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Old 09-01-2008, 11:03 AM
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Using Used Lifters

Can I use used lifters on a new Camshaft?
What will happen?

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Old 09-01-2008, 11:16 AM
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Do you mean flat tappet lifters? You can if you resurface them or if they have very very and I mean really low miles on them. Other than that, if you place high mileage used lifters on a new cam chances are you`ll wipe the cam out. Now Roller lifters can be reused countless times as long as they are still in good shape.

Last edited by machine shop tom; 09-01-2008 at 05:15 PM. Reason: Other.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:20 AM
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Yes, they're flat tappets with high miles.
Can I resurface them for reuse?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:25 AM
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If it were me, I would order a cam and lifter kit from summit before I spent the time resurfacing them. A cam kit from summit only costs about $85 bucks.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:26 AM
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Using used lifters on a new cam is a crap shoot! Normally lifter are matched to the cam ..ie the type and hardness of the material are factory matched. So when you get a new cam you "should" get the same manufacture's lifters to go with the cam. Theoretical the parts are made to wear together.
But in my younger days, when money was an issue I've used "used lifters" with different cams. Normally they were all "stock" GM components ...only once did I have problems and that was when I changed higher rated spring pressures.
So my suggestion would be IF this is a new engine and you've put lots of money into it, then go with new components! ...Good Luck!
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:37 AM
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Bad Bad Bad Idea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have had no problem using a used cam with new lifters, however used lifters on any lobe other than the one it was broken in on will likely result in cam and lifter failure (and all the resulting metal throughout the engine).

In other words is you pull the cam and lifters and ENSURE the lifters go back on the same lobe you will likely not have a problem.....otherwise new lifters.

Did I mention used lifters are a BAD idea.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:49 AM
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With today's oils without the ZDDP, not a good idea unless you replace on the same camshaft lobe that they originally came from. As a matter of fact, it's a crapshoot even using new flat tappet lifters without using an additive with extra ZDDP, a good assembly lube, and a diesel type oil. There are some fairly lengthy discussions here somewhere about that. Here's one of them:high zinc content oils

You can also do a search by just using the word 'oil' and come up with 82 threads here.

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Old 09-01-2008, 04:01 PM
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I agree with 1957Pontiac. New lifters on a used cam is usually OK, but never try to re-use lifters on a new cam, or if they get mixed up on the same cam, or if you change blocks.
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Old 09-01-2008, 05:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleVision
Do you mean flat tappet lifters? You can if you resurface them or if they have very very and I mean really low miles on them. Other than that, if you place high mileage used lifters on a new cam chances are you`ll wipe the cam out. Now Roller lifters can be reused countless times as long as they are still in good shape.

Flat-tappet lifters cannot be resurfaced. They have a designed-in crown that be duplicated by hand. While they may look good after some sanding, the bottom of the lifter will most likely be incompatible with a new cam. Or probably any other cam.

tom
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Old 09-02-2008, 06:35 AM
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Tom ...I have to ask, are you saying that there is no way you can resurface flat tappet lifters? ...OR that you can't do it in a home work shop? I'm asking because I heard you could re-surface them ...in a professional shop at least. As I remember there is a 2 Deg. crown on new lifters. You just have to have the right equipment to do it.
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Old 09-02-2008, 09:49 AM
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This sander will work well. Just make a tube on the very front and lean it at a 2 degree angle, then start up the sander and insert the lifter and slowly rotate to ensure an even grind. 50 grit belts usually do the job quite quickly!

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Old 09-02-2008, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 11echo
Tom ...I have to ask, are you saying that there is no way you can resurface flat tappet lifters? ...OR that you can't do it in a home work shop? I'm asking because I heard you could re-surface them ...in a professional shop at least. As I remember there is a 2 Deg. crown on new lifters. You just have to have the right equipment to do it.
With all of the problems with flat-tappet cams going south during or shortly after cam break-in, the last thing I would use is some half-assed refaced lifter. It's too much of a crap shoot using new lifters, much less used ones, "refaced" or not.

Lifters don't cost that much, especially when you consider the costs if the cam does wear and fill your fresh engine with metal powder.

tom
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:15 AM
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I agree with you, IF you've put a ton of money in the engine, using re-surfaced lifter is a poor option! But on a budget build I could see doing it. However with the cost of shop work these days, I'd guess it would be cheaper to pick a set of new lifters. So your back to square one anyway.
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:17 AM
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I absolutely cannot believe someone would even want to put junk lifters against a new performance camshaft or even worse, use a belt sander - virtually an uncontrollable tool - vs the cost of a new set of lifters. Summit lifters are $3.00 each, $48 a set and at that price, used lifters are not worth the time nor the effort when you factor time, a set of gaskets and the fact that if you shred a lifter or camshaft, you could end up destroying an engine from the debris in the lube oil system.

This thread has gone into the ridiculous realm!!!!!

OK, I'll say what should have been said in post #2 - IT IS A DUMB MOVE!!

Dave W
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Old 09-02-2008, 10:20 AM
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If you don't see the push rod spinning when the engine is running, like in adjusting the valves, then you have a problem. Cam lobe, or lifter, or probably both has already went south, or east, or west...never north...

ps: And don't forget the cam lobes have a crown also.
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