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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Good afternoon!

I have a 1969 El Camino with a 454. Several days ago, I started it up and a cloud of gray-ish smoke came from the passenger side exhaust pipe. The smoke diminished and has not returned since. The day that this happened, I drove the car to get an state inspection, and I noticed a ticking/tapping/ clicking noise. It is not a deep tapping, and it speeds up with in increase in RPM, and at around 2500 RPM, you cannot hear it.

While idling, it ticks, but the ticking seems to be sporadic and inconsistent, almost like a telegraph at first. After the car warms up, it's a little more consistent. As for where the sound is coming from, it sounds like its under the car on the passenger side in and around the exhaust pipes.

I have not done anything to really troubleshoot it. I'm new to the scene and am afraid to mess something up.

Any ideas?
 

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Sounds like exhaust to me. You can always try and tighten the bolts around the manifold and the header collector but you should be able to put you hand around and feel the little spurts of air spitting out. Of course don’t burn yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
has that engine been rebuilt? wondering if you have a lifter that is starting to fail. you can always pop the valve covers and see if a rocker/pushrod is loose
It hasn't been rebuilt, to my knowledge. I was thinking lifter too, at first, but not sure now. Thanks for commenting!
 

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1978 Elcamino base 305
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Keep it simple and find the source. Exhaust leak and or valve train are suspects and a stethoscope or hose should help.
Typically if it were a valve train issue it would be consistent rather than intermittent.
I would first remove the belts and see what happens to the noise. A cracked or damaged pulley or fan may make a noise like that.
Next I would drop the trans bellhousing cover and see what's going on in there.
 

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Keep it simple and find the source. Exhaust leak and or valve train are suspects and a stethoscope or hose should help.
Typically if it were a valve train issue it would be consistent rather than intermittent.
I would first remove the belts and see what happens to the noise. A cracked or damaged pulley or fan may make a noise like that.
Next I would drop the trans bellhousing cover and see what's going on in there.
Ya, one loose torque converter bolt will do the same thing and act intermittent as described in the first post. The hose stethescope is my go-to every time! Start simple with a wrench and check the exhaust bolts for proper torque, spark plugs, and then torque converter bolts. At least that eliminates some of the usual suspects and doesn't cost anything but a few minutes.

Joe
 

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I saw another way to see if there is an exhaust leak at the manifolds. Tape or clip a piece of Kleenex on a stick or rod of some sort. Start the car. Move the Kleenex around the manifolds slowly and see if there is anywhere the Kleenex starts flying and moving around. If it does, you found a source of an exhaust leak.
 
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