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Matt, Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 21860
Experience:  Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering, worked 8 years as a Formula 1 engine engineer.
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Land Rover Freelender: I have a 2004 Landrover Freelander with

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I have a 2004 Landrover Freelander with a 2.5L gas engine. During a cold start there is a loud tapping/clacking noise that sounds like a lifter. I know they are hydraulic lifters and have read that the sound can come from an upper intake manifold. The sound decreases greatly as the car warms up. It is then much quieter, almost normal. The car is currently at the shop and they think it is the upper intake manifold. Part #2900307519 -- LKB000120. This is a very expensive part; close to $1,200. Is there any way to repair the upper intake manifold to get another 6 months of noise free operation? Is there any chance that it could be a lifter? The car is running great. FYI - I am in Costa Rica and will have to import the part adding to the cost.

If the manifold has a crack in it then yes these can produce a ticking noise however from your description I think its more likely to be a stuck lifter.

So I'd suggest the 1st thing to do is an oil flushing treatment as these can help and as part of the process you then change the oil and filter

If the inlet manifold is cracked then as its plastic a good 2 part epoxy resin such as JB weld can often make an effective repair

Also try checking all the exhaust joints as blowing exhaust gases can also produce a ticking noise- check where the manifold joins the head and the down pipe joints just before the catalyst - the best way to do this is to start the engine from cold and feel around each joint with your bare hands - feeling for exhaust gas blowing over your fingers - you'll have about 30 seconds before it all gets too hot.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I forgot to mention that I had tried a lifter additive and had the oil changed. You will have to excuse my ignorance with this vehicle, it was given to me as part of a debt that was owed. If the manifold was cracked would it make sense that it would be quieter as the engine warmed due to the metal expanding? Also, if the plastic part is cracked would it quiet down as the engine warms? Thanks.

yes some cracks will tend to close as the part is warmed up - it depends on where the crack is on the part

From your description I think its more likely that you have a sticking lifter as both inlet and exhaust leaks / cracks tend to make the engine run poorly with stuttering on acceleration and poor idle quality

if the oil additive hasn't helped then the next step is to have the cam cover off to try an identify which lifters are slack and replace them with new
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Last question and then I will pay. Thank you for your help. We narrowed it down to the upper intake manifold (part # XXXXX). After removing it we took off the bottom plastic plate. There was an arm that opened and shut flaps that controlled the airflow to each cylinder. The arm was detached and the flaps were extremely loose and worn. I removed all of the flaps and the loose arm and reassembled. The car was cold and started up without any ticking or tapping noiseds, running perfectly. Unfortunaley the car will not accelerate. Any suggestions as to what we did wrong?

the flaps control the length of the intake air path to boost the torque curve of the engine.

by removing the flaps the engine will be breathing from both sides at once and as a consequence the fuelling will be incorrect.

as a measure to get you going I'd refit the flaps and fix them in one position - the position that gives the longer air path.

the engine should then run OK but you'll have a lack of power at the top end of the rev range
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I think I just paid. Let me know if there is an issue. The car actually has no throttle response, not that it is accelerating properly. That is another issue however. I appreciate your help, especially with the poor description and lack of details that i provoded.
No problem

glad to help