<VV> Crappy Clevite lifters

Smitty vairologist at cox.net
Sun Nov 7 11:20:26 EST 2010

> > -- Original Message ----- 
> " ................ Crappy Clevite lifters that ate
> the valveguides out of a brand new rebuilt engine............. "
>  ==========================
> Dan T  Says;   Rell me the story
Smitty Says;   Dan, all the oil that gets to the valve springs and guides is 
controlled by the lifter design.  Specifically the inertia valve or flutter 
valve at the pushrod end of the lifter.  Over the years I had noted the 
large difference between different lifter oil deliverys.  I became aware 
that the lifters available to us were more and more, small block Chevy 
lifters, which have a problem directly opposed to ours.  They, with 
virtually vertical valve stems, suck a lot of oil past the guides, if much 
oil gets on them.  We with horizontal valve stems have very little problem 
with oil on the stems.  So the lifters you can get for the most part are 
very restrictive  of the oil they feed up the pushrod tube.
When I bought lifters for my engine build, I bought them from a well known 
Corvair vendor.  Stupidly I assumed that they wouldn't sell anything that 
wasn't adaquate for our engines.  I am an advocate of cold valve adjustment 
and put the rocker covers on as soon as that is done.  Consequenty I never 
saw the oil delivery to the springs.  About 500 miles later the engine 
developed misfireing which proved to be wiped out guides.  I mean BAD.  It 
was then I found that the lifters were delivering so little oil that they 
were barely wetting the rocker balls.  Literally none was getting to the 
springs.  I immediately said to myself, what have I done wrong.  I won't go 
into the weeks of research following this when I drilled into the oil 
galleries at points the length of the block to take pressure readings, and 
swapped various types lifters in and out.  Tore down dozens of lifters to 
understand the logic of their designs.  Finally realized I had done nothing 
wrong.  It was the lifters.  I had alternative paths I could have taken but 
I obtained a set of GM original lifters from a junk engine and had them 
refaced on the cam surface.  That is what I am running now.  I have used 
"the Source" lifters and am somewhat satisfied with their delivery. 
Running them in my race car.  Otherwise you are on your own.  Just make sure 
that when your engine is running that the little firehose squirt from the 
side hole in the pushrod is wetting the valve spring as it goes round and 
Final note here.  I am not normally much of an "in your face" kind of guy so 
when I approched the vendor about the problem it was with an attitude of 
sharing what I had learned.  Hoping to prevent some one else from 
experienceing the problem.  his immediate answer was, None of my other 
customers are complaining.   Is that true guys?  Are you not having problems 
or are you just not complaining?  Were my lifters part of a defective run, 
or they all like that?  Damn sure won't get any help from the vendor.  He 
made it plain he doesn't have a problem. 

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