Hydraulic lifter survey Re: Isky ISK-432-HY

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Ron Tanzi

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Have any of our esteemed members had any experience with the above mentioned Isky "quiet" lifters in their builds? I am especially interested if anyone has had issues with break in problems (wiped out a lobe or lifter) or noise. I am particularly curious about lifters manufactured in the last 3 years. I bought a set 2 years ago and have not installed them yet because considering what I have been hearing about flat tappet lifter failures I am little concerned. I have checked them for proper crown and they seem fine. What I can not confirm is their hardness. I have tried to 100% confirm where they are manufactured and hoping it was not China. I was led to believe they were made in the USA.
Thanks,
Ron
 

Spike Morelli

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I have a good friend , whom I've known for many years, and is a Rep for Johnson Tappets. Last I spoke with Lyle, Isky had a deal with Johnson Tappets to supply them with, at least, their Hydraulic Roller tappets. Johson is a U,S, made tappet company that has been a standard of the industry going way back. I can't be sure about whether or not Johnson supplies Isky with flat tappet lifters or not. I should call Lyle today and post again on what I find out.
 

Ron Tanzi

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I have a good friend , whom I've known for many years, and is a Rep for Johnson Tappets. Last I spoke with Lyle, Isky had a deal with Johnson Tappets to supply them with, at least, their Hydraulic Roller tappets. Johson is a U,S, made tappet company that has been a standard of the industry going way back. I can't be sure about whether or not Johnson supplies Isky with flat tappet lifters or not. I should call Lyle today and post again on what I find out.
Thank you very much Spike. I think finding that information would help me and a bunch of other folks. Many Chinese made parts are in general lacking in the QC department. I know the Johnson HT900 were the go to flat tappet hyd. lifter for a long time. 25 years ago you had to worry a lot less about buying parts that would blow up your engine.

Ron
 

Spike Morelli

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OK, I called the Johnson Tappet Rep for Isky. The lifters Johnson supplies to Isky are the Hydraulic Rollers only. I'm not sure where Isky gets their flat tappets from. On another note, I was telling Lyle that I'd prefer to run a hyd flat tappet in my new build, but not so sure about lobe problems some people have reported. Many of the cams going "flat", have been attributed to low useage ( garage queens ), aftermarket rods ( without the oil squirt hole at the parting line as factory rods have), and low rpm driving with heavy valve springs, all contributing to excessive wear with low lubrication of oil squirt to the camshaft lobes. Another factor has been found that during overhaul, the lifter bores weren't honed, the tappet must spin freely in it's bore or it won't rotate, wearing out the lobe, and, all it takes is one bore to render the cam bad. All reasonable points, who can say for these people?
However, what I've found, is that not everybody grinds a roller for Clevelands, and the majority of roller grinds are higher performance grinds than I'd want, not what I'd consider a torquey street cam, again, I said STREET cam. So......I am considering having a custom mild street roller ground. As for lifters? Lyle says he'll set me up if I go roller.
 

Ron Tanzi

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OK, I called the Johnson Tappet Rep for Isky. The lifters Johnson supplies to Isky are the Hydraulic Rollers only. I'm not sure where Isky gets their flat tappets from. On another note, I was telling Lyle that I'd prefer to run a hyd flat tappet in my new build, but not so sure about lobe problems some people have reported. Many of the cams going "flat", have been attributed to low useage ( garage queens ), aftermarket rods ( without the oil squirt hole at the parting line as factory rods have), and low rpm driving with heavy valve springs, all contributing to excessive wear with low lubrication of oil squirt to the camshaft lobes. Another factor has been found that during overhaul, the lifter bores weren't honed, the tappet must spin freely in it's bore or it won't rotate, wearing out the lobe, and, all it takes is one bore to render the cam bad. All reasonable points, who can say for these people?
However, what I've found, is that not everybody grinds a roller for Clevelands, and the majority of roller grinds are higher performance grinds than I'd want, not what I'd consider a torquey street cam, again, I said STREET cam. So......I am considering having a custom mild street roller ground. As for lifters? Lyle says he'll set me up if I go roller.
Thanks again for the information Spike. As I said I checked the lifter bases with a straight edge and they have the proper crown. I have stock rods. I have replaced the lifters on my engine 3 times due to noise issues with the Comp cam and their junk lifters. I have a set of Crower lifters in there now with the same Comp cam and still not as quiet as I wanted but not nearly as bad as it was with the Comp lifters. This engine has been together for 20 years. The first build in 95 was with a Sealed power 2V stock cam and lifters. It ran quiet and when I pulled the cam and lifters they were like new after 30K miles. I have a stock Sealed power CJ cam I want to put in when I have time.

