1990 Ford Tempo valve rattle?

Asked by Dec 18, 2015 at 04:17 PM about the 1990 Ford Tempo 4 Dr GL Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1990 Ford Tempo GL 4 door with the 2.3l engine and it makes a
rattling noise like valve chatter at startup, right before shifting, and cruising
usually at 50 or 60 depending what the speed limit is. I recently had the #1
connecting rod snap, so while I was in the bottom end I changed all the rod
bearings and oil pump. After that didn't help, I also pulled the head off
again and changed all the lifters and still have the same issue. Kind of at
my wit's end. All the push rods and rocker arms look okay, but finances are
keeping me from changing all of it all at once. Any help would be greatly

2 Answers


If you had a connecting rod snap then it is likely that your engine is worn out. If the valves sound funky it could be worn valve guides, too much valve clearance or flat valve springs. I hate to say it but you are rebuilding your engine in the worst kind of way. I would either do a full rebuild on the engine and do it right or let it limp along until you can afford another car.


No promises but try adding some Lucas Oil Stabilizer to oil or if you use synthetic oil get the stabilizer for that oil. Had a friends vehicle doing the same as yours added the stabilizer and with in 30 to 45 minutes tap was slowly going away after a hour tap was completely gone.

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