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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Mon, Oct-02-2017, 07:09:04 PM   #1
M.Williams
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Default waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms?

01, 139k miles, valves checked usually every 20k miles, oil changed every 5k miles. Car is mainly a time trial / hill climb car for the past 3 years.

So this year I started to get really loud ticking from the top end (valves were in spec). The first time we opened it up, we found 1 rocker arm on the exhaust cam side that had some unusual wear. We replaced just that rocker arm with a new one. Car was nice a quite for about 500 miles. Then raced it and ticking came back.

Opened it up again and swapped the remaining rocker arms on the exhaust side with a used set to see if my OEM ones were just nearing the end of their life span or if something was causing this. Again, motor was quite for a couple of hundred miles and then loud ticking returned.

Did oil analysis and my Iron jumped from 9 to 79. Copper consistent at 3 and lead at 2.


Edit: I forgot to mention that we put in a used cam after the first rocker arm was replaced due to some odd wear on that specific cam lobe.


Thoughts????

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Last edited by M.Williams; Mon, Oct-02-2017 at 07:20:05 PM.
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Old Mon, Oct-02-2017, 07:13:31 PM   #2
CrookedCommie
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Default Re: waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms?

Sounds like it's time for new cams.
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Old Mon, Oct-02-2017, 07:45:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms?

Can you post a video of the noise. I have heard this ticking on higher mileage cars even with the valves in spec. My guess was that one or two of the rocker arms were getting flat spots.
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Old Mon, Oct-02-2017, 07:50:49 PM   #4
M.Williams
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Default Re: waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms?

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Originally Posted by L0ADED View Post
Can you post a video of the noise. I have heard this ticking on higher mileage cars even with the valves in spec. My guess was that one or two of the rocker arms were getting flat spots.
that is exactly what is happening...there are flat spots on the rocker arms. But the question is, what is causing this?
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Old Tue, Oct-03-2017, 02:22:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms?

These motors are rather noisy in regards to valve train. However, Unusual noises are cause for alarm, as are an unusual increase in noise. So, how much louder is this valve noise?
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Old Tue, Oct-03-2017, 05:58:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms?

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Originally Posted by M.Williams View Post
that is exactly what is happening...there are flat spots on the rocker arms. But the question is, what is causing this?
Oil starvation possibly due to a blocked oil passage somewhere in the head. How many miles until the sound starts to come back? A video of the noise would help.
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Old Tue, Oct-03-2017, 01:30:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms?

My engine makes a noticeable ticking/tapping sound that almost sounds like an exhaust leak but it's not. Can be heard when driving at low rpm down a narrow street or next to a highway barrier. It was concerning at first, but I'm starting to think it's just how these motors are. Two of my friends say they can hear the same noise.

I have also had a valve adjustment and vanos refresh done about 8k miles ago. It almost does seem to have gotten a bit louder as I put mileage on it since this work has been done though.


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Old Tue, Oct-03-2017, 02:39:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms?

I had similar symptoms. I checked out all my coils and sure enough one looked like it was rusting, despite being new. I got one of those automotive stethoscopes (don't try repeating if you have a short tongue) and sure enough the sound was coming from the coil that looked rusty. Swapped that out with a fresh one and the ticking went away.
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Old Tue, Oct-03-2017, 10:09:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zroman610 View Post
My engine makes a noticeable ticking/tapping sound that almost sounds like an exhaust leak but it's not. Can be heard when driving at low rpm down a narrow street or next to a highway barrier. It was concerning at first, but I'm starting to think it's just how these motors are. Two of my friends say they can hear the same noise.

I have also had a valve adjustment and vanos refresh done about 8k miles ago. It almost does seem to have gotten a bit louder as I put mileage on it since this work has been done though.


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Well that is interesting, this first started after a complete vanos refresh....
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Old Wed, Oct-04-2017, 01:01:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms?

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Originally Posted by M.Williams View Post
Well that is interesting, this first started after a complete vanos refresh....


I have a feeling my valves were shimmed too tight causing the ticking. I'm not sure but I had nothing but headaches since this shop touched my car... won't mention the name but very frustrating.


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Discussing waht causes loud "ticking" and worn rocker arms? in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)