98 3.8 mustang low ticking noise!

Discussion in 'SN95 V6 Mustang Tech' started by talented79, Jan 14, 2009.


  1. talented79

    talented79 New Member

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    Hi Everyone!

    I am posting for my Boyfriend. He has a 98 3.8 6cyl. Mustang, it has just started a low ticking noise on the left when he presses the gas pedal. It doesnt make ticking noise when he doesnt press the gas or is in neutral.

    We just changed spark plugs and wires a week ago, oil changed 3 weeks ago. He also just changed the Thermostat this pass monday. Any ideas of how much it could cost to get the noise fixed???

    Any ideas on what the noise could be?? Thanks everyone!
  2. doc4444

    doc4444 Founding Member

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    Sounds like detonation. Get it fixed soon or it may cost you in the future.
  3. Skymarshal

    Skymarshal Member

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    Could be detonation. Are the spark plugs the correct type and heat range? The wrong plugs might cause detonation.

    It could also be a leak in the exhaust manifold.
  4. Gearbanger 101

    Gearbanger 101 we love us some gays up here Super Mod

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    Is this ticking noise occuring under light throttle, or just heavy load? If its only happening under heavy throttle, it might be detonation, but if he's still hearing it under light pedal, it might be something else.

    Let the car cool stone cold, the recheck the torque on the spark plugs. Check the oil levels too and make sure its not low.

    It could very well be an exhaust leak at the manifold, but he might as well whittle out the easy stuff first, before going over the exhaust. :)
  5. MustangLX-5.0

    MustangLX-5.0 Founding Member

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    It sounds like an exhaust leak.Only making a ticking noise when throttle is pressed.A pinhole exhaust leak typically wont show itself untill you step on the gas to create a slight load,which creates extra exhaust output.The ticking is the valve noise you don't commonly hear in the exhaust because the cats muffle it out.Though I don't know why it would all of a sudden show itself after changing out the plugs.

    It could also be a loose spark plug.I had that once.It turns out I forgot to tighten one of the plugs and it was barely threaded in.The ticking noise I heard was the spark from the plug.It's possible.But since it only occurs under a load,instead of all the time like a spark would be.

    I've never heard detonation before so I couldn't tell you there.Isn't it a loud PINGING noise?
  6. MysteryMachine

    MysteryMachine Active Member

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    Mine does this too. It just started about a month or so ago. I thought it was the oil getting low. When I changed it I was still reading in the hash marks. After the change I still have it. It seems to go away after its warmed up which has me stumped.
  7. MustangLX-5.0

    MustangLX-5.0 Founding Member

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    Can either of you record the sound (not with the phone). ? I'm trying to get a better understanding of this "ticking" noise.Have you ever heard lifter or injector ticking before? If so,does it sound like either of those?

    Did you install the correct size spark plugs? What grade of oil did you use?
  8. MysteryMachine

    MysteryMachine Active Member

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    I'll see if I can get a vid tomorrow morning. I haven't changed the spark plugs yet. Does anybody recommend 1 over another?

    I use 10w30 in everything I own. Haha yes I have heard lifter noise its not that loud.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. 99V6Auto

    99V6Auto New Member

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    Sounds like a exhaust leak to me
  10. talented79

    talented79 New Member

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    thanks everyone it was a exhaust leak and now it is fixed.... now the engine came on and we went to Auto Zone and hooked it to their machine and got list:

    Code P1151

    Probable Causes:
    1. Fuel pressure high or low
    2. MAF senor dirty/gefective
    3. Vacuum leak on engine
    4. Leaking fuel injector or fuel pressure regulator

    It runs fine to us. Now we did notice that when he cranks the car it acts like it doesnt wanna crank.

    Thanks for everyone's help!
  11. rondhol

    rondhol New Member

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    Hi talented79, I have the same problem. The noise is like harddrive "ticking noise" in old computers. It only occurs after engine is warm enough. Only on drive/reverse with very light load at arround 1500-2000 rpm. By the way, which part of your exhaust have a leak? I had changed my exhaust manifold with new catalytic converter but still have that noise.:shrug:
  12. Pauly

    Pauly New Member

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    Hi all,

    I just joined up. Great forum. I can tell you that a ticking like the one you've described does sound like a leaky exhaust manifod. I just bought an '01 V-6 with the same issue. Fortunately, both of my manifolds are being replaced under warranty. Another (very unacceptable) tick I discovered in a different car was that a spark plug was loose. Sounded almost the same. Good luck.
  13. MysteryMachine

    MysteryMachine Active Member

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    Glad you guys are figuring this out. Mine got totaled on the 5th so no more tick for me
    Posted via Mobile Device
  14. Pauly

    Pauly New Member

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    Sorry to hear that. I hope nobody was hurt.
  15. MysteryMachine

    MysteryMachine Active Member

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    Nope just my car. Worst part of it all was it was my best friends girlfriend that hit me.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  16. minik2

    minik2 New Member

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    I own a 1998 3.8L stang also and it has been doing this for a while but it seems to be getting worse.... I first noticed it a while back and it almost sounded like all the oil had mysteriously disappeared and the rings were scraping against the cylinder walls along with a low ticking noise but I checked the oil and it was fine. Then I started to notice that in the morning when I was leaving to work id accelerate onto the highway and even bring it up to 3k rpm and there was absolutely no abnormal noises. The noise comes in when the engine gets warm about halfway through my commute. It comes in when the engine is under heavier load like when im sitting on a hill at a stop light (on a hill under acceleration it will start even at 1.5k rpm....under normal conditions it will come in at 2-2.5k rpm) I wanted to test it out yesterday to see where it was but when i put it in park and hit the gas a little bit it didnt make any noise at all so i couldnt even try to find it. Im not a car guy but I do understand the mechanics of the engine. I am really hoping its something with the exhaust.....I know when i bought the car it had 30k miles on it in 2003 and i only put 30k on it since ...it could possibly be the exhaust cause i havent changed anything but the person who owned it before me swapped out pipe after the cat to make it dual.
  17. crshelton21

    crshelton21 New Member

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    yeah i had the same problem with my car, but i tightened up the bolts of the headers and the ticking sound went away. i hear mustangs are bad about that.

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