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Stuck Lifters

04-29-2008, 12:12 AM
im taking out my old lifters because they werent working properly and replacing them but so far i have got all but 7 of the lifters out. they move a little but then stop.after getting the other ones out, i think they are just kind of gummed up more than the others. any suggestions on how to get them loose?

04-29-2008, 12:24 PM
Get some carb cleaner spray or brake cleaner and spray them at the base. Work them up and down until they free up.


04-29-2008, 12:59 PM
i agree use carb cleaner & if your replacing them use vice grips to work them up & down. they will come out pretty easy then.GOOD LUCK

big dwag
04-29-2008, 07:00 PM
If they are stuck, try turning your cam around make the cam push them out, if that don't work you might check your cam to, it could have worn lobes to.:smokin:

04-29-2008, 10:03 PM
alright ill give that a try what should i do about that getting in my oil? just let it drain out or should I flush it out with oil or will it not cause any harm?

Will Help
04-29-2008, 10:24 PM
Any solvent you use will get to the oil galley before it ever gets to the bottom of the lifter where the varnish is. This dilutes the oil in the galleys which never drains out with an oil change. Just letting it set for awhile after pulling the lifters will let this drain out of the galleys by way of the lifter bores.

You can either pull up and keep turning the lifter or just keep working it up and down. This scrapes the varnish off a little at a time. Patience is a virtue.

Rotating the cam will do nothing to help push the lifters out. If that were the case and the cam pushed the lifter up that far, they would not have any varnish on them to start with.

big dwag
04-30-2008, 04:53 AM
The lobes on a cam do push lifters up but will not push them all of the way out, because if they didn't then your pushrods wouldn't move your rocker arms opening your valves. lifters aren't that hard to take out, try a pair of needle nose plairs.:smokin: :smokin:

big dwag
04-30-2008, 04:55 AM
Will Help how many motors have you rebuild????:evillol:

Will Help
04-30-2008, 11:45 AM
Dawg: How rude!!

I did not say the cam wouldn't push the lifters up.

If you read it right , I said the cam would not push the lifters out. I clarified that statement by adding if it did you wouldn't have the ring of varnish on the bottom of the lifter.

I have been reuilding engines diesel /gas for 4o years.

04-30-2008, 01:03 PM

I guess that makes you older than ME!!! (:-

I recommend the brake cleaner because it evaporates and won't dillute the oil. Carb cleaner, same, but leaves a bit of residue behind. You're right, solvents such as SafteyKleen or Varsol WILL dillute the oil.

If you're replacing lifters, you'll need to change the oil anyway...


05-01-2008, 12:35 AM
well i tried BOTH carb and brake cleaner and i sat out there for 4 hours working on one lifter and still dint get it out and went through half a can of each so i dont know whats wrong maybe theres something worse than build up of just gunk.... so idk what to do now besides either be patient and keep trying or .... pull my engine out and take out the cam so the lifters can slide out but this would also be good because then i can check the wear on my bearings and all that stuff, since this is a new engine well any input is appriciated

big dwag
05-01-2008, 01:52 AM
Ok you said new engine, Do you mean new to you or everything in it is new? because if the motor is new then the lifters should come out with no problem.
what kind of tool or you using to pull them out. Did you try using piliers (needle nose) did the keepers on top of your old lifters come out? if the keepers fell out you can take the top off of the lifter and get a better bite on it, and if the keepers did fall out you need to tear your motor apart and just redo it because the keepers will get caught somewhere in the motor and cause more damage.:smokin: :smokin:

Will Help
05-01-2008, 11:39 AM
That is why I said patience is a virtue. The problem with trying to use a solvent is that the lifter bore is at least 1 1/2" deep. The oil galley is drilled in the middle of this. The lifter has very little clearance to let any solvent through any way and the first open area it comes to is the oil galley which then dilutes/absorbs the solvent leaveing very little if any at all to slip farther down to the bottom of the lifter. This engine must have alot of varnish either from bad oil/poor oil change practices or over heating. Now you are back to working the lifters up and down and twisting to cut the varnish off.

Tearing the engine down may not help much as somes crankcase geometry may prevent some of the lifters from coming out the bottom.

