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Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

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mrcheap1
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Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #1 by mrcheap1 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:50 pm

I'm not a newbie to the early Mustang I6 as I've owned and restored a few over the years. My latest project a stock '65 coupe with I6 200 in it has an occasional loud rod knock that comes and goes. I don't have any history on the engine, so poured some seafoam in and let the engine idlel parked for about an hour while the knock slowly went away. Shut things off so they could cool enough and changed the oil giving it fresh 10-40 and a filter.

The knock had gone away completely but after the oil change when I started the car it came back. I pulled the valve cover to have a look and tried adjusting the lifters one at a time with the engine running to see if I could isolate the problem, no love though. The knocking was still coming and going, not based on rpm so much as it would just slowly get louder and slowly go away even at idol. This isn't my first rodeo with the I6 rod/lifter noises so I removed the rocker arm assembly, (stock) and poured some marvel down the rods onto the lifters themselves expecting one was sticky. I also found some "globs" of oil stuck to the head when I pulled the valve cover, so God only knows when she had her last oil change.

I let the marvel sit for a few hours and I pulled each rod one at a time to inspect the lifter. When I came the the lifter for the exhaust valve on cyl #4 I pulled the rod, looked down the channel, and didn't see the lifter only the lobe on the cam, (which looked flawless incidentally). I decided at that point to pull each of the plugs and found on cyl #4 I had some unburnt crud built up on the plug. I guess I found my culprit!

My question and problem now though... Has anyone else had a lifter fall into the engine past a lobe on the cam when they've pulled a rod out? This is a first for me, I've swapped heads, even full rebuilds on these engines before and never experienced this problem. I'm not sure where to take it from here. Obviously the head has to come off one way or the other to put the lifter back in its channel, (if its salvageable), but I don't recall from previous build that there was ever enough room for a "Good" lifter to drop down past the cam, no matter the position of the cam.

:oops: I'm a little embarrassed asking for the help for such a stupid thing, but I sincerely appreciate any personal experience!

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powerband
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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #2 by powerband » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:10 pm

on a related forum a member asked also if it was possible it fell in after he 'lost' a pushrod, I replied:

".. This really got me wondering: .. . I have a disassembled 250 on a stand, I easily 'dropped' a pushrod down the oil galley hole between 5 and 6 cyl's. then was actually able to fish it out with a mechanics' magnet stick through the distributor casting hole. But, the Cam is out of the engine, I still don't know if it's possible with cam in place. ."

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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #3 by B RON CO » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:34 pm

Hi, I can't imagine the lifter could pass out of the space between the top of the lifter bore and the bottom surface of the head. With any luck you can see it and get it back in the bore with a magnet or skinny screwdriver. My guess is it stuck to the pushrod, popped out of the bore and dropped just out of sight. Good luck
B RON CO. Still workin' on it!

1933 Ford Pickup - 59A Flathead V8
1966 Ford Bronco - U14 - 170/200 Straight 6
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powerband
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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #4 by powerband » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:04 pm

the Lifter not Pushrod got lost ? , I also think it must still be in galley of block and you will see it when head comes off or maybe fish back into bore.

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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #5 by drag-200stang » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:31 pm

It cannot fall down, it got pulled out and fell over, it is there...Get some light on it ,you will find it...some knitting needles and a magnet fixed to a stick can work.
If the 3 lifter area drain back holes are clogged it may be better to pull head...If the oil cannot get back to the pan fast enough, oil pressure can be lost and knock can come and go ...Do not know if that is your problem but something to think about.
Last edited by drag-200stang on Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
66 Mustang Coupe
200 turbo w/lenco 4-spd
stock adj. rockers, stock timing set, ARP studs
best 1/4 mile ET 9.85/best mph 139 on 8 lbs progressing to 15 lbs boost
Went 9's when 10's was fast.

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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #6 by mrcheap1 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:21 pm

I suppose it could have fallen sideways after the rod popped out of it and slid just out of sight? I felt the resistance of the push rod before it popped free of the lifter, so I know the lifter "Was" there! LOL

I've tried my hardest to try and see it but all I can see down in there is the lobe of the cam. I used some welding wire to feel around and try to fish it out, but no luck. I'm headed into town tomorrow, perhaps I can stop off at Harbor Freight for a cheap inspection scope and a flexible magnetic rod to see just how good my fishing is before I succumb to popping the head off.

