Engine Dreaded Coyote Tick Fixed!!!

MealeyGT12

Member
May 30, 2017
4
8
13
29
Hey everyone,

So as you can probably guess from my title I had one of the dreaded coyote ticks in my '12 GT . I had opened up my driver's side valve cover half a dozen times and even replaced some of the lifters but to no avail. Before we begin on the repair that eventually fixed it let me describe how this began. Scroll to the bottom for a TLDR.

Driving back from Florida to Atlanta 4hrs into a 6hr drive. About 105F outside and full sun. Had been crusing at about 90 for the last couple hours with traffic. For reasons I will not get into here I quickly hit faster speeds in 4th. Hopping off the highway I noticed a ticking sound
worried.gif
. Pulled over and realized that I had a consistent and VERY LOUD ticking sound coming from what sounded like the driver's side head at the front tango_face_crying.png tango_face_crying.png tango_face_crying.png . At this point I had to get home so we drove the remaining 2hrs home and parked it for the night.

The next morning I fired it up hoping maybe it was just warm but nope it started ticking the exact same once it warmed up a little. Started doing some research on here and countless other places to find out our motors are notorious for ticking. I was furious since I had just bought this mustang with 82k miles on it the month prior and only put about 3k on it since. It came with 5 pages of carfax from the original owner (1 owner car before I bought it, local nurse who babied it) of religious oil change records and the takata airbag recall fix. I decided to park it while I figured this out and keep driving my daily.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and my daily blows it's motor...
steaming.gif
. Now I'm left with just the ticking mustang. I tried a couple oil changed but going from factory motorcrap 5-20 to mobil 1 5-30 only dulled the ticking slightly. The tick was in perfect time with the camshaft and would increase in volume DRASTICALLY between 1800-3200rpm before the sound of the engine would start to drone it out some. With no other option I started driving the mustang again and this went on for about 15k miles without incident.

About 2k miles ago from now 101k on the clock, I tried replacing some lifters. Was a pretty straight forward deal. I had used a stethescope to narrow down the sound to the front driver's cylinder (5?) and it sounded like the intake side. Lifted the cam out just enough to swap some lifters out. No dice. It ticked exactly the same. Opened it back up again to try swapping some more just in case I was wrong. Same result it kept ticking. At this point I was and still am neck deep in an LS swap of my blown daily so I just accepted that the tick is there for now and I would keep driving. I mean it had been like 15k miles and nothing had changed.

Well on the 22nd everything changed... Leaving the local grocery store I heard a sound that instilled fear and dread. A knock. The same knock that spelled death for my daily before I could get it from home to the shop. I immediatlly babied it the 2 miles home and parked it hard. Scheduled a shop visit and dropped it off (like 8 miles). Got a call the next morning saying I need a new engine... Taking a deep breath I asked the price knowing darn well how expensive a Coyote is. I was quoted about 10k for a new from Ford one installed or about 6500-7k for one with 93k miles installed. I politely told him to shove it and I would pick it up in the morning.

The next morning the mechanic handed me my keys and didn't charge me saying I have enough expenses with this car to worry about. He told me it was a rod but without tearing down the engine he couldn't say how bad the damage was. Finally with a solid lead I could diagnose and repair the car properly! I babied it back home and backed it into my garage.

