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Subject: New lifters won't pump up

Original Message
Name: Rob
Date: March 12, 1998 at 14:19:12
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Comment:
I just installed a new Comp Cams Extreme energy cam & hyd lifters. Now I'm getting quite a bit more valve train noise than with the previous combo. I can set the proper preload, drive the car for a little while, and when I check them again, some rockers seem loose, and I can easily spin the pushrods. I can tighten them down another 1/4-1/2 turn, run the engine some more, and come back to find the same thing. Comp cams does not recommend "pre-pumping" the lifters so I did not do it. Was this a mistake? I have called their cam help tech line twice and got two different answers. One guy told me to put some Marvel Mystery Oil in. The other guy told me NOT to do that, but to run straight 30wt. oil for a little while to see if that would cure it. I'm currently running 10w40. What the hell is going on here? I don't want to keep cranking down on the rocker adjusting nuts, besides, this doesn't help anyway. Is it possible I got a new set of lifters that are bad? Do I need to remove them all and pump them up myself? These are in a 69' 396 with @ 200 miles on it since installation. I thought they would have surely pumped up by now. Help!

Response Number 1
Name: tom
Date: March 12, 1998 at 14:35:56
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
Rob; This may sound stupid, but are you sure that you don't have fast bleed lifters? These are supposed to partially collapse at idle for increased torque, etc. These are fairly noisy and adjusting won't help, of course.
Otherwise I'd just drive for a while. If all the lifters are noisy, I'd have to think the problem is not the lifters. Might want to check valve spring pressures. Running double springs will sometimes make some lifters run noisy. Studs aren't coming out are they? Look close at base for signs of this. Otherwise, I don't know what could be causing this. Tom

Response Number 2
Name: Tom P.
Date: March 12, 1998 at 19:08:50
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
Like the other Tom says, they may be "variable duration lifters", these bleed down at low rpms. I have a set on my small blk. They are noisy too. Ummm, If they are var, dur, lifters, pay close attention to preload past zero lash, only tighten them down a quarter turn. I suggest that you warm the engine up, and go and re-adjust the valves once more, in sequence. Are you using poly locks? got screw in studs? I ALWAYS soak lifeters in oil before installation, and push the plunger down to get all the air out. I haven't had problems yet. I hope everything works out for you, so you can really start to "drive" that 396!

Response Number 3
Name: fred ont canada
Date: March 12, 1998 at 21:07:35
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
You could soak lifters in oil for ever and they would still not have oil in them they have to have oil pressure to fill up.Reajust take the clearance out then turn them down 3/4 turn...FRED

Response Number 4
Name: Rob
Date: March 12, 1998 at 21:32:14
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
Thanks guys, here is a little more info: the lifters are Comp Cams high energy hyd part#812-16. My catalog does not show them to be variable duration, and the guys at Comp Cams did not mention it. I am running Comp Cams Magnum roller rockers. The heads are brand new alum. Edelbrocks with screw in ARP rocker studs. I don't have polylocks, but I know the nuts are not loosening up. They are noisy all the time, not just at idle. Some seem to be noticeably louder than others. I drove it for a while today, then loosened them all up and re-adjusted while warm. They are louder than before! What gives? I did intakes first. Then, while turning engine over (by hand) to do exh., I noticed that as soon as the rocker started to open the int. valve, it would move back down. These kind of lifters should not bleed off THAT fast, should they?

Response Number 5
Name: Bob Tiley
Date: March 13, 1998 at 06:23:38
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
With roller rockers you really need the poly locks. All roller rockers come with poly locks so I don't understand why you aren't using them. usually the poly locks back off if they are not set propperly. You loosen up the set screw in the top and adjust the valves. then you tighten down the set screw, then lastly tighten down the poly lock with a long handle rachet against the set screw. Tightening down the set screw with an allen wrench is not enough, you must go a step farther and retighten the whole poly lock.

