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Jeremy, Certified Diesel Technician/Electrician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3304
Experience:  ASE, NATEF Engines and Electrical certified, EPA 608/609
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Escort wagon: I have a 1995 escort with a 1.9 and noticed last

Customer Question

I have a 1995 escort with a 1.9 and noticed last week that there was a louder than normal ticking noise under the hood. At first I was thinking exhaust gasket leak, but after checking it out today it appears to only start when the engine is warmed up and not always there on idle. Possible lifter issue?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Jeremy replied 2 years ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I will do my best to assist you with your concerns.
I would be leaning very hard towards a lifter issue or possible broken spring on one of the valves since it is only on a revved up, warm engine.
Exhaust tends to do it on cool engine and will go away or happen all the time. Same with head. Yours is opposite which is usually lifter.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is a broken spring something that can be seen with a visual inspection? The sound seems to be stronger on the #4 cylinder end of the engine so that's where I'd look first.If it's a lifter, are there any signs that a person should look for? Could it be that as the engine heats up and the oil becomes less viscous that the lifter would get louder. It seemed that as the engine gets hotter (reaches a temp for the radiator fan to come on) that it will make the sound even during idle, but more so on just higher RPM when it's not as hot.
Expert:  Jeremy replied 2 years ago.
As soon as you remove the cover, you can see the broken spring. It will be very obvious.
Rotate the engine with the cover off and look at the lifters. As you rotate the engine (I use the alternator or a socket on the crank pulley) watch the lifters. If they move side to side or the spring looks weak, you can see it.
If you run the engine with the valve cover off and the noise is obvious from that area, jut pull the head and take to a machine shop and have the lifters done.
Depending on the noise, and no obvious spring breakage, you can most likely get more time on the engine before anything serious will happen. I wouldn't be surprised if you find a weak spring and the tapping is from the lifter not closing all the way on the exhaust port or the spring is worn that you can move the valve slightly by hand. That was something seen a lot of in the 90's on the 1.9 and the 2.0 Liter engines.