Hello everybody,

unfortunately one bad lifter is making noise again in my 1963 390cui (passenger side, next to the firewall) and cannot be stabilized with oil changes or additives.

So I decided to install new lifters and ordered an interesting tool at Summit, that allows you to grab the old lifters through the push rod openings as shown in the shop manual without removing the intake manifold .

My question about the lifters is:

Do you recommend to soak the lifters with oil before installation?
The shop manual says nothing about it and I am not that familiar with the old flat tappet camshafts.

To rule out a worn out camshaft as far as possible, I will check the cam with an endoscope through the holes and especially the running surfaces of the old lifters.

For installation the running surfaces of the new lifters will be lubricated in the direction of the camshaft with MoS2 Assembly-Lube.

What about the procedure at first start of the engine after reassembly?

The shop manual only says:"operate engine to operating temperature..."
What du you recommend? Start engine and then keep running at higher rpm, until the rattling stops? Then do a testdrive?

Finally, of course, an oil change.

Thanks in advance for some recommendations!

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I have never installed lifters before but do remember reading Jason's experience written in the September 2021 Newsletter. https://app.box.com/s/is1187hwdgd1bk2ycgqdkjlo82yo0ukh

Do examine the rocker arms for wear in the cylinder making noise —on both sides first ( push rod and valve ) 

Check the push rods for out of round by rolling them on glass 

They can sometimes bend and cause clearance issues 

Good chance the lifter is the issue often can be dirt 

Have you used Marvelous Mystery Oil or a Rislone product for lifters noise first ?

You want to run the engine above 1000 RPMs at engine start up for 15 minutes to polish any new metal to metal contact surfaces 

Be sure to use the correct oil for a flat tappet cam which needs some thought these days as not available off most auto store shelves unless you add  the correct Zinc additive to it 



Seafoam is another product to consider using in you oil first 


Thank you, I have used products for lifter noise several times - and it worked for most of the noisy lifters. Only one lifter is still making noise like in Jason´s Video, posted in the 2021 newsletter.

Due to the low mileage of the engine, I have high hopes that it is only a clogged lifter.
It sems the heads have never been off and so the original gaskets don´t cover the push rod holes, like on Jason´s engine. He had trouble swapping the lifters through the holes.

The oil I am using is perfect for our old engines: Liqui Moly 10W40 with MoS2 solid lubricant. It already has got the high Zinc content but is only available in Europe, as far as I know.

regarding possible cam wear 

remove the valve cover - start the engine and and stay at an idle and compare  and measure the rocker arm travel of the ticking valve lifter to the others valves of the same kind to observe there  length of travel 

if less travel the cam could have a wear issue 


If you have isolated the noisy lifter you could just replace that lifter. I would also replace the push rod with that lifter. You can buy the lifters individually and I think the push rods also. I just used cam lube and squirted a heavy coating across the cam lobes. I had let the new lifters sit in a container of oil for several days before installing but still gobbed a good amount of lifter lube around them when I installed them. 

Hello everbody,

some news about my lifter noise!

After removing the valve cover, I was able to immediately identify the bad lifter. It was the only rocker arm that clicked when touching it with my finger.

But after removing the rocker arms there was a bad surprise: someone must have changed lifters before and not properly seated the pushrod into its seat. So it bent.

Appart from the broken pushrod, the lifters are all in very good condition.For testing, I squeezed them in the oil bath until they hardened.

Now I have ordered a new pushrod (same size, length) and will then put everything back together.

Attached some pics from my surprise


You  found your problem with the bent push rod causing your valve noise 

I would leave the lifter that is in the engine—- if you assemble the rocker arms with the new push rod —and the clicking goes away 

The reason is —I would not want to reseat a new lifter—- on the  old cam lobe —unless it would be necessary as seating parts creates metal to metal wear in the process  and that lifter is seated correctly already 

If you then find that the old lifter is still making noise then it is part of the problem and needs to be replaced

Looks like you got a bit lucky by your surprise 

As Always —-Just my 2 cents ! 

She runs again :-)

I reassembled the push rods and the rocker arms, which was a bit difficult to get all eight push rods at the same time into their rocker arms. but finally it worked.

New gasket and then ignition.... YES! it runs very smooth with no ticking.

The test drive was very relaxed. She glides along whisper-quiet and it seems that she has got a little more power now.




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