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Noisy lifters not caused by faulty lifters

05-22-2004, 10:56 PM
I just went after my noisy lifters in my 1993 rodeo 130k. I have had this rodeo for a couple of months and have tried all of the bottle fixes; to no avail. The previous owner told me that he had just put in new lifters and that they just needed to be ran to become quiet. There was no improvement after 3k, so apart she came. He did put in the new lifters, but did not replace the intake/slave rocker shaft. Poor choice!

The problem was wear on the shaft where the slave rockers ride. This wear created too much clearance for the valve lash to make up. I had to go to the dealer and get a pair of these oiler rods; just under a $100 for both. This wear is obvious once you get to them. I had to take the timing belt off, pull the fuel injection, remove the valve covers and disassemble the cam carriage just to find the rockers.

I talked to a rebuilder that I trust before I took the plunge, and he told me that usually the rockers themselves were not beat to the point of replacement: it was just the intake rocker rod. He was right, the rods had a set of nasty grooves cut into both them. The new ones are designed different to allow more oil to the rocker race.

If you do this repair, make sure that you stack the rockers the same way that they came apart. Also line up the oil bleeder to rocker correctly or you will not get oil to the lifters.

I hope to have my rodeo back on the road tomorrow and will post the results.

05-30-2004, 12:12 PM
i had the same problem and found one lash adjuster compressed closed and stuck that way. you cant buy just the adjuster, so i had to replace the rocker arm, which comes with the adjuster. the rocker arms are over $50 a piece, so if the previous owner put all new ones in, he dropped some coin.

my shafts were ok, they didnt look perfect, but i reused them and the noise is gone

05-31-2004, 04:47 AM
The job turned out well. The new shafts made a real difference. You can get new lifters at most auto parts stores for under $20 apiece. I would go through Aluminum Head Service in Portland , Ore though. They offer great advice and will sell you new lifters for $5.00 a shot.

This job is not for the timid. You also will need some allen sockets and an inch pound torque wench. I stripped out some of the heads on the small allen bolts holding down the cam journals. They were not fun to drill out, and then clean up the mess. If this happens to you make, sure that you use the Isuzu supplied bolt for a replacement. They are shouldered diffent than the bolt store issues.

Good luck

05-31-2004, 11:40 AM
You cant get the lifters for my engine at any auto parts store. its a dealer only item. What engine do you have? I assumed you had the 3.2 L. I also rounded out a allen bolt, but just used an easy out instead of drilling it.

06-01-2004, 12:17 PM
I'm trying to fix the clicking noise too. I'm not sure yet whether it's the injectors or the timing belt tensioner but it sounds like the lifters. I priced new lifters, rockers, and shafts from the dealership and it added up to well over $1500. That's outrageous. I'm wondering if you can just replace the shafts and not all the lifters and rockers and get the same affect since it's the shaft that wears out really and not the lifters or rockers. I'm wondering too if the rockers would be making the noise or it is just the lifters. Not too clear there. I'm plannig on doing a big overhaul so I can get some better gas mileage and less noise so this was on the list of noises that had to go away.


Sorry...I almost forgot....I have the 3.2 litre engine in a 95 Rodeo

06-01-2004, 05:34 PM
the "valve lash adjuster" is what makes the noise. it slides into the tip of the rocker arm, and they get stuck closed and wont pump up anymore, thus creating clearance and a tapping noise. isolate which side the noise is coming from, pull that side rocker cover and take a look at the rocker arms. just pull up and down on them, if one is loose you will know it. you mihgt have to rotate the camsahft to get them on the base circle when you check them for excess play.

the "lash adjuster" cant be purchased alone and this is why you have to buy a new rocker arm (which includes the adjuster) at around $50 a piece.

I only had one stuck closed, so I got away with replacing one rocker arm. this is a known problem and more than likely the cause of your noice, not the shaft itself.

06-02-2004, 12:27 AM
When I did my intake shafts, I found that the only rocker races that went south were the ones under the slave rockers. These slaves are the ones that work the exhaust rockers. To test for this, take off your valve covers and see if there is a couple of thousands of slap on our middle exhaust rockers. Look to make sure that the cam lobs are not hitting the slaves. Mine had a noticeable amout of slop. When I changed mine out, I did not change any of the rockers. Even the slaves over the wear spots were still good. Doesn't sound right with the slaves being aluminum and the rods being steel but that was the case.

My total bill was $218. The biggest set back was the price of the gaskets and donuts for the sparkplug holes. The rods themselves were under $50 apiece from the local dealer. I had just put $258 in the timing belt, water pump, both idlers, and a tensioner a mouth ago, so I did not replace those while I had them apart to get to the cam gears. A wise move to replace if you are doing the rocker rods.

