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Engine rattles on startup


johhnyboy

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My spitfire 1300 has a horrible rattley noise when started after standing for a day or two.This only happens for about 2 seconds then goes quiet.As long as the car is used during the day it is quiet apart from a pinking type rattle/noise going up hills.The oil pressure is good when warm.Does anyone know what this could be.The noise is very loud and seems to go away after oil has been circulated ?Is it damaging the engine and can it be cured without engine removal

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The Death rattle as it is commonly called is quite usual on 6 cylinder engins but I'm not sure about 4 cylinders. I assume the problem is lack of non return valve in the oil filter. You may just need to change the filter for a better quality one. On the 6 cylinder cars there is an aftermarket conversion which fixes the problem. Will it cause damage if you leave it? Yes. Main bearing going at 30K is not unusual if left to rattle when cold.

Is it easy to prevent this happening? Yes.

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this is advice i got from some onbe else for a different issue, but if the rattle only starts when engine starts, try turning over with out the chocke to build up oil pressure a bit first ?

not sure if that would do any thing

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A perfect engine will rattle on startup if the filter's non-return valve is ineffective. I have found Fram and Coopers filter to the Z93/GFE150 pattern to have an effective valve. There will be further brands which others can recommend, it's just that my most recent (positive) experiences have been with these two,

Cheers,
Bill.

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I think the 'non-return valve' is a fancy term for a flap of rubber that stops the oil draining out of the filter. I've never found a filter that completely stops the oil draining out, so as jms says, just turn the engine over for 10 - 20 seconds without choke to at least partly fill the filter. Once the engine does start the oil light should go out in a couple of seconds, and it's important not to rev the engine in an attempt to hurry the process along. You'll just hammer the bearings harder.

So a light rattle isn't the sign of impending doom. A solid thunking all the time, though, suggests you should catch the bus.

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The rattle is metal on metal. Not good. I've stripped 6 cypinder engines with no wear anywhere but the main/big ends as a result of the death rattle. It won't kill your engine straight away but it does reduce it's life.

On some "mega engines" in the likes of cranes and ships, there is often a separate motor to pump oil around to build pressure up before turning the main engine over at all. Not practical or needed for a car engine but the principal is the same. No oil pressure is bad!!

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908 wrote:
can anyone tell me what a filter's non-return valve is or looks like please thanks :)


It's ususally just a rubber flap inside the filter which allows oil under pressure to enter but stops it draining back out.  I tend to use Unipart ones on the 2000 (from the auto factors in Wellington) although since it never rattled even with the original paper element filter it's hard to say if the new one is actually an improvement!  

I have to say the oil light does go out a bit more quickly on start up with the spin on filter kit in place.

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this is one of these ,
well Triumph didnt find it a problem , or they would have ugraded the filter system.

its been knockin on start  up for 40 years and now we all want to do something about it

it depends on how you feel about it

ceratinly a spin on kit with a good branded filter with the rather cheap  rubber flap covering the back of the holes in the base will make it beter
and  it should if youre lucky hold a filter full of ready primed oil after an overnight stop.

Pete

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Eagerbeaver wrote:

On some "mega engines" in the likes of cranes and ships, there is often a separate motor to pump oil around to build pressure up before turning the main engine over at all. Not practical or needed for a car engine but the principal is the same. No oil pressure is bad!!


Aye, and we also make sure that the engine is warmed up to approx 80C before we even think about turning it over! The oil being pumped round (otherwise known as the pre-lube pumps surprisingly) are needed because of the sheer weight of what is moving. Each piston + rod etc on a slow speed diesel probably weighs more than one of our cars, imagine what running the crankshaft on a dry big end would do to the bearing, and then consider the overall weight of several pistons (in my case either 6 or 7 cyls) plus crank will do to the main bearings!! Also, you don't remove one of those crankshafts in a hurry, generally once it is installed it stays!

As you say, not really practical on a car engine, however the principal remains. I always crank my engine over several times before starting if I can, and likewise when I rebuild my engine I shall be employing the drill trick to pump oil around the engine before the initial starting.

Cheers,

Phil

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peterhlewis wrote:
this is one of these ,
well Triumph didnt find it a problem , or they would have ugraded the filter system.

its been knockin on start  up for 40 years and now we all want to do something about it



They didn't exactly expect their cars to last 40 years... but in the days when Triumphs were on the road major engine work was expected at higher mileage; a car with anywhere near to 100000 miles was to be avoided. Modern engines last far longer.


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