98 Jeep Grand Cherokee engine tick - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-04-2021, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
tristonw
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98 Jeep Grand Cherokee engine tick

Hello all!

I need some help tracking down an engine tick on my 98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I just got done cleaning the engine bay, replacing the plugs, wires, and distributor cap & rotor. The engine turns over great but I'm noticing a pretty substantial engine tick. I linked a video below so you can hear it. Before the parts replacements, the tick was there, however it seems louder now. This may be due to the fact that I was sticking my head in the bay after starting to look at the work.



Edit: I tried posting a link to the video but I guess I don't have a high enough post count. Hence the weird format below.

youtu [dot] be/Kf-C6v5Y25k

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post #2 of 12 Old 05-04-2021, 02:51 PM
riiz
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Which engine do you have and does the tick speed up with an increase in engine speed?
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-04-2021, 05:37 PM
jb1331
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if it is coming from the front left of the engine bay, that is normal.

1997 ZJ Laredo 4x2 I6 Bought 2/1999 @29k, 186k
2004 Jeep Liberty LTD. Totaled @ 177k
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-04-2021, 06:06 PM
95-ZJ
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Hi there fellow Jeep owner,

Im DW and I am new to the forum. I am not a mechanic, nor do I play one on TV, lol. But, because I have been where you are, I will take some time and try to suggest some possible solutions to track down your issue. Here it goes.

First, as riiz asked, is your engine a 4.0L Inline 6 cylinder or a V8, either the 5.2, or 5.9?

That may narrow it down to figuring out the more detailed variables.

Second, More information is needed to really narrow and pinpoint the what, why, and where its coming from.

As you know and can hear upon starting and running most any engine. They are, by nature, mechanical and make noises and I know I'm stating the obvious, since you seem mechanically inclined to do a general tune up but, what your hearing may be a normal, running and funcfioning engine sound.

But for sake of being thorough let me also ask specifics, such as-

1. Please post accurate miles on the engine and on the odometer.

2. If you know personally and its a one owner, or ha e any reliable details on the engines history, has the engine ever been low on oil, ben ran low on oil for any substancial length of time or been ran with water rather than antifreeze and has the engine ever ran hot as in overheated, and nas that occurred more than once?

3. At night when you run the engine, remove the underhood light and tirn off all other illumination and look closely at the wires and distributor and any other electrical and see if you see any arcing anywhere.

4. If you have or can get access to a stethescope, be careful around the moving parts, i.e. belts, pulleys and fan and carefully listen and try to narrow down where you hear the tick the loudest.

5. Also, as RIIZ mentioned, when you accelerate, i.e. revv up the engine by using the throttle body controls to increase the engine speed, listen to see if the sound your hearing increases in the valve cover area where the rocker arms and pushrods and valve springs are. If you hear the sound more pronounced in the valve covers or cover, youmay have a stuck lifter, bent pushrod or loose rocker arm.

6. If the sound is more knock than tick, you may have a deeper issue inside the motor, such as a bent valve, piston rod, or a number of more difficult to diagnose issues that require an actual in person observation, so, seek out a ASE CERTIFIED auto mechanic.

7. If you are more technically savvy, use a OBD2 scan tool and plug into the OBD2 port and follow the directions that came with your scan tool and pull engine codes and use a Hayes or Chilton or other Jeep Grand Cherokee repair manual and either post the codes and may e someone hear can get you closer to figure out if your "TICK" is a normal sound coming from an AC compressor coming on or deeper more concerning issue.

Well buddy, my fingers are tired and my brain has run out of the obvious so, do these things and get back to the forum with your findings and post them.

If these suggestions gets you to an answer, please post that too so others that come and read this later can use this thread and it may help them to self diagnose their ticking issue.

All the best, good liuck and see you on the trails.


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post #5 of 12 Old 05-05-2021, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
tristonw
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Its the v6 4.0. The tick seems to subside once the engine heats up and upon higher rpm's.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-05-2021, 10:25 AM
GOLDWING
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tristonw View Post
Its the v6 4.0. The tick seems to subside once the engine heats up and upon higher rpm's.
If it is a six it is an I-6.

