to test for the header leak, try to isolate where aboutthe noise is coming from, then let the car cool down for a while(get it cool enough so that you wont burn yourself) then put your hand down around where the noise is coming from(probably a from a header to head flange) then have a buddy start the car you will have about 5-7 seconds before it gets to hot,, but if it is a header leak you will feal it right away
to test for valve tap take a long screwdriver, and place on the rocker cover over top of each cylinder then place your ear on the top end of the screw driver you will hear the valve tap throught the screw driver very clearly
ticking... if its not the header gasket, it my be a valve is a little too loose (rocker needs to be adjusted) you can pull your valve cover and check for 0 lash, or you can try to do the scredriver thing first. to know where the cylinder is, just look at your sparkplug, then just guestimate that same place. Keep in mind, that there are 2 valves per cylinder. Im guessing you bought your car like that, look at my sig, i bought my car like that as well. they are high maitence cars, im sure you will learn how to adjust valves quickly. when i bought my car, i knew how to do brakes and an oil chnage, all the little stuff, once i had swapped a rear in my 89 trans am. now, a year later i can pull an engine apart and put it back together within a day. be careful with what you do, because the first time i pulled stuff apart, i didnt know a whole lot, and well, it took me a few months to get it right again. good luck. unfortunately i bought an expensive car with a lot of mods that i knew nothing about, my friends and i have spent many cold winter days, and hot summer days wrenching, and now i know what im doing. if you need to adjust your valves, find someone who has done it, and do it with them. first time i adjusted my vlaves, i put everything back together and the car would barely run becuase it had such low compression, due to the valves beign too tight. working on a car should be rewarding when you finish, not a nightmare you have to pull apart again and again. i know this wasnt your original question, but good luck with your ventures into stuff like adjusting valves.
oooh... the more i think about it... the more i think phillyfiveoh is reffering to the valve covers as the rocker cover??? lol. i thought he was reffering to some sort of cover for each rocker arm or something. that's why i was confused. lol.
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