My motor is a 3.2 and the lifters are the same as the ones in a mazda. Aluminum Head Service in Portland Ore. @ 1 503 230 0852 will sell you all the new lifters that you want for $5.00 a pop. They have a web site and are some top people to deal with. I found out about them when I had a Trooper with those pissed poor 2.3 heads. These guys know their stuff, and are willing to help.

06-02-2004, 08:08 PM
wow, they sell the lash adjuster that slides into the rocker arm for $5.00 a piece. Do you remember the web address?

06-03-2004, 12:36 AM
They do have a web site. I found it under aluminum heads. Use the phone and talk direct; these guys will treat you right. The $5.00 is a good price and they do ship. These lifters are used in a lot more than just Isuzu 3.2 motors.

06-11-2004, 01:37 AM
Doing a 1995 3.2L Rodeo now. Shafts were fine. Problem was the O-ring on the lifter was gone. Had to buy the whole rocker. Couldn't find just the lifter or O-ring.
This thing is a pain to work on.

06-11-2004, 03:00 AM
i agree, you have to buy the whole rocker for an o-ring, that is bull crap and Isuzu should change that sales policy, and they are a pain to work on.

95.5 Rodeo
06-11-2004, 11:33 AM
Lots of good information here, Thanks.

Yes, the Rodeo is a pain in the @#$ to work on.

06-11-2004, 10:31 PM
If I would have known GM was affliated with Isuzu and this truck has so many GM parts on it I would have NEVER bought it.

07-03-2004, 12:02 PM
I'm gonna beat this dead horse awhile longer. I just pulled the cam off the head and I'm looking at the assorted rocker/lifter crap there. Almost every lifter and or rocker has side to side play but I'm not sure whether this is allowable since the cam isn't in the car. Also I looked at all the slave lifters and their associated hydralic pieces and they all seemed to be sitting out of the lifter the same distance so my assymption is they are all good(that's probably bad logic). So how do you know what needs replacing and what doesn't?


07-03-2004, 06:09 PM
if your talking about a single overhaed cam 3.2, with the camshaft INSTALLED, look for sloppy play at each rocker arm. If the rocker arm moves up and down excessively, the lifter in that rocker arm is bad. You should have the rocker your checking on the cam base circle also. So you might need to rotate the cam to check different rockers, but if its like mine, the bad one will be obvious.

07-04-2004, 01:39 PM
Ok. So the cam has to be in.'s not. I messed with the rockers a little to see if any were really loose while the cam was in but I was looking for side to side play not up and down. What about the hydralic things in the end of the slave lifters? Is there any way to visually tell if one is bad by looking at them with the cam off.

07-05-2004, 11:54 PM
My turn to beat this horse... I've got a 95.5 V6 3.2 that is making a tapping noise (best way to describe it would be like having a playing card clipped to your fork of your bike so it hits the spoke so it makes that noise). It happens while driving at 2200 rpm and lower. Accellerating above that range quiets down. But the damn thing is driving me crazy.

There's no way I'm going to be able to do this work so I'm most likely going to need to drop it of at the damn dealer. Any rough guestimates on how much you think this is going to set me back? (if it is indeed what you guys are experiencing).


07-06-2004, 07:35 AM
Ok. So the cam has to be in.'s not. I messed with the rockers a little to see if any were really loose while the cam was in but I was looking for side to side play not up and down. What about the hydralic things in the end of the slave lifters? Is there any way to visually tell if one is bad by looking at them with the cam off.

Bat... check this out.

This is a service bulletin with diagnosis and procedure. Found it in the forum under a different subject title. This is just what I've been looking for. Hope this helps you out.


07-08-2004, 12:28 PM
Any rough guestimates on how much you think this is going to set me back?

You ever gone into the dealership and have them tell you to bend over and grab your ankles. Then prepare yourself. They charge $50 a rocker/lifter you have 24 lifters that are in contact with the valves and 12 that are slaves.....Ouch. Next you have 4 rocker shafts at $150 a pop. I went and got an estimate on some of the stuff I wanted done and this was part of that total bill which was around 4k but the lifters and such were the main part of the expense at $2500-3k depending on how many I wanted replaced.

By the way that is just labor.

Another problem with your car could be the timing belt tensioner. When it gets old and sloppy it can actually hit the belt cover. I'm not sure how the rpms work with that. That is a pretty cheap fix and somwhat common. I think you are supposed to replace the tensioner every 60,000 miles or something like that. I'm not positive so don't quote me.

Good Luck

07-08-2004, 12:30 PM
Thanks Boodah. That's awesome. That's gonna really help. Much appreciated.

09-26-2005, 12:14 PM
"I talked to a rebuilder ..... He was right, the rods had a set of nasty grooves cut into both them. The new ones are designed different to allow more oil to the rocker race."

What do you mean by "new ones"?? Are these OEM parts? If Isuzu, are they incorporated into any post-1993 production Rodeo's or are they a post-production 'fix' ??


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