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If it's a collapsed lifter, one heck of a weird one....

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by poboyross, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,142

    poboyross
    Member
    from West TN

    So I might be looking at a compound problem here, I'm not sure. Running a 283 SBC, stock original. Had a slight on and off again tick when I got it rolling a few months ago and thought I eliminated it by getting the timing and valve lash correct, but now it RETURNS!!!

    This particular intake valve on #6 already has a stud that's about 3 threads higher than all the others, but from what I can tell, it's not working its way out. I can loosen the nut to the same point before it gets "clackety", but it still retains the "tick", all the way to the bottom of the stud...in other words, once you take the slack out, it retains its tick even if you tighten it all the way down. During the tightening, the tick will disappear briefly, only to return once you've stopped tightening. The tick does not increase or decrease in volume or repetition. However, it will speed up as RPM are increased. While you're doing this, the engine's idle is affected very little whatsoever.

    If it's a collapsed or sticking lifter, would using some MMO or Seafoam do the trick, perhaps? It just kinda blows...just really got it on the road, timing tweaked, carb set.....I'd LOVE it if it were an MMO fix and I didn't have to take off the intake...but it is what it is.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Dynaflash_8
    Joined: Sep 24, 2008
    Posts: 3,038

    Dynaflash_8
    Member
    from Auburn WA

    pull the lifter and check it out. I had this same problem on my 327 and it turned out that the collapsed lifter had stopped spinning on the cam lobe and was working on eating the cam
     
  3. Rich Rogers
    Joined: Apr 8, 2006
    Posts: 2,018

    Rich Rogers
    Member

    not worth the end result of leaving it in there. I'd pull it and replace the lifters before you do cam damage or have any other problems
     
  4. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,142

    poboyross
    Member
    from West TN

    Yeah, that would be bad. I'm still getting oil through the rod...actually moreso than the others.....it spurts a hell of a lot further. The spurting is also cyclical as the rod is spinning....would that mean that the lifter is also still spinning?

    Again, wondering if I can avoid pulling the intake for the moment if there's a possibility that MMO might help. Another possibility...sticking valve?
     

  5. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    On two higher mileage 283's I saw, there was a very deep divot worn into the rocker where it hits the valve stem that caused a tick.

    Rather than do the lifter first, take a look at the rocker. If it has a deep worn spot, I would at least run a grinder over it to see if the tick goes away. Then just buy a new rocker.

    I also saw one that only ticked with a very light load on the motor, and the guy swapped that one rocker with a new one, and it went away. Makes no sence, but..
     
  6. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    carcrazyjohn
    Member
    from trevose pa

    Also make sure the stud is pressed all the way in and straight and check rocker for wear ,After that replace lifter or lifters ,
     
  7. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,142

    poboyross
    Member
    from West TN

    Hmm....I think I might have already accomplished the same thing just a bit ago. I took the rocker and rod off of another quiet valve and swapped them, the result was the same. The donor valve that got the one from "Mr. Tappsalot" remained quiet, while Mr. Tappsalot kept making his infernal chatter.
     
  8. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member

    One other thing to look at on that rocker: Look for a wear "notch" where the ball is under the adjuster nut. There could be a ridge on the ball or the rocker or both.

    Sometimes these single ticks come from swapping rockers or balls around if the head was taken apart and worn pairs of "rocker-and-ball" are not put back as a pair.


    EDIT: I just read your reply above, and you already covered that ...
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2010
  9. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,142

    poboyross
    Member
    from West TN

    Now I DID see something that might fit that description. There were these little "V's" around the hole on the inside of the rocker where the ball sits. No visible wear between the nuts (which I replaced a few months ago) and the top flat surface of the ball.

    But I also figured that would have been addressed when I swapped them around, yielding the same result with the tapping one, while the silent donor remained silent.

    EDIT: Regarding your EDIT.....I guess we're typing too fast! ;)
     
  10. or at like $5 a piece buy a new rocker....
     
  11. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,221

    F&J
    Member





    I don't run to the parts place ten times while diagnosing a problem..:D

    Read my post...I did say buy a new rocker, if grinding the old one stopped the noise.
     
  12. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167

    blackrat40
    Member Emeritus

    I think you're really rolling the dice by not having a look at that
    lifter out of the engine buddy.
    If you draw the "bad luck" card,you could have a cam that has
    a lobe going flat. Guess where that lobes metal is going.
    Yep, down into the oil pan! Your crankshaft and even your block could be rendered unusable.
    Feeling lucky?
     
