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Old 10-02-2011, 02:14 PM   #1
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Car: 1988 Camaro, Holley 600 series.
Engine: 350 w/350 TPI heads
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How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

I think a lifter is bad on the passenger side of my car. Its a knocking type sound that seems like its going with the engine but not a steady sequence. It sounds like a shoe tumbling around in a dryer is the best way to explain it. I had it very quiet to where there was almost no knocking it was very faint. Someone suggested this is the flap on my passenger side exhuast manifold. Would this flap cause all this noise if it were to go loose?

How can I pin point if its a lifter? Can I do something with my valves to see if its a lifter? If I took a video of it would anybody be able to tell what it may be? Just as a side note because I dont know if this would affect it. But the previous owners bent the exhuast really bad. Could this have knocked something loose into my engine off my exhaust manifold? Say a bolt or something.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:04 PM   #2
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

Im willing to take my top end off if thats the only way to tell for sure. I was trying to upload a video but was having some difficulties. I will upload that tomorrow for everyone to hear.
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Old 10-02-2011, 11:41 PM   #3
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Car: 1992 Camaro RS
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

Is it a steady rhythm? Or is it intermittent? If it's steady, get someone to count of 10 seconds to you and you need to count how many times the noise happens in 10 seconds. Then multiply by 6 and that should give you a number. Take that number and compare it to your idle RPM's. If it's the same as your idle RPMs, then it's likely bottom end knocking. If it's half as fast as your RPMs - then it's valvetrain, like a lifter or an exhaust leak.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:26 PM   #4
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by InfernalVortex View Post
Is it a steady rhythm? Or is it intermittent? If it's steady, get someone to count of 10 seconds to you and you need to count how many times the noise happens in 10 seconds. Then multiply by 6 and that should give you a number. Take that number and compare it to your idle RPM's. If it's the same as your idle RPMs, then it's likely bottom end knocking. If it's half as fast as your RPMs - then it's valvetrain, like a lifter or an exhaust leak.
no its an unsteady tapping like a shoe bouncing around in a dryer or something haha. Thanks for the reply ill try that. My rpm gauge doesn't work though ill just assume.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:51 AM   #5
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

I'm wondering if I have the same issue. My has pretty much been making that knocking sound for as long as I can remember (But I've only had the car for about 9 months) And how can I tell if I don't have a tachometer?
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:06 AM   #6
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

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Originally Posted by NCcowboy View Post
I'm wondering if I have the same issue. My has pretty much been making that knocking sound for as long as I can remember (But I've only had the car for about 9 months) And how can I tell if I don't have a tachometer?
Only if it's regular can you use that trick. If it's a steady regular tap tap tap tap then that works. If it's just an intermittent situation then who knows.

Also, no tach - your idle is gonna be between 600 and 900 RPMs warm. I dontk now exactly. Your count should be around 300-450 or 600-900. Whichever it's closest to is your hint. You'ren ot trying to get exact, just trying to narrow it down. It should preclude one or the other if it's steady.

Anyway, to the OP, is it a slowish flappy farty pat sound like a snare drum? Or is it a deep fast repetitive kunk of aluminum banging on steel? If it's the first it may be an exhaust leak or a lifter. If the second I fear you may have a rod bearing destroying itself.
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:15 AM   #7
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

I had another vehicle do this to me and it turned out it had dropped it's valve seats and they were bouncing around in the cylinder. If your losing compression and/or have a bent electrode on any of your spark plugs this may be the case. Started off real soft tinking and then advanced to a loud clanking noise.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:13 AM   #8
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

I think I may have found my clanking problem. In between the (stock) manifold on my passenger side and the flange where it connects to my exhaust. There was a thick metal piece that went there. I think this was bouncing around causing an exhaust leak thats why my one tail pipe was blowing cold air. by the way this is right where the noise was coming from to. And it was a very inconsistent knocking. Im hoping this is my problem ill find out when I put the headers on and run it. thanks for the help. If its still there ill do what you said infernal.
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:00 PM   #9
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

does it sound like my links? its my car but i believe either my cams worn or a lifter is bad, been chasing it for months and i know most of this is. never noticed it until i changed my heads to newer rebuilt ones

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5AePn6nnZU
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:03 PM   #10
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

can really hear the tick when i open the hood, but i shes just gotta last the month before she gets rebuilt or sold
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:04 PM   #11
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

No it doesn't sound exactly like that... Your car is awesome by the way. I have a video ill try and upload it. I just got done ripping off my exhaust manifolds and digging like a 5 ft hole in the sand to get my exhaust off. That was fun haha. I bought some headers, I was going to take the top end off any way because I was going to clean it up and spray paint it with that high temp paint. I can't wait to fire it up with the headers on.
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:04 AM   #12
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Re: How do you tell if a lifter is bad?

Never mind, I took mine to the garage I get everything done at and he told me it is my water pump. Good luck to figuring your problem out
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Old 10-08-2011, 11:04 AM
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