I have been adjusting the lifters on a Pantera and all is well until the car is driven for about 15 minutes.  Once it is up to temperature, you can hear that one or more lifters are loose.  It sounds perfect for the first 15 minutes or so.  Once it cools down a little it sounds fine again.  I am currently at 1 turn of preload on the 7/16 studs.  It looks like one or more of the lifters needs additional preload.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

Original Post

I have had SOOO much trouble adjusting any hydraulic lifters consistently that I always adjust them hot with the engine running. This always works but the downside is, it is extremely messy. Plus I cannot stand hot oil on my hands longer than what doing 4 cylinders at a time takes. So you take a 45 minute break between banks and wear old clothes. Good luck.

Thanks Jack.  Having concluded that adjusting the lifters with the engine running is my best bet, I was already looking for a valve cover to cut for this task.  It also reduces the chances of burning a valve because of too much preload.

I found a set of valve covers on eBay for about $30 shipped and cut openings in one to adjust the valves with the engine running.  I also welded up a valve adjusting wrench from a old socket and scrap stock.  The setup worked quite well and the sloppy valve noise is gone. Very little oil came out of the modified valve cover.  If you do this, get the car warm first, turn down the idle, shut off the engine, and then swap the valve cover.  Avoid revving the motor with modified covers installed because oil will splash out.



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Good job Steve.  One nice thing about this system of valve adjustment is you can verify by visual observation that each rocker is indeed receiving oil.  I recently had a bad experience with Comp Cams Hydraulic Roller Rockers not pumping up and some not allowing oil to pass thru.

An update for anyone using a roller cam. Some 'kits' use the late Ford spring steel spider to hold stock steel 'dogbones' that keep pairs of roller wheels aligned. This avoids all the problems with link-bars but introduces a new one. Specifically, there are no bosses or threaded holes to bolt the spider down in a Cleveland block, so you simply mark the area in the block valley, hand drill & tap the required holes. The area is flat so no problem.... except that, because there are no bosses as are cast in blocks originally designed for roller cams, the bolted down spider will sit flat on the floor and cover several of the valley oil drainback holes. This then causes oil flooding of the valley while running and contributes to low oil volume around the oil pump pickup, due to slow drainback to the pan. 

Eons ago, racer Mike Cook built plexiglas rocker covers and a plexi pan to check this on a dyno. He found that at only 5000 rpms, there was about 1 quart of oil left down in a 351-C pan! All the rest was up in the rocker covers, the valley, oil passages etc. Note also the 2 stock cylinder head drainback holes are thin-wall and often not well centered so drilling those drains oversized can fall thru the castings. Plus, one head drainback hole in each (stock) cylinder head is 'dog-legged' around internal carb heater passages and those factory drillings don't match up well in the center. Aftermarket heads may drain better but this is just another reason to use a '10 qt' oil pan with scrapers, baffles & trap doors, on any 351-C engine.  The stock 351-C redline is 5900-6000 rpms.

Fix: use longer bolts than is stock for the spider, with washers or spacers to lift the spider up about 0.125- 0.250" off the valley floor. We used gr-8 bolts because of the additional length needed in a 351-C block, and safety-wired them against vibration loosening. When adapting a roller cam to an engine not originally designed for such, it means you are redesigning that part of the engine assembly. Unexpected consequenses usually pop up. Check everything twice!

what cam Steve?

some grinds are well known for making a little noise,
like the Lunati VooDoo's and the Comp XE's

also, what oil?

if you only experience the offending noise above a certain temperature your lifters might like an oil with a slightly different centistoke rating

Last edited by 4vandproud

I do not know the cam but it is likely a billet steel hydraulic roller since it has a bronze alloy gear on the distributor.  I tried a number of times to adjust the lifters cold but one or two still sounded loose.  The problem went away when the valves were adjusted with the engine running and hot.  Two of the lifters on the driver's side adjusted very differently that the other six when adjusting cold.  It seems like they were collapsing while the others stayed pumped up.  The two mushy lifters seemed fine when the engine was hot and running.

The oil I am running is Castrol GTX 20w50.

