As I've been sorting out things on my 64 sdv my goal has been to make it a reliable long distance driver. Two issues are bugging me one is a intermittent ticking and a slight vibration while driving.

First the ticking, the engine is rebuilt and I know the heads were redone as I've had a valve cover off. Sometimes it starts to tick when it's stared and sometimes when it gets warmed up. If I rev up the engine it will go away. I read in the shop manual that I can remove lifter without taking the engine apart much, disassemble them, clean and reinstall. Any one try this? Also if I take a stethoscope to the engine it sounds more like it's coming from the flexplate torque converter area.

The vibration feels like it has a harmonic to it kinda increases and decreases in pitch as I'm driving steady. I've installed new u joints and center bearing and new tires are balanced. It feels like its at the engine. When I got the car it came with another engine and trans with a pile of other engine parts. Everything was rusted from being left outside at some point and I scrapped it all. The son of the owner told me they used two engines to make one good one. With everything I've read on here I'm hoping they used the right flex plate on this thing. I'm going to drop the torque converter cover this week to see if anything is loose at the flex plate and inspect for cracks as best i can.

Could the ticking be related to the flexplate?

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I would think the ticking could be your valve lifters(possibly at the rear of the engine )
I would do an oil change ,as your overheating issue could have broken down the oil
I would add either Rislone ,seafoam ,or marvelous mystery oil to the oil change
Those products purpose is to lubricate and clean the lifters ,as they are for that purpose
Try that before you pull the engine apart

For the engine ticking, add Marvel mystery il, or Lucas oil treatment. It helps the lifters.

For the vibration, it sounds like you have most of the bases covered.  Try having the wheels balanced on the car. A rim may be out of specs.

Next is the transmission tail cone bushing. Have it replaced, as it probably has over 100K miles on it. The  drive shaft could be moving around in there, causing the vibration.

Third, is the drive shaft tail section. It was designed in 2 pieces to telescope.  It may be bad.  Ask your local drive shaft shop about a replacement.

Russ thanks that starts me in the right direction to solving this vibration. Going to dig into the shop manual when I get home from the cottage this weekend. I will keep everyone updated.

Clovis, I have a similar problem with a vibration in my 64. I also had a lifter tick that sounded bad, but I changed the oil again as it got diluted with gas from a leaky fuel pump. I added 0W40 Mobil 1 with a half of bottle of Rislone Zinc additive, and the ticking has gone away. Sometimes it'll make noise upon start up, but it usually disappears quickly and the noise isn't nearly as loud as it was before. So changing your oil is definitely a start, I would use a thicker oil just for the added cushion is gives.

I am going to try to adjust the flexplate and see if that helps cut down or eliminate the vibration as I see no cracks or warping on mine. If nothing changes or improvements are made, then I will look at the harmonic balancer next and if worst comes to worst, the tranny will need to be removed and inspected to see what is going on.

But from what a lot shops have told me lately, the flywheel/flexplate is usually the culprit on cars that have a unique feeling vibration, especially when it gets worse upon revving the engine..A tiny hairline crack, even a slightly warped flywheel will cause a bad vibration. This is why buying used ones are a hit and miss and very costly. 

Also before I forget to ask, does the vibration occur if you rev the engine in park, or only while you're driving?

I'll let you know what I find out with my Cad.

Thanks for the input Chris. I've changed the oil 5 times times in the last 5 months. With two engine flushes 3 oil changes ago. The reason? I did 2 changes because the oil was really black from an improperly set choke and the fact it was never on the road in close to 20 years, it was just run in a shop and moved around in it. Then I did an engine flush 2 times, once with a solution of kerosene and transmission fluid, and immediately followed with a draining and 2 liters fresh oil and 1 liter transylvania fluid and 1.5 liters diesel fuel. Then ran the engine about 30 to 40 miles on fresh 5w40 dumped that then fresh 5w40 again. The flush was to try and rid that tick. I changed the oil one more time after it overheated. 5w40 synthetic diesel oil (extra zinc in it). I don't think you would find cleaner engine internals. I did do the test where you put the car in neutral while driving and it seems to be located in the engine flexplate area. I always change u joints in my old cars (had one let go once) and this site reinforced that when I looked up vibrations. I did not know about the telescoping drive shafts so I'm going to look into that and talk to the restoration shop that did the u joints. The car has 71 thou original miles so it's not an all worn out type of issue. It's just 51 years old like me LOL. I can't vouch for the engine and tranny as I don't know if they are numbers matching. I just know the engine was rebuilt. If I have to pull the lifters I think I will pull the intake off and plug up all the exhaust crossover passages. Don't need them any more and I think it's better for it long term. Lifters are matched to the cam now that it's broken in. So anyone doing this must put the lifters back in the same spot they came from or you risk prematurely wearing out your cam.
The correct oil weight for the car is 10 w 30( you know that)
The thicker oil may be having a problem lubing the lifters at the 40 weight
They are just oil pumps
From my research the zinc additives do not blend as well with syn oils as it does with conventional oil
I ran mobile one for many years 10w 30 high mileage ,with no problems and no zinc additive
I changed over to castrol conventional oil ,this year and added the zinc additive to that
I realized I was using a 15,000 mile oil and only putting 600 miles a year on the car ,so it made no sence to me
I do think the car runs better on the conventional oil ,as it is a thicker oil than the syncs ,and pumps up the lifers a bit more
Just my own thoughts and experience
I have less leaking at the main crank seal ,using the castrol,but it was never much
You problem with overheating ,as you have had , would require a new oil change and
a lifter additive ,and go from there
Always just my 2 cents from owning the car for 50 years

It sounds like the vibration is in the engine/trans for sure, since the vibration happens when your in neutral and rev the engine.

