Everything else Good at troubleshooting? Have a non specific issue that doesnt fit into the other categories?? Ask it here!

Replaced all VLA Valve Lash Adjusters yet tapping still present

Old 06-03-2016, 08:23 PM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 156
Default Replaced all VLA Valve Lash Adjusters yet tapping still present

Replaced all 24 VLA yet tapping noise continues at idle until 2,900 RPM and stays gone as long as above 2,900 RPMs.

Montero Limited 3.8L motor has 173,000 miles and has always run good and doesn't burn oil at all or leak much either.

Yes, I inspected the new VLAs and they seemed good, and I performed the 0-3,000 RPM flush-bleed upon replacement... 50+ times. Noise got a little better here and there for those 50 bleed cycles but never went away.

When the original VLAs started making noise about 500 miles ago the bleed cycle process would stop it for 2-3 days. And I'd only have to do about 13 cycles to make them quiet for those 2-3 days. That worked twice, maybe three times, and then it wouldn't go away so I figured a VLA was completely bad.

It sounds as though the same Valve Lash Adjusters are making the exact same noise as the replaced ones...Passenger side #3 Cylinder. Out of the 24 VLA only two were noticeably bad when I removed them...both from Cylinder #3 (the 2nd from firewall on Passenger side). One was exhaust and other was an intake. But the Exhaust VLA was very smashed up and Intake was only slightly.

When I did the VLA replacement I also changed plugs and noticed all the cylinder heads were very dirty with carbon. Took a flashlight and looked down spark hole. That's the only thing out of the ordinary I noticed. I also cleaned the rocker shafts and all the small oil ports...all seemed clean and clear.

Do you think #3 Cyl is so dirty that the valves are not seating and causing the Exhaust and Intake VLA to get banged up?

I thought about timing but it was redone 12,000 miles ago and if it was a slipped belt it would likely beat up all or at least several valves right?

Plus the noise totally stops at 2,900 to 3,100 RPM and then returns when RPMs drop below 2,900. I've tested it several times up to 5,000 RPM and it's quiet after 2,900 RPM while driving load or parked.

Any suggestions? I want to kick its windshield out and cut it in half right now!...20hrs and $300 of my time/$ maybe wasted.

My plan is to rinse my oil/crankcase system with 10w transmission fluid for 2 hours at idle and some RPMs also for short periods. Then add motor flush at double strength, if the 10w tranny fluid detergents don't work. And follow the instructions with the flush product. Finally change oil and filter and do a coolant back flush and refill also (because it's due).

If that doesn't stop noise then I'll add double strength fuel system cleaner to 10 gallons fuel and run that at mixed idle and high RPMs. Maybe that will clean carbon off valves and seats.

And lastly regardless if these work I'll add something like Blue Devil or Green Seal head gasket sealer to my fresh crankcase and fresh coolant to reinforce any weak areas I scrubbed too much with cleaners.

Any other ideas for me to try?
Old 06-06-2016, 11:40 AM
Senior Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 156

I posted another topic to explain what happened. The NEW timing belt kit I used failed and the tensioner didn't last more then 12,000 miles. Causing the belt slap that EXACTLY mimics the VLA failure and noise symptoms.

What a pain. Don't buy the crap from CNS Auto Parts, eBay vendor. The kit was $105...came with belt, tensioner, idler, water pump, and associated gaskets for pump and valve covers.

What brand should I use to replace?
Related Topics
Thread Starter
Last Post
Mitsubishi Montero & Montero Sport
11-27-2017 01:42 PM
Mitsubishi Mirage
06-06-2016 11:41 AM
Mitsubishi Montero & Montero Sport
11-18-2010 09:53 PM
Mitsubishi Montero & Montero Sport
04-22-2008 11:16 AM
Everything else
05-08-2007 08:53 PM

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Replaced all VLA Valve Lash Adjusters yet tapping still present

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.