Currently the valve train is a little noisy but it may be normal for this type of build.  It seems the hydraulic roller cam, roller lifters, thick pushrods, guides plates for the pushrods, roller rockers, and stiff valve springs all add up to some extra clatter.  This car is sitting next to a stock and un-rebuilt 1971 Pantera and its valve train noise is starkly quieter.

Here is a short video of the driver's side running with the open valve covers.


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Chris Staub of www.straubtechnologies.com has posted this info to the fb

Chris says "less than 15 at 100c"

the cSt threshold for hyd-roller lifters is 15 at 100*C, then they make noise & have all sorts of problems

Centistoke @ 25° C 40° C 100° C
Driven BR30 5W-30 63 11
Driven FR20 5W-20 613 162 9
Driven FR50 5W-50 203 104 17.3
Driven DT40 5W-40 152 77 13
Driven DT50 15W-50 203 104 17.3
Driven LS30 5W-30 126 64 11
Driven HR Syn 10W-30 126 64 11
Driven HR Syn 10W-40 126 64 11
Driven HR Syn 15W-50 203 104 17.3
Driven HR Con 10W-30 135 64 10.3
Driven HR Con 10W-40
Driven HR Con 15W-50 139
Valvoline VR-1 10W-30 77 11.5
Valvoline VR-1 20W-50 181.8 20.5
Valvoline VR-1 Syn 10W-30 64 11.5
Valvoline VR-1 Syn 20W-50 147 20
Valvoline Syn SAE 0W-16 34.4 6.8
Valvoline Syn SAE 0W-20 42.2 8.1
Valvoline Syn SAE 5W-20 46.5 8.1
Valvoline Syn SAE 5W-30 60.1 10.2
Valvoline Syn SAE 10W-30 66.8 10.8
Valvoline Syn MST 5W-30 70.6 12.2
Valvoline Syn MST 5W-40 79 13.1
Valvoline Syn HST 5W-40 82 13.5
Valvoline Syn XL-III 5W-30 68.1 11.7
Valvoline Syn 0W-40 77 13.5
Valvoline Syn 20W-50 139 19
Valvoline Syn HM 0W-20 42.8 8.1
Valvoline Syn HM 5W-20 46.1 8.1
Valvoline Syn HM 5W-30 59 10.1
Valvoline Syn HM 10W-30 67.2 10.8
Valvoline Con 5W-20 50 8.5
Valvoline Con 5W-30 63 11
Valvoline Con 10W-30 69.7 10.5
Valvoline Con 10W-40 104 15.1
Valvoline Con 20W-50 170.9 18.5
Valvoline Con SAE30 82 10.3
Valvoline Con SAE40 127 13.5
Valvoline Con SAE50 223 20
Mobil 1 Syn EP 5W-20 49.6 8.9
Mobil 1 Syn EP 0W-20 44.9 8.6
Mobil 1 Syn EP 5W-30 59.8 10.6
Mobil 1 Syn EP 10W-30 63.7 10.2
Mobil 1 Syn HM 0W-20 9
Mobil 1 Syn HM 5W-20 50 8.6
Mobil 1 Syn HM 5W-30 72 12.1
Mobil 1 Syn HM 10W-30 78 12.1
Mobil 1 Syn HM 10W-40 107 16
Mobil 1 Syn FS 0W40 70.8 12.9
Mobil 1 Syn 5W-20 49.8 8.9
Mobil 1 Syn 5W-30 61.7 11
Mobil 1 Syn 10W-30 63.2 10.1
Mobil 1 Syn FS X2 5W-50 104.3 17.1
Mobil 1 Syn 15W-50 125 18
Motul 300V Syn 0W-20 42 8
Motul 300V Syn 5W-30 64 11
Motul 300V Syn 0W-40 75.7 13.6
Motul 300V Syn 5W-40 81.8 13.6
Motul 300V Syn 15W-50 122.9 18.1
Motul 300V Syn 20W-60 168.3 23.8
Motul 300V Syn 0W-15 23.3 5.1
Castrol EDGE 5W-30 62.64 10.7
Castrol EDGE 5W-40 84.2 14.1
Castrol EDGE 5W-50 114.36 18.4
Castrol EDGE 10W-30 71.5 11.3
Castrol EDGE 10W-40 91.89 14.6
Castrol EDGE 10W-60 160 22.7
Castrol EDGE HM 5W-30 67.2 11.3
Castrol EDGE HM 10W-30 71.5 11.5
Castrol EDGE HM 10W-40 91.89 14.78
Castrol GTX 10W-30 70.1 10.85
Castrol GTX 10W-40 108.8 14.3
Castrol GTX 15W-40 107.7 13.8
Castrol GTX 20W-50 158.7 18.1
Castrol GTX 5W-20 52.98 9.1
Castrol GTX HM 10W-30 73.23 11.7
Castrol GTX HM 10W-40 104.2 15.6
Castrol GTX HM 20W-50 187.7 20.3
Castrol GTX HM 25W-60 215.1 23.4
