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  • Sticky Lifter - What are the options?

    I know this has been discussed before, but it's been a while and I now have sticky lifter. It goes away after the bike is hot but it's been getting worse. I recently changed the oil, and before I did, I added a good dose of Seafoam to the oil, hoping it'd clean the lifter. It did make a difference pretty quickly, but since changing the oil, it's gotten a lot worse. If I recall, JD, you said you figured a solution that didn't require replacing the cam, what was it?

    I appreciate any help you guys can give me.

    Thanks,

    Doc_V

  • #2
    Drain the oil and fill her up with transmission fluid. Im a mechanic for a living and i have freed many lifters this way. Run it for a few hours and then drain it and fill it with whatever oil you use.

    Comment


    • Spydr
      Spydr commented
      Editing a comment
      That's been my go to solvent for decades.
      Kinda thought folk here didn't like it for some reason.

    • Rodzim
      Rodzim commented
      Editing a comment
      Lots of internet mechanics man. People that do it day in and day out can read forums and laugh about things that are not supposed to be done that we do every day.

    • Doc_V
      Doc_V commented
      Editing a comment
      How much transmission fluid would you run and for how long?

  • #3
    Why hell, I wish I'd heard about this before I'd spent $60 on an oil change 2 weeks ago. Should I just add more Seafoam to the fresh oil, or will that cause issues long term. What about soaking the lifter in something good? Id even thought about taking them apart and cleaning them.

    Comment


    • #4
      1 Pint , 16 Oz . Marvel Mystery Oil for one tank of gas before oil change. In the oil tank.

      Comment


      • #5
        Drain the oil in a clean oil pan and save it to put back in. The trans fluid isn't to replace the oil for the entire oil change interval.Trans fluid has a high detergent content in it and does an amazing job cleaning. If I used trans fluid I think I would add some zinc to it and would only use no more than 50/50 oil/ trans mixture. But that is just me. There are also other products on the market to free sticky lifters. As much noise as these things make naturally it must be bad if you have determined that it is defiantly a lifter making noise. If you pull the lifter out just change it. That is another thing that us mechanics do all the time without issue. I think the reason that some think that a new lifter will destroy a cam is because in many cases the cam was already destroyed along with the old lifter. If the lifter isn't dished or destroyed on the bottom and is only making noise because of the internal components of the lifter there should be no problem installing a new one without harm to anything else.

        Comment


        • #6
          Just Curious, what are the signs of a sticking lifter. How to you tell the difference from a sticking lifter and the normal noises?

          Comment


          • Doc_V
            Doc_V commented
            Editing a comment
            It's a very loud *clacking* noise that only happens when the motor is cold. You can hear it from 50 feet away. The motor also runs rough until it stops and when it does stop it's very obvious like someone flipped a switch.

        • #7
          When the lifter frees up, the bike runs fine, if the cam was damaged would it be more obvious? Also, wasn't it determined that the R* lifters were the same as Dodge Dart lifters or something?
          Last edited by Doc_V; 01-18-2019, 09:00 AM.

          Comment


          • #8
            Some use a seal power ht 2011. As long as the cam isn't damaged installing a new lifter shouldn't hurt a thing. If it is freeing up after running for awhile I would try the ATF or other product specifically made for that purpose. If it is freeing up it isn't too badly stuck and likely just a bit of a varnish build up that a cleaner will fix.

            Comment


            • #9
              Doc, I feel that what Dave is saying is the way to go.
              Using transmission oil in with your oil, is a trick that has been proven for years on hydraulic lifters. If it's a lifter cleaning issue than this might work, but if it doesn't, than you know you will have to pull the lifter. If you have to pull the lifter then, like Dave said, replace it with a new one.
              I've had to do this on a V-8 engine before, and after pin pointing that lifter, I pulled it apart and did not see anything wrong. It's very hard to find the problem causing it to bleed down.
              I hope its just a cleaning problem and ATF fixes it.
              If you have to replace the lifter, then remember you will have to break it into the cam.

              Comment


              • #10
                OK, so if I'm understanding this correctly, drain two quarts of oil and replace with two quarts of ATF? What kind of ATF and how long do I run it like this? Just ride like normal? Also, any recommendations on what zinc additive to use and how much to use?

                Thanks all.

                Comment


                • #11
                  Originally posted by Doc_V View Post
                  It's a very loud *clacking* noise that only happens when the motor is cold. You can hear it from 50 feet away. The motor also runs rough until it stops and when it does stop it's very obvious like someone flipped a switch.
                  Hey Lance, how long does it take to warm up and quit clacking? Are you sure it’s not the upper end? Didn’t you just replace the rocker arm shafts?

                  Comment


                  • Doc_V
                    Doc_V commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That was something else that was load dependent. The sticking only happens when the bike is cold and has been going on for a while. It even happened back in July at the dealership in Bend, OR but it was only occasionally back then, now it happens every time the bike has sat over night.

                • #12
                  Just throwing this out there.
                  If you get that deep into the lifters. You should replace the two o-rings on #37. (#38 and 39 two differant part numbers)
                  I believe this pipe is a oiler for the lifters.
                  I did it on my 01 when I was In there. Not difficult to do.
                  Is the word PICTURE a picture?

                  Comment


                  • Duke
                    Duke commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I believe that #37 is the oil sprayer for oiling the cam and lifter bottoms

                • #13
                  Question - does the noise slowly go away after the engine is run a little bit or does it have to get good and hot before it quits suddenly? Since the Seafoam didn't help it sounds to me more like a lifter leaking down. Since the engine stops with one or the other of the exhaust valves being held open it could be time for new lifters.
                  Scott B.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    When it goes away, it's almost instantaneous, but its taking longer and longer for that to happen. And lately, if I pull to a stop shortly after the noise stopped, it will start again but more quietly. After about 5 mins it goes away completely.

                    Also, it got better when I added about 4oz. of Seafoam to the oil, but it's gotten worse since the oil change. On a side note: for ages I've noticed on occasion when I turn the bike off I'll hear an extra "puff" out the exhaust. I just assumed it was normal; could that be related?
                    Last edited by Doc_V; 01-18-2019, 03:00 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #15

                      What your describing does sound like lifter leak down. I agree with TexasScott1.
                      Is the word PICTURE a picture?

                      Comment


                      • #16
                        Duke, I just found your thread about the Sealed Power Lifters, where'd you get them and have you installed them yet?

                        Comment


                        • #17
                          Doc,just about any local auto part store can order sealed power engine parts/lifters,you should also be able to get them from Rock auto,Summit racing,Jeg's too.

                          Scott

                          Comment


                          • #18
                            Thanks Scott, BTW, I noticed you mentioned PMing a procedure to Duke in his thread, is that something you can post here?

                            Comment


                            • #19
                              I purchased the lifters thru Summit racing for a basket case bike I picked up last fall. The only thing I've done to it, is completely tore it down. Have checked all of the engine components and ordered parts to put it back together.
                              So, no Doc, I have not installed them yet. I've been working on my other bike, oil pressure gauge, floor boards, clutch, complete service, and right now, lowering the saddle bags while trying to get my welding skills back up to par.

                              Comment


                              • #20
                                Thanks Duke! I've been reading on Warrior forum and it looks like they've done it too with no prob. Now I just need to find the procedure.

                                Comment

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