Bad lifter, I think? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-18-2007, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default Bad lifter, I think?

When idling warm, the LeSabre has always had a slight tick to it. Well, I think my slight tick has gotten worse.

I think it'* a lifter, but here is everything I know about it, so that hopefully someone can confirm my diagnosis: It only does it warm, below 1500 rpms or so. It sounds like it'* coming from the back of the engine, not from the accessories (though I can't pinpoint it exactly). I'm pretty sure it'* not an injector ticking, just because it seems slightly muffled, or not-right-there-on-top, if you know what I mean. I AM due for an oil change, and intend do get that done later on this week and see if it helps. I DID switch to Castrol High Mileage 10w30 for this past oil change (had been running other various 10w30 oils, but not HM). The engine did have the upper intake replaced at some point before my ownership, so a past coolant-in-the-oil situation is likely. Oil pressure is about the same as it always has been, right about at the 40 mark on the gauge at idle, give or take a tick.

Sound like a lifter?

If so, here are the follow-up questions:

Is it hurting anything running like it is?

Anything that can be done to "fix it" without replacing my lifters?

If I do need to fix it right, I suppose used lifters from the yard are a bad idea (I'm so cheap...)?

Is it a very hard job to replace all of the lifters? I was planning on doing the intake gaskets and whatnot again (pretty sure I still have nylon carriers in there) as preventative maintenance anyway, and it looks like that'* about half the battle.

As always, any information would be appreciated.
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:29 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like that oil is too thick. It does have 174k, but still, that doesn't just happen I don't think. My cheapest suggestion would be to put seafoam in the crankcase before the next oil change. I don't remember how long you're supposed to run it in there, but that would/should clean out all oil passages, including your lifters. Either that or CRC Oil System Cleaner, my oil pressure went up after using that.
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:35 PM   #3
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I was wondering if one of those pour-run-drain oil treatments would be worth trying. I know that Seafoam is respected well for top-end cleaning, but is it the best thing for unsticking things inside? Of course, I do NOT want to hurt anything else, or unstick something that'* going to get stuck somewhere more critical.

So yeah, opinions on that idea/method would be great, too.

I have my doubts about the oil being too thick, since it'* got about 3500 miles and 3.5 months on it right now. Not to mention that it only makes the noise when it'* warm (thinner).
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:44 PM   #4
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yeah, i think theres probably just a bunch of varnish and crud in them then. CRC or Seafoam would help that.
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Old 10-19-2007, 01:28 AM   #5
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You might be better off buying a liter of gas and dumping it in your motor because thats basically what sea-foam and those other engine cleaning solvents contain.

Its just my opinion, but running that stuff through your motor can seriously shorten its life, simply because it destroys the oil, and gets pumped through the oiling system, going everywheres, leaving areas dry. Even when you drain it out, there will still be some left in the motor, so you'd have to change the oil several times to get it completley out.

Try a synthetic oil. I use Mobil one 10w30, and both my motors run quiet. I've heard ammsoil, and royal purple are good oils to use if you want to try that.
You could switch to a heaver weight oil to see if the noise quiets down.

As far as replacing lifters, it involves removing the valve covers and the intake. Don't bother putting used lifters in, buy new ones, they're not expensive and well worth the money.
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:37 AM   #6
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Thanks.

Yeah, I wondered about running synthetic, too. Not that I'd want to do it forever, but if a change or two were enough to free things back up, that would be excellent. But then I am a bit uneasy about switching back and forth from synthetic to dino... I know there are a lot of old wives tales about swelling/shrinking seals, and this one already is leaking from somewhere.

Any other opinions? So far I have two, and they conflict.

I suppose I could just fix it...

Is it an urgent thing though? Am I hurting the engine by driving it with what seems to be a crappy lifter? Is there any easy way to confirm that it IS a lifter?
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Old 10-19-2007, 09:16 AM   #7
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I would suggest Seafoam or another cleaner before dumping gasoline in to your crankcase. I've heard of diesel being used, but never gasoline. Personally..the Seafoam can says you can use it in the crankcase, at the most it may thin the oil silightly.

If it is a stuck lifter. My first suggestion is go to Sears etc and get a mechanics stethescope ~$15 and pinpoint the tick, then take action.
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:40 PM   #8
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Well, I do have a long tool that I can probe around with while listening with my ear on the end of it. I wasn't sure where to start listening though. I mean, a lifter is all the way down in the block. Would I listen at the valve cover?

Probing around sounds like a good plan, I'm just not sure where to probe for that.
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