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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a used 96 sidekick last month. It's got valve clacking that goes mostly away after 5-10 minutes.

So how urgent is a valve job? Do u risk damage by waiting a month or two before adjusting the lash? (Waiting for the rains to stop and to learn how to do a valve lash job.) I put maybe 100 light use city and highway miles on it a week.

Thanks

Rick
 

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The fact that the 'clacking' goes away in 5 minutes would indicate that this goes away when the oil is warm and flowing easily, so I would ask what oil you are using, as well as your location and temperature conditions. But as the noise goes away with the engine warmer, I wouldn't consider this 'urgent'.
What engine is in your 96 Tracker? As you have just bought this, presumably you will be doing a timing belt, tune up, service, etc., on it fairly soon, which will be the time to do the lash, as well. Instructions on the forum as to how to do this - pretty simply done.
 

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'96 Tracker in the US market (the great north-wet), would be a 16 valve. It would also be OBD2.

If you follow the book procedure to change the timing belt, you'll be undoing any valve lash adjustments you make. -- but -- If you do not know when the belt was last changed, it needs to be changed. Do the water pump while you are in there as the belt has to come off to do it and they do not last much longer than the recommended belt change mileage.

Always fun with a "new to you" rig,
 

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At the very least I would lift the cam cover and check that all the screws holding the cam in are in place, its not uncommon for them to fall out if they haven't been stakes properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
This forum is amazing. Thanks to all for the great advice.

Yes on timing belt, water pump and oil change soon. No history on this car so I have to assume it's all due.
 
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