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Land Rover Repair/03 Land Rover Ticking Noise

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Question
I have 2003 Land Rover Discovery with ticking noise only when engine warms up.

Only driver side of the engine makes noise therefore assuming from valve or similar.... Here is something I have done to locate the issue with no luck.

Opened valve cover and inspect each push road for wear or bent.  No issue was noticed. One thing I have seen when opening the value is sludge, therefore cleaned the valve cover manually and flushed the engine with sludge removing agent.  Then placed new oil and warmed the car the ticking noise appears again. I then replaced the oil with thicker oil with oil stabilizer, again similar issue when engine warms up.  
Now I have opened the oil pan and the same driver side valve.  From the oil pan, I did not see any issue, nor did I find metal in the oil pan.
Before I continue forward, I would love some direction if anyone has dealt with this issue before.  I see a lot of comment online from different folks with different solution.  I am looking for expert opinion.  Thanks in advance.
I should say the truck has 118K mile and I am a new owner, with no history of maintenance..

Answer
The noise could be in the valve train (rocker shafts, lifters, cam wear)  It could come from worn piston skirts.  It could come from slight play in small ends of rods.    I have seen all those things.  You may well have to do a complete teardown to find the answer.  Sorry I can't be more specific but in my experience with 2003 trucks the noise will be in the pistons or rods and you are looking at a complete overhaul  See my online articles on new liners and pistons for these motors.  

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John Elder Robison

Expertise

I own J E Robison Service in Springfield, MA. We are Bosch Car Service for Land Rover, BMW, Mercedes, and other European lines. I can answer most questions about Land Rover service or repair. I'm known as a car enthusiast, machine aficianado, photographer, writer, and speaker. I've been around Land Rovers and British cars most of my life. Visit me at my car business, www.robisonservice.com or my author website, www.johnrobison.com. Check out my autism and writing blog at jerobison.blogspot.com or my photos on www.pbase.com/robisonphoto John Elder Robison

Experience

I have been a Land Rover service manager since Land Rover returned to North America in 1987. My company is a four-star Bosch Car Service facility, known nationwide for Land Rover service, overhaul, customization, and restoration. In addition to Land Rover our company services BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Rolls_Royce, and Bentley motorcars. We have factory-plus-level service capability for all makes. Visit my company online at www.robisonservice.com > service > land rover Also visit my blog at robisonservice.blogspot.com

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ASA IATN NPPA PPA

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In the Land Rover world, my writing can be found in various print magazines and online at robisonservice.blogspot,com. In the wider publishing world, my work is published by 20 publishers in over 50 countries. Mt books Look Me in the Eye, Be Different and Raising Cubby have made US and international bestseller lists.

Education/Credentials
I am ASE certified, Bosch Trained, and trained by Omnitec/T4 and Autologic on their Land Rover test systems.

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