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Old 06-03-2004, 12:41 PM
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Lifters and Pushrods

I'm gonna be putting new lifters and pushrods in my truck -- mid-70s 350 sbc w/Edelbrock Performer mild hydraulic cam.

Which are the best high performance lifters and pushrods for me to purchase -- not too high priced, but on the better end of quality?

Also, are there any points I need to specify when ordering to be sure I get the right sizes, etc?

And last, I'm wondering if I should consider doing the job myself - is this a job for a shade-tree mechanic? Or best left to a pro? I've already talked to a guy who's been in the same location for 25 years ... I feel good about him ... he says the job would take him about 4 hours.

All opinions, suggestions and advice appreciated - as usual!

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup

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Old 06-03-2004, 01:50 PM
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There are only a couple of lifter manufactures out there making all of the brand named ones. Crane is always a good bet. In fact, I would use Summit brand lifters and rods. Good price, good quality, great value.

Very easy DIY. Try it, you'll like it.
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:36 PM
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Good ol' Summit!

Glad to hear you say it, bro'!

DIY, eh? Do I need to remove the distributor? One guy told me I do ... another said I don't.

Is there a decent step by step tutorial out there anywhere? Having never done this before, I feel like a blind man - scared of the unknown. But I like the idea of doing it myself ... as long as I don't need any special tools, etc., I'm happier doing anything I can myself -- it seems every time I let some pro-mechanic do anything on my truck, I always have to fix something he did wrong!

PS - Summit offers different pushrods ... which ones am I suppose to get? There are pushrods for a Chevy 262 - 400 ... then there are the same pushrods with "stock length +.100" ... then they offer 5/16" diameter ... all that confuses me.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup

Last edited by horvath; 06-03-2004 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:43 PM
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Alan, just curious, why are you changing lifters and pushrods? might as well go ahead and throw in a cam too?....

and you can do it yourself. anyone who can play a dulcimer that good, can swap out lifters......
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:48 PM
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Are you installing a new cam now too? or just changing the lifters and pushrods? If its just the lifters and pushrods, then you may want to hold off and get some more replys here on putting new lifters on an "old" cam, sometimes not a good idea.

Also, pushrods rarely go bad, unless you bend one, so replacing them is not a critical thing.

To replace just the lifters, the dist needs to come out, intake and carb comes off and the valve covers come off too. Remove all the rocker arm nuts and remove the rockers and pull out the pushrods, then you can remove the lifters.

If you are putting in the cam too, then the water pump, any brackets in the way, harmonic balancer, oil pan and timing cover need to come off. You can leave the pan on if you know the "trick" to getting the timing cover back on, but its hard to explain and not always "leak free" when done.
You will also need to remove the fuel pump as the pushrod that runs it gets "bumped" by a lobe on the cam.
Changing a cam is not a short job and if you go that far, that would be a good time for a new timing chain and gears too. Heck!! Just yank the engine and put the whammy on it!

Mark
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:51 PM
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Ha! Thanks, Larry!

I have a valve tap that comes and goes ... drives me nuts when I hear it. I had the valves adjusted but the tap is still there, so I figure I need new lifters, right?

Why would I want to put a new cam in? Or, why should I? Is that easy to do, too? I don't mind doing anything that's gonna make sense ... you know I love this truck and want it to perform as well as possible.

Talk to me about this whole process ... what does it take to put a cam in? I don't want to start taking the whole dang truck apart! Wouldn't I have to remove the radiator to put a new cam in?

I have a mild hyd cam in there now.

jmark -- Jeese, Louise! Changing the cam sounds like a major ordeal! I have a brand new Summit double-roller timing chain we put in a month or so ago.

What are the complications involved in putting new lifters and pushrods in with an older cam??

Alan
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Old 06-03-2004, 02:57 PM
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Alan how many miles are on the cam thats in the motor?
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Old 06-03-2004, 03:06 PM
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Hi Alan, I"m Mark.

I went to your web page and read some on your truck and see that the cam is not too old, so replacing it is not necessary. As far as an occasional tap goes, I'd try something first before changing out the lifters.

First I'll say this, before I say what I recommend. I usually do NOT recommend any kind of oil additive. Lots do, but my experience and from the reading i've done leads me to believe that most do more harm than good. Some will recommend the "15 minute flushs" but most of them are very high in petro solvents and can/will do damage to engine parts and seals. Solvents are not good in an engine, unless you are doing it just before a tear down.

