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Old 01-20-2007, 11:10 PM   #1
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Default replacing lifters

They are annoying!!! clik clik clik...

I got some additive thats supposed to clean the valve springs
hoping to get rid of this noise and no luck, oil levels are fine,
replace the pcv valve and valve cover gasket thinking it could
be losing oil pressure and still there. The oil pressure runs at 30psi
when running and drops to 15psi at stop lights, or when i hit the clutch.

I'm thinking that last thing to do is replace the lifters but i really don't
want to mess with the camshafts or mess up my timing, has anyone
done this before, is there a way to remove/replace the lifters without
taking the camshaft/gears out?

*eidted*
****************************
2TWISTY
Overdrive
Member # 11301

This "knocking" sounds more like the classic Miata HLA tick.

Your car has hydraulic lifters and sometimes you can't get oil into them fast enough for them to stay totally inflated, so they tick.

When you check the oil, make sure the car has sat for a few minutes NOT RUNNING. For an accurate measure, I like to wait about 5-10 minutes.

There are a number of "solutions" to the HLA clatter, and every one of them involves changing your oil.

My favorite is to do 2 oil changes.

On the first, put a cheap filter in the car and put 1 qt of really thick oil and 3 quarts of auto tranny fluid (yes, ATF) in the engine and run it for about an hour.

Drain that out. While the drain plug is off, run about a gallon of kerosene through the engine to flush it out good.

Then, put your good Mazda OEM, Mobil1, or Purolator (NOT FRAM!) oil filter on the car and fill with your favorite oil (dino or synth)

Others will just tell you to adjust the viscocity of the oil.

I have found the adjusting the viscocity only moves the problem to one end or the other. If you go thicker to address the hot tick, you're more likely to cold tick. If you go thinner to address cold tick, you're more likely to hit tick.

I believe that the lifters tick because the hole in them that allows the oil in is too small, and over time this hole closes up a little due to varnishing of the oil and other deposits.

The strong detergents in the ATF help to dissolve these varnishes, restoring these holes to closer to their original size.

I have no proof of this, but in my experience, my method works for longer than the others I've seen. I usually get 3-4 oil changes at 3-5000 miles before ticking comes back.

The ticking won't really hurt anything, we're talking about thousandths of an inch here, but it sure is annoying to have your nice pretty car clacking at the stoplights...

Chad

www.miata.net

Last edited by Mouglie; 01-22-2007 at 02:03 AM. Reason: to show method...
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Old 01-20-2007, 11:15 PM   #2
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i have the same problem... sucks! hope someone can help us out!
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:29 AM   #3
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if i had a camera i'd take pictures for you, if not i'll let you know if i fixed it by next weekend. Some place is charging me $250 to replace all lifters but thats money that i want for my turbo f-ups, lol... anyway Mazda stealership sells this lifters for $20 ea i think so i'll buy like 4 and just check all of them one by one to see which one is faulty...
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:42 AM   #4
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Only $250? That includes parts and labor? If it was me, and they were bugging me that bad, that is a great price.
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:56 AM   #5
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hmmm, i may have to double check on that price, now that i see it, i've spent even more on other stuff... (TTbars!!!)
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:41 AM   #6
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You must pull the cams to swap the lifters. If the 250 includes the cost of the lifters, that's a great deal. I installed some cam seals without removing everything on the front of the engine. Just zip tie the cam gears to the belt to maintain orientation- just be sure the crank doesn't move while the head parts are removed. If you're lifters are making lots of noise, that means they're not pumping up and you're not getting full lift and missing out on some power. - rob
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:51 AM   #7
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instead of wasting $ on high dollar detergents and ****, use ATF. It cleans up the valve train remarkably well. Just a couple caps and like 30 miles of driving will do it, then promtly change the oil.
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:23 AM   #8
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I've tried ATF and detergents. It's just depends on how poor the condition of the HLAs. The problem with these HLAs is the oil passages are so small. Enough oil neglegance by somebody and these things get clogged to the point that nothing can clean them out but a "disassembly".
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:11 PM   #9
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i havent tried the atf thing... how exactly do i do that now? m2cupcar, ur from atlanta? dude we gotta go hang out!
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:16 PM   #10
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An Atlanta Miata get-togther has been mentioned a couple times. I'm down for it.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m2cupcar View Post
I've tried ATF and detergents. It's just depends on how poor the condition of the HLAs. The problem with these HLAs is the oil passages are so small. Enough oil neglegance by somebody and these things get clogged to the point that nothing can clean them out but a "disassembly".
oh yeah, I didn't mean to imply that it would fix the problem. When it comes to cleaning the valve train, atf does the best, but not a miracle worker.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by myfonti View Post
i havent tried the atf thing... how exactly do i do that now? m2cupcar, ur from atlanta? dude we gotta go hang out!
put like 3 cap fulls of atf in the oil and drive it 30 miles, then change the oil.
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:59 PM   #13
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as in automatic transmission fluid? can it damage the motor in any way? is it worth a try even if my lifters arent clicking but my motor has 205,000?
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:32 PM   #14
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yes it can becouse it isnt very slick you could burn the bearings. if used for extended periods of time. It is supposed to realy clean up your oil system and wash through all the gunk.
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:11 PM   #15
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so for 30 miles it should be ok
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:02 AM   #16
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i went ahead and edited my first post
for anyone that has this problem...
I'm gonna try this method tomorrow and
should have some update this friday...
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:40 AM   #17
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I wonder...when he writes "run it for an hour," does he mean drive the car, or just let it idle?
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:48 AM   #18
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If it were me, I'd probably just do it in the driveway by raising the revs to get the oil pressure up and hopefully get some cleaning action to the lifters. I had some incredibly noisy lifters that have quieted down just from driving. So I do believe that the cleaners/ATF can make a difference if the lifters are not too terribly clogged.

I've used sea foam to clean out some small engine carbs and it's some powerful stuff. I've wondered if you let a set of lifters soak in this stuff for a couple of days, would it clean them out. I have spare lifters if you ATL guys want to borrow them. They're old and probably as nasty as any, but you could soak 'em and swap 'em with out bringing down your Miata for too long.

There's actually a group that meets on Fridays once per month in Duluth- I met Ben there. I think there were over dozen people the last time.
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Old 01-23-2007, 01:42 AM   #19
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U have to let me/us atl guys know when the next 1 is so i/we can go!
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Old 01-23-2007, 04:01 PM   #20
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Pulling the cams to change HLA's is easy stuff. Just an afternoon in the garage.

If you only remove one cam at a time and use zipties it's a cinch. For added protection against messing up valve timing use a bungee cord from the cam gear to the hood framework to keep a little tension on the timing belt. Remember to NOT drop anything down the oil drain holes and of course check the valve timing when you put it back together to make sure it didn't slip.

Pull the valve cover - 10min

Secure the timing belts to the gears and remove gear from one cam - 5min

Remove cam 'bearings' on that one cam - 5 to 10min depending on how stuck they are. (make sure you keep track of their position and orientation.)

Pull the cam and swap HLA's - 10min If you feel the need to pre-fill them figure on another 5min per HLA. I've had some that came pre oiled and had to let a little air in them so that they didn't hold valves open when I re-installed them.

Re-Install the cam, caps, and gear - 15min

Repeat the process for the other cam, and figure on 20-30min to clean the valve cover gasket surface up, torque the cam caps, verify timing, add 6 dabs of silicone, and re-install the valve cover.

I've gone through this process so many times on my Shim/Bucket valvetrain that I could do it in my sleep.
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