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Old Yesterday, 05:37 AM   #1
Joe Piro
 
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Default New Rocker Arms w Stiff Lifters

I have a 1993 D21with KA24e engine. I am in the middle of replacing the timing chain, tensioner, broken guide rail, etc.
Before I started I had lifter noise once in a while, usually after an extended run on the interstate at 75 but also sometimes in town.... seems like a good time to fix it. I've read about how to soak the rocker arm / lifters in ATF and so forth, but I only want to do this job once so I have a new complete set of rocker arms in OEM Nissan packaging that I got on ebay. They are in sealed bags and boxes and look perfect, but I can't squeeze them and move the little piston back and forth like on the old ones. It won't move with finger pressure.
Perhaps the oil gummed up after a long time on a shelf somewhere.
Is it OK to put them in a vice to loosen them up?
Is it OK to install the new rocker arms on the old rocker arm shafts?
The truck has about 180,000 miles on it and there is no sideways play in the old rocker arms.
Also DO you have an opinion about the new lifter surface wearing on the old valves?
Am I better off trying to soak the sludge out of the old lifters?
Cam lobes and old rocker surfaces look fine, but round lifter surfaces definitely have shiny wear pattern sideways from following and moving.
Any other suggestions or ideas are more than welcome.
Thanks,
Richard in SC
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Old Yesterday, 10:17 AM   #2
Foul_Mouth
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They are only supposed to have 1mm of play or less by hand.
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Old Yesterday, 12:09 PM   #3
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When I was in the process of replacing the head gasket on my last KA24E I removed all the rockers to clean them up. I soaked them in mineral spirits, then in my carb cleaner bucket for a little while. I also used some spray carb cleaner to clean them out. I used C-clamps to loosen all of them up because they were all pretty stiff. Just back and forth with spraying the carb cleaner, squeezing them with the clamp, spraying again. Until I could press them easily and the carb cleaner no longer flushed out any debris.

I then used a syringe filled with oil to force fill the rockers with oil and kept adding oil until it pushed all the air bubbles out. I soaked them in oil and pressed them to make sure they were moving smoothly. Once I had everything installed I used the syringe to again force out any air bubbles. I also installed the oil pump without installing the shaft or distributor so I could use a long screwdriver and an impact to pump oil up to the top of the engine until I could see it was running out over the camshaft. Then I dropped the pump and installed everything else.

I don’t know if the engine made noise before I got it because it wasn’t running, but only one lifter was ticking slightly when I put it together. It eventually stopped ticking after a few miles of driving.
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Old Yesterday, 02:26 PM   #4
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I just did the valve guide seals in my 93 KA and took the rocker arms rocker shafts completely apart to clean everything, none of my lifters had any play in them, as Foul Mouth said there shouldn't be much play in them at all.


My engine when I started it was noisy for about 10 minutes if that and than it got quiet, my engine has 276,000 miles on it.


pic of one of my lifters cam side and lifter side:





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Old Yesterday, 04:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the excellent information.
Thanks for the description on cleaning out these lifters. All the steps are really comprehensive and thorough. If I didn't have a new set of rocker arms in hand I would definitely be doing this. And if anyone says not to use new rocker arms because new ones will wear out fast because they don't match up to the old wear patterns on the cam and on the valves, then this is how I'll go. (Any opinion on that?)
AND I will definitely be taking your advice to prime the system by driving the oil pump separately before assembling the whole thing.

As far as the play is concerned. I understand there shouldn't be much, but it's my understanding that on my workbench with no oil pressure on them, testing my brand new rocker arms, I should be able to push them in with my fingers just a little bit and a spring would push them back out.
My question is that my rocker arm lifters are brand new, they have been sitting on a shelf somewhere for a while.... never been under oil pressure and seem to be frozen. I don't want to force them.... broke things that way before.... So has anyone installed new ones before.... do they have any free play in the lifter (even a little bit) and if mine are stuck is there a good way to free them up.

Thanks for your prompt replies. This is one of the few Nissan forms where there is any recent activity.....
....fishing for more information....
Richard in SC

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Old Yesterday, 04:27 PM   #6
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As far as not having play or having too much play remember that the Pistons in the rocker arms could be bottomed out and won't push out until you actually put oil pressure to them.
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Old Yesterday, 05:38 PM   #7
Joe Piro
 
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It looks to me like it's full extended and stuck out rather than stuck in ?
I have just been afraid to press it in a vice to free it up. I need some encouragement that it probably won't damage anything?
Thanks,
R
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Old Yesterday, 09:48 PM   #8
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I can't sanction the vise treatment.
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Old Today, 07:31 AM   #9
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I would install them and if you have noise, which you will, just do as the manual says to bleed the air out.
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