Merry Christmas.
Ron
 
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I have a set of Crower hydraulic lifters and a Crower flat tappet cam. I think the cam is called the “beast”? I also have Crane gold roller rockers w/screw in studs and a set of Ferra 5000 stainless light weight valves in 71 closed chamber heads. This combination, along with some other components works very well together. But I did have some problems with the lifters.
After about 300 hundred miles after a complete engine rebuild, I had quite a few lifters collapse. It was very strange so I sent them all back to Crower in California. They told me that there was something in the oil like a paper towel. I found no evidence of that, even cut my oil filter apart and they agreed to give me half off on a new set of lifters. I had the cam saver lifters that went bad, so I told them that I just wanted their normal ones for replacements. I reinstalled the new set and thankfully I haven’t had any problems since.
 

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I've run Rhoads lifters in a few engines and never had an issue. They're still made in USA, I believe.
 

Ron Tanzi

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I have a set of Crower hydraulic lifters and a Crower flat tappet cam. I think the cam is called the “beast”? I also have Crane gold roller rockers w/screw in studs and a set of Ferra 5000 stainless light weight valves in 71 closed chamber heads. This combination, along with some other components works very well together. But I did have some problems with the lifters.
After about 300 hundred miles after a complete engine rebuild, I had quite a few lifters collapse. It was very strange so I sent them all back to Crower in California. They told me that there was something in the oil like a paper towel. I found no evidence of that, even cut my oil filter apart and they agreed to give me half off on a new set of lifters. I had the cam saver lifters that went bad, so I told them that I just wanted their normal ones for replacements. I reinstalled the new set and thankfully I haven’t had any problems since.
I remember when you posted this and I am glad you got the problem resolved. Wasn't the problem possibly caused by your oil filter shedding fibers? Comp gave me a another set of lifters for free and I had the same result. The oil in my engine was always changed by 1000 miles or less and I use Brad Penn with a Wix filter. I was always thankful that the Cleveland's intake is without coolant passages. Considering the number of times I have had it off and on. The cam profile of the the Comp cam I have is for all intents and purposes is CJ profile. I wish I just put a stock replacement CJ cam from the beginning. I spent a bunch of money on intake gaskets and wasted a lot of time. Very annoying. On the bright side it makes really nice torque and runs well.
Ron
 
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I remember when you posted this and I am glad you got the problem resolved. Wasn't the problem possibly caused by your oil filter shedding fibers? Comp gave me a another set of lifters for free and I had the same result. The oil in my engine was always changed by 1000 miles or less and I use Brad Penn with a Wix filter. I was always thankful that the Cleveland's intake is without coolant passages. Considering the number of times I have had it off and on. The cam profile of the the Comp cam I have is for all intents and purposes is CJ profile. I wish I just put a stock replacement CJ cam from the beginning. I spent a bunch of money on intake gaskets and wasted a lot of time. Very annoying. On the bright side it makes really nice torque and runs well.
Ron
Ya I had a Motorcraft oil filter on at the time and I cut it open and it sure didn’t look good. I still think that was the problem, but Crower didn’t really agree with me. Anyway I now use the Wix 51515 filter and Brad Penn oil as well. No more issues and my Cleveland really runs great!
 

