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Unread 03-31-2014, 06:38 PM   #1
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: South Dennis, Massachusetts
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   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-31-2014, 07:22 PM   #2
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Los Angeles / SFV, California
Posts: 3,251
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   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 03-31-2014, 07:58 PM   #3
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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Unread 04-01-2014, 08:48 AM   #4
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1999 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Enfield, CT
Posts: 262
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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