Video: Hydraulic Roller Lifters 101 With Comp Cams

Hydraulic roller lifters have been in use on domestic V8s since the mid 1980s. While in OEM applications these lifters reduce frictional losses, and even valve train nose, their primary advantage in performance engines is that they allow for more aggressive cam profiles. Comp Cams recently put together this video that covers many of the basic questions and issues associated with installing or switching to a hydraulic roller setup.

The hydraulic roller lifter is better able to follow the lobes of a camshaft, transmitting that motion through the valve train and usually resulting in more power. Comp Cams carries a variety of retrofit kits for converting engines that were not originally equipped with flat-tappet lifters and cams to hydraulic roller.

Whether it’s your first time installing a hydraulic roller cam and lifters, or you’re a seasoned pro at this, there are a few things to keep in mind as outlined in the video.

  • Cleanliness: In any engine, dirt and debris can quickly cause damage. According to the video from Comp Cams dirt and debris are the number one cause of lifters failing to pump up, and lifter noise.
  • Inspect: Check the lifters before installation for damage, and to make sure the parts you ordered are going to work in your application.
  • Rinse: Rinsing the lifters in clean mineral spirits will remove any debris prior to installation.
  • Lubricate: Lifters that are rinsed will need to be lubricated again by coating them in clean engine oil.

New hydraulic roller lifters can be cleaned in mineral spirits to remove dirt/debris, and then coated in clean engine oil.

The video also covers proper lifter installation with tips on ensuring proper fit. Lifters that are too tight in the bore, and don’t move easily will fail prematurely and could lead to engine damage. Lash is also briefly touched on here, however Comp Cams has another video that deals solely with setting lash properly.

So, there you have it, the basics of hydraulic roller lifters from Comp Cams. For more information check out the Comp Cams web-site, or give their tech line a call at the number below.

About the author

Don Creason

Don Creason is an automotive journalist with passions that lie from everything classic, all the way to modern muscle. Experienced tech writer, and all around car aficionado, Don's love for both cars and writing makes him the perfect addition to the Power Automedia team of experts.
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