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Docpsycho 01-27-2013 02:42 PM

New hydraulic lifters
I just received my new hydraulic lifters (dry in the box), and noticed upon inspection that most are already pumped up but some are not, My question is - should I open up the "pumped" ones and empty the oil out or should I open the dry ones and fill them with oil? I would really like them all to be the same when adjusting the valves. all suggestions will be appreciated, Thanx, 01-27-2013 02:46 PM

Put them in a can of motor oil and let them set overnight. then install them.

prumora1 01-27-2013 02:48 PM

new lifters
many of times I have seen the same thing, so what I've done many times is get a metal 3lb coffee can, put all lifters in it open end up. cover the tops of all the lifters with the oil you plan to use, then let them set some place warm to help keep oil warm and thin. so often take a pushrod and push in on lifters pushing out air and pulling in oil.

2old2fast 01-27-2013 02:51 PM

Just askin , you are putting your new lifters on a new cam , right??


Docpsycho 01-27-2013 03:00 PM

Thanx everybody for the quick responce, yes Dave, New cam & lifters going in an old 396..notorious for early cam failure,

MouseFink 01-27-2013 06:27 PM

If lifters are pumped up full of oil when you install them, how are you going to set the pre-load?

Docpsycho 01-27-2013 06:48 PM

In the past, Iv adjusted them like they were solids then re-set them after the engine warms up (adding half of a turn after they quiet down)

prumora1 01-27-2013 07:09 PM

easy way to set hydraulic lifters is basically to factory specs. set them at 0 lash them warm up engine, then set 1/2 to 3/4 past 0 lash.

works every time for me, no shooting hot oil, and if adjusting on open headers can be hard to hear...

MouseFink 01-27-2013 08:06 PM

What is the purpose of filling the lifters with oil before they are installed?

Docpsycho 01-27-2013 08:11 PM

1 Attachment(s)
That is the accurate procedure prumoral, I have tried that before but lost my patience half way thru, I know now to make all the lifters pumped up equal, now my only concern is Do I have to lift the engine to R & R the cam? I did this change a few years ago in my 1980 El Camino but this is a 66 El.

Docpsycho 01-27-2013 08:33 PM

MouseFink- In my case, half of my new lifters came "collapsed", the other half is "pumped up", If they were all the same, I would not be concerned with them.

cdminter59 01-27-2013 09:55 PM

New Hydraulic lifters
Docpsycho, when you get ready to adjust your valves check out this easy way without oil splashing all over. Camshaft - Car Craft Magazine. You can also look at the top of the page here on HotRod and point the mouse to Wiki. On the drop down menu click on engine. Then under "A" click on Adjust valves. Under "A" click on adjusting hydraulic lifters. The article will explain everything you need to know to adjust the valves.

Docpsycho 01-27-2013 10:16 PM

And deprive myself of the smell of burning oil dripping on my headers early in the morning? Ha

camaro355 01-27-2013 10:30 PM

always make sure lifter is on the base of the cam lobe move pushrod up and down while tightening rockerarm nut until there is no more up and down move ment and then go 3/4 turn more to set the preload thats usually about.020

MouseFink 01-28-2013 01:33 PM


Originally Posted by Docpsycho (Post 1639565)
MouseFink- In my case, half of my new lifters came "collapsed", the other half is "pumped up", If they were all the same, I would not be concerned with them.

You should never pump lifters full of oil before installation. If the lifters are full of oil, they will not allow the valves to seat. If you try to start the engine, the valves can then hit the pistons, bend some valves and push rods.

Set the pre-load with the lifters dry, and then either crank the engine with the starter or turn the crank three or four revolutions by hand while pre-lubing the engine with a variable speed drill motor. If you have set the pre-load using the correct procedure, there will not be a need for a re-adjustment after the engine is running.

New lifters are lightly coated with a preservative inside and out. Since the clearance between the plunger and lifter body is less than .0002", some of the plungers may be stuck after being in storage. In order to free up the lifters, rinse and cycle the lifters with a push rod in mineral spirits and let dry.. As you install each lifter, lightly coat the lifter bore and the lifter will motor oil. Adjust the pre-load using your favorite method. Crank the engine over a few times with the starter then let the running engine fill the lifters.

Standard GM lifters set at .060" to .080"pre-load (1-1/2 turn to 2 turns) which is 1/2 plunger travel.

The net lash pre-load adjustment cannot be set with oil in the lifters. Those lifters set at .120" pre-load (21 lb. torque) with the cam lobes in any position..

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