Response Number 6
Name: Andrew Crooks
Date: March 13, 1998 at 08:50:03
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:

magnum rockers aren't full rollers so they don't come with poly locks, as for the adjusting of the valves, are you sure you are doing it right. I have a small block right now and the way you adjust the lifters is certain intake and exhaust valves at TDC compresson stroke number 1 the you turn the motor over to TDC compression number 6. That would be the problem I would see since you adjust some of the valves when the cam acually has the lifter half way up, that would make the lifter very noisy when it is on the base circle. Not to critisize you but was the do all the intakes then do all the exhausts your idea or a friends idea. If it was a friend he could have caused you to bend valves in your heads or worse pop a hole in the piston. --Andy

Response Number 7
Name: fred ont canada
Date: March 13, 1998 at 11:12:50
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
Ok guys here it is again [PLEASE PRINT] as this is the 3rd time Ive posted this valve adjustment procedure.
With the engine in the number 1 firing position the following valves can be adjusted Ex-1,3,4,8
INT-1,2,5,7
Crank 1 revolution until the pointer "O" mark are again alined.This is number 6 firing position.With the engine in this position the following valves can be adjusted.
EX-2,5,6,7.
INT-3,4,6,8.
This is out of the GM manual it applies to SB & BB they have the same firing order.
When adjusting valves this way you loosen them all rotate the push rod with the fingers until you feel some resistance then turn it[ this is according to the book]1 complete turn.Follow this procedure for the others.This is all that should be needed if the lifters are OK? If you are off an 1/8th of a turn don't sweat it this is not that critical thats what hyd. lifters are there for...FRED
Maybe this could be posted in the TECH Page AL or Wes maybe Skip or who ever does all that work.I still don't know how you guys find time to work on your cars.WE sure applaud you guys.THANX

Response Number 8
Name: Gene McGill
Date: March 13, 1998 at 11:40:11
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
You obviously have it to the point to where the engine runs, so I wouldn't even mess with trying to do a static adjustment. Do it while it's running: loosen until it clicks, then slowly tighten 1/4 to 1/2 a turn. Messy, but effective. If it doesn't take any effort to loosen or tighten, replace the nut.

Response Number 9
Name: Wes Colby
Date: March 13, 1998 at 15:43:04
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
Rob,

I went through the same thing you are experiencing now and found a solution from Lunati that has worked. I also tried 'exaclty' what GM recommends in their tech manuals as described by Fred. For whatever reason, it did not work for me because I still had lots of valvetrain noise:

Here it is straight from Lunati and IT WORKS!

1. Hand rotate the engine in (normal) clockwise direction and watch the exhaust valve on your first cylinder to adjust. When exhaust valve begins to open, stop and adjust that cylinders intake rocker arm. (Why? Because when the exhaust valve is just beginning to open, the intake lifter will be at the base circle of the cam lobe, which is the correct position for adjusting the intake.)

2. Back off the intake rocker arm adjusting nut and remove all tension from lifter. Wait a minute or two for that hydraulic lifter to return to neutral position. The spring inside the lifter will move the pushrod seat up against the retaining lock if you give it time to do so. NOTE: brand new lifters will already be in the neutral position.

3. Now spin the intake pushrod with your fingers while tightening down the rocker arm. When you feel a slight resistance to the turning of the pushrod, you are at or very near 'zero lash'. Turn the nut down one half to one full turn from that point.

4. Now hand turn the engine clockwise watching that same intake valve. It will go to full open and then begin to close again. When it is almost closed, stop and adjust the exhaust rocker arm on that particular cylinder. Loosen the rocker arm nut and follow the #2 and #3 steps as described above.

Do the same for all cylinders. Look on the bright side, you will have set your valves perfectly AND you will have had your upper body workout! Hope this has helped you:)


Response Number 10
Name: Rob
Date: March 13, 1998 at 19:39:31
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
Wes, that is the exact procedure I've have always used. (also the way Comp Cams recommends in their instruction sheet).

Response Number 11
Name: Will
Date: March 15, 1998 at 14:09:46
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
rob, one thing i noticed that no one else hit on was that you said as soon as the rocker arm started to move up, it moved back down again. what are the chance of you have been taking out some cam lobes? cams lobes wear out pretty fast once they have started to go out. and if the cam is going to screw up, it is going to do it usally within the first 10 hours of its life. lately i have killed a couple if cams in one of our big blocks. your problem sounds like mine, i hope for your sake that it is not, but keep it in mind. even with hydraulic lifters, when you roll that thing over it is going to press that spring down pretty far. keep an eye out for some that don't seem to go down as far as the others. good luck. Will tx.

Response Number 12
Name: tom
Date: March 15, 1998 at 16:42:05
Subject: New lifters won't pump up
Reply:
Rob; Doesn't sound like you're a novice at this. I would have to think you've got some very low oil pressure in the upper oil passage or a bad set of lifters. If you haven't restricted the oil flow, you're going to have t change lifters. Compcams should make them good. If they don't, tell us about it. This type of info is what this is all about, in my opinion.
Good luck. Tom

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