Castrol GTX HM 5W-20 51.6 8.9
Castrol GTX HM 5W-30 68.6 11.7
Schaeffer Racing Supreme 7000™ Syn Blend 20W-50 148 18.25
Schaeffer Racing Supreme 7000™ Syn Blend 15W-40 105 15
Schaeffer Racing Supreme 7000™ Syn Blend 10W-30 67 11.25
Schaeffer Racing Supreme 9000™ Full Syn 5W-50 146.87 20.24
Schaeffer Micron Moly® Racing SAE30 91 11.25
Schaeffer Micron Moly® Racing SAE40 175 14.75
Schaeffer Micron Moly® Racing SAE50 225 18.75
Schaeffer Micron Moly® Racing 20W-50 162.1 19.75
Schaeffer Supreme 7000™ Para-Synthetic 5W-30 49.5 11
Schaeffer Supreme 7000™ Para-Synthetic 10W-30 67 11.5
Schaeffer Supreme 9000™ Full Synthetic 5W-30 65.5 12
Schaeffer Supreme 9000™ Full Synthetic 5W-20 52.5 8.81
Schaeffer Supreme 9000™ Full Synthetic 0W-20 42.37 8.37
Maxima PS0 0wt 14.4 3.8
Maxima RS Full Synthetic 0W-10 24.1 5.2
Maxima RS Full Synthetic 0W-20
Maxima RS Full Synthetic 5W-20 33.9 6.9
Maxima RS Full Synthetic 5W-30 52.9 9.4
Maxima RS Full Synthetic 10W-30 78 11.7
Maxima RS Full Synthetic 10W-40 82.2 12.5
Maxima RS Full Synthetic 15W-15 116.8 17.4
Maxima Semi-Syn 10W-40 111.2 15.17
Maxima Semi-Syn 20W-50 165.6 19.66
Maxima Performance 10W-30 78 11.5
Maxima Performance 10W-40 58.44 14.88
Maxima Performance 20W-50 162.91 20.33
Maxima Performance Break-In 5W-16 39 7
Maxima Performance Break-In 10W-30 69.8 10.8
Maxima Performance Break-In 15W-50 161.1 20.7
Maxima HD Diesel 15W-40 60.7 15.2
Amsoil Signature Series 0W-20 47.1 8.8
Amsoil Signature Series 5W-20 50.6 8.8
Amsoil Signature Series 0W-30 57.1 10.4
Amsoil Signature Series 5W-30 59.7 10.3
Amsoil Signature Series 10W-30 62.3 10
Amsoil Signature Series 0W-40 84.6 14.8
Amsoil Signature Series 5W-50 119.5 19.4
Amsoil XL Synthetic 0W-20 45.8 8.7
Amsoil XL Synthetic 5W-20 50 8.8
Amsoil XL Synthetic 5W-30 62.9 11.1
Amsoil XL Synthetic 10W-30 68.2 10.9
Amsoil XL Synthetic 10W-40 103.4 15.7
Amsoil OE Synthetic 0W-20 46 8.6
Amsoil OE Synthetic 5W-20 48.5 8.6
Amsoil OE Synthetic 5W-30 63.4 11
Amsoil OE Synthetic 10W-30 66.7 10.7
Amsoil Z-ROD Synthetic 10W-30 74.9 19.3
Amsoil Z-ROD Synthetic 20W-50 140.3 140.3
Amsoil DOMINATOR Synthetic 5W-20 50.8 9
Amsoil DOMINATOR Synthetic 10W-30 73.5 11.5
Amsoil DOMINATOR Synthetic 15W-50 126.3 18
Amsoil DOMINATOR Synthetic SAE60 186.8 25
Amsoil European Car Formula 0W-40 EFO 74.7 13.3
Amsoil European Car Formula 5W-40 EFM 83.3 13.6
Amsoil European Car Formula 5W-30 AEL 68.4 11.6
Amsoil European Car Formula 5W-40 AFL 88.5 14.3
Amsoil Premium Protection 10W-40 95.9 14.6
Amsoil Premium Protection 20W-50 160.3 19.5
Amsoil Break-In Oil SAE 30 91.6 11.4
PennGrade Break-In Oil SAE 30 93.3 11.3
PennGrade High Performance Oil 0W-30 63.5 11
PennGrade High Performance Oil 5W-30 65.6 11.1
PennGrade High Performance Oil 10W-30 68.6 10.8
PennGrade High Performance Oil 10W-40 109 15.6
PennGrade High Performance Oil 15W-40 113 15.5
PennGrade High Performance Oil 20W-50 159 20
PennGrade High Performance Oil SAE 30 97 11.65
PennGrade High Performance Oil SAE 40 150 15.5
PennGrade High Performance Oil SAE 50 218.5 20
PennGrade SAE Break-In Oil SAE 30 93.3 11.3
PennGrade Select Motor Oil 0W-20 44.3 8.3
PennGrade Select Motor Oil 5W-20 49 8.5
PennGrade Select Motor Oil 5W-30 62.6 10.7

