Noisy Ticking Tappets

A ticking, tapping or clacking from the top of the engine. This condition is more often found on just one side of the engine, the driver’s side for UK cars or passenger side for US and European SL’s, but can also be found on both sides.
This tappet (lifter) noise can be very annoying and spoil the performance of an otherwise healthy V8 engine, making it sound unhealthy or worn.

Vehicle affected

Any SL with a V8 engine


Worn hydraulic tappets/rocker arms which, in the worst case, will have affected the camshaft(s). This is due to infrequent or missed oil and filter changes or the use of an incorrect grade of engine oil, causing oil starvation to the top of the engine or sludging of the cylinder head oil ways.

The Cure

Treatment of the problem depends on the severity of each case.
1. Firstly, an oil and filter change with the correct grade of oil can clear the oil ways and restore the compression to the hydraulic tappets if they are not worn.
2. Identify and replace any offending hydraulic tappet(s).
3. If the engine is ticking then replacing all 16 tappets (lifters) and rockers arms will rectify the situation.

In worst case scenarios, we would replace the camshaft(s) as well as all of the tappets and rocker arms. In addition and for extra peace of mind, we would recommend an oil and filter change.

Click here to view our R107 Hydraulic Tappets