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Technical Hydraulic Roller Lifter recommendation - USA made preferable

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flatoz, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,229

    flatoz
    Member

    HAMB people.

    I'm hoping someone might be able to help.

    I have a set of Morel Hydraulic Roller lifters in a motor, they have started to make a noise on start up. It seems they are bleeding out when parked over night and not keeping pressure, so there's a racket on start up which once the pressure builds up and the oil thins down it goes away. I'm talking like I had solid lifter in there like my flathead.

    Anyway, I spoke to the guy I got them off and I also did a search, seem Morel are prone to this - not good. I rang a guy at a cam shop I know as I was hoping to get new springs and just pull the lifters and swap the springs over etc. But with the tie bar design you can't pull them down like you can an individual lifter. So...

    The suggestion was try thinner oil as a 'flush' so in went 10-30 for a while ( running 15-40 normally) that stayed in for about 60 mi , then drained , then I put 20-50 in. Long and short no major difference. So I don't know if I still have say a piece of 'dirt' holding the check ball open or just a dud lifter in general.

    So. My question is, what is the option for hydraulic roller lifters - company wise? Morel make these for many companies so I want to steer clear of them. the ones I have , have been in the car 7 years but they should last longer than that. My cam shop guy said you could buy another set and have the same trouble straight off. No thanks.

    Looking around , given I'm in Australia, surprisingly there are a set of chineseium made ones for $160 delivered to my door. But to buy any from the US is going to be about $900. Hell of a difference, but probably a hell of a difference in quality. I'm happy to spend some money, but I don't want to be another $900 into some lifters that are making the same racket again.

    Anyone got any suggestions? Oh, and this is for a Big Block Olds, so some companies may not make them either.

    thanks.

    Motor pic, everyone loves threads with pictures.

    this is the motor going together about 8 years ago.

    IMGP2060.JPG



    this is recently when I did a cam swap still nice and clean inside - and yes I have checked the preload.



    20161106_152817_resized_2.jpg
     
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  2. tinkirk
    Joined: Jan 16, 2017
    Posts: 111

    tinkirk

    Take the lifters apart and clean the insides all up maybe stretch the spring a little lube up and put back together and see what happens, it's just time and no $ spend
    Not that difficult to do


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  3. FityFive
    Joined: Aug 9, 2010
    Posts: 320

    FityFive
    Member

    I put a set of Morel rollers in my wife's 1960 Thunderbird and they are making some noise at start up as well.

    I originally ran valvoline 10w30 and recently switched to RotellA HDDEO 10w30. The lifters are much louder at start up with the Rotella. Maybe the Rotella is thicker during startup. I am going to switch back to valvoline.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2021
  4. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,912

    dirty old man
    Member Emeritus

    If the drain back valve on the oil filter system is allowing the oil to leak back down out of the oil galleys while shutdown it can cause this problem. Had a bout of it on an OT 4.6L DOHC Linc. engine several years ago, although it was an oil pressure actuated timing chain tensioner on that one.
    Changed oil filter brands to get a better anti drainback valve and cured the problem. No experience with oiling system on BB OLDS, but I'm fairly certain there's an antidrainback valve somewhere in the oil filter system. I think if it were me, I'd check into this before I went to all the expense and work to change the lifters.
    Morel has a good reputation and is, as you said a supplier for several brands.
     
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  5. FityFive
    Joined: Aug 9, 2010
    Posts: 320

    FityFive
    Member

    I am currently using a Motorcraft FL1A oil filter. Is there a better suggestion?
     
  6. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,912

    dirty old man
    Member Emeritus

    That is what I would term as an acceptable filter. But not knowing anything about the oiling system of that big block Olds, I have to ask, is there another anti drainback valve that isn't sealing somewhere else in the system?
     
  7. DAVID KLUTTZ
    Joined: Feb 27, 2017
    Posts: 31

    DAVID KLUTTZ

    Morels are the best on the market--they make dozens of different valving and part numbers all of which require certain oil viscosity Call Morel--they have very specific detailed info on oil weight per part number and PRELOAD--it is critical you follow the directions they give on preload--to the letter---spring pressure in excess is a demon and screws it all up--I build 3-4 engines per week--I know --Call them --get advice --follow to the letter--and you will have no issues-- Johnsons are the ones to stay away from on hyd roller not Morels--and..if you put that engine together with any dirt at all it will effect the lifters in a big way--even the most tiny crud screws lifters up--you may think it was clean but we spend about an hour cleaning every block before a build--after all the mechanical cleaning-- so........
     
