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Old 10-18-2016
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Default lifter bore clearance?

What is the lifter bore clearance supposed to be on a stock motor?

My lifters measure 0.873" diameter, and one lifter bore is about 0.878" (measured with a telescoping gauge). That's 0.005" clearance, which seems large. I can't find a spec on this clearance in the WSM.

Has anyone ever installed bronze or brass lifter bushings in an Alpine block, or is it considered too cost prohibitive?
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Old 10-18-2016
RootesRacer RootesRacer is offline
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IIRC the followers should be .875, clearance on such things are usually 5/10ths or so.
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Old 09-07-2017
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Resurrecting this old thread as I've started digging into this motor again (too many projects and too little time).

I measure 0.877" to 0.878" for the lifter bore. Can someone check the bore on a "good" block and let me know what these are supposed to be?

I re-checked the lifters and I am still measuring 0.873 to 0.874". That gives a bore clearance of 0.003 to 0.005", which seems like a lot.
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Old 09-07-2017
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I have never worked on an Alpine engine, so large chunks of salt may be appropriate.

I agree that 0.003 to 0.005 seems like a lot of clearance. A SBC has similar sized lifters (0.842") and calls for clearance of 0.0015" to 0.0002".

An old school trick "back in the day" with worn-out SBC and SBF engines was to enlarge the lifter bores to accept Chrysler lifters with a diameter of 0.903". If the Chrysler lifters are compatible (???), it might eliminate the need to sleeve your lifter bores.

Just my crazy opinion, YMMV.
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Old 09-13-2017
Jay Laifman Jay Laifman is offline
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I've never used a telescoping gauge. How are you ever certain that it is perfectly perpendicular to the sides you are measuring?

I just measured my lifter bores. I used what I think is a pretty good caliper with dial indicator. The "fingers" that go into the bore go flat against the bore and down. The very biggest reading I could get was .875".

FWIW, I called Sunbeam Specialties and they measured their lifters. These are German made. He was getting .874".

My lifters, which I'm pretty sure I bought from Victoria British 25 years ago measured .873"
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Old 09-16-2017
Jay Laifman Jay Laifman is offline
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I decided to have Sunbeam Specialties send me a set of their German lifters. I will measure them myself against my VB ones to see if they are any different. Report to follow.
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Old 09-19-2017
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Jay, I measured a couple sets of lifters here and measured between 0.873 and 0.874", which is consistent with your measurements. The lifters I purchased from Rootes vintage Spares in the Netherlands tended to be on the low side, while the lifters from Victoria British were on the higher end. There was some variation from lifter to lifter in both sets.

I emailed Dema at Elgin cams and he responded:
The lifter bores are .8750" .001-.002" is the factory spec for clearance. You either need to sleeve