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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 2002 GT. When it's cold and I go to start it, I head what sounds like piston rattle. My 2001 F-150 5.4 did the same, but I never took it in to service before I traded it in on the GT. Any one else have this same problem or is it normal? Thanks for any input.

Sid
 

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I have the same problem, I dont really worry about it. If I keep it under 3k for the first 3-4 minutes it does fine.

Try searching for 'Bullitt Death Rattle" here or on bullittclub.com. Im pretty sure it is the same thing Im having.
 

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It very well could be Piston slap, or bad compression in any of the 8 cylinders. Do a Compression check or take it in to a Dealer, and keep your mods to a minimum til you figure it out.

Serious my 00Gt had the infamous Low RPM "Miss" like a miss fire, brand new car , and after 13k on the clock the Motor went "Boom"! Ford Replaced it under warranty, but i had several Mods that were an issue.Luckily they replaced it.
 

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It's a rare thing for a mod motor to not have a little piston noise on start up. Maybe not in warm weather but for maybe 30 seconds to a minute max in cold weather.

Ed
 

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sid_02gt said:
I just bought a 2002 GT. When it's cold and I go to start it, I head what sounds like piston rattle. My 2001 F-150 5.4 did the same, but I never took it in to service before I traded it in on the GT. Any one else have this same problem or is it normal? Thanks for any input.

Sid
a well known issue the piston noise is. most refer to it as the death rattle.

it affects 01-02 gts and bullitts and some cobras.

there is a tsb out for it that says to do NOTHING. don't touch it.

the Dealers were swapping motors like crazy but it didn't acomplish anyhting because the new ones did the same thing.

i personally am on motor #2.

the new one makes the same noise as the old one did. i've got about 4500 miles on the second motor. i've run it really really hard and it is no better or worse.

the tsb that i mentioned calls the noise piston noise, too.
 

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I wonder if running 0w-30 weight motor oil would help kill some of that piston slap on startup? The oil will flow faster through the engine then 5w-30 on initial startup. I'm just throwing a idea out there.
 

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Mine has done the 'death rattle' from day one, sure as sugar. It doesn't appear to have any effect on performance!

I just ignore it, and keep the rpms low for the first couple miles.

As far as the oil weight, yes it does make a difference. I changed from 5w30 back to the factory recommended 5w20 and it helped noticeably. It's still there though.

Jeff
 

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Both my '98 and '99 have a bit of rattle. No big deal, once you realize they all have it ... :rolleyes:

I don't think it ever gets any worse, and it doesn't seem to affect longevity. I just ignore it and keep the R's below 3000 until it's all warmed up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have appointment to drop the car off tomorrow, so they can let it set over night. The rattle occurs in hot or cold weather. It will even happen if I let the car sit for a couple of hours after driving. If the noise was any quieter, I don't think I would worry about it. But it is very loud. At least I'll have it documented if anything happens to it.

Sid
 

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I think I have the same problem, I though it was a heat shield or something with the exhaust. But, the more i listen it sounds like it may be internal.

Is the general thinking that this is NOT bad for the engine? On my car it makes the noise above 2700 RPM or so and goes away after warm up. I have to drive very conservatively to avoid it.
 

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My 96 Trans AM had the cold piston rattle worse than my 99 Mustang did, but both engines were quiet after they warmed up.

If you want to hear some much louder cold start up noises that continue after warm up test drive a 2002 LS1 in a Corvette, or do a search on ls1.com or the corvetteforum for complaints. They sound like diesel engines when cold. GM even coated the pistons to reduce the piston slap noise, and they still are loud. In my opinion GM has a bigger issue with this than Ford does.
 

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my car if im lets say in 4th gear going 80 and i let off and just let it decell, as soon as it hits like 2100rpms it sounds like it starts to miss, what can cause this?
 

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I have a 98 cobra, my friend had a 96 GT, another friend has a 99 GT, another a 98 GT, another a 2001GT, another a 96 towncar, another a 2002 F150....

They all have 4.6's and I've never heard this rattle so many speak of.

Either way, seems like LOTS of people have it, so I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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John K 99GT said:
I wonder if running 0w-30 weight motor oil would help kill some of that piston slap on startup? The oil will flow faster through the engine then 5w-30 on initial startup. I'm just throwing a idea out there.
I have swapped to 0-30 Synthetic and I have never heard this rattle whiles its cold or during start up.
 

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John K 99GT said:
I wonder if running 0w-30 weight motor oil would help kill some of that piston slap on startup? The oil will flow faster through the engine then 5w-30 on initial startup. I'm just throwing a idea out there.
I did what Jeff did. I went to a 5w-30 and it made the cold knock worst. I am back to 5w-20 and now wait until RPM's drop below 1k on 1st start of the day and the slap has all but disappeared.

Tech buddy says that because of the fact that the engine block and the pistons are made of dissimilar metals some cold knock is to be expected. When the engine warms everything tightens up.
 

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02 GT - Ran the factory fill Motorcraft 5W-20 for the first 2K (changed twice). Never heard any engine noise at start up. Began using Mobil 1 5W-30, (have 2.5K on the Mobil 1), and have begun to notice engine noise at cold startup.
Now I know here in Iowa, the end of October is beginning to see 25°-30° morinings, but the last couple days, it almost sounds like a rod knocking for the first 10 seconds. Of course the engine quiets down after that, and runs smooth. From everyone's comments sounds like it must be "piston slap".
Thought maybe I had a bad anti-drain valve in the Motorcraft filter, so....today I changed my filter, and oil. I went back to the Motorcraft 5W-20.
Monday morning is supposed to be around 28°, I'll let you know if I hear a difference...

Monday morning Oct. 28 - 30° this morning. Cold startup revealed little or no engine noise at all. Don't know if it is the new filter, or the 5W-20 Motorcraft oil, or a combination of both. Just a significantly quieter startup.
 
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