Ticking sound 1987 Crusader 454

Discussion in 'Classic Sea Rays' started by CaptBud, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. CaptBud

    CaptBud Member

    30
    Sep 8, 2017
    1982 searay 360 vanguard
    350 crusaders
    Any ideas to what this ticking sound could be?

    Oil is full and clean. The other engine does not make this sound. It runs like a champ, no problems just wondering what the sound is.

     
  2. B BARKER

    B BARKER Member

    93
    Apr 20, 2014
    TENNESSEE RIVER- CLIFTON,TN
    1974 CENTURY ARABIAN 454 CRUSADER MARINE V-DRIVE.. ALSO 1987 SEA RAY 390 EXPRESS CRUISER..
    454 MERCRUISER 340 INBOARDS
    I really can't tell by the video but I can offer an opinion. I had a similar thing happen to me on a 1974 crusader a few years ago that sounded kinda like a lifter clicking and it was coming from the front of the engine. Mine ran great no problem other than the clicking noise, I asked my best friend who has been a mechanic all his life to check it out and he was as puzzled as I was. We traced it down to the timing cover area and after we couldn't stand it any longer we finally took the front end off and there was a worn spot on the inside of the timing cover. My engine is counter rotating with gear drive camshaft and the trush plate holding the camshaft in was worn letting the camshaft gear rub the timing cover because of a worn cam lobe. I replaced the camshaft and wear plate and it is still running today. Come to find out some other crusader owners told me that they have heard that they were bad about the lobes wearing because of the fuel pump rods and low oil supply at low idle for what thats worth. I always crank mine up and then rev it up to about 800 to 1,000 rpm's at idle now. B.B.....
     
    75torino likes this.
  3. PlayDate

    PlayDate Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Dec 25, 2006
    Washington DC
    1994 370 Express Cruiser
    454 Mercruisers
    Sounds like an exhaust leak but it could also be lifter noise. Of the two.....I would rather have an exhaust leak. Get a 3' piece of 1" or 1.5" PVC pipe and see if you can locate the sound.
     
    rcknecht likes this.
  4. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 Express
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin GSD 22 Sounder
    Garm
    454 Crusaders

    To all the owners of "older" engines with "flat tappet camshaft" it is imperative that you use oil with the zinc additive. The zinc additive prevents excess wear of the camshaft lobes and lifters the caused the above problem. I use Valvoline VR1 racing oil. It's not cheap but well worth it. Most motor oil does not have the zinc additive as it was removed many years ago because it damaged catalytic converters in modern cars.
     
  5. fwebster

    fwebster Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    Oct 6, 2006
    Middle Tennessee ; Panama City Beach, FL
    1996 450DA
    3116 Caterpillars
    I don't hear anything abnormal, but one thing to consider is your spark plug wires. A 7.4 will make a ticking sound if an ignition wire has broken down to the point where it is arcing to the block, head intake or another good ground.

    Try running the engine making the sound at night with no light on. The mechanics at the marina told me I needed new plug wires on a pair of 7.4's and I thought yeah, sure and your kid probably needs new shoes. He is a salty, no B.S kinda guy, and he told me to look a the engine in the dark and tell him what I saw before I appologized. Sure enough, the 7.4's, even though they ran perfectly at all speeds, lit up like a Christmas tree.
     
    PlayDate likes this.
  6. B BARKER

    B BARKER Member

    93
    Apr 20, 2014
    TENNESSEE RIVER- CLIFTON,TN
    1974 CENTURY ARABIAN 454 CRUSADER MARINE V-DRIVE.. ALSO 1987 SEA RAY 390 EXPRESS CRUISER..
    454 MERCRUISER 340 INBOARDS
    On the subject of zinc additives,does anyone know if straight 30w castrol has zinc in it ?
     
  7. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 Express
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin GSD 22 Sounder
    Garm
    454 Crusaders
    Off the shelf Castrol or most oils do not contain zinc any longer. You have to buy oil that is labeled and marketed as having the zinc additive or purchase the additives which are widely available. When using the additive make sure you follow the manufactures instructions. Too much zinc is not good for the engine as well. I order the Valvoline VR1 from Amazon. Places like speed shops or auto/truck accessory stores usually carry it. Napa is another good place to check out.
     
  8. JimG

    JimG Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Nov 4, 2008
    Southern WV
    2007 310 DA
    Kohler 5ECD
    Twin 350 Mags
    Raw Water Cooled
    V-Drives
    I had a 454 in my 270 that made a ticking sound like that... turned out to be a cracked harmonic balancer.
     
  9. northern

    northern Well-Known Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    Hottoddie
    Thanks for the zinc info in oil. Do you know if zinc is still in diesel oil?
     