4.0 motors always do two things, they make noises like they are dying and then run longer than anyone could expect them to. I have one that sounds like a Cummins starting cold in the arctic, rattling with piston slap. after a minute or two it sounds fine.
The engine has great compression numbers, consumes no oil, nor does it smoke.
My advice is to make sure it is not something on the accessory drive,(idler, tensioner, alternator, P/S pump, A/C etc.) and then move on to other problems.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-06-2021, 06:59 AM
CountryZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLDWING View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by tristonw View Post
Its the v6 4.0. The tick seems to subside once the engine heats up and upon higher rpm's.
If it is a six it is an I-6.

4.0 motors always do two things, they make noises like they are dying and then run longer than anyone could expect them to. I have one that sounds like a Cummins starting cold in the arctic, rattling with piston slap. after a minute or two it sounds fine.
The engine has great compression numbers, consumes no oil, nor does it smoke.
My advice is to make sure it is not something on the accessory drive,(idler, tensioner, alternator, P/S pump, A/C etc.) and then move on to other problems.
like goldwing said it's normal for 4.0s to make sounds at start up my 96 zj does the same thing then the sound dies out once it gets up to temperature
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-06-2021, 08:32 AM
jeepjeepster
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I started using 5w-30 oil many years ago and found it really helps with the tick. Oil pumps up the lifters quicker. Sometimes it will still take 4-5min of driving to quieten down though.

1994 ZJ-I6 w/270,000 mi
1998 ZJ 5.9 w/66,000 mi Slate Black
2004 KJ w/108,000 mi
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-06-2021, 09:38 AM
CountryZJ
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I've always run 10w30 because of the cold viscosity of the oil and that helps with the tick
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-06-2021, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
tristonw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95-ZJ View Post
Hi there fellow Jeep owner,

Im DW and I am new to the forum. I am not a mechanic, nor do I play one on TV, lol. But, because I have been where you are, I will take some time and try to suggest some possible solutions to track down your issue. Here it goes.

First, as riiz asked, is your engine a 4.0L Inline 6 cylinder or a V8, either the 5.2, or 5.9?

That may narrow it down to figuring out the more detailed variables.

Second, More information is needed to really narrow and pinpoint the what, why, and where its coming from.

As you know and can hear upon starting and running most any engine. They are, by nature, mechanical and make noises and I know I'm stating the obvious, since you seem mechanically inclined to do a general tune up but, what your hearing may be a normal, running and funcfioning engine sound.

But for sake of being thorough let me also ask specifics, such as-

1. Please post accurate miles on the engine and on the odometer.

2. If you know personally and its a one owner, or ha e any reliable details on the engines history, has the engine ever been low on oil, ben ran low on oil for any substancial length of time or been ran with water rather than antifreeze and has the engine ever ran hot as in overheated, and nas that occurred more than once?

3. At night when you run the engine, remove the underhood light and tirn off all other illumination and look closely at the wires and distributor and any other electrical and see if you see any arcing anywhere.

4. If you have or can get access to a stethescope, be careful around the moving parts, i.e. belts, pulleys and fan and carefully listen and try to narrow down where you hear the tick the loudest.

5. Also, as RIIZ mentioned, when you accelerate, i.e. revv up the engine by using the throttle body controls to increase the engine speed, listen to see if the sound your hearing increases in the valve cover area where the rocker arms and pushrods and valve springs are. If you hear the sound more pronounced in the valve covers or cover, youmay have a stuck lifter, bent pushrod or loose rocker arm.

6. If the sound is more knock than tick, you may have a deeper issue inside the motor, such as a bent valve, piston rod, or a number of more difficult to diagnose issues that require an actual in person observation, so, seek out a ASE CERTIFIED auto mechanic.

7. If you are more technically savvy, use a OBD2 scan tool and plug into the OBD2 port and follow the directions that came with your scan tool and pull engine codes and use a Hayes or Chilton or other Jeep Grand Cherokee repair manual and either post the codes and may e someone hear can get you closer to figure out if your "TICK" is a normal sound coming from an AC compressor coming on or deeper more concerning issue.

