LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

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LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  78 F150 on May 26th 2014, 11:07 pm

Hey guys, I need to pick your brain and see if you can help me figure out what part went bad in my engine today. I think the lifters went bad, but there's something about this that doesn't make sense. Let me give you details on what I have and what happened....

I have a 78 F150 with a 460. The motor has a hydraulic roller cam, Lunati roller lifters, and comp cam roller rocker arms. I was driving home from camping today towing my travel trailer up a hill at 4200 rpm in 3rd gear when all of a sudden I started loosing speed and power and I heard a loud lifter clacking noise. So I pulled over and the engine would not idle but it would run if I gave it some throttle, all the while making lifter clacking noise. Got it towed home and pulled the valve covers off and check the rocker arms and EVERY SINGLE ROCKER ARM was loose. But let me explain what I mean by loose. The rocker arm was touching both the valve and the pushrod with no slack at all, but it was not compressed at all (with hydraulic lifters you adjust it to where the rocker arm is touching the valve and pushrod with no slack and then you give it another turn). The additional turn was not there. So I adjusted the rocker arms and gave them all one turn and locked the nut down and fired up the truck. The truck was very difficult to start and wouldn't idle and only ran for about 10 seconds and I shut it of because it wouldn't run very well. Then I pulled the valve covers off again and EVERY SINGLE ROCKER ARM was loose AGAIN.

At first I thought I had lost oil pressure, but the oil pressure gauge reads 75 psi when it's running, so it's getting oil. The only thing I can think of is ALL the lifters went bad at the same time, which doesn't make sense to me at all. I can understand 1 or 2 of them going bad, but not all 16. For some reason the lifters are not staying pumped up with oil....or something.

So guys, any idea if I'm on the right track? What do you think the problem is? These lifters are $400 a set and I don't want to throw money at something that isn't the problem. Any advice is appreciated. Just trying to brainstorm with y'all and figure out the problem...

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  69F100 on May 26th 2014, 11:25 pm

I would pull the intake and inspect everything real good like cam for ware, check the lifter good, check the valve springs, and push rods and make sure they have not bent and still straight pull the oil filter and open it up and check for metal.
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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  78 F150 on May 26th 2014, 11:31 pm

69F100 wrote:I would pull the intake and inspect everything  real good like cam for ware, check the lifter good, check the valve springs, and push rods and make sure they have not bent and still straight pull the oil filter and open it up and check for metal.  

A neighbor mentioned that he thought the cam lobes went flat (he thought it was a flat tappet), but when I told him it was a roller cam, he didn't think that was the problem. Roller cam lobes don't go flat do they? And if they do...all 16 lobes at once??? Doesn't make sense to me, but I guess anything is possible. Even with my suspicion of the lifters going bad, what confuses me is I find it hard to believe they ALL went bad at the same time.

So when I pull the lifters out and look at them, what am I looking for? How do I test the lifter to see if it's bad? I did push down on the rocker arm to see if I could compress the lifter at all (thinking they were bad) and it wouldn't budge!!!! So I'm not sure....

Already checked the pushrods; they're straight as an arrow.

Haven't checked the oil filter yet. Will do that tomorrow. How do you open an oil filter? Cut it in half with a hack saw?

Thanks for the advice...

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  69F100 on May 26th 2014, 11:51 pm

78 F150 wrote:
69F100 wrote:I would pull the intake and inspect everything  real good like cam for ware, check the lifter good, check the valve springs, and push rods and make sure they have not bent and still straight pull the oil filter and open it up and check for metal.  

A neighbor mentioned that he thought the cam lobes went flat (he thought it was a flat tappet), but when I told him it was a roller cam, he didn't think that was the problem. Roller cam lobes don't go flat do they? And if they do...all 16 lobes at once??? Doesn't make sense to me, but I guess anything is possible. Even with my suspicion of the lifters going bad, what confuses me is I find it hard to believe they ALL went bad at the same time.

So when I pull the lifters out and look at them, what am I looking for? How do I test the lifter to see if it's bad? I did push down on the rocker arm to see if I could compress the lifter at all (thinking they were bad) and it wouldn't budge!!!! So I'm not sure....

Already checked the pushrods; they're straight as an arrow.

Haven't checked the oil filter yet. Will do that tomorrow. How do you open an oil filter? Cut it in half with a hack saw?

