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Old 03-09-2013, 10:55 PM
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Hyd roller lifters in oil for 2 years

I just finished my 364ci build. (.030 350 with a 3.562 stroke crank.)

Any how, I used a cam and lifters I had from a previous build that was never used.... 2 years ago, when I recieved the new cam and lifters, i put the lifters in oil to be used in the next few days. Needles to say I never used them and they stayed in the coffee can of oil for the 2 year period.

I really didnt think anything about it, until I went to adjust my valves. They all acted like a solid lifter, opening the valve instead of pushing down on the plunger. So I put put .007 lash in it, thinking after I ran the motor they would adjsut. I ran it on the crank up stand for around 30 minutes, to let it get good and warm. I then tried to adjsut the valves again the next day and 2 of them acted normally. The rest were still solid. I have since put the engine in my bracket car, and it went consistant 7.90's (1/8 mile) last week. I pulled the valve covers again yesterday to see if any more would adjust and 2 more did. So I currently have 4 valves adjusted like a normal hydraulic lifter and the rest like a solid, with lash. Do you guys think I will ever get them all adjusted? Would you just keep a few thousandths lash in them to be safe?

I know its an odd question, but it would only happen to me Any thoughs or input?

Chevyguy13

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Old 03-09-2013, 11:37 PM
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You are missing the point of hydraulic lifters.
You need to procede with a normal hydraulic valve lash procedure. The push rod seat needs to be adjusted down so it doesn't pound out the snap ring retainer. Usually zero lash + 1/2 to 1 turn tight. For performance engin.
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:53 PM
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Thanks BOBCRMAN. I do understand hydraulic lifters, however im sorry if my post was confusing. What I have is hydraulic lifters that are "pumped up with oil to the point where if I try to adjust them (0 lash plus 1/2 turn) it opens my valves, instead of pushing down on the plunger on the lifter... Hope this makes since. Or maybe I am totally missing something, which is very possibe

Chevyguy13
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:30 AM
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That happens every time when people try to set the pre-load on hydraulic lifters that are filled with oil. The common theory is that engine is supposed to bleed off the oil in the lifters when you start the engine so you can set and lock the proper lifter pre-load. But how are you going to start the engine in order to bleed off the lifters if the lifters pumped full of oil and are not allowing the valves to seat? I'm amazed you even got the engine started.

I am further amazed that you did not float the valves when you ran it and damage the engine. Or at least pop out the push rod seats on the lifters that were not adjusted and were running at zero pre load.
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Old 03-10-2013, 06:43 AM
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Thanjs very much for the reply.So should I just adjust them all as normal even if the 1/2 turn opens the valve? I hope I didn't hurt anything. It already has 10-12 passes on it, and has been consistant on each pass. I guess my question now is what should I do? Also why are you surprised it even started up? I now-understand I could hurt the lifters, but don't understand why you think it wouldn't run at all. Thanks for any additional info!
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Old 03-10-2013, 07:36 AM
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It should have run just fine but you can destroy a lifter. As for preload I go with 1/8 to 1/4 turn never a full turn unless you have super stuff springs then set them about a quarter turn from bottomed out.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyguy13 View Post
Thanjs very much for the reply.So should I just adjust them all as normal even if the 1/2 turn opens the valve? I hope I didn't hurt anything. It already has 10-12 passes on it, and has been consistant on each pass. I guess my question now is what should I do? Also why are you surprised it even started up? I now-understand I could hurt the lifters, but don't understand why you think it wouldn't run at all. Thanks for any additional info!
Adjust the valves w/the engine running.
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:43 AM
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I will try that tomorrow. The only issue with that is its a drag car, no mufflers. I should be able to hear it, though. Thanks for the reply.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by chevyguy13 View Post
I will try that tomorrow. The only issue with that is its a drag car, no mufflers. I should be able to hear it, though. Thanks for the reply.
Putting a thumb over the pushrod end of the rocker arm, you'll feel the shock if there's no preload even if it's too loud to hear.
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Old 03-11-2013, 01:02 AM
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Thanks! I will give it a shot.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyguy13 View Post
Thanjs very much for the reply.So should I just adjust them all as normal even if the 1/2 turn opens the valve? I hope I didn't hurt anything. It already has 10-12 passes on it, and has been consistant on each pass. I guess my question now is what should I do? Also why are you surprised it even started up? I now-understand I could hurt the lifters, but don't understand why you think it wouldn't run at all. Thanks for any additional info!
It is difficult to start an engine with with the lifters full of oil and all the valves being held open. That is why all hydraulic lifter manufacturers tell you NOT to fill lifters with oil before installing them.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chevyguy13 View Post
Thanks! I will give it a shot.
Should you want to try to readjust the preload w/o the engine running, preload the lifters against the valve springs, they will bleed down if given some time.