I did think of this, as I saw a video of differential pinion angle flex, due to worn bushings in the rear control links and control yolk.

The worn bushings will cause the differential to pivot, changing the pinion angle.   A worn spherical joint would probably cause flex too.

Tony the oil is fresh and the syn 5w40 I use is high end stuff. It comes with the highest zinc content in the bottle. The difference of diesel and regular oil is just additives. Regular oil used to have a very high zinc content but that is all gone now as zinc plugs up catilitic converters and messes with some pollution control sensors. They also have better soot and acid reducers which is more likely to be in our older carberated engines. Discussing oil types and additives is like talking politics and religion. Opinions on that stuff is like bellybuttons as everybody has one LOL.

Russ I'm going to check the rear axle bushings and the transmission mount for wear. I'm also going to take it for another ride tonight and go through that cruising, neutral, revving and coasting test again. It's been a little while since I did it last.

I will be grabbing some oil additives on the way home tonight and put it in the crankcase before I head out on that joy ride. (I mean test ride darn it)

Clovis, How many miles since engine rebuild? Are you sure you don't have a bad harmonic balancer? While driving these cars, bad vibration is most often caused by worn out rear CV Joints on the rear driveshaft. Remove the driveshaft  from the car and if you can turn the rear CV joints and it just sort of flops around they are worn out and will cause vibration. If they give a hard snap action when rotating by hand they are probably good.
Back to the engine rebuild, are you sure it was done correctly? Heads with rocker assembly installed in correct position so oil is getting to top of engine?  A rebuild can be a good thing or bad fact it can be a very bad thing if not done right.  Have you put a vacuum gauge on intake vacuum and observed characteristics? Vac advance on the distributor working... or leaking down. Is it original... if so how many miles on it. How about other easy to replaced ignition components such as the coil, distributor cap, condenser, plug wires? Compression test on the cylinders? What temps are you getting with a Temp Gun? What is your oil pressure at cruising? With all the issues at hand, you probably need to move beyond the speculating phase and get some accurate reads on vacuum, compression, temps, timing, oil pressure, etc. As far as oil, you should be able to throw 30 weight lawn mower oil in there and it run pretty decent if everything else is good.

Jason I don't have a clue on engine miles since rebuild. I don't think more than a few hundred. I bought it off the wife as her husband had died. They owned a business with warehouses and it just got moved around in them. I was told this by the workers. They told me it cost them double to have the engine rebuilt then what I paid for it. They also said it never really went on the road since 1997. The engine was rebuilt way after that. The oil was pretty black from the improperly adjusted choke and just idling. So I was thinking that was the cause of the ticking. Again I can drive it 4 to 5 times and not have that ticking noise and then it just comes back.
Compression test has been done on a cold engine and I've got 150 to 167 psi. New cap rotor plugs wires have been installed. Ordering a petronics ignition system for it. It's definitely not an ignition problem as all plugs are a nice paper bag color.
I also was thinking vabration damper, I inspected it and it doesn't look separated but it is still on my suspect list.

As I've said before, this engine starts, runs, excelerates, idles, burns rubber, passes, shifts and you name it and it does it perfectly. BUT with that intermittent tick and slight vibration harmonic. Just bugs the heck out of me. It burns no oil, smoke or leak any fluids either.

Does the distributor vacuum advance work or leak down? That would cause a lot of your rough running and other issues, especially having to maybe advance engine timing.  Vacuum advance readings with a gauge?  There are videos on YouTube that you can compare how your vacuum needle jumps around (or not) to help gauge the health of the engine. 150 to 167 is not bad compression..not like a fresh rebuild with good compression but not bad if you get this across all 8. Ignition coils are a few bucks. A distributor will run you a couple hundred but as the heart of your ignition can again go along way to solving a lot of problems. I easily shelled out $1000 on mine between carb, intake mods, Pertronix, new wires, etc, only to finally get it running right and dialed in to factory timing once I had a rebuild distributor.

The bottom line is regardless if you get that pertronix ignition box and flamethrower coil it is still relying on your distributor's vacuum advance to provide advance at high vacuum/low rpm/idle/coasting situations, while it depends on the distributor centrifugal advance to correctly adjust the advance out to up to 10+ additional degrees in high rpm/WOT conditions. Think of your vacuum advance, centrifugal advance, and distributor with it's rotor and cap all being a symphony of components and if any of these are bad you will get noise instead of the sweet sound of an engine that purrs! In other words if you have a worn out distributor with busted/leaking vacuum advance or worn out centrifugal advance weight and springs, you might as well tape a couple hundred bucks to a garbage can and hope that will fix everything. I tried that by throwing pertronix on my tired old 150K mile distributor with vac advance leaking down and worn out centrifugal advance and distributor bearings and shaft, it might have made the car run a tad better, but it did not fix the underlying problem.

Jason I'm going to do a vacuum leak down test tonight. But I think you are missing something from my last reply. THIS ENGINE RUNS PERFECTLY!!!! LMAO I can't stress that enough. I've put it through its paces from drag strip take offs to 110 mph passes down the highway and everything in between. This engine is set up right other than the tick and vibration.

I will take a short video of the tick if it happens again tonight while testing it.



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