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New Hydraulic lifters on existing cam?

13958 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  DMORRISON
Well, recently a fellow VMFer posted how replacing his hydraulic lifters cured his rough idle. The last time I adjusted my valvetrain (hydraulic with roller rockers), I could take my finger and run down the adjustment nut and bottom one or two of the lifters out, but all the rest offered resistance when I did the same thing. I believe I have at least one collapsed lifter. My carburetor and ignition are both working properly, and I have no vacuum leaks. The engine smooths out above idle.

OK, the question: Can I use new lifters on an existing camshaft? I went to the local performance shop today to buy lifters, and the guy said it's kind of a 50/50 chance whether it will work just fine, or that it could possibly wipe a lobe off the cam. He also said it was a good thing that I had a Crane cam, because he said they are harder than a Comp, and some other cams.

What do you guys think? If I did this, I would first give the car an oil change, then put the thick moly paste on the feet of the new lifters, pre-oil them, start the engine and do the break in procedure for a cam, and after that, change the oil again, just to be safe.
I'd appreciate your opinions, thanks.
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Thats a new one. How can a new lifter take the lobe off a cam? I have replaced many sets of lifters on old cams and never had a problem. Sounds to me like he may want to get a cam sale also.If you put the new lifters in like you plan you should have no problems. Good Luck

69 Mach 1 427 Windsor
Mod9, thanks for the response. After I posted I went onto Crane Cams website and found the following:

"If the used lifters get mixed up, you should discard them and install a new set of lifters and break the cam in again as you would on a new cam and lifters. You can use new lifters on a good used cam, but never try to use used lifters on a new cam."

I think I'll listen to the Ford guys here on the forum, and Crane Cams before I buy what that guy was tellin me. He really didn't seem like he was trying to get another sale... but, he could just be that good of a salesperson. I got a feeling that he was a brand X kinda guy, so he might not have any experience with Ford engines.

I bought the lifters from him anyway, and I will go ahead as planned and put these new ones in, and go through the cam break-in procedure again.

I'm still welcoming any more input on this.. thanks for reading.
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I subscribe to the whole thing about changing the cam as well as the lifters....

Put it this way; do you really want to tear it apart twice??
Thanks for listening to us..*G*
The only caveat that I'll add is to carefully check the cam lobes for wear/damage...If your instincts (and fingernails) say good, then throw some cam lube on it, toss in some new lifters, and break it in as normal.
I was told the same thing before I put new lifters on my old Crane cam. None of them collapsed, but they started making noise I couldn't adjust out. The old lifters were Crane too, so I'm not sure why I had a problem. The new lifters are also Crane, probably 10 years old, maybe 50Kmiles.
If i read your post correct, you have roller lifters. is it a roller lifter cam? if it is there is nothing wrong with replacing a lifter or two on that used cam. roller lifters does not have near the wear factor as a regular flat tappet lifter. And there really is no breakin period with a roller cam and roller lifters verse's a flat tappet cam. the first 20 min. or so of life of a flat tappet cam is very very crucial to the life of that cam...Hope i helped.......Allen p.s @ ford motor company's hot test line the 5.0 roller motor was ran aproxx. 5 minutes, checked for oil leaks and shipped out...... kinda gives you an idea of there breakin procedures....
Ya, this is actually a regular flat tappet setup with roller rockers. Wish I had a roller cam to avoid all that friction and break in stuff like you said, but I have to do it the old fashioned way *G*
Consider this.
Summit sells a new cam and hydraulic lifters, they are Crane cam and I think Crane lifters. for $73 complete. Add some new gaskets and you don't have to worry about it. the cam has Crane forged into it.

P.S. Ok I forgot. A new Summit double roller timing chain for $42.
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