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Mitsubishi Mighty Max Engine >> VALVE TRAIN CLATTER

Continued Valve Train Clatter On
1989-92 Chrysler 2.0L DOHC (VIN R,U)

The AERA membership has experienced many instances of valve train clatter on the Chrysler 2.0L DOHC engines manufactured by Mitsubishi. These noises can be attributed to adjuster sounds that do not stop even after the engine has been running for some time.

This engine, as well as many other overhead cam (OHC) engines, uses hydraulic lash compensators (HLC) to maintain zero (0) lash between the camshaft follower, camshaft lobe and valve tip. If the valve train itself is within wear limits, there are two other possibilities that can lead to continued valve train clatter. They are:

1) A low oil level in the engine, permitting air to be drawn into the oil pump.

2) An oil level that is too high, where oil is stirred by the crankshaft and
mixed with large amounts of air.

In either case, the engine's high pressure oil supply is being mixed with air. If aerated oil enters the high-pressure chamber of the lash compensator assembly, the air will become trapped. As the valve opens, the air is compressed creating abnormal noise when the valve closes. This is similar to excessive dry lash clearance.

The solution to this problem (once the oil level has been verified) is to slowly race the engine up to ten times. Gradually increase the engine speed from idle to 3,000 rpm (hold for 30 seconds), and then gradually slow to idle speed (for 30
seconds). If the abnormal and continued valve train clatter cannot be eliminated, replacement of the hydraulic unit is recommended.

This situation (aeration) may also occur if the vehicle is parked on a slope and restarted. Another possibility exists if the vehicle has been in storage for an extended period.

The AERA Technical Committee
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