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  #1  
Old 17th January 2007
900SPG 900SPG is offline
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Default Noisy Lifters

I have been told a few times by various mechanics that my 90 saab spg has noisy lifters. Is there anything I can do to quiet them? Just had a synthetic oil change done on the car (which I was told Saab's should only run on) but there is no difference.

Thanks!
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Old 17th January 2007
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Synthetic oils good and all, but you don't really need it. If you're looking for a bargain (which I always am) you can get most of the benefit of synthetic oil without the price by putting one quart of full synthetic with the rest regular oil.

You can replace the lifters, they're not expensive or anythin.
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Last edited by TheRedBaron; 17th January 2007 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 17th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRedBaron
Synthetic oils good and all, but you don't really need it. If you're looking for a bargain (which I always am) you can get most of the benefit of synthetic oil without the price by putting one quart of full synthetic with the rest regular oil.

You can replace the lifters, they're not expensive or anythin.
Thats great to hear - my oil change was like 70 bucks - I couldn't believe how expensive it was! Where can I find replacement lifters - are they hard to replace?
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Old 17th January 2007
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Some pepople use thicker oils to quiet lifters.

The only real, proper fix is replace the lifter with new or good used units. It's a fairly straight forward DIY job. You don't have to replace all of them, just the weak ones. Let the car sit over night or longer first. The weak ones will leak down and feel squishy with some pressure with your fingers. A good explanation is here:

http://www.saabcentral.com/forums/sh...ad.php?t=83438

It's by Matthew as the 4th or 5th post down. Good tips.

I think they're about $15-$20 from online sites, but if you want 16 of them, that's getting very pricey! I like these guys, they're in Idaho. http://www.ips-parts.com/

If you get some used ones, keep them in oil while in storage to preserve them properly. (I still have a big pickle jar of oil around here somewhere full of lifters )

Good luck,
-Rob

Last edited by RM '86 SPG; 17th January 2007 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 17th January 2007
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They also have them on www.thesaabsite.com for somewhere around that
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Old 18th January 2007
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I wouldn't use synthethic on a car with higher milage as every gasket will start to leak. Drain out about 1/2 quart of oil and add some marvel magic mystery oil. Run it for about 1000 miles or so. I did and my lifter noise went away. It'll do the job and it's cheap.
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Old 18th January 2007
Shirozina Shirozina is offline
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Modern synthetic oils do not leak - this is a myth carried over from some early versions when it was first available on the market. Also you should use 100% synthetic if you want to preserve your engine and turbo as it's the additives in mineral oil (and probably stuff like marvel magic mystery oil) that form coking deposits on your turbo bearings. Also synthetic flows much better when cold and protects the engine far better in the first few seconds of cold start.
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Old 18th January 2007
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I think the story was that if the seals were old, that synthetic would leak past them. Saab do recommend fully synthetic oil for the c900 turbo, its in the owners manual.
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Old 18th January 2007
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I don't know about the 'states but here in the UK you can get 'hydraulic lifter fluid', an engine oil additive that does quieten down the lifters effectively. There is also a technique for bleeding the lifters by loosening the black lifter bolts in turn and running the engine. There will be a thread here somewhere that details the technique fully.
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Old 18th January 2007
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The 16v saab 4 cyl uses direct cam on tappet (lifter) valve actuation... there are no screws to loosen...

Lifters get noisy for one of a few reasons...

wear and tear (IE internal clearance issues) which can only be cured by replacement or strung along with thicker oil.

low oil pressure (sludging, worn oil pump, worn out transfer tube nipples on earlier cars (87 and down if memory serves)

or carbon build up - this last one is the only one which might be helped by Marvel Mystery oil, transmission fluid, or any other lighter than oil Petrochemical solvent which thins out the oil in an attempt to loosen/breakdown any accumulated carbon which may be blocking a lifter feed port.

be careful with the use of any kind of solvent in your engine which is supposed to free up "sticky" lifters, as they all thin out the oil, and this can cause wear if the engine is driven hard with the solvent still in the engine.
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Old 18th January 2007
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I meant the black cam bolts - sorry.
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  #12  
Old 18th January 2007
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The overhead oilers on the cams is MY88 and earlier.

I remember Jim writing about noisy lifters most likely being due to low oil pressure. The lifters are at the top of the engine, where a low pressure problem would be most likely to manifest itself.

People generally use thinner oil to quieten lifters - not thicker.

5w/40 or 5w/30 should work fine with no lifter noise after startup.

If the lifters remain noisy when the engine's warm then there is definitely a problem somewhere. What's the service life of the oil pumps?
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  #13  
Old 18th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew

I remember Jim writing about noisy lifters most likely being due to low oil pressure.
What's the service life of the oil pumps?
If you have low pressure, your lifters are likely to be noisy, but there are other causes of noisy lifters.
I agree: thin synthetic oils will be best if you want to try to free them up; I use 10w-30 or 5w-30.
I've never seen a worn out oil pump; I've seen oil pump covers with some wear, but never the pump itself.

