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2018 Jeep Cherokee Limited, 2014 RAM 1500 Big Horn CC, 2006 PT GT Cruiser, 2005 Neon SXT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for thoughts about this clacking noise my Daughters PT GT is making to help me diagnose for repairs.

My daughter has a 2006 PT GT 2.4 HO turbo automatic, 130k, it started making this clacking noise intermittently, it's not every time it starts, but if it does make the noise, it is on start up (not necessarily cold start up). Until now at least it has been that way, this last time it never stopped and the car was idling for 11 minutes.

Car was in pretty rough shape when I purchased it, but the engine ran strong with no unusual noises, it had a salvage title because it had been rear ended, I spent a lot of time fixing the rear, cleaning the interior (ick) and getting the engine up to current mileage services recommendations, including the timing belt.

No engine codes since all of the work a year ago, the codes I had then were related to the power steering pressure switch. The PS pump was shot and leaking everywhere.

As noted it is my daughters car, and when I have had the car to work on, it hasn't made the noise, so I have never heard it except for the below videos. I am working on getting the car to my house this weekend to look at (towing not driving).

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Engine Details I know of:
  • New timing belt and associated recommended parts, pullys water pump, mounts etc. 1 year ago
  • New plug wires, spark plugs when timing belt was changed. 1 year ago
  • New valve cover seal 1 year ago.
  • oil and filter
  • Replaced the power steering pump lines and pressure sensor 1 year ago.
  • New radiator 1 year ago.
  • New coil, plugs and wires, 2 months ago (was hoping that the noise was a misfire, although I had no codes.

Here are a series of videos of the noise, the first videos are before I gave it a tune up (plugs, wires and coil):

The first time we heard it before a tune up:

After the tune up:

Last recording, Noise never stopped (11 minutes) shut car off and haven't driven or started, yesterday 11/24/21"
 

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2018 Jeep Cherokee Limited, 2014 RAM 1500 Big Horn CC, 2006 PT GT Cruiser, 2005 Neon SXT
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is it loudest at the front of the engine? In one video it was doing a double-tap, like a loose timing belt hitting the inside plastic timing belt cover? In the last video, the tap-rate is at half speed.
It doesn't sound internal, like a wrist pin or lifter. They follow engine speed and are usually consistent.
Yes, front of engine, I had my daughter place her finger on the timing cover, she said she could feel the noise, she also put her finger on the oil filler cap and felt nothing. I’m thinking timing belt, or possibly a bearing on one of cam shafts… cost wise I’m hoping for the belt… as hard a job as that is…
 

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2018 Jeep Cherokee Limited, 2014 RAM 1500 Big Horn CC, 2006 PT GT Cruiser, 2005 Neon SXT
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When the flexplate bolt loosened on my PT, I thought for sure it was coming from the front of the engine. Someone suggested the flexplate, thinking it may have been cracked, and that's why I checked. It doesn't sound like a cam bearing would be making that noise, but it is not that difficult to get the cover off and check.
Will definitely look there, is there an easy access to check, in my old 2.2 2.5 turbo days I can’t remember if there was a access under it…
 

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2018 Jeep Cherokee Limited, 2014 RAM 1500 Big Horn CC, 2006 PT GT Cruiser, 2005 Neon SXT
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156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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2018 Jeep Cherokee Limited, 2014 RAM 1500 Big Horn CC, 2006 PT GT Cruiser, 2005 Neon SXT
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156 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Everyone, I now have the car in my garage, it wasn’t making the noise when I got it and towed it home (dolly), but it started making the noise when I pulled it into my garage (so not on start up but after running for about 5 minutes). Still not sure what it is, but I plan to inspect everything I worked on or replaced last fall, starting with the easiest jobs first… I will report here when/if I find the issue.
 

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2018 Jeep Cherokee Limited, 2014 RAM 1500 Big Horn CC, 2006 PT GT Cruiser, 2005 Neon SXT
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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Update: first its really cold out here in West MI brrr.

I think I found the smoking gun, it looks like the Serpentine belt for the Power Steering and AC isn't tracking straight on the PS pump pulley, and when it snaps back into place the tensioner makes a pretty distinct clank, I haven't caught the noise happening on its own with the pulleys exposed to confirm, but I can push the belt onto the pulley fully with the engine running and the tensioner will clank and then the belt is back to being off a couple grooves (seems to vary from one groove to two groves off). Not sure how to correct the alignment... but I am going to replace the tensioner and the belt, and during that process, I'll see if I can figure out why its out of alignment. who knows maybe I bent the two mounts that the pump is sandwiched between when installing the new/used pump... or maybe the pump wasn't a perfect fit (was from a SRT4).
The belts not coming completely off so I'm not sure I'll get to worked up about it after the work, if it still happens, now that I know it is not necessarily something catastrophic to the engine.

I will follow up again when I have the parts and the work is done...

Thanks again for the ideas, and djsamuel if there is an access plate on the Auto transmission for this 2.4 turbo... I can't find it... maybe buried under the turbo intercooler and power steering lines but nothing even remotely obvious.
 

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2018 Jeep Cherokee Limited, 2014 RAM 1500 Big Horn CC, 2006 PT GT Cruiser, 2005 Neon SXT
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, I replaced the tensioner, not sure if it was bad, and the A/C PS belt, given the difference in length (new vs old), I suspect the belt was done, odd that there was no squealing though.

Anyway, with the new belt and tensioner, the belt no longer drifted out of line on the PS pulley so I'm calling it fixed (fingers crossed).

Really feel like I dodged a bullet here, that timing belt is easily a 8 to 12 hour job on this car... (4 hours to get the timing set correctly... LOL)

Thanks again for the ideas and thoughts, definitely were on the right track with the belt slapping and loose comments.
 
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