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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 11:35 am 
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Location: San Juan, Argentina
It is a common problem for our cars. Lifters with high mileage start making noise and bleed overnight. This is not because of a worn lifter, but because of dirt collected by it.

Our lifters have a check valve consisting of a steel ball, a ball seat, and a spring. When the lifter gets dirty, the check valve no longer seals the lifter, and bleeds.

The best way to get them back to work is to take them out, disassemble them, clean with lacquer thinner and cotton swabs, and reassemle them, soaked in ATF oil, or engine oil.The most important place to clean is where the steel valve seats.

My experience tells me that, there is no problem in mixing lifter components. ie. any lifter case, with any core, with any spring, with any ball. No need to match halves and parts.

Other common problems associated with lifter noise are:

-Low oil pressure
-Low oil level, air bubbles in the oil galleries.
-Worn lifter housing. Replace the head or insert aluminum sleeve to get housings back to nominal diameter.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2007 6:10 pm 
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Caaarlo, how did you take that center piece out of the lifter? :shock: and then apart? What tools did you use?

The pieces are tiny! :shock:

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2007 2:35 am 
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The fist two halves, just smash the lifter against a piece of wood or rubber, smash it with anger !

Then the tiny cap containing the ball/spring, just use your fingers, no need for tools in any of the steps.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:25 pm 
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Carlo a very informative post
thanks

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:35 pm 
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One of lifters in a spare engine has the very thin wire o-ring missing from the central plunger piece I have no idea where to get one from. Is this o-ring just for keeping the 2 pieces together?

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2007 7:55 pm 
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Caaarlo wrote:
The fist two halves, just smash the lifter against a piece of wood or rubber, smash it with anger !

possibly my favorite quote on teamswift ever !
great little writeup :thumbsup:


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:59 am 
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I'm guessing this is for the 1.3L, because I can't see any way to disassemble the 1.0L's lifters.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:29 am 
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normalicy wrote:
I'm guessing this is for the 1.3L, because I can't see any way to disassemble the 1.0L's lifters.

The 89+ 1.0l lifters are very similar, some are identical.
The 98+ are a different design, but all still come apart the same way.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:29 am 
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I'll have to check again (mine were for a '96), because I sure couldn't figure out how to get them apart. Maybe I wasn't angry enough.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:01 am 
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ok turns out the noise was not coming from the lifters, but the rubber/plastic gasket that is between the cam sprocket and the head, on the left side of the camshaft... The rubber part on that gasket became brittle and hard like plastic, and started to crack and rattle.

So I changed that and its fine now. no noise.. I think its called the "camshaft front seal". Try chaning that if cleaning lifters does not help nosie..


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:58 pm 
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Thanks for the heads up, always nice to see solutions.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:07 am 
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:thumbsup: this post as solved one of my problems good work.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:41 pm 
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Has anyone done this and ended up with a louder one? I double and triple checked everything appears normal. But one is making more noise than before.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 9:00 pm 
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what does lifter noise sound like ?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:31 am 
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I cleaned the lifters in my '91 a couple of days ago but mine didn't have the smallest springs pictured above. It's quieter now but still noisier than most engines I've worked on and I'd like it to be better.

I'm just wondering if it might be worth it to find a set that does have the little springs?

Anyone know what year they started using the "check ball spring" in the lifter?

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 1:45 am 
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Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
I realize this is an old topic, but it's still very interesting...to me anyway... :)

I have a owned three metros now and I have done all the repairs and maintained them myself and they have served me well.

I recently bought a 95 Metro 1.0 liter 5 speed with ac, it's got about 125,000 miles and the previous owner got rid of it because, well he thought the engine was dying. After all, he rarely checked or changed anything and when I got the car the engine was hammering away, so the first thing I did was change the oil and filter (there was less than a quart of black crud in the crankcase) sadly the noise didn't go away, so I searched and came across this thread.

Anyway, after reading the thread I decided I should remove lifters (or are they called 'hydraulic tappets', I'm not really sure), clean them and re-install. Now the engine runs but I still have noise, which appears to be valve train. I think I figured out what is going on after removing {the cam and} the lifters again so I wanted to add my thoughts to thread and possibly get some advice too...

- Gosh, those pictures are great...to anyone who posts useful pictures as well an intelligent well thought out description without acronyms (or with definitions of acronyms), hats off to you!

- In the last picture there are seven parts, for reference it would be nice to know what those internal parts are called. (can someone say the official names from left to right or should I just call them a,b,c, etc.?)

- Seems obvious now, but it needs to be mentioned, because this is a decent sized job and takes time. It is necessary to remove the valve cover, the timing belt cover & the camshaft in order to get to the lifters, each one of those items is a task by itself (ie. while your engine is apart for example if you are planing on a doing an xfi cam-swap or engine rebuild or whatnot be sure to clean or replace your {hydraulic} lifters, makes sense right? Gosh it is a lot of work to have to do over again!)