Lucas Hot Rod & Classic Car 10W-30 73.4 10.9
Lucas Hot Rod & Classic Car 10W-40 93.6 14.4
Lucas Hot Rod & Classic Car 20W-50 191.3 20.1
Lucas Semi-Synthetic Racing Oil 10W-40 84.4 13.9

Royal Purple Max-Cycle 10W-40 92 14
Royal Purple Max-Cycle 20W-50 165 20
Royal Purple XPR 0W-8 27.47 5.6
Royal Purple XPR 0W-20 40.08 8.68
Royal Purple XPR 5W-20 47.5 8.45
Royal Purple XPR 0W-30 43.99 9.9
Royal Purple XPR 5W-30 54.94 10.6
Royal Purple XPR 5W-40 61.43 12.69
Royal Purple XPR 10W-40 74.55 13.26
Royal Purple XPR 5W-50 80.97 19.24
Royal Purple XPR 20W-50 137.2 19.73
Royal Purple XPR 10W-60 102.4 22.19
Royal Purple HPS 5W-20 43.51 8.39
Royal Purple HPS 5W-30 56.25 11.03
Royal Purple HPS 10W-30 57.66 10.97
Royal Purple HPS 10W-40 71.25 13.08
Royal Purple HPS 20W-50 127.7 18.52
Royal Purple API-LICENSED MOTOR OIL 0W-20 45.75 8.59
Royal Purple API-LICENSED MOTOR OIL 5W-20 46.19 9.55
Royal Purple API-LICENSED MOTOR OIL 5W-30 62.4 10.54
Royal Purple API-LICENSED MOTOR OIL 10W-30 61.59 10.05
Royal Purple API-LICENSED MOTOR OIL 0W-40 79.9 14.3
Royal Purple API-LICENSED MOTOR OIL 5W-40 93.7 15.7

Torco SR-1 0W-20 42.69 7.37
Torco SR-1 5W-30 67.91 12.05
Torco SR-1 5W-40 85.6 14.5
Torco SR-1 R 10W-30 64.2 11.1
Torco SR-1 R 10W-40 86.75 13.25
Torco SR-1 R 10W-60 177.57 25.52
Torco SR-1 R 20W-50 138.31 19.96
Torco SR-1 R 25W-60 190 24.7
Torco SR-5 0W-20 43.16 8.13
Torco SR-5 5W-30 67.2 11.96
Torco SR-5 5W-50 85.47 14.47
Torco SR-5 5W-50 134.11 20.26
Torco SR-5 10W-60 157.02 24.22
Torco SR-5 20W-50 169.26 20.98
Torco TR-1 R 50 204 21.2
Torco TR-1 R 60 286 26
Torco TR-1 R 70 418 35.1
Torco TR-1 R 10W-40 111 16
Torco TR-1 R 20W-50 189 21.3
Torco TBO Break-In 30 92.5 12
Torco TBO Break-In 40 137 15.5

I'm not sure I understand all of this but it looks like I should try Castrol GTX 10W-30.  And it looks like my current selection of engine oil (Castrol GTX 20W-50) is too thick for the hydraulic roller lifters.

