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Diagnostic help Please. Rattle at cold start.

Hello all,
Ive been visiting this site for years and years ever since Wayne introduced himself on Porsche Pete's many years ago...tremendously useful and a huge asst to the porsche DIYer. Thanks

I need a little help diagnosing a problem with my 98 boxster. 78k miles. regular oil changes at 3000 miles since I bought it new.

For the past two summers (I store it in our michigan winters) my car has let out a nasty rattle noise at cold start up only. Lasts a split second then all is normal. Drives fine. When it began i thought it was my starter solenoid sticking but it has gotten louder and a little longer in duration this year. Defintaly not a starter. Either chain tensioner or? It used to happen only if thr car sat for a few days, then last year after sitting over night. Now whenever its cold, sometimes even if I ran it earlier the same day. I have read everything I can find about it including replacing the tensioners as outlined in Waynes book. I also switche to a thicker oil without luck. I also found some tiny pieces of brown plastic in my last oil change (chain tenstioner slippers).
I have a recording of the sound which I think will be diagnostic when heard by the right person....but I cant figure out how to upload it!!?? The attachment icon (paper clip) is grayed out...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
Old 04-15-2012, 08:09 PM
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Try putting your clip on youtube
Old 04-15-2012, 10:18 PM
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I heard this on an 83K-mile '03 S a friend had for sale. Sounded nasty for a couple seconds, but did not do it on warm restart. Lead me to believe it was partially collapsed lifters.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:20 PM
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Ok, Here's the audio clip...

anyone know what this sound is??

enginenoisemovie - YouTube
Old 04-17-2012, 11:54 AM
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My 99 with about 12k less miles makes a similar, although not as loud noise on cold start, like after sitting for a few days.

I had suspected it was chain tensioners.
Old 04-17-2012, 08:07 PM
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TinBit thanks!

Yes, I am concerned that it is the external chain tensioners. At least that was my first guess, however I have read many many post and it has been suggested it may be a lifter causing the noise. I really dont know....

I was hoping someone would recognize the sound and be able to tell me with some certainty what I am dealing with...after all it is a very distinct sound.

Anyone?....Anyone?.....Bueller?
Old 04-18-2012, 07:26 PM
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My 99 will do the same thing if it sits for a long time. I was told it was the chain tensioner and not to worry about it. I have noticed that it is worse the closer I get to oil change time. Mine has ~145,000 and has been doing the rattle since around 75,000
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:10 PM
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I had a similar problem. Turned out to be a loose exhaust manifold bolt on Bank 2 between plug 5 and 6 that finally came out over time. Replaced the bolt and no problem thereafter.
Old 04-19-2012, 10:32 AM
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That really sounds external to the engine to me like a manifold or heat shield, etc.. as adbm3 said.

Steve
Old 04-19-2012, 04:55 PM
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Thanks guys for the input.

I will check my exhaust manifold bolts.

As far as being external, I am not sure. If I start the car cold it will make the noise virtually everytime. If I turn it off immediately after starting it and restart it again, it will not do it again, at least not for a day or so. If it was external I think it would do it over and over, at least until it warmed up...

I still dont know....the plot thickens
Old 04-19-2012, 06:59 PM
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Definitely IMS or chain tensioners - probably the tensioners. You might want to pull the fuse to the fuel pump, turn the car over for about 10-15 seconds and then put the fuse back in and start it up. If it still makes the noise, it's probably more likely to be the IMS than the tensioners, as by running the starter motor, you build pressure...

-Wayne
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Old 04-21-2012, 01:04 AM
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Since we are the subject of chain tensioners.

I have read that locking the cams is required before changing the tensioners. Would you you need two tools to lock both sides at once, or would one tool lock both sides?

I found all the tensioners, and they appear to be relatively simple to change, excepting the AC compressor, but have been wondering about the tool.
Old 04-21-2012, 08:53 AM
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One tool can be used on either side, but you need to lock each side as you are replacing each tensioner (do one at a time). Let me know if that is not clear...

-Wayne
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Old 04-21-2012, 09:01 PM
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Wayne,

Thank you for the clarification.

Which side should you lock to change the IMS/crankshaft tensioner?
Old 04-22-2012, 06:54 PM
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Wayne,
Thanks for the reply! I was hoping you would chime in.

I have turned the engine over with the fuel pump relay disconnected for the past two days. It turns over fine with no unusual sounds. When I reconnected the relay and started it, it started both times normally WITHOUT the rattle. If I understand correctly this could mean the chain tensioners are 'charging' up while I turn the engine over without fuel. Is that correct?

If so, does this help rule out the IMS bearing as a source of the noise?

Again, I'll remind you that the noise ONLY occurs the first time I start the car COLD each day and will not happen again for about a day.

If you agree, I am thinking at this point I should replace the three tensioners. Can you clarify that the new updated tensioners can be installed on my 1998 2.5 l without changing anything internal to the engine (the brown plastic chain guides which I think are also updated?)

Also, can you clarify which cam to lock for which tensioner? (sorry if this is a stupid question)

Based on your catalog I will need the three tensioners, three gaskets, three washers, 4 green cam plugs and the LN install kit that has a single cam locking tool. Anything else?

Thanks so much for your guidance!
Jed
Old 04-23-2012, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JedinDetroit View Post
and the LN install kit that has a single cam locking tool.
Jed
On the LN website, they only sell the toolkit with an IMS bearing kit, not sure if Pelican Parts sells the tools without purchasing a bearing kit.
Old 04-23-2012, 09:12 PM
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Wayne,

Any further thoughts?
Old 04-28-2012, 05:55 AM
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Jed, I'm not sure if this will help you out or not. Listened to your noise and it sounds exactly like the sound I get when I start my 2000 S cold. I just pulled the IMS bearing (not because of the noise) and ordered three tensioners from Wayne this evening. They are supposed to show up on the 9th, and I'll put them in right away as I'm anxious to get back on the road. I'll put the results up on the forum.
Old 04-28-2012, 09:36 PM
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Rick,

Thanks! I am sure that will help.

Since I have had the noise for the past two summers I doubt it is the IMS. How did yours look when you pulled it? How many miles on your S?

I suspect it is the tensioners but I am not really sure. Please do let me know if the sound changes after you change yours out.

thanks!

Jed
Old 04-29-2012, 07:31 PM
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Does it cause any damage?

Same issue as everyone else on my 01 Boxster S. Cold startup rattle is disconcerting but goes away after a second or two at most. What is it doing to the car from a long term perspective? Does it need to be fixed? Not sure I want to attempt the tensioner repair on my own, but if it's not doing any damage to the car then I can live with it, especially since I'm reading that it happens with other models and newer models....

Thanks,
Joe
Old 07-01-2012, 10:49 AM
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:49 AM
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