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Thanks again for the information Spike. As I said I checked the lifter bases with a straight edge and they have the proper crown. I have stock rods. I have replaced the lifters on my engine 3 times due to noise issues with the Comp cam and their junk lifters. I have a set of Crower lifters in there now with the same Comp cam and still not as quiet as I wanted but not nearly as bad as it was with the Comp lifters. This engine has been together for 20 years. The first build in 95 was with a Sealed power 2V stock cam and lifters. It ran quiet and when I pulled the cam and lifters they were like new after 30K miles. I have a stock Sealed power CJ cam I want to put in when I have time.

Merry Christmas.
Ron
I haven't had personal experience on my cars or boats, with Comp's Hyd Roller tappets, but I HAVE heard of a lot of other guys having problems with their rollers. At the shop where I work, they always use Comp components, ( I'm sure it's basically because they can buy real cheap from Comp ) unless the customer requests a different brand, and I can tell you that I personally have had trouble with 3 cams in 2 years, that the bearing journal sizes were wrong, and they just wouldn't slide into the cam bearings. I have a rack of "Fitter Cams" which I use to check that cam bearings are installed straight after installing fresh cam bearings. So, I have at my disposal cams with journals that I can measure against a new cam. In all 3 instances, it was not just one, but all five Comp ground journals too big by two thousanths, enough to bind the installation. I don't care to bad rap the company, but for me, I will source my cams and components elsewhere. Along with camshafts, the shop I work at also buys Comp timing sets, when, you just can't beat Cloyes for their quality, but, here again, price probably entered into it.
Ron, I also have been running an engine I assembled in my garage, some 20 years ago, unknown miles on it now, and I used a Melling hyd flat tappet cam and lifters with the stock 351c 4v specs. It's lasted all these years, still quiet, no discernable wear.
 

Ron Tanzi

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I haven't had personal experience on my cars or boats, with Comp's Hyd Roller tappets, but I HAVE heard of a lot of other guys having problems with their rollers. At the shop where I work, they always use Comp components, ( I'm sure it's basically because they can buy real cheap from Comp ) unless the customer requests a different brand, and I can tell you that I personally have had trouble with 3 cams in 2 years, that the bearing journal sizes were wrong, and they just wouldn't slide into the cam bearings. I have a rack of "Fitter Cams" which I use to check that cam bearings are installed straight after installing fresh cam bearings. So, I have at my disposal cams with journals that I can measure against a new cam. In all 3 instances, it was not just one, but all five Comp ground journals too big by two thousanths, enough to bind the installation. I don't care to bad rap the company, but for me, I will source my cams and components elsewhere. Along with camshafts, the shop I work at also buys Comp timing sets, when, you just can't beat Cloyes for their quality, but, here again, price probably entered into it.
Ron, I also have been running an engine I assembled in my garage, some 20 years ago, unknown miles on it now, and I used a Melling hyd flat tappet cam and lifters with the stock 351c 4v specs. It's lasted all these years, still quiet, no discernable wear.
Spike, Serendipity is today's theme. Funny, the shop I worked at also has a machine shop run by the owner and he is a great guy and did/does my personal machine work and machine work for the other shop I worked at. He too is loyal to Comp products. But he did have issues with their cams and lifters going back at least 10 years ago. Back when I did my engine Comp was very well thought of which was why I used their stuff. I was actually measuring the journals on the new Sealed power cam today and compared them to my old 2V Sealed power cam and they do match. I guess they would call us OCD. I also have the original factory cam (I throw nothing away lol) I have a brand new in the box Cloyes set I bought 20 years ago. I agree they are the best. I had to go with the Ford Motorsport 9 position TC 20 years ago to get it to degree where it needed to be. Good thing I take a lot of notes to remember what the hell I did. I bet you wish like I do that you built an extra engine or 2 20 years ago when you could trust the parts.