  10. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 Express
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin GSD 22 Sounder
    Garm
    454 Crusaders
    I wouldn't bet on it. I would check the manufacturers web site.
     
  11. rcknecht

    rcknecht Active Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    toms river,nj
    340 Sundancer 2001
    T 454 MPI
    I had a leaking exhaust manifold (at the gasket) and where was a ticking sound... I replaced the gasket and the ticking went away...
     
  12. Getaway

    Getaway Member

    875
    Oct 13, 2010
    Bay City, Michigan
    Lowrance electronics, Fishhawk speed-n-temp, Scotty electric downriggers and custom arch
    Single big block 454 Mercruiser engine and outdrive.
    hottoddie is absolutely correct.

    I run either Joe Gibbs HR1 oil or Brad Penn High Performance Oil (the green stuff). It's expensive, but the high zinc is absolutely needed with our older motors.
     
  13. Thornton69

    Thornton69 Active Member

    289
    Sep 15, 2014
    Northern BC
    1980 24.5' SR custom hardtop
    1984 18' Valco sled
    1984 20' Alicraft- sold
    5.7 260 Merc/ Bravo 2
    Evanrude 115/80 jet
    Tough to tell from vid. Would agree it sounds like an exhaust leak but am a bit curious why you are focusing on the rear of the engine? Other than frequency, how does the sound change with load and rpm?
     
  14. 75torino

    75torino Member

    43
    Sep 25, 2011
    Brogue Pa
    1989 340 Sport Fisherman 1982 270 Sea Ray Sundancer 330 TRS drive
    Twin FWC 454 Mercruisers
    On the new side What is the newest year that requires the zinc additive Thanks
     
  15. hottoddie

    hottoddie Well-Known Member

    Jan 11, 2012
    Boston/Cape Cod
    1986 Sea Ray 390 Express
    Garmin 4212 Chartplotter
    Garmin 24 HD Radar
    Garmin GSD 22 Sounder
    Garm
    454 Crusaders
    The determining factor is the whether the camshaft has the newer roller lifters or the old type flat tappets. Somewhere in the late 90s to early 2000s is when all the GM small and big blocks were all roller lifters. The only way to know for sure is to contact the engine manufacturer with the serial number.
     
    75torino likes this.
  16. 75torino

    75torino Member

    43
    Sep 25, 2011
    Brogue Pa
    1989 340 Sport Fisherman 1982 270 Sea Ray Sundancer 330 TRS drive
    Twin FWC 454 Mercruisers
    Fantastic Idea I will do this today
     
  17. ttmott

    ttmott Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    Not knowing the RPM the engine is turning in the video but that is either definitely rocker arm tapping noises or timing chain slap. Rocker arm noise is usually due to an adjustment nut coming loose, valve spring issue, or a lifter pumping down. The question is what does the other engine sound like? If these are same vintage engines as your boat then they are flat tappet hydraulic lifters. If the engine idles smooth and there are no performance issues you can cross off the valve spring as a problem. So, take a long screwdriver and put on the valve covers and put your ear on the handle end; listen across the valve covers, the timing chain cover and the intake manifold with the engine running. You will be able to determine exactly where that noise is coming from. Be very careful around those whirling and spinning things on the engine.....
     
  18. Paddy

    Paddy New Member

    10
    May 8, 2012
    Minnesota
    1975
    Mercruiser
    I couldn’t really hear it, but would follow ttmott’s advice with checking the rocker arms. Easy to take off rocker arm cover with 5 screws. If an arm is really loose it will be easy to see and doesn’t cost anything to check. second you could check the lash on the bolts, hardest part is getting to top dead center to start out the process. But pretty easy if you know the lash spec.
    I think I checked mine s few times out of paranoia being not 100% sure if hydronic lifters we’re primed or not.

    Could also have plug wire swapped on wrong cylinder if sounds really bad. Can disconnect plug wire on one cylinder at s time to see if noise goes away or better.
    ( something i’ve Done)
     
  19. ttmott

    ttmott Well-Known Member

    Apr 3, 2012
    Space Coast Florida
    2006 52 Sedan Bridge
    Cummins QSM11
    And this also could be an oiling issue where there isn't enough oil being pumped to the lifter valleys to keep the lifters pumped up. What was your oil pressure?
     
  20. JVM225

    JVM225 Well-Known Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    Farmingdale, NY
    2002 410 Sundancer, Monaco Edition.
    3126 Cats.
    STP also has the Zinc in it and can be had for under 3 bucks a bottle at Walmart.
    Old school, but still good stuff.
    I use it in my GTO, Corvette, both kids cars, and kids 18’ Bowrider. I used it in the 5.7’s in my old boat.
    I don’t use it in mine or my wife’s car because they’re both leases.
    I haven’t tried it in the Cats or genny in my current boat because I’m new to diesels and still feeling them out.
     

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