Clearing the air on lifter noise - Chevelle Tech
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post #1 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Jeff
 
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Clearing the air on lifter noise

I want to stress that there be no insults or bashing in this thread, please. In a thread that Chris Straub posted a few days ago about a customer sending him an email on Morel lifter noise, that customer is me. I want to clarify a few things and tell my side of what happened.
First, the truck had 57,200 original miles on it when I lost #4 exhaust lobe on the HFT cam. I caught it in time and from what I could see it didn't send anything through the engine. I've been using Penn Grade 10w30 oil with a Wix filter, changing every 3000 miles. When I bought the truck in March of 2016, it had 50,064 miles.
Second, the cam Chris posted is not correct. Honest mistake. The specs on my cam is 210/[email protected] and .553in/.481ex lift on a 109LS. I bought everything from Chris, cam, lifters, push rods, springs, retainers and keepers. The lifters that I bought are the Street Performance lifters, part #5374, not the 4603 lifters that I've read some much about. I did everything he said to do, correct oil, Driven Break In Oil 5w30, soaked the lifters for about 2 days in the break in oil, set my installed spring heights to 1.900". When I started it for the first time it scared the crap out of me, these lifters were extremely noisy so I shut it down fast. It sounded like every internal part was getting ready to come through the block. I did multiple valve adjustments, cold, hot and while running and nothing helped. I worked on it for about 2 weeks. I drove it about 4 very easy miles and I was afraid I was doing damage so I took it back home. So I let it sit for about a week so I could clear my head, totally frustrated at this point, figured they would have quieted down by now after all the valve adjustments and all the running in the driveway. Use about 1/2 tank of gas. I called Chris and he said to drive it and give it some time that they'll quiet down. So I let it sit some more, just didn't feel like working on it. One night after work I readjusted all the valves again they same way as the previous 20+ times. Started it up and after about 15-20 minutes of running I noticed that they were a little quieter but not much. Sitting there running and the left side went quiet and a few minutes later the right side went quiet. I know it sounds stupid but I have no idea what happened.
I now have a little over 400 miles on it and they are very quiet. I knew going in that these had a history of being noisy but I was not expecting them to be as loud as they were. I read a post that Scott Foxwell said that thinner oil is better and you have to get the oil up to temperature. I'm not smart enough to say that's what finally happened, but all I know is they're still quiet, the motor has more power and torque where I wanted it and my new 800cfm Sean Murphy q-jet works flawlessly. The rest of the combo is pretty basic, 1-3/4" full length tube headers into a Pypes 2-1/2" exhaust with an X pipe, Dyna Max Ultra Flo mufflers and the intake is a aluminum Chevy Q-jet from a 454 crate engine, its basically an Edelbrock Performer RPM Q-Jet.
Like I said at the beginning I don't want any bashing or insults from this. This is the experience that I went through to get to this point. Was it worth it, if you asked me that 2 months ago I would've said no, but now that everything is working the way I want, it was well worth it.
Thanks Jeff

Jeff
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post #2 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 11:41 PM
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Thanks for posting your experience. If anybody posts any BS in this thread it will be deleted soonest, not restored. offenders will get a vacation from this site. Believe it. This is not cheapshot.com.

So how long altogether did it take for your lifters to quiet down?
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post #3 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 13th, 18, 11:44 PM
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Jeff, do you have an O2 sensor on that thing?

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post #4 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 3:08 AM
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Thanks for the info!
So is it as quiet as it was with the oem flat tappet cam before it went flat?
What spring did you use? Do you know their spec? Like installed/open pressure?
Rocker arms? Oem stamps steel?
Some roller rockers are louder than others, I personally like steel like Crower and comp they make less sound in the engines I have had vs alu Crane golds and alu harland sharp that got replaced after just a couple of runs. Think stamped steel rocker arms in applications where the work are most quiet?


