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autotech2612

Piston Slap

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Okay, I am pretty sure I have piston slap on my '02 because the engine makes a tapping, clicking sound that goes away after car fully warms up.

 

Mine disappears after a 10-minute highway drive. If I drive on city streets, it takes much longer for the noise to go away.

 

Only happens when it's below 60 degrees outside.

 

I can't stand this noise.

 

1. What must be done to rectify it? Bottom end rebuild?

 

2. How long can I keep driving on this?

 

3. Am I doing further damage by continually driving the car?

 

4. Is it worth fixing if I plan to keep this car for several years? I'd like to get at least 350,000. I'm at 234,000 right now.

 

5. And, what causes this to happen? I have been meticulous with oil changes. It's frustrating.

 

Thank you in advice for help. Look forward to replies.

Edited by autotech2612

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trap

Minus a bottom-end rebuild, there's no additive I can use to decrease the noise? Dom, I know you stated your '04 has this issue, but at what mileage did it start? Is this common in Corollas?

Edited by autotech2612

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Could also be the VVT-i system - that itself is pretty noisy. Someone on TRDforums reported that replacing the timing chain guides helped with the chattering noise tremendously. Type of oil or different grades, unfortunately, doesn't seem to help matter much. Thicker oils tend to quiet things down, but that is just a function of their thickness - in cold startup, they can actually worsen the amount of noise there.

 

Could try Rislone - it is a very thin (~20 weight), conventional base oil with loads of calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. Helps with my SBC builds that tend to have piston slap from the get go. Calcium tends to help with detergency, keep things clean - phosphorus and zinc tend to help with being high pressure / anti-wear additive. I wouldn't run this with a high mileage oil - heavy additive package is great, but too much can lead to an oil that is easier to contaminate (lots of excess ash content).

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Piston slap has been around for a long time - nothing to do with VVTi. Pretty much since piston driven ICE have been around, there has been piston slap.

 

In the Toyota line, it was pretty infamous on the old 22RE engines - also seen in V6 and V8 Toyota engines as well. but those engines kept trucking, even with excessive piston slap. Not just restricted to Toyota - all manufacturers have run into this at some point - some still experience them now but have no permanent fix in place.

 

As for lots of 1ZZ-FE owners having this? Don't think it is very common - valvetrain chatter is so loud, that there might be cases of piston slap, but owners couldn't detect them audibly.

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I'm not sure when it started in mine, but it always subsides quickly... What did bother me were the valves ticking, so I adjusted them all at 100,000 miles.

Edited by dom

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I'm not sure when it started in mine, but it always subsides quickly... What did bother me were the valves ticking, so i adjusted them all at 100,000 miles.

Just curious - did you valve clearance increase or was it too tight? On mine, clearances are starting to get tighter - so eventually have to deal with it or look at burned valves as a possibility. Usually excessive clearance will cause valvetrain noise - but this engine seems to make noise either way.

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I adjusted all 16 valves at or close to minimum spec at 100,000 miles with 7 new lifters, and by switching the other ones around. I had a couple exhaust valve clearances nearly at maximum allowable clearance which could be heard ticking. The others were closer to middle of range, and all the clearances had increased slightly since my 65,000 mile inspection. Now at 174,000 miles, it still runs and sounds great... You do use a metric feeler gauge? What mileage is it at? It would appear to be receding in the valve seats?

 

Mine is really nice and quiet... At idle, all I hear is a very slight timing gear chatter, a light A/C clutch noise, and of course the VSV clicketing away over my remarquably silent 1ZZ-FE.

Edited by dom

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The feeler gauges I have are the standard SAE marked ones - bent tip type, so it can easily slip under the cam lobes.

 

I checked at 60K for grins - was perfect, all of them were solidly in spec. Checked again at ~100K, some started to run a little tighter, but were still well within spec. Checked again at 180K - couple of the intake ones were close to the tightest spec clearance. Some of the exhaust ones were moving the other way, but still inside of the spec.

 

Yeah, I'm figuring that it is starting to either eat the valve seats or the valve itself is deforming. Valve seats on the 1ZZ-FE supposed to be hardened as they are very thin (water jacket is very close to the seat) - so I'm thinking it has to be the valves.

 

Car has just over 205K, haven't been driving it as much as the others - but will have to address this soon, as the Corolla is destined to be my son's car eventually. Ticking is bad, but does quiet down when it warms up, so I'm not worried about it now. Might be a good project to do with my kids - break down the engine so they can see how to build one back up.

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Thank you for the responses, dom and Fish. For now, I'm just going to live with it. Just bough a house, so money is being funneled into it. I'd rather spend money on something that appreciates, not depreciates.

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I guess I'd have to check my clearances again before I trade it on a 2016 Civic in a year, just for the record...

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Yeah, the next generation Civic coupe with Earth Dreams direct injection engine and 6 speed manual tranny... The actual Corolla is too boring. Valvematic 140 hp engine is only available with CVT, otherwise it's the 10th generation 132 hp 2ZR-FE. :wacko:

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Passing your Corolla off to a family member or just selling it or trading it in? I'm looking at the new Civic right now. The back is really sharp. It appears this is the sleekest Civic yet. http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-sedan/

 

The interior is sharper than the Corolla.

 

I don't know if I will cross over to Honda land anytime soon. But, it's the only non-Toyota brand I'll buy.

Edited by autotech2612

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