Is lifter noise really a problem ? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 38 Old 10-01-2021, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
KiloWatts
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Is lifter noise really a problem ?

My 208k 4.0 engine has some lifter noise and the general attitude in the auto industry seems to be to stop it. Loads of products out there claiming to quiet them down. Everything screams "lifter noise = bad!" My question is, is it really a problem? Or is it much ado about nothing? Can I just ignore it instead of dropping all this cash on oil stabilizer?

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post #2 of 38 Old 10-01-2021, 08:09 AM
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The lifters on my 5.2 had collapsed, so I disassembled and cleaned all of them when I had the engine apart, now all is good. The collapsed lifter internal parts were immobile until disassembled and cleaned.

It would seem like a big hope / stretch to assume a chemical would correct / resolve the problem.

It seems reasonable to me that the parts should work as intended.
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post #3 of 38 Old 10-01-2021, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Cool, yeah that's what I was thinking. It occurred to me that I was just dumping stuff in my engine for no other reason than to make it quieter. These things may run forever, but nobody said anything about them running silently.

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post #4 of 38 Old 10-01-2021, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wingless View Post
The lifters on my 5.2 had collapsed.
What do you mean collapsed?

Next time I do my valve cover gasket I'm preparing to do some servicing of these parts.

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post #5 of 38 Old 10-01-2021, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloWatts View Post
What do you mean collapsed?

Next time I do my valve cover gasket I'm preparing to do some servicing of these parts.
This reply has a great description of the condition of about half the lifters on my 5.2 engine.

Those that I refer to as collapsed had the internal piston firmly stuck partway in the lifter body bore. A probable better description from the link is "go solid".

It took disassembly and cleaning to restore normal operation to all the lifters. All were disassembled and cleaned, even if they were working properly.


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post #6 of 38 Old 10-01-2021, 09:20 AM
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Here is a "go solid" lifter from my engine.

If it were working, one visible condition is that the internal spring would cause the piston to be pressed to rest against that upper retention clip.

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post #7 of 38 Old 10-01-2021, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloWatts View Post
My 208k 4.0 engine has some lifter noise and the general attitude in the auto industry seems to be to stop it. Loads of products out there claiming to quiet them down. Everything screams "lifter noise = bad!" My question is, is it really a problem? Or is it much ado about nothing? Can I just ignore it instead of dropping all this cash on oil stabilizer?
Some lifter noise on an ageing engine is pretty normal, but on the other hand it shouldn't be happening with hydraulic lifters. Magnum engines use hydraulic roller lifters, which follow the cam lobes very efficiently and just about zero lifter noise as long as there is enough preload and lifters aren't stuck/ collapsed. Preload for the whole valvetrain on these is non-adjustable, it's provided by the valvetrain geometry - if there's a lot of lifter noise, it can and will cause problems at some point.
4.0 uses hydraulic flat tappet lifters, when the engine is cold after firing it up, I would not worry about lifter noise on a 4.0 the slightest bit. It is an issue if lifter noise does not stop.

Snake oils don't work, either replace lifters or fully disassemble & reassemble. If you go the latter route: after disassembly, soak in suitable solvent which removes any and all sludge deposits, then clean thoroughly and reassemble after soaking them in motor oil.

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post #8 of 38 Old 10-01-2021, 08:47 PM
jeepjeepster
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Lifters in my 4.0 have been ticking for a couple decades now. Ive found 5w-30 keeps them quieter on startup.

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post #9 of 38 Old 10-02-2021, 12:32 AM
papitt
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Jeepjeepster what brand of oil are you using....
I have a 318 5.2L 1988 DODGE TRUCK THAT'S MY HAY TRUCK on the farm .. It sure rattles for a long time since I've owned it.
After changing the oil 3 times I'M USING GUAKER STATE 20W 50W oil . IT HAD NO OIL PRESSURE With the other oils. BUT THE 20W50W KEEP'S THE PRESSURE AT ABOUT 30LBS AFTER 20 MINUTES Of run time .
NOW after 3 oil changes My lifters are no longer talking much . & When they do talk to me IT'S OVER IN about 5 MINUTES.
... I EDITED THIS POST .. Sorry I'd left out a couple of words.
.........
.......I too have used about a half a qt of Lucus oil additive. & It says it will stick to the metal longs & I believe it does..
I also used the Lucus in a 3.9 V6 BRONCOII .. A HALF QT did the job . It rattled when cranked & You could hear the lifters with out it.
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post #10 of 38 Old 10-02-2021, 05:19 PM
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I've had Rislone work to free up sticking lifters that were making some noise. This was on a Chevy 305 and was a permanent fix. If the lifters are gummed up and sticky internally it's worth a shot.

