Can I change just 1 lifter?? Found a bad one. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 04, 04:52 AM Thread Starter
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Well, after all my work getting the heads done and deciding to keep my XE294H cam and lifters in the engine, I finished setting the lash this weekend. As long as I had the manifold not on the car yet, I decided to watch all the lifters and make sure they were plunging properly, as well as rotating properly.

One of them doesn't rotate. I took it out, and found a very fine, barely perceptible groove worn into the bottom of the lifter. Presumably from not rotating and having the cam lobe wear into it. It's very fine and doesn't seem too bad yet. I put it in and it'll rotate then get 'stuck'. I tried a different lifter and it seemed to rotate fine. In fact, the bad lifter even rotated fine in a different hole as well. Bottom line, I want to replace the one lifter with the groove in it. Is this a good idea and should I? I don't really want to pull the cam and replace the whole bit, even though I have a new 280H sitting in my garage.

This engine and cam have around 1000 miles on them, and since a different lifter was able to rotate as it should, I presume the cam lobe is still fine and would provide for many miles of good service still.

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 04, 05:39 AM
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While it is generally OK to put one new lifter on a used cam, I would do some more checking first:

The cam is responsible for rotating the lifter. The lobe is not ground perfectly flat rather, there is a small amount of taper across the lobe. This and the alignment of the cam on the lifter (off center) will cause the lifter to rotate. If the lifter wasn't rotating in the bore and has wear b/c of this, I'd bet you money that the cam lobe is worn as well.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 04, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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How can I tell if the cam lobe is worn without removal? Is it possible?

I put in a different lifter, and that rotated fine. If I replaced it with a new one, is it only a matter or time before the new lifter also stops rotating once it's wear catches up to the wear on the cam lobe that is causing it?

Since the new lifter rotated, one would think that the lobe is still tapered.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 04, 07:06 AM
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I would go ahead and put in one new lifter and run it. If it happens again to the same lifter then I would pull the cam.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 04, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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I did some more thinking about my lifter. Here is what is odd to me....

The lifter should spin on the cam lobe because the cam has a taper of 3* across it's surface. The lifter is convex. Normal cam/lifter wear produces a rounded out concave lifter and rounded cam lobe IF the lifter has been rotating.

The wear pattern on my lifter looks like someone took a chisel and tapped it with a hammer right down the center of my lifter bottom. It runs down the center, nearly perfectly almost all the way across the lifter.

Is it even possible for the cam lobe to cause that precise and narrow of a wear mark? I would think the cam lobe would wear a broader 'swath' across the lifter. This line is literally only about 1/32 or less wide and it's about as deep as it is wide.

I'm starting to wonder if it's a manufacturing defect? Or was someway, somehow otherwise damaged.

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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 04, 08:30 AM
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Usually, a worn lobe tends to get "round" looking. Rather than looking square across the face it will look rounded off, especially over the noise of the lobe. Check with a aflashlight down the lifter bore as you spin the cam/crank.

If you're not certain with a visual inspection, you can check the lobe's lift vs the other lobes with a dial indicator. If the lobe is worn at all, it will have noticably less lift than the others.

Don't just thow on a new lifter w/o checking. Besides incurring the major PITA of removing the intake again, you could run the risk of dumping a bunch of metal into your crankcase!

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 04, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
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What does the wear look like on the cam lobe? I noticed when I looked down there with a flashlight yesterday that the center portion of the lobe was shiny, versus the outer sections were darker. Is this normal? What should I look for, given the viewing area is pretty small through the lifter hole?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 04, 01:12 PM
 
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The shiny area of the lobe should be almost like a mirror with no wear marks on it like you sanded it with a piece of worn out 220 wet or dry sandpaper. (The shiny wear strip kinda skews across/around the lobe sorta deal)..

BUT sometimes the lobes will be slightly worn looking b/c the "Parkerized" finish kinda looks like the lobes are pitted BUT still, all in all, are smooth. Go figure b/c smooth may just be in the eye of the looker??

Donno, not much help?? But trying to..

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 04, 02:56 PM
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Josh,
I know you do not want to hear this, but from the wear you are describing on the lifter, the lobe on the cam is wiped ... period. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you might as well stop right now and get ready to pull the cam out. If you dont want to hear it from me, take the lifter to your machine shop and let them give you the final say. Without seeing the lifter in person, everyone here is guessing, but this statement:
"The wear pattern on my lifter looks like someone took a chisel and tapped it with a hammer right down the center of my lifter bottom. It runs down the center, nearly perfectly almost all the way across the lifter"
Might as well say " my cam is wiped"
Sorry,

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 04, 02:15 AM
 
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Afraid Bill's right!!

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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Aug 31st, 04, 07:18 PM
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Same thing happened to my brother's 383. It had a new 292H in it, and a lifter didn't spin. The engine builder said it was a mismanufacturing of the cam itself.
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