Valve Lifters. - replace?

The General

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The 72 Q code vert (351C) has been sitting for a few weeks when I finally decided to adjust the thermal choke for easier starts. I fired it up and heard a loud tick. I have heard this before but not this bad. By the time I got the stethoscope out it quieted down some. It seemed like the sound was coming from the driver side. I shut it down because the tranny shifter seal was leaking on the exhaust causing smoke. So I started reading some of the posts about possible causes. Right or probably wrong I decided to start pulling parts. I believe the car to be mostly original with 84k miles and seems to run well.

I pulled the autolite af42 plugs found them to have some carbon deposits with a gap of .030-.035". I pulled the rocker covers and the intake manifold. I did not find anything unusual. Most of the rods spin freely without any play. The rocker arms will move side to side. Sorry to be long winded... The questions.

I use the car as a driver and wish to keep it original/stock. I assume I need to replace all the lifters, what about the rods and rocker arms? What brand is recommended and from where? I realize I need to mark the location of the old parts coming out so if I reuse them I put them back in the same spot. How do I confirm the piston is at Tdc on the compression stroke?

There are plenty of burnt oil deposits. Any recommendation if I can clean anything or do I just leave it alone? Any advice would be great. Thanks

image.jpg

 

cudak888

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Pull your intake and examine the lifter area for any solidified oil caked around it which might be preventing oil flow. Not likely, but a quick thing to check.

-Kurt

 

will e

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Depending on where any specific lifter is on its cam lobe your push rods will be able to spin or not. On the bottom of the lobe they will spin, on the top they won't.

Finding TDC on the compression stroke is more easy when you have the valve covers off. Turn the engine over by hand and watch the valves on the number one cyl as you rotate towards TDC. If both valves are closed you are on compression. If the exhaust valve is open you are on the exhaust stroke.

The downside to replacing the lifters is you will have to follow up with an initial break in procedure and they still may not wear in correctly. But if you have a lifter going bad you don't have much choice. The fact the noise goes away makes me believe your lifter isn't bad.

What oil do you run? (Brand and weight) and what is the temp of the air when you first start the car? Do you only get the noise on the first startup of the day or every startup? How does your oil pressure look?

 

Jeff73Mach1

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I'd pour a quart of automatic transmission fluid in with the oil(drain a quart if necessary-don't overfill), run it a thousand miles and then change the oil.

If a lifter is failing to pump up properly, then the atf will sometimes clean the gunk up enough to resolve the problem.

If you still need to replace the lifters, the good news is that absent damage, you should be able to reuse your rocker arms and pushrods if you keep them matched to location and pushrods in the same orientation. Hydraulic lifters should not need any adjustment with your style rocker arm as the only adjustments are shims or changing pushrod length. Just install, tighten down and when the lifter is sitting on the base of the cam lobe, make sure the pushrod turns easily.

Break in sucks-use a high zinc oil and follow reasonable break in procedure. I always like to maintain 2500 RPM for the first 20 minutes-but if stationary, it is a good idea to have a fan blowing on the radiator.

 

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If it was running OK before you parked it, I'd put it back together and run some engine flush in it and then change the oil and filter. What transmission shifter seal is leaking causing smoke? Use a remote starter switch or manually rotate the engine. Watch number 1 intake valve, when it opens and then begins to close, slow down and manually rotate the engine until 0 degree mark on the damper lines up with the timing pointer.

Chuck

 

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Thanks Gents, The "valley" looks "clean" with no deposits around the lifters.

If the ticking quiets down do you think it could be an exhaust leak? I look for residue but did not find any.

I am not sure of the oil as I had a street rod shop look the car over and drop the pan when I bought it a couple of years back. I know I am supposed to change the oil every year even though i only have put 7-800 miles on it.

Oil pressure is above half on the gage the last i remember.

I only run the car once a week for short drives. So it has progressively gotten worse since I purchased it two years back. Temps are usually in the 50-80 f range.

The shifter seal on the side of C6 was leaking bad and flowed onto the pipes smoking up the garage. I read if I run it through the gears the level would drop and not leak so bad. I did this and it seemed much better. However the ticking and the tranny residue made it unbearable to keep running. image.jpg

 

Jeff73Mach1

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Exhaust leaks have accounted for many noises that were thought to be lifters. Without hearing it I can't say. But an exhaust leak of any duration will generally leave behind soot.

 

droptop73

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If it was running OK before you parked it, I'd put it back together and run some engine flush in it and then change the oil and filter. What transmission shifter seal is leaking causing smoke? Use a remote starter switch or manually rotate the engine. Watch number 1 intake valve, when it opens and then begins to close, slow down and manually rotate the engine until 0 degree mark on the damper lines up with the timing pointer.

Chuck
X2 on this

It's good to see you on the site Chuck!

 

Totalled

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Rock auto has a pretty cheap ATK C6 casket set that includes the shifter arm seals. You will have the drain and drop the pan at least. Not sure if you can sneak the arm out without pulling the valve body or not. If you pull the valve body, keep the drain pan under it. The converter will drain, and will dump a couple more quarts of atf. Might be a good time to think about adding a shift kit.

 

FastE

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+3 on what Chuck and Jeff said. I would run an engine flush as was said. I like using a quart of Marville Mystery oil / or a quart of regular ATF. I would not worry about draining any oil if you only have 5 quarts in the pan as a Cleveland oil pan will hold 6 quarts with out any issues. I bet you are just fine on the lifters, 86,000 miles is not that many and if the oil presure is good you should be fine.

If the car has done alot of low spped driving / idling that could be an issue.

I would put the flush in it and drive it out on the highway at speed( read run it hard) and let the oil get good and hot. This will help to clean any varnish build up. I would do this a couple of times, maybe 50 miles are so.

I have actualy run a quart of Marvell oil in the oil and a quart in a 1/4 tank of gas in an old Ford truck with a little over 100,000 miles that was starting to smoke( previous owner putted the truck everywhere). Drove the truck pretty hard till I ran the fuel out, changed the oil and it quite smoking and burning oil. That stuff works.

 

The General

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Okay, I will try the engine flush however I considered the amsoil product. Planned on using it for 1/2 of the recommended warm up time. I did not want to over do it. Do I need to open it back up too look for deposits? THANKS

 

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I use the amsoil product. It works well. Don't be afraid of running it the full time recommended. No need to open it back up.

Chuck

 

The General

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I took everyone's advice and put it back together without changing the lifters. I wasted time and money trying to match the original blue engine paint since I had the covers and intake off. Anyway, I ended up adding Marvel mystery oil. Took it out for a 70 mile drive. Oil pressure is staying up and most importantly no major ticking.

Thanks for the advice Gents. image.jpg

 
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