Lifter Tick: Verdict needed... | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations

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Lifter Tick: Verdict needed...

gijoecam

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I think I've got the dreaded lifter tick on my Ranger 4.0 OHV... 150k on it.... It's due. Symptoms: Ticking... worse at idle, gets a bit better if you up the RPMs, but is still very evident when accelerating. It doesn't sound bad enough to be a rod knock... sounds like its coming from the top end too. Get's louder after an oil change, gets marginally quieter with mileage after an oil change. Near the end of an oil change (i.e. near 3k miles) the oil pressure sits around the first leg of the M in NORMAL, but right after one, it fluctuates between the left edge of the O and right of the R... When I accelerate hard, it seems to come up, and at cruising speeds, it doesn't seem to fluctuate at all. I suspect this all leads me to the lifter(s). Yay? Nay?

I've found conflicting reports on whether or not the heads must be pulled to correct it...
Dead Link Removed
Dead Link Removed

The question is: Do I or Don't I have to pull the heads to replace them? It's a daily driver, so I just want to make it mechanically sound again...

Also, what damage can occur if I drive it 'til it breaks? Should I be proactive about this one?

Please Help...

Thanx

-Joe-
 


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Jason_25

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My '88 Bronco II has been doing this for about 30K miles now. Hasn't really been something i've worried about. It still runs ok for an old truck.
 




Raceit

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I've been there before with that problem. About half of my lifters were calapsed. Then that made a lot of play between the top of the valve and the rocker arm. See below...
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You can see for sure if you have this problem if you take one or both valve covers off. Then you could easily see gaps where they shouldn't be.

On my engine I did have to take off the heads. There was a small enough part of the heads that overhung the lifters and preventing them from coming right out. The above pic is from a right up I did about replacing my lifters, the rocker arm assembly and push rods.

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And I wouldn't want to deal with a repair bill if it started to tear into the engine. When I replaced mine they were very bad and it was making the whole truck shake. I'm sure it would have started to bend or break push rods at some point. And that's never a good thing. :eek:

Anyways hope that helps and let me know if you have any questions about all the fun I had. :)
 




gijoecam

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RaceIt, I saw your write-up on it... Unfortunately, I left it at home, and it took so long to load all the pix, some of the later ones timed out. :( But I looked it over and have a couple questions... where exactly are the lifters located? They're down in the block riding on the camshaft, right? Is there any way to make sure that they're actually bad before I replace them?

Also, would it be tied into the slight loss of oil pressure I've seen on the gauge?

Thanx... -Joe-
 




Raceit

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On the pics that time out you can right click on them and then 'show picture' to force them.

When the lifters colasped they create play inbetween the rocker arm and the valve. You can see in the pic above that when I took off the passenger side valve cover (which was easy btw, just have a replacement gasket and tourque specs handy) there is a gap on the one valve. It's the one with the red markings on the spring. That gap shouldn't be there. Since the lifter colasped it allowed the push rod to "fall down" a little bit and that let me move the rocker arm back and forth with my hand. It should look like the rocker arm behind it. That is what's making the sound if your lifters are indeed colasped.

Another thing to check is to install a mechanical oil pressure gauge to make sure that the engine isn't starving for oil. You can pick up a cheap oil pressure gauge pretty cheap at any local auto parts store. (Just make sure you use copper tubing if you are planning to leave that installed for any length of time.)
I did that to mine and infact have yet to take it out and hook up the factory gauge. But at idle once the engine is warmed up it hovers right around 20psi. Traveling at highway speeds it stays right around 60psi and then stop and go it will keep close to 40psi. It always changes depending on the speed and load on the engine. Although you'd never know that from the factory gauge.
But say for example you hook a mechanical gauge up and it never goes above 10psi (but still changes) then I'd sespect your oil pump. Which has been the culprett (sp) in a few other cases. But it's easier to replace the oil pump instead of the lifters.