Thanks for the advice...

Hack saw will get metal in it I have a big tubing cutter my brother inlaw gave me to cut them open with. Check and make sure the rollers on the lifters are not worn out how many miles you have on this engine. I have not ran a BBF with hydro roller cam just in my 5.0 HO in my 86 F150 but never had a problem out of it even when the old engine I had in it only had 15psi old pressure. I have herd the BBF with hydro roller lifters don't have a every long life but that is only hear say I have no personal experience with them in a BBF.
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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  69F100 on May 26th 2014, 11:53 pm

You can pick up a exhaust pipe cutter pretty cheap at the Advance or most any parts store that has the little wheel cutting blades on them I have used them also and they are a lot cheaper than the 6'' tubing cutter


Last edited by 69F100 on May 26th 2014, 11:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  powerstrokeace on May 26th 2014, 11:54 pm

just my 2 Cents. put the lifters back in and all the push rods and rocker arms. As you set the motor to TDC roll the push rod for #1 intake and exhaust between your fingers and adjust it to where they just start to stop rolling. now tighten it 1/2 turn and lock it down. turn the motor 90 degrees and do the next one in the firing order like this till all the lifters are adjusted like this. Now set the motor back on #1 TDC and pull the dist and prime it with a very strong drill. now if you get oil up through the push rods you should be ok. If you don't chances are one of the front oil galley plugs behind the cam gear came out. OR you could have lost one of the plugs in the bulk head just under the intake.
Don't cut the filter with a hack saw as it will leave metal filings and you won't know if it came from the saw or the engine.

ace
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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  78 F150 on May 27th 2014, 12:14 am

69F100 wrote:
78 F150 wrote:
69F100 wrote:I would pull the intake and inspect everything  real good like cam for ware, check the lifter good, check the valve springs, and push rods and make sure they have not bent and still straight pull the oil filter and open it up and check for metal.  

A neighbor mentioned that he thought the cam lobes went flat (he thought it was a flat tappet), but when I told him it was a roller cam, he didn't think that was the problem. Roller cam lobes don't go flat do they? And if they do...all 16 lobes at once??? Doesn't make sense to me, but I guess anything is possible. Even with my suspicion of the lifters going bad, what confuses me is I find it hard to believe they ALL went bad at the same time.

So when I pull the lifters out and look at them, what am I looking for? How do I test the lifter to see if it's bad? I did push down on the rocker arm to see if I could compress the lifter at all (thinking they were bad) and it wouldn't budge!!!! So I'm not sure....

Already checked the pushrods; they're straight as an arrow.

Haven't checked the oil filter yet. Will do that tomorrow. How do you open an oil filter? Cut it in half with a hack saw?

Thanks for the advice...

Hack saw will get metal in it I have a big tubing cutter my brother inlaw gave me to cut them open with. Check and make sure the rollers on the lifters are not worn out how many miles you have on this engine. I have not ran a BBF with hydro roller cam just in my 5.0 HO in my 86 F150 but never had a problem out of it even when the old engine I had in it only had 15psi old pressure. I have herd the BBF with hydro roller lifters don't have a every long life but that is only hear say I have no personal experience with them in a BBF.

I've got less than 1000 miles on this motor. Everything is brand new!! So even if hydro roller lifters in a BBF don't have a long life, it should last a few thousand miles than what I have on this engine....one would think.

powerstrokeace wrote:just my 2 Cents. put the lifters back in and all the push rods and rocker arms. As you set the motor to TDC roll the push rod for #1 intake and exhaust between your fingers and adjust it to where they just start to stop rolling. now tighten it 1/2 turn and lock it down. turn the motor 90 degrees and do the next one in the firing order like this till all the lifters are adjusted like this. Now set the motor back on #1 TDC and pull the dist and prime it with a very strong drill. now if you get oil up through the push rods you should be ok. If you don't chances are one of the front oil galley plugs behind the cam gear came out. OR you could have lost one of the plugs in the bulk head just under the intake.
Don't cut the filter with a hack saw as it will leave metal filings and you won't know if it came from the saw or the engine.

ace

I haven't taken the lifters out yet. I adjusted all the rocker arms just like you explained, only I turned the rocker arm nut 1 full turn, not 1/2 turn. Fired it up and ran it for about 10 seconds (wouldn't hardly run) and rechecked rocker arms and they were loose again. The head and rocker arms had oil in them. If an oil galley plug had came out, I wouldn't have any oil pressure whatsoever. I have 75 psi, even with the problem I'm having.

