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Old 10-10-2010, 11:38 AM   #1
fordman84
 
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Default Hydraulic lifters easy to compress?

Hey guys, putting my 289 back together and have everything loosely put together. I've put the heads on, dropped the lifters (hydraulic, non-roller) onto the cam, and set the pushrods in. I went through and got all the rocker arm pivots started, and noticed that with just my fingers I can use the pushrods to compress the lifters a pretty good amount. Is this normal? I haven't presoaked them, so maybe that is my issue. I just don't remember on my other engines being able to compress them this easy. These are brand new. Trying not to waste money, but I'd much rather ask a silly question now and save myself the money and time of new valve cover gaskets and all that fun stuff later on down the road.

Thanks.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:05 PM   #2
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If they are not filled with oil, they'd be quite easy to compress.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:08 PM   #3
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Good man. Better to ask than mess things up. Yes, that is normal. It's better to soak them and "pump them up" but since you have it together already..... Just don't rev it when you fire it up cuz the lifter have to pump up with oil first.
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Old 10-10-2010, 12:26 PM   #4
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Thanks Randy and 2+2 for the replies.
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Old 10-10-2010, 04:51 PM   #5
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When you are ready to fire the engine, pull the distributor and spin the oil pump drive shaft counter-clockwise for about 5 minutes. This will fill the oil system with oil, including the lifters. (clockwise for a 6 cylinder)
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:10 PM   #6
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I never fill up my lifters, imo it makes it easier to set the valves on the stand.

I will also have to admit to not priming most fresh engines either, I had done a few early on but then I stopped. I figure that the assembly lube is actually good enough to do the job for a few seconds. I mean really, we pre prime the engine for the first start and thereafter change the oil 50 times and never pre lube the engine again?

I do ALWAYS fill the filter and use assembly oil on the pump to assure a quick prime. I also always insure the oil pressure guage works, and that it makes pressure in the first few seconds.

I have started tens of new engines without a hitch, and usually I don't need to set the lifters again ever.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMD View Post

I will also have to admit to not priming most fresh engines either, I had done a few early on but then I stopped. I figure that the assembly lube is actually good enough to do the job for a few seconds. I mean really, we pre prime the engine for the first start and thereafter change the oil 50 times and never pre lube the engine again?
Actually I do on my high dollar boat motors. Run electric pre-lubers that gets the oil pressure up before each start.
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Old 10-10-2010, 05:49 PM   #8
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Actually I do on my high dollar boat motors. Run electric pre-lubers that gets the oil pressure up before each start.
I have seen those for sale before, pretty cool stuff, for sure the exception and not the rule though.

A disclaimer might be buying a rebuilt engine that has sat in a warehouse for a few years, I would probably pre-lube one of these, but not one of my own builds.

I have imagined that pre-lubing might wash out some of the assembly lube, cam lube, etc.
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Old 10-11-2010, 08:33 AM   #9
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well my opinion to all this ..
1. yes perfectly normal. on new lifters you are only compressing a little spring (when they are not fileld with oil)
2. soaking them overnight is a good idea (when you remember to do it)
3. pumping them up should not be done according to cam manufacturers
4. priming the engine is important (like 2+2 said). can be easily done with a drill
I even rotate the crank by 90 degrees, prime for half minute, rotate another 90 until I'm done with 2 full turns on crank

when you adjust the rockers to 0 lash, what people do is to tighten them up until they can't turn the pushrod anymore. this might work with a filled lifter, but if you do it on an empty lifter you might compress the whole spring in there and when firing up the engine the camshaft will be bolloxed. if adjusting lifters that are empty, be very careful to check where it starts hitting, just about where it compresses the spring. you are ablke to turn pushrod, but not able to move up/down

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Old 10-27-2010, 11:47 PM   #10
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If I adjust lifters on a run in engine, I like to adjust during idle.

For one I can see if all rockers are getting good oil flow.

For two it is hard to screw up if you adjust during idle.

For three you don't have to be concerned lifter has bleed down.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:47 PM
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