I'll keep the post updated as to what I find, and thank you for the positive input!

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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #7 by ledslinger29 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:02 am

I am fairly new to the i6, but how could a lifter ever get past the cam?
68 Bronco Halfcab 170 wallered out .060 over, oversized valves, zero decked, 9:1 SCR, Autolite 1100 w/ Loadomatic/Pertronix, Schneider 248/56H cam

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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #8 by drag-200stang » Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:47 am

ledslinger29 wrote:I am fairly new to the i6, but how could a lifter ever get past the cam?

It cannot get past the cam....It fell off to the side and out of sight and fearing the worst ,he thought it had.
One lifter out of place is worth a try, sometimes you get lucky and you can work it back in place, sometimes not...If you turn the engine upside down on the stand without the pushrods and shaft in place and all 12 fall out, forget it :oops:...I now only lift up a half inch while wiggling the rod sideways till I know it is free of the lifter.
If you thing that having the head on and turning it upside down is bad ,doing it with the head off is worst ,when they get dinged up when they :) hit the concrete floor, did that one too. :shock:
66 Mustang Coupe
200 turbo w/lenco 4-spd
stock adj. rockers, stock timing set, ARP studs
best 1/4 mile ET 9.85/best mph 139 on 8 lbs progressing to 15 lbs boost
Went 9's when 10's was fast.

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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #9 by bubba22349 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 1:45 pm

mrcheap1 wrote:I suppose it could have fallen sideways after the rod popped out of it and slid just out of sight? I felt the resistance of the push rod before it popped free of the lifter, so I know the lifter "Was" there! LOL

I've tried my hardest to try and see it but all I can see down in there is the lobe of the cam. I used some welding wire to feel around and try to fish it out, but no luck. I'm headed into town tomorrow, perhaps I can stop off at Harbor Freight for a cheap inspection scope and a flexible magnetic rod to see just how good my fishing is before I succumb to popping the head off.

I'll keep the post updated as to what I find, and thank you for the positive input!


:hmmm: You might also pick up one the flexible grabbers too they have a button on the end that you push which extents four thin fingers. They work good in tite spaces to grab small parts. X4 lots of good tips by everyone else too. Good luck fishing for that lifter I hope you can get it back in its cam lobe without having to pull the head. :thumbup: :nod:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #10 by mrcheap1 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:39 pm

I have had success. The lifter fell out of the channel, fell on its side, and was laying down and slid up against the neighboring rod/lifter. I was able to fish it back with 2 of those cheap telescoping magnets that HF sells as well as a really long skinny flat head to stand it back upright in position.

After all of that, I started it up and some rod knock was still there, though not as prevalent. Next is to check my oil pressure with an aftermarket gauge, not just the idiot light in the dash. I suspect low pressure perhaps, since it seems to take a long time for the oil to travel up to the rocker arms and start circulating through the top end of the motor, and when it does, its just a trickle.

I appreciate the help so far folks! The helpful comments saved me from having to take the head off. Thank you!

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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #11 by ags290 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:54 pm

I'm glad you were able to fish it out without having to pull the cylinder head. It's a bummer you still are having noise issues.
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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #12 by bubba22349 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:25 pm

:beer: excellent glad you were successful getting the lifter back in. :nod: :thumbup:
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #13 by Rinke » Fri May 26, 2017 6:10 pm

Nice work.
Had that happen to me as well.
Luckilly it was in preparation for pulling the head.

Could you be hearing the fuell pump?
On my Falcon when it's idling I hear this intermittent ticking.
Ive cleaned all the lifters, changed oil, so ruled that out.
When I'm driving I do not hear that sound, so I guessed it could be the fuel pump freewheeling when tbe carb shuts the needle due to full bowl.

