Ticking Noise Mercruiser - 4.3 ltr 190 hp

Discussion in 'Sport Cruisers' started by Herrickjde, Nov 1, 2019.

  1. Herrickjde

    Herrickjde Member

    32
    Jul 28, 2019
    Jacksonville, FL
    SeaRay 290 Sundancer 1998
    2 Mercruiser 4.2 LTR - 190 HP - Alpha 1 / Gen 2
    I have a 1998 290 sundancer with twin mercruiser 4.3 ltr 190 hp engines. Starboard engine is running fine, but the port engine developed a ticking sound that started this week during a test run of new props. I put the new props on and went on a test run and noticed that the rpms ran a bit higher than before, but it ran well at 22 knots at 4,000 rpm's. The port engine rpms dropped to 3,000 at near full throttle and I stopped and heard the ticking sound at idle 700 rpm and then I heard less of a ticking sound at a around 1,500 rpms. Sorry, videos to big to attach. I googled this and got answers all over the place from exhaust gasket, fuel pump, water pump, valve lifters, or new engine.
    Feedback appreciated. Thanks
    If you want to view the videos send me your email address.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  2. Getaway

    Getaway Active Member

    922
    Oct 13, 2010
    Bay City, Michigan
    1998 290DA Sundancer
    Lowrance electronics, Fishhawk, Scotty Downriggers
    BoatWheels Tri-Axle Trailer
    Single big block 454 MPI Mercruiser engine and Bravo III outdrive.
    You probably heard of this little trick already. Take a steel rod and put one end against each head and press your ear against the other end while the engine is running. If it's a lifter or rocker, you will hear the clicking through the steel rod. If those areas are quiet, then keep checking areas like the alternator, water pump, fuel pump, exhaust manifolds etc etc. Do this until you hear the clicking noise defined in the steel rod. This will at least localize the area that the sound is coming from.

    This is an old trick to locate engine noises and it works well. You can hear things like the bearing whirring, parts moving etc. Clicking noises will be amplified through the steel rod.

    Just a thought to get you started.
     
  3. Wanderer 290

    Wanderer 290 Member

    106
    Jul 1, 2019
    01 sea ray 290 sundancer
    Twin 5.7 b3’s
    While the ticking noise and degraded performance could be an indication of number of things given the circumstances the first thing I would check is the spark plug wires.
    They could have been disturbed when the timing was adjusted and the ticking noise is associated with a short.
     
    JVM225 and Getaway like this.
  4. scoflaw

    scoflaw Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    cape cod mass, cape coral fl
    1999 Powerquest legend 260 sx
    502 mpi Bravo 1
    Sound like you lost a cylinder. Tune up and check compression while the plugs are out
     
    Express 390 and Getaway like this.
  5. Little Ducky

    Little Ducky Well-Known Member

    Jun 5, 2017
    Dickson, TN / Chattanooga, TN
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin EFI 5.0L w/Alphas
    Kohler 4kW
    Check your distributer and distributer cap. Make sure it's secured and seated correctly.

    When I changed out my rotor button and cap on my VW one of the two were defective and when running the rotor button would make contact inside the cap. It made the engine sound like it was throwing a rod it was so loud.

    Hope it's an easy fix.
     
    Getaway likes this.
  6. Express 390

    Express 390 Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    281
    Sep 14, 2018
    South Shore of Long Island NY
    1986 SeaRay 390 EC
    1993 SeaRay 290 DA single 7.4 /Bravo 2
    Twin 454 Crusaders inboards 4 blades
    you think it could be a cracked spark plug?
     
  7. scoflaw

    scoflaw Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2011
    cape cod mass, cape coral fl
    1999 Powerquest legend 260 sx
    502 mpi Bravo 1
    That's why I suggest checking all the basic stuff first.
     
  8. Herrickjde

    Herrickjde Member

    32
    Jul 28, 2019
    Jacksonville, FL
    SeaRay 290 Sundancer 1998
    2 Mercruiser 4.2 LTR - 190 HP - Alpha 1 / Gen 2
    Thanks to everyone for their feedback and I am learning that sometimes it is not so black and white with the boat, but gray. :)
     
    Express 390 likes this.
  9. Express 390

    Express 390 Active Member GOLD Sponsor

    281
    Sep 14, 2018
    South Shore of Long Island NY
    1986 SeaRay 390 EC
    1993 SeaRay 290 DA single 7.4 /Bravo 2
    Twin 454 Crusaders inboards 4 blades
    Keep us up to date i like to see what it turns out to be.
     
  10. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    Yup! Scoflaw and Express 390 gave solid advice too. Check the easy stuff first.
    An arcing plug wire will make a ticking sound and a misfire will reduce performance. Take a close look at that distributor cap to see if there is any sign of a crack too.
     
