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Hydraulic Lifters

I am in the process of rebuilding a 914 1.8 liter engine. What can anyone tell me about hydraulic lifters vs. mechanical ones. I understand that the hydraulic ones will never??? need adjusting after the initial adjustment. Also where can they be found???
Old 02-13-2005, 03:44 PM
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don't ...

hydraulic lifters were designed for low rpm BUS engines.
they don't do well in the 914 T4 ...

if you want real peace of mind go for a set of ceramic lifters. they're expensive (and you still have to adjust the valves) but there will be 0 (zero) wear on the lifters or the cam ...

Andy
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Old 02-13-2005, 05:50 PM
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They suck big time so don't waste your time with them.
Ask Jake Raby to sell you some if you really want a set.

Geoff
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Old 02-13-2005, 06:34 PM
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Re: Hydraulic Lifters

Quote:
Originally posted by windlake
I am in the process of rebuilding a 914 1.8 liter engine. What can anyone tell me about hydraulic lifters vs. mechanical ones. I understand that the hydraulic ones will never??? need adjusting after the initial adjustment. Also where can they be found???
Don't do it man. You will have to drill out your case (at least you do for the type 1 engine and I suspect the Type 4 is the same). Then when you find that you don't like them you can't go back.

Thanks,

Kevin
Old 02-14-2005, 10:23 AM
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You don't have to drill out the case for the Type IV hydro lifters.

You do have to adjust an engine equipped with hydro lifters, but not as frequently as one with solids. I think you're supposed to check it every 30K to 60K miles, instead of every 6K.

To make the hydros work correctly, you need a hydro-specific cam with specific ramp rates and other suchlike. Most of those cams make the stock D-jet cam look aggressive...

To control things with a cam grind more aggressive than the stock solid cam, you evidently wind up needing a whole lot of valve spring pressure. Which tends to accelerate wear on some parts, and certainly saps some power.

You also have to make very sure that your oil is very clean at all times. And that its viscosity and pressure are always within a "certain" range; those set by the designers of the hydraulic cam and lifter setup. (No, not the people who said, "Just throw them Bus lifters into the package and call it good!" The folks at VW who engineered the thing in the first place!)

I know a number of people who have run hydro lifters in a 914 and loved it. I know a larger number who have not loved it; a number of those wound up with serious problems in part due to the hydro lifters. (Hint: Don't try adjusting hydro lifters like solids, and then running a race...) And I know some (mainly Jake Raby, who has built more Type IV/914 engines than I have ever even seen!) who blame hydro lifters for all manner of engine problems and refuse to even consider using them.

It's up to you. I personally wouldn't.

--DD
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Old 02-15-2005, 01:31 PM
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Hydro lifters are the worst damn thing that can be done to one of these engines- Period.
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Old 02-15-2005, 03:34 PM
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Just my $0.02...

From my experience....

I have a 75 914 with a 78 bus case (with hydraulic lifters) 2.0 heads and D-Jetronic F.I. I will probably end up putting about 8-10K miles on it in my first year of ownership. I've put about 5K on it since late summer. Absolutley ZERO problems.

I have NO problem with the hydraulic lifters. Motor pulls strong, with a good torque curve, imprssive for a 85hp engine. The only adverse affects I have noticed is when you get at or past redline, the lifters can't keep up and the power is non existent.

I don't race it or push it HARD, HARD, HARD so I can't speak to that.

I do know that I am not adjusting my valves every 3K miles and it doesn't bother me.

Again, just my $0.02.
Old 02-15-2005, 04:22 PM
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I have hydros in my 1.8 914. It is good but I would not do it again. Low end power was ok with FI and the overall powerband was ok with FI. With dual 40's its better but it has no power above 4500 rpm. It will only turn 5500 RPM. It is ok for a car that will be driven TO CHURCH and TO THE STORE by AN OLD LADY. As I said I would not do it again. Add to that the problems facing lifters in general today and it gets scarry fast.

Just to recap.
0 problems in my 1.8 in a 914 with about 50,000 miles on it. power band does not suit the vehicle (in my opnion) That is due to the cam grind like dave said...

Good luck either way.

If you do go hydro you still need to check the adjustment. I set mine to 1/2 turn in and check every other oil change which is 10,000 miles for me running rotella synthetic. (5,000 miles per change) Only adjusted twice. First two oil changes required adjustments.
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Old 02-15-2005, 04:38 PM
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You should be adjusting your valves- even with hydros!

Thats most of the problem! People think theycan install them and forget them and all it does is neglect the engine and things go un noticed that should not.

I do not sell or promote the use of them at all and have not since late 1996..

BTW- A typical valve adjustment should be accomplished every 6K miles, not 3,000. As long as your head temps stay out of the red the valves should not move at all between adjustments... With cryoed parts I have pushed my 912E to 17K without touching a valve- I check them when I get a chance, but not a single one has needed adjusting in 17K... That includes two driver's ed events.
Do some searches here from 3-4 years ago as well as on theSTF and you'll see why...

Engineers love them, wrenchs hate them.
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Old 02-15-2005, 05:07 PM
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Got hydros in my 72 1.7. No problems.
Old 02-15-2005, 06:06 PM
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Old 02-15-2005, 06:10 PM
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Old 02-15-2005, 06:32 PM
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To each his own...

I will check my valve adjustment next oil change.

Thanks Mr. Raby.
Old 02-15-2005, 06:35 PM
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Thumbs down hydro lifters

BTDT on a 2.0: don't do it unless you are running L-jet or carbs; the Webcam 91H is designed for hydraulics but won't run for squat in a D-jet motor cuz it's too aggressive as DD says; not enuf manifold vacuum under 3000 rpm or so;

on the other hand the 91H setup will rev to 6800 (when the fanbelt leaves) and goes like a rocket
Old 02-15-2005, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jake Raby
Thats most of the problem! People think theycan install them and forget them and all it does is neglect the engine and things go un noticed that should not.
Good point--I forgot to mention that! I guess that's one problem with posting when one has a fever...

Having to adjust your valves, IMHO, is a Good Thing. It keeps you "in touch" with your motor, and makes you get in there and see what is going on with everything. If you find you are constantly needing to adjust one or more valves (especially if it's always in the same direction), you can stop driving and tear the engine down before something catastrophic happens. If you decide you can "set and forget", you'll never know what's going on until... Well, look at the pictures.

Neglecting one of these motors is about the worst thing you can to do it. Having to adjust the valves every other oil change will help keep you from neglecting it.

--DD
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Old 02-16-2005, 07:54 AM
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It has taken me 10 years to finally get the set up right for my 2.0 with the 91H and weber 40s. I really like it now, but it wasn't worth it. It's an air-cooled engine. Lifter noise is just one of many. My hydro lifters are really quiet, but for minimal overall gain. And I do hope to stretch the period between adjustments, but 6000 miles is plenty. Thats almost a years for me. I don't think many of the current 914 owners are unfamilier with their car's mechanisms. There really is no other way to keep 'em running. The main reason I hate valve adjusts is getting the dang valve cover to seat well after. I usually go through several days of smoke/new gasket, smoke/ new gasket before it finally becomes ~minimal.....
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Old 02-17-2005, 07:18 PM
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