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zeronero 08-10-2003 09:54 PM

Noise on M119 engine
There is a noise that sounds like a deep tap in the engine when I start the car in the morning or when cold, it lasts only for seconds. I think that it might be that the oil settles and takes time to go through the engine, does this happen to anyone with a M119 engine?

blackmercedes 08-11-2003 01:37 AM

DO a search under "M119 oil tubes" and see what the symptoms are. This is a known weak area in the oil system of that engine and you'll not want to let it go unattended if that is the problem.

roas 08-11-2003 03:51 PM

Re: Noise on M119 engine

Originally posted by zeronero
There is a noise that sounds like a deep tap .....

Not common. Can you tell where the the sound is coming from?

At the auto parts store, you might find a stethescope looking device with a metal rod in place of the flat metal part in the Doctors office. You touch the rod to surfaces you want to listen to, like the water pump, heads, lower block for instance. It can narrow down the search and give you clues as to the true location the sound is coming from, well worth the small cost.

HPF 08-11-2003 05:52 PM

I had a tapping noise also and it was indeed the oil tubes that needed to be replaced. It was very easy to do. If I am not mistaken though I think your tubes in that year M119 are metal which don't have the same problem of the end cap falling out. Do a search.

wjm 08-11-2003 07:09 PM

Here is JimF's site info on the Oil Tube issue:

Also, here is the TSB on this issue.

Engine - Valve Train Noise, Low Oil Pressure




In case of complaints of ticking noise from the valve area and/or low oil pressure, the cause could be a missing plug in the oil feed tube (part no. 119 180 02 66) between the camshafts. If one of these plugs is missing, the oil pressure to the valve elements / chain tensioner will drop causing this complaint.

The complaint can be repaired by exchanging the leaking oil pipe and checking if all other plugs are tight. The loose plug can usually be found in the valve area or in the oil pan, and should be removed.

After the repair, start the engine and check the oil pressure. The oil pressure must be within specifications (< approx. 6 Bar). Oil pressure which is too high can be the result of a faulty oil pressure relief valve (See Diagnostic Directory 18-121) which in turn can cause these plugs to be pushed out. If the oil pressure is found to be too high, please proceed as outlined in "Remedy" of Diagnostic Directory 18-121.

zeronero 08-12-2003 12:39 AM

Think I'll check that over the weekend. The noise also sounds like something is bouncing around, like metal bouncing in a metal container. When I changed the oil and started it up right after it made the sound the longest, for about 8 seconds. Would a leak in those tubes lend itself to that situation? I also have good oil pressure.

JimF 08-12-2003 01:47 AM

Personally, I don't think it's . . .
an open oil tube but . . . .

Normally, the 'tick-tick' occurs AFTER the car has been started for a few minutes, not at first start. But then again. . .

So the sound does not go away and it gets worse as the car gets hotter probably because the oil 'thins' out abit.

It easy to check: once the valve cover is off, you can visually inspect in just a few minutes. And if one is bad, it's easy to change.

Re oil pressure: you SHOULD notice a drop in oil pressure if one or more tubes is open. If your oil pressure is still high (say around 2 bar when hot), it probably is not a open tube.

But it COULD be a weak lifter that can't hold oil overnight and when started, it takes a few seconds to 'pump-up'. This is the most likely scenario based on what you wrote. These are a pain to replace because you first have to find the bad one (or ones). Then replacing it is not the best job in the world: remove camshaft, chain, etc.

BTW, you should be able to locate the side it's on pretty easily, if not, then more info that it's not a lifter.

zeronero 08-12-2003 01:14 PM

I did a search on the M119 engine and came up with a possible cause, the timing chain tensioner. I have no clue if it has been replaced or not and with over 140,000 miles on my car this might be the problem.

placo1 08-12-2003 01:44 PM

Take Jims advice the a bad oil tube would cause a ticking all the time, not just on startup. Mine does the "ticking" occasionally after that car has sat a couple of weeks, my mechanic couldn't find anything wrong. If your timing chain hasn't been replaced it is about 40K miles overdue, get that checked ASAP.


What's this about a weak lifter? This never came up in previous posts, what part of the lifter goes bad? Can you describe or post a picture? One of these days we need to meet up, I need to buy one of your cool harnesses and would love to talk cars with you.

JimF 08-12-2003 01:59 PM

Placo, it would be my. . .
pleasure. If you're in SD, left me know. We can get together.

Re a 'weak' lifter: the picture in my web page under menu #19 is one of those critters. It can be pushed by hand (finger) and it starts to collapse. As my tech tells me, it's not supposed to do that.

Trying to find a 'bad' one on a M119 engine is difficult at best. I've seen where a feeler gauge is used to push under the lifter/cam surface. If it goes 'easily', it's a candidate.

Re the chain tensioner: I can't see where that would cause a problem just at startup. If it's loose (stretched), it's loose all the time.

MrCjames 08-12-2003 03:32 PM

119 Engine Noise
Had a strange one once, this is what I found.

There is a check valve located in the oil filter housing that may be a cause to your engine noise during startup. If you run the engine, such as driving to work, park then return to the vehicle in a short amount of time (2-3 hours) to leave and the engine has a unusual noise for a few moments, suspect this valve.

The chain tensioner tends to loose oil pressure because it bleeds past this vavle back to the pan.

Keep us posted

carman850 08-13-2003 12:09 AM

I believe M119 engines on 1992 400Es have metal tubes which don't have the problem.

I have opened valve covers on my 92 400E when I was attempting to replace timing chain, my oil tubes are all metal.

zeronero 08-14-2003 01:23 AM

Either way guess I will have to take the valve covers off so we'll see. Awesome help!:)

devil 08-14-2003 04:29 AM

119 ticking
have seen several 119 engines where the
lower portion of the inboard head rails had
broken off and rattlled around. one even went
so far as to have the chain cut into the lower
rail pin and cause an oil leak.

roas 08-14-2003 04:14 PM

You say Deep Tap, is this in the upper half of the engine of the lower half?

Also, how long have you owner the car and what are the oil change records like?

Your problem may be related to the Oil Check Valve located by the Oil Filter Housing, or bottom passengers side of the engine.

Does the noise stay constant, or is it just after startup?

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