Noisy lifters, what am I missing? - FFCars.com : Factory Five Racing Discussion Forum

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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Noisy lifters, what am I missing?

Back ground - I converted the engine (1990 302) to carb from EFI. Went with TFI heads and cam, Edelbrock Intake, QFT carb and MSD Ignition system and new roller lifters. All went well, started easily and performed great. After one or two oil changes the lifters became noisy at start up and don't quiet down for up to 2 minutes?
I use Motocraft filters, run 5-30W Castrol oil but the noise at start up still persists. So this weekend I decided remove the intake and the lifters, clean check and refit to see what the result would be. Firstly, I noticed that about half of the lifters had bled down, not unusual I know but why do some bleed down and others not? Anyway cleaned and re-installed, set the pre-load (half turn) which works out to be about 0.060" of the 0.250" lifter range.
Fired up and still noisy as before!!
Hopefully someone else has been through this loop and can help with some suggestions?

Cheers, John


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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 03:25 AM
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May be a long shot, but did you change to roller rockers? If so, do you have clearance between the rocker and valve cover?

Not even sure its possible, but if the lift for either intake or exhaust is enough to cause the rocker to contact the valve cover, could it limit how much the oil can fill the lifter. Easy to check/rule out by looking under the valve cover for marks.


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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Geoff, I did fit taller valve covers. Strange thing is they quieten down after a while and all is good?

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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 07:19 AM
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I would check to see that you are getting full oil flow to the lifters. That could cause noise at start up until pressure, or volume build and fill them.

When the lifters operate there is a point when the fill port is closed as the lifer rises on the cam lobe. When that has happened I would expect little to no bleed down.

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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 11:01 AM
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Here's a thought---You said that this began "after one or two oil changes". You did not elaborate whether you have subsequently changed the oil and filter since the noise first began. Oil filters incorporate an anti drain back valve which does exactly what the name implies and keeps oil from draining back to the pan when the engine shuts down which would result in a dry (potentially noisy) start. If the same filter has been in place since the noise first began it may be that the ADB valve is not working. A new filter followed by a couple starts (the first to initially refill the system) will answer whether that is the culprit.

Good luck,
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 12:56 PM
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What Jeff said makes perfect sense.
I have also had some sporadic trouble with aftermarket roller lifters collapsing when the engine sits. I found that adding a can of STP helps reduce that, also running 10w30 oil. 5w-xx may be just a bit too thin for the increased tolerance of the lifters.

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 03:06 PM
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What brand lifters did you use? I'm assuming it ran fine for a few thousand miles? Did the noise start with the valve cover change? What you are describing is indicative of a lifter with loose clearances, or low oil pressure to the lifter galley. All lifters will bleed down while sitting if that valve is open. But should pump up within a few revolutions. Heavier oil may be your simple solution. Debris in the lifter can cause them not to pump up correctly, but since they do quieten down after a while I don't think that is the problem.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 03:07 PM
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Hot or cold

Does this issue occur when the engine has been brought up to operating temp, shut off for a while and then re-started?

Or is this only a first thing in the morning "cold" start?

And - I agree with what Jeff posted above, could be a bad filter allowing [excessive] drain-back.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 03:55 PM
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Does half turn really equal .060. On my FE.. one turn equals .050
One full turn I don't think would hurt.

Thanks,
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. Let me try and give some more info. The rollers were new about 1000 miles ago. Only hear the problem after an extended period after the engine is shut down, typically overnight (at least 12 hours off).
From what I can tell the oil pressure is good, at least as measured where the sensor in the block is. Oil flow seems OK as it pumps up to the rockers in sequence as I prime the pump. When I stripped and cleaned the lifters I saw no evidence of damage (scratched bores etc) though the check valve ball cup and spring were pretty dirty on a number of the rollers.
As it turns out my next task was to drop the oil pan to fix a stripped drain plug so while I'm there I'll check the oil pump and pick up tube.

Is it worth going to a high volume pump?

Like most of us I have the remote oil filter kit, any one had issues with this or the hoses feeding the remote and back to the block?
There has to be an answer, I'll keep digging. Any other thoughts about oil weight to use? Stick with the 5-30w or try something heavier, synthetic as an option, additives......

Thanks all, appreciate you chipping in.

