Question about 1989 Jeep Cherokee

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89 cherokee. 4.2 stroker. good oil pressure but some rattling noise in top end at idle then clears up with throttle. possibly a loose rocker?

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Loose rocker, bent rocker, bent push rod, loose or bent rocker stud are a few things that come to mind. Take off the valve covers and with each cylinder at top dead center, check the play on each rocker assembly and inspect for any bent parts. Visually look down, and to the side for any mis-alignment.

Posted on Feb 03, 2010

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yes they do wear out and will not hold oil pressure. I would be checking the pivot points of the rockers and the face of the rockers where they hit on the valve end. I say this because if the hydraulic tappets were so bad you would have very low oil pressure at idle.

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1985 cj7 jeep 258 engine is noisy on idle. rattles constantly , rebuilt engine twice and prob won't go away.


This is kind of hard to judge without hearing it. Lets say the noise is the pellets in the Catalytic converter that some types of automakers used, with low flow at idle, the loose pellets can bounce around until the flow increases and pins them to the insides of the Catalytics.

However, if you rebuilt the motor you would know some mechanical stuff. I can move on to more possibilities.

Oil pressure starvation can make the pushrods rattle in the rocker arms. The engine oil pressure will cushion the critical area between the rocker arm and the pushrod seat.

On the rebuilds, have you worked on the heads? Like valve spring tension and pushrod clearance? I have had engines that would idle perfect until accelerated and return to idle clanging and missing. The valve springs were shot. Then I have had some GM motors that had hydraulic lifters yet the pushrods were different lengths and that is how the pushrod clearance was made; by changing individual pushrods to get the correct clearance.

This is something that can occur when the valve seats are cut. The valve stem can ride up into the head slightly when the seats are cut.

Now you may have replaced the camshaft or the lifters or not. But it is recommended that each lifter is paired with a camshaft lobe. If you mixed the lifters into different positions, you may have distortions that are resulting in noisy clearance problems. For that matter, camshaft bearings may be loose.

The Jeep and American Motors cars used a 232 CID engine too. Can't say what components were different but you may have mixed parts.

Now some models used a Rattle or knock sensor, and in the old days, you could get a rattle from weak distributor springs in the breaker plate. The mechanical advance would throw out too fast.

I am curious. Would like to know what you found.

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I have a ticking noise i was told it may be a loose rocker arm or a rod bearing... really hope its a rocker arm. but it get worse when the motor warms up, and only ticks in mid rpms when in high rpm the...


One thing you should get checked is the oil pressure.You could have an oil pump that is going out or getting weak.Also depending on how regular you are with your oil changes it is possible that you could have a sticky lifter.The oil pressure at idle should be 4 psi and 25-80 psi at 3k rpm.If it is less than 4 psi at idle do not do the 3k rpm.This is check with a warm engine.(normal operating temp).Hope this helps.Good luck.

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