Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

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ktk833
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by ktk833 » Wed Jul 06, 2016 11:58 am

I am sure of all lifters being solid on testing them with hand/finger pressure with rocker arms off.

Having adjusted to 0 lash on my "nightmare- highway drive " with engine warm, the engine performed well in terms of power but the sudden stalling got me thinking this- the lifters were starting to respond thus not opening the valves that were adjusted to 0 lash....however, on a cold morning test, they were all solid.

One thing is for sure....the previous owner/mechanic had adjusted them to recommended settings as I (before knowing how they are to be adjusted) wondered at whoever adjusted all valves "poorely" a number of turns in and not .006 clear (coming from a type 1 school).

What can I try before the option of reaching out for the lifters to try bleed them??

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Amskeptic
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by Amskeptic » Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:15 am

ktk833 wrote: Having adjusted to 0 lash on my "nightmare- highway drive " with engine warm, the engine performed well in terms of power but the sudden stalling got me thinking this- the lifters were starting to respond thus not opening the valves that were adjusted to 0 lash....however, on a cold morning test, they were all solid.
You appear not to be aware of how hydraulic lifters work. They adjust their overall length to the expansion and contraction of the engine. They have NO discretion over how the valves open. They do their "length adjustment" work when the valves are closed and there is no pressure on the valve train. Yours are not doing so. Therefore, as your engine gets warm, the expanded valve train (due to heat, normal) is keeping your valves open. This is dangerous. You can burn a valve in 50 miles.

Set the valves to .006"
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 108,000 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

Curtp07
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by Curtp07 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 7:44 pm

Just used your method and it's great! First adjustment after rebuild. Is it a big deal doing the engine cold vs warmed up? I didn't think of that until after. Immediately adjusted dwell and timing as well. Thanks!
Curt

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Amskeptic
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Nov 01, 2016 6:31 am

Curtp07 wrote:Just used your method and it's great! First adjustment after rebuild. Is it a big deal doing the engine cold vs warmed up? I didn't think of that until after. Immediately adjusted dwell and timing as well. Thanks!
Curt
Not a big deal, but please do them cold in the future so you can keep variables to a minimum when assessing the forensics. If you adjust them cold, you will be able to see changes in engine architecture based on how the pre-load distance changes over time.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 108,000 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

Curtp07
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by Curtp07 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:36 am

Thanks Colin....yes..I wasn't clear. I did them cold.

Also made a note of the "clock" positions of each adjusters first contact for future reference.

Curt

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sped372
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by sped372 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:42 am

Here I am, revisiting this. Shame on me, I never made any attempts to correlate the stopped engine position with initial clatter. Nevertheless, I still wanted to run the adjustment again, even just for good practice and familiarization.

Now then, I only attempted to adjust cylinders 1 and 2. I am still caught off guard when I press against the rocker arm and find a squishy lifter. It just throws me off after dozens of solid lifter adjustments on the 1600.

To start, I have two questions.

First. As I turn the adjuster down (past zero), just how much resistance should there be? Different lifters felt different. At least one took quite a bit more torque on my stubby flat screwdriver. The others required more than a loose, free screw, but not what I would describe as "a lot" (very scientific). My inexperienced self worries I'm moving the valve on that one, not compressing the lifter.

Second. After this procedure is it normal for the engine to run like garbage briefly? Part of my brain tells me the lifters need to find their new homes (I went from 2 turns in to 1.5). But the other voice in my head is wringing its hands and doubting that everything was performed correctly. I need more experience with this to feel comfortable with the patterns. Did I move the valve instead of compressing the lifter? If I did that, will it still find home (within reason)?
1971 Karmann Ghia - 1600 DP
1984 Westfalia - 1.9 WBX

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Amskeptic
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:29 pm

sped372 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:42 am
I am still caught off guard when I press against the rocker arm and find a squishy lifter. It just throws me off after dozens of solid lifter adjustments on the 1600.
I have to assume that you read the hydraulic lifter article.
You avoid the squishy all together. You do not invade the squishy place. You back off the screw until there is a *gap*. A gap, a space, like solid lifter Volkswagens. Make a big gap. You are NOT supposed to push against the rocker arm. You back off that screw until there is a gap. We are only trying to discern play.

