Topic: Cause of lifter wear?

What causes this kind of wear on the face of solid lifters?

http://www.kstreetstudio.com/files/tinyvette/Lifters004-1024.jpg

Details: Opel CIH engine (lifters, but no push rods), low mileage, Valvoline VR-1 50 weight, ZDDP.

Any ideas?

Mike

Re: Cause of lifter wear?

Doesn't that motor normally have hydraulic lifters?

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: Cause of lifter wear?

How's the cam look? All the lifters like this or just one? Aftermarket cam or welded cam? I had tried some welded (hardfaced) cams over the years and every one from a un-named company #$%&cam ( The thing a spider weaves) eventually took out my lifters. The interface between the lobe and lifter was incompatible.

I found something that worked and now that's all I run.

Upping your spring pressure and a more aggressive lift will make the issue of lifter wear worse. Be sure to make sure you are using good (new if available) lifters and a solid cam / lifter break in procedure. Most lifters are slightly convex and the cam is offset slightly to impart some rotation to prevent loading the same area all the time.


Greg

1987 Alfa Milano (Bellissima since 2008), Lemons racing since 2008 Stafford Springs,  2nd overall 2011 NJMP, 4th at NHMS 2011, 2nd at Summit point 2011, Into the wall hard at Stafford Springs 2011, 2nd at Monticello 2013, 3rd at NHMS 2013, 2nd at NHMS 2016.

22,000 racing miles over 29 races in 10 years. Yes its the same motor. Tell me again how Alfas suck? Update: Big moneyshift = new motor

Re: Cause of lifter wear?

It's an Isky cam, OR-66 re-grind. It's like new and in good shape.

These motors come with hydraulic lifters and cams. Mine are solids paired with a cam ground for solid lifters.

Spring rates are greater than stock, but not a lot, best I can recall. "Blue", an identical motor has not had this problem with lifters.

All of the lifters are damaged, except for the one that was a filed repair replacement, used, best we could do at the time. (20 minutes later we lost a rod bolt, but that is another story.) That one looks fine.

We run VR-1 plus ZDDP. I understand too much phosphorous causes intergranular attack and spalling of the steel. But again, we've been running this oil and additive fore years.

I suspect the metallurgy is wrong. Either too hard or not hard deep enough. Still was thinking it could be things like too great a valve lash, maybe sustained high revs. Team orders are to shift at 5500, 6000 in the heat of battle.

Mike

Re: Cause of lifter wear?

It almost looks like it's BOUNCING and banging into the cam lobe.

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Re: Cause of lifter wear?

I'd guess wrong grind on the OR66 (is the part number etched in to it?) or too much clearance. I've had oiling problems on mechanical lifters (bottom end bearings get loose and bleed off all of my oil pressure) and mine would wear smooth grooves in the lifter face. That looks like it's getting hit.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

7 (edited by Greg S 2017-07-12 10:05 AM)

Re: Cause of lifter wear?

m610 wrote:

It's an Isky cam, OR-66 re-grind. It's like new and in good shape.

These motors come with hydraulic lifters and cams. Mine are solids paired with a cam ground for solid lifters.

Spring rates are greater than stock, but not a lot, best I can recall. "Blue", an identical motor has not had this problem with lifters.

All of the lifters are damaged, except for the one that was a filed repair replacement, used, best we could do at the time. (20 minutes later we lost a rod bolt, but that is another story.) That one looks fine.

We run VR-1 plus ZDDP. I understand too much phosphorous causes intergranular attack and spalling of the steel. But again, we've been running this oil and additive fore years.

I suspect the metallurgy is wrong. Either too hard or not hard deep enough. Still was thinking it could be things like too great a valve lash, maybe sustained high revs. Team orders are to shift at 5500, 6000 in the heat of battle.

Mike

Based on the looks it is fatigue that happens inter-granularly. Kind of like a spalled bearing or statically over loaded bearing etc. But cam to lifter interface can be a funny thing. One thing to absolutely look at is making sure that you have adequate clearance without spring coil bind and other interference. Spring bind is easy to check with the springs off the car. Figure .060" lift before bind is pretty good. But bind can come from other things as well like oil seals and event spring retainers hitting valve guides. So use a light checker spring in the head and go to full lift and press down to see how much more clearance you have at full lift. (dial indicator is best) Bind will damage valve train components quick.

If you don't have one run and go buy some aftermarket ignition doodad like the MSD 6AL that has a good "soft" rev limiter. Over revving and money shifting will cost you an engine so the fancy ignition will be a bargain in the end. Rev limiting is good also if your getting valve float which could also be hammering the lifter pretty hard if it happens. Soft rev limits are best they randomly kill a cylinder so that the engine stays "loaded" at high RPM. Most factory rev limits are a hard cut which wreaks havoc with piston skirts and wrist pins.

Also if you have a friend with a hardness tester compare the good and bad lifters. The numbers are not so important than the difference. And its good to keep good records of this stuff to refer to later.

Edit: That's a pretty low rev limit. If they are following your instructions valve float would be hard to get.

Greg

1987 Alfa Milano (Bellissima since 2008), Lemons racing since 2008 Stafford Springs,  2nd overall 2011 NJMP, 4th at NHMS 2011, 2nd at Summit point 2011, Into the wall hard at Stafford Springs 2011, 2nd at Monticello 2013, 3rd at NHMS 2013, 2nd at NHMS 2016.

22,000 racing miles over 29 races in 10 years. Yes its the same motor. Tell me again how Alfas suck? Update: Big moneyshift = new motor

Re: Cause of lifter wear?

I'll check for binding. Never did that before. Should be fun. The head is in my kitchen now so I can play with things like this.

I've read several places that too much phosphorous (part of the zinc additive) will cause intergranular corrosion and that will lead to spalling. Acid attack in a car sitting for a time can also lead to spalling, but I though the ZDDP was there initially to handle corrosion of this type.

Cam smacking the lifter is a possibility. In our first race with this engine nearly all of the new rocker nuts backed off. I had to hammer them on the trailer hitch to snug them up again. Otherwise, I'm on top of things as far as setting and maintaining proper valve lash goes.

I don't have access to hardness testers. I once did. Ran a lab that had several of them. I may be able to use one in September. That won't help me now, but it will be interesting.

Thanks all for the suggestions.

Mike