05-01-2008, 12:34 PM
Dawg brings up a very good point. Just how "new" is this? If the lifters are still "shiny", it sounds more like they're "mushroomed" around the bottom. They'll NEVER come out the top if that's the case. It also means the cam is toast as well. If they're worn too much on the bottom, some of the material will create a ledge that will prevent them from coming up through the top.

Lisle makes a "hydraulic lifter puller" that is a small slide-hammer with a special end on it. A pair of "inside" snap ring pliers can also be useful.

I hope, for your wallet's sake, Will is right!


05-01-2008, 09:10 PM
The engine isn't even a year old and the lifters are still shinny but the lobes on the cam look fine but i dont know if that means much but im starting to think the lifters might barely be mushroomed from when i first heard the lifters "clacking" and thought the lash was loose and then i over tightened them... but when u say the cam is toasted do u mean i wore my lobes down completely or no?

05-02-2008, 12:24 PM
Completely or even a little bit. Toast. If the lobes are shiny all the way around, and no "wavy" pattern on them, yes, "wiped". A worn out cam is like a pregnant lady. Either it IS or it isn't. No in-between.


Will Help
05-02-2008, 03:47 PM
If you put a straight edge across the bottom of the lifters you should see a slight concave surface ( slightly dished out in the middle ). This does no go for roller lifters. If the surface is flat on any of the lifters, then the cam comes into question as to whether the lobes are worn likewise. The concave surface creates a rotation of the lifter as the cam turns which equalizes wear of the surfaces and prevents premature wear. Roller lifters are already rolling on the surface reducing friction.

Also if you see any pitting of the lifter bottom or cam lobe they are definitely "TOAST"

05-03-2008, 02:14 AM
alright well im pullin my engine out this weekend so that i can get those lifters out and inspect that cam close up. ill let u guys know how everything looks and get your input on wether its shot or not k thanx guys

big dwag
05-03-2008, 07:20 AM
I would think that the lobes might be worn on the lifters that you are having problems with. I've even done the same thing heard lifters making noise over tighten them might run awhile start making noise tighten again, then you came to a point where you can't tighten them anymore. lifter's look good still have the new look, but lifters worn and cam lobes worn, not all but some of them, but anyway i don't think you can get the cam out anyway with the lifters in once you start to pull the cam out the lifters might fall in between the lobes then you will have a new problem. I have never had a problem getting any lifters out. if you have pics post maybe we can help you a little more by looking at the problem.:smokin: :smokin:

05-04-2008, 12:47 AM
i know i can get the cam out if i pull the lifters up to where they jam then pull the cam out and then push the lifters back out the bottom and into the oil pan. But yea if anything doesnt look normal, ill take some pics and post them. Do you have any suggestions on what to look for in the way of low oil pressure? (since im gunna have it out and apart)

Will Help
05-04-2008, 01:14 AM
Look for scratches/scoring of any metal parts. Look at all bearings as they should be the same color all over the surface with no scratches and not burnished anywhere.

big dwag
05-04-2008, 06:52 AM
Yeah check bearings if they have turn copper looking they are no good. make sure oil pump screen is not plug with anything.:smokin:

05-04-2008, 07:48 PM
k the engine is all apart and i found my problem. All the main bearings were the wrong size so they were worn down to the copper and the bearing shavings jammed up my lifters. so im gettin it all cleaned and getting new bearings and all that. the cam has dark spots on some lobes and not on others but it doesnt look WORN DOWN.

Will Help
05-04-2008, 09:33 PM
Those bits and pieces can get lodged in every oil galley in the engine. You should remove all galley plugs and rod them out good. Just blowing air through will not remove them. Don't take short cuts or your engine will be short lived. Oil goes straight from the mains to the cam. Check those bearings also. Make sure those dark spots on the cam are not where the hardened surface has been worn off and you are into virgin/soft metal. Doesn't take but a few minutes to wear the lobe off of a cam.

05-04-2008, 09:57 PM
oh no lol im not just blowing it out with air im starting from scratch and putting it in the vat or however you spell it and yea im replacing ALL bearings and replacing ALL plugs so right now its a BARE block and its goin to be cleaned good o get all those metal shavings out. and the cam doesnt LOOK worn down to fresh metal just a dark are but i might replace it just i case but maybe not

03-02-2010, 09:48 PM
Try using Marvel mystery oil instead of the carb cleaner,etc. The stuff works wonders. Use the oil and keep working them till they loosen up.

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