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Old 06-27-2010, 05:46 PM   #1
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HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

hey guys i need help ive never tore into a motor other than bolt on parts and i have an 85 iroc with a 350 out of a 72 chevelle stock heads mild cam i have a BAD lifter i dont know exactly which lifters i need to buy to fix my problem i was told my best bet without having to do new cam lifters etc.. was to pull the lifters and take the to a local performance shop and have them order up the same ones.. now i need to know how to remove them what tools im gonna need and things i should look out for as far as further engine damage a bad lifter could cause my cars been sitting for over a month because i havent worked up the courage to tear into it and cant afford to pay a shop but i need to get it done asap so im gonna dive in within the next day or two and hope for the best im hoping to have the car finished by the 4th of july so quick replies would be great thanx in advance
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:01 PM   #2
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

Nothing special needed. Intake has to come off, then remove the valve covers, back off the rocker arms, remove pushrods and pull the lifters out of their bores. A good magnet helps, as can catching the inside lip with a small screwdriver. If they don't want to come (becuase of oil sludge on the bottom or getting slightly "mushroomed" on the bottom) you pull them up as far as possible and grab the top with vice-grips, pulling and twisting to get them out. Hopefully it won't come to that.

If it's a hydraulic cam (probably is) then you just need a new set of hydraulic flat tappet lifters for a small block Chevy. The designs vary slightly but they all interchange.

Please LOOK at the lifters you take out. If any are worn concave on the bottom (where they contact the came lobe) then you cam is toast and it's time for a complete tear-down and rebuild. Don't waste you time and money putting fresh lifters on a dead cam- it won't work.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

In that engine, the lifters will often 'mushroom' in the bores ever so slightly -- just enough to make them difficult to remove. There is actually a tool that is used, called a hydraulic lifter removal tool. It grips the top of the lifter and pulls it out. In the case of your engine, though, you should be able to just work them out of their bores with ordinary tools with the intake manifold removed.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:22 PM   #4
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

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Nothing special needed. Intake has to come off, then remove the valve covers, back off the rocker arms, remove pushrods and pull the lifters out of their bores. A good magnet helps, as can catching the inside lip with a small screwdriver. If they don't want to come (becuase of oil sludge on the bottom or getting slightly "mushroomed" on the bottom) you pull them up as far as possible and grab the top with vice-grips, pulling and twisting to get them out. Hopefully it won't come to that.

If it's a hydraulic cam (probably is) then you just need a new set of hydraulic flat tappet lifters for a small block Chevy. The designs vary slightly but they all interchange.

Please LOOK at the lifters you take out. If any are worn concave on the bottom (where they contact the came lobe) then you cam is toast and it's time for a complete tear-down and rebuild. Don't waste you time and money putting fresh lifters on a dead cam- it won't work.
thanks a lot really.. i never knew it was that simple i thought i had to tear the whole top end off but my question to you now is how do i re assemble everything such as adjusting valve lash will i need any new gaskets.
and by rebuild do you mean c a complete tear down or just the top end?
sorry for all the questions i just wanna make sure i get it done right and not screw myself later down the road...
edit: what kind of cost am i looking at for new lifters gaskets etc....

Last edited by zachkuby87; 06-27-2010 at 06:32 PM.
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Old 06-27-2010, 11:45 PM   #5
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

Depends on your motor, and if you're taking the cam out. If you take the cam out, and you have the single-piece oil pan gasket, you'll rip it off when removing the timing chain cover, then you have to replace the oil pan gasket, in addition to all others. You'll need to replace every gasket on surfaces you separate. You might not need to replace the valve cover gaskets, as those are a rubber type compound (but might as well).

If it's roller hydraulic, figure ~$100 for new lifters, ~$40 for gaskets. Don't know the prices on other lifters, but roller hydraulic are the most expensive out there (IIRC). Replace your pushrods too, they're about $4.00 each
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Old 06-28-2010, 12:01 AM   #6
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

ok i tore into the motor right after my last response and heres the results i found 3 lifters that are completely shot they look like they have bowls in them now... i was told my cams most likely toast and might need a rebuild so i continued to dig i got the radiator out all the pullys of the front of the motor and i got to the harmonic balancer or whatever i was told i need a specialty tool that i could rent from autozone but it was too late so tomorrow im gonna get that pull the cam and oil pan assess the damage and as i stand right now its looking like a full rebuild not 100% positive but its most likely gonna happen.. depending on what i find tomorrow if i can get by with a new cam and lifters ill do it but if theres anything signifcantly damaged the motors coming out by tomorrow night and im saving my money and goin 383... thanks again
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Old 06-28-2010, 04:46 AM   #7
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

