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how do you tell if a hydraulic lifter is bad?

With the lifters out of the cam tower and sitting in front of you how can you determine they are bad? With the car running I can hear a tick tick tick tick coming from the center of the cam tower. I want to replace the bad lifter but how do I check them? I would love to replace them all but at $71.75 each it isn't feasable.

How do I check them?

Speedy
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Old 11-27-2005, 04:49 AM
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I was really worried about the lifters on my s2 as they became really loud (although it went away after the motor warmed up) so i was advised to have an engine flush followed by an oil and filter change and then treat the engine with a bottle of "wynns" hydraulic lifter fluid.
The tapping was still there after the oil/filter change albeit not as loud but when i added the lifter fluid it went away.No noise at all now, very strange considering how loud it was.
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Old 11-27-2005, 05:01 AM
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put the lifter in a pan of oil, so it is completely covered, try to push the plunger down. If you can move it than the lifter is bad. It might take one one two pushes to fill the lifter with oil. but the lifter should feel solid.
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Old 11-27-2005, 06:14 AM
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I started by submurging then in wd-40 to clean them out. If burnt of show scrape marks, toss them. Then id did the submurge in oil. Pressed on them till they furmed right up to almost solid. They all acter/felt a little different till this last step. Had only one that I couldnt get soft empty. Went to a local Porsche stripper and got a good used one for 20.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:20 AM
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Dont ever use a used lifter, you will destroy the cam. If u reuse the old lifters they have to go back on the same cam lobe it came off of.
The lifter and lobe develop a certain wear pattern if you swap lifters around it will eat up the cam.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:36 AM
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so wouldn't it be just as damaging to put in a brand new lifter without a wear pattern?

Also I've got a little tick in my cam tower so I should probably check this out.
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Old 12-01-2005, 10:56 AM
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No, because a new lifter has a flat(or slightly convex) suface where it contacts the cam lobe. a worn lifter has concave wear on it. So if it isnt the same shape as the lobe it will wear it down very rapidly
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:04 AM
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I've never heard of being so picky on other cars. Cam lobes are all originally ground the same so wear should be identical or close. When I did mine, full inspection showed so wear patern on top. At least not enough to make any difference. I've now seen more than multiple conversations with over causious mechanical procedures. I've done a lot of vehicles and while it's refreshing to see people take things so seariously, som,e things go overbourd.
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:37 AM
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So the wyns is basicaly a motor flush like Gunk Motor flush im assuming. Ive done this in the past. 2 times in a row on the same did.. cleaned up alot of stuf on the 3rd time my last oil change..there wasent any more gunk and my lifters are still going crazy. I guess it's time for a new one . Or posible a broken valve spring?
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:30 PM
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a broken valve spring... ah, the joys of not being able see in there.
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Old 12-01-2005, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by AA_Ezra
So the wyns is basicaly a motor flush like Gunk Motor flush im assuming. Ive done this in the past. 2 times in a row on the same did.. cleaned up alot of stuf on the 3rd time my last oil change..there wasent any more gunk and my lifters are still going crazy. I guess it's time for a new one . Or posible a broken valve spring?
No, it's not a flush - you add it to the oil after your oil & filter change.
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Old 12-01-2005, 02:48 PM
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The last time I pulled my cam tower to replace the gasket underneath, the lifters looked brand new and the same with the cam. There was zero visable wear anywhere. I will try to "pump" them up in oil and try the WD-40 route as well.
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Check on progress ---> www.porschehybrids.com/gallery/speedracing944
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Old 12-01-2005, 04:37 PM
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While I am in there I am thinking of camming it.
http://www.jmengines.com/index.htm
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1983 944 guards red with 16" Fuchs, Host of Wisconsin area timing/ balance shaft belt tensioning party
1987 944S Purchased from Legion. Corvette LT-1 V-8 conversion with Mega Squirt II
Check on progress ---> www.porschehybrids.com/gallery/speedracing944
Favorite Road = www.tailofthedragon.com 318 turns in 11 miles (11 min 20 sec best run)
Old 12-01-2005, 04:41 PM
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Ah, additive if i cant find it here in the US then i guess i'll try to find something similar. Prolong engine treatment maybe
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Old 12-01-2005, 09:42 PM
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AA, the "wynns" that i used was specific for treating lifters. I did use a product which was labelled as "top-end treatment" when i changed the oil and filter previously last march (can't for the life of me remember what it was called but i do remember it was a south african company) and it was about 13 but had no effect at all to the noise from the tappets and it was quite thick in consistency.The wynns however was quite thin.
I still get a very slight tapping on start (doesn't last long now) but it's certainly better and no louder than any other engine noise whereas before it was "well loud" and could be heard at a short distance.
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1989 guardsred 944s2 cabriolet,
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1983 metallic claret 924 lux (sold)
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Old 12-02-2005, 01:04 AM
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kool. looks like im going eitehr buyit on ebay.. or special order it.. since i got only one car cant afford to mess with it and seems well worth it if the stuff works so well until i can crak er open
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I tested something with an old lifter. I heated it with hot air blower, and after few seconds the oil came out very fast emptying the lifter completely. I wonder if the lifter would still be usable after this?

A question: I am having trouble with cylinder nr. 4. Cylinder loses pressure after few turns, and runs only one other tree cylinders. If you step on a gas, it starts running again with all four, and stays a while like that.
Is the reason that the lifter is not working properly? Can it go soft and then start working again, depending on the rev's?

My oil pressure is all the way to the top when starting the engine, but goes down when down to the middle with rev's....can this have something to do with anything?
Old 07-23-2007, 02:08 AM
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If a lifter is soft the engine will still run but you will hear a ticking sound coming from you cam tower kind of like a sewing machine. I think the only problems caused by a soft lifter would be the ticking and potentially the valve not opening all the way.

It sounds to me like something else is going on causing your running issue.

oil pressure is usually at 4-5 bar cold
2-3 bar warmed up at idle
4-5 bar warmed up while driving

This also depends on the weight of oil you are using.

Speedy
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Check on progress ---> www.porschehybrids.com/gallery/speedracing944
Favorite Road = www.tailofthedragon.com 318 turns in 11 miles (11 min 20 sec best run)
Old 07-23-2007, 02:37 AM
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Thanks for your reply, Speedy.

I guess there is no other way to figure it out but to check the lifters. Strange though, with the compression first being OK and then loosing it. Obviously the valves are OK.
Old 07-23-2007, 04:08 AM
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I think the whole "old wive's tale" about not installing used lifters is just that - a crock. Think about it. A lifter does not sit in the same configuration within its cylindrical race and get tapped by the cam lobe in exactly the same place over time - it rotates. As such, there's no "wear pattern" that you'd need to worry about. Cam lobes would push on all parts of the lifter's surface and tend to wear it evenly (or nearly so) rather than developing a groove or "track" that's engine-specific into the lifter's surface.

Long story short, don't believe everything you read - apply a little common sense.
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Old 07-23-2007, 05:46 AM
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