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More winter problems :(. Bad clicking noise near engine.

Old 01-29-2013, 05:16 AM
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Unhappy Possible stuck SSV/Engine Knock? Bad clicking noise, vid included, help.

Hey guys, I recorded a short vid to give you a sample and will get a better one later but this is what happened:

Lots of slush/wintery mess today. Car did great though.

Anyways, I usually start my car before I leave work and let it warm up for 10-15 minutes on colder days. Today I did the same (however its much warmer than normal, prolly 28 out).

Anyways, when I got in the cabin, I noticed a bit of burning smell coming through the air coming in from defrost/heat. It wasnt too bad, but noticeable. I drove it home and to be honest, I really feel like it didnt have the "Pep" it usually has. Granted it may be all in my head.

I get to my apartment parking lot and I still have a bit of a smell, so I open up the hood, and I hear a quick violent clicking. It sounds like it is coming from underneath the intake manifold, somewhere in the general area of the engine or below. It's still dark out so I couldnt get a good look.

When I put my nose right up to the intake manifold I couldnt really smell much of burning but the noise is quite loud. I tried turning defrost/fans off, still there. I tried pushing in/releasing clutch, still there.

Heres the clip.
sample - YouTube

sorry you cant see much of anything, its still dark. But I have the phone right up to my intake manifold and you can hear the clicking quite well.

Any ideas? I happened to be googling "Rx8 clicking noise" and I came across 1 vid that had the same exact noise. The only comment on the vid was by some1 else though who said "Try sticky SSV".

I have never had this clicking before, nor a problem with my SSV to my knowledge. I have had low compression test results at the dealer which were below failing but then after zoom power, apparently they were back in the normal range. Could this possibly be an engine knocking as well as a result of low compression on a rotor face?

Last edited by jamesf; 01-29-2013 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:32 PM
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bump for help on this...
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:11 PM
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The noise sounds like the ssv. Does it make that noise all the time?
Also I'm positive that the compression has something to do with it. That would also explain a loss of power. Do you have any problems with starting the car and idle quality?
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by lordagrabah View Post
The noise sounds like the ssv. Does it make that noise all the time?
Also I'm positive that the compression has something to do with it. That would also explain a loss of power. Do you have any problems with starting the car and idle quality?

Yes I do. I have lived with those issues for a while now. Maybe it is finally kicking the bucket from this NY winter.

Anyways, do you recommend that I try replacing the SSV? Or just bringing it into the dealer for a compression test again first and then go from there?
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:09 PM
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little update on this. I started my car up tonight in 40 degree weather. Did not hear the SSV/engine ticking (whichever it is). I drove it hard and once in the parking lot of my work I popped the hood and listened again. Ticking was there.

Does that help with a diagnosis at all?
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:49 AM
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***Update***

Today when I drove home I drove my car to operating temp and came home. However, I did not go above 5k RPMs.

Once I got home, I popped the hood. No noise. Revved the engine to 7k; Noise came back and was ticking like when I drove it hard.

Still looking for advice on this 1.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:53 AM
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99% sure It's the SSV.
Some times low compression engines might make it tick if the valve is loose and there's enough blowback.

Clean and inspect the SSV and its solenoid. If that doesn't solve the issue do a compression test or...
Do a compression test and if the engine is healthy clean the SSV.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:02 AM
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Don't you still have the OEM Cat-converter which is raising concern because it might be clogged?
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bse50 View Post
99% sure It's the SSV.
Some times low compression engines might make it tick if the valve is loose and there's enough blowback.

Clean and inspect the SSV and its solenoid. If that doesn't solve the issue do a compression test or...
Do a compression test and if the engine is healthy clean the SSV.
Thanks mate.

I'll go and get it compression tested and if it is all good I am going to clean and perform TSB for the SSV. I think if I read up enough on it and with jon's DIY maybe I can handle it.

My compression is really a mystery to me because the dealer gave me a bit of a shady deal. They hadnt dealt with many 8s so a compression test was new to them. It failed the first time (my engine is the 2nd reman in this car, currently 81k on the clock), they did zoom power and claimed one of the rotor faces significantly gained compression.

They sent me on my way and I went back a few months later and they said overall my compression improved. I want to know how that happened. Especially since even with an N3R3 starter, my warm starts still take a few seconds.

Regardless, thanks for the advice
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Grace_Excel View Post
Don't you still have the OEM Cat-converter which is raising concern because it might be clogged?

The cat on my car was replaced at 50k (before I purchased it). That is the one I still have on my car.

I planned on purchasing a borla exhaust as well as race root's new high flow cat to replace the worn out system currently on my car now. I'm going to hold on installing until I get a compression test done at the dealer though. The thing that is frustrating about it is, I feel like my engine is right on the borderline of failing those tests. Dealer will not replace it but I am stuck with hot-start issue. It makes me a bit frustrated and sometimes it discourages me from learning/working on this car. I sometimes feel like I've put a lot of work/hours into it but have not improved the cars reliability.

I will find out then if it truly was clogged. The only reason I didnt rush to get a new one was because I saw that many people with a clogged cat ended up getting a CEL. I havent had any CELs besides a few misfires when I had bad ignition coils. I also drove the **** out of it and checked underneath the car. It was not glowing red at all. Could a clogged cat affect my SSV (especially since my car is high mileage)?

Last edited by jamesf; 01-30-2013 at 05:13 AM.
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