Lots of hazzle glad it worked out well!
No noise on cold startup? Think the street series lifter is different vs the 4603`s? 4603`s are very loud cold and quiets down some warm at least the sets I have used behave that way. 4603 are usually used with lots of spring pressure that might be one of the reasons?
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post #5 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 5:10 AM Thread Starter
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Jeff
 
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Mobley View Post
Thanks for posting your experience. If anybody posts any BS in this thread it will be deleted soonest, not restored. offenders will get a vacation from this site. Believe it. This is not cheapshot.com.

So how long altogether did it take for your lifters to quiet down?
Thanks Tom and yes I agree, delete if anything happens.
It had a lot of idle time at different rpm's for hours. I'm sure my neighbors were really sick of hearing it. I was afraid to drive it because of my inexperience with them and not knowing how they worked. If there was a conversion formula from idle time to drive time I would guess it would be close to 100 miles and Chris told me it might take a couple hundred before they would quiet down. Also no O2 sensor but I have bungs on each side for one, just incase of any future mods.

Jeff
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post #6 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 5:20 AM
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Jeff glad to hear things eventually worked out well. Also glad to hear you're using a Q jet and it's working well. IMO the perfect carb for your combo. I bet that truck really hauls in more ways than one.
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post #7 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 5:34 AM Thread Starter
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Jeff
 
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by impala View Post
Thanks for the info!
So is it as quiet as it was with the oem flat tappet cam before it went flat?
What spring did you use? Do you know their spec? Like installed/open pressure?
Rocker arms? Oem stamps steel?
Some roller rockers are louder than others, I personally like steel like Crower and comp they make less sound in the engines I have had vs alu Crane golds and alu harland sharp that got replaced after just a couple of runs. Think stamped steel rocker arms in applications where the work are most quiet?


Lots of hazzle glad it worked out well!
No noise on cold startup? Think the street series lifter is different vs the 4603`s? 4603`s are very loud cold and quiets down some warm at least the sets I have used behave that way. 4603 are usually used with lots of spring pressure that might be one of the reasons?
Jim, yes it is almost as quiet as the FT. Even the wife made a comment that it was quiet and she knows nothing about cars. Springs are 1.540" OD single w/damper, purchased from Chris. Pressures are 120 seat and 375 open. The cam has very mild lobes but has a little more of an idle than I was expecting, I like it. I changed to rockers to Comp's long slot stamp steel only because of the lift vs the wimpy stock FT. This past weekend it was very cold here in Indy, Saturday morning it was 17* the truck sits outside and when I started it up there was absolutely zero lifter noise. I was expecting a little bit at first but nothing I was a happy camper all weekend long. I agree that there has to be something different between the two lifters because there's a big price difference. For my application the 4603's were not justified, this is an 8.0-1 CR engine "maybe" on a good day. I wasn't building a "Farm truck wanna be" not my intentions.

Jeff
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post #8 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 5:38 AM
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Vince
 
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Anytime NEW lifters are installed, it takes a while for them to get quiet b/c they still have air in them, despite the soaking. It could take like 10-15 minutes idling to get them pumped up - but that seems like an eternity while your standing there thinking something is wrong. Gotta have the faith when with the first start after a cam change!!! The'll get quiet...or quieter lol.
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post #9 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 6:19 AM
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69-CHVL View Post
Anytime NEW lifters are installed, it takes a while for them to get quiet b/c they still have air in them, despite the soaking. It could take like 10-15 minutes idling to get them pumped up - but that seems like an eternity while your standing there thinking something is wrong. Gotta have the faith when with the first start after a cam change!!! The'll get quiet...or quieter lol.
Same experience here all hyd roller I put in was loud at start up some brands/part nr turned quiet pretty fast and stayed quiet some Did get more quiet after a while but still very loud cold start for 30 sec or so.
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post #10 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 6:21 AM
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72BB Nova View Post
Jim, yes it is almost as quiet as the FT. Even the wife made a comment that it was quiet and she knows nothing about cars. Springs are 1.540" OD single w/damper, purchased from Chris. Pressures are 120 seat and 375 open. The cam has very mild lobes but has a little more of an idle than I was expecting, I like it. I changed to rockers to Comp's long slot stamp steel only because of the lift vs the wimpy stock FT. This past weekend it was very cold here in Indy, Saturday morning it was 17* the truck sits outside and when I started it up there was absolutely zero lifter noise. I was expecting a little bit at first but nothing I was a happy camper all weekend long. I agree that there has to be something different between the two lifters because there's a big price difference. For my application the 4603's were not justified, this is an 8.0-1 CR engine "maybe" on a good day. I wasn't building a "Farm truck wanna be" not my intentions.
Great info! Not much spring compared to more radical grinds so 4603 would have been way overkill for you just bigger hole in the Waller imho
Hope you get LOT of fun/use out of it.
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post #11 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 7:23 AM
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Very nice write up baby brother!