Got it home at about 8:30AM. Put a 2x6 across the strut towers and pulled the motor mount bolts. Attached ratchet straps to the motor mounts on the engine and lifted it about 3in up. Still wasn't enough room to remove the oil pan and I sure as hell wasn't going to pull the whole motor. I dropped the K member and the oil pan came right out. I inspected the pan for debris and it was spotless! tango_face_surprise.png With that bit of encouragement I pulled the pickup tube (3 bolts) and the upper pan and gasket came right out. My friend and I spun the rear wheels in 6th gear until the crank was positioned properly for removing the rod cap in question. It came right off (12 sided 12mm socket btw, it doesn't fit perfect but I tried every size both metric and standard and it is indeed a 12mm) and the bearing was completely FUBAR. gen147.gif I decided to pull the one next to it and amazingly it was perfect!!! More amazingly was that the crank was also perfect! I measured it to be within 0.0002in of spec. That's perfect in my book and it had a mirror shine like the bearing next to it. A quick trip to Summit (live 15min away tango_face_devil.png ) and a $5 OEM replacement from Clevite later and I was in business. New one dropped right in and everything bolted up perfect. Wrestling the K member back in to position took a full hour and was the worst part by far. Filled it up with 5-30W high mileage royal purple with K&N filter. Turned the key and it fired right up as usual. Except this time THE TICK AND KNOCK WERE GONE!!! I let it idle for a while and it got a quiet as new. After a shakedown run at multiple loads and rpms it was still a quiet as it should be. It seemed to like the royal purple as well since I was running a heavy 5-40 previously since I drive hard and it would buck (just enough to feel) when cold and off the gas).

At this point it's about 5pm and the car appears to be in perfect health again. 4 days later I can say without a doubt that it is indeed completely fixed and running like new again. What was quoted at a 10k repair took me in my home garage with hand tools 8 hours and $5 to fix. I realize I lucked out on the crank but still 10k was ridiculous. Now I can focus on my LS project again. tango_face_devil.png

I hope this thread is helpful to anyone here and if you have any questions please comment or PM me and I will help in any way I can. This legitimately sounded like a top end tick, even had an old timer who's been building engines twice as long as I've been alive tell me it sounded like a lifter tick. Wasn't until it began knocking that it became clear it was a rod bearing.

TLDR: Rod bearing went and ticked for 17k miles before knocking. Was quoted about 10k for a replacement motor and fixed it for a $5 bearing plus oil change and one day on my back under the car. Now has 103k on the motor and it is near silent and running like new.
 
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MealeyGT12

Member
May 30, 2017
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Picture of the blown bearing.
 

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CoosawJack

Active Member
Feb 11, 2016
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Wonder what caused just one bearing to self destruct and where did the metal go???:shrug:
 

Noobz347

Stangnet Facilities Maint Tech... Er... Janitor
Admin Dude
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Welcome aboard and great write-up. :nice:


Wonder what caused just one bearing to self destruct

This does make me wonder if the bearing just failed or if the cylinder did, at some point (or multiple points). It might be worth doing a cylinder balance test and compression check leak down check. If the injectors are original, they could probably use cleaning and flow testing.
 

MealeyGT12

Member
May 30, 2017
4
8
13
29
Welcome aboard and great write-up. :nice:




This does make me wonder if the bearing just failed or if the cylinder did, at some point (or multiple points). It might be worth doing a cylinder balance test and compression check leak down check. If the injectors are original, they could probably use cleaning and flow testing.

Thanks! I think the bearing just failed. I never lost any power or consumed large amounts of oil that would be indicitive of a bad cylinder. Only thing it ever did was tick LOUDLY until it began to knock. Now that it's running great again I don't want to touch it until I have to.

Something to note though, I think I have the BBQ igniter tick that people have complained about. It's completely random, one (low) volume, and doesn't increase with rpm. I think I know what it is though. I noticed that our rods can slide back and forth on the crankshaft after being run for a while. When I installed the new bearing and tightened the old good one they didn't move side to side at all. I'm wondering if after getting run hard (we all do it) and heat soaked enough if the rod bolts loosed just a hair from thermal expansion. The quiet tick would take a lot of labor to fix and Ford would be inclined to replace the motor, like they currently do. I opted out of messing with the ones on my car at the time as I needed it running ASAP and only one was making bad noises at the time. I can easily see me not hearing the BBQ tick given how much quieter it is than the rod bearing tick was. If it gets any worse or I decide to do a motor rebuild someday I'll address it then. Wouldn't require any new parts if you really didn't want to (highly recommend changing bearings). You could just snug the bolts back up a bit. Just a theory but I think it has merit.
 

Nebraskajay

New Member
Jun 9, 2018
1
0
1
46
Omaha Nebraska
Hey everyone,

So as you can probably guess from my title I had one of the dreaded coyote ticks in my '12 GT . I had opened up my driver's side valve cover half a dozen times and even replaced some of the lifters but to no avail. Before we begin on the repair that eventually fixed it let me describe how this began. Scroll to the bottom for a TLDR.

