Any Straight 8 engine builders? I have a lifter Q

Discussion in 'Classic Buicks' started by Smitty455, Mar 9, 2024.

  1. Smitty455

    Smitty455 Well-Known Member

    I’m working on reviving a 51 Buick Deluxe. I found that the hydralic lifter plungers are frozen in all 16 lifters. Seems to be a common issue. I was considering replacing them but the aftermarket ones seem a little different. The originals have a hole and relief skirt on the exterior of the lifter. The new ones do not. Has anyone ran the aftermarket ones?

    Attached Files:

  2. Premier 350

    Premier 350 Chris (aka Webby)

    Have you tried asking on

    GSXSSQQ Well-Known Member

    I had to deal with this in the straight 8 in my '53 46C. I rebuilt those lifters myself. It was about 30 years ago, but from what I remember there is a spring ring lock on the top of the lifter that you remove with ring lock pliers to disassemble. Inside the lifter is a large spring that gives tension on the cap that is in the top of the lifter that is cupped to "hold" the push rod. That hole in the side of the lifter near the top is a passage for oil and pressure, I believe, that is crucial for hydraulic lifter lubrication, internal and external, and pressure relief. Internally the spring and cap need to stay wet as they move up and down against the push rod. Externally, the lifter needs to stay wet to move around inside it's chamber for smooth operation in the chamber and so that the cam lobe doesn't wear the bottom of the lifter unevenly. I disassembled each lifter and soaked the parts a good while then cleaned everything up and reassembled. I think I had to use really high grit sandpaper or emery cloth and steel wool to help with the caked on stuff. It took time but was well worth the effort and I highly recommend you try to rebuild the originals before you try replacing those hydraulic lifters with what look to be solid lifters. When done, you should be able to place the lifter upright on your bench and push the top cap of the lifter down into the lifter using the push rod to ensure smooth travel of the cap in the lifter. Also, those push rods are rather thin. Roll each one on the bench to make sure they are not bent.
  4. Aaron65

    Aaron65 Well-Known Member

    I don't know if the aftermarket lifters have changed in the last 20 years, but I replaced them in my '53 (hydraulic lifter car) back in 2006 or so. I disassembled and cleaned the originals first, but they just wouldn't stay pumped up as the engine warmed up. Unfortunately, I don't remember if the new ones have the oil hole on the side, but I don't think they do. Regardless, they've been working pretty well since I put them in. It might be worth a try to clean them since nothing seems to be made as well as it used to be.

    EDIT: I just went out to the garage to look at the lifters I pulled out of my 263 back in 2006, and there are no oil holes in the side.
  5. Smitty455

    Smitty455 Well-Known Member

    Just did. Thanks!
    Premier 350 likes this.
  6. Smitty455

    Smitty455 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the response. I wasn’t sure if the external hole has something to do with oiling the lifter wall and maybe the cam. Or was there a design change in later buick 8’s
  7. Aaron65

    Aaron65 Well-Known Member

    No idea, but my engine is a very late one, something like June of '53.
  8. 12lives

    12lives Control the controllable, let the rest go

  9. Matt Knutson

    Matt Knutson Well-Known Member

    You might check with Kanter Auto Parts and see if they sell the correct valve lifters for your car. They are located in New Jersey and traditionally carry parts for older cars that may not be readily available from most parts sources.

Share This Page