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A hydraulic lifter, also known as a hydraulic tappet or a hydraulic lash adjuster, is a device for maintaining zero valve clearance in an internal combustion engine. The Conventional means of adjusting valve actuation always require a small clearance to be left between the valve and its rocker or cam follower to allow for thermal expansion and wear. The hydraulic lifter was designed to ensure that the valve train always operates with zero clearance, leading to quieter operation and eliminating the need for periodic adjustment of valve clearance.
The hydraulic lifter consists of a hollow expanding piston situated between the camshaft and valve. It is operated either by a rocker mechanism, or in the case of one or more overhead camshafts , directly by the camshaft. The lifter is filled with engine oil intermittently from an oil galley via a small drilling. When the engine valve is closed, the lifter is free to fill with oil. When the valve is opening and the lifter is being operated by the camshaft, the oil feed is blocked and the lifter acts just as a solid one would, oil being incompressible.
The first firm to include hydraulic lifters in its design was Pierce-Arrow in the early 1930s. Hydraulic lifters were popular on automobiles designed in the 1980s, but most newer cars have reverted to bucket-and-shim mechanical lifters. Although these do not run as quietly and are not maintenance-free, they are cheaper and rarely need adjustment because the wear caused by operation is spread over a large area.
There are a number of potential problems with hydraulic lifters. Frequently, the valvetrain will rattle loudly on startup due to oil draining from the lifters when the vehicle is parked. This is not considered significant provided the noise disappears within a couple of minutes, typically it usually only lasts a second or two. A rattle that does not go away can indicate a blocked oil feed or that one or more of the lifters has collapsed due to wear and is no longer opening its valve fully. The affected lifter should be replaced in the latter circumstances. In extremely rare circumstances, a lifter can "pump up" and create negative valve clearance so that its valve cannot close. This is more serious as burnt valves will result. In all cases it is important to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for oil viscosity and quI amality
Hi,I am glad to hear you found the problem. As far as the fix,the correct way would be to have the heads returned to the machine shop so the valves stem tips could be ground down that amount. I would believe that if you had available a small grinder and were able to keep any debris out of the engine it could possibly be done with the head still on the engine in the vehicle.I also might be tempted to clean the rocker screws and threads throughly and use loc tite on the threads and leave the adjustment set so it runs,or try to shim the rocker adjustment up, if possible. As far as 2 head gaskets,I found a company the makes head gasket shims of various thicknesses,it would be safer then using 2 gaskets I will send you a link,and a copy of a page from the site. Thanks for the accept,good luck,let me know how it works out for you,Jerry.