  11. Herrickjde

    Herrickjde Member

    32
    Jul 28, 2019
    Jacksonville, FL
    SeaRay 290 Sundancer 1998
    2 Mercruiser 4.2 LTR - 190 HP - Alpha 1 / Gen 2
    My mechanic is telling me that the ticking noise is internal to the engine. I may get a second opinion, but this guy knows his stuff. I will need to make some decisions about my engines. I thinking that I should look at replacing both engines with 5.7 V8 275 hp as these 4.3 V6 190 hp are having hard time just cruising at 22 knotts 4,000 rpms. The question is new or re-mfg. I like the boat and want to keep it and not worry every time I go out which engine is going to mess up today. So, repair bad engine 5 to 6 or new engine v8 8 to 9 and just do both and be done.
     
    Chris-380 likes this.
  12. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I
    I usually don't think trying to upgrade to a larger / different engine is a good idea, but in this case I do. I would not spend one penny doing any major work on a 4.3 in your 290 - putting those little engines in that boat was just a bad idea. My 2000 290 was the same hull as yours, I had 5.0's and would not have been happy with anything less - really the 5.7's were the best option for that boat. I would do it if you can stomach the $$ - just realize your putting a nice load of money in a 21yr old boat, probably 30% of the boats value. But, if you like the boat, plan on keeping it, it will be like a new boat with the 5.7's. Now where to get the motors? I would get quotes from the major players like Michigan Mortorz, and even Mercruiser's repower program. Pretty sure the 5.7's will drop right into the existing mounts. I would also think about replacing some things you would never get to otherwise like - coupler and anything in the transom assembly that might be suspect.
    And, there should be some value to your 4.3's, at least one of them, probably a little boat like mine somewhere that needs one!
     
    Tacoma290 likes this.
  13. Herrickjde

    Herrickjde Member

    32
    Jul 28, 2019
    Jacksonville, FL
    SeaRay 290 Sundancer 1998
    2 Mercruiser 4.2 LTR - 190 HP - Alpha 1 / Gen 2
    Thanks for the update
     
  14. Thornton69

    Thornton69 Active Member

    445
    Sep 15, 2014
    Northern BC
    1981 245 SDC
    1984 18' Valco sled
    5.7 260 Merc/ Bravo 2
    Evanrude 115/80 jet
    Had a lifter fail in the 5.7 in my last boat. Same symptoms as you're having. Replaced them all with a new intake and rocker cover gaskets in a couple hours for under $200. If your engines aren't hour'd out, further investigation might not hurt. Opening up the oil filter will identify bigger problems in the bottom. If looking at going with the larger V8's, don't forget to include new gears for the uppers and props into the equation.
     
  15. Herrickjde

    Herrickjde Member

    32
    Jul 28, 2019
    Jacksonville, FL
    SeaRay 290 Sundancer 1998
    2 Mercruiser 4.2 LTR - 190 HP - Alpha 1 / Gen 2
    Thanks for the feedback and do you mean the entire upper part of the outdrive or the gear set ? upper.JPG gear.JPG
     
  16. Thornton69

    Thornton69 Active Member

    445
    Sep 15, 2014
    Northern BC
    1981 245 SDC
    1984 18' Valco sled
    5.7 260 Merc/ Bravo 2
    Evanrude 115/80 jet
    Assuming your uppers are in good condition, you can replace the gears in them with some seals of course. Trying to hold back more horse power with only the props and your current drive ratio's, will increase the stress within them. Just something else to consider if you are working with a limited budget.
     
  17. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw
    As mentioned you’ll want the 1.47 uppers for the 350 repower. You can sell your existing uppers, alphas are the most common drive on the planet and always in demand.

    our 98 290 is a missle (relatively speaking) with the 5.7’s and I wouldn’t want any less power. Comfortable 28 mph cruise is 3300-3400, and about 1.2-1.4mpg.
     
  18. Herrickjde

    Herrickjde Member

    32
    Jul 28, 2019
    Jacksonville, FL
    SeaRay 290 Sundancer 1998
    2 Mercruiser 4.2 LTR - 190 HP - Alpha 1 / Gen 2
    Thanks / good information. how many blades on your props and what is the pitch of your props. I current have 4 blade 15 pitch. I don't know the gear ratio on my drives.
     
  19. Strecker25

    Strecker25 Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2014
    Rochester, NY
    1998 290 Sundancer
    Twin 5.7EFI/Alphas, Kohler 4kw
    1.62 on the v6 I believe.

    we run 4 blade 20” aluminum turns up to about 4600 WOT around 37mph

    stock are 19” 3 blade stainless I turn 4800 with them at 43mph

    same fuel mileage for both but the 4 blades plane down to 19 mph.

    we have the genny, carry full fuel and water, and 3 group 27s
     
  20. BillK2632

    BillK2632 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 25, 2009
    Lake Norman, NC
    1999 185 Bowrider,
    Mercruiser 4.3, Alpha I

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