96 RAM 1500 5.2L Magnum - "Ticking/Tapping" sound while idle? - DodgeForum.com

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96 RAM 1500 5.2L Magnum - "Ticking/Tapping" sound while idle?

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Old 03-18-2017, 10:13 AM
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Default 96 RAM 1500 5.2L Magnum - "Ticking/Tapping" sound while idle?

Hey everyone, Dustin here! recently acquired a 1996 Dodge RAM 1500 with the 5.2L V8 Magnum VIN Y. It's the Sport, SLT, Laramie Regular Cab edition and whatnot. But as stated above in the title, I have a subtle "ticking" sound coming from somewhere when idle, but not when driving the truck..

This truck only has 86,000 miles on it. Was owned by a fellow co-worker when she purchased it brand new in 1996. Went & had all the recalls fixed, took care of it, did frequent oil changes, new brakes, etc.. BUT, here's the kicker... One day it overheated, and she had it towed to her uncles farm where her brothers were supposed to fix it, they didn't. This truck sat in a field for TWELVE(12) YEARS without being ran, started, or anything. No gas in it, no battery, other fluids still present though.. With my lurking on the forum I tend to see the more information the better, so I wanted to include this back story before I get into all the work/maintenance/moneydump I've done to it this past month. *Please keep in mind that I have absolutely no mechanical background, I watched YouTube videos, followed guides on here, and had a good friend who is mechanically inclined help when I needed it, so if it's a "pully thingy" I literally don't remember what it's called. :/

- Got a battery in it, and some gas, wanted to start but didn't, had it towed to the house. Had "milky" oil.

- Put a bit more gas in it, jumped it with the F250, she fired right up but sounded absolutely horrible. (Expected, obviously wasn't going to be cruising but it started!)

- New Oil & Filter (10w-30 generic)
- New Oil Pump & Screen (Not the high performance one. Got my oil pressure back, and it keeps up well!)
- New Oil & Filter (10w-30 generic, still a bit milky)
- New D/S Ball Joint (Totally shot, torched to get off)
- New D/S Pitman Arm (Totally shot, torched to get off)
- Ran "Gunk" Cleaner (5 minute idle cleaner via the crankcase)
- New Oil & Filter (Mobil1 Synthetic 5w-30, Mopar Oil Filter, just a tad bit of milky oil on the bottom of the stick)
- New Tension Pulley & Assembly
- New 180* Thermostat
- New Windshield
- New Wiperblades
- New Spark Plugs
- New Idle Air Control Sensor
- New Battery
- New Battery Terminals
- New Tires
- New Transmission Filter
- New Transmission Fluid
- Alignment
- Added a product called "Xtreme Friction Fighter" to the crankcase, transmission fluid, brake, and power steering.

Outside from that, EVERYTHING else in this truck works great, except for the ticking while idling. She's got all that "Magnum power" and the transmission shifts like a dream, the truck rides flawlessly. Hell, even the brakes still work like new. I do plan to change the oil next week again because I've been driving the truck back & forth to work to see if this last change eliminates the milky gunk at the very tip of the dip stick.

Any comments, suggestions, literally, ANY additional information is immensely appreciated. I can post pictures, upload videos, anything needed or wanted I can provide. (Provided it's to do with the truck.. LOL!!)

I only paid $500 for this truck. So in the event it's something potentially major, don't sugar coat it. If it's common, and it's really nothing to worry about, then I'll deal with it but I love this thing!

Thanks!

- Dustin

 

Last edited by Dustin24; 03-18-2017 at 02:12 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 10:23 AM
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Change out your fluids again, and skip the 'friction fighter' stuff. Additives tend to do more harm than good.

Also, change your oil to a 10w30. Your ticking might just be lifter tick.... sometimes, the older engines just don't like synthetic oil.

Have the coolant tested for presence of combustion products..... the 'milky oil' is usually a sign of a blown head gasket.... the 'chocolate milkshake' in the oil pan is the result. If that does indeed appear to be the case, you wanna fix that SOON, as the longer you wait, the more expensive the repair is going to get....