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  8. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,229

    flatoz
    Member

    Thanks David, I think I will call them and see. This motor was quiet until recently, as I said, it's been in the car 7 years or so. I did a com swap late last year but the noise only started showing up recently. I too am pretty anal about cleanliness of engine assembly. I know Morel are said to be quality, as you can see from my motor , edelbrock heads harlan-sharp roller rockers. I didn't use junk. However if you do some research on the net you will see there are plenty of people having this exact same trouble. Plus there was no paperwork with the lifters at all.

    D-O-M, the filter I have does have an anti drain back in it, it's actually a WIX brand ( I import them from the US for the motor) But for the price of a filter its a cheap way to check.

    TIN - that is exactly what I was going to do, but as these have the tiebar you can't get them apart like that, the 'rivet' for the tie bar would need to be drilled out to allow the cup the pushrod seats in to come out. If they were stand alone lifters that is what I would have just done, pulled them all out and apart and gone through them one at a time.

    thanks All, thats given me some avenues to pursue.
     
  9. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,246

    Russco
    Member
    from Central IL

    As stated above, call them. They are the good ones. I think they usually recommend lighter weight oil over heavier/ thicker oil and the preloads are very specific. I have them in my '40 Coupe (SBC)with close to 35,000 miles and some pretty hard flogging too on them and they have been great. I run 5W30 synthetic.
     
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  10. tinkirk
    Joined: Jan 16, 2017
    Posts: 111

    tinkirk

    You might be able to send them back ti morel and have them rebuilt for lot less money than buying new


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  11. FityFive
    Joined: Aug 9, 2010
    Posts: 320

    FityFive
    Member

    I took David Kluttz advice and communicated with Morel today about my 5325 hydraulic roller lifters. They recommend using 5w30 oil and the spring pressure should not exceed 160# seat and 400# open. My spring pressures are fine, but I am using 10w30 oil. I will change oil and see what happens.
     
  12. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,229

    flatoz
    Member

    Thanks,

    what did they say about preload?
     
  13. tinkirk
    Joined: Jan 16, 2017
    Posts: 111

    tinkirk

    Maybe I'm wrong but my thoughts are if they are bleeding down with 10w30 won't they bleed quicker with 5w30
    ??? Are you a synthetic oil?
    Also what kind of rpm's are you running at times with it
    I know with sbc and bbc I've always run 15w50 mobil 1 with no issues with comp cams products
    Good luck with whichever way you decide to go
    Tinkirk


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  14. FityFive
    Joined: Aug 9, 2010
    Posts: 320

    FityFive
    Member

    I did not ask about preload.

    I am running conventional oil.
     
  15. flatoz
    Joined: May 11, 2003
    Posts: 3,229

    flatoz
    Member

    55, the above poster David did say that preload is critical so I'm surprised that didn't question you on it. I haven't called them but will try to ( not easy from Australia sometimes) I sort of agree with Tin, as in I know my noise level increased when I ran the 10-30 compared to the 15-40 I usually run. Plus like everything it also depends on how your crank is ground etc. Many variables to which oil to run.

    Its cold here at the moment so that isn't helping on start up.

    is the 5/30 recommended as they will make noise but the lighter oil means it will warm up quicker and the noise goes away quicker?

    Anyway the problem continues.

    I would like to know their thoughts on preload as I was planning on redoing this on the weekend. But only want to make a change if they think it will help. Otherwise a time wasted job and a pair of gaskets I don't need to waste.
     
  16. tinkirk
    Joined: Jan 16, 2017
    Posts: 111

    tinkirk

    Preload with hyd lifter 0 lash + 1/2 turn is what have always done for performance 3/4 turn factory spec on flat hyds


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  17. tinkirk
    Joined: Jan 16, 2017
    Posts: 111

    tinkirk

    Also the very first thing i would do is switch to synthetic oil
    I am a very firm believer in it after seeing the bottom end of race motors that i have done over the years
    There is a big difference between reg oil and synthetic oil when i tore them apart after a season of abusing the motor


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  18. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,246

    Russco
    Member
    from Central IL

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  19. Well, I know this in an older thread, but I just found out about MOREL lifters today.