  13. Dyce
    Joined: Sep 12, 2006
    Posts: 1,942

    Dyce
    Member

    Are you getting oil up the pushrod on tapsalot? The oil hole in the lifter may be plugged. Have you layed a straightedge across the tops of all of the studs to see if any pulled, or are you using the nut location on the stud assuming the stud is pulled? You may have exhaust valve seats going away. This would make the nut higher on the stud.
     
  14. wvenfield
    Joined: Nov 23, 2006
    Posts: 5,506

    wvenfield
    Member

    I've never had good luck getting a sticky lifter to fix itself with additives. Wild shot. Are your nuts perhaps slightly backing off?

    I had a problem with a push rod. After taking the nut off the rocker arm it would not stay put until I put some lock tite on it.
     
  15. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    1950ChevySuburban
    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    I've got a similar problem on my Chevy 6.2 diesel. Same construction, as a SBC. Lifter tick ( I think) comes and goes, and oil pressure reads HIGH. How's your oil pressure?
     
  16. csclassics
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 169

    csclassics
    Member

    Could be a bad valve guide? I have the same ticking problem...worn valve guide.
     
  17. nofin
    Joined: Jan 7, 2010
    Posts: 321

    nofin
    Member
    from australia

    I've had a mystery tick on a fresh rebuilt 327 (stock rebuild). Took it back to the builder, he adjusted the rocker, quietened down then came back. He figured dud lifter so he pulled the manifold and swapped it out. Put it back together, tick was still there. Had to pull the head and it turned out to be the brand new freshly pressed in valve guide liner had come out and the valve head was hitting on it when it shut. There was absolutely no change in performance due to the noise, and it never got louder.

    If you don't have valve guide liners installed then this probably doesn't help.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  18. Sounds like excessive clearance inside the lifter causing it to loose oil too quickly.This could account for the tick and also the excessive oil coming up the push rod.Here is an account of how a hydraulic lifter works..........

    The lifter gets pressurized by its oil gallery only during the start of motion. The oil pressure is just enough to remove any clearance in the valve train but not enough to open the valve: that's the job of the cam pushing on the lifter body. The check ball is held in place by a spring and the motion of the lifter opens the check ball cavity because inertia leaves the check ball behind but only for a brief moment. Compared to a sold lifter camshaft, the base circle of the hydraulic cam has been reduced to allow the extra time required to fully pressurize the lifter.
    When the cam pushes the lifter body forward, the plunger is held in place by the push rod and the check ball cavity decreases in size. The check ball is held in place by its support spring and the pressure of the oil in the cavity forces the check ball forward which closes off the opening. This traps incompressible oil in the cavity, causing the plunger assembly to move with the lifter body which moves the push rod and opens the valve. The oil pressure keeps the spring inside the check ball cavity from being compressing further. After this point the lifter effectively becomes a solid lifter.
    As the cam completes its rotation and the valve spring forces the lifter body to return to its original rest position on the base circle of the cam, the check ball is no longer under as much pressure and is ready to be pushed into its support spring, by the oil pressure, letting in oil and restarting the cycle. The light pressure of the larger spring in the check ball cavity keeps all of the components in the valve train in gentle contact but does not have enough pressure to keep the valve from closing. At the end of the cycle, the pressure from the valve train pushes out a small quantity of oil from the lifter at the end of its travel which provides the cushion effect. The oil pressure within the lifter cavities equalize and new oil is forced throughout.
     
  19. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,142

    poboyross
    Member
    from West TN

    Wow...that's a lot of info to digest! Thanks :)

    So, with that excessive clearance, would that mean it *needs* lifter replacement, or possibly it's gotten gunked up and stuck?
     
  20. CLUES - Oil squirting up higher than the other pushrod, cyclic...pushrod spinning. Lifter is rotating, or pushrod wouldn't be spinning. Lifter is collapsed or sticking, sending excessive (unused for properly operating lifter) oil up through the pushrod. Replace lifter or remove, disassemble, inspect for broken/worn interior parts, and clean lifter. I'd use the old lifter, if it COULD be cleaned, seeing as how it has already worn in with that particular lobe. If not, a new lifter is cheap...
     