Driving back from Florida to Atlanta 4hrs into a 6hr drive. About 105F outside and full sun. Had been crusing at about 90 for the last couple hours with traffic. For reasons I will not get into here I quickly hit faster speeds in 4th. Hopping off the highway I noticed a ticking sound
worried.gif
. Pulled over and realized that I had a consistent and VERY LOUD ticking sound coming from what sounded like the driver's side head at the front tango_face_crying.png tango_face_crying.png tango_face_crying.png . At this point I had to get home so we drove the remaining 2hrs home and parked it for the night.

The next morning I fired it up hoping maybe it was just warm but nope it started ticking the exact same once it warmed up a little. Started doing some research on here and countless other places to find out our motors are notorious for ticking. I was furious since I had just bought this mustang with 82k miles on it the month prior and only put about 3k on it since. It came with 5 pages of carfax from the original owner (1 owner car before I bought it, local nurse who babied it) of religious oil change records and the takata airbag recall fix. I decided to park it while I figured this out and keep driving my daily.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and my daily blows it's motor...
steaming.gif
. Now I'm left with just the ticking mustang. I tried a couple oil changed but going from factory motorcrap 5-20 to mobil 1 5-30 only dulled the ticking slightly. The tick was in perfect time with the camshaft and would increase in volume DRASTICALLY between 1800-3200rpm before the sound of the engine would start to drone it out some. With no other option I started driving the mustang again and this went on for about 15k miles without incident.

About 2k miles ago from now 101k on the clock, I tried replacing some lifters. Was a pretty straight forward deal. I had used a stethescope to narrow down the sound to the front driver's cylinder (5?) and it sounded like the intake side. Lifted the cam out just enough to swap some lifters out. No dice. It ticked exactly the same. Opened it back up again to try swapping some more just in case I was wrong. Same result it kept ticking. At this point I was and still am neck deep in an LS swap of my blown daily so I just accepted that the tick is there for now and I would keep driving. I mean it had been like 15k miles and nothing had changed.

Well on the 22nd everything changed... Leaving the local grocery store I heard a sound that instilled fear and dread. A knock. The same knock that spelled death for my daily before I could get it from home to the shop. I immediatlly babied it the 2 miles home and parked it hard. Scheduled a shop visit and dropped it off (like 8 miles). Got a call the next morning saying I need a new engine... Taking a deep breath I asked the price knowing darn well how expensive a Coyote is. I was quoted about 10k for a new from Ford one installed or about 6500-7k for one with 93k miles installed. I politely told him to shove it and I would pick it up in the morning.

The next morning the mechanic handed me my keys and didn't charge me saying I have enough expenses with this car to worry about. He told me it was a rod but without tearing down the engine he couldn't say how bad the damage was. Finally with a solid lead I could diagnose and repair the car properly! I babied it back home and backed it into my garage.

Got it home at about 8:30AM. Put a 2x6 across the strut towers and pulled the motor mount bolts. Attached ratchet straps to the motor mounts on the engine and lifted it about 3in up. Still wasn't enough room to remove the oil pan and I sure as hell wasn't going to pull the whole motor. I dropped the K member and the oil pan came right out. I inspected the pan for debris and it was spotless! tango_face_surprise.png With that bit of encouragement I pulled the pickup tube (3 bolts) and the upper pan and gasket came right out. My friend and I spun the rear wheels in 6th gear until the crank was positioned properly for removing the rod cap in question. It came right off (12 sided 12mm socket btw, it doesn't fit perfect but I tried every size both metric and standard and it is indeed a 12mm) and the bearing was completely FUBAR. gen147.gif I decided to pull the one next to it and amazingly it was perfect!!! More amazingly was that the crank was also perfect! I measured it to be within 0.0002in of spec. That's perfect in my book and it had a mirror shine like the bearing next to it. A quick trip to Summit (live 15min away tango_face_devil.png ) and a $5 OEM replacement from Clevite later and I was in business. New one dropped right in and everything bolted up perfect. Wrestling the K member back in to position took a full hour and was the worst part by far. Filled it up with 5-30W high mileage royal purple with K&N filter. Turned the key and it fired right up as usual. Except this time THE TICK AND KNOCK WERE GONE!!! I let it idle for a while and it got a quiet as new. After a shakedown run at multiple loads and rpms it was still a quiet as it should be. It seemed to like the royal purple as well since I was running a heavy 5-40 previously since I drive hard and it would buck (just enough to feel) when cold and off the gas).