Ticking could also just be the injectors. They are a bit loud..... but, get drowned out by all the other noise when you rev the engine a bit.

Do you hear the tick when you are sitting in the drivers seat? Or, just when you have your head under the hood?

Welcome to DF!
 
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:58 PM
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EDIT #1 - I've also replaced the thermostat with a 180* one vs the standard 220*.

Thanks for the reply & the welcome! 😀

I cleaned out the oil pan really good when I replaced the oil pump & screen. When I change it again here real soon I'll drop the pan and see if it's the same.

The white milky color is only at the bottom of the dip stick, which a friend had said that may be it just cleaning itself out..?

Ive also been told once you put synthetic oil in and run it, you can't use regular oil?

i can only hear the tick when I'm outside of the truck, or have the window rolled down and sitting idle at a complete stop.
 

Last edited by Dustin24; 03-18-2017 at 02:08 PM.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:53 PM
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Probably just lifter tick then. That's normal. If it gets worse, pay more attention to it.

Stock is 195 on the thermostat. Going to the 180, without other complementary mods, is pretty much a waste. All it does is reduce your heaters effectiveness. If you live in a cold climate, you WANT that 195 stat. (not to mention it will also reduce fuel mileage.....)

You can put any oil in there you want, at any time. It just doesn't matter. Use the correct weight oil, and don't worry about it. Synthetic oil is just more heavily processed than standard dino oil.

Some discoloration of the oil isn't too much of a surprise, if you don't drive the truck every day..... Keep an eye on your coolant level, and also the oil level. If coolant disappears, and oil level goes up, you are likely going to have to dig into the motor deeper.

Also, have you checked out your plenum yet? Have a read thru the stickied post at the top of this forum for FAR more information on that, then you really want.
 
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Old 03-18-2017, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
Probably just lifter tick then. That's normal. If it gets worse, pay more attention to it.

Stock is 195 on the thermostat. Going to the 180, without other complementary mods, is pretty much a waste. All it does is reduce your heaters effectiveness. If you live in a cold climate, you WANT that 195 stat. (not to mention it will also reduce fuel mileage.....)

You can put any oil in there you want, at any time. It just doesn't matter. Use the correct weight oil, and don't worry about it. Synthetic oil is just more heavily processed than standard dino oil.

Some discoloration of the oil isn't too much of a surprise, if you don't drive the truck every day..... Keep an eye on your coolant level, and also the oil level. If coolant disappears, and oil level goes up, you are likely going to have to dig into the motor deeper.

Also, have you checked out your plenum yet? Have a read thru the stickied post at the top of this forum for FAR more information on that, then you really want.
Thanks again for the info!!

I live in Missouri, so I'll definitely be looking into putting a 195 back in when this one shoots craps.. LOL. Thanks for the clarification on the oil, will save me some cash this time around.

But I have been driving this truck for roughly 2 weeks or so. Changed the oil, filled it up with 91 octane, dumped in a can of SeaFoam and the gas gauge is getting pretty close to empty. But there still is a whitish milky color in the oil on the tip of the dip stick and a little on the middle portion of the stick but mainly just on the tip. However, now that you mention losing coolant and gaining oil... I don't really know if I'm GAINING oil but I know for a fact that I am LOSING coolant.

I haven't checked out my Plenum yet, but it's definitely something I'll look into as I was looking at a complete Head Gasket Set and Head Bolt set to put on here relatively soon.

When you say look deeper into the motor in terms of gaining oil/losing coolant, what exactly does that entail? I definitely don't want to get myself out of my comfort zone, because I don't want to make any mistakes and definitely do it right the first time. Reason I ask, is because if it's one of those things I may just have to break down and hand this DIY project over to a professional.
 