- I found the easiest way to remove the internal parts of the lifter is to place the lifter on wood and hit it hard with a heavy hammer until the center literally pops out (sometimes once is enough, sometimes not!); the center part comes apart with two pliers or two vice grips or pliers and a vice, your choice. Careful, those parts are tiny and oily.

- Like I said, my engine ran but my lifters were completely solid (filled with crud), cleaning them helped but now there is still a lot of valve train noise. So, I have the lifters out again. The center rotates easily but is difficult to compress by hand (sticky) Maybe I didn't get off all the carbon deposits. Do I need to take the lifters apart again and soak all the parts in carb cleaner or laquer thinner as mentioned above or something else? Well, that is starting to make some sense. Or perhaps give up and replace the lifters, that makes sense too, any thoughts?

Well, sorry to be long winded, that's it for now. I hope to get this car on the road soon, can't wait... Thanks in advance for any advice... :)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:32 am 
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I was wondering who would mention the amount of work involved. Yes, it's a difficult job & IMO, I'd save it for when you are already into that part of the engine (something that requires you to have the timing cover off).

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 3:33 am 
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I see this question was already asked in this thread (re: One of lifters in a spare engine has the very thin wire o-ring missing from the central plunger piece I have no idea where to get one from. Is this o-ring just for keeping the 2 pieces together?), and that was never answered, so I'll ask a slightly different questions and propose an answer to the unanswered question...

I noticed some of the springs inside my lifters aren't as strong as others. So, the questions are... Is there a spec for those springs? If so, what is it and how do I measure it? If I need to get parts to rebuild my lifters are spare parts available or do I need to buy more lifters? Where can I buy either lifter rebuild parts or some new or used lifters? (I'm on a budget, so cheap would be good for me...)

For what it's worth, I believe that "very thin wire o-ring from the central plunger piece" does in fact hold the central plunger in place and it's necessary because there is severe hydraulic pressure inside the lifter...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:04 am 
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I am pretty sure I have resolved my problem and it may be the same solution that this person was looking for...

"Has anyone done this and ended up with a louder one? I double and triple checked everything appears normal. But one is making more noise than before."

So, I took everything apart again (gah!) and removed the lifters. I took the lifters completely apart and soaked all the parts in lacquer thinner overnight, so I could think about this problem some more...

It dawned on me late last night that I might have had a worn cam so I checked it with a micrometer (cheap ~$6), all of the lobs are well within tolerance.

But here is what I realized...after cleaning the lifters and putting them back together a few of them acted as if the internal springs were worn out (saggy).

That's when I thought I didn't do a good enough job cleaning them or the springs were worn out.

It turns out if there is even a small amount of dirt or carbon buildup between the ball bearing and it's seat, the ball bearing will never be able to seat and that lifter will likely tap.

The other thing to check- make sure the larger of the two buckets {of the center portion of the lifter} has oil (~1/3-1/2 full is sufficient) before reassembling.

With them filled up they were all pretty darned stiff and I was barely able to press them with my fingers (no saggy ones!) In my case it made all the difference and now my engine is pretty close to what I would consider 'normal' as far as engine noise for this age of a car.

Note: I have read filling the lifters with oil is optional and not really critical, that they will pump up, it's up to you, but why not fill them? You already went to all the trouble to take them apart and clean them, didn't you? So I ask you, why not fill them and try them out while they are outside of the car??? (I learned my lesson- without filling the lifters before assembly I was able to run the engine for several minutes and apparently they never filled up, ie. my tapping didn't go away and I was pretty bummed out after all the work.)

Well, I am glad I was able to fix this and I sure hope my experience helps someone else... so, onward to my next project- figure out why the ac doesn't work, but yeah that's a topic for another day & thread, I'm sure... :)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 2:07 am 
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That's a good bit of additional information. Much appreciated.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:37 pm 
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Not wanting to be a wet blanket or anything, but has anyone noticed that the engine repair manual specifically states to DO NOT DISASSEMBLE THE LIFTER ASSEMBLY?

Have there been any adverse effects of disassembly for those who have done this? I suspect I may need to either clean or replace my lifters as they are very noisy when revving over 5500rpm. Just want to make sure that the candle doesn't cost more than the funeral.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 2:52 pm 
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Many friends with GTis have followed this instructions and had success silencing the lifters.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 3:53 pm 
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Use a good high-temp ester oil like Red Line and they'll likely never accumulate anything worth cleaning.

Clean lifters are awesome. Keep 'em clean or go solid.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:46 pm 
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PBC137 wrote:
repair manual specifically states to DO NOT DISASSEMBLE THE LIFTER ASSEMBLY?


How many CD players say "Do not disassemble. No user serviceable parts inside" yet still work better after Q-Tipping the lens?

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:56 pm 
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crazyman wrote:
How many CD players say "Do not disassemble. No user serviceable parts inside" yet still work better after Q-Tipping the lens?

<loading sarcasm>
Yeah, seriously ... don't go in there, you might fix something. And if you did that, then what ever shall the dealer do!?!?
<sarcasm failed>

:/


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