    Here's what happened. Last June I built this 389" SBC and used a mild Comp roller cam, XR264HR-10. I never did a roller before, so I thought I'd give it a try. Here is the thread: https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/389-cu-in-roller-sbc-build.1153773/#post-13426538

    When doing some research on the cam and lifters, I found that Comp was having some trouble with their lifters collapsing and being noisy on start up, due to being sticky from the factory. So everyone said they were switching to Howard's lifters. (I think it's because they're only $392 instead of $457 and up.)

    Anyway, I thought I'd get the jump on it by starting with Howard's Rollers #91164N. https://www.howardscams.com/hydraul...t-lifters-chevy-265-400-howards-cams-91164n-2.

    When I first tried to prime the oil system with the proper tool and a 1/2" drill, it took forever to get oil up to the rockers. When I first fired it up, it rattled excessively, so I re-adjusted the valves while running.

    It seemed to settle down some, but there were a few lifters that wouldn't stop clacking. They always made a considerable amount of noise. I figured I'd drive it a while and see what happens.

    Sometimes it would go away and sometimes it was worse. I couldn't tell if it was temperature or weight of the oil and sometimes it didn't matter. I tried everything.

    Well, after about 6,000 miles it broke a rocker stud. Then a month later it broke another. I put all new studs in and .100" shorter pushrods (because they were off a little bit.) It seemed worse than before.

    I started checking some other things and found that two lifters were stuck at the top of the preload. They were also the same ones that the studs broke on. They wouldn't go down by adjustment. The plungers were stuck and acted like solids!

    I finally decided to get a new set of lifters and my parts guy sold me some that are made in the USA by MOREL. I did some more research and found that MOREL makes them for Howard's under private label. MOREL #5372 is Howard's #91164N.

    Are they the same inside? I don't know, I'll let you know in few days when I get them installed. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
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  20. tinkirk
    Joined: Jan 16, 2017
    Posts: 111

    tinkirk

     
  21. tinkirk
    Joined: Jan 16, 2017
    Posts: 111

    tinkirk

    make sure to let them soak in oil overnight before installing them
    also clean the roller side out with brake clean or something equal before soaking and installing
    I've even while soaking in the oil is keep pushing the the plunger tell you can't push it anymore you will see the air bubble's come out of them

    good luck
    Terry
     
  22. birdman1
    Joined: Dec 6, 2012
    Posts: 1,370

    birdman1
    Member

    The rockers are worn and lost preload. Nothing wrong with the lifters
     
  23. I called Comp and they told me to install the cam using conventional oil on the journals and lobes and NOT to use a flat tappet cam specific engine assembly lube on a roller cam. They said it will make the rollers skid. They also said NOT to soak the lifters because this pumps them up prematurely.

    I also called Howard's and their instructions were NOT to pre-soak their retrofit hydraulic roller lifters. Plus they were kind of rude on the phone, wondering why I didn't buy the whole kit from them. I told them I thought I was making the right choice.

    However, I do like to prime the pump until it's coming out of every pushrod before firing for the first time. That is after they are adjusted cold to zero lash + 1/4 turn.

    I'll see what happens in a couple days! :)
     
  24. I'm installing new rockers this time too. :)
     
  25. MAD MIKE
    Joined: Aug 1, 2009
    Posts: 702

    MAD MIKE
    Member
    from 94577

    How long was 'forever'? I've had a few times where a 'dry' engine took longer than expected. Also forgot to pre-prime an oil pump after replacement, that took me a moment to realize my error when I was seeing 0Psi on the gauge and the drill was spinning with no load.

    Are you sure the rattle was from loose lash and not valvetrain bind?

    Binding of the rockers can cause the rockers to smack the studs and on non shaft type rockers they can jam the pushrods laterally into the guideplates or if self aligning('rail') the tip can be smacking the top of the valve sideways. It can all sound like loose lash from the smacking.

    Problem with using a mix-match of aftermarket parts, including heads, the geometry can get skewed pretty bad from ideal. Mill a head, deck a block, non factory hardware, rockers, etc... correct geometry goes down the toilet.

    Oil temperature, along with weight, can affect how a hydraulic lifter functions.

    Lifters/lash adjusters won't break parts.
    Snapping studs is more of an interference/binding issue or a skewed geometry issue leading to bind and will break parts.

    That's more of an after affect.
    Something else caused the studs to break, then with nothing to keep the lifters lashed the oil pump simply pumped them up to max extension with no valve spring load. This can jam them at times, but usually you can remove the lash assembly out of the lifter body and bleed it down and reinstall it to allow proper function again.

