WK Hemi lifter recommendations/head work - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-22-2017, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
LimitedHemi
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WK Hemi lifter recommendations/head work

Hey guys- I recently picked up a 2005 WK with a 5.7 Hemi. I actually owned one of this years ago and picked this up after I recently sold my JK Rubicon to hold me over until the JT pickups come out.

Now, it has 185,000 miles and runs excellent for the most part. However, it does have what appears to by a nasty lifter rattle that is variable at low RPM, gets louder when I turn the steering wheel, and goes away at higher RPM's (hence why I believe it's the lifters). Drive-ability hasn't been impacted but I know that eventually the hammering of the valves is going to going to bust a valve spring, or worse, a valve seat (another common problem).

Since I have to pull the heads to do the lifters I wanted to check in with you guys about any recommendations for lifters (revised OE or aftermarket) that avoid this issue again as well as if there were any recommendations for other preventative repairs while the heads were off (replace the valve seats, etc) and what upgrades made sense for dependability. Not looking to do any crazy performance mods- this is just a DD, but if there is a performance mod that improves strength or reliability, I'd like to explore them. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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post #2 of 17 Old 08-22-2017, 02:00 PM
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Most any good shop that does heads can replace the valve seats. You'd have to shop around for the best price though. As far as the valve lifters go, there are quite a few aftermarket non-MDS ones available, but I didn't find any aftermarket MDS valve lifters. If you're going to stay stock, or mildly modified like me, I'd stick with the stock lifters. I've run my DD WK hard with my mods. (see signature) for about 40,000 miles now and everything still worked great when I recently took it apart.

As I said, I have my 06 Hemi apart right now. I convinced the wife that we "needed" to do this to preclude any chance of dropping a valve seat, especially when travelling, which we do quite frequently. I'll be doing this to both my Hemi's, as they're both in the year range of potential dropped seat issue. It'll end up being a pretty expensive adventure....doing both within about a six month time frame. I am doing the Jeep first so it'll be done before winter and I'll do the other (LX) over the winter. Doing both will be a lot cheaper than being possibly broken and stranded in some unfamiliar area, or buying new engines and/or vehicles. I usually keep my vehicles until the wheels fall off anyway, so I am not too worried about recouping the cost over the long run.

Right now my heads are at Total Engine Airflow in Tallmadge, Ohio. They're using my heads, which I like, and should have them done in about another two weeks. I am having them ported, polished, new valve seats, new valve springs and valve seals, and milled .030 in. to increase the compression ratio by about half of a point. When I get them back, i'll port match everything (intake and headers) to insure maximum flow through the intake, combustion and exhaust tracts. Most ported 5.7 Hemi heads flow increases by ~30-50 cfm, times 8 cylinders, over stock, which should help both power and fuel economy. IMO, a good low restriction header back exhaust is also a must to get the full benefit. When I get my heads back, I'll be doing a thread on the changeover adventure, and will also post the goods, bads and uglies of the job.
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06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, TruFlow Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, Transgo Shift Kit, DS Tuner, Cust tubular hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's.
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post #3 of 17 Old 08-22-2017, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. Yeah I was hoping to find some aftermarket lifters to replace the OE lifters since it doesn't seem they ever re-designed them to avoid long term failure. Like you said, I've seen plenty of non-MDS solutions out there, but nothing for MDS so far. Are you planning on changing the cam out to take advantage of increased airflow? What are you doing for a tune? I'd definitely have the heads fluxed, ported and polished once they are pulled, especially due to the mileage they have now. I'm curious as to what you will be seeing as to performance improvements and what impact you will have on MPG (volumetric efficiency vs increased compression). New headers are definitely a must, and should also help remedy the consistent manifold leaks these experience. Where did you get the ones you will be using? Mine have a slight leak now and are most likely cracked.
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-22-2017, 05:01 PM
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I see you know all about volumetic efficiency, and how it relates to engine performance and fuel economy. My main goals when I started doing all this stuff was to gain a little performance and improve the fuel economy by improving the VE.

I know I've improved the VE a fair amount in both. Both my Hemi's are modded exactly the same, so when I do something to one, I soon do it to the other too. I've got Frank's Racing (FRI) Sidewinder MDS friendly cams (made by Comp. Cams) in both (WK cam is advanced a total of 6* and LX cam is advanced a total of 10*), 90 mm throttle bodies (LX now has an Arrington and WK has a BBK), 25% under drive crank pulleys, SRT CAI's, Billet Tech. catch cans, MDS "ON" lights, tubular headers/low restriction (straight through mufflers) cat. backs, Sultans of Spark (SOS) ignition coils running .060 in. plug gaps, and canned tunes. The LX uses a Diablosport tune with a little more advance, a Mopar Performance Transmission Control Module (locks out the converter clutch), and a Getrag 3.06 limited slip differental with 600 hp. rear axles. The WK uses the Superchips tuner with the Advanced Transmission Tuning Application (ATT) using my custom shift schedules/torque management settings, a Transgo Shift Kit and Sonnax Line Pressure Booster. When I am done with all this head stuff, I'll be picking up an HP Tuner and see if I can improve on the canned tunes a bit. I am pretty happy the way they work right now, but I am sure I can improve things by re-mapping the advance curves, messing with the converter clutch settings on the WK and seeing if I can adjust the MDS parameters a bit.

