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Guest Message by DevFuse

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how can you tell if you have hydro lifters?

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5 replies to this topic

#1 SkankinPickle


    Eat, Live, Breath Fuji

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Posted 24 August 2004 - 04:43 PM

besides markings on the valve covers, how do i discern weather or not my EA-81 has hydraulic lifters?

the thing that made me wonder is that there are these metal clips on the valve adjusters, which prevents me from using the adjusting tool. Where as my 83 wagon does not. thinkin that i probably have em, but how do i tell?

#2 Wasteland


    I am Evil Homer!

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Posted 24 August 2004 - 04:55 PM

What year is it? '85 and up should be hydro. but theres a silver tag on the valve cover that reads "do not adjust valves" most of the time they are covered in mud and old oil so you might have to do some scraping

#3 SkankinPickle


    Eat, Live, Breath Fuji

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Posted 24 August 2004 - 04:57 PM

it's an eighty and not the stock engine. i think it's JDM cause the only writing on the only sticker on the valve cover is in japanese only.

#4 GeneralDisorder


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Posted 24 August 2004 - 06:13 PM

The sticker on the valve covers is gold (sometimes they look silver when the gold wears off, or fades.).

83/84 Automatics, and all 85 and newer EA81's are hydro lifter. Additionally, all 85 and up EA71's are hydro as well.

There is a way to tell from the block casting, but it's difficult to describe without pictures. You can't tell from the head casting because the same "large valve" heads were also used on solid lifter EA81's in 83 and 84 (and I imagine on JDM models at some point as well - might have been earlier tho). So that leaves the "educated" block casting inspection, or a slightly more invasive approach. I won't describe the casting differences because without pictures it's just not going to be very helpful. Best thing to do then is remove the valve cover (have a new valve cover gasket ready, as the old one will probably come off in peices), and inspect the valve adjusters. The hydro lifter models have lock tabs on a special washer under the jam nut of the adjuster. Solid lifter models do not have these. Also look at the ends of the pushrods - they should be smooth with no "knurling" at the ends. The solid lifter pushrods are subtley different.

If you still have doubt, drop the oil pan and look at the lifter bore's with a mirror - if the lifter can be removed from the block then you absolutely have a hydro lifter engine.

If you still cannot determine what you have, I'll try to take pictures of the differences in the block castings for you.


#5 carfreak85


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Posted 24 August 2004 - 06:27 PM

Pics please!

#6 GLCraig



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Posted 24 August 2004 - 07:04 PM

If it has the clips to keep the adjuster from turning then it probably has hydraulic lifters. Also There's a difference in the pushrods. Models with hydraulic lifters have steel pushrods and models with solid lifters have aluminum pushrods with steel tips.

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