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a cylinder hub get bored , ot its arm bearing ( in its crank shaft )and it can give the cylinder more uplift to hit the knocker rods and make noise , sometimes the compression is low in one chamber and rattles the cylinder to the bed , however ? you can either buy or rent a tool called STEELMAN wireless chassisEAR , to diagnose which piston is doing that , or which injector is responsible , Deisel as we all know is more dense than Gasoline so it needs highly compressed air to ignite , you can also use that tool to read all your isolating parts in your vehicle ( such as suspension , wheel bearings , e.t.c ) it may cost $40 to $50 for that tool , but it will save you a lot of money in finding the problem and perhaps you can fix it yourself .
Knocks ---big ends or main bearings rattles-----tappets worn or loose or hydraulics leaking down too fast Tinny noise ----water pump bearing , fan hub. Sharp release of air noise --- broken exhaust pipe for starters Take your pick
Billy you have the main bearings on the crankshaft, but you said a rattling noise, these pulleys are bolted to the harmonic balancer check the bolts that attach the pulley to the balancer to see if they are tight. Sometimes they can work their way loose. If it were a main bearing the engine would have a slight shake to it or in other words while the vehicle is idling the motor would shake along with a loss of oil pressure on your gauge in the vehicle. By the rattling it can be two things that come to mind either the harmonic balancer is coming apart or the pulley is coming loose from the balance. Hope this helps let me know what you find.
Any noise must be first inferred for the point of generation. So in this case I think as you mentioned it must be from the engine and the options are to check if the rattling is there while on the move or if the enigne is revd.
If while on the move , check the wheel bearings, the suspension parts, mudguards, muffler/exhaust and steering sections.
If while the engine is revd, it can be the water pump/alternator, radiator fan, idler pulley or the main pulley belt.
Observe, ask a friend to drive while you locate the source of noise to confirm the section.
a rod bearing makes noise when you are just barely pulling .. it likely will quiet down as you accelerate and decellerate .. you can rev the engine up a bit then let up on the gas just enough to keep that rpm ..a rod bearing will rattle a lot then ... if a thud like noise happens when you are accelerating . then it could be a main bearing .. if the noise is there all the time and sounds like a rattle then its more likely a valve problem .. old oil can cause the lifters to stick and rattle continuously .. if the noise you hear is a squeal then you could have a bad bearing in the idler pully (for fan belt) or alternator .. if thats the case you can put a drop of oil on the bearings one at a time until the squeal goes away .. that will identify which part is going bad .. there are other less likely bearings that can go bad .. like the cam, distributer, air compressor and water pump .. each have their own type noise ..
hiya from uk from your description of symptoms i would say the timing belt has worne or gone slack due to adjuster bearing failure? this then would result in the pistons hitting valves the rattling you heard? however when you stopped engine then tried restart ? the load applied on starting would have caused belt failure so the engine now spins over with apparent no compression ? as you do not mention milage? if it is high then the cyl/head will have to come off to assess damage ? hope this helps ?best of luck