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Hi i have a 2005 honda trx400ex with a loud ticking noise. i did a valve adjustment and problem was still there. any advice on what to look at next. the motor is completely stock. i have done some research and found it could be different things causing the ticking. how am i able to tell if my decompression isn’t working or if my timing chain and tensioner isn’t good? also could my rocker arms be making that noise? the valve cover is already taken off after trying to adjust the valves a dozen times
 

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Well - you have to check things while it's running - most ticking comes from piston slap and cam chain.

I don't think I have ever found ticking caused by the rocker or sub rocker except when someone left the tappet screw loose and the screw backed out to where it had about 1/4 inch clearance on one valve.

Cam chain is easy to check - use a small screwdriver to back the auto-tensioner off while the engine is running - back it off until an audible noise is heard, then release the tensioner so it takes up the slack. If it just gets progressively louder as you back off the tensioner, then the chain is worn out and needs replaced - if it starts making noise as you back it off and that noise goes away when you release it, then it's not the chain making the noise.

If it's the auto decompressor or the piston, then engine work is in order - installing a new cam may get rid of the tick if it's the decompressor and a new piston and rings may get rid of it, but it's an air cooled engine and some noise is normal. My 05 TRX400EX makes noise - it's nice and quiet when it's not running - the noise from the engine is not excessive and it has not gotten any louder in the last year, so I ignore it.
 

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Hondas are normally known for the small ticking and its normal unless there is grinding or screeching. But if it is just ticking it should be fine. A loose timing chain will do this also
 
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