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Old 12-20-2009, 06:30 PM
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hydraulic lifter diagnosis

My question: what indicates a bad hydraulic lifter?

I adjusted the valves on my SBC(retrofit hydraulic roller cam and lifters) this weekend using the EOIC method. At each valve, I would back off the adjusting nut, then find zero lash. Then go an additional 1 turn past zero. Most of the valves would require about the same amount of torque to reach 1 turn, but on a couple of them I could almost turn the adjusting nut in with my fingers.

Would this be an indication of a bad lifter? How could I tell for sure if I have a bad lifter?

Thanks for your help!

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Old 12-20-2009, 06:51 PM
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This usually indicates the locking nut is no more good or the threads on the stud are worn. I`ve seen locking nuts become so bad I could watch them back off while the engine was running.
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Old 12-20-2009, 06:57 PM
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I concur with DV, I have also seen the nuts backing off as the engine is running. You should not be able to turn the nut with your bare hands, even if it's just the nut and not a rocker arm on a spring.

Vince
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:03 PM
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I have roller rockers with polylocks. I don't think I have a bad stud or nut. Just concerned that the effort required to tighten a couple of the adjusters was much less than the rest of the adjusters.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:09 PM
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Then adjust the valves with the enough running. Back off until it clicks, ease it tight until the clicking just stops, then 1/2 or 1 full turn. Usually collapsed lifters clack on the loud side during cold start up. Some roller tappets are bad about collecting trash that can also cause this, when you do your next oil change, pour in a can of sea foam, start the engine and let it idle for 20 minutes giving it a occasional hold at 2000 RPMs for a solid minute, then change the oil and filter. If there is no clacking and the adjustment just feels loose I wouldn`t worry about it. I`ve had new builds do the same thing and as long as it`s not making any noise I adjust it and run it.
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Old 12-20-2009, 07:44 PM
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Thanks for the replies.

I guess if it is not making noise, then it is ok, regardless of how tight the adjustment is.
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