Adjusting Hydraulic Lifters for Proper Preload - Engine Builder Magazine

Adjusting Hydraulic Lifters for Proper Preload

In order to adjust the preload the lifter must be properly located on the base circle or “Heel” of the lobe. At this position the valve is closed and there is no lift taking place.You will need to watch the movement of the valves to determine which lifter is properly positioned for adjusting.
1. Remove the valve covers, and pick a cylinder you are going to set the preload on.
2. Hand rotate the engine in its normal direction of rotation and watch the exhaust valve on that particular cylinder.When the exhaust valve begins to open, stop and adjust that cylinder’s intake rocker arm. (Why? Because when the exhaust valve is just beginning to open, the intake lifter will be on the base circle of the lobe, the correct position for adjusting the intake.)
3. Back off the intake rocker arm adjuster and remove any tension from the pushrod.Wait a minute or two for that hydraulic lifter to return to a neutral position. The spring inside the lifter will move the pushrod seat up against the retaining lock if you give it time to do so. (If you are installing brand new lifters they will be in the neutral position when they come in the box.)
4. Now spin the intake pushrod with your fingers while tightening down the rocker arm.When you feel a slight resistance to the turning of the pushrod, you are at “Zero Lash”. Turn the adjusting nut down one half to one full turn from that point. Lock the adjuster into position. The intake is now adjusted properly.
5. Continue to hand turn the engine, watching that same intake. It will go to full open and then begin to close.When it is almost closed, stop and adjust the exhaust rocker arm on that particular cylinder. (Again, when we see the intake almost closed, we are sure that exhaust lifter is on the base circle of the lobe.) Loosen the exhaust rocker arm and follow the same procedure described before in steps 3 and 4 to adjust this rocker arm.
6. Both valves on this cylinder are now adjusted, and you can move on to your next cylinder and follow the same procedure again.
Tech Tip courtesy of Crane Cams 

You May Also Like

Jesel Certified Performance Rebuilds

Engine components are serious investments for any racer and maintaining that investment could be the difference between winning a championship and losing it.

Now that the race season is over, it’s a great time to freshen up your engine. Many shops are calling on their race customers to get a jump on that rebuild work before things get crazy again quickly in early 2023. One rebuild service folks with Jesel components might want to consider is taking advantage of Jesel’s CPR department to inspect, update and rebuild your Jesel rockers, lifters and followers.

Going the Extra Mile with Cylinder Head Porting

It’s not just the port work alone that creates spectacular cylinder head performance. The most critical areas of a cylinder head are those which pass the most air at the highest speed and for the longest duration. Your bowl area, the valve job, the throat diameter, and combustion chamber are all crucial parts. 

Tight Tolerances and Building Power

As you ascend Mt. Everest, you reach an area called the death zone. Once you climb high enough, the margin of error becomes perilously thin. That death zone also applies to engines. As the horsepower per cubic inch and rpm increase, the margin of error decreases. 

CNC Update: Features and Automation

Precision is key when it comes to automotive parts; the complex designs of connecting rods, pistons and rings, blocks, cylinder heads, and other parts require super tight tolerances that are getting more and more difficult to be met by hand or with other machining processes outside of CNC.

All Things Media Blasting

Engine building is a segment of the automotive industry that has always been ahead of the curve in media blasting, and no matter the engine shop, cleaning equipment is a common bond.

Other Posts

Engine & Hub Dynos: Necessary Tools and Additional Revenue

Being able to see the horsepower and the direct correlation to what is lost in the driveline is invaluable – dynos offer a myriad of benefits for the modern engine shop.

November 2022 Shop Solutions

November tricks and tips for the shop!

Shop Solutions October 2022

When machining on the CNC mill, it’s necessary to blow the flood coolant and chips off the parts for inspection. I tried a tool holder mounted fan, but it wouldn’t get all the chips and coolant out of the deeper areas.

Could Engine Oil Soon Contain No Oil?

The trend towards ever thinner engine oils is an effort to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. How far can it go?