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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How much should a new set of roller lifters cost me? Looking around, I'm seeing them listed for roughly $20-$25, which appears to be the price for a single lifter, is this correct? That could run me $200 alone. I'm thinking I'm just going to go to the junkyard and pull some used ones from a newish Escort/Focus, assuming there's nothing wrong with that. I know you can reuse lifters, but I'm going to be using a brand new cam, and I'm not sure if this will change anything.
 

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Check e-bay. 1low guided me to what needed before from a company he uses alot, Northern Auto Parts. Seem to have good parts aty great prices.

And I'm not sure of the compatiblity of using newer Escort/Focus internals.
 

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If you went 2nd or 3rd gen CVH powered Escort you're fine, the lifters are the same as roller cam 1st gens. They don't really wear, so there's no issue with using a new cam. Basically, it won't wipe the lobes. Most places sell lifters for $25 each. I found Napa sells them for $15 per. When I rebuilt my engine I replaced mine (they had leakdown issues) and ultimately paid $7.50 per lifter. They're PBM brand, seem to be as good as anything else I've seen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
UnexplodedCow, where did you get your lifters that only cost you $7.50 a piece? I haven't seen anything "PBM" where I've been looking.

I checked on eBay, but I could only find the old flat style (dirt cheap in comparison, a whole set for twenty bucks.) I already ordered my cam from Northern's eBay store, but they don't have the matching lifters on there, and I was reluctant to pay $25.00 a piece at their regular site.
 

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I got them through my local machine shop as part of a rebuild kit. Chances are yours can do exactly the same. They'll get you lower prices than the typical auto store does. PBM is just another company that I've heard of making racing grade lifters.

http://www.pbmperformance.com/store.php?catId=420

There is PBM's site. I'd ordered some Clevite lifters from Napa previously, and the PBM ones looked better. One has developed a slight leak, and it's pretty random, but disappears as soon as the oil pressure comes up, so I'm not worried about it. I haven't been the easiest on this engine either, and they haven't died yet. The rollers also operated more smoothly than the Clevite ones. They also seemed to be better machined and were shinier. For half the price of a Clevite I went for them. A box of 8 cost me $60, that works out to $7.50 per lifter. Maybe you can order directly from PBM and get a better price.

I also just sent them an email asking if they're still made, pricing, warranty, and any extra specs they'd care to throw in. I hope they respond. At least their site looks modern and well kept.
 

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Nah, CVH in general. If a roller cam was used along with the retainers, a 1.6 could also run roller lifters. A 2.0 uses the same lifters as the 1.9, so they're not indigenous. What's more, the UK has a 1.8 and 1.4 that use roller lifters.
 

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Hey, they contacted me back..the lifters are still made, 6500 rpm rev limit (same as oem). No warranty they know of, so that's par for the course. I wonder what pricing is, sent them one asking just that.
 

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What's interesting to me is that Rockauto.com seems to offer both 'hydraulic lash' and 'rlr' valve lifters for my 89 Pony (I assume 'rlr' stands for roller?), making me wonder if some '89 engines had the flat ones and some were made with rollers. Also, someone here on another thread claimed that his 89 or 90 had the non-roller lifters.

I've never taken my head off, so I don't know if it has roller or non-roller. Maybe some of the base model (Pony) cars still had non-roller in 89?

Will

Some time back, I searched the web for a java or flash animation of how hydraulic lifters work, since I'm still a bit confused about them. Anyone know of a site? I think that hydraulic ones keep metal to metal contact better and don't require lash adjustment as often as solid?

I know that roller lifters have a roller on the bottom which rolls against the cam, reducing cam wear, but I've never completely understood hydraulic vs. solid.

Sometimes, my car gets lifter noise when I first start it in the morning, which usually goes away after a few seconds, but occasionally persists for up to 10 miles or so of driving and it kind of bugs me because wouldn't that normally mean that if a cylinder has that tap-tap-tap lifter noise, that that lifter isn't working, and so therefore that cylinder is probably not firing?

I overhauled 2 1960's engines once, myself, but of course, those weren't overhead cam engines and so used long pushrod tappets.

sorry for the hijack
 

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By 88.5 the roller heads were introduced. That was one of the revisions for the half year. Max, if you had an '89 model year with flat tappets it wasn't the original head.

Hydraulic lifters are hollow inside, with a ball and spring check valve. There are little holes in the sides of the lifters, as well as oil squirter holes in the lifter bores of the head. Since all the oil doesn't squirt out, it goes into the lifter, which fills up with oil. The check valve prevents leakdown. I've seen lifters hold their oil for decades. They only pump up to the needed height to prevent valve lash (extra gap). Basically they keep the lifter in contact with the cam lobe and rocker arm. Usually they don't take revs so well, due to overpumping, which can blow them apart, but they're great for keeping valvetrain geometry in spec.

Lifter noise happens. As long as it goes away on startup you're fine. It just means a lifter might have a little more leakdown than it should, but not enough to cause problems when driving. If it's persisting then I'd be checking which lifter it is, as well as the oil pressure for the engine. The valve will be opening, but not all the way, so the cylinder won't be working at full strength. You should hear a CVH first start with all the lifters empty of oil...it's loud. I also don't recommend starting the engine with empty lifters, but using a remote starter for a minute or two to pump the lifters up, there's way less chance of damaging something, and helps the lifter last longer.

Pushrod engines also use hydraulic lifters, because they alleviated having to take the valve cover off and adjust the valve lash while the engine was running (imagine how much oil would sling). I think they're an excellent idea. Pretty much all modern engines use a roller of some sort because it pretty much eliminates cam lobe wear. This is also why the zinc additive was removed in the recent API oil rating change. That protected flat-tappet cam lobes, especially on break in. Does this help explain some things?
 

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Great explanation, Noall, thanks. I now think I remember that the 289 and 302 engines that I overhauled, had some cylindrical tappets above the camshaft (in the block?) that then pushed the pushrods thru the heads that then pushed the rocker arms. I didn't mess with those or the cam, I just had the head worked on, and I replaced piston rings, bearings and gaskets in those engines.

BTW, does anyone remember the 'Visible Man' and 'Visible Woman' models that you could buy in the 60's? They were about a foot high, clear plastic and hinged, with veins and muscles, and you could open them and take out all the organs I think. Well, anyway, there also existed 'Visible V8' plastic models of engines, and maybe other engines. They may still be sold new, or you can find them on EBay. My older brother had the 'Visible man' one. I'm thinking of buying one and also one of modern engines, mostly so I can show my non-mechanically inclined friends, how they work, lol. They can also be good learning tools for you wife and kids, etc.
 

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Yup, those tappets were the lifters...the only mechanical difference is that those push against a pushrod, and then the rocker, instead of just against the rocker. Some modern designs have "finger" lifters (or followers in some nomenclature) that have a lobe or roller that contacts and follows the came lob. They're held up on one end by a haudraulic lifter, have the roller in the middle, and the other end pushes against the valve stem. TVR almost exclusively uses the finger roller setup. A more common engine would be the 2.2 or 2.4 Ecotec, they use finger followers, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
89Pony, you don't even need to remove the whole head just to see if you have roller lifters. All you have to do is take the valve cover off, unfasten one of the rockers, and the lifter underneath slides right out.
 
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