FE Lifters in a Cologne


PetroleumJunkie412

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So as it turns out, the parts books show that FE lifters are the same size as ones found in the 2.9 (I believe the same as the 2.3, 2.6, and 4.0 OHV Cologne as well, but don't quote me on that...)

Doing some homework and it seems there are many, many solid, hydraulic, and roller lifter sets to choose from for the FE engines.

I have my heads off right now to gasket match my heads to my intake, a valve spring upgrade, and possibly some valve bowl work depending on how much the machine shop is going to charge. Possibly a cam as well.



I do know that the Euro 2.9 12v guys will run solid lifters on the 2.9, and use the rocker adjusters to set lash. So, at a minimum I think I'm going to try a set of solids on my old and crappy cam.

From data logs, it looks like I'm developing two restrictions: 2000-2600 RPM, and another at 3900+ RPM. Guessing these are either intake porting issues (may have messed up the porting - going to swap to an unmolested upper and lower intake and see if it changes anything), restrictive heads, or cam/lifter issues. I have two new lifters that are making noise on startup and after running hard, so guessing I wound up with some garbage in them from when I cleaned the block decks.

Either way, hard to get gunk in a solid lifter. So, at a minimum I'm going to try a set of solids. Whats the worse they can do, wipe out a cam that has 285,000 miles on it? ?




What is catching my interest is the roller lifters, and if they will fit. I'm guessing I may have to change pushrod lengths, but I'll worry about that later. I know absolutely nothing about roller lifters. Apparently there are hydraulic and mechanical varieties. Is one better than the other? Would running roller lifters represent any distinct advantage over solid or hydraulic lifters?
 


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mnewman

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I'm new to the 2.9s... Are you looking into this because a lack or replacement parts or performance?
 

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I'm new to the 2.9s... Are you looking into this because a lack or replacement parts or performance?
Dont try to assign logic to it. Good men have gone mad trying to figure out why petroleumjunkie does what he does...
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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Dont try to assign logic to it. Good men have gone mad trying to figure out why petroleumjunkie does what he does...
He knows what he's talking about
 

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For SBF's flat tappet cams are cast iron and roller cams are made from ductile iron... so you may get wear issues.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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For SBF's flat tappet cams are cast iron and roller cams are made from ductile iron... so you may get wear issues.
Copy. Figured I'd be ok using the flat tappet cam (stock or regrind) with a cast iron cam. Only reason I'd look into a roller cam is if I could gain some worthwhile advantage. Not sure at all what they 'do' though. Other than roll.
 

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Copy. Figured I'd be ok using the flat tappet cam (stock or regrind) with a cast iron cam. Only reason I'd look into a roller cam is if I could gain some worthwhile advantage. Not sure at all what they 'do' though. Other than roll.
Rolling is less resistant than the others.
 

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Copy. Figured I'd be ok using the flat tappet cam (stock or regrind) with a cast iron cam. Only reason I'd look into a roller cam is if I could gain some worthwhile advantage. Not sure at all what they 'do' though. Other than roll.
Better control of the valves. Basically you can run a wilder cam and it is more civil than if it was flat tappet. Also no cam break in to fuss over.

1950’s/1960’s V8 engine family. 360/390/427 etc.
 

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Better control of the valves. Basically you can run a wilder cam and it is more civil than if it was flat tappet. Also no cam break in to fuss over.



1950’s/1960’s V8 engine family. 360/390/427 etc.
Hm, so its going to boil down to economics in the end. Flat tappet is probably the direction I'll go. Rollers are NOT cheap ☠

So the second question would be what are the possible drawbacks (other than thrashing a cam) of running the solids? Taking into consideration that a cast cam (stock) is what ill experiment with. I can't find anything out there on the FE engines that advises one way or the other. Then again, I haven't read all that much ?

The main reason I'm looking at going over to solid lifters is to avoid the possibility of a lifter collapsing at high RPM. I haven't ruled that out as part of my VE troubles yet.

The other part is that as I start pushing the RPM envelope, I'd prefer to mitigate valve train issues like collapsed lifters, floating springs/valves, etc. Achieving high rpm on a cologne apparently is easy on the 2.6/2.9 engines thanks to the short stroke (vs 4.0), and only requires H beam forged rods (found a set) with ARP rod bolts (have a set). Apparently the crank is good for a hell of a lot of punishment. We will find out.
 

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Roller cams have a much different profile (depending on the grind). The valves open and close much quicker... also the valves stay open towards max lift for longer durations.

I think if you're going solid lifter... just get the right solid lifter cam. Solid lifters are just plain noisy... worse when cold. They require maintenance too. The cam card will give you lash specs and valve spring requirements.
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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There's also this...

2.9 solid lifters.png
 

PetroleumJunkie412

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There's also this. Makes for an interesting thought on so many of the 'gutless' 2.9s:

The S series V6 engine tappets.

The bible refers to adjusting these tappets on both the 2.8 and 2.9 V6 engines. It has come to light that some of the catalytic equipped 2.9 litre V6 engines were fitted with hydraulic lifters and therefore do not need their tappets adjusted. This was discussed on Pistonheads in March and it was stated at that time that all S3C engines had hydraulic tappets. Interestingly enough, many of the other 2.9 litre manuals for the Sierra and Scorpio for cars made during this period make no mention of any hydraulic lifters. In addition, none of the archive material I have refers to this either.

I have been looking into this and came up with some interesting information from TVR which states that from around May 1991, the S3C engine was fitted with a S3 type of engine with solid lifters which require the tappet adjustment. As 1991 was a big year for S3 production in both forms, it is reasonable to assume that the statement that all S3C have hydraulic tappets and therefore these do not need adjusting is wrong. To back this up, I now have confirmation from TVR.

According to TVR, S3C cars from VIN SDLDSC2P1MD011340 will be fitted with the same engine as fitted to the S3 with solid lifters (and higher compression, updated ECU). These should be treated as an ordinary 2.9 and have their tappets adjusted.

Earlier S3C should have hydraulic lifters. S2 cars are not effected and need their tappets adjusting. I also assume that the S4C has the same engine as the later S3C with solid lifters.

So contrary to the general concensus, this means that the hydraulically fitted 2.9 engines are the exception rather than the rule. This leads to several questions. The first is how do you recognise if the engine has hydraulic lifters. The short answer is that this is difficult as the tappet adjustment mechanism is present on both. With the hydraulic lifter engines, this is used to setup the pre-load.

If an hydraulic lifter car is setup as a solid lifter it will not sound right and will need to be reset. The procedure is as follows:

With the valves closed:

1. Turn the screw until there is no clearance (0.0mm).

Easier said than done especially if oil has been pressed out of the lifters and if the push rod bends. It is worth holding the pushrod in place with one hand and adjusting the clearance and then check to see if the rod moves i.e. there is still clearance.

2. With the 0mm clearance set, turn in the screw by 1.5 turns (corresponds to compressing the spring in the tappet by 2mm).

If you have any doubt over what valve type you have, I would suggest seeking professional advice.
 

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So... which one do you have?
 


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