    Done similar on OT vehicles that have had sticky lash adjusters, use a small enough punch to release oil via the metering plate, soak them in ATF and pump them up, release, pump, release. Oil in the engine may have always been changed, but oil that gets in those lash adjusters comes out blacker than black. Do that a few times and the junk and gunk will usually clear out allowing the lash adjuster to work again. Unless physically damaged/worn, they are reusable.

    It would be fairly improbable that the lifters could overpower the valve spring pressure under normal pressures. Let alone bend/break a rocker arm stud.

    I recall speaking to my machine shop regarding hydraulic lifter 'pump up' and he wasn't too keen on such a phenomenon happening under normal circumstances. If that were the case then the valves would stay hung open and the engine would lose compression and die. For the hydraulic lifter to be able to pump up and open the valve itself, would require in excess of 120PSI at the lifter. He believed that the 'pump-up' affect was more related in normal valve float/harmonics but due to the variable lash that a HYD lifter has it can cause for some unexpected or worse than anticipated valve float.

    I noted in your linked thread '389cu in roller...' the harmonic damper looks to be a 6" Pioneer unit. That may be a bit undersized to deal with the greater mass of the rotating assembly of your engine. Even the lowly smogger 350's still used an 8" damper. Those harmonics can not only damage the rotating assembly, but also cause premature valve float and other valvetrain issues/weirdness.
     
  26. Thanks for taking an interest in my project Mad Mike. I'll try to answer your questions one-by-one. First of all this ain't my first rodeo. I've been building engines of some kind, since I was a kid (about 50 years). That's not to say that I might have over looked something. However, this one has me baffled. It is my first retro-fit roller though.

    There is absolutely NO valve train bind or parts interference anywhere, or major miss-match in valve train geometry. Just a lot of unnecessary valve train noise. It sounds like a Duntov 30-30 with an occasional, random, rocker arm clack that needs adjusting and comes and goes.

    Forever is a long, long time. After several hours of trying to get oil up to the rocker arms, I called a few people in the know about this situation. They were also baffled. They all instructed me to not fire it until I saw oil. The thing that puzzled me the most was that I had 60# of oil pressure right off the bat!

    There are no restrictors in the block either. I always thought it was something about the lifters, because it was my first roller motor (Got to blame something, right?). That was the only thing that I did different this time. Same heads, same oil pump, same crank and rods, same procedure, etc. The only thing different about this motor was the Comp roller cam and Howard's lifters.

    It acted like an air lock somewhere in the top end. I did occasionally turn the crank as I was priming with a drill.
     
  27. I use 15-40 diesel oil, the same as I've used for about 15-20 years. I even tried 10-40 and 10-30. It did show a little more oil flow at the pushrod, probably because of less viscosity, but it still clacked. Believe it or not, I put about a pint of Lucas oil in it and it seemed better all around.
     
  28. These are retro-fit rollers and you can't take them apart. I called Howard's to see if they might be able to rebuild them or clean them out and they said no. The rivet in the tie bar interferes with the removal of the plunger and it isn't cost effective.

    If they were a $1000 set of rollers, then it might be different. They just said to buy another pair. Remember, these are MOREL lifters with a private label of Howard's on them.

    The plunger is stuck in the bore of the lifter and acts like it's solid. I could not get them to bleed down on 3 of them, two of which ended up with broken studs. Also, there is about 1/8" of valve to piston clearance, because they are dished pistons.

    I also agree on the "pump up" issue...
     
  29. Yes, it is a Pioneer 6". I thought about it being smaller, but my rotating assy. is a little lighter than a stock 350 with an 8" harmonic damper and a flex plate. When I had it checked for balance this time (because it's now .060" over) they said it was perfect. I also use a 30# flywheel. This rotating assy. has 100,000 miles on it.

    Once in a while I get someone that notices the 6" damper and they ask me if it's a "327". I politely say, "Yes, with a 1/2" stroker and .060" over bore." That usually ends with a glazed stare on their face. :D

    Again, thanks for your interest in this motor, Mike. I think I've covered all the bases, but today I have some new lifters (MOREL) coming and some new rocker arms. Hopefully I should have it running again by tomorrow. I'll keep you informed.
     
  30. tinkirk
    Joined: Jan 16, 2017
    Posts: 111

    tinkirk

    i understand what the manufacture is saying but i don't always follow directions very good,
    I go with what I know always works for me!
    it's your money and not wanting to take chances,
     

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