New here and only to confirm a problem -
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-31-2014, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: South Dennis
Posts: 1
New here and only to confirm a problem

Hey All,

So I bought my 99 XJ Cherokee around Christmas. Did a oil change immediately to Pennzoil 10W30 with a pureone filter. It drove fine, Had the lifter tick I knew about from my family's history with Jeeps and reading about it online. It has a power steering leak and a intermittent belt squeal, and a few electric problems that are none other than inconvenient (intermittent power locks, radio inop, blower only on high/low). I did another oil change about 2500 miles later in February-same filter/oil.

Anyways on my way to work friday night That tick tick tick became a tock tock tock. NO power loss, no smoke, no leaks. I did another oil change saturday with Pennzoil 10W30 and a fram filter- no change yet. I thought I completely lost the lifter but I pulled the rocker cover and found that amazingly all the rockers are pretty tight- little slop in a couple but nothing worth mentioning. There was a good amount of sludge that I attempted to remove/loosen. Drove it about 30 miles since it changed tone. It currently has almost exactly 180K original miles.

I have a couple videos of the noise to share:

After reading about piston slap I'm left to believe that is what this is. Unless I blew a hole in the exhaust manifold. My dad told me to cover the tailpipe and see if it got louder- it didn't, and with it still being 30-35 in the mornings here I don't see any vapor/smoke around the manifold area in the cold startup, so I'm kinda going with piston slap since I know its a non-interference motor and the valves aren't breaking up on the pistons.

So I guess what I'm asking is someone to confirm this. And how far/should I drive like this? Its my only car and not warm/long enough days to bike to work.

I can't afford another car or huge repair. I am an aircraft mechanic working on piston engines so I have mechanical ability but not alot of experience on car engines. And I just have a giant tarp as shelter to do the work.

Any advice? I think after reading the comments on here and other forums I'll be switching to Rotella oil next change-if I can make it that far.

sbel687 is offline  
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-31-2014, 07:22 PM
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles / SFV
Posts: 3,301
A few ideas:
Buy a mechanics stethoscope, or a really long screw driver and probe around to see where the noise is coming from.
Examine the exhaust header at the collector and look for cracks.
Do a compression check.
Try a different weight oil and a non-fram filter (WIX or Mopar (available at Walmart)).
(And if it helps to rule out other issues, why wait on the oil change?)

Good luck.
sAe23 is offline  
post #3 of 4 Old 03-31-2014, 07:58 PM
rockin lil red wagon
98muddyjeep's Avatar
1998 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Hatboro PA
Posts: 1,275
A piston slap is a very loud knock that goes away with higher rpms, you would know it if you heard it it is a loud nasty sound that I hope you never hear. You may have a crack in the exhaust manifold,or possibly a loose bolt on the flywheel so I would start by looking at that stuff first.

ah,beer the cause of and cure to all of lifes problems ...Homer J Simpson... I am the guy in the red jeep!
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post #4 of 4 Old 04-01-2014, 08:48 AM
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Enfield, CT
Posts: 275
I'm also going to say it could be the flywheel bolts. Mine has a knock sound but I'm sure its the bolts. I watched a video on youtube with someone that had that issue and sounded just like mine. If it is the flywheel bolts its not to much to worry about.
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