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Published on Feb 11, 2011
2005 Ford Econoline E-150 4.6L V8 SOHC 16V (110,000 miles)
I have engine noise that started two days ago. It started barely noticeable, and progressed very fast to where it is today: a loud blend of a rattle and a grinding sound.
The noise is coming from the passenger side of the engine, roughly from the valve cover (?) area. The noise starts when the car starts, and stays at approximately the same loudness no matter if the car is in Park or in gear and driving.
Yesterday, while driving around the city, the noise completley stopped twice for about ten minutes each time. The engine had returned to normal, sounding perfecly quiet and happy. Then the grinding/rattling started again, and hasn't stopped yet today.
You can listen to the noise on this short video, which zooms in to where the noise is coming from (top left of the engine).
Describing the sound is a little difficult, but it does sound a bit like a bad bearing in a serpentine belt pulley -- like I had with another car. That isn't the problem I have now, though. The sound appears to be coming from deeper in the engine compartment, not right up front where the serpentine belt is.
The noise does not seem to affect the van's performance: it's starts as normal, and drives with full power. The engine is not mis-firing, and there's no leakage below the van.
I'm hoping someone recognizes this sound: I'm broke right now, so let's hope it's not a horrific problem.