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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I own a 1991 Nissan D21 Pickup with a KA24E that has approx. 276000 miles on it and runs quite well for a 16-year-old (going on 17 years old) truck with so many miles. Now it does burn some oil, mainly after it's been idling for quite a while (such as waiting at the bank drive-thru) then when I place load on the engine it puffs out a blue puff then afterwards just smaller amounts (minuscule) of blue smoke. I suspect (even though I have practically zero automobile knowledge, most of what I know comes from reading forums such as these) that the valve seals are pretty well worn and the piston rings are probably (saying "probably" is a joke after that many miles :) ) worn, but not as bad as the valve seals. Anyway that is kind of irrelevant.

As I was going to say before I got side-tracked, my main concern is occasional ticking (ticking noise is in unison with engine RPM) that comes in after several hundred miles of driving that sticks around for about 20-40 miles then goes away. From what I've read (such as this post) the issue seems to be lifter/valve noise? I'm worried if it might be rod knock or something but if that was the case wouldn't it have blown up by now after years of off-and-on noise?

Only "major" repairs I've had done to the vehicle was timing chain replacement (old one either snapped or the chain guides broke, not sure which,) exhaust manifold, and the fan clutch. Most of the other problems have been mainly the cooling system but the engine has never been allowed to overheat (or at least while I knew it was happening anyway.)

Sorry for the wall of text, anyway the main thing that is peculiar about this noise issue is that it ONLY happens after I've run the truck and it has warmed up, then I turn the engine off (say to go into the store,) then when I come back and crank the engine the noise is there and stays for 20-40 miles then goes away. Also, it does not seem like the engine's power is affected at all by this noise. Doesn't lug on me or hesitate or anything but that noise can be quite annoying and even embarrassing while it's happening!

The oil I am using is Castrol GTX 20W-50, is that the right kind of oil? My mechanic says to use that oil since it's a high-mileage engine and clearances are looser, and it makes it burn less oil.

Oh and I check all the fluids I know how to check once a week (oil, coolant, power steering, brake.) I just checked and I'm not low on oil even though it's clicking.

Any comments on this post would be greatly appreciated :) !
 

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The KA24D motors had problems with the oil pumps not lasting long. The noise may be due to low oil pressure. You can check the pressure very easily by installing a temporary mechanical oil pressure gauge. You would remove the oil sensor which is located next to the oil filter and install the mechanical oil pressure gauge in it's place; you may need to get an 1/8 BSPT to 1/8 NPT adapter to hook up the gauge.

With the engine fully warmed up, the pressure should be as follows:
idle - at least 11 psi
3000 RPM - 60 to 70 psi

If the oil pump needs to be replaced, it's easy to do so on a KA24D as it bolts on externally.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hmm... Well I don't have a gauge like that so I guess I'll have to get my mechanic to help me with that.

Quick question though: Wouldn't the oil pressure light be on if the pump was the culprit? Just earlier I ran the engine and tested the light.

When the ignition is on without the engine on the light shows, so I know it works. Okay, and it takes about 1 second for the light to go off when I crank it. Isn't that normal though?
 

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The only time the idiot light comes on is when there's no oil pressure or if it's very low like 5 psi or less.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Haha ok well as per-usual the ticking has stopped after roughly 40 miles but I will certainly look into checking the oil pressure as soon as I can because I don't want it to fail completely if it's the culprit cause I REALLY need this truck to last me at least 25000 more miles (if not more, I'm kinda attached to ol' faithful, although I do have another '01 Nissan Altima :) . )

Also do you think Castrol GTX 20W-50 is ok to use in the KA24E for summer use (summers here average 90 degrees?)

I was thinking of switching to 10W-30 before winter arrives.

If 20W-50 is ok to use, does it really significantly reduce oil burned and/or "protect" the high-mileage engine better than thinner weight?

Thanks a lot :) .
 

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...my 94 does the EXACT same thing. I can drive it every day back and forth to work for months with no weird noises (only a few miles), but on long trips I'll here that ticking maybe once or twice in a 1000 miles. I quit worrying about it, although it is disconcerting when its happening. My suggestion is to turn your radio up real loud when it happens. :) I mentioned it to a Nissan mechanic, and he said it was lifters...something about fluid/oil in them or something??? Anyway, like you said, no loss of power, no engine lights coming on, ...no harm no foul!!!
 

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I had a similar issue, but what I thought was just lifter noise turned out to be that the plastic on the timing chain guide I installed last year had already come loose and was catching on the timing chain. I left it alone for about 6 months before the plastic came off and I heard a horrible scraping/rattling/knocking noise which only lasted about ten minutes, then the chain ripped the metal part of the guide free of the bolts. Even if you don't think thats your problem I'd suggest pulling the valve cover and peaking down into the timing case.
 

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Also do you think Castrol GTX 20W-50 is ok to use in the KA24E for summer use (summers here average 90 degrees?)

I was thinking of switching to 10W-30 before winter arrives.

If 20W-50 is ok to use, does it really significantly reduce oil burned and/or "protect" the high-mileage engine better than thinner weight?

Thanks a lot :) .
With a high mileage, loose motor, using a 20W-50 is probably a better choice; it does reduce oil burning but not really a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ok thank you all for the helpful information.

Truck's with the mechanic today because the engine and/or transmission are leaking oil.

Might go ahead and have him look in the upper engine to check and make sure everything's ok, but as far as I can tell the engine still runs well :) .

Transmission was very low on oil I hope nothing got messed up with it running low on oil. It didn't seem to have a problem but I definitely saw the leak. Anyway I'll start another topic or something instead of asking 1000 questions about every part of my truck since this topic was supposed to be about the "Clicking Sound" :) . I'm not sure how the rules are here about it but it's probably generally not good to go off-topic :) .

Anyway thank you all again for the help :D .
 

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Thanks guys, the info has given me some direction to take, I have been having the same niose from mine. A 94 with 300k km on it. Just started doing this intermintantly a year ago!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Well I threw in some Lucas Oil Stabilizer on my last oil change a couple weeks ago and man am I impressed. Not only did it solve my clicking issues, it significantly reduced oil burning and also upped my oil pressure! Also, it has much easier cold starts. I also changed out the spark plugs as well as checked out the distributor cap and plug wires and I gotta say it's doing well now.

Had to replace the starter though because the armature started screwing up.

Gonna replace the O2 sensors soonish just to see if I can get the best fuel economy I can out of this old truck :) .
 
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