  21. 52pickup
    Joined: Aug 11, 2004
    Posts: 833

    52pickup
    Member
    from Tucson, Az

    Is the stud really higher than the others, or is the nut on that rocker 3 threads farther down? If the nut is just farther down, then you're taking up the space from the lifter being collapsed. That, in addition to what 345 DeSoto said, says it's time to take a closer look at that lifter.
     
  22. Yes...I believe that the lifter needs replacement.
     
  23. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,142

    poboyross
    Member
    from West TN

    Ok....I pulled the intake today and pulled the lifter in question. It didn't appear collapsed when I got it free, but when I pulled the retaining pin, the inner shaft didn't pop out as expected, I had to play with it some to get it to come free. Now it seems to spring in and out freely. Not sure exactly what that means, if anything.

    I figured I'd go ahead and replace all of the lifters while I'm at it, instead of just that one. Picked up an Edelbrock lifter/lobe set just in case it turns out to be the cam lobe.
     
  24. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,916

    Ebbsspeed
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As has been mentioned by some, all of the symptoms point to a lifter check ball that doesn't seat as well as it should, either due to damage or contamination. Excessive oil from the pushrod is the major indicator, as it shows that the plunger in the lifter body is displacing more oil than the rest of the lifters. The rotating pushrod indicates that the lifter is also rotating, so you shouldn't be worried about camshaft damage. Disassembling the lifter and cleaning it would likely fix the issue, but it sounds like you're past that point already.
     
  25. Carburetor and Choke cleaner is a really quick flush out for the varnish in the lifter. I'd clean it out, reassemble it and go. Varnish is the main cause for sticking lifters...
     
  26. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,142

    poboyross
    Member
    from West TN

    Well, to head off any future work while also taking into account that time is money, I bit the bullet and figured I'd just replace all the lifters while I was in there. These are the original lifters to the engine, and with my infinite relationship with Murphy, I figured that as soon as I "fix" this one and button it up, it will continue giving me hell in addition to bringing a few of its friends into the fold to do the same.

    From what I've read, proper procedure for new lifters is as follows (feel free to correct me):

    -Use provided lube on bottoms of new lifters, replace old ones
    -Re-install pushrods (got new ones just for s&g's) and rockers
    -Adjust rockers using EO-IC method (TDC is NOT necessary when setting them this way). MUST use proper method of spinning push rod until it gets drag while tightening, then tighten 1/2 turn more.
    -With intake still off (in case more work is needed), prime engine oil pump until oil is flowing from all push rods, continue turning primer slowly for additional 1-2 minutes.
    -After priming, lifters should be pumped up
    -Re-install intake and all accessories/wires
    -For break-in, run engine at 2000rpm for 20 minutes to ensure that lifters mate themselves properly to existing cam
    -DONE

    Sound about right? Murphy's Law....I just got this thing on the road, running well...then back to opening it up :/ Oh well.

    ALSO, the other reason I went through this is that I was getting progressively worse seeping of coolant from the front driver's intake bolt where the return spring flange is bolted in, along with the bolt right under the carb (very little here). I originally used the FelPro gaskets that are rubber all around and used this sticky varnish crud to get it to stick, used RTV at the corners where the pieces join. Not sure if it was the gaskets or not, but the bolts kept on loosening. I'm going to use the Mr. Gasket ones (I know, I know.....) and see if they work better. They're the felt-paper type ones with the rubber bridge sections going around the distributor and water neck areas.
     
  27. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,142

    poboyross
    Member
    from West TN

    AH yes! Thanks for reminding me. I have ZDDP and 20w50 that I keep on hand to run in it seeing it's high mileage. I was also planning on running a quart of MMO in it for a bit to try and clean up the valves and such.
     
  28. 29nash
    Joined: Nov 6, 2008
    Posts: 4,544

    29nash
    BANNED
    from colorado

    Yep.
     
  29. poboyross
    Joined: Apr 29, 2009
    Posts: 2,142

    poboyross
    Member
    from West TN

    Tore it down today....and reported it about 5 posts ago. Wasn't collapsed, just stuck or weak, I think. Cam lobe appears fine from using my flashlight and micro mirrors to look around in there at it. Replacing them all at this point...just to be safe. But since I got the Edelbrock cam with the combo pack, it has me thinking about doing that, too....but damn, winter's a comin'.... :(
     
  30. While you're in there, I'd slap in the Edelbrock...
     

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