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I was asked to take the heads off an engine today(350) that was in a stock car we have at work , not anything real whammy , but the guy that originally built it last year says about 400-450 horses . Anyways the boss wants to take the heads off and the pan and look it over (only got about 8 races) so I do so and I don't keep the lifters ,rockers or pushrods in any kind of order and the boss freaks on me for not doing so . All he says he wanted to do was just maybe do some more work on the heads and maybe put some new bearings in it , so does it really matter that the lifters were not kept in order ?
 

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Yes it matters. The lifters have a wear pattern tied to the cam lobe the were removed from. I always keep lifters, push rods. valve springs, rockers and valves in the location they came from. Pistons and rods are a given in this also.
 

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lifters

Wear patterns on lifters are very critical. You never want to mix them up. Push rods arent quite so serious, but its still good practice to keep them in order, as well as rocker arms.

This is what I do with lifters.
I get an 18 count egg carton, and number the pockets 1-16.
I start with #1 cylinder and go down that bank keeping them in a row, then repeat the same on the other side.
For pushrods, I take a piece of carboard and bending it in a V, run the push rods through it , numbering them the same way, and noting which end goes to the lifter and which to the rocker arm.
I also use an egg carton for the rocker arms.

Since the lifters are mixed up now, you will need to install new lifters, as there is no way to tell which one came from what hole. Putting them back in at random will cause the lifters to wear out very fast and can wear the lobes off of the cam as well.
 
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