Sticky lifters

Discussion in 'Street/strip 400/430/455' started by Skylard, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Skylard

    Skylard Well-Known Member

    1972 BBB.
    Motor has been together for 5 yrs.
    2 months ago while driving it developed a miss, I could hear a lifter clacking.
    This started happening like clockwork when it got up to temp. When it cools down it would be ok and not miss.

    I could figure it was Cyl 6 or 8.
    So I replaced all the lifters on the right side.
    It was good, drove around town a lot, 300 highway miles, 5 quarter mile passes.

    Then 10 minutes from home last night it stated missing again, same loud lifter noise.

    When I originally got this motor in parts, one of the lifters would not fit in the bore, I brought the block to the guys I bought it from and he honed the bore and the lifter moved smoothly. That was 10 years ago, motor rebuilt again 5 yrs ago
  2. Schurkey

    Schurkey Silver Level contributor

    Losing a cam lobe (or two...three...more) ?
  3. LARRY70GS

    LARRY70GS a.k.a. "THE WIZARD"

    Lifters don't stick unless they were defective from the get-go, OR, they get contaminated with dirty oil.
  4. Mark Demko

    Mark Demko Well-Known Member

    Reminds me of a similar issue I had with a 231 Buick.
    Got it back from the machine shop and a few of the lifters were tight in the bores. Machine shop said it was from the bake and blast, or something like that, well the lifters wont spin if they're tight in the bore
  5. Schurkey

    Schurkey Silver Level contributor

    Shot-blasting as a cleaning method can screw with machined surfaces, and can peen-over the edges of lifter or bearing bores. Best to plug lifter bores with corks or other easily-removed protectors.
    Mark Demko and 8ad-f85 like this.
  6. 8ad-f85

    8ad-f85 Well-Known Member

    The shop and assembler are both supposed to deburr places before cleaning.
    With lifter problems in the last decade it's a good plan to fit them to thier bores and check for spinning before putting cam lube on them.
  7. Schurkey

    Schurkey Silver Level contributor

    The FIRST thing I put into the block aside from cam bearings, gallery plugs and "minor" parts is the camshaft and cam gear. Then the lifters. Then I draw stripes across the top of each lifter and it's lifter bore with a Sharpie "magic marker". I turn the cam gear by hand--which turns the cam--which spins the lifters. I can tell that the lifters are spinning because the stripes I drew diverge and then converge, round and round the lifter spins until I'm tired of watching them. Some spin faster than others, but they all should spin in the bore. They don't spin...I figure out why before I go any further with the build.

    Given the Buick nature of this web site, I'll also mention that the Nailhead is the only OHV V-8 I know of that was designed to not deliberately spin the lifters--no taper on the cam lobes, no crown on the lifters, and the cam lobes are not offset from the lifter bores. No promises on aftermarket cams and lifters not having tapers and crowns--I've never assembled a Nailhead. I'm going off of the SAE paper published when the engine was "new".
    300sbb_overkill likes this.
  8. Stevem

    Stevem Well-Known Member

    And is the lifter your hearing seem like it's on the the same bank and in the same general area as the Bore that was honed?

    You may just have a lifter plunger spring that's severely dropping off pressure at a high enough oil temp or a worn part ( like a bleed disc ) in a lifter that gets cocked off angle and locked in place at a high enough oil temp .
  9. dan zepnick

    dan zepnick Well-Known Member

    That's a great idea.never would of thought to do that.thanks for the tip.
  10. Skylard

    Skylard Well-Known Member

    A picture is worth something

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