At this point it's about 5pm and the car appears to be in perfect health again. 4 days later I can say without a doubt that it is indeed completely fixed and running like new again. What was quoted at a 10k repair took me in my home garage with hand tools 8 hours and $5 to fix. I realize I lucked out on the crank but still 10k was ridiculous. Now I can focus on my LS project again. tango_face_devil.png

I hope this thread is helpful to anyone here and if you have any questions please comment or PM me and I will help in any way I can. This legitimately sounded like a top end tick, even had an old timer who's been building engines twice as long as I've been alive tell me it sounded like a lifter tick. Wasn't until it began knocking that it became clear it was a rod bearing.

TLDR: Rod bearing went and ticked for 17k miles before knocking. Was quoted about 10k for a replacement motor and fixed it for a $5 bearing plus oil change and one day on my back under the car. Now has 103k on the motor and it is near silent and running like new.


Was this the sound you were hearing? These two videos are of my ticking sound in my 2017 Mustang GT. Its been to the dealership service center, they had it for 2 weeks and replaced lifters, cam followers and rocker arm. Day after I got it home it was worse than when I took it in....

View: https://youtu.be/XMBY4sxBd6o


View: https://youtu.be/-TfbUz5fiOM
 
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MarineDeuce

Member
Jul 16, 2018
46
6
18
75
St Johns
This is a great thread. Have read horror stories of Ford dealers telling folks to run gear oil in engines to cure. Sounds like a quality control isuue Ford should be able to fix easily. Nice sleuthing.
 

5literPwr

Founding Member
Jul 17, 2002
119
3
18
Are Ford Dealerships still telling owners of 5.0 Mustangs that this ticking is "normal"? I have heard this concern raised so many times now on Mustang forums. And it is clear by this thread that the OP diagnosed and solved the source of this "ticking" problem.

This is the reason for which I have not traded my 3v 4.6 Mustang in for a newer 5.0 Mustang. I have owned Mustangs for decades now and have always been thrilled with the old 5.0 engines and also the 4.6 engines. The fear of having to deal with this potentially catastrophic engine issue prevents me from owning the latest 5.0 engine. If Ford would step up and do the right thing for customers by acknowledging and ultimately fixing this 5.0 engine issue (at no cost to the customer,) I would certainly be an owner of a 5.0 Mustang today.
 

paradigm

Member
Jul 18, 2007
50
0
6
My 2011 5.0 6MT with 106k miles has started to knock pretty badly. People on facebook forums after hearing my video says its the normal coyote tick, but it seems way too loud in person to be normal. It gets a lot worse when the engine is warm. The noise gets louder the higher the RPMs. It is also only noticable in the 500 to 3000 rpm range. It sounds like it is coming from the driver side cylinder head area. I suspect its also a broken rod bearing.

What risks do I run if I do not get this fixed? Can I drive the car hard or is it not advisable?
 

MrGEM

Member
Jan 8, 2000
5
1
13
Colorado
Early-mustang.com
So, my 2014 F-150 has developed this "ticking" at about 62k miles. It sounds to me like Ford -- through their TSB ("typewriter tick") has declared these noises to be normal and not affecting performance or reliability.

If I am interpreting this thread, one Mustang owner:
1 Identified the offending bearing as the source (probably using a stethoscope)
2 Dropped the pan and replaced that main bearing

Result: No more tick.

Have I got this right?

I'm not interested in pulling the engine and dropping the pan to replace that bearing. That's certainly not a job for an amateur. What's that gonna cost me to have it done by a competent mechanical shop?