Tinkling sound in muffler - Impala Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-02-2017, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
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Tinkling sound in muffler

I seem to spend all my car driving time hearing new and different noises.

A couple of weeks ago started hearing a clonk in the boot like my jack was loose. Didn't happen all the time. Finally noticed it did it mostly at slow speed over speed bumps. Managed to crawl under car (it's lowered) and found the rear upper control arm had broken. Replaced it with a tube steel version and now its a new car. Also cured the vibration I used to experience at exactly 47mph. So I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.

But now I have a new noise - a tinkling from one exhaust. I have fairly new Flowmasters so pretty sure it's not a baffle. I do have a tapping/clicking sound on the left side of the engine, which gets louder under load but goes quiet when you back off. I figure it's probably a rocker or lifter but had a look and can't work out which one. The tinkling sound I hear from the left exhaust, and it sounds more noticeable when you park next to a wall.

I'm guessing that whatever is tapping could be making the same sound down the exhaust? Obviously if I get the rocker/lifter thing fixed then I'd know, but wondering if it could also be something else. Or two separate noises? I've also read that it wouldn't be a Chevy if it didn't tap on one side or the other, but it seems to be getting louder and shouldn't really be happening.

Anyone else had a tinkle in their exhaust?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 03:31 AM Thread Starter
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Tinkling sound in muffler - solved

Okay, did some more sound chasing.

After checking the lifters and finding one that was a little too loose I adjusted that, and then found the tapping sound seemed like it was coming from everywhere. I eventually narrowed it down to the power steering pump. There's a steady tapping coming from that, which you can hear in the car but also down the exhaust.

So now I have to figure out what might be causing the tapping in the pump and then I'll be sorted. Until the next noise appears.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2017, 09:10 AM
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It is either a mounting bracket is loose allowing movement or a bad V-belt that has a chunk out of it that is causing the pump to move as the bad spot in the belt goes past the outside center of the belt tensioning bracket.

Big Dave
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 06:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Big Dave, I'll check that as well. It's one of those sounds that seems hard to pin point. Might even be crankshaft pulley?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-08-2017, 09:57 AM
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A pulley could be cracked (around the bolts or the outer rim), or the belt is bad (torn cords internally or missing chinks), or a loose bracket can all contribute to that kind of cyclic noise.

Big Dave
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-11-2017, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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I'll have a look at the pulley and belts. The noise gets louder as you accelerate and goes quiet when slowing. I managed to quieten down the rockers so the tapping noise is a bit less, and I can't hear the noise through the exhaust as much. Basically there was a ticking sound you can hear from within the car, and a tapping sound from the front of the engine.

I added some engine treatment to the oil which seemed to help so maybe I was low on oil. The dipstick is hard to read; when I checked it there was oil all over the whole length, so hard to know what the level actually is.

I have an HEI ignition system and the ticking sound you can hear inside the car seems to come from around there up on the bulkhead, but I can't hear it ticking from under the hood. Not sure if these units normally tick or not?

No biggie though. I'll check the other bits out and see what I can find
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 05:49 AM Thread Starter
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So I removed the steering pump belt and the sound continued. The other belts are pretty new and don't have any nicks or chunks out of them.

The sound is pretty much down low at the front near the steering pump as best I can tell. So is this going to be something that requires taking the head off or the bottom end? Just need to find out if it's something I should ask my mechanic to try and find (in which case it will end up being big bucks if the top or bottom come off), or is it something I live with but knowing it shouldn't really be happening?

I know it could be a thousand things but if anyone has an idea of what might be happening internally, and what might be required to investigate/fix it?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-29-2017, 08:39 AM
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No heads stay on until you figure out the problem.

May want to put it on a lift with the motor running to attempt to locate the problem.

Big Dave
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 05:10 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, after a lot of listening around the engine I've worked out what it probably is. I was checking some other forums and came across a BMW one where there was a thread about engine ticking sounds. They had issues with spark plugs and particularly Bosch ones, where the spark plugs had come loose and made a ticking sound. I had nothing to lose so checked my spark plugs and they were ok and still tight, but for fun I removed the lead of the spark plug nearest to where the noise seemed to be coming from and the noise went away.

I checked the lead and it has a small split in it. The plugs look pretty old so I'll swap those out anyway but now I'm going to look for some new leads and maybe try and route them a bit prettier. I figure the lead is stuffed, which explains why I can hear a ticking sound from inside the car from the distributor and a different louder ticking from the front of the engine at the spark plug.

So with new leads and new spark plugs hopefully the annoying sound will be gone. I'll post back once I know for sure.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 08:55 AM
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Bad plug wires might make a popping sound as the voltage jumps to ground but it isn't what I would characterize as tinkling.

With a high compression engine I have blown the porcelain insulator out of the engine with detonation, but I haven't as of yet loosened the grip of the crimp on the plug: though my plugs never lasted long, either fouling, or burning up.)

That stuffing is fiberglass that is imprgnated with carbon dust to make the conductor. They are cheap and do not last long. They also have incredibly high resistance).

I use solid core wire that is spiral wound to prevent EMP from affecting your neighbors TV or Radio signals (I also do it because I like to listen to classical music on my stereo FM radio while I cruise). So there is no popping o crackling in the reception due to solid metal conductors.

You can get modern spiral wound 8 mm spark plug wires in black, though not date coded Packard wires, look more correct than neon blue, red or yellow wires. The most period correct look would be red booted yellow Accel wires an Accel SUPER coil on the fire wall with a Mallory dual point distributor, and headers painted flat white.

Big Dave

Last edited by Big Dave; 05-28-2017 at 09:37 AM.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 05-29-2017, 06:28 AM Thread Starter
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The sound from inside the car is a ticking like a clock but in time with the engine, and the sound under the hood is a louder ticking. The tinkling sound is what you hear through the exhaust. When I removed the lead from cylinder 1 the noise stopped.

My car isn't really original anymore so I'm looking at replacing the grey leads with plain black 8mm leads. I'm tossing up whether to get universal leads with straight boots and routing the leads over the rams horn manifold with a nice billet lead router, or just sticking with 90 deg leads and routing them under the manifold as per the original. Maybe having the leads hidden away underneath will look tidier?

Thanks for your help Dave.
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