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Unread 09-03-2013, 01:23 PM   #1
jeep93GCL
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1993 ZJ 
 
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lifters on my 4.0

Hey guys I start getting a tap noise if I change the lifters and rockers will the noise go away

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Unread 09-03-2013, 04:17 PM   #2
JasonStebbins
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Good thing your post isn't vague.

The 4.0L is a noisy motor. And at high mileage they all tend to have a noisy valvetrain. My first ZJ had the lifter tick for four years. Thicker oil or some Lucas additive helped with the noise. If you want to replace them, go right ahead.

Is it a tick or a knock or a clank?
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Unread 09-03-2013, 11:32 PM   #3
AVR2
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Check out this video for an excellent demonstration of what the 4.0L lifter tick sounds like:

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Unread 09-04-2013, 01:11 PM   #4
jeep93GCL
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Yup that what my jeep sound like when it winter time it sound much worst.
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Unread 09-04-2013, 01:20 PM   #5
zjosh93
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My lifter tick got better after I ran motor flush through before a couple oil changes and then ran a bottle of Rislone with my oil (this fixed a sticky lifter on a Camaro I had). Now I just run Rotella 15w40 and a Purolator filter. It rarely taps anymore and when it does it's just for a few seconds.

My problem with just doing the lifters is that I can't see getting the engine apart where you can change the lifters without dropping in a fresh set of rings, rod and main bearings, etc. and I don't have cash on hand for that amount of work.
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Unread 09-04-2013, 08:40 PM   #6
jabba974
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I would advise against replacing lifters, unless they are "roller" style lifters....Flat tappet lifters wear with the cam, and putting new lifters will accelerate wear, and cause premature failure of the cam and/or lifters...
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Unread 09-04-2013, 11:23 PM   #7
JasonStebbins
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That video sounds like piston slap to me, not a lifter tick.
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Unread 09-04-2013, 11:24 PM   #8
bigb229
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my pops has been a mechanic for years and years. we recently rebuilt my 4.0L and he had no problem or bad karma about using new lifters with an old camshaft. I am running the comp extreme energy cam with their lifters currently. run new mopar performance valve springs and some break in lube from comp, or lucas stabilizer works well too, and you won't have a problem. my valve train is a little noisy but no ticking yet after 15k miles.
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Unread 09-05-2013, 12:10 AM   #9
AVR2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjosh93 View Post
My problem with just doing the lifters is that I can't see getting the engine apart where you can change the lifters without dropping in a fresh set of rings, rod and main bearings, etc. and I don't have cash on hand for that amount of work.
You don't have to go that far if you don't want to. Plenty of people just pull the cylinder head with the engine still in the ZJ, and drop in the new lifters on the original camshaft.
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Unread 09-09-2013, 09:37 AM   #10
zjosh93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabba974 View Post
I would advise against replacing lifters, unless they are "roller" style lifters....Flat tappet lifters wear with the cam, and putting new lifters will accelerate wear, and cause premature failure of the cam and/or lifters...
As long as the original surface hardening isn't worn off the cam and the lobes still have some of the original bevel to them new lifters will be fine on an old cam. If either of those conditions are not met then your original cam and lifters were about to crap out anyway, new lifters aren't going to make things worse.

We call them flat lifters but if you look at new ones they have a slight crown to them. The lobes on the cam also have a light bevel. That's why lifters spin when the engine turns. They are designed that way so lifters wear evenly and it makes the lifters much less likely to scuff the cam. The thrust from the lifters riding on the slight bevel on the lobes also keeps the cam from walking front to back in the block.

Since most of the time people are replacing lifters because the tick not for wear odds are that the cam is still in good shape and okay for new lifters. If you take a lifter out and place the foot of the lifter against the side of another (or any flat surface) you should see a slight crown to the foot, flat is okay too, if you see light under the center of the foot it's concave and you probably should be changing the cam too.
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Unread 09-09-2013, 09:40 AM   #11
zjosh93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVR2 View Post
You don't have to go that far if you don't want to. Plenty of people just pull the cylinder head with the engine still in the ZJ, and drop in the new lifters on the original camshaft.
True, I'm just picky.
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Unread 09-10-2013, 07:59 PM   #12
jabba974
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zjosh93 View Post
As long as the original surface hardening isn't worn off the cam and the lobes still have some of the original bevel to them new lifters will be fine on an old cam. If either of those conditions are not met then your original cam and lifters were about to crap out anyway, new lifters aren't going to make things worse.

We call them flat lifters but if you look at new ones they have a slight crown to them. The lobes on the cam also have a light bevel. That's why lifters spin when the engine turns. They are designed that way so lifters wear evenly and it makes the lifters much less likely to scuff the cam. The thrust from the lifters riding on the slight bevel on the lobes also keeps the cam from walking front to back in the block.

Since most of the time people are replacing lifters because the tick not for wear odds are that the cam is still in good shape and okay for new lifters. If you take a lifter out and place the foot of the lifter against the side of another (or any flat surface) you should see a slight crown to the foot, flat is okay too, if you see light under the center of the foot it's concave and you probably should be changing the cam too.