THEN, you delicately delicately turn the screw back in with your *fingers* (keep the locknut out of the way) until you feel it *just contact* the valve stem. The only motion you impart to the rocker arm is a delicate back-and-forth clickaclicka that you are trying to make disappear as you bring the screw to the contact point. You can feel it touch. No more clicka.

NOW just turn the screw in 1 1/2 or 2 turns from there. Done. Err, after you secure the locknut.

sped372 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:42 am
To start, I have two questions.
First. As I turn the adjuster down (past zero), just how much resistance should there be? Different lifters felt different.
You just answered your own question. Some lifters seem to need a good twist, others seem to screw in easily enough. Just make sure the threads are clean and oiled. If you have to remove the screws and nuts and disassemble them and wire brush the threads, do it. Clean well, re-install with engine oil.
sped372 wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:42 am
Second. After this procedure is it normal for the engine to run like garbage briefly? Part of my brain tells me the lifters need to find their new homes (I went from 2 turns in to 1.5). But the other voice in my head is wringing its hands and doubting that everything was performed correctly. I need more experience with this to feel comfortable with the patterns. Did I move the valve instead of compressing the lifter? If I did that, will it still find home (within reason)?
Many times, the engine will run HORRIDLY if a couple of lifters were not pumped up. You basically have a cylinder that is not breathing. Drive through it. Gently . . . I still have not had a lifter not pump up within 20 minutes.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 108,000 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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sped372
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by sped372 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:48 am

Thanks. I'll try again. I understand the concept, I'm just used to tugging firmly on the rocker and having every lifter react the same while setting 0.006" on the solids. Having some act solid and others squishy imparts self-doubt, you know?
1971 Karmann Ghia - 1600 DP
1984 Westfalia - 1.9 WBX

stwesty
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by stwesty » Fri May 25, 2018 10:35 am

Amskeptic wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:29 pm
You avoid the squishy all together. You do not invade the squishy place. You back off the screw until there is a *gap*. A gap, a space, like solid lifter Volkswagens. Make a big gap. You are NOT supposed to push against the rocker arm. You back off that screw until there is a gap. We are only trying to discern play.

THEN, you delicately delicately turn the screw back in with your *fingers* (keep the locknut out of the way) until you feel it *just contact* the valve stem. The only motion you impart to the rocker arm is a delicate back-and-forth clickaclicka that you are trying to make disappear as you bring the screw to the contact point. You can feel it touch. No more clicka.

NOW just turn the screw in 1 1/2 or 2 turns from there. Done. Err, after you secure the locknut.
Excellent description, this answers my question on how to know when it just touches. I'm adjusting mine after installing new heads so I don't have the luxury of previous adjustments. So before reading this I had no idea when to start the 1.5-2 turns.

A question though -- when the clacking stops, mine go in a couple of turns with practically zero resistance and then suddenly encounter major resistance. What am I feeling there? When my lifters were out they were rock solid and obviously the springs offer significant resistance, so what could account for the couple turns of very low/no resistance after no clacking? It really doesn't feel like anything is being pressed in.

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sped372
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by sped372 » Fri May 25, 2018 11:15 am

stwesty wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 10:35 am
A question though -- when the clacking stops, mine go in a couple of turns with practically zero resistance and then suddenly encounter major resistance. What am I feeling there? When my lifters were out they were rock solid and obviously the springs offer significant resistance, so what could account for the couple turns of very low/no resistance after no clacking? It really doesn't feel like anything is being pressed in.
Yes, this confuses me also. Are we first (minimal resistance) compressing the lifter (but we shouldn't be able to do that, in theory, right?) and then actually moving the valve spring (significant resistance)?
1971 Karmann Ghia - 1600 DP
1984 Westfalia - 1.9 WBX

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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by Amskeptic » Sat May 26, 2018 8:44 am

stwesty wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 10:35 am
A question though -- when the clacking stops, mine go in a couple of turns with practically zero resistance and then suddenly encounter major resistance. What am I feeling there? When my lifters were out they were rock solid and obviously the springs offer significant resistance, so what could account for the couple turns of very low/no resistance after no clacking? It really doesn't feel like anything is being pressed in.
Are you bottoming the lifter and then opening the valve itself? You can see if that it is the case.

