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H3 2006 H3 ticking sound

ludevick

Well-Known Member
Messages
99
Location
Northern California
Hey all,

This is my first post, apart from the newbie introduction, so if this is not the right place for this type of thread excuse me.
To make a long story short i started hearing a rapid ticking coming from the front of my 06 H3, that got louder under load, and thought it may be the classic exhaust manifold problem. I took it to my buddy at the local muffler shop and we got it up on the lift and, after some poking around with a stethoscope, noticed it sounded to be coming more from within the engine. Water pump? Possibly some sort of timing issue? Loose timing belt or incorrect oil pressure? Anyway I scheduled an appointment for friday with a local shop that comes highly recommended. Was wondering if anyone has heard of something similar on the i5. It only has 80k on the clock and its a later vin so i'm hoping its not the head. I already replaced the serpentine belt, idler pulley and tensioner.

Any advice would be appreciated!
 

alrock

El Diablo
Staff member
Messages
10,426
Location
Scottsdale
I don't think it's the head, but note that head issues can still occur on vehicles even outside of that VIN range. Don't know what else to recommend except for taking off that belt and ensuring that it's not a defective replacement part or other belt driven part.
 

ludevick

Well-Known Member
Messages
99
Location
Northern California
Good to know! I replaced the belt and idler and tensioner in hopes to fix this sound. The sound didn’t get better or worse with the replacement. I’m going to change the oil after work and check the water pump. If it’s neither of those things I still have the appointment to diagnose the problem.
 

H32NV

Well-Known Member
Messages
309
Location
Golden, CO
Cam Actuator

Had this happen to me, it ended up being the Cam Actuator, the metal screen mesh was clogged and as a result the pistons were slapping the valves lightly from mistiming. Ended up costing me an engine as it failed under load. I replaced the motor with a Jasper rebuild. Look for metal in the oil. Pull your cam actuator out and clean it off with Brake Cleaner.


Good to know! I replaced the belt and idler and tensioner in hopes to fix this sound. The sound didn’t get better or worse with the replacement. I’m going to change the oil after work and check the water pump. If it’s neither of those things I still have the appointment to diagnose the problem.[/QUOT
 

ludevick

Well-Known Member
Messages
99
Location
Northern California
Oh I’ll definitley check that out when I’m home. Would MAF or throttlebody cleaner work? Don’t have any brake cleaner on hand. Thanks in advance!
 

ludevick

Well-Known Member
Messages
99
Location
Northern California
Completed a full synthetic oil change, with some of that oil cleaning stuff. Removed the cam actuator solenoid it looks clean. Cleaned with some MAF cleaner and I am letting it dry out. I’ll update once it’s all back together and I get a chance to drive.


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ludevick

Well-Known Member
Messages
99
Location
Northern California
On the drive to work today the h3 was a lot quieter and smoother. Still getting some odd noise but it could just be the first time I’m hearing the 5 cylinder working properly. I’ll keep my eye/ ears on it and see how it does over the next couple of days. Thanks for the suggestions everyone.


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H32NV

Well-Known Member
Messages
309
Location
Golden, CO
I'll try to monitor this post, glad you think there is an improvement. Little metal filings can clog the mesh screens on the cam actuator. I would assume that throttle body cleaner would work. Keep us updated!
 

ludevick

Well-Known Member
Messages
99
Location
Northern California
On a semi related note my exhaust manifold has started to crack. Not too bad yet but I’m gonna start looking at replacements. I live in California so it has all the strict emissions laws. Any advice on where to look?


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H32NV

Well-Known Member
Messages
309
Location
Golden, CO
I replaced mine when I did the engine because it too was cracked. The front cat is integrated in with our exhaust manifold, likely because itll heat up more quickly the closer it is to the engine block, and thus become effective quicker that way. I went with an aftermarket tube style manifold from Magnaflow - for half of the price of an OEM. It has already been replaced once in 20k miles because it burned out and started throwing CELs. Also, the element in the new one must be in pieces because it rattles when cold. Third, it doesnt start working until about ten minutes of runtime because the metals they use as the catalysts are actually metal salts because its cheaper.

I actually used to make something like a catalytic converter for fuel conversion in the fuel cell industry, something called a CPOx reactor. They are made nearly the same as a cat but run at a different A/f to serve a different purpose. Really good ones use platinum as the deposited metal, and have something like yttria and cerium salt solution wash coated over the ceramic to help out. Platinum activates at a lower temperature than the salts, and is a way better catalyst in terms of conversion efficiency. The OEM cats have plenty of platinum but cost 2x more and are subject to the cracking issue. The Magnaflow unit must use all salt catalytics and they wear out quicker and need more temperature to activate.

I really don't know what to do here, but if I did it again, I would have gotten the OEM. Mild annoyance that is a b*tch to replace.
 
Last edited:

ludevick

Well-Known Member
Messages
99
Location
Northern California
Yeah I went back to my local muffler guy who recommended I get the OEM one off GM parts direct, for around 750 after the core deposit, and bring in he can install it for like around 200. He checked with his usual dealers and couldn’t find anything better/ less expensive. I’d like to think I could do it myself but from what I’ve heard It seems like too much of a hassle. Thanks for the response!


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brash47

Active Member
Messages
27
Location
US
I've got a 2006 H3. I'm the original owner. 260k miles now. I did a full crate engine install at 210k. During the 13 years I've had my truck, I've had 2 exhaust manifold replacements.

Neither was under warranty or cheap. But, I did always go with OEM. I'm out here in California also. My clue is when the engine starts sounding like a diesel engine as opposed to a smooth running regular engine.

That creaking, metallic sound you get from only a diesel engine.....

Both times my engine did that sound, the manifold had cracked. It very seldom threw a CEL.

Brash

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brash47

Active Member
Messages
27
Location
US
Dealer.....sucked, but it's one part I can't order into California. Anything to do with then cat....

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ludevick

Well-Known Member
Messages
99
Location
Northern California
Dealer.....sucked, but it's one part I can't order into California. Anything to do with then cat....

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I’m in California as well so I’m looking at GM Parts club online. They get good reviews from what I can tell. Should be able to get it “otd” for under 900 with a new gasket.


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