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Thread: Spirit R/T rattle

  1. #1
    Mitsu booster
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    Spirit R/T rattle

    Hello. Recently purchased a Spirit R/T. And she makes a rattle noise between 2-3,000 rpm at a steady throttle and goes away after letting off the gas. I am pretty sure it needs lifters. Does anyone have any advice? Also Iím not even sure where to buy new lifters since they are discontinued from mopar. Any help will be greatly appreciated thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    Www.fwdperformance.com or www.turbosunleashed.com have new lifters available

  3. #3
    Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff Turbo224's Avatar
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    If your lifters are no good you'll hear them a lot more at idle that you will at 2-3,000 rpm's. But yes, Cindy has them at FWDP.

    ~Tyler Larsen~Salt Lake City~
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  4. #4
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor iTurbo's Avatar
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    Speaking from experience, I would pull the valve covers and make sure your rocker arms are in good shape first.
    87 Shelby Lancer #127
    91 Dodge Spirit R/T
    08 Dodge Caliber SRT-4
    86 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo

  5. #5
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor DOHCRT's Avatar
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    Based on your findings, TurbosUnleashed has brandy new rockers available. Make sure to check the roller shaft to ensure it hasn't started to walk out of the arm. Should be pretty much flush on either side. If it has moved, you are better off replacing it with one that hasn't moved and stake the shaft, or buy a new one. Just ask Jeremy what happens when you don't...


    Vic in Phoenix
    dohcrt@cox.net

    91 Spirit R/T x4
    92 Spirit R/T x2
    89 CSX
    88 CSX-TIII
    84 Rampage TII
    97 Ram (Buzzin Half Dozen)
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  6. #6
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor iTurbo's Avatar
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    Quote Originally Posted by DOHCRT View Post
    Based on your findings, TurbosUnleashed has brandy new rockers available. Make sure to check the roller shaft to ensure it hasn't started to walk out of the arm. Should be pretty much flush on either side. If it has moved, you are better off replacing it with one that hasn't moved and stake the shaft, or buy a new one. Just ask Jeremy what happens when you don't...
    Honestly, I didn't hear much noise when this has happened to me, but failures can happen in a few different ways, so you never know. You would be surprised how well a TIII will idle/drive just fine running on 15 valves! I hate to be a fear-mongerer about the TIII because I love them, but it can be a silent killer anymore with all those old rocker arms out there. Even though the pin was peened in from the factory, they seem to 'walk' out anyway. Once they get far enough....game over.

    I had to rebuild the engine after it happened last time. I found rocker arm parts and needle bearing pieces all over in the oil pan, the corresponding lobe worn down to near base circle.. Not to mention glittery oil circulated all over the place. I figured I better rebuild now before I lose a rod bearing. The engine has been fine since, but I am very careful about what rocker arms I install nowadays.
    87 Shelby Lancer #127
    91 Dodge Spirit R/T
    08 Dodge Caliber SRT-4
    86 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo

  7. #7
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    Thank you for all the information. I today replaced the intake side rocker arm assembly with the unit from my other rt cylinder head. No change. I have not done the exhaust side. I was pretty sure it was the intake side because I had installed chassis ear and It definitely was louder on the intake side. Anyways still not sure where the noise is coming from. The previous owner just had the engine rebuilt right before I bought it. I did read somewhere that the timing belt needs to be retentioned and after 400 miles otherwise it could possibly create a Rattle noise, I did notice the timing belt flapping around between the camshaft sprocketís when I give it gas at idle

  8. #8
    Supporting Member II Turbo Mopar Contributor DOHCRT's Avatar
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    Do you have steady oil pressure? Sounds like your timing belt is way to loose. DO NOT run it any more until you re-tension the timing belt. The intermediate shaft (oil pump drive) will chew itself up if the tension isn't correct. If the noise goes away after the re-tension, I would drop the pan and inspect the oil pump and intermediate shaft gears to make sure you don't have any damage.