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Old 03-18-2017, 04:01 PM
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Coolant can get into the oil in a couple spots... Headgaskets being right up there on the list.... and timing cover being second. (yes, coolant passes thru the timing cover.... bummer) Intake gaskets are another possibility. If you do headgaskets, you will address most of the possible issues right there. Take a close look at the heads when you have them off, as they are rather prone to cracking....

At 86K miles, your timing chain is likely still in decent shape..... but, if you ever decide to change the water pump, I would pull the timing cover, and do timing chain and gears as well.

May want to pick up a test kit, for combustion products in the coolant, that will give you some clue as to the condition of your heads, and their gaskets....

Are you seeing any coolant on the ground? Passenger side floorboard? (heater cores like to spring leaks too....)
 
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by HeyYou View Post
Coolant can get into the oil in a couple spots... Headgaskets being right up there on the list.... and timing cover being second. (yes, coolant passes thru the timing cover.... bummer) Intake gaskets are another possibility. If you do headgaskets, you will address most of the possible issues right there. Take a close look at the heads when you have them off, as they are rather prone to cracking....

At 86K miles, your timing chain is likely still in decent shape..... but, if you ever decide to change the water pump, I would pull the timing cover, and do timing chain and gears as well.

May want to pick up a test kit, for combustion products in the coolant, that will give you some clue as to the condition of your heads, and their gaskets....

Are you seeing any coolant on the ground? Passenger side floorboard? (heater cores like to spring leaks too....)
Not seeing any coolant on the ground or floorboard. However, I took your advice, talked to a friend about replacing the Head gaskets, Intake gaskets, and Plenum gasket. Ordered the following, will post the results once we get it all changed out! Gonna be a bit, between shipping, getting it all done but I'll definitely let you know the results.

"Engine Gasket Rebuild Kit" - http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....=1095689&jsn=9
New head bolts - http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....1095689&jsn=11

I'll plan for a new timing cover, chain, and water pump middle/late summer if I make it that long... Hopefully we will haha!

Fingers crossed, and thanks again for the info!
 
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:01 AM
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Get some new, shorter, bolts for the plenum as well.
 
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:27 AM
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You could try some Marvel Mystery Oil in your oil to see if you can free anything that may be gunky. But if you are going to change all your seals, you may as well just clean out any caked on crap from under your valve covers while you're in there, and check for potentially loose items in there as well. Maybe its an exhaust leak and it sounds similar enough to you, but very very not likely because you'd DEFINITELY notice it when accelerating, even if it was faint.. Milky oil sounds like a leak somewhere for sure, especially if you are losing coolant, and its not from somewhere obvious.

Best bet as always (if money and vehicle downtime isnt a major deal) would be to dig into it just a bit so you can inspect things yourself, and give it a good look over. These engines wont let you down, if you don't let it down on maintenance and regular inspection.

I worked on my 5.9 that I got ~140k in rusted exterior condition out of Minnesota, derusted the outside related cleaning and painted it, new seals where needed, cleaned any bad carbon buildup (was very clean overall) and then strapped her back together. Never had a stronger and more reliable motor, already put like 1500 miles on it in 1-2 months just around town.

If you were able to post a link to a video of your truck running/idling we could hear the noise better and be able to help out more too probably!

Its also possible if it sat in a field that long, there could be grass or other crap that grew up and into the exhaust, that would certainly make it sound poor haha, Ive seen my share of exhausts that have dried grass all in them, among other tragic muscle car stories involving sitting in fields

Also in relation to damage from overheating, my father has been a mechanic all his life, and he said a cop told him rather recently, they used to use an old Dakota 5.9 as their ramming vehicle, and they ran it for QUITE a often in overheated conditions, and if I remember right I think he said the cop told him the engine didn't actually go until 30+ minutes of overheated operation one time, couldn't tell you how much of a stretch his story is, but I've definitely heard my fair share of these magnums reliability.

Long winded, but hope that is somehow useful.
 
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:17 AM
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in the gasket set from rock auto I didn't see any intake bolts. You will need new intake bolts because they are tty (torque to yeild) bolts and can not be reused.
 
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