Classic/Antique Car Repair/clicking noise


I have a 1977 Thunderbird that has started making a clicking noise coming from the engine. It isn't constant, it sort of comes and goes. But it is always there when I first start it in the mornings. And it is there no matter the gear it is in.

This question does not have an easy "one answer fits all" answer. There are several thousand rotating, moving, rubbing on each other parts in the engine that could be causing the noise. This pone is going to take some 007 detective work to find. When looking for noises in the engine compartment I usually get out my mechanics stethoscope and narrow down the area of the noise. And then there is sound of the tapping such as it a light tap tap or a more solid tap that approaches a thump. This gives a clue as to whether it is a tapping valve lifter or a solid bearing noise. But I would first narrow down the location to eliminate the water pump, alternator, steering pump or drive belt. Then of course is it speed related. If it is not speed related than it could be a rattle under the hood somewhere, but it will require use of your ears to located. I can guess but that is not the way to diagnose this problem.  

Classic/Antique Car Repair

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Brad Sears


All automotive including antique and collectible. However if the car has been modified I can only answer in general terms and maybe get you pointed in the right direction.


Automotive tech instructor. Syndicated auto columnist 1970's though the early 1990's. Syndicated auto radio talk show, Ask Brad About cars, CBS Radio 70's through 90's TV Show "Last Chance Garage" 1980's PBS-TV syndicated. Auto instructor for the following companies: Fram Autolyte Holly Carter AMF Ford Motor University Of Conn Blue Hills Technical School Sugar River Technical Center Grew up in a family garage in Needham Mass and turned wrenches from the age of 14.

Manchester Union Leader, Nashua Telegraph, Motor Service Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Popular Mechanics (Saturday Mechanic early 80's), Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and lots more.

More than I care to remember. Basically Franklin Technical Institute in Boston, Northeastern University, Fitchburg State Teachers College, Tufts University, and a lot of factory schools along the way.

Awards and Honors
Moto Award winner. And much more.

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