Ron
 
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Ron, I agree completely with "I wish I'd built another engine". Today's parts are not just of questionable quality but, stupid expensive, if you can get them. I'm wanting to build another car but, the cost of entire quality build project is just too much. Perhaps it is just an age thing for me. Chuck
 

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Who would have thought, lo those years back, that enthusiasts and builders would encounter these issues? An old friend, and mentor, who has since left us, Joe Mondello, who was a very famous head porterand engine builder, used to ruminate over bad parts. He used to say, even the factory Chevrolet parts need to be checked because there was so much trouble with 'em.
I have always found that Cloyes' quality to be on mark. Their chain sets are superior to most other chains being used that I've found. Making acurate and hardened gears is one thing, but it's the chain that is prone to stretching. Cloyes uses very high quality made in USA chains. When you assemble a short block using an aftermarket crank, an aftermarket camshaft, an aftermarket gear set, it can all stack up against you when you check the degreeing numbers ( which anyone reading this, you should always check where your cam is), but The Cloyes gearsets always come in better than other sets, and then you add an aftermarket harmonic ballancer....those timing marks can be off as well. Further, Cloyes offer special timing sets for many popular engines that have been line bored, or line honed, to the point that a regular gear set's chain would be sloppy. Cloyes offers some gearsets that are machined to fit on cranks with enlarged snouts...the small block Chevy running a roots blower comes to mind, as it needs a HD snout to cope, you don't see the other timing set companies take it to that level. Anyway, just some reasons I prefer the Cloyes product over brand X.
 
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JJU9507

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Cams today lack lobe taper, preventing lifter rotation. I went with hydro rollers for above reasons, one less thinf to go wrong, no break in.
 

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Ron, I agree completely with "I wish I'd built another engine". Today's parts are not just of questionable quality but, stupid expensive, if you can get them. I'm wanting to build another car but, the cost of entire quality build project is just too much. Perhaps it is just an age thing for me. Chuck
It is not an age thing Chuck, it is our reality. I must say it does suck. Things are indeed crazy expensive. I am only going ahead with this endeavor because I bought the parts a few years ago before all the madness.

Ron
 

Ron Tanzi

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Cams today lack lobe taper, preventing lifter rotation. I went with hydro rollers for above reasons, one less thinf to go wrong, no break in.
I have measured the cam lobes and they appear to have proper taper. I agree with you that rollers would eliminate a lot of uncertainty and no break in. The down side of doing a roller is what Spike said: Not a lot of mild grind options for Clevelands in the roller World. The other issues are the expense of buying the cam ,lifters, shorter pushrods and the appropriate valve springs. It is not plug and play to switch to a roller cam.

Ron
 
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Q1SVT

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... if anyone has had issues with break in problems (wiped out a lobe or lifter) or noise. I am particularly curious about lifters manufactured in the last 3 years. ...
Thanks,
Ron
Yes, a lot of junk parts being sold for old motors... The problem with flat tappet cams/lifter going flat is oil.

OIL additives like ZDDP kills catalytic converters so those types of additives were removed or greatly reduced...

Check whatever oil you run for levels of ZDDP [it will be a low level unless you run a 'true' racing oil ]

Simple add ZDDP to what ever oil you like [not going to get into an oil tread]

best
 

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Ron Tanzi

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Yes, a lot of junk parts being sold for old motors... The problem with flat tappet cams/lifter going flat is oil.

OIL additives like ZDDP kills catalytic converters so those types of additives were removed or greatly reduced...

Check whatever oil you run for levels of ZDDP [it will be a low level unless you run a 'true' racing oil ]

Simple add ZDDP to what ever oil you like [not going to get into an oil tread]

best
Thanks, I run Brad Penn. Nothing to worry about with that choice of oil.

Ron
 

Q1SVT

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bingo... a good number for a street performance motor...
 

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Currently equipped with 351C 4V 4BM, .060 over, roller cam, Sanderson block huggers, -AC
I ran zinc after my rebuild with FT and within 6 months washed out the #2 exhaust lobe and the finger pointing, lack of accountability from builder to cam maker started so I went RR and run straight 10/30 and all has been good.

Johnson lifters has my future business if ever needed on a different build.
 

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