I, too have felt varying degrees of resistance to turning, and in most cases, you are just running into a dam of carbon in the threads, the first few low effort twists are old cleared out thread groove.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 108,000 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

stwesty
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by stwesty » Sat May 26, 2018 9:28 am

What do you mean by "bottoming the lifter"? How would I be able to tell (sorry, relatively new to this and this is the first time I've adjusted my valves).

Am I correct in assuming that if my lifters are pumped up, I shouldn't be able to compress them without major pressure? So if i can't wiggle the rocker that should mean the pushrod is touching the lifter, the rocker arm is touching the pushrod, and there is no gap between the rocker and valve stem. At that point I would have though I'd feel immediate resistance because I should be pre-loading the lifter a bit. Instead on all 8 rockers I get a couple turns of what feels like little to no resistance before sudden strong resistance.

I wonder if it is one of those feel things where if I had ever seen someone else do it, it'd be obvious. The old model of apprenticeships for learning things type of thing sure made sense...

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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by Amskeptic » Sat May 26, 2018 7:41 pm

stwesty wrote: Am I correct in assuming that if my lifters are pumped up, I shouldn't be able to compress them without major pressure?
I wonder if it is one of those feel things where if I had ever seen someone else do it, it'd be obvious. The old model of apprenticeships for learning things type of thing sure made sense...

To your first question, no. They can be variable in resistance to turning adjusting screw, and they can behave differently when the engine is off, versus on with full oil pressure in the lifter galleries.

I cannot discern the nuances of "feeling" as described by you in your universe and me in my universe.
I do know, however, that there is an inviolable factual, visual even, definition to "clearance" and "contact" which of course is no longer clearance. Get there. Turn in the screw 1 1/2 turns. I wrote the observable result of bottoming the lifter in my prior response. I said that you could *see* the valve retainer move, move in, open the valve. You do NOT want that. Back the screw out until you know you know you know you know that there is clearance between the screw tip and the valve. Now make that clearance go away. Add 1 1/2 turns. Done.
IF THE VALVE RETAINER MOVES IN, while you preload 1 1/2 turns in, you have either a bottomed out collapsed lifter or a rock hard won't bleed down lifter. Lifters are SUPPOSED TO BLEED DOWN as you set the preload, not open the valve.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 108,000 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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sped372
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by sped372 » Sun May 27, 2018 6:09 am

That helped, thanks. FWIW I added 1/2 qt. of MMO at the last oil change and it's been all quiet since then... for now. I'm not big on magic additives but figured it was worth a shot since "everyone" on theSamba vouches for it.
1971 Karmann Ghia - 1600 DP
1984 Westfalia - 1.9 WBX

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Amskeptic
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Re: Hydraulic Lifter Adjustment

Post by Amskeptic » Wed May 30, 2018 7:00 am

sped372 wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:09 am
That helped, thanks. FWIW I added 1/2 qt. of MMO at the last oil change and it's been all quiet since then... for now. I'm not big on magic additives but figured it was worth a shot since "everyone" on theSamba vouches for it.
I'm not big on magic potions either, but some do work in a pinch, and some cars I do not care if the Coolant Leak Stop! In A Bottle! clogs every passage in their cylinder head. I used Engine Overhaul In A Can to reduce the smoking in my poor Lincoln, it worked.

That said, let's agree that Marvel Mystery Oil is another way of saying, "the oil has not been changed enough" (not necessarily under your stewardship, but somewhere in the time line).
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 111,155 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,820 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 108,000 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,885 miles

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