

I belong to a thunderbird message forum--tccoa. Same story from all of them. Everyones head gasket blows, even if you haven't over heated--you have been lucky. and everyone puts ungodly amounts of $$$ to keep it running.

Good luck with your tbird. BTW if you have to replace the motor, a lot of people are putting that 4.2L 6 cyl truck motor into their tbird, gobs more power, and almost direct swap-almost anyway, ranting Jeremy
 
  #9  
Old 12-10-02, 06:32 PM
mlflag
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Thanks for all of the input. I also like the car and have to hang on to it for awhile (its paid for and I am not in a position to take on a car loan). Several follow up questions to the responses.

1. nashcat-I have only used regular although recently ran a high quality fuel injector cleaner with a tank of mid-grade. No change. Are we talking the top octane stuff everytime you fill up or will just an occasional tank take care of the pinging? Also, the transmission fluid thing. The car actually just turned 90,000. I have owned it since it had about 40,000 and to my shame, must admit I have not had the fluid changed. Is it too late to have it changed and what about the new full flush changes that suck out all of the fluid while replacing it with new?

2. jthompson-I had the head gaskets changed at about 50,000. I haven't had any problems since then other than having a ball joint break and the driver's side seat belt motor break. Other than that its been a good runner. I hope I am not looking at the head gasket thing again as the mechanic who did it put in the best aftermarket gaskets for the vehicle.

3. davidf-does it require a ford mechanic to adjust the valve tappets or can any mechanic do it?

Thanks mlflag
 
  #10  
Old 12-10-02, 06:56 PM
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often people wait until they are actually having a transmission problem before they change the fluid and filter but it is usually to late by then to do any good. so if you are not experiencing any problems i would recomend you change it as maintence as soon as you find out what the noise is and if it is serious or not. it is important to change the filter and the flushing services do not do that they just replace the fluid, some of the fords have a drain plug that can be removed to drain the fluid out of the convertor some do not.
your car has hydraulic lifters and if that was making your noise you would for sure hear it at an idle also, there is also no adjustment to them the rockers torque to spec.
 
  #11  
Old 12-10-02, 07:36 PM
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here is an idea. Fire up the car and leave it in park, ebrake on. Grab a long screwdriver with a plastic handle. Leave the engine idle or have someone rev it to 2k, or higher. Place the steel end of the screwdriver on choice places on the valve covers, careful not to touch any moving parts. put the plastic end to your ear. The screwdriver acts just like a stethescope, it will magnify any metal to metal noises in your engine.

You may hear the noise this way, and often can tell by it's pitch/and speed whether it is coming from the upper or lower end.

do be careful with this and exercise good caution

I have also used this method placing it on the oil pan to detect rod knock.

Make sure your buddy in the car doesn't get wise and blow the horn.
 
  #12  
Old 12-11-02, 03:31 AM
Joe_F
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Spark knock or "dieseling" can also be caused by a stuffed EGR valve---Fords are notorious stuffers on carbon and EGR valves.

Inspect the valve, change the gasket and clean out any carbon you find as well.

Premium fuel is a waste in this vehicle---not required.
 
  #13  
Old 12-11-02, 03:32 AM
Joe_F
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Another possibility is an exhaust leak. 3.8 Fords (the older ones) blow out the diverter valve at the air pump making them sound like motorboats .
 
  #14  
Old 03-31-07, 09:18 PM
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Scam or not?

Please Ignore
 

Last edited by Teen Mech; 04-01-07 at 07:54 AM. Reason: wrong spot
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