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  #1  
Old June 5th, 2008, 08:28
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88XJSport 88XJSport is offline
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Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

The lifter tap in my 88 has gotten steadily worse over the past 9 months. It first started ticking in the morning under 40 degrees, and would only tap for about 2 minutes.

Now it will tap on and off the whole time the engine is on. I can also sometimes hear a faint chugging sound coming from the exhaust while the tapping is going on.

I have tried a quart of MMO, half can of seafoam, (on different occasions) and nothing has cured it, or made it any better. No matter what I try, it just keeps getting worse and worse, tapping louder and longer.

If it comes and goes, is it a collapsed lifter? Or is it just sticky. What is the definition of a collapsed lifter??

Should I try a quart of trans fluid next? I really dont want to pull the head as this is my daily driver.
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  #2  
Old June 5th, 2008, 08:39
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

Im curious to hear the answer to this too as I havent tried seafoam or anyhting yet but mine ticks at start up and low rpms for a couple of minuites and then goes away at higher rpms and after driving for a while. It hasnt gotten worse but I want to take care of it before it does
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  #3  
Old June 5th, 2008, 08:47
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

I had this problem in my 2000 XJ. I finally got tired of it and tore the head off to get at the lifters. I found one that had worn concave on the bottom and the two on either side of it were starting to wear.

I started by taking off the valve cover and starting the engine. All the pushrods but one had oil coming up and running over the rockers. The one that didn't looked like it was an artery spraying oil all over the bottom of the hood and the wall of the garage next to the Jeep. That pushrod mated with the lifter that was very worn. I don't know if that will always happen with a worn lifter, but it did in my case.

When you get the head off, you can gently pull the lifters out of the block with a pair of needle nosed pliers. The FSM calls for a special tool. Hope this helps.
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  #4  
Old June 5th, 2008, 09:23
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

Most of the serious auto parts houses carry a hydraulic valve lifter tool. It's not much, and they seem to be universal.

It's unfortunate AMC designed the 4.0 to require head removal when servicing the lifters, it's just a fact of life with them. There are some who think you can't replace the lifters alone, but should also replace the cam, too, along with the chain. It's not pricey, but the additional labor is asking a lot - and they aren't doing it. Many others have just dropped new lifters in with a good break in lube and reassembled, replacing only those other parts that obviously need it. It worked for them.

A sticky lifter comes and goes - a collasped lifter hammers like a diesel, constantly. Mine did both (!) because the MMO would clean out the oil and lifter until enough antifreeze leaked in to create the right amount of sludge to get it sticking again, when it would collapse and start hammering.

I fixed my problem by using a stop leak product to seal the head gasket - it was apparent after a few weeks when I kept having to refill the coolant recovery tank. If you have any antifreeze loss at all, you might consider the inexpensive cure of using the pill type stop leak tablets and adding them to your radiator. If it doesn't work, you're not out much, and at least you know a head gasket isn't the problem.

My lifters now tick on startup and at idle, it comes and goes. I have no doubt with 185k the engine is on borrowed time, so it's time to collect parts for the rebuild/upgrade. It's better to plan for it in the budget than react to a catastropic failure and no transportation.
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  #5  
Old June 5th, 2008, 09:38
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

So since mine isnt hammering all the time, just coming and going, its just sticky, not collapsed, from what ive read.

Its a drag that everyone is recommending head removal and lifter replacement when this is my daily driver........
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  #6  
Old June 5th, 2008, 09:46
89xj 89xj is offline
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

what weight oil are you using?

my 89 ticks if i use a heavier oil like 20-50
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  #7  
Old June 5th, 2008, 09:57
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

I run 10W30. Ive tried 10W40, but makes no difference. Just the same intermittent lifter tap.
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  #8  
Old June 5th, 2008, 10:45
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

find a shop that performs a machine style oil system flush (my local pepboys does it for around $99 iirc) the machine will circulate a solution through the lubrication system and does a really good job of clearing out all the sludge in a sticky valve train. just be prepared to do it more than once if your maintainance habits are poor.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 10:53
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

Are you absoloutely sure that its a lifter? A cracked exhaust manifold (Or other exhaust leaks from that area) will sound like a lifter ticking. I was thinking this especially after you described a "chugging" sound coming from that area.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 10:58
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

yep...get your header welded up and see if the noises go away.
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  #11  
Old June 5th, 2008, 11:07
89xj 89xj is offline
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

x2 on the possibilty of a cracked header(exhaust manifold). mine cracked on my 89 after only 3 years(had it replaced under warranty and its been fine for the past 15 years). started as a slight ticking and eventually got louder and louder.
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  #12  
Old June 5th, 2008, 11:07
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muad'Dib
Are you absoloutely sure that its a lifter? A cracked exhaust manifold (Or other exhaust leaks from that area) will sound like a lifter ticking. I was thinking this especially after you described a "chugging" sound coming from that area.
The mainfild has been cracked for a while. The ticking is right underneath the valve cover. The chugging goes away when the tapping goes away. The chugging can be heard from the muffler area.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 12:56
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

Quote:
Originally Posted by 88XJSport
The mainfild has been cracked for a while. The ticking is right underneath the valve cover. The chugging goes away when the tapping goes away. The chugging can be heard from the muffler area.
This leads me to believe that its the exhaust manifold. Replace it, im betting thats whats causing the ticking..

Depending on how you decide to do the job (i would recommend you remove the exhaust and intake manifold all at once with the head) then you could always go ahead and replace the lifters at the same time since you would already have the head off.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 13:31
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

I would try a quart of Lucas oil additive with a quart of MMO first. MMO seems to work better at quiting noising lifters when used with MMO. I use them both, have used them both a noisy 254,000 mile 4.0, been using them for 30,000 miles and my lifter noises are almost gone now.
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  #15  
Old June 5th, 2008, 13:32
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Re: Sticky Lifter vs. Collapsed Lifter

Quote:
Originally Posted by djwright4341

When you get the head off, you can gently pull the lifters out of the block with a pair of needle nosed pliers. The FSM calls for a special tool. Hope this helps.
A magnetic probe will work too!!!!
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