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Tip of the Day

Locating an Internal Engine Knock
(25 July 2014)

To locate a internal knock take a wood dowel (like a broom stick minus the broom) and hold it up against the engine block and with the other hand put your palm over the end and hold your ear up to the back side of your hand and move the stick around in different locations of the block and listen for a loud noise. I have used this method to locate bad alternator bearings, I can pinpoint which rod bearing is knocking with this method. It takes a little practice but it sure does help out alot trying to find a grinding bearing noise with everything running and cant determine what is the culprit.

Contributed by Ray

I was a maintainence mechanic in my working career & I had good success using a long thin screwdriver to pin point noises in all kinds of machines. Put the screwdriver handle right up up your ear. There are mechanics stethoscopes with a probe available that I also used. If the broomstick works for you, do it!

Contributed by F.E. Bear

I use a 3 foot, or more, long piece of that clear hard tubing sold in most hardware stores. Half or 3/4 inch dia. The hard tube carries sound well. One end into best ear and other end snooping around the engine. Amazing how well one can isolate certain sounds.

Contributed by Ralph

I have used the dowel rod method on an engine looking for noises. It works very well. HOWEVER it is best to place the rod in position first THEN put your ear over the other end. If left in contact with your ear and then moved about the engine, you might come into contact with the fan blade. It is amazing how quickly you will recognise THAT particular sound!

Contributed by Jerry B

This was meant for diesel engines. I'm not sure if it can be applied to the gas engines but I would think so: If the engine starts to make odd noises (knocking etc.) you have to determine where it is coming from. How to determine if the noise is caused by the fuel system (wrong timing etc.) or if there is a problem in the engine itself? It's simple. Increase the RPM a little and pull the stop lever and listen carefully. If the noise stops when the fuel is shut off (on diesels) the problem is in the fuel system. If the engine makes the noise while spinning its last revs before stopping, the problem is in there.

Contributed by TH

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