Morel lifters are loud


New Member
May 16, 2017
I know this use to be an issue years ago from all the old threads. But I just got my stroker build together and these lifters are clattering. Not as bad when warm but still annoying. I have only put maybe 10 miles and hand full of heat cycles. And I checked preload to make sure there wasn’t something oblivious. Am I missing something?


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I would worry more about the spring pressures, seat and open. What brand of springs, part number and installed height. Stock or aftermarket heads? Cam type, flat tappet, or roller?
I would worry more about the spring pressures, seat and open. What brand of springs, part number and installed height. Stock or aftermarket heads? Cam type, flat tappet, or roller?
That’ll be roller cam. Morel roller lifters are loud. Really loud..
1/2-3/4 is what spec calls for. Morel lifters are really loud because of the linkbar design. Some are louder than others. Can you post a video somehow?
The more info of what I asked for, plus oil brand, viscosity, pressure, dry sump oiling, windage tray use and deep oil pan usage all play a factor, as does spring design and shape, cam ramp rate, type of rocker material, and quality of roller rocker arms. There are other factors that I probably have forgotten that I will add as we go along.
I have been involved in the issue of hyd rlr cam power and noise since 1985/6 when Crane released their first SBC HYD RLR to the public. As I recall, I received about the third "matched assembly" sold. That is a long, convoluted story unto itself, and a major factor of how and why I became a Tech writer.
With a LOT of info that I asked for, I will be able to provide a plan to help figure out this common issue.
Due to legal ownership transfer issues of articles that I have written and been paid for, I am unable to do a "sticky" thread of said articles. Later as I am able to recall who for, and when said articles were published, I will provide info of where to find them, so others, not legally bound, may assemble the thread.
Just for info sake, I have found that most noise issues are not related to anti rotation, or tie bar design, be it vertical, (captured or loose), horizontal, (same deal), spring loaded horizontal, dog bone, lobe rail guided, or pin/ key guided. I'll do my research, now it's time for someone with more time than me to post pics of mostly old lifter designs.
Hint: those anti rotation designs started with the EARLY SOLID ROLLER pioneers: Chet Herbert, Racer Brown, Ed Iskenderian, and Engle, to name a few off the top of my head. You are going to find info and patents mostly from the 1950s and 60s.
Happy hunting and posting, I'll help steer things when I am available.
As a point of info, Harley bikes from the 90s, up to modern ones, run SBChevy hyd rlr lifters, and many of us H.P. chasers have bike dynos too.
It's MUCH easier to chase lifter/H.P./and noise issues on these engines, because the lifters, and pushrod tubes are external to the engine and easily accessible! And you can easily hear where the noise is emanating from with a length of hose too.
You can, and I have, changed lifter preload from the top, all the way to a half turn from the bottom (in .050 increments) without taking the bike off of my dyno. It takes about 20 minutes per adjustment, while still hot!
I also tried MANY brands and types of lifters.
I made a set of spacers back in 1986 to change the lifter plunger travel for my Crane supplied SBC cam/ lifter/spring set. Now they sell them. I later figured out later to adjust them about a half turn "up from the bottom" was easier.
Johnson sells SBC lifters in about 8+ bleed down rates, and more with reduced travel. I have tried most of all of them in my H.D.s and dyno mule SBCs
Since H.D.s are a dry sump system too, oil brand, viscosity, and type are easily changed in minutes!
Most of us H.D. racers use H.D. specific quick adjustable pushrods for easy cam, lifter, and preload changes.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO TRY TO RUN ADJUSTABLE "LENGTH CHECKING" PUSHRODS!!!!! They are not very hard or strong, and will fail IMMEDIATLY!!!!
Points of interest:
H.D.s use 50 weight synthetic oil, and still have lifter noise issues with fast ramp hyd rlr cam designs.
On my 136 H.P. n/a pump gas 91 fueled street bike, lifter preload changes from top to bottom account for about a 3 to 6 H.P. change depending on cam size and ramp rates.
H.D. synthetic 50 wt. oil change to Amsoil 50 wt. Synthetic accounts for about a 4-5 H.P. gain.
All of this with TWO cylinders
Keep calm, and carry on.
Although Harleys use SBC lifters,
THEY DO NOT USE LINK BARS OF ANY KIND! They are still noisy!
The lifters are in independent "lifter blocks" with a non moving indexing plate.
The higher the:
Spring pressure
Valvetrain weight, NOT rocker arm
Cam ramp rate
Oil viscosity, type, and quality
And amount (less) preload are the determining factors in HYD/RLR noise
In Harleys! Or anything else....
With the same lifters you use!
H.D.s don't use knock sensors.
LASH up a half turn from the bottom with custom length, or adjustable pushrods.

I have a 136 H.P. street Harley that came from the factory at 77 H.P.
I have a 600 H.P. capable bike dyno.
I have been running and modifying Hydraulic roller cam systems in cars, boats, and bikes since 1985/6.
Talk to your local H.D. RACE engine builder, but like most successful racers, they may not be much into sharing with strangers. Mention WOODS CAMS, (high H.P. and FAST ramp rate cams.) Listen to everyone say they make H.P, but noisy!
But then again the fast folks usually adjust their lifters from the bottom, and don't care about any noise! We tend to do what we do, and keep quiet about how!
Come on over and play!
I'm always open to discussion!
Morel roller lifters are loud. Really loud..
I had Morel lifter in my '71 350 GS with roller cam, they WERE HORRIBLE! they'd pump up be quiet, then bleed down and clatter, biggest piece of shit lifter!
I called TA and for 800.00 more I ordered the Johnson roller lifters, no noise what so ever!
I did extensive testing and have videos of my testing, you wouldnt believe the oil leaking from around the lifter plunger!
Sorry to piss on your parade TYRFRYR.
No offense intended. Just another view.
Sorry to piss on your parade TYRFRYR.
No offense intended. Just another view.
No offense taken. Just what I’ve been told by others and seen in person lol. I’m 18 so my experience is way limited compared to everyone else here
Most lifter mfgrs. sell different bleed down rate lifters. Talk to customer service.
P.S. ANTI PUMP UP lifters (horribly fast leak down rate) became popular in the 1970s because computer designed cam lobe rates outpaced existing spring technology. It was used as a band aid to keep the lifters from pumping up when the springs were into "float" by bleeding down quickly (where the lifter flew off the top of the lobe) to keep from bending valves by holding the valves off their seats while on the base circle and contacting the piston. That is also where the misguided "lash only a half turn down, you will make more H.P. statement originated. This band aid fix was designed from a desire by the cam companies to cover their ass, so you wouldn't bend valves by missing shifts or overwinding your 4 speed, crappy tire of the day. Electronic Rev limiters made popular by MSD among others, and better valves springs rendered that thought process moot. But the "old wives tales persist. Kinda like the: YOU NEED .100 piston/valve clearance tale. Think about it: the intake valve is "chasing" the piston on the way down (except for a few degrees before TDC) valve float does NOT happen on the opening flank (just possibly if the valve has floated previously over the nose from crap springs), but over the nose, which occurs when the piston is half way down the cylinder. Exhaust valve max lift is near the bottom of the cylinder, same deal too.
I have successfully run .025 intake and .040 exhaust valve/piston clearance on max effort/max compression n/a engines. Often. With an MSD limit box.
There are still those that believe that SBC 400 engines all overheat because of their siameesed cylinders too. WRONG! If anyone still believes that crap, ask and I will explain that too. All of these posts are too long, and my fingers are tired....
P.S. nobody still uses Rhodes, HORRIBLY FAST BLEED DOWN lifters anymore. Do they?