John


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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 05:29 PM
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Standard volume SBF pumps handle coolers and remote filters just fine even for racing.
Leave the high volume and high pressure pumps on the shelf unless you want to be changing out distributor drive gears and camshafts periodically ...
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Regards - Randy
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Al, I noticed when setting zero lash that it took 2 full turns to bottom out the lifter adjustment. I measured the adjustment available as 0.250" so half a turn would make it about 0.060".

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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 08:07 PM
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I would try an oil change with heavier oil first. The lifters are obviously leaking down and the noise you hear on startup is the lifter pumping back up again.

I had a cirvair in the sixties that would do the same thing. Damn lifters would leak down every time and make a hell of a racket until they pumped back up again. STP solved that problem.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 01:41 AM
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I posted this on the FFR forum. Jeff beat me to it here.

Try changing to a different oil filter. And not Fram. I had the same issue on an Infiniti. Valve train noise on startup. I changed to a Mobile 1 filter and never had another issue.

Did you check your pushrod length when changing heads and cam?

5w30 is light in my opinion for and old school engine. 10w30 would be better.

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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So tonight I dropped of the oil pan to repair the drain plug threads. Checked the pick up to pan clearance and it's around 3/8", OK I think. Can't see any evidence of damage to the pick up tube or strainer, both look original. The oil pump was changed during the rebuild and also seems to function normally. Should I strip the pump? Any advice on measurements to monitor?
Looks like leaving the pump as a standard volume seems to be the way to go. I'll rebuild, use a 10-30W and may be a can of STP to boot!! Is synthetic oil an advantage, Mobil 1?
After that if it still fails looks like another set of lifters!!

As for pushrods length I did use an adjustable push rod to determine best arc on the top of the valves to know what length rods to buy so I'm pretty confident they are good.

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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 11:24 AM
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Back in the 60s we used STP a lot in our old worn out heaps. One winter I was working on something and needed a little lube to apply to it. Saw a can of STP on the shelf and grabbed it. The stuff was thicker than bearing grease at the same temp. I haven't used it since. I guess it may be OK once spread through 5-8 qts of regular oil but I don't know.

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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 01:40 PM
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STP would be a bandaid and not something I would put in one of my motors. The Lincoln Aviator I picked up for my wife had a blown engine because the owner dumped too much STP in it and starved the bearings due to viscosity being too thick
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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-16-2017, 09:10 PM
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You haven't mentioned your oil pressure. I guess that means it is normal. Seriously, try a mobile 1 or Wix filter. It could be an $8 fix.

Synthetic will not help with pressure, but it is proven to be better than conventional for wear and breakdown. Why would you not use it? (Flood gates now open)
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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:06 AM Thread Starter
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Update

So after listening to advice and more research this is the updated plan -

Get rid of remote oil filter, go with 90 degree adapter and get the FL1A filter next to block
Fit higher capacity oil pan and go with HV oil pump

Still not sure whether to go with 5-30W or 10-30W. I live in Michigan and only use the car in fine weather. Any final thoughts comments?
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johntbrown View Post
...go with HV oil pump...

John
Reread what Randy said in post #11. The man knows of what he speaks.

I'd really like to see you just put a different filter on as a quick and easy test before going through any major reconfiguring.

Good luck,
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post #21 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 12:04 PM
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For me anyway, I am not understanding a connection between lifter problems and oil pressure. I suppose that if a lifter is leaking down then more oil pressure getting there more
quickly could help it fill up faster. But that still leaves 5?, 10?, 15? seconds of noise at the beginning of each start. Is the thought that 15 seconds of noise is better than 30 seconds of noise the reason behind the oil pressure discussion?

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post #22 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Pressure is not in question it is flow(volume) that I am suspecting. Will feed back next week when parts arrive.....

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post #23 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:34 PM
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10w 30 dino oil Wix filter aka NAPA Gold change oil early Sept. New filter and oil June.

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post #24 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 01:42 PM
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Volume has nothing to do with lifters!!!!!!!, they need pressure. If you have good oil pressure, you have ALL the volume you need.
Dont understand why you ask for help, get great advice from several very knowledgable people, then totally ignore it.
Instead of buying oil pumps and high capacity pans, REPLACE the lifters.
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post #25 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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So aggressive........

