GM Buick/Oldsmobile/Pontiac/Full-Size 1975-1990 Repair Guide

Valve Lifters

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figure 1

Gasoline and Diesel

Valve lifters and pushrods should be kept in order so they can be reinstalled in their original position. Some engines will have both standard size and oversize 0.010 in. (0.254mm) valve lifters as original equipment. The oversize lifters are etched with an O on their sides; the cylinder block will also be marked with an O if the oversize lifter is used.

  1. Remove the intake manifold and gasket.
  2.  
  3. Remove the valve covers, rocker arm assemblies and pushrods.
  4.  
  5. If the lifters are coated with varnish, apply carburetor cleaning solvent to the lifter body. The solvent should dissolve the varnish in about 10 minutes.
  6.  
  7. Remove the lifters. On engines equipped with roller lifters, remove the lifter retainer guide bolts, and remove the guides. A special tool for removing lifters is available, and is helpful for this procedure.
  8.  
  9. New lifters must be primed before installation, as dry lifters will seize when the engine is started. Submerge the lifters in clean engine oil and work the lifter plunger up and down. On Olds diesels, the lifters must be internally and externally lubricated before assembly, but they must be virtually empty of oil. New lifters should be disassembled and thoroughly lubricated on all wear surfaces, but accumulated oil should be drained out prior to reassembly. Re-useable lifters should be disassembled and drained of oil but left damp with oil. Do not attempt to wipe them dry! If they have been cleaned, use the procedure for new lifters. See the procedure for cylinder head removal for lifter disassembly procedures.
  10.  
  11. Install the lifters and pushrods into the cylinder block in their original order. On roller lifter engines, install the lifter retainer guide.
  12.  
  13. Install the intake manifold gaskets and manifold.
  14.  
  15. Position the rocker arms, pivots and bolts on the cylinder head.
  16.  
  17. Install the valve covers, connect the spark plug wires and install the air cleaner.
  18.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Removing a lifter from its bore

OVERHAUL



See Figure 2

  1. While holding down the plunger, use a small screwdriver to remove the retainer ring.
  2.  
  3. Remove the seat and oil metering valve.
  4.  
  5. Remove the plunger and the plunger spring.
  6.  
  7. Remove the check ball retainer, check ball spring, and check ball. Pry the check ball retainer loose from the plunger with the blade of a small screwdriver.
  8.  
  9. Inspect all parts carefully. If any parts are damaged or worn, replace the entire lifter assembly.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install the check ball on the small hole in the bottom of the plunger.
  2.  
  3. Install the check ball on the seat and place it over the check ball so the spring rests on the ball.
  4.  
  5. Install the retainer ring into position in the plunger with the blade of a small screwdriver.
  6.  
  7. Place the plunger spring over the ball retainer and slide the lifter body over the spring and plunger being careful to line up the oil feed holes in the lifter body and plunger. Fill the assembly with SAE 10 oil.
  8.  

Do not attempt to force or pump the plunger.

  1. Insert the end of a 1 / 8 in. drift pin into the plunger and press down until it bottoms. At this point the oil holes in the lifter body and plunger assembly will be aligned.
  2.  
  3. Insert a 1 / 16 in. drift pin through both oil holes to holder the plunger down against the lifter spring tension.
  4.  
  5. Remove the 1 / 8 in. drift pin.
  6.  
  7. Refill the assembly with SAE 10 oil.
  8.  
  9. Install the metering valve, pushrod seat and retainer.
  10.  
  11. Push down on the seat and remove the 1 / 16 in. drift pin from the oil holes.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Roller valve lifter exploded view; flat lifters similar

 
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