    Vic in Phoenix
    dohcrt@cox.net

    91 Spirit R/T x4
    92 Spirit R/T x2
    89 CSX
    88 CSX-TIII
    84 Rampage TII
    97 Ram (Buzzin Half Dozen)
    69 Dart GT 'Vert

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Turbo Mopar Staff 135sohc's Avatar
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    And if you end up going in there for surgery, get the durabond bearings and replace at least the outer I-shaft bearing.

    northern auto parts reliably has them available for some reason, hard to find anywhere else.

    http://www.northernautoparts.com/part/db-pdg26
    1994 Shadow Sedan. 2.2 N/A, A568 355,000 miles. (In the family since new).
    1987 Shelby CSX #418. Long term rebuild and restore.

  10. #10
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor iTurbo's Avatar
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritrtguy View Post
    Thank you for all the information. I today replaced the intake side rocker arm assembly with the unit from my other rt cylinder head. No change. I have not done the exhaust side. I was pretty sure it was the intake side because I had installed chassis ear and It definitely was louder on the intake side. Anyways still not sure where the noise is coming from. The previous owner just had the engine rebuilt right before I bought it. I did read somewhere that the timing belt needs to be retentioned and after 400 miles otherwise it could possibly create a Rattle noise, I did notice the timing belt flapping around between the camshaft sprocketís when I give it gas at idle
    The belt should be pretty tight between the cam sprockets. I can see some belt flap between the intake cam sprocket and I-shaft sprocket if the belt is too loose though. That is what can really beat up the I-shaft bearings (and therefore oil pump/I-shaft gear teeth). Definitely stop driving it if you suspect a problem there. like Vic said. The problem is that it can shear the teeth off, and since there is no distributor being driven by that shaft like an 8v (SOHC) car, the engine will continue to run when the gear teeth shear off and the oil pump stops..

    Get a good belt tension gauge and set the tension between the cam gears to 95-105 lbs.
    87 Shelby Lancer #127
    91 Dodge Spirit R/T
    08 Dodge Caliber SRT-4
    86 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo

  11. #11
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    I checked the timing belt tension itís at 90 ft lbs.

  12. #12
    Supporting Member Turbo Mopar Contributor iTurbo's Avatar
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    Re: Spirit R/T rattle

    I forgot to add, if you do end up redoing the timing, it's really important to work out all the belt slack to the tensioner before using the tensioner to set belt tension. It can be a little tricky to make sure there isn't an additional belt tooth causing slack where there shouldn't be (like between the intake cam and I-shaft). I've found it works best to route the timing belt starting with the cams, with them pinned (I use cut drill bits) and the tensioner removed. I also remove the spark plugs and loosen the rocker shafts as that makes the process much easier. You can use an assistant or some heavy duty spring clips to hold the belt onto the sprockets. You can get the belt wrapped around the cams tight, even if you have to jiggle one of the cams a bit with a 19mm wrench to eliminate any slack between them and get the belt teeth to sit in the sprocket teeth properly. From there, I pull the belt tight (by hand) across the I-shaft sprocket. Again, you might have to rotate it back and forth just a bit to get it tight and the teeth to mesh. Thankfully you don't have to worry about timing the I-shaft. Then slip it into the crank (at TDC). You can make sure the crank is at TDC by looking through the timing 'window' on the bell housing and making sure the notch is lined up at the 0' mark, just like any other 2.2/2.5. I even go so far as to insert a long screwdriver into spark plug hole #1 to ensure the piston is at the top. With all the slack worked out to between the exhaust cam and tensioner, finally slip the tensioner in at it's loosest position (to get the bolt started) and carefully load it into the belt with the adjustment while making sure nothing else slips and lock the center bolt down. I like to turn the engine over by hand once or twice before checking tension at or near TDC again before making an adjustment. Just make sure to pull the cam sprocket pins before rotating the engine or attempting to start it!! If you do loosen the rocker shafts, be sure to carefully and evenly tighten them down per the factory service manual. The valve springs put them under a lot of varying tension and you really don't want to strip one of those bolt-holes out for the rocker shaft hold-downs.

    This method has worked for me and I've never lost a belt or had I-shaft/oil pump problems. I'm just very unlucky when it comes to old rocker arms apparently.
    Last edited by iTurbo; 03-30-2019 at 01:41 AM.
    87 Shelby Lancer #127
    91 Dodge Spirit R/T
    08 Dodge Caliber SRT-4
    86 Dodge Omni GLH Turbo

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