With Flat tappet lifters, the hardening occurs during the break-in process...that is why proper break-in is critical...The "crown" comes from wear...If you look at a new lifter, they are flat.... The cam and lifters wear together, when you replace a lifter with a new one, it requires a new "break-in" process, which removes material from the cam and lifter...With an engine that has higher mileage or wear, it can cause a failure of the cam/lifter....If you don't believe me, call up any camshaft manufacture and ask them if the recommend it...
Now, using a roller lifter, like whats in most newer 5.2L's this is not a problem nessecarily, because the there is no real break-in procedure for the cam, and greatly reduced friction...Most new engines do not have a break-in procedure do to these type of componets...
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Unread 09-10-2013, 10:12 PM   #13
zjosh93
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Let me check with Crane Cams on that: http://www.cranecams.com/pdf-tech-ti...failure811.pdf

Says there "When the cast core is made at the casting foundry, all the lobes are flame hardened." and "Lifter rotation is created by a taper ground on the cam lobe and the convex shape of the face of the flat tappet lifter." Which is what I said. Also they state "If the used lifters get mixed up, you should discard them and install a new set of lifters and break the cam in again as you would on a new cam and lifters. You can use new lifters on a good used cam, but never try to use used lifters on a new cam."

Maybe Crane isn't a big enough cam company for you? But that's straight from their technical bulletin.

Here's a hot rod article on cam failures that points out what anyone who deals with aftermarket cams already knows, most cams are not cast by Comp or Crane or Lunati etc. they are made by a couple of companies that supply cast and hardened blanks to pretty much everybody who then grinds there own lobes profiles. http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/e...h/viewall.html

That article also talks about the acid phosphate process that is the real reason you need to break in a cam. The acid etches the surface leaving it rough and the lifter has machining marks in the face of the lifter from when they grind the crown on the lifter face. This makes the contact between the lifter face and the lobes very rough and causes a lot of heat. If you don't have plenty of oil splash during break in the heat causes the lifter and lobe to gall and swap metal leading to premature cam failure.

Here's another article from Engine Builder written by David Vizard, one of the gods of engine building: http://www.enginebuildermag.com/Arti...r_failure.aspx

"In reality, there is no such thing as a flat tappet cam and lifter. The lifter has a crown on it, typically between .050" and .100" radius. This runs on a cam profile, which is tapered across its form. The cam profile itself does not run centered on the lifter but is offset to one side. The combination of this offset and the cams taper and the lifter crowning causes the lifter to rotate. At the end of the day it is the lifter rotation (which considerably reduces the rubbing speed) that saves the situation from a sure disaster."

Finally, scroll down to the bottom: http://www.autozone.com/autozone/rep...00c1528004ddfa
See how they show how to check for a flat or concave lifter? "Check the lifters for concave wear. If the bottom of the lifter is worn concave or flat, replace the lifter. Lifters are built with a convex bottom, so flatness indicates wear. If a worn lifter is detected, carefully check the camshaft for wear."
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Unread 09-11-2013, 07:37 PM   #14
jabba974
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Your right, most aftermarket cam companies do not cast their own cam blanks...that being said, if they do heat treat the cam, wouldn't the heat treated area be machined away when companies like, Comp, Crane, Clevite, etc... put their own "grind" on them?

I am not saying that you can not install new lifters on a old, good camshaft, but a cam that has over 100,000 miles on it probly wouldn't be considered a good camshaft...I'd don't know how many cams I have seen fail because new lifters have been installed on a worn cam... And having worked in a parts store for 15 years, not one of our suppliers would ever warranty a cam or lifters if both parts were not new...

Again, not saying that you would have cam failure by installing new lifters on an old cam, but going through all that work to install them, why take the chance? spend the extra $50-$100 and put a new cam in...
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Unread 09-12-2013, 07:23 AM   #15
zjosh93
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The hardening they put on the cast blanks penetrates roughly 1/8" into the lobe so they have material to machine away. They also have different blanks with different rough lobes so each blank can become four or five different final cams. They get more lift out of a given blank by grinding a smaller base circle and less off the tip. That's why if you put a cam with more lift in your engine it generally takes custom pushrods and/or an adjustable valve train.

4.0 cams are expensive. The cheapest stock grind I could find was $120 and most are $160 and up. Plus the engine is so long and close to the front clip. When I did my timing chain I remember eyeballing what it would have to come out (radiator, AC condenser, etc.) to get the cam out and deciding that I'd rather pull the engine than try and do it in place. Other folks may have come up with creative work arounds.

Yes, ideally you would put in a new cam and lifters. In my first post I said to check for lifter crown. If they are still crowned then the cam lobes still have taper and the cam is probably still okay. If the lifters are concave the lobes are rounded and the cam is on its way out.

EDIT: here's a decent overview of cam manufacture http://www.dragzine.com/features/sho...shaft-is-made/
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