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Discussion Starter #21
SUCCESS!!! Wow that was over 10 hours of work spanning more than a month. That last bolt was a pain. You can see it from below but not access it. Conversely you can access it (barely) from above but not see it.

15mm I used a ratchet box wrench
 

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Discussion Starter #22
220743

In this picture you can see my 15mm wrench bottom left, other end is on the bolt that needs to be removed (not just loosened) in order to relocate the trans dip stick. The bolt faces the firewall right near the front-most O2 sensor wires, and you want to look for the same shiny black color of the filler neck.

220744

Now on to the task at hand: Why was this engine ticking.

In short: removing this valve cover was a complete PIA and I never want to do it again.
 

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Thanks for posting your trials; I'm sure it will help someone in the future. It seems like they could have mounted the Pentastar about 2-3 inches forward from the firewall and still had plenty of room in the front, but I imagine it has more to do with weight distribution.

But whoever decided to put the PCV valve back there with (blind) torx screws needs some kind of punishment. The 2011 had three, then the 2012 it was reduced to two, and after I lost one and ordered a replacement, it was changed from torx screws to standard bolts. So there must have been an uprising from the shop mechanics.
 

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So anything loose/awry in there? I hope you picked the correct side for the ticking noise! I know these are hard to decipher which head its coming from....
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Unfortunately everything seems fine... No rocker is loose to the touch and I can't see obvious damage not that I really know what to look for.

Does the camshaft have to be rotated a certain way in order to check for loose rockers?

Also, there are a ton of flat spots on the end of both cams near the firewall. Is that problematic or normal?
 

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Those flat spots are for timing and are ok

I think you need to rotate the cams so that the rocker is unloaded , valve close to check for loose rocker
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Ok here's an update and a tip. In order to find my loose rocker I had to remove the spark plugs and (with 27mm socket) crank the engine by hand. That was pretty cool to see what the valvetrain does.

At any given time most of the rockers are pinned down somewhat so it took some rotating and jiggling but I found the bad one and got it in!

After torquing all the caps back down another check found another loose rocker, but when I replaced that one as well it still seems loose and the rocker that came out didn't seem to have play. So a bit of a mystery but at least I found one clearly jiggly rocker arm and swapped it out.

Reassembly should be a pain. Perhaps not every single bolt goes back... In particular the engine to transmission bolt that went through the transmission fill tube may just never go back in.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
As predicted, I have been unable to reinsert that one 15mm bolt about halfway down the trans filler tube. I've been trying for an hour and give up for tonight.

Basically I've got to stick my arm way down the firewall and even then the bolt is at my fingertips barely reaching the hole. I keep dropping it.

I do wonder what would be the end result of never putting that bolt back. I mean.... It's one bolt...
 

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I sympathise with you, and the worst part is you have to get it all back together before you can test if it’s all ok

Grrr what a pain, keep at it, at least that’s one experience you can check off your bucket list

Hehe
 

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Discussion Starter #31
It runs! Quietly!

Putting it together was a pain but not nearly as hard as taking it apart.

I will say the upper intake isn't held in by quite as many bolts and the engine wiring is a few zip ties short but for the most part I could care less. It runs again!

Next project: spark plugs on the minivan with the same engine mounted 90°
 
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