So far I've improved the highway fuel economy by about 25% on each...WK from ~18 mpg to ~22-24 mpg, LX from ~23 mpg to ~27-29 mpg. On the highway, MDS is normally active in excess of 90% of the time. Quarter mile times are almost a second and a half quicker than stock on both. In town fuel economy is about like it was stock, but I seldom drive like granny....to much fun and a good feeling in the seat of the pants. I know that is killing the mileage though.

You can see the pix above on how restrictive the stock Hemi exhaust log manifolds are...1 7/8 in. collector vs. the headers with a 3 in. collector. This is what "chokes out" the Hemi's the most, IMO.

IMO, if you're going to be having yours apart, you might as well do a little to help it a bit.

06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, TruFlow Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, Transgo Shift Kit, DS Tuner, Cust tubular hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's.
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-22-2017, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LimitedHemi View Post
I'm curious as to what you will be seeing as to performance improvements and what impact you will have on MPG (volumetric efficiency vs increased compression). New headers are definitely a must, and should also help remedy the consistent manifold leaks these experience. Where did you get the ones you will be using? Mine have a slight leak now and are most likely cracked.
It seems that the biggest problem with the stock logs is studs/bolts breaking on the exhaust logs. I think a few have actually cracked the logs themselves too.

I had my mid length ceramic coated headers and 3 in. cat. back custom built about 6 1/2 years ago. I have had problems with the bolts coming loose, causing blown flange gaskets, and a few cracks.....probably because of them coming loose. I think I've finally licked it though as, hopefully, the headers have taken their "set" and won't be flexing and twisting too much any more. I've also discovered Nord-Lock Wedge washers and Percy's "forever" dead soft aluminum header flange gaskets. I've been running this setup for about the last year (~10000 miles) and everything was great when I took it apart. If anyone ever does headers (or even reworks the stock setup), I'd highly recommend the Nord-Locks, as they will save lots of work and busted knuckles in the long run.

Watch this video:

06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, TruFlow Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, Transgo Shift Kit, DS Tuner, Cust tubular hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's.
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-23-2017, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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I've actually heard of guys running these washers before with a lot of success, but typically on turbocharged applications with aluminum heads where the EGT's can fluctuate across a much broader range. Definitely something to look into when I put it back together. I see you had your headers custom made. Are you aware of any straight aftermarket solutions? I see a lot out there for LX and 1500's.

As a side note, was there a reason that you went through the effort to maintain the MDS system? I've heard of a lot of guys, especially in the LX's, replacing the lifters and turning off the MDS in a tune when doing cams to avoid the sound and potential tuning complications; and seeing nominal impact on highway mileage.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-23-2017, 02:11 PM
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Did you remove the heads yourself? How much fun was it?
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-24-2017, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LimitedHemi View Post
I've actually heard of guys running these washers before with a lot of success, but typically on turbocharged applications with aluminum heads where the EGT's can fluctuate across a much broader range. Definitely something to look into when I put it back together. I see you had your headers custom made. Are you aware of any straight aftermarket solutions? I see a lot out there for LX and 1500's.

As a side note, was there a reason that you went through the effort to maintain the MDS system? I've heard of a lot of guys, especially in the LX's, replacing the lifters and turning off the MDS in a tune when doing cams to avoid the sound and potential tuning complications; and seeing nominal impact on highway mileage.
The header selection for the WK 5.7's is pretty limited, usually a PITA and generally quite expensive. (IMO, a good, low restriction 3 in. header back system is worth ~25-35 hp. and a mile or two better fuel economy on the highway.) The only ones that I know of that build headers "specifically" for the WK 5.7 is American Racing. I understand they cost about $1300-1500. Some folks either use stock WK SRT-8 headers (need modification for EGR and trans. cases needs to be slightly modified), or SRT-8 long tube headers. There are several manufacturers of these, but some have had rear O2 problems with some (causes a DTC because O2's are no longer in the stock position), and they still have to have the EGR/trans. case issues addressed. Of the aftermarket SRT-8's, it is my understanding that the OBX ones are the least expensive.

