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      12-02-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
mike519
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Back to the ticking questions...

OK, Mirko and I adjusted my valves a couple of weeks ago thinking the ticking I heard was the valves. We didn't have to adjust many and not by much. The ticking is still there so let me describe...

Happens under load (while driving) only and comes on around 3,000rpm. I have noticed that if I am under hard acceleration, it does come on around 3k but actually starts to fade by 4k (unless the engine is just too loud to hear the ticking anymore, not sure). It does not tick when I am parked and revving up and beyond that range. It is usually not as prevalent when the engine is cold.

I have been reading some about the vanos issues but am still a little foggy. I did take it in to the BMW dealership and a tech came out with me. He didn't think it was vanos saying that these issues usually take place at idle but I believe I have read otherwise. Help me understand if this could be vanos and if so, when do you need to start worrying about this kind of ticking?

I have also heard the s54 is just a noisy engine. Could this kind of tick just be normal? If so, I am a pretty picky guy and would like to reduce it as much as possible.

I should say that when Mirko and I were done the adjustment, I did start it up and put the stethoscope to the engine and really couldn't here much more than what I would classify as normal solid lifter ticking as I used to hear on older engines. I also replaced the spark plugs to NGKs.

Any other ideas/thoughts/tips/comments?
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      12-02-2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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Hi There!

I was noticing the exact "ticking" you are describing on my car. Was worried it might be vanos issue, was hoping it was valves. Valves are now adjusted and tabs on exhuast hub and intake cam sprocket bolts were good. This was just a visual of the tabs and a "wiggle" test and visual on the bolts but done by an experienced hand(Kaiv!) Still have a "ticking" noticeable at 3k! Just valve train noise? Going to check all heat shields and zip tie everything good and keep going! Good idea to check exhuast hub tabs and intake cam bolts anytime valve cover is off.


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OK, Mirko and I adjusted my valves a couple of weeks ago thinking the ticking I heard was the valves. We didn't have to adjust many and not by much. The ticking is still there so let me describe...

Happens under load (while driving) only and comes on around 3,000rpm. I have noticed that if I am under hard acceleration, it does come on around 3k but actually starts to fade by 4k (unless the engine is just too loud to hear the ticking anymore, not sure). It does not tick when I am parked and revving up and beyond that range. It is usually not as prevalent when the engine is cold.

I have been reading some about the vanos issues but am still a little foggy. I did take it in to the BMW dealership and a tech came out with me. He didn't think it was vanos saying that these issues usually take place at idle but I believe I have read otherwise. Help me understand if this could be vanos and if so, when do you need to start worrying about this kind of ticking?

I have also heard the s54 is just a noisy engine. Could this kind of tick just be normal? If so, I am a pretty picky guy and would like to reduce it as much as possible.

I should say that when Mirko and I were done the adjustment, I did start it up and put the stethoscope to the engine and really couldn't here much more than what I would classify as normal solid lifter ticking as I used to hear on older engines. I also replaced the spark plugs to NGKs.

Any other ideas/thoughts/tips/comments?
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      12-02-2012, 11:45 PM   #3
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Is this ticking.... Pinging? Couldn't help notice that you said under load at the rpm's that pinging is prevalent. Just an idea.
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      12-03-2012, 12:07 AM   #4
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I am NOT mechanically inclined, but the way you describe it is virtually the same "problem" I thought I had. As I think I replied in your previous, related thread, both an indie shop and the BMW dealer said the same thing...it's normal. They both said it's related to the Vanos doo-hickey.
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      12-03-2012, 08:51 AM   #5
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It sounds the same as my engine around that point. I was paranoid the first time I did my valves and rechecked them 6K km later and only had one go out of spec slightly. My engine has sounded the same since day one. Maybe a little louder due to modifications.

Not an expert by any means but I have noticed that this engine is noisey and will drive you nuts trying to find noises. I don't think we did the valves wrong, and we checked each shim measurement a good 5 times and put them into spec. I am happy to read that others say the sound seems normal. Did you have BMW listen again after we did the valves?
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      12-03-2012, 08:56 AM   #6
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sounds like a normal S54 to me; especially related to the noise @ RPM 3K
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      12-03-2012, 09:00 AM   #7
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If there is a big old analog alarm clock taped to the top of your engine, its definitely not the valves.