Am I on track?  Thanks

Chris checked the viscosity of all those oils at several temps. Probably a full week of work if he did it all himself. I copied his list for 100 degree C oil, deleted everything above 15 centistokes (he says too thick to flow well with hydraulics so they rattle) and less than 7 centistokes (IMHO too thin for consistent heavy loads in a street engine's main & rod bearings). The remainder makes up a list of possibles I'll look for on sale & further refine the list for my Rhodes lifters.

 i think you're on the right track Steve

IMO 20-50 shouldn't be needed for any auto engine application with normal street or even performance clearances up to .003" on the rods & mains

i can see adding a qt when needed to top off and extend the viscosity between changes but as a fill? all it's good for is breaking dizzy gear pins



I now have Castrol GTX 10W30 in the motor and the valve train is quieter.  Prior to this, I had only adjusted the driver's bank with the engine hot and running.  I will now go back and do the hot and running adjustment to both sides.


Some folks don't follow the "1 Turn" from noisy rule any longer......something about lifters pumping up causing havoc....where if you go anywhere from 1/4 turn to 1/2 turn you can have less pump up if it did actually happen.....  It's supposed to do something else also.. probably related to geometry of the tips of the rockers and the valve stem......but can't recall it....brain is fuzzy.   I ran 1/2 turn on my old 351W rockers and 1/4 turn in my Goose with no issues, but then I set that up on the engine stand where I could check the actual lifter piston to retainer spring clearance while I was doing it.    No hot mess!

If you read the Ford procedure for determining push rod length, where you collapse the lifter and then check clearance.....then determine what that length is, and then calculate the "length" per turn of your rocker stud nuts you could get an idea of what Ford was looking for......but that is a total PITA!

You're on the right path now!

I usually just use cardboard bent up and around the inner lip of the head, the one side of a gasket set box seemed to work well! Just no over rev'ing!!! Keep the idle down...... maybe a little drippage......but nothing to be too concerned about!

Rocker on!!!




The valves have been readjusted with the new oil and the engine is noticeably quieter.  An added bonus is that it cold starts better with the thinner oil.  Oil pressure is about the same as before the switch from 20W50 to 10W30.

just to ad for future thread searchers, FWIW doing a running hot lash with the covers off or even using cut covers is completely un-necessary even a fool's errand IMO. been there done that & had an oil fire. for what?

it ridiculously easy to figure out how much plunger preload you're dialing per rotation / fraction of a rotation of the adjuster using basic math. further, working with pumped up lifters is not the way to go either. fresh, new, dry, empty or as close as you can get to this scenario lifters is the easiest way to achieve success the first time with no drama or even clean-up afterwards

but you need to develop  a fine touch to identify zero lash, it's not that hard either. twist the pushrod back & forth between your index finger & thumb while turning the adjuster down in the tighten direction. at zero lash the pushrod will give very slight resistance, and i mean VERY slight. i think this is the point where many miss the zero lash & continue tightening the adjuster down to bottom the plunger, then add more rotation that lifts the valve off the seat preventing the engine from starting. Great Fireballs! frustration sets in and the hot running lash escapades begin

the same method works for shimming bolt down rockers, shim under the pedestal to achieve the same fraction of a turn of preload. easy peasy nice & cleany

it's not worth the mess or the risk of burning down your car and your house, not to mention good stock valve covers are getting scarce and worth many times their weight in scrap metal

I did the engine running adjustment as a last resort.  I tried numerous times to adjust the lifters cold.  The engine had been sitting for 20 years and several of the lifters would not cooperate.  It may have been better to simply replace the whole set of roller lifters.

The cut valve cover from eBay minimized oil fling.  These tall covers were about $30 shipped. If anyone wants the remaining uncut cover, it's yours.  Just pay shipping (or free pickup in Cypress, CA).  Here it is:



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