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Old 12-16-2020, 08:42 PM   #1
POS1SS
 
Drives: 2016 Camaro SS
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Chirping sound?Lifter?

My 2016 ss is making a constant chirping sound at idle, seems to be coming from the driver side head. Its driving me crazy and cant seem to track it down. Its not the drive belts, but its hard to track where its coming from. I have a gpi stage 4 cam with gm performance lifters, and other mods in sig. Can a exhuast leak chirp and travel up the longtubes and make it sound like its coming from the head, i do have a leak on my delete pipes. I have heard of a lifter roller seizing up and flattening the roller and it will chirp, is it possible this is it? I've used a stethoscope and everything but the drivetrain on my car is so loud with the longtubes and big cam its hard to tell if a lifter is the problem. Anyone had a similar noise, should I just pull the head ? no power loss or lights on dash. Seems like every built ls motor ive had a lifter fails, so i am paranoid.
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:38 AM   #2
RyanR623
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POS1SS View Post
My 2016 ss is making a constant chirping sound at idle, seems to be coming from the driver side head. Its driving me crazy and cant seem to track it down. Its not the drive belts, but its hard to track where its coming from. I have a gpi stage 4 cam with gm performance lifters, and other mods in sig. Can a exhuast leak chirp and travel up the longtubes and make it sound like its coming from the head, i do have a leak on my delete pipes. I have heard of a lifter roller seizing up and flattening the roller and it will chirp, is it possible this is it? I've used a stethoscope and everything but the drivetrain on my car is so loud with the longtubes and big cam its hard to tell if a lifter is the problem. Anyone had a similar noise, should I just pull the head ? no power loss or lights on dash. Seems like every built ls motor ive had a lifter fails, so i am paranoid.
Post a video of it happening or a sound clip.
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Old 12-17-2020, 10:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POS1SS View Post
Can a exhaust leak chirp and travel up the longtubes and make it sound like its coming from the head, i do have a leak on my delete pipes. I have heard of a lifter roller seizing up and flattening the roller and it will chirp, is it possible this is it?
Yes, a header exhaust leak at the gasket can makes a chirping/ticking sound.

And yes a lifter roller seizing up and skidding over the cam lobe will chirp for sure. At least it did on my Gen 5 LS3 cam when it had a lifter failure.

And yes again - built motors often come back to remind you "you must pay to play" especially when dealing with high lift aftermarket cams.

Good luck. These types of issues are so frustrating. They kill the joy of trying to have a high performance modified motor. But that hard chopping idle is addictive!
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RyanR623 View Post
Post a video of it happening or a sound clip.
here is a vid i took.

https://youtu.be/qdD7esnQ-z4
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Old 12-17-2020, 04:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SSDan View Post
Yes, a header exhaust leak at the gasket can makes a chirping/ticking sound.

And yes a lifter roller seizing up and skidding over the cam lobe will chirp for sure. At least it did on my Gen 5 LS3 cam when it had a lifter failure.

And yes again - built motors often come back to remind you "you must pay to play" especially when dealing with high lift aftermarket cams.

Good luck. These types of issues are so frustrating. They kill the joy of trying to have a high performance modified motor. But that hard chopping idle is addictive!
Here is a short vid, did your ls3 sound like this? https://youtu.be/qdD7esnQ-z4

Yea its very frustrating, especially since its only been cammed for about 3k miles and hasnt been beat on yet. Was your lifter failure very noticeable, like you knew something was wrong just by the chirp sound? or was there other symptoms. Looks like I am just gonna have to pull the head just to be safe.
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Old 12-18-2020, 09:48 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by POS1SS View Post
Was your lifter failure very noticeable, like you knew something was wrong just by the chirp sound? or was there other symptoms.
I listened to your vid and understand your concerns. That doesn't sound right. What happens when you increase rpms? Does the sound change in frequency and/or volume?

Its been 6 years since I dealt with my LS3 cam failure so my recollections are a little faded when it comes to the sounds. I know that I had metallic clicking and chirping sounds for 3-4 thousand miles that concerned me but no one else including the performance shop who did the cam install seemed concerned. I was told - don't worry - those are normal injector, noisy valvetrain with headers sounds that all LS3's make.

Well one morning I was 1 block from the house and the chirping turned into a squeal. I immediately returned to the house and shut it down. I never started it again and the tear down revealed one lifter had turned and was skidding sideways over the cam lobe. I ended up with 10 damaged lifters and ten wiped cam lobes. It was obvious the damage was happening over time. The aftermarket cam and valvetrain had 17k miles of street use and 2 trips down the drag strip.

I never got a definitive answer about what caused the failure but my best guess was the cam lobes delaminated from the pressure of the high lift dual valve springs I uses (.660 rated). It was a Comp cam and there was evidence of a bad batch of Comp cams during the time mine was manufactured but Comp would never own up to it.

So, I put a new cam and lifters in it and purged the engine with 3 back to back oil changes to clear metal debris. It ran great afterwards but I lost confidence and interest in the car and sold it 4 months later.

I'm with you that pulling the head may be the only way to definitively find out what's going on. Sorry I don't have any cheery news for you. As an outside long shot - check the header bolts and exhaust gasket. Header leaks can make weird noises. Again - good luck to you.
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Old 12-18-2020, 01:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by POS1SS View Post
here is a vid i took.https://youtu.be/qdD7esnQ-z4
Sounds like an exhaust leak.
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Old 12-18-2020, 03:26 PM   #8
POS1SS
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSDan View Post
I listened to your vid and understand your concerns. That doesn't sound right. What happens when you increase rpms? Does the sound change in frequency and/or volume?

Its been 6 years since I dealt with my LS3 cam failure so my recollections are a little faded when it comes to the sounds. I know that I had metallic clicking and chirping sounds for 3-4 thousand miles that concerned me but no one else including the performance shop who did the cam install seemed concerned. I was told - don't worry - those are normal injector, noisy valvetrain with headers sounds that all LS3's make.

Well one morning I was 1 block from the house and the chirping turned into a squeal. I immediately returned to the house and shut it down. I never started it again and the tear down revealed one lifter had turned and was skidding sideways over the cam lobe. I ended up with 10 damaged lifters and ten wiped cam lobes. It was obvious the damage was happening over time. The aftermarket cam and valvetrain had 17k miles of street use and 2 trips down the drag strip.

I never got a definitive answer about what caused the failure but my best guess was the cam lobes delaminated from the pressure of the high lift dual valve springs I uses (.660 rated). It was a Comp cam and there was evidence of a bad batch of Comp cams during the time mine was manufactured but Comp would never own up to it.

So, I put a new cam and lifters in it and purged the engine with 3 back to back oil changes to clear metal debris. It ran great afterwards but I lost confidence and interest in the car and sold it 4 months later.

I'm with you that pulling the head may be the only way to definitively find out what's going on. Sorry I don't have any cheery news for you. As an outside long shot - check the header bolts and exhaust gasket. Header leaks can make weird noises. Again - good luck to you.
I found it! I noticed that it only did it at idle, as you know I have a big cam so it would sit there and shake at idle, it went away when any throttle was applied. Well after some looking i noticed that where the driver side header sweeps down past the motor mount there was only less than a 1/8in gap. Shoved a piece of something in that gap and started it up and the chirp was gone, removed it and it comes back. Im guessing the radical cam and it sitting there idling its skidding across that motor mount slightly and chirping. Now I am wandering why the header is so close, less than an 1/8 of clearance cant be enough. Thanks for your help!
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Old 12-18-2020, 04:28 PM   #9
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Great news that is was something small and simple! Sometimes long shots pay off even in ways you wouldn't think.
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