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How can you tell a header leak from a lifter tap? I had to remove the passenger side header. (At the time I was not having any problems with the header leaking or valve taping.) I cleaned the surface on the head and header (very clean) and reinstalled the header. I had a taping leak, so I changed the gasket again and the tap was still there, not quite as bad, but still noticeable. Could there be a problem with wires or the valve cover timing set at 12? No problem with starting or shut off. Any advice or assistance is greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
 

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To be sure, you might put new gaskets with a smear of hi temp rtv on the surfaces if you suspect sealing surface or collector gasket leaks. You did not say long or short tubes.
Sometime a crack develops in the collector cone area, where all tubes come together. Usually a gasket leak will leave a tell-tell sign like a black carbon streak between gasket and flange.

Might tell us about your cam and valve train. Yes , bad plug wires could cause a spark jump also, sounding like a slight tap.
 

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Can't get any cheaper than a piece of garden hose.
No but one can get far more efficient...even after using a screw driver or long socket extension, a mechanics stethescope become one of those 'must have' tools.

Its good for alsorts of stuff...setting a hot water cylinder ajax valve, water /gas leaks, listen to your heart, or a knee joint grinding way...and of coarse an unborn baby...and keeps the kids occupied and out of your hair when busy.
 

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No but one can get far more efficient...even after using a screw driver or long socket extension, a mechanics stethescope become one of those 'must have' tools.

Its good for alsorts of stuff...setting a hot water cylinder ajax valve, water /gas leaks, listen to your heart, or a knee joint grinding way...and of coarse an unborn baby...and keeps the kids occupied and out of your hair when busy.
I like your answer!
 

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OK call me a dork but I actually have used fuel line with one end slipped over a little funnel that fits over my ear, I then used a rubber band to hold it on to my ear..
 

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Are you using good gaskets? Cometic makes a very good set. Also get 12 point header bolts. But first get a stethascope. They are cheap!
 

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Tighten all your valves down 1 full turn and if you still hear the tick then it's an exhaust leak. Just kiddin - never, ever do that!! Sometimes it can even be difficult even with a stethoscope or piece of wood or whatever else you come up with . One trick that helped me before is I took a slightly moist rag (to keep from catching fire) and while wearing some leather gloves (to keep your hands from getting burned) just moved it around the suspect header flange areas where they mated to the heads and if there is a leak the rag will muffle the sound and be very evident. Even better if you do it while your engine is relatively cool.
 

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OK call me a dork but I actually have used fuel line with one end slipped over a little funnel that fits over my ear, I then used a rubber band to hold it on to my ear..
Like it! You deserve an A+ for innovation.:thumbsup: Hopefully nobody snapped a picture of you during that very vulnerable time.
 
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