Quote:
Originally Posted by zachkuby87 View Post
ok i tore into the motor right after my last response and heres the results i found 3 lifters that are completely shot they look like they have bowls in them now... i was told my cams most likely toast and might need a rebuild so i continued to dig i got the radiator out all the pullys of the front of the motor and i got to the harmonic balancer or whatever i was told i need a specialty tool that i could rent from autozone but it was too late so tomorrow im gonna get that pull the cam and oil pan assess the damage and as i stand right now its looking like a full rebuild not 100% positive but its most likely gonna happen.. depending on what i find tomorrow if i can get by with a new cam and lifters ill do it but if theres anything signifcantly damaged the motors coming out by tomorrow night and im saving my money and goin 383... thanks again
what kind of springs do you have? I had an edelbrock performer plus with stock springs, and even with just regular motor oil, it lasted for close to 60k miles and all the lifters and lobes where in great shape when I pulled it. Spring pressure seems to have a big impact on how long these will last. With stock springs with <200 lbs of open pressure, they seem to work indefinitely.

When you take the cam out, inspect the cam bearings. If they are scored or scuffed, then you need a rebuild. If they look ok, then the crank/rod bearings are likely ok as well. How much metal was in teh oil?
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:34 AM   #8
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

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Originally Posted by dimented24x7 View Post
what kind of springs do you have? I had an edelbrock performer plus with stock springs, and even with just regular motor oil, it lasted for close to 60k miles and all the lifters and lobes where in great shape when I pulled it. Spring pressure seems to have a big impact on how long these will last. With stock springs with <200 lbs of open pressure, they seem to work indefinitely.

When you take the cam out, inspect the cam bearings. If they are scored or scuffed, then you need a rebuild. If they look ok, then the crank/rod bearings are likely ok as well. How much metal was in teh oil?
Keep in mind, when removing the cam you can make marks on the cam bearings that look TERRIBLE, but in fact are ok... Just be ever so gentle removing the cam...lol
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Old 06-28-2010, 06:05 AM   #9
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

to be honest i dont know what the springs are i know the heads are stock heads after i took everything apart i decided to decode te engine and i found out its a 79 350 170hp with stock heads i dont know if the heads have been worked or?? i know the motor isnt stock cause i mean it moved too damn good to be stock i out ran my cousins 1le with 50,000 original miles and a few bolt ons.... but my new debate is what would be my best option here cause while i have this all apart i would like to make any improvements i can ive heard a set of vortec heads and i nice cam would do pretty good without spending a lot of money any thoughts suggestions?
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:09 AM   #10
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

Given what you found I would recommend pulling the engine for a complete tear-down. 2 main reasons why:

1. Where do you think all that metal went? The filter is not anything like guaranteed to catch all of it unless you have the bypass plugged.

2. It takes about the same amount of time to pull the whole engine as it does to do an in-car cam change. Then you can actually get at everything easily and decide what needs replacement (probably bearings), what needs machinging, etc.
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Old 06-28-2010, 08:49 AM   #11
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

At least you have the one-piece oil pan gasket. But, if you're pulling the pan, you already have unbolt the engine and lift it up for clearance. I second a mild rebuild - what is a full gasket and bearing set, like $120?
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Old 06-28-2010, 01:45 PM   #12
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

yeah the motor is gonna come out tonight im just tryin to find someone that wants to borrow me there engine hoist and trying to find an engine stand
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Old 06-28-2010, 03:44 PM   #13
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

well i found the tool to pull the harmonic whatyamadealie and im gonna get the cam out soon but im still lookin for and engine stand and hoist well a chick i knows dad says he has em and i can use em but her step brother has em and doesnt wanna give em up....
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:59 PM   #14
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Re: HOW TO REMOVE LIFTERS

ok got the cam its a lunati part # 00016 three of the lobes are completely gone so the engine is deffinately comin out and i also believe i found the reason my lifters and suck went bad as ive only put 2000 miles on the car since i got it and the po said it was a fresh rebuild well whoever did it used a stupid amount of rtv everywhere when putting it together and i found rtv clogging oild passages and in all types of wierd spot i stuck my finger in the hole underneath the timing cover and i could feel rtv the whole way back as far as i could reach.... would u guys recommend using the same cam cause i kinda like it with the same heads or should i do new heads/cam
? if so give me some parts number and specs.... thanks
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