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My Grand Caravan engine is tapping pretty good. It happened one day, not too long ago...

Going to visit the in-laws with my family, and about 5 miles from my house the engine started to lightly tap. Sounded like a lifter. I checked the engine oil, and it was 2 Quarts low! This was 2000 miles into a 3000 mile oil change, so I was miffed. I added the necessary oil, and the tapping lessened, but was still very much present.

It got worse and worse. I did notice that under acceleration or when completely off the throttle (engine braking) that the tapping is almost non-existent. It's at a low-load cruise or idle that it sounds terrible. Definitely lifter, right?

Wrong. Took it to my mechanic to see about tightening the lifter or replacing. He took the top apart, and all lifters looked good and were in spec. No tapping there. He hooked his seismo-listen-vibration-sensor-o-matic doohickey to the engine (he places sensors by every cylinder and it picks up and records the vibrations from each for comparison). He said the #3 cylinder was making the tapping. After talking to a Chrysler mechanic friend of his, he was told that the wrist pins on these 3.3's go wayward often. That makes sense with the tapping only at low-load. Poop.

So, my mech says that it would likely cost as much to repair it as it would a new engine, and he is a fast, low-labor cost mechanic who charges actual time labor, not book labor; so for him to say that I was disheartened.

So my Q? Does anyone know, or has anyone experienced a similar issue and it was not the wrist pin but something else? I know there was a dude on here that had a similar tapping with similar characteristics and it was the timing chain. My mechanic said he checked that and it was fine. Also, if anyone has had issues with a messed up wrist pin, how much money/pain/time/blood/sweat/tears were involved in getting it fixed?

Sorry so rambly. I'm tiiired. Any help is appreciated, and thanks in advance!

-Dave
 

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I'm no mechanic or know really about your issue of the pin messing up or whatever.

I hope I could help with my comment but more than a year ago I had a problem with the 3.4 Engine on my Chevy Impala.

I started driving my car to a 20 mile distance until mid distance I approached a gasoline station 'cause car started shaking and engine started ticking.

Due to this, I noticed that the ticking was getting noisy and the check engine light lit.

While taking the car to get a free check up at the parts store guys they diagnosed that the engine had a misfire on a front cylinder.

To these diagnosis I was initially advised to change the spark plugs but the ticking noise persisted and the final opinion was that one of the cylinders on this engine had a blown up valve.

Unfortunately, together with this blown up valve the engine started to overheat, and the car needed an upper engine overhaul and I had to spend about $200 for labor (cheap in south Texas), $100 bucks for check up and repair on both cylinder heads, $15 bucks for valve and valve replacement, and $190.00 for upper engine gaskets including the radiator coolant.

Two days later I was able to drive the car but the expense was unfavorably unexpected.
 
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