Well I guess you feel better shouting at me now eh!! First riddle me this, If I was to say have a blockage somewhere in the oiling system reducing the flow (volume) would my pressure be up? Yes it would up to the point of the pressure relief valve in the pump. Squeeze a garden hose, pressure up/flow down. So is all I need really pressure? I guess not.
So high pressure is not indicative of good flow, can we agree on that?

You are correct, the reason we have forums is to illicit advise from good people, many who have been through similar issues. Due to the info out there on the web (or because of it) 'experts' can have widely differing opinions and that's great. At the end of the day we all do what we think is the best thing and that is exactly what I have done. As I said, I'll feedback next week when it all goes back together, may be I'll learn that I need new lifters....

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post #26 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:31 PM
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OKaaaaayyyyy

rich grsc,

I like this guy . . . he likes to take things apart and throw money at the pieces. A perfect fit for this forum. LOL !

johntbrown, If you have a "newer" or recently rebuilt engine, the bearing clearances are going to be on the tight side. High volume pumps were originally brought on the scene to help out old [loose] engines. High volume oil pumps on a newer, tight engine will only cause you headaches down the line, IF it doesn't snap the distributor drive shaft early on or cause excessive cam to distributor gear wear.

FWIW, FORD has been installing "standard" volume pumps in their engines since the beginning of time - about a bazillion cars - all on the road and NOT suffering from oil starvation from lack of volume.

What is your oil pressure at operating temperature? Normal for SBF's is 30# to 40# @ 2000 rpm, 20# to 25# at idle - both readings hot.

Re-read post #11.
Listen to what Jeff is suggesting.
And all of the others that say you have a lifter issue.

Here to help . . .

Doc

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post #27 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avalanche325 View Post

Did you check your pushrod length when changing heads and cam?
Av has a point here. TFS TW170 heads have a different intake angle and pushrod length is longer. Read this article under the TFS 180 (they give the p/n for the TW170 58cc heads).

I used TW170 heads on my mild (400+hp) 351w build and my pushrods ended up 8.050". I believe the stock pushrods are 7.567".

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post #28 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
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Wink Doc, appreciate your civil tone...

Engine has about 1000 miles since rebuild/conversion. Oil pressure is right where you suggest. Still interested in 'rich grsc's' reply, guess I'll just have to wait.....

John

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post #29 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 01:28 PM
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Thumbs up

A few years back I changed heads on my 302 stroker. Aluminum head for a different brand aluminum head. I did not check the push rod length. The push rod were to short and eat up the valve guides in a thousand miles.

Lesson learned. ALWAYS check push rod length.

My Ford mechanic buddy helped me re-build a motor. I was running hi volume pump. When it came time to buy a oil pump he brought me a book on oil pumps to read.
Bottom line, a motor for the street with correct bearing tolerance should Only use a standard pump. Hi volume pumps are for old motors or race motors with loose bearing tolerance.

We installed the standard pump. When I cranked the motor I had the same old pressure.

Long time ago when I build my first 302 motor I installed a hi volume / hi pressure pump. 100 psi on start up and 90 psi hot.
One day when I was showing off for my brother. At the top of third gear it blew out the O ring on the remote oil filter and sent 2 1/2 qts of oil across my windshield and through my hair. Rode home in a tow truck with greasy hair.

Next day I pulled the oil pump and put in a hi volume. Years later I found out it should have been a standard pump. I'm a slow learner.

Dwight
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post #30 of 33 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
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A few years back I changed heads on my 302 stroker. Aluminum head for a different brand aluminum head. I did not check the push rod length. The push rod were to short and eat up the valve guides in a thousand miles.

Lesson learned. ALWAYS check push rod length.

My Ford mechanic buddy helped me re-build a motor. I was running hi volume pump. When it came time to buy a oil pump he brought me a book on oil pumps to read.
Bottom line, a motor for the street with correct bearing tolerance should Only use a standard pump. Hi volume pumps are for old motors or race motors with loose bearing tolerance.

We installed the standard pump. When I cranked the motor I had the same old pressure.

Long time ago when I build my first 302 motor I installed a hi volume / hi pressure pump. 100 psi on start up and 90 psi hot.
One day when I was showing off for my brother. At the top of third gear it blew out the O ring on the remote oil filter and sent 2 1/2 qts of oil across my windshield and through my hair. Rode home in a tow truck with greasy hair.

Next day I pulled the oil pump and put in a hi volume. Years later I found out it should have been a standard pump. I'm a slow learner.

Dwight
That says it all.
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