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Thread: lifter noise...how bad is it? what to do?

  1. #1
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    Question lifter noise...how bad is it? what to do?

    what causes lifter noise and how bad is it for your engine. i read something about too much play between the lifters and the valves. do all engines do this when they get older? it started a while ago and i didn't know what it was at first but now i think it's lifter noise. it sounds like a chattering noise. what can i do to fix it? i really don't want to take the valve cover off again if i don't have to because i just redid it. i know they make oil additives that are supposed to quiet lifter noise but i don't really trust any oil additives. most if not all seem to be snake oil.
    New Jeep: 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport

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    well i'm reading up a bit on it now and it says one of the causes can be too much or too little oil now or at some other point. this pisses me off because it started a while back when it was too cold out for me to change my oil and i really needed it changed so i went to jiffy lube, which i never, ever do, and that's when it started. when i got it back it was never the same. bastards. i wish i had a garage then.
    New Jeep: 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport

    RIP: 1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0 HO, NP231, AW4
    AMSoil synthetics throughout
    Kolak exhaust ML Headers, ML Tailpipe, Flowmaster Muffler, Carsound Cat (+Swain Technology Ceramic Coating & DEI Header Wrap)

  3. #3
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    Abraxas:
    I know you don't like oil additives, but you might want to try a product called Rislone. It is specifically for lifter clatter. The boys at Jiffy Lube may have used an oil that was not compatiable with your brand causing a gell or maybe a varnish to form on the hydraulic lifter(s). The Rislone can break this down and quiet things down. It comes in a Qt can and you have to take out a Qt of your oil to avoid overfill.
    I don't believe in additives of any kind either, but in this case, I have used the stuff and have had success. Some also advocate a Qt of ATF in lieu of the Rislone. I would not suggest that. ATF cannot handle the heat and has nowhere near the lubricating qualities that are required for oil.
    Hope this helps, it has for me...
    Regards, W.J.Wheezer
    Current Car: '91 Audi 200 DOHC 20v Turbo Quattro, Prosche "Big Red" 993TT Brake Kit, Absolutly Cherry Car, She may be old but she AIN'T slow, 1 of 1500 imported to the US in '91 only for racing and SCCA Homologation, Currently Modding and working out the Turbo kinks for chipping
    *** ALL GONE ***
    2001 WJ,Laredo, QuadTracII,4.7L, V-8 Kenne Bell Supercharged, 298.3 HP@5500 RPM/311.5 TQ@4500 RPM at the wheels.
    2003 Ford Lightning PU, Dark Charcoal Grey, Granite interior, 23000 miles, PIAA, Clear Bra, Lowered rear, bed liner, Goodyear F-1's, XM radio, upgraded stereo with dynamat interior.
    2005 Audi S-4 Avant V-8....Gett'in Groceries FAST...Miltek cat back, Revo flash, BBS CH wheels, Stop Tech 13 1/2" big brakes, Neuspeed sway bars
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  4. #4
    Registered 94XJ-R's Avatar
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    the lifters get trash stuck to em. try replacing a quart of oil with tranny fluid. dont flame me, i know what im talking about. many of my mechanic friends told me when i was having lifter noise. something about it cleans the trash off. that, or replace the lifters. and my lifter noise actually started after using an oil additive (Lucas). i ended up replacing mine for good measure after some head work.
    Current:
    2000 Cherokee Sport, 4wd, 4.0HO, AW4

    Past:
    1994 Cherokee Country, 2wd, 4.0HO, AW4
    1999 Wrangler Sport, 4wd, 4.0HO, 5spd, 3.73 gears

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    thanks for the replies guys. i trust your opinin Wheezer. i've seen enough of your posts to know that you know what you're talking about. so i guess i'm going to try that route at first. so can i get rislone at any autoparts store?

    thanks 94XJ-R, i think i'm going to try that rislone stuff first and do some research into the affects of using ATF.
    New Jeep: 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport

    RIP: 1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0 HO, NP231, AW4
    AMSoil synthetics throughout
    Kolak exhaust ML Headers, ML Tailpipe, Flowmaster Muffler, Carsound Cat (+Swain Technology Ceramic Coating & DEI Header Wrap)

