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Sounds like an uneven kind of "clippy" sound to me, like on the outside of the motor. Sounds like your belt is running past a hose clamp and periodically catching it or something.
 

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Definitely sounds like and outside "click". Is it an automatic? I felt stupid looking for a click like that a while back and it was a burr on my crank pulley tapping one of the trans cooling lines coming by on it's way to the radiator I had put in. When I tightened the line, I had gotten it too close to that pulley. Maybe even a plug wire spark arcing...
 

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Pull the accessory belts, see if it stops.

Almost sounds like something in the rocker area, or an exhaust leak possibly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Runs ... fine - this noise showed up after a spirited little rolling launch to 6k RPM and I was a couple of streets before my house, so I didn't drive it long after this sound started.

its a T5 manual


I didn't inspect the outside as I just assumed it was coming from within - but i'm glad it might not be that bad. I'll try pull the accessory belts

but on the possibility of it being an exhaust leak - how would that cause this noise?
 

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Headers? Really prone to leaking at the flange to the head. Cast iron manifolds? Age sometimes causes cracking, and prone in places you can't see well. Only 7,000 miles on the engine? Maybe just need to re-torque some bolts.
 

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Off the top of my head, another thing to check is for your fan just barely clipping the shroud, if you have one. I had that happen once and it made a similar sound, though more of a hollow metallic noise.
 

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I had a similar sound when the starter bendix didn't release from the ring gear.
 

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On my computer it sounds like something hitting tin. I would think valve covers first, you may have rocker hitting teh cover. If you concentrate or put a timing light on it and try to see if it hits every revolution or every other rev. If its every other, its in the valve train, if its every time its on the crank. A long screwdriver or stethoscope to the ear will pick up contact with a valve cover or isolate a loud accessory pretty quick.

Please remember, its bad juju to open a thread like this and not close it with the answer when you figure it out...

Good luck!
 

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Tiny exhaust leaks can change with the temperature of the engine. There is a lot of expansion as things heat up. The noise might not appear until the engine has warmed up. Or a leak might only be heard when the metal is cool and then expansion seals the leak. I have a car, not a Mustang, with a similar sound. Made the noise after the engine ran for 20 minutes. Was worse with the A/C or heavy load on the alternator. It seemed to be the belt or a pulley. Then the manifold to pipe gasket blew and it was obvious. I used the wrong gasket thinking a Walker gasket was the same os OEM.
 

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Sometimes a wrap like that on a fresh engine might loosen a fan/water pump pulley bolt or crank pulley and they will start ticking. I've had a damper bolt loosen and had to re-torque it. It sounds like something along those lines but there are a lot of different good guesses on this here.
 

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One inexpensive tool that I have found very useful in tracking down engine noises is a "mechanics stethoscope". For anything internal, placing the metal probe on the engine, etc at different points and you'll likely find the problem location. For anything external or any moving parts (eg pulley), you can unscrew/remove the probe and "listen around" in different parts of the engine compartment - the plastic funnel at the end helps focus the noise location...

https://www.amazon.com/Lisle-52500-Mechanics-Stethoscope/dp/B0002SQYSM?th=1&psc=1

https://www.harborfreight.com/Mechanics-Stethoscope-63691.html
 

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Discussion Starter #16
On my computer it sounds like something hitting tin. I would think valve covers first

Good luck!
winner winner

scott drake valve cover has a tin(?) oil filler baffle that must have sheerred itself of from vibration (it was connected by 2 bolts) - i have credit cards thicker than it

on the bright side - i doubt it damaged the valves.

I'm assuming I COULD run without it but it probably prevents a lot of oil being sent into the breather --- so i'll have to see if they sell a replacement ...

 

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Good find! I have aluminum valve covers that I had a couple rocker arms hitting the baffles. The cast aluminum amplified the noise and made the motor sound like it was about to barf it's guts
 

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Whew! Very good to hear.
 

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If you can't repair the valve cover, you might consider fabricating a rocker stud mounted baffle similar to what Moroso offers for SBFs with stamped rockers. I don't know what rockers you're running, but a small baffle centered under the breather opening would save you the cost of new valve covers. I'm sure that you could fab something, regardless of which rocker you might be running.
 

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