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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
An annoying problem has cropped up with my LT1 96 Caprice 144k. I bought the car new, and change the oil every 2,000. Yes I said 2,000. Once or twice I may have gotten it to 3000 but that was very unusual. Lately when I first start it up when the engine is cold, I get a tappet sound. It goes away in less than a minute, but I've been surprised by this. I haven't beat on the car, although I'm a volunteer fireman and may have driven it to the Firehouse before the oil was up in the galleries to get there quickly. Oil pressure seems in the right range at all times. is this anything I should worry about? hockey John
 

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Possibly "piston slap" also. Some motors do this for decades.
 

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My 275k mile LT1 has a lifter tick after it's been sitting for awhile. Goes away once it warms up and won't come back until the car sits for over a week again.
 

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Yah yah yah. The same tick (not just the 'Warming Up TSB' from the '90's). I've got 90k on my FWB, and it's perpetually the same ALWAYS- from cold start to shutoff. So it's a matter of listening to ANY louder change in the next 100k miles. Or not. EXACTLY the same for the past year so likely not a holed lifter. Does that only leave a worn rocker? Or dirt/heat/baked and closed off oil journal in the pushrod?

I had to replace the carboned up and plugged center two pushrods in my '80 Riv's 350 Olds Rocket every 2 years like clockwork. That heat riser in the intake was murder with overheating them. Finally saw an article for the blank-off intake plate and all better.
 

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You can safely jump up to 'every 4,000' by using 0W30 or 5W30, if either is a Group4 synthetic.
For oil filters, Purolator or Wix.
 

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You might want to adjust your rockers. Not a serious issue, but I know how it can be annoying to start hearing a new engine sound.

Of course, if it were ME ;), I'd take the opportunity to replace the valve springs as well. The stockers were marginal from the get-go, and the LT4 beehives on the stock cam will improve both your midrange and top end.
 

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Of course, if it were ME ;), I'd take the opportunity to replace the valve springs as well.
The stockers were marginal from the get-go, and the LT4 beehives on the stock cam will improve both your midrange and top end.
For even better results, 1.6 roller rockers and better valvesprings ...
 
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In case you aren't aware, I have a lot of experience with metallic noises during cold start ups ;)

Did you check the exhaust bracket mounted on the transmission? I would start there!

As suggested above, switching to a 0wXX quality synthetic oil may help with the cold start ups. I switched to 0w40 for my stock SS with 5000 miles oil change intervals. If your mechanically inclined, checking under the valve covers like Stoney suggested would be a great idea. Also, get a stethoscope to isolate where the noise is coming from.

I would assume from your 2000 miles oil change intervals that the internals are pretty clean. Therefore a sticking lifter may not be the issue. So, running some Marvel Mystery oil through the engine may not be necessary.

An example of stuff coming apart internally on a stock engine - when I tore down my stock LT1 from my 96SS with over 50k miles on it, I found that one of the cam retainer bracket bolts had backed out. So, stuff does come loose over time. Not common, but it happens.

That's all I got. Good luck finding the source of the noise.
 
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Sarcasm: Why not change the oil after every time you drive it?
Reality: You CAN change oil too often when its not necessary.
Think about it: the engine will have NO oil pressure for a few seconds
after each oil change.
Question: Will an engine last longer with more oil changes but spending more
cold start-up time with no oil pressure?
Suggestion: Use thinner synthetic oil (5W-30 or lower) and don't change it but every 5000 mi or
so as others have suggested.

Nab
 
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As for changing oil weight you could but, I would do just a couple of things first. Use a fuel hose of 5/16 or 3/8 size oh about 3 ft length should, this is going to be your one ear stethoscope. As mentioned in one post go around the exhaust manifold listening to any kind of soft pop. Now if nothing then place on top of valve cover to listen for a clicking noise, slide it along to see if it gets louder or not. This is a cheap mans way of it but, it has worked for me when I worked for a drilling company out in the field. If you find a clicking one then like mentioned above pull cover, adjust all then should be GTG. As for changing weight yah you could although I would do a pressure check, yah you can just have to find the hot side of the plug and jumper to the fuel pump. Take out the gauge and install a hand held gauge, see what it reads at idle and then rev it up to see if it climbs a bit. If you are showing 20 psi at idle and it picks up keep the same weight. My 95 has been rode hard with for a couple of years running I-80 from Utah to CA oh about every 3 months doing 90 or better, has 233k with no tic but oil is at 20psi about 35psi revved up using 5W-30 Amsoil. I don't have any tic per say other than now and then a fuel injector, run some cleaner seems to go away. Then again it might be just showing it's age, I wouldn't get worried hell I have a BBC in my 84 C20 it won't stop ticking till the water temp gets above 140, yah I have adjusted and roller lifters.

Just my thoughts.

Napalm
 

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filling up the oil filter with oil before installing after oil change CONSIDERBLY reduces the time it takes for oil pressure
Agreed! Most people havent learned this trick, but now they have...
 
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