What would happen if I spun a cam bearing? Would I be able to turn the crank/cam by hand or would the cam be frozen? Also, would a spun bearing cause higher oil pressure?

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  Dave C. on May 27th 2014, 12:36 am

A full turn is too far.

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  78 F150 on May 27th 2014, 1:07 am

Dave C. wrote:A full turn is too far.

If a full turn is too far, did this damage the lifters??? If so, what exactly did it do to the lifter? Ruin the spring inside so it has no tension anymore???

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  Dave C. on May 27th 2014, 1:10 am

It's possible. 1/4to 1/2 turn is the norm.


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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  466cj on May 27th 2014, 3:35 am

Lifter has a range of travel, if you pre load it too much all you will do is bottom out and hold the valve open. Idea of lifter preload is to put it about in the middle of the travel range so it can compensate for changes in lash as things expand and contract with temperature.

You need to put a good oil pressure gauge on that that engine and verify oil pressure at the rear port. Does oil get to the top end?

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  78 F150 on May 27th 2014, 11:54 am

466cj....will a lifter bottom out with just one turn? Lifters do go bad, so what exactly happens inside the lifter that makes the go bad or wear out? Knowing this might help me understand what happened to my lifters or what caused them to go bad. I'm having a hard time accepting that they all went bad at the same time. However, if they all were preloaded with one full turn, then maybe it is possible they all went bad at the same time since they all had the same amount of preload????

Regarding the gauge....its a new autometer phantom gauge and was installed at the same time I built the engine, which has less than 1000 miles on it. The gauge has always read 70-75 lbs of oil pressure from the very first time the engine was fired up after being built and it reads the same even with the lifter problem I'm having now. I can find another gauge and verify the gauge is working properly. And yes, there is oil in the top of the engine. There's oil in the heads and on the rocker arms. When I pulled out a pushrod to check if it was bent, oil ran out of it. So I know its getting oil. In fact, I also have the factory gauge hooked up and it reads high oil preassure. So there are two gauges reading oil pressure. But I have another factory gauge I could swap out and check the reading.

So if i have to buy new lifters, tell me what is the best quality lifter that will sustain a constant rpm range of up to 5000 without failing? Lunati (which is what I have), comp cams, Howard, scorpion, isky, trick flow, or crane??? Howard lifters are cheapest followed by lunati, with isky and crane being the most expensive.

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  69F100 on May 27th 2014, 12:23 pm

Try preloading with just a 1/4 turn of preload and see what it does with the full turn the lifter might have been pumping up and leaving the valves open some causing to run like crap. If that don't help pull the lifters and check them you can take them apart should be a clip ring on top if the are built like the regular hydro lifters take it out be careful remember it is spring loaded and parts might go to flying everywhere make sure you see the order they come out so when you put it back you will know the order they came from. I have seen my Dad take them apart and clean them and put them back in back years ago and they work fine as long as they are no bad scaring in them.
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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  78 F150 on May 27th 2014, 12:32 pm

So what am I looking for if I open up the lifter? Dirt?

The lifters have been preloaded with 1 full turn since the engine was first built and has ran fine up to this point. If it were holding the valves open, it would have done that from the beginning, correct?

Question....is it possible to have the oil pressure gauge read high oil pressure but not be getting oil into the lifters?

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  466cj on May 27th 2014, 1:11 pm

Purpose of a hydraulic lifter is to take up the clearance when the lifter is on the base circle part of the cam (valves closed). There is a plunger in the lifter that moves up and down. When the cam is on the base circle the oil pressure moves the plunger up to take up all the slack. When the cam starts to open the valve there is a one way valve that closes to hold the oil pressure in the lifter so that it does not collapse. If that one way valve fails you have a noisy lifter.

It is not rocket science. As long as the lifter plunger has enough travel to take up the lash it all works. If you bottom the plunger it will hold a valve open, if the plunger hits the top of its travel you will not take up all the clearance in the valve train and will have some valve clatter and reduced valve lift.