As I said in an earlier post, fuel economy was one of my main goals with these gas hogs. On mine, leaving the MDS active was much easier (no changes at all....just change the cam, pushrods and valve springs) and less expensive. I've tried shutting the MDS off and the highway fuel economy difference between MDS/non-MDS is between 2-3 miles per gallon. In town, the fuel economy is about the same as stock, except with about 50 hp. more than stock. Plus, with my setup, I drive like a teenager "almost" more than I did when I was a teenager....i.e. constant heavy foot on the "loud" pedal. With the cam, on the Jeep, I also have my WOT shift points set at 6200 RPM, and have not had any valve lifter issues over about a 40,000 mile period....knock on wood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
Did you remove the heads yourself? How much fun was it?
Yes, my son and I did the work. It took about 6 hours, with him removing the headers from underneath (my back won't allow me work under the vehicle for very long) and, since I am older and weaker now, do the physiclal removal of the heads. I did most of the topside work.
Attached Images
           

06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, TruFlow Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, Transgo Shift Kit, DS Tuner, Cust tubular hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's.
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-24-2017, 11:23 AM
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Great photos. Do you think it's easier to re install the headers bolted to the heads?
I read that it was but have not attempted this myself yet.
I need to sell a vehicle before I can purchase headers.
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-24-2017, 01:54 PM
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Great photos. Do you think it's easier to re install the headers bolted to the heads?
I read that it was but have not attempted this myself yet.
I need to sell a vehicle before I can purchase headers.
I don't really know, since this is the first time I've removed the heads. With the headers, my son has gotten pretty good at loosening/tightening the headers and changing flange gaskets (a total of about 5 times now), with them on. This time I asked him if he wanted to remove the heads with the headers on and he opted for just removing them first. They'll probably go back on the same way. With the alternator, power steering pump, and fender wells out of the way, it's not really that bad.....so he says.
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06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, TruFlow Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, Transgo Shift Kit, DS Tuner, Cust tubular hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's.
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post #11 of 17 Old 08-24-2017, 01:57 PM
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Thanks for the info!

Sent from my GRACE using Tapatalk
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post #12 of 17 Old 08-26-2017, 11:24 AM
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Wow great pix my back hurts just imagining it!
I just got done replacing the heads/head gaskets/intake gaskets on my 1988 Chevy 4.3 marine inboard and that was enough bending over, crawling around etc in the bilge for a long time! Those are only V6 heads, but they are cast iron not aluminum same with the intake.
Next is the heavy cast iron exhaust system....

keep us updated, I love the Jeep Hemi knowledge here!

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post #13 of 17 Old 08-26-2017, 01:18 PM
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Wow great pix my back hurts just imagining it!
I just got done replacing the heads/head gaskets/intake gaskets on my 1988 Chevy 4.3 marine inboard and that was enough bending over, crawling around etc in the bilge for a long time! Those are only V6 heads, but they are cast iron not aluminum same with the intake.
Next is the heavy cast iron exhaust system....

keep us updated, I love the Jeep Hemi knowledge here!
Yes, Lou, I remember years ago doing the cast iron V-8 heads (I had small block Chevy's and big block Oldsmobiles) and they were heavy then. I'd probably have to use a hoist now to get them off. Thank goodness for a strong son that knows his way around the newer vehicles.

The aluminum Hemi heads only weigh 35 lbs. each but, for an old guy like me, that's still pretty heavy when I am having to bend over the fenders to get them off. With the front wheels off, I can lower the hoist to where the brake rotors are on the ground. That does help a little when working topside. The intake manifold, being plastic, is easy to work with. So far, on it, I've port matched the 90 mm throttle body to the intake (fairly minor difference) by tapering the throttle body opening in the intake. I used my wood router for most of it and it worked great. Had to file the rest near where the EGR tube enters the intake.

06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, TruFlow Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, Transgo Shift Kit, DS Tuner, Cust tubular hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's.
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post #14 of 17 Old 08-26-2017, 03:14 PM
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We might be the same age. I date to the beginning of the small block Chevrolet lol....
I think if I ever had to do a head gasket on our '98 4.0 inline six I'd need a hoist to man handle that head off. I'm guessing the V6 heads from my Chevrolet 4.3 weighed about 45 lbs each, I bet the Jeep straight six head is about 80 lbs at least....

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post #15 of 17 Old 08-26-2017, 04:41 PM
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Lou, with us it's not age, it's vintage. I actually go back a little before the Chevy small blocks were first introduced....flathead V-8's to be exact....of course with three or six Stromberg 97 carburators. Bet not too many know what those are.....either the type engine or the carb., LOL.
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06 GCO, Dk Khaki, QDII, Flshing Hi 3rd Bk Lt, MDS "ON" Lt, Airtab Vortex Gens, Debadged, Fumoto Drain Valve, BT Catch Can, Chopped EGR Tube, SRT8 CAI, TruFlow Filter, Sonnax Trans Line Press Booster, SC Tuner W/Adv Trans Tune App, Transgo Shift Kit, DS Tuner, Cust tubular hdrs w/3 in Magnaflow/Xlerator AP Exh Sys, Bilsteins, SRT Springs/Sways, Cust Eng Cvr, SRT8 frt/rear bumpers, FRI Sidewinder Cam w/6* advance/6.1 valvetrain, SLP 25% UD Pulley, BBK true 90mm T-Body, SOS Ign Coils w/.060 spark plug gaps, TEA ported/milled heads, SRT Reps with 265/45&295/40X20's.
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