Well buddy, my fingers are tired and my brain has run out of the obvious so, do these things and get back to the forum with your findings and post them.

If these suggestions gets you to an answer, please post that too so others that come and read this later can use this thread and it may help them to self diagnose their ticking issue.

All the best, good liuck and see you on the trails.


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Thank you for the detailed response! I have the inline 6 with 183,xxx miles on it so far. I know the old owner and it was maintained well under his ownership and mine. The sound is definitely coming from the top end valve cover area. No codes. I'm thinking/hoping its a loose rocker. Which if it happens to be, would there be any harm in just torquing it back down to specs? Or does it necessitate replacement?
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post #11 of 12 Old 05-06-2021, 10:04 AM
GOLDWING
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tristonw View Post
Thank you for the detailed response! I have the inline 6 with 183,xxx miles on it so far. I know the old owner and it was maintained well under his ownership and mine. The sound is definitely coming from the top end valve cover area. No codes. I'm thinking/hoping its a loose rocker. Which if it happens to be, would there be any harm in just torquing it back down to specs? Or does it necessitate replacement?
If it is a lifter, push rod, rocker or valve spring, new parts may help. The rockers are not adjustable.
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post #12 of 12 Old 05-06-2021, 12:36 PM
95-ZJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tristonw View Post
Thank you for the detailed response! I have the inline 6 with 183,xxx miles on it so far. I know the old owner and it was maintained well under his ownership and mine. The sound is definitely coming from the top end valve cover area. No codes. I'm thinking/hoping its a loose rocker. Which if it happens to be, would there be any harm in just torquing it back down to specs? Or does it necessitate replacement?
tristanw- Hello and glad to hear back with additional info on your ticking concern!

As goldwing said, to my knowledge stock rockers are the pre set/self adjusting type and are not user adjustable, only replaceable. You can go with OE rockers, if doing 1 I'd personally do the rest

Optimally, A set of roller rockers would be a good investment, along with a complete set of pushrods and lifters at that mileage as a future preventative for worn parts. If you go to that level and can afford it, I would consider buying a timing chain and new gear as once in that deep it would be prudent to go all in from a freshening up and motor longevity standpoint.

Also, at that mileage, an additional step would be to purchase a Fel-Pro oil pan gasket set and a OE or better oil pump and pickup tube and filter foot. These things are all optional, but Im mentioning them so you have your eyes open when shopping prices and mechanics labor rates.

I try to make it a point not to assume anything anymore so ill put the additional info in this thread too,

$MONEYSAVER INFO$
If you dont do the wrenching yourself, ALWAYS, remember to ask your mechanic for bundled pricing, as costs to replace a single part many times has the mechanic removing and replacing another wear part/item thart will be taken off and re-installed and could just as easily been replaced with a new part while the mechanic is in there servicing and replacing the other part you contracted them to originally replace.

Common sense for old timers, not so common for others. Just trying to help and save you from opening your wallet as wide, lol.

There is no way to do an armchair diagnoses if its in the valve cover. At this point. You will need to get in there and take a close look. On Rock Auto, for 20 bucks, you can purchase a Dave Graham, professionally scanned Jeep OE SERVICE MANUAL for your year rig, on A DVD in a pdf searchable format, which is the best, IMHO.

Then you'll need a valve cover gasket, I personally like and use the Fel-Pro higher end silicone over metal type as it wont leak then get to it and remove parts to get the valve cover off where your hearing the sound and thoroughly visually inspect. Look for metal flecks, cracked, broken or bent parts, etc. And then do your parts buying and repair, then, if all mating surfaces are properly cleaned and all old gasket material removed and then add the gasket and torque to OE specs.

Ok, enough armchair mechanic-ing out of me.

If anyone else has more to add...by all means... have at it...

Kudos to all that chimed in here to help this member, and good luck, tristan, with the diagnosis and repair.

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