I don't think your problem is that you pre loaded it one turn. What ever happened occurred all at once. Lifters don't just all fail like that. You certainly can take one apart and inspect it.

I am assuming you have a stock factory block?

I would check how much the valves open (how much valve lift) and do a compression test. I'd also check that the cam timing has not moved.

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  cool40 on May 27th 2014, 1:38 pm

Maybe I missed it but what oil you running?
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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  dfree383 on May 27th 2014, 2:20 pm

seems rather unusual for the whole set to go bad at one time.
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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  78 F150 on May 27th 2014, 3:02 pm

I agree with you about the lifters shouldn't fail all at once. So if the lifters didn't fail, that means they aren't getting oil, or enough oil to stay pumped up. So that means there's got to be a blockage somewhere??? Would something blocking flow to the lifters still allow oil pressure to show on the gauge? Is that possible?

I think before I remove the manifold and inspect the lifters, I'm going to remove the distributor and put a socket on a drill and turn the oil pump drive shaft and verify I'm still getting oil up to the rocker arms. If I am, then there's not a blockage, but if there's no oil, then there has to be a blockage somewhere even though both my gauges show high oil pressure ...am I on the right track????

I'm running Castro 10w-30 oil

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  460bronco on May 27th 2014, 3:53 pm

Do the rockers utilize poly-locks with an allen set screw in the middle or some other type of nut?
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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  78 F150 on May 27th 2014, 4:09 pm

They are a steel but with a Allen set screw in the center. My first thought was the rocker nuts backed off somehow, but given that they're locked down, there's Norway that could happen. The screw in studs haven't back out either. That's what leads me to believe its lifters or something blocking the oil from pumping up the lifters. My confusion with both these scenarios is all the lifters have the same problem and is still have high oil pressure. If something was blocking the oil from getting to the lifters, or even an oil plug that come dislodged, I don't think I would have any oil pressure, but I don't no that for sure.

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  460bronco on May 27th 2014, 4:16 pm

What was your procedure for finding the correct crank position to set the valve lash?
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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  bosshoss on May 27th 2014, 4:30 pm

one question... where is your gauge hooked up to on the engine,.,.

One theory. pin broke on cam gear,,, cam is slowly retarding and valves are hitting pistons, resulting in bent valves that are suddenly lower in the head than they used to be.

just my thoughts

Smile

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  78 F150 on May 27th 2014, 5:07 pm

Procedure for adjusting valve lash was to go in the firing order and rotate the crank and adjust the valves as I go...

Both gauges are hooked up in the factory location (using a "T") in the top of the block behind the intake manifold.

If or when in have to tear into the engine, I'll look for a broken can gear pin or bent valves.

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  78 F150 on May 27th 2014, 9:38 pm

Ok here's some tests I did tonight to try to figure out the problem.....

Someone mentioned the pin on the distributor gear might have broke and the gear spun and threw off the timing which might have caused some bent valves, which might have been the problem. So I pulled the distributor out tonight and the pin that holds on the distributor cam gear is NOT broke.

I checked timing also and the timing is right on; however when the engine runs it sounds like the timing is way off and it doesn't want to run. But I assume this is because the valves are not opening like they should because of the loose rocker arms (the preload disappeared). So then I put a socket in a drill and spun the oil pump to verify that oil is getting all the way up to the rocker arms. All of the rocker arms are getting oil, which tells me the oil passages in the block are NOT clogged or blocked off by debris. It also verifies that the oil galley plugs in the block are still in place and the gauge reads 70-75 lbs of oil pressure.

Another bit of info.....last night when I was checking the rocker arms, I tightened one rocker arm down with one full turn of preload and locked it down. Then I tried to wiggle the rocker arm side to side and I couldn't budge it. However, tonight when I was checking for oil, I wiggled the same rocker arm and it is just as loose as the others and I didn't even run the engine. So the lifter lost pressure over night....Does this verify the lifters are bad? I still can't believe that all 16 lifters went bad at the same time, but I can't think of anything else it could be. So this narrows it down to bad lifters, right??? Am I on the right track? Or is there another possibility or scenario I'm not thinking of? What'cha guys think???

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Re: LIFTERS WENT BAD????--NEED ADVICE

Post  torino501 on May 27th 2014, 10:10 pm

what are the spring spec's....? to much spring press will kill the hydro plungers

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