Hydraulic lifters can begin to fail through normal use of a vehicle. After several years of running the engine of your vehicle, the hydraulic lifters within the valve train can become laden with sludge, and other contaminants in the valve, that they start to wear out. New hydraulic lifters can make a tremendous difference in the way that a vehicle runs as well as how the engine sounds. Worn out lifters will have a "clacking" noise within the cylinder. Hydraulic lifters are inexpensive and can be replaced quite easily with the right tools on hand.
Step 1 - Prepare Top of Engine
In order to get at the hydraulic lifters, you will need to remove the valve covers. On top of the valve covers are things like air ducts, electrical wires, and other parts that can be removed easily by unbolting and disconnecting them. One way to help ensure that everything is put back together is to take a picture of it before doing any work. Remove all of the necessary items in order to have access to valve covers.
Step 2 - Remove Valve Covers
The valve covers are removed with the use of the right sized socket. There are several bolts on each of the covers that hold it in place. Once all of the bolts are removed, pry the cover off of the block with a flat bladed screwdriver, or other type of flat bladed tool.
Step 3 - Move Cylinder to Top Center
Once the valve covers have been removed, you will need to bring the number 1 cylinder to the top center position. Move the cylinder and watch to make sure that the valves are closed. Remove the intake manifold bolts and make careful observations of their exact placement to make reassembly easier. Pry the intake and loosen up the manifold.
Step 4 - Clean Off Manifold Gaskets
It is important to clean off all of the residue left over from the gaskets on the manifold. Use a gasket scraper, a wire brush, and some solvent in order to clean this leftover residue.
Step 5 - Remove Hydraulic Lifters
Once the manifold is clean, you can then loosen the bolts for the rocker arm assembly. Move this to the side far enough to be able to access the pushrods. Check each rod for any damage. With the use of a strong magnet you can then lift out the hydraulic lifters.
Step 6 - Replace Hydraulic Lifters
Place the new hydraulic lifters into the passages and make sure that they can rotate a complete 360 degrees. Place the push rods back into position and tighten the rocker arm assembly. Tighten the rocker arm until there is a 0.10 inch gap between the arm and the valve stem. Repeat this same measurement for each cylinder in the firing order.
Step 7 - Apply New Gaskets
Apply the new gasket onto the intake manifold and tighten it into position. Remove the old valve cover gasket with the scraper and solvent. Once the valve covers are clean, apply the new gasket and seal them with gasket sealer.
Step 8 - Tighten Bolts
Use a torque wrench and tighten the valve cover bolts to manufacturer specifications. Replace the electrical wiring, and other components, and run the engine to make sure the lifters are working properly.