NOW! LOL, after saying that, i'll say this. If it were me, I would, however, try a product called "Auto-rx". Its not a solvent and will NOT harm any parts of the engine. Its a long term lanolin cleaner that stays in for 1500 miles, then you change the oil and filter. It appears to do exactally what they advertise and is safe for all engines. I plan on using it in my "86 truck that sat for 11 years and now has some stuck oil rings. It has 29,000 miles and uses quite a bit of oil for the miles.

Here is the web site if you are interested.

Mark
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Old 06-03-2004, 05:13 PM
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Alan, I commend your willingness tackle the things it takes to carry on continuous improvement of you truck. Even though you are probably talented , focused and patient enough to do this job, I recommend you turn this over to the mechanic you have located on the condition you can look over his shoulder and ask questions, all for the learning experience. Proper valve adjustment is a must and can be very costly when a first timer does it without any hands on instructions. There have been many posts on this subject and if you read them, you will see where there is a bunch of room for confusion and errors.

Having said that, I would not go there at this time since the lifters are obviously relative new (all the cams I have purchased included the new lifters. Also, your question about , which push rod is not easy to answer since you/we do not know what is in the motor now. You will have to check the length and diameter when they are removed before ordering them. Yep, you will have to be able to measure them to within .001 " so do you have the calipers and skill to do that? You can take a chance and say you want the OEM length, but if your heads have been decked in the past, you could screw up.

A little lifter/push rod noise on occasion is not a bad thing. I have my vehicles sitting for periods of time and occasionally I will get a little noise on initial start up after a sitting spell , usually goes away after a moment or two of idle warm up. My 68 Bronco is the worst, but it has 219, 000 total miles on the motor and 121,000 on a rebuild.

Trees
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Old 06-03-2004, 05:25 PM
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Ghetto Jet -- The cam that's in there now only has about 30,000 miles on it. Just broken in, eh?

Mark -- Ahhhh ... (sigh of relief). I sure didn't want to go there. That Auto-RX sounds cool ... I'm gonna check around locally to see if I can find it that way.

Trees -- I was waiting for you to show up, bro'.

Thanks for your input on this again. I feel pretty good about this mechanic and I'd like to watch, which he'll let me do, so I can learn ... plus, I don't feel like busting my hump all day long only to wind up stuck because I screwed something up. The tapping is happening soon after she warms up and then it's pretty regular -- so it's the opposite of what you're saying ... does that mean anything? Is it possible that something else is causing this, other than a bad lifter?

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 06-03-2004, 06:20 PM
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Allen,

Assuming the lifters were new when the cam was installed; they are more than likely OK.

You said you had the valves adjusted and the ticking noise returned. Here are a couple of possibilities.

1-If you don't change your oil and filter on a regular basis, there could be a very small piece of crud in the offending lifter. This can be cleaned out. It involves removing the distributor, intake manifold, valve covers and anything else on the top of the engine. Loosen the rocker arm, remove the pushrod and then remove the lifter. Take the clip out of the top of the lifter and remove the piston and spring. Clean everything completely and re-assemble. There is a very small round disc in the bottom of the lifter bore that acts as a one way valve. This is more than likely where any crud has gotten lodged. Do not forget to replace this disc. Do this last as it involves much more work. If you still decide that you want to change the lifters, all this will have to be removed anyway.

2-Sometimes an aftermarket product can be used successfully by adding it to the oil and running the engine. You might try that first.

3-The locknuts are old and not staying where they were adjusted to. Quick fix is to replace them all and re-adjust.Try this second.

4-If you have stock heads with the pressed in rocker arm studs and wind the engine up really tight every so often, one or more of the pressed in studs could be pulling out. This will change the adjustment and can also lead to failure. Not quite a quick fix but the studs can be pinned at the base where they are pressed into the head or a better fix would be to have them replaced with screw-in studs.Check this.
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Old 06-03-2004, 08:10 PM
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Excellent info, as always, Frisco. I do change my oil and filter every 3000 to 5000 miles.

THANKS, bro' ... I will follow your advice. I'm gonna order some Auto-RX and see what that does. No need to rush into anything.

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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Old 06-03-2004, 08:15 PM
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When, and if you do pull the lifters, have a look at the bottom. If they are concave, I would replace the cam too. Chances are its damaged also.
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Old 06-03-2004, 09:58 PM
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all sounds like good advice to me. maybe try some of that Marvel Mystery Oil. It's good for noisy lifters sometimes.....


i doubt there's any problem or need to swap cams....
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Old 06-04-2004, 08:29 AM
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Ha! I woke up today thinking about Marvel Mystery Oil -- it's GOOD stuff and easy to buy locally.

I've also been wondering if it might be the gas I'm using. I've been putting premium in. Do you think using regular may help? Less rich?

Alan
54 Chevy Pickup
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