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A valve train breakthrough from Isky

Roll EZ with Isky’s needle-less roller lifters

There is one common subject that almost always comes up when you are talking about engines with drag racers: roller lifters. Everyone seems to have a story about what happened when a lifter failed or they know somebody who had catastrophic engine damage because a needle-bearing roller lifter “exploded”.

The intake manifold is removed and the only thing you need to make sure of here is that you get the surfaces as clean as possible and don't gouge up the aluminum.

If you have a conventional roller lifter in your engine it will have small needle bearings between the roller wheel and the axle pin in the lifter body.

When a lifter breaks, these small hardened steel needle bearings get tossed around inside the engine doing all sorts of damage, from sticking to piston skirts, locking up oil pumps that causes bearing damage to getting between the crankshaft and the rods and tearing them up to damaging the block when the lifter split open and flared out under the lifter bore.

This seems to be more common among the big-block Chevy guys but that could be because that engine is used by 90% of the sportsman racers. The common feeling among them and engine builders is to replace lifters or at the very least pull the lifters and give them a close look at 125 to 150 runs. If they feel rough when you roll the wheel, it’s time to replace them all. Replacement is recommended every season in almost every case. That is a lot of expense all because of the needle bearing design, right?

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