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      12-03-2012, 10:00 AM   #8
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If there is a big old analog alarm clock taped to the top of your engine, its definitely not the valves.

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      12-03-2012, 10:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by inTgr8r View Post
sounds like a normal S54 to me; especially related to the noise @ RPM 3K
Yup.
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      12-03-2012, 10:49 AM   #10
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I have the same issue, (ticking noise @ RPM 3K) it drives me (bleep) nuts, especially when the top is down the noise is more noticeable.
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      12-03-2012, 12:19 PM   #11
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I have the same issue, (ticking noise @ RPM 3K) it drives me (bleep) nuts, especially when the top is down the noise is more noticeable.
I *think* it's the radial piston activating the VANOS unit as the S54 has a separate oil pump/solenoid for activation; which seems to be ~ 3krpm.
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      12-03-2012, 12:30 PM   #12
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I'll add my two cents and say I agree with what others have said; normal for the S54 around 3K RPM.
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      12-03-2012, 04:11 PM   #13
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I have the same issue, (ticking noise @ RPM 3K) it drives me (bleep) nuts, especially when the top is down the noise is more noticeable.
Same goes for me.
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      12-03-2012, 05:02 PM   #14
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Well, glad to hear it from all of you. As one poster mentioned, I did wonder about pinging but it really didn't act like it was. Plus I only use 94 octane (Petro Canada Ultra).

I'm not sure I can get used to it though...I guess just an excuse to drown it out with an intake and exhaust setup in the spring!

I think I will take it to RMP (or whatever their name is in TO) in the spring for a good once over anyway.

Thanks for the comfort guys!
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      12-03-2012, 07:47 PM   #15
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Same goes for me.
Same goes for me too... although I would describe the sound as something more than mere ticking. In my car, the noise starts about 2500 and continues until about 3200, but is most noticeable at 3000. One solution is to install RPI exhaust and you won't notice it nearly as much.
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      12-03-2012, 09:10 PM   #16
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Same goes for me too... although I would describe the sound as something more than mere ticking. In my car, the noise starts about 2500 and continues until about 3200, but is most noticeable at 3000. One solution is to install RPI exhaust and you won't notice it nearly as much.
My plan exactly!!
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      12-03-2012, 09:21 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrainlay View Post
Same goes for me too... although I would describe the sound as something more than mere ticking. In my car, the noise starts about 2500 and continues until about 3200, but is most noticeable at 3000. One solution is to install RPI exhaust and you won't notice it nearly as much.
Yea, mine does it between approximately 2800 to 3200, most pronounced at 3000 .................. but mine has a metallic, almost chain like sound going on......... kind of a modified tick/chain and gear sound.

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      12-04-2012, 12:13 AM   #18
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VANOS Rasp - quite normal. Sounds like a cross between noisy valves, frying bacon and a rattle snake. I'd worry more if the noisy didn't occur, then I'd be wondering what was wrong with my S54!
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      12-04-2012, 12:48 AM   #19
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VANOS Rasp - quite normal. Sounds like a cross between noisy valves, frying bacon and a rattle snake. I'd worry more if the noisy didn't occur, then I'd be wondering what was wrong with my S54!
LOL, great description, love the frying bacon comparison.
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      12-04-2012, 03:44 PM   #20
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mike519: "I have also heard the s54 is just a noisy engine. Could this kind of tick just be normal? If so, I am a pretty picky guy and would like to reduce it as much as possible."

antennahead: "Sounds like a cross between noisy valves, frying bacon and a rattle snake. I'd worry more if the noisy didn't occur, then I'd be wondering what was wrong with my S54!"

mike519, if you're bothered by the S54's noise, just conjure up this image and you'll feel better:
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      03-23-2013, 02:01 PM   #21
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OK, just had Rose out for the first time this year and, as expected, the typical ticking is still there at 3000rpm plus.

I know many have told me its normal and not to worry but it bugs the heck out of me. Has anyway had any success in reducing or eliminating the noise?
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      03-23-2013, 02:19 PM   #22
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Nope. That exact sound is there on both of our S54 powered cars at that exact rev range.

Buy and RPI or Diablo--that will drown out the noise! Personally, I just don't drive the car much as the 3K-3.2K RPM speed.
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