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Draedful Tappet Sound ! Ls400 1995

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Hi guys

Got into the old lady this morning having not driven her yeaterday and wow .... never heard the like of it before in my dear Lexii.

On Saturday only did about 30 miles, as usual with utter confidence and parked her as usual, fine and happy.

Couldn't believe the noise ................ sounded like an old diesel thingy.

Left her all day and took the wife's car out ( grrrrrr ) and when I got back turned the ingnition and she tapped away momentarily but with a couple of revs moved back into just about the usual sounding blissful mode.

What's gone wrong with her ??

Oil is clean and good and enough in the sump even though it is shortly due an oil and filter change I know .......... . is she telling me summat do you think ?



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Possibly a good engine oil cleaner just before you change the oil would do some good.

A previous Toyota club I was a member of had members who swore by putting half a pint of diesel, yes you read that right, in the oil before changing the oil. I was told the engine flush you buy is based on diesel whether this true or not I could not confirm but I heard it many times.

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I would'nt worry too much....I was away for the day and my car was moved by a courier to access my garage....{ wife wont drive it }...when I started it later....tappet noise was terrible

it had never ever done anything like that went away afyer a few mnutes....and it never did it again over the next 4 years of ownership.

Why it did it that day I will never know....I presumed the guy started my car and moved it quickly and then stopped the motor before the oil go around guess.

My best not ever flush an engine that has over 50 thousand can loosen deposits and block things up....leave well alone.

Use only mineral oils on older synthetics....I Guarantee your motor will be smoother and quieter with say 15 50 mineral....

.I used 20 50 Bel Ray Motorcycle oil and I swear the motor ran smoother than the Toyota oil I was using....

I Cut away the belly pan under the motor where the oil filter make access easier at oil change time....i had it down to about 25 minutes to drop the oil and filter....

but I did it every 4000 miles....

Anyway....all I am saying is change the oil asap and then forget about it.... would be very suprised if t happened again.

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I can't say that I agree about not flushing an engine to remove built up deposits. It is precisely these build ups that restrict oil flow and in turn can cause extra and uneven wear. I have used engine flush a few times and have never had anything but a smooth running engine afterwards.

It would seem odd that they are still for sale if they did indeed trash engines by doing the opposite of what they say on the tin.

Having said all that, if lexii was just started momentarily this could explain the slight oil starvation diagnosis. This incidentally is why personally I use the more expensive oil as they claim to have a protective layer that helps protect on a cold start etc, whether it does or not I hope never to find out :-)

Hope all goes well Malc and you have more heart stopping moments.

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Drove her today for half an hour, local and motorway driving up to 100+ and she performed in the usual exemplary manner ...... gulping juice too .............. thank heavens !


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I agree about not being concerned about loose engine deposits. This is why we have oil filters.

I always put the best oil I can afford in my cars, the last few years that's been Mobil 1 0W-40. I change it between 10-15k

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Interesting, that bit about using mineral oils instead of synthetic in older engines.

Can you go back to using mineral oils after using synthetic in an engine?

I thought I`d read somewhere that you could change fron Min to Syth but not he other way round.

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I'm not up to speed on the fineries of the LS engine yet, having only had ours a couple of weeks. But if it has hydraulic tappets like most engines nowadays, it was probably just a sticking lifter. We had this happen to our mx5 last year after it had been stood a couple of weeks, sounded like an old sewing machine, but sorted itself out after about half an hour running, never did it again. It's usually when the engine stops in just the wrong spot leaving the valve lifter under pressure so it slowly squeezes all the oil out, sometimes takes a while to prime itself with oil again.

Re flushing fluids, I've never used them, and we never use them in our fleet vehicles at work. The rule in the trade with worn engines is the carbon build up etc may be compensating for wear in the engine. If you remove the carbon then you may introduce slack into the engine and cause burning oil etc. If you use good quality oil, and do regular oil changes any build up should be minimal anyway. I think they're more of a placebo effect than genuinely useful.

I've always been told not to use synthetic oil in an older engine, because of the seals in older engines being made of a different material to newer seals, and the synthetic oil would damage the seals in older engines causing leaks to develop. At work we have two different oils that have to go in certain vehicles depending on the age due to this.

It's ok saying we have filters, loose deposits need to get to the filter first. It they snag up in an oilway, some of which can be quite narrow, it can cause a blockage leading to reduced oil flow and even seizure (think blocked arteries in your heart stopping the blood from getting round properly).

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Valve are Bucket and Shim operation.....not is good in one have massive surface are to sweep with the cam lobe against the shim....meaning low wear...and with regular oil changes should not need adjustment for hundreds of thousands of 400 has 203 thousand and to my knowledge had never had any shms changed from new.

Believe Synthetics in the older motors....and do not use engine flush....if you want to flush....use cheap supermarket it on the lift or stands for 10 minutes....drop it out and put the good stuff in....then drive into the Sunset knowing your beautiful Vee Eight is happy as Larry.

Also no problem going back to Mineral after Synthetics.....but I would advise the above on changing over.

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