Before these lifters quieted down they didn't have a solid lifter "sewing machine" sound, is was more of a "way out of adjustment" sound, badly out of adjustment. No matter how they were adjusted it was noisy. Can't explain why after all the time of fooling with them, literally within a few moments they went quiet. It's all good now. Chris did a nice job of specing this cam, runs strong. Jeff let me drive it for abit and it runs very well. Very docile in traffic, but when you stand on it it moves that big C20 VERY nicely. Even has a nice sounding little chop to the idle.
Now I'm going to try and talk him into abit of a compression bump and have Mark Jones do some of his magic on the 781's that are on it.
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post #12 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 9:54 AM
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Quote:
Originally Posted by 72BB Nova View Post
Jim, yes it is almost as quiet as the FT. Even the wife made a comment that it was quiet and she knows nothing about cars. Springs are 1.540" OD single w/damper, purchased from Chris. Pressures are 120 seat and 375 open. The cam has very mild lobes but has a little more of an idle than I was expecting, I like it. I changed to rockers to Comp's long slot stamp steel only because of the lift vs the wimpy stock FT. This past weekend it was very cold here in Indy, Saturday morning it was 17* the truck sits outside and when I started it up there was absolutely zero lifter noise. I was expecting a little bit at first but nothing I was a happy camper all weekend long. I agree that there has to be something different between the two lifters because there's a big price difference. For my application the 4603's were not justified, this is an 8.0-1 CR engine "maybe" on a good day. I wasn't building a "Farm truck wanna be" not my intentions.
Cam specs are interesting. I would not have expected such a long exhaust lobe on a truck engine with no compression. I would guess that it would be a lot better fuel economy without such an early exhaust opening, but that's just speculation. GM also seems to like a big split on the crate engine BBC cams (211/230) so there must be something I don't know.
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post #13 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 2:32 PM
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

One thing I learned as a young mechanic, was to not try and pre-lube hydraulic lifters. Take them out of the box, make sure they're clean, lube the outsides as necessary and install them. When you first start the engine, it's going to run really crappy. Some lifters are pumped up and don;t bleed down when you set the preload, some have been bled down from sitting with the valve open. My stuff as a kid was all flat tappet and I knew break in was critical, so once the engine started, there was no shutting it down. It would sputter and spit and sound like crap at first, but I learned to recognize this as the lifters just "doing their thing" and in a few minutes as the oil heated up and things started to adjust, the engine would start settling down and run smoother and smoother until after about ten minutes or so, everything was as it should be. Once it was running OK, I always adjusted my lifters one at a time by backing them off till they started clicking, then went with the preload. Back then I hadn't learned to prime a new engine before starting it. If you don't, there will be several minutes where it takes time for the oil to get everywhere it needs to be. There will be air in the system which can take some time to bleed out. I think the point is, if you're using hydraulic lifters, expect the fact that the engine will not run perfect right off the first hit. Be patient. Give it a few minutes. Even today, even with priming an engine, when I do hydraulics on the dyno they take a few minutes to settle down and run smooth. It's just the nature of the beast.