This is because the lifter is not a sealed unit; in the drawing below, the black arrows point to the gap between the plunger and body. Oil will exit the reservoir located below the plunger by passing through the gap and out the oil hole in the side of the lifter body.




Hopefully no permanent damage was done to the cam lobes/lifters. That could have happened because having a gap (like a solid lifter's lash) instead of the lifter being preloaded allows the lifter to hit the flank of the lobe w/considerable force and velocity, not normally encountered when the lifter is functioning normally. A hydraulic cam doesn't have a clearance ramp like a solid cam to take up the lash gently. In essence a hydraulic lifter w/lash instead of preload is much the same as a solid lifter being gapped too wide- in both cases the lifter can dig into the lobe causing accelerated wear. Having lash instead of preload will also put a lot of stress on the retainer. If the lifters have an internal C-clip type retainer, that will take more abuse than the round wire types (shown below).


Last edited by cobalt327; 03-11-2013 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:39 PM
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I had a thought and I'll let the gentlemen previous to my post comment on this idea, if its worth doing or if there is a negative side to doing this.

My idea because of your worry if the lifters are actually bleeding down or are seized tight internally, is to make use of a dial indicator while adjusting each valve. First turn the cam to the base circle as you would normally be doing, then back off the the rocker arm so you know you have allowed the lifter to top out and are sure the valve is seated. Set up the dial indicator on top of the valve spring retainer and zero it. Turn down the rocker nut to zero lash, then adjust to the desired 1/4 - 1/2 turn or what you feel is right. Initially the dial indicator may drop/move assuming the lifter is that stiff that it cracks the valve open but should return to zero as the valve spring pressure pushes the lifter back to a zero lash given a little time { with your 1/4 turn now set into the lifter } . Then as a secondary test you can turn the engine over until the lifter starts up the cam lobe to move the valve .100 thou for example and watch the dial indicator slowly move to eventually bleed down back to zero assuming the lifter has a wide range of internal stroke as yours may not. That was my thinking in determining if the lifters are somehow corroded inside and acting like a solid lifter or just very slow in bleeding off.

Again anyone, feel free to comment if this may help in telling if the lifters are functional or have some serious issues internally.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:30 AM
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Ok guys. I adjusted the valves normally today. (0 lash plus 1/4 turn) I did notice most all of them open the valve instead of pushing down on the lifter. I started the car, and it seems to run just fine, and actually seems a little more responsive to throttle... not sure why. Any way the only think I did notice is that my idle RPMs droped about 400. Any ideas as to why the RPM would drop?

Chevyguy13
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:57 AM
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More effective duration at the valve now that here is no valve lash.

now that you are getting all the duration of the cam, at the valve it will probabily respond to a increase in the amount of spark advance at idle.
Cleaner idle, more responsive to the throttle.

If the cam is fairly big you can simply lock out the distributor curve.
Make sure the power valve in the carb is staying closed at idle, in gear.
Big cams create a lower idle manifold vacuum, requiring a lower vacuum rated power valve.

Last edited by F-BIRD'88; 03-12-2013 at 01:04 AM.
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