Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters?? - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old May 23rd, 07, 11:23 PM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters?? Could this be causing some of my valvetrain noise??
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old May 24th, 07, 12:17 AM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

How much oil pressure? Up to 70 is usually not a problem.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old May 24th, 07, 7:23 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

its at 70 at idle relatively cold ~up to 160 degrees
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old May 24th, 07, 9:52 AM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

High oil pressure has no affect on hydraulic lifter operation. The clearance between the lifter body and the plunger is measured in millionths of an inch. As I recall (and it's been awhile) the spec is 180 millionths and I think this equates to about 18 ten thousandths of an inch??

Anyway, the hydraulic lifter cavity is filled while the lifter is on the base circle of the cam lobe, with enough oil to move the pushrod to zero lash and then this amount of oil is contained within the cavity, due to the tight clearance between the lifter body and the plunger. You could probably have several hundred pounds of oil pressure before it would affect hydraulic lifter operation and even then it is doubtful that a problem would arise.

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old May 24th, 07, 4:22 PM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

yeah, the oil would have to act on the plunger like a hydraulic ram. the area of the plunger is a tiny fraction of a square inch. Also, you're working against the pressure of the valve spring multiplied by the rocker arm ratio.

looks like the area of the end of the plunger might be about .1 sq. in. so if you had a 100 lb valve spring x 1.5 ratio = 150lbs/sq in pressure on the pushrod. you'd be looking at 1500 lbs oil pressure to move the plunger in the lifter body. Doubt if it's going to be a big issue anytime soon.

WARNING: round numbers, estimates, possibly un-warranted assumptions, professional on a closed course, don't try this at home, IMHO, YMMV, all that jazz. but it's at least in the ball park.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old May 24th, 07, 4:42 PM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Mobley View Post
WARNING: round numbers, estimates, possibly un-warranted assumptions, professional on a closed course, don't try this at home, IMHO, YMMV, all that jazz. but it's at least in the ball park.
Good save Tom.

Jester. Lifter noise with Hydro. lifters is usually from lack of oil in the lifter caused by low oil pressure or dirt clogging the lifter. Check your lash. It should be 0 + 1/4 turn. (someone correct me if i'm wrong on the 1/4, Its been a while since I messed with Hydro. lifters.)

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old May 24th, 07, 4:59 PM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

I run them at 1 full turn of preload unless it's a engine used mostly for racing of some sort, then I use 1/8 to 1/4.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 12, 11:12 AM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

It seems to me there must be a spring inside the hydraulic lifter in order for it to extend fully when the valves are closed. I know that the oil pressure would do that normally but the lifter must be extended for oil to enter, correct? Or can the oil enter any time during the cycle?

Without a spring it would be difficult to set zero lash. As soon as you shut off the engine, the valve springs are going to cause oil bleed off. To set zero lash with no spring we would have to adjust the valves right after shutting the engine down. I never hear anyone saying that.

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 12, 12:09 PM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

Jester, some camshaft lobe profiles can also cause valve train noise.

What camshaft are you using?

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 10th, 12, 4:42 PM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

Some roller rockers are just plain noisey also.

Your just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 12, 8:10 AM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

Wurlitzburg,

Yes, there's a small coil spring under the plunger. You can push it down with a finger if there's no oil in the lifter or of if it's dis-assembled. It's inconsequential in terms of the pressures generated by the spring at the rocker ratio.

Tom
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 12, 2:41 PM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

Quote:
Originally Posted by jester605 View Post
its at 70 at idle relatively cold ~up to 160 degrees
First guess: Excessively thick oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WurlitzBurg View Post
It seems to me there must be a spring inside the hydraulic lifter
There is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by WurlitzBurg View Post
I know that the oil pressure would do that normally but the lifter must be extended for oil to enter, correct? Or can the oil enter any time during the cycle?
Oil "can" enter any time the oil band in the lifter is aligned with the oil supply drilling in the lifter bore. Of course, if there's more pressure in the lifter than in the oil gallery, oil isn't going to enter the lifter. That's what the check valve does--prevent high-pressure oil in the lifter from squirting back OUT.


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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Feb 11th, 12, 9:12 PM
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Re: Can too much oil pressure cause problems with hydraulic lifters??

Thanks, guys. Good info.

Tom
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