  6. #6
    Registered 94XJ-R's Avatar
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    i left the quart in for 1000 miles then changed it, as the noised had gone. no ill effects thus far, and it has been 6k since then.
    Current:
    2000 Cherokee Sport, 4wd, 4.0HO, AW4

    Past:
    1994 Cherokee Country, 2wd, 4.0HO, AW4
    1999 Wrangler Sport, 4wd, 4.0HO, 5spd, 3.73 gears

  7. #7
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    well that's good to know. i guess it would be good to change out soon like you did.
    New Jeep: 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport

    RIP: 1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0 HO, NP231, AW4
    AMSoil synthetics throughout
    Kolak exhaust ML Headers, ML Tailpipe, Flowmaster Muffler, Carsound Cat (+Swain Technology Ceramic Coating & DEI Header Wrap)

  8. #8
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    most of what i read says that ATF is ok to use.
    New Jeep: 2000 Jeep Cherokee Sport

    RIP: 1995 Jeep Cherokee Sport 4.0 HO, NP231, AW4
    AMSoil synthetics throughout
    Kolak exhaust ML Headers, ML Tailpipe, Flowmaster Muffler, Carsound Cat (+Swain Technology Ceramic Coating & DEI Header Wrap)

  9. #9
    Bad Ass XJ
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    1 or 2 quarts of AFT and the rest motor oil will not hurt anything ONLY if you keep the motor idleing. If you drive it around with the ATF, then the lack of lube and increased heat will hurt the motor. I have done this on 4 different cars and all of thoes cars have over 100,000 miles and no problems. My mechanic who I have known for years also does this on cars with stickey lifters and he has never had a problem.

    Good Luck

    AARON
    91 Comanche Truggy...Built for fun on 35s

  10. #10

    Icon314 Lifter noise

    My lifters make noise at the weirdest times. I can start it up, drive a mile down the road, then clackity, clack, clack. Drive another mile down the road and then it stops. I can turn the engine off sometimes when its making noise, then start it up a minute later and no noise. The oil's full, but it's about due for a change. This all started maybe a thousand miles or so ago. Any ideas? Thanks in advance. Andy. By the way, it's a '89 4.0 with 130,000 miles.

  11. #11
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    Abraxas:
    You can get the Rislone at just about any parts store. Quieting lifter noise is pretty much what the product is for. Next oil change just substitute it for a Qt of oil and run it until your next change.
    Good Luck, Let us know what happens.
    Regards, W.J.Wheezer
    Originally posted by AbraxasXJ
    thanks for the replies guys. i trust your opinin Wheezer. i've seen enough of your posts to know that you know what you're talking about. so i guess i'm going to try that route at first. so can i get rislone at any autoparts store?

    thanks 94XJ-R, i think i'm going to try that rislone stuff first and do some research into the affects of using ATF.
    Current Car: '91 Audi 200 DOHC 20v Turbo Quattro, Prosche "Big Red" 993TT Brake Kit, Absolutly Cherry Car, She may be old but she AIN'T slow, 1 of 1500 imported to the US in '91 only for racing and SCCA Homologation, Currently Modding and working out the Turbo kinks for chipping
    *** ALL GONE ***
    2001 WJ,Laredo, QuadTracII,4.7L, V-8 Kenne Bell Supercharged, 298.3 HP@5500 RPM/311.5 TQ@4500 RPM at the wheels.
    2003 Ford Lightning PU, Dark Charcoal Grey, Granite interior, 23000 miles, PIAA, Clear Bra, Lowered rear, bed liner, Goodyear F-1's, XM radio, upgraded stereo with dynamat interior.
    2005 Audi S-4 Avant V-8....Gett'in Groceries FAST...Miltek cat back, Revo flash, BBS CH wheels, Stop Tech 13 1/2" big brakes, Neuspeed sway bars
    www.community.webshots.com/user/wjwheezer

  12. #12
    Registered Bobkid's Avatar
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    Thumbs up TF has worked for years

    Originally posted by 94XJ-R
    ... try replacing a quart of oil with tranny fluid.
    My Dad told me about this over 30 years ago. He had used this trick on several cars, and I've used it on at least 6 cars over the years.

    I've never seen a problem with an engine that could ever be related to this practice. Not only will it quiet lifter noise, but it has significantly reduced oil consumption on high mileage motors as well.

    While I won't use this trick on a low mileage, still under warranty engine; I wouldn't hesitate after that.
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