valve lifters

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valve lifters

Postby Juro » Thu May 07, 2015 10:59 pm

Today I used a power drill to prime the oil pump. Oil pressure was normal, about thirty PSI, according to
the pressure gauge that i threaded into the sensor hole.

But i noticed that two of the hydraulic valve lifters are not squirting oil, and they are located on
the same set of valves. Also, one other lifter has oil squirting like crazy around its sides.

The other nine lifters seem to be operating normally, that is, they are squirting oil under pressure.

What should i do?

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Re: valve lifters

Postby ifixalot » Fri May 08, 2015 10:55 am

I don't think what you are doing is a valid way to test lifters.
Do a internet search "how hydraulic lifters work" and learn how they operate.
Oil coming out the sides might mean the lifter bore is worn out
and your block is toast.
The two not squirting, are they in the position of both holding the valves open
as in overlap? This may be normal.

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Re: valve lifters

Postby Juro » Fri May 08, 2015 11:51 am

The Purpose of Hydraulic Valve Lifters

All engines have hydraulic valve lifters in one form or another. The most common type of engine that has them is your vehicle's engine. They were created to get rid of the need for combustion engines to have mechanical clearance in the engine's valve train. The reason that clearance is required is to keep the valve from being held open and thus destroyed as the valve train goes through its process of thermal expansion. So, in effect, hydraulic valve lifters keep the valve healthy and protected from an engine's normal thermal expansion process.

What Happens When Hydraulic Valve Lifters Aren't Working

Generally speaking, when hydraulic valve lifters aren't working properly, you may hear a knocking noise when you start the engine. If this happens every time you start the engine, then it can mean that the oil in the engine is too heavy for the current temperatures, or that there is too much varnish in the lifter. Another indication that the hydraulic valve lifters aren't working is intermittent knocking, which can be caused by leakage at the check ball seat, which can be due to varnish or just particles getting in there that don't belong there.

How Hydraulic Valve Lifters Actually Work

A hydraulic valve lifter has four distinct parts, the check ball mechanism, body, socket and plunger. The plunger and socket move along with the push rod, and the body moves in conjunction with the cam. Riding in between the plunger and the socket is a spring and an oil cushion. The hydraulic valve lifter is pressurized by the oil gallery right at the start of motion in the engine. The pressure from the oil is only just enough to remove whatever clearance there is in the valve train, but not enough to actually open the hydraulic valve itself. The cam pushes on the hydraulic valve lifter's body in order to actually open the valve. The spring holds the check ball in its place, and the hydraulic valve lifter's motion opens the check ball cavit,y leaving the check ball behind, but only for a second or so. Then, the cam pushes the hydraulic valve lifter body forward, and the push rod holds the plunger in place while the check ball cavity gets smaller. The check ball is held in place by the support spring, and oil pressure in the cavity forces the check ball to move forward, and that closes the check ball cavity. This traps oil in the check ball cavity and makes the plunger assembly move with the hydraulic valve lifter body, and then that moves the push rod and opens the hydraulic valve. The oil pressure inside the check ball cavity prevents the spring inside from compressing further. The cam then finishes its rotation, and the spring makes the hydraulic valve lifter body go back to the rest position on the base circle of the cam. The check ball isn't under a lot of pressure then and is ready to be shoved into the spring by the oil pressure, which lets in oil into the check ball cavity and starts the whole cycle again.

Read more : ... -work.html

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Re: valve lifters

Postby 3X00-Modified » Fri May 08, 2015 12:47 pm

Yeah that's a nice read/cut and paste, but what your doing is not how you test a lifter. First off you use a bore gauge to mic the lifter bores to see if any are too large or out of round... second you disassemble the lifter and inspect any components for wear or breakage... There are two springs, a check ball and a cage around the base spring and ball... If all components are clean and intact they will operate as they are designed to.

Also not knowing if you actually have the rear plug in place to properly direct the oil to the lifter galley then I can't conclude that the test your performing is even at all worth it.

This is also the engine that you ground the tops of the pistons off to remove pitting damage from detonation... Why so much concern now on how something properly operates?

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Re: valve lifters

Postby Juro » Fri May 08, 2015 4:35 pm

Looking better now.

What i did today was switch the three problem lifters around to other locations.
Also, i rotated a lifter when it was not squirting, and that worked, too. My rotating
the camshaft seemed to not have much effect. The one lifter that i thought was gushing
oil around its sides is not actually doing that. The bores seem fine.

Now all twelve lifters seem to be working equally well.

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Re: valve lifters

Postby Asylum » Fri May 08, 2015 7:11 pm

Should be fun watching how this build turns out!


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'92 3500 GT gone and not really missed. It was fun. Documented 13.47 N/A.

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Re: valve lifters

Postby CorvetteBeretta » Fri May 08, 2015 8:13 pm

Like I said it might be a 12 second car with all the weight reduction (rust)


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Re: valve lifters

Postby Juro » Fri May 08, 2015 10:00 pm

the oil squirts all over from the top of the lifters, as well as forcing oil through the push rods.
This is normal operation?

Wish i could find a YouTube showing the lifters in action.

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Re: valve lifters

Postby Rettax3 » Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:29 am

Juro wrote:The Purpose of Hydraulic Valve Lifters
All engines have hydraulic valve lifters in one form or another.

^^I love this line. :ROFL: I'll have to let my neighbor know that his '69 Camaro's DZ302 is defective then. Ha!
Yes, normal and good operation to have oil squirting out the top of the pushrods.

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