Good luck searching.
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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #14 by mrcheap1 » Sat May 27, 2017 4:10 pm

I've tried backing off the fuel pump bolts with a spacer, no change. I figured out part of my solution though. It was in fact a failed lifter. No matter what it wouldn't hold pressure, I could press the connecting rod down with little pressure so I pulled the head last weekend and replaced it. I inspected everything while I had the head off and found that one cyl, (the bad lifter one) had a lot of carbon deposits on the valves so I cleaned them off, (I figured due to the bad lifter). Put the head back on and this time my oil pressure was super low. I would start the engine with 38-40 psi, and after a few seconds it would go to 0 and I was only getting a slight trickle of oil across my rockers. Last oil change, about 100 miles ago I used some seafoam and miracle oil in the crank case so I suspected a plugged pickup. Pulled off the oil pan and sure enough the pickup screen was comply clogged up with sludge. I replaced the pump and pickup with new ones, inspected the bearings and reassembled. The engine seems happy again. I've got a rough idle issue I'm still working out, but I suspect its a combination between the timing and mixture, (could be that fouled cyl clearing out still too I've only ran the engine for a few minutes).

Can't believe how easy it is to pull the lifters out the their channels though. What was Ford thinking making is have to pull a head completely off to replace them?

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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #15 by wsa111 » Sat May 27, 2017 9:00 pm

If you have that much sludge, I believe its time for the hot tank or pressure wash.
Top end looks great just the lower ends needs the enema.
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Re: Hydraulic lifter fell past cam when I pulled the rod off of it

Post #16 by bubba22349 » Wed May 31, 2017 3:49 pm

mrcheap1 wrote:Can't believe how easy it is to pull the lifters out the their channels though. What was Ford thinking making is have to pull a head completely off to replace them?


Staring in the mid 1950's people were starting to think that the standard full size model cars were becoming too big and many were looking into getting second cars too. Many of these people were also wanting cars that were more economical to operate with a lower cost of ownership. Ford started their research and development to meet this demand for the new Falcon model and its small six engine in 1957. They had a full size clay model a year later in 1958, and the New Falcon was ready they hit the show rooms in September 1959. Fords design goals for the Falcon was to be a smaller car, that was light weight, durable, with a low cost of operation and ownership.

The Falcon Inline Six engine (and then later used in Comets, Fairlanes, Mustangs, and many others over the years), was a fresh new design from the previous Ford Six'es though you might think it was an odd choice to build it as they did it really is a very ingenious design being one of the lightest weight inline sixes ever made (at 385 pounds), it's also almost indestructible with just some minimal care and most important during the time it was designed it was very economal in operation and upkeep. Though this engine design is 60 years old now to me it's still about one of the easiest engines to work on compared to many other brands and especially any of the late model engines of the last 20 plus years.

Did Ford meet its design goals for the Falcon? In my opinion yes they did it was a huge success and then some! :beer: Another sign that they did meet those goals is that the Ford Falcon? Yes by selling a record 430,000 car at end of its first year of production (1960). The Falcon far out sold all the other competing brands such as the Chevy Corvair which its poor sales which caused them next to build the Chevy II (which copied many of the design features used on the Ford Falcon), the Chrysler Valiant, Studibacker Lark, Rambler American, etc. :thumbup: With the Mustang being built using many of the Falcon Chassis parts and its Engine when it debuted on April 17, 1964 it was also a huge success surpassing the Falcon by selling 22,000 cars that first day and 263,434 cars by April 17, 1965, Mustangs first year anniversary of production . :beer: :thumbup:

X2 I also think that your major problem isn't so much the engines design but it is more related to the engines past care many years before you ever got it ie the Sludge and Gonk build up in the short block this was one common problem back in the old days with the formulation of the older oils that produced lots of sludge and also the fact that many people just didn't change their oil and filters regularly. Good luck :nod: Edited
A bad day Drag Racing is still better than a good day at work!

I am still hunting for a project car to build but with my current low budget it's not looking so good. My Ex- Fleet of Sixes these are all long gone! :bang: 1954 Customline 223 3 speed with O/D, 1963 Fairlane project drag car with BB6, 1977 Maverick 250 with C4, 1994 F-150 a 300 with 5 speed.

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