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post #14 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 14th, 18, 11:34 PM
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Re: Clearing the air on lifter noise

Well, I suppose this'll get deleted.

1. Did you have VENTED plugs in the front of the block--the two plugs at the front of the lifter galleries, behind the timing gear? If not, next time put a ~.032 hole in each one. GM is doing this on the 5.7 Vortec engines, and likely others as well. The p/n for Melling vented plugs to fit those blocks (880) is MPC-52V. Melling sells other sizes of vented plugs, but it's easy to drill your own.

Other blocks might take a different-size plug.

2. SOAKING lifters does NOTHING useful. You wasted two days. Cold oil WILL NOT enter the lifter unless you pump them.

3. While there's a long, sad story involved, NOT pre-lubing lifters was the first of a chain-reaction of failure that cost me an Olds 455. Since then, EVERY set of lifters I install gets pumped full of ATF. I can see that the lifter will pass oil to the pushrod seat, I can verify lifter leakdown rate. And they're reasonably quiet on start-up. The engine does NOT run "really crappy". I do have to be very careful when adjusting lifter preload. The adjustment has to be done slowly to give the lifter time to bleed down. If not, you'll open the valve a little bit as you crank the rocker nut down--and potentially tag the piston, especially if you're not familiar with finding "zero lash". This could bend the valve. Slowly is good.


I am on the verge of saying that I'll no longer install lifters without pulling them apart and cleaning the dreck out of them. USED lifters WILL get taken apart. NEW lifters...I'm on the fence. I haven't had problems (since I started pumping them with ATF) but I'm hearing a lot of stories about extended run-time before they quiet-up. That disturbs me.

4. There's something to be said for pre-heating engine coolant (easy) and engine oil (also easy) before firing an engine after reassembly. Heated oil will flow faster into the tight-clearance areas, and if there's any hardened assembly (anti-corrosion) waxy crap in the interior of the lifter, it'll melt it out faster. Every engine I build gets a block heater. For typical Chevy-Ford-Mopar iron V-8s, they're about $30 and simple to install--when the engine is on the assembly stand. A magnetic heater costs more, but can be transferred from oil-pan to oil-pan as you build a series of engines. Not near as efficient as a block heater, but they'll warm oil eventually.




Wild guess based on zero evidence: Your lifters suddenly got quiet when the gunk inside got warm enough to liquify. Until then, it was either interfering with the check-ball and seat so that the lifter couldn't pump up, or blocking the oil exit path trapping air inside.
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post #15 of 70 (permalink) Old Dec 15th, 18, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steelcomp View Post
One thing I learned as a young mechanic, was to not try and pre-lube hydraulic lifters. Take them out of the box, make sure they're clean, lube the outsides as necessary and install them. When you first start the engine, it's going to run really crappy. Some lifters are pumped up and don;t bleed down when you set the preload, some have been bled down from sitting with the valve open. My stuff as a kid was all flat tappet and I knew break in was critical, so once the engine started, there was no shutting it down. It would sputter and spit and sound like crap at first, but I learned to recognize this as the lifters just "doing their thing" and in a few minutes as the oil heated up and things started to adjust, the engine would start settling down and run smoother and smoother until after about ten minutes or so, everything was as it should be. Once it was running OK, I always adjusted my lifters one at a time by backing them off till they started clicking, then went with the preload. Back then I hadn't learned to prime a new engine before starting it. If you don't, there will be several minutes where it takes time for the oil to get everywhere it needs to be. There will be air in the system which can take some time to bleed out. I think the point is, if you're using hydraulic lifters, expect the fact that the engine will not run perfect right off the first hit. Be patient. Give it a few minutes. Even today, even with priming an engine, when I do hydraulics on the dyno they take a few minutes to settle down and run smooth. It's just the nature of the beast.
This is what I did with my lifters. Crower “cam saver” lifters. I didn’t soak them or anything just coated with moly lube.

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