Sticky Roller Lifters

engine was on the stand with the intake off so it was easy to find a perfect zero lash - went 3/4 turn past that.

When I was cleaning the new lifters it looked like there was about 3/8" movement in the lifter cup. I recall measuring what 3/4" turn worked out to be but do not recall what it was. Seems like I could go as far as 1-1/8 turns and still be in the recommended range
Reds hot air

i pm'ed a few questions to you..................................thanks Bob
A few of my lifters are junk, I soaked them in cleaner for a few days, worked the plungers and let them sit in the cleaner for a while longer which seemed to help a few. I installed them, set the lash a few times and have some serious valvetrain noise, lately on start up they rattle like crazy for a few seconds and seem to quiet down some but still noisy. Oil pressure is good...around 25 at idle and the oil filters I use have decent anti-drainback valves (Baldwin).

Any alternatives? Does Webber racing use the same lifters with their cams?
roller lifters

this is my next purchase so i wish someone could shed some light on this..i don't want any problems with $300 plus roller lifters :mad: comp cams need to get their stuff together :eek: ......................................Bob :biggrin:
I've gone through this.

With the first set it was maybe my fault. I installed them and noticed I some of the plungers would easily be shoved down (while setting preload) and other were rock hard. I sent the single worst set back to Comp. for an explanation. A couple of weeks later I phoned for the status and talked to some manager (don't remember his name now). He asked me how long they sat on the shelf before I installed them. I told him about 11 months. ( I sometimes buy stuff long before I use it.) He said that was the problem ... the assembly grease had hardened just like gas will go "shellacky" if it sits. He went on the tell me to return the whole set...I did and he send me a new set. Installed perfectly.

So this past month I ordered another set for another engine. I specifically asked the vendor, (well known on this board) as to how long they'd sat on HIS shelf and told him why I wanted to know. He said the problem with the assembly grease going hard had been resolved. I believed him.

Last week I installed them, and attempted to set the preload. Nope, some plungers went up and down easily and others were rock hard.

Now they're sitting in oil until I can phone Comp and ask if I can exchange them.

In reply as to what you can do......dunno. Long ago I basically resolved that everything I receive is going to need work and if it doesn't I cheer. Not many cheers lately though.
After massive cleaning there were still four that did not feel as good as the others. I should have listened to the voice in my head but I did not want to be the PITA customer - now I have a problem with 4 push rods/ rocker arms :(
so how much play are they supposed to have? much movement in the lifter body ???...what liquid is best to soak them in mineral spirits or parts solvent and is 2 days the recommendation???...if some of the plungers still have no or very little play is it best to just return them and hope you get a better set or???...thanks noah.
The common roller lifters have lots of movement in them but they may feel "solid" if they are full of oil or solvent.

I use mineral spirits and if something stornger is needed laquer thinner
I have been running crane solids for 3 years now, the valve seats are wearing faster than the lifters. The noise is not that bad at idle, at least its consistant. The new solid crower lifters from TA performance are the way to go, the compcams lifters seem to be just a headache.
Not good...

Frozen lifters are not just with the rollers.
I assembled a BBC with 1 of CC's hyd flats in it. 12 of the 16 were frozen solid. [As in tighter than a bull's a$$ in fly time.]:D
CC said to "warm them w/ a propane torch, then "tap" the cup w/ a punch and small hammer".:eek:
No workie!:mad:
Sent back.. More junk received. Third time's charm, as they worked fine.:rolleyes:
This was nearly 2 yrs ago... Looks like they've not learned the lesson well.:confused:
so anyone know how much play is required for proper function?
send them back or keep working them?
also i took the snap ring off of one of them and pushed the plunger down a bit then put ring back on as i couldnt get anything out of the bore ...i then noticed a clear oil leaking out from the lifter not much but some...any idea what this was? comp cams own lubrication?...wondering if i should just install them and on start up just leave manifold off and watch the lifters visually to see if they are all working properly ...any ideas will help...thanks noah.
Wow... this thread is disturbing!

I just put the Comp 885 roller lifters in my motor. Everything went well during the install and adjustment, but now something is making my knock sensor go crazy. The car runs well, but my knock retard readings in PowerLogger are all but useless now - I can't tell what is real and what isn't. (P.S. I'm only running 20psi, with 18* timing, and 110 fuel)

"wondering if i should just install them and on start up just leave manifold off and watch the lifters visually to see if they are all working properly".:eek:
Call me B4 you do that. I'd like to see how it's done....:D J/K...
As most of you know, I use to build WWII Rolls Royce V-12's (2,240cid) The war surplus parts we had in crates were all soaked in cosmoline. They came out of the box looking like they are in a block of brown tar The only solvent that worked, every time, was plain old gasoline. (though most of the time we used 115/145 AV gas) We tried everything we could think of and gas was the best stuff to remove the preservative.
I think that most of the manufacturers are still using similiar stuff. I'm sure they don't want to tell you to soak the lifters in gas (liability know...FIRE!!!;) ) So, you might want to try some of that flamable stuff to soak your new parts in to remove hardened packing goo. I also always pump the lifters up with tranny fluid (ATF) prior to installation, with a pump type oil can. It is thick enough to allow valve motion, but thin enough to allow the lifter to bleed down.
The reason the war supplies were stored in cosmoline was that it is great at preventing corrosion, and it is removable with plain old gasoline in the field. I think I still have that suff floating around in my viens!:eek: I hope that my liver is also good at removing Cosmoline.:confused:
Good info in this thread. I have not had any problems with the Comp roller lifters. But, I will check even closer now on assembly.
Senior Member Join Date: May 2001
Location: Fort Lee, NJ
Trader Rating: (0)
Posts: 570

Looks good.

What I'm going to say is kinda late but here goes.

I like to prime the motor with the intake off so I can see the lifters fill up if you are running hydraulic ones. I also I leave the valve covers off so I can see the oil coming out to the rockers. If you have a bad lifter, you can catch it now before you drop it in. Also while priming, I like to spin the motor over a few times.

And I drain the oil.

Billy T.
1987 GN "under major transformation"


this is where i read it....noah.
Looks like an old thread that was never solved. So switching from a Hyd. to a roller cam just introduces new troubles. Anyone found a solution yet?
86 GN
yes there is only 1 company that makes lifters for all cam companies. this is a big problem with the v8 buick lifter kits. there is a builder in kentuckey that takes them apart and cleans up the shavings that were left in from the factory where they are made. then he has no problems. here is the place


his name is mike phillips.
Not sure how he does it. :confused: The lifter cannot be disassembled because the pistons won't make it past the link bar rivet. They only way to remove the piston and clean them out, is to remove the link bar rivet. Seems like ALOT of work. Talking about Comp hyd. roller lifters.