If the lifters are worn out or the cam is worn down nothing really will help. Thicker oil will make the noise a bit better as the oil film itself tends to dampen the tap.

Technically at some noise level the valve train will start to have wear issues. The hydraulic lifter preload is supposed to ensure that there is zero clearance in the valvetrain when the engine is running. So the cam lobe pushes the valve open, gently. If you have a gap the valve train hits the valve like a hammer. In the real world, as has been mentioned, they can go years with some noise. But theoretically you can get accelerated wear at the pushrod tips, rocker contacts, and mushroom the valve stem. Way more of an issue back in the day.
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post #11 of 38 Old 10-02-2021, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, so moral of the story: mild lifter noise is nothing to panic about and there's no sense at throwing different fluids at it to make it quieter. Technically noise does signal a bit of a gap somewhere, which can eventually result in accelerated wear, but there is zero chance that any change in oil type, or any additive, will help in any way whatsoever, except to make you feel better by temporarily lowering the volume of the problem.

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post #12 of 38 Old 10-02-2021, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papitt View Post
Jeepjeepster what brand of oil are you using....
I have a 318 5.2L 1988 DODGE TRUCK THAT'S MY HAY TRUCK on the farm .. It sure rattles for a long time since I've owned it.
After changing the oil 3 times I'M USING GUAKER STATE 20W 50W oil . IT HAD NO OIL PRESSURE With the other oils. BUT THE 20W50W KEEP'S THE PRESSURE AT ABOUT 30LBS AFTER 20 MINUTES Of run time .
NOW after 3 oil changes My lifters are no longer talking much . & When they do talk to me IT'S OVER IN about 5 MINUTES.
... I EDITED THIS POST .. Sorry I'd left out a couple of words.
.........
.......I too have used about a half a qt of Lucus oil additive. & It says it will stick to the metal longs & I believe it does..
I also used the Lucus in a 3.9 V6 BRONCOII .. A HALF QT did the job . It rattled when cranked & You could hear the lifters with out it.
I use valvoline in everything. This jeep gets valvoline maxlife, and has for almost 10 years now.

Oil pressure isnt an issue on this Jeep, so Im fine using 5w-30. I like more oil flow anyway.

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1998 ZJ 5.9 w/66,000 mi Slate Black
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post #13 of 38 Old 10-02-2021, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighLonesome View Post
I adjust the valves on my 225 /6 while it is running and warm. Lifters are solid. I do 2 passes usually. First pass I just get each valve as quiet as a can, one at a time by ear using a feeler gauge. Second pass is the same, but no feeler gauge since I am already close, and I use a stethoscope touching the head to minimize the clacking. Sometimes I repeat the process because I like hearing and watching the old thing run. The valve clearance really affects how it sounds and runs. I never get rid of all the noise and it doesn't seem to hurt anything at all.
What do you mean you adjust the valves? What does this process entail?
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post #14 of 38 Old 10-03-2021, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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This is all done with the valve cover off? Doesn't it get oil all over? I think I need to watch a video

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post #15 of 38 Old 10-05-2021, 06:14 PM
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Wow tons of bad info in this post. This is a common issue on the straight 6 4.0l. it will last a long time making noise. Replace the followers and potentially the push rods and the problem will go away. This is not an oil issue and snake oil additives will not fix it. Stock these motors should run 10w30. Using 20w50 might hide a little bit but it will cause wear on startup in cold climates exacerbate the problem. There are plenty of videos on you tube on how to fix the issue properly but I don't have enough posts to post links
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