25 years ago, I would have agreed with the Marvel Mystery oil or other cleaners. Both oils and engines have changed. I would not mix oils or use additives of any kind with my Brand Name synthetic oil.

Are you sure it's not just normal injector noise?
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  #14  
Old 19th January 2007
SonettIII SonettIII is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew
The overhead oilers on the cams is MY88 and earlier.

People generally use thinner oil to quieten lifters - not thicker.

5w/40 or 5w/30 should work fine with no lifter noise after startup.
Beg to differ; thicker oil takes longer to get into the lifters, but is much less inclined to be forced out of the clearances in the lifters once there. It's a matter of approach: if you think you can clean up lifters that are varnished, but not worn out, thinner oil, MMO, or SeaFoam is the ticket. If you think they are worn, thicker oil is more likely to be successful.

SeaFoam is the hot ticket with the Saturn crowd (of which I am one). Saturns pre-'99 had a sticking oil ring "issue" and SeaFoam added to the oil in moderate amounts about 100 miles before an oil change does wonders. Mine went from burning a qt. every 700 miles to a qt every 1300 miles after a single 100-mile treatment. SeaFoam comes from the marine side of internal combustion applications, it's great stuff! But don't leave it in more than 100 miles.
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Old 19th January 2007
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Mobil 1 has gotten my worn turbo, somewhat neglected, and noisy lifter 89' turbo to last 2 years and 100,000km without a single engine issue except a headgasket ( not oil fault). My car burns no oil and runs amazingly well. The mobil 1 made lifter noise less and shorter duration at start, and it has over time made the turbo quieter. The first few mobil 1 changes emptied the car of lots of black soot, now with the same distance the oil is a little cleaner each time.

I'm thinking of converting my 87' TC to mobil 1, it has never run anything but penzoil 10w-30.

For oil cooled turbos is mobil 1 ok?
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Old 19th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Mesthene
Are you sure it's not just normal injector noise?
Iye, the injectors on these cars can set up quite the clatter some times. Have you tried getting a mechanics stethescope and trying to pinpoint the sound? You can pick one up for $5 or so, might be worth it before you change out $200-300 worth of lifters.

One thing I've done before, I don't know if it was good or bad or helped or not, but when I've had heads out before and had the lifters sitting in an oil bath, I've taken a magnent, stuck it on the base and worked it gently up and down so as the oil in the lifter would squirt out and suck new oil in. The oil that worked out of the lifters was nasty black cruddy stuff. New oil from the oil bath was sucked in and back in the head they went. They worked fine. You don't want to overextend them when working them up and down though, you can feel the normal travel they have, you want to be gentle and don't exceed that.

I took a head in to be rebuilt once and the guy called up and said you need new lifters. I said what? All of them? They were working just fine no noise or anything at all when I pulled the head.

Turnedout he had taken them all apart and cleaned them with solvent. He also had ground all the valves. I ended up leaving that head there and walking, they expected me to pay for new valves and lifters and the total bill was going to be somewhere around $900 and that was with me having told them when I brought the head in that the valves in the head were coated and were not supposed to be ground. This was at a major rebuilders shop too.
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Old 19th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirozina
Modern synthetic oils do not leak - this is a myth carried over from some early versions when it was first available on the market. Also you should use 100% synthetic if you want to preserve your engine and turbo as it's the additives in mineral oil (and probably stuff like marvel magic mystery oil) that form coking deposits on your turbo bearings. Also synthetic flows much better when cold and protects the engine far better in the first few seconds of cold start.
The oil doesn't leak the old gaskets do...
on occasion, an engine will leak with synthetic oil, but not dino oil. The reason for this is that the smaller molecules of the synthetic are able to get past very small crevices, where the larger molecules of dino oil cannot.
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  #18  
Old 19th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woywitka
For oil cooled turbos is mobil 1 ok?
I don't see why not. It's a premium synthetic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt88S
Turnedout he had taken them all apart and cleaned them with solvent. He also had ground all the valves. I ended up leaving that head there and walking, they expected me to pay for new valves and lifters and the total bill was going to be somewhere around $900 and that was with me having told them when I brought the head in that the valves in the head were coated and were not supposed to be ground. This was at a major rebuilders shop too.
Morons.

How do the lifters come apart anyway?
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Old 19th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew
How do the lifters come apart anyway?



i have to write something here, so la la'la la la!!!...
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Old 19th January 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr rx-7 tt
The oil doesn't leak the old gaskets do...
on occasion, an engine will leak with synthetic oil, but not dino oil. The reason for this is that the smaller molecules of the synthetic are able to get past very small crevices, where the larger molecules of dino oil cannot.
I don't understand why the sythetic would have smaller molecules. Viscosity is viscosity, there should be no difference in thickness. If the molecules were smaller, then wouldn't the oil be thinner; which of course would be a thinner viscosity making the two oils incomparable?
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