Question about 1983 Chevrolet Chevy

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How do I tell if I have a hyd. or solid lifter cam in my SBC and how do I tell the differance between the two lifters

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If the engine is not apart, there isn't any real way to tell but if you remove a valve cover, on a solid lifter cam, when the engine is turned, there should be one time, when the lifter is on the heel of the cam lobe a bit past the time when the valve you are watching has closed, that you should have about 16 thousandths or more clearance between the rocker and the valve stem (called lash) A hydraulic lifter is always in contact with no gap.(though you may get a false reading if a lifter is bleeding down)
if the engine is apart enough to see the top of the lifters, a hydraulic lifter has a wire clip in the top that holds the hydraulic piston inside from popping out too far. A solid lifter does not have a clip because it dosen't need one (that's why it's solid)
Unfortunately, to know WHICH cam you have, you'd need to remove it as the manufacturer and grind numbers are usually stamped on the back end. (generally 16thousandths lash on intakes and 18 thousandths on exhaust will put you in the "ball-park" though).

Posted on Apr 26, 2010

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