You can actually see the lifters and check them once you take off both the upper and lower intake manifolds and valve covers. (The valve covers overlap the lower intake manifold.) Then you could actually look at the lifters and see that they were bad or broken. But on mine the heads had to come off to replace the lifters. There wasn't any way around it. It was a pain, but the only other option was to drop in a new motor or junk the whole truck. But that's a personal call. :)

Hope all that info helps you out.
 




gijoecam

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Thanks for the reply...

Bear with me... dumb question... don't the lifters collapse with the engine off when they have no oil pressure anyhow?

I think I'm going to end up doing this eventually...

-Joe-
 




Raceit

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Ask all the questions you want!

When the term "colapsed lifter" is used it mainly means that the lifter doesn't return back to it's uncompressed state after being compressed. But yes they do compress or "colapse" when they push the push rod up and against the rocker arm.

If I had to do this again I would buy an entire engine overhaul gasket set and save some money. Going into this I didn't realize that the heads needed to come off until we noticed that the lifters wern't coming out with them on. I bought gaskets as I needed them. So we had gaskets for the heads, upper and lower intake manifolds, valve covers, and also the exhaust headers. I bought all those seperate and it doubled the cost of the project. But even with that the whole fix was probably at least a third of what I would have paid a mechanic to do it. Plus it was a learning experience for me that I'll remember for a very long time. Now I'm not as worried about getting into an engine as I was.

Good luck if you do it and read, read, read up on tourque specs and procedures before even popping the hood.
 




Kampy

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Joe, yes, the heads have to come off to change the lifters. 90% of the time the lifters are ok, it's the pushrods and rockers that are worn. I'd start with those and if that doesn't fix it you'll have to do the lifters.
Wait till you get a price for the rods and rockers. About $200.
 




gijoecam

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Thanks for the info, guys... but (and there's always a but, isn't there?) After my last post, on my way home, I had the knocking. I had to goose it merging onto the freeway, and low and behold, the oil pressure guage jumped back up to where it belongs, and viola! The knocking was gone! GRRRR! Now it's pissin' me off... sounds like the "collapsed" lifter was merely a symptom of an even larger problem... what would cause an intermittent slight lack of oil pressure in the engine? I suspect that it's got to be something up-stream of the pressure sending unit either clogging the oil gallery (thereby causing a lack of flow to the lifter) or something starving the oil pump (i.e. in the oil pan). If it's the latter, why would revving it out cause it to start working again? Seems like it would just plug up the intake even tighter... if it was the former, wouldn't the "restrictor" (I'm thinking like some kind of gum or varnish or paraffin-type material constricting the passage) get lodged someplace even farther downstream? Now I'm really stumped, and to boot, why would it be an intermittent problem?? It's been doing this off and on (mainly off) for about three months now...

I need another idea.... if it was the lifter, it should do it even with good pressure on it, right?

Time to sell it... leaking P/S fluid, trans fluid, coolant, clunks, pops, and grinds when driving.... mutter, mutter, grumble, ....'kin FORD! darg, gom..... mutter, mutter, grumble..... :yelexp: :shoot:
 




Isaac

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i too have the dreaded lifter noise but,,,

my 92 x with 144k on it too has the lifter noise but with mine there doesnt seem to be any play in the rockers or anything in the valve train,, so it may very well be something else,, in mine anyway, i also have alot of other problems with the engine,, heavy oil usage,,, lots of smoke when reving,, terrible gas mildge,, and many other probs,, low oil pressure too.
i was going to start with an oil pump , lifters ,rockers and pushrods,, but i just today decied to say "Screaw it!"
i found a great conditoin 94' 4.0 out of a wreaked explorer,, runs great and is warrentyed only has 71k on it,, and for the price of only the lifters and rockers i can get this engine,, so yep,, you guessed it,, 94' engine in my 92,, im going to freshen it up a bit,, throwing in a new oil pump,, new intake and valve cover gaskets,, but im done wasting time and money on the engine currently in it,,.
anyone need a parts engine? lol
good luck:exp: :shoot:
 




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