Roller Rockers: Cold is Quiet, Hot is Loud!?!

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by 68conv4sp, Dec 27, 2009.


  1. 68conv4sp

    68conv4sp New Member

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    This roller rocker business is frustrating. I had Harland Sharp Roller rockers (1.6) that got noisy when the car was hot (.47 lift cam) So, I changed out the lifters and push rods (just in case) and also put on Comp Cam Magnum Roller Rockers (also 1.6). Incredibly, the same result. There is NO valvetrain noise when cold, and it is fairly noisy when hot. I adjusted the rockers twice per the instructions. No change. I am now tempted to tighten the preload by another 1/4 or 1/2 turn. I would think that the push rod and valve stem would each "grow" a few thousandths when hot, but shouldn't the self adjusting nature of hydraulic lifters accommodate that change? But why is it QUIET when COLD???
    #1
  2. woodsnake

    woodsnake Active Member

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    Lock nuts not tight enough?
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  3. BlownFiveLiter

    BlownFiveLiter have car, will race....wait, it doesn't run

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    How loud is loud? Roller rockers are a little louder than the stamped steel factory rockers.
    #3
  4. woodsnake

    woodsnake Active Member

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    Roller rockers shouldn't make any noise, they have a wheel on the end of them.
    It's either an adjustment problem, or gross contact somewhere.

    There should be witness marks on the pieces making contact..
    #4
  5. blkfrd

    blkfrd Member

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    You may have an oil pressure problem
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  6. 68conv4sp

    68conv4sp New Member

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    Lock nuts are tight. Oil pressure varies between 20 and 60 as measured by an external gauge, depending on temp and rpm. The sound is subjectively LIKE A NOISY SEWING MACHINE, but no clacking. I can't find any signs of rubbing or contact. In my opinion it should have the same or less noise than the stock rockers. So much for that.
    #6
  7. 68conv4sp

    68conv4sp New Member

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    Again, can anyone think of a reason why it would be perfectly quiet when cold?
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  8. rbohm

    rbohm Founding Member

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    what is the oil pressure reading when the engine is hot and the rockers are making noise? how many miles are on this engine? how often has the oil been changed?
    #8
  9. jcode68

    jcode68 Active Member

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    What viscosity oil are you running? Might need to run a heavier weight oil. Also make sure you don't have an exhaust leak. I had one that I swore was rocker noise which led me to multiple adjustments to no avail. Finally figured it out and quieted right down. My hydraulic rollers do sound like a sewing machine though, which is normal from what I have read.
    #9
  10. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    My 331 does the same thing. I went back and readjusted the rockers today and same thing. It's been noisy since day one.(that was 6 years ago) And there's nothing out of whack. Sum-**** sounds like a solid lifter cam's in it, but it's a Ford Z303 hyd roller with Crane O.E style lifters topped with Comp Cam's 1.7 roller rockers. I have a set of Cobra 1.7's in my V8 Ranger and while it's quiet at speed, it does make that sewing machine sound at idle.
    #10
  11. 65ebd65

    65ebd65 New Member

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    Try This

    A quart of risolone oil additive, with your next oil change.
    I do not know why it works, but it works on any type of lifter's.
    I get it at autozone for under $4.00
    #11
  12. rebel65

    rebel65 Member

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    my roller lifters sound the like a sewing machine also, and i hate additives.. i would try asking around some more before you go and put some random stuff in your engine
    #12
  13. 68conv4sp

    68conv4sp New Member

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    The answers are as follows: oil press is 20-25 when hot at idle. About 3,000 mi. on the top end, 15,000 mi. on the bottom end. Oil (10w-30 Redline w/ a little zinc break in fluid) changed every 1,000 mi. due to limited use. It has Rhodes V-Max lifters which are adjusted like solid lifters. I have redone that procedure with help from others, always with the same noisy results. The Rhodes are in there because I changed out the no-name lifters trying to get rid of the noise. My next purchase may be a larger stereo amp to overwhelm my lifter noise paranoia (sp?).
    #13
  14. woodsnake

    woodsnake Active Member

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    The "noise" is some kind of mechanical noise. Something is hitting/rubbing/bumping something else. The rockers them selves are designed to have LESS contact than the stock stamped style.

    My understanding of Rhodes lifters is that they are a "variable" style.

    Perhaps you should ask them why you have so much noise?

    I had a noisy valve train too, and then I started breaking parts. Roller rockers, guide plates, bending push rods....

    Once I corrected the coil bind, I had no more noise or issues.

    Other peoples opinion will vary from mine on this, but ROLLER TIPPED rockers should not make any noise.
    #14
  15. tman0950

    tman0950 New Member

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    roller rockers noise

    I have a 408 with roller rocker noise and I have replaced the lifters and the roller rockers and have the same noise and I hate it, I don't know what to do about it, tman0950:flag:
    #15
  16. D.Hearne

    D.Hearne Banned

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    Roller rockers do make noise. So much so that when Ford built the 93 Cobra 5.0's with them (Crane Energizer 1.7's) they also capped the heads with double layered valve covers to deaden the sound from the rockers. As further proof there's nothing wrong with it, the set I have on the 5.0 in my 89 Ranger had over 100K miles on em when I bought em used. They've been doing the job in this motor now for another 4 years since. They show no sign of wearing out themselves or the rest of the valvetrain.
    #16
  17. 65ebd65

    65ebd65 New Member

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    A quart of risolone oil additive , with your next oil change will quiet them down.
    I pick it up at autozone for less then $3.00 a qt.
    No tech for why it works but it does on all lifters.
    #17
  18. j69302

    j69302 Active Member

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    Oil is thicker when its cold.

    What weight oil are you using?

    Im not saying you are using the wrong weight oil right now, but you can try and run one with a higher number after the dash.

    Lastly, roller rockers are just loud. You most likely dont have any problems with oiling if you don't see any signs of wear.

    Also what adds a lot to the noise are the pushrod guideplates.
    #18

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