I had this very annoying exhaust leak since I got the car a couple of weeks ago. It sounded like a tapping lifter or exhaust leak. I used a piece of heater hose about 3 long as a listening device. I had one end to my ear and the other probing the motor as it was running. If you use this method remember to mark one end of the hose with a piece of tape so that it’s the side you use all the time. After extended use the other end will pick up oil that will be transferred to the side of your head 🙂
It was obvious that the ticking sound was coming from the driver side. After probing around I found it to be in the area between cylinder number 5 and 7. I tried to tighten down the area but the leak was still loud with no change.
I purchased a couple of gasket for replacement. I bought two types a single large piece and the cheap individual port type which turned out to be the version that was already installed.
These older motors are cast iron and back in the day a gasket wasn’t even used. The heads and exhaust manifolds were true and no gasket was needed. After time the machined parts would warp and imperfections would arise. If I was to do this work to original specification I would pull out the manifold and have it machined. If that didn’t fix it the head would have to removed. For an exhaust leak, I chose the cheaper and easier fix using a gasket.
I’m just glad the ticking sound was a simple fix and not a failure that would cost more time and money. My next thought was a loose valve stem and that would have required more work.
Once the project was complete it didn’t change the look of the motor too bad. If you knew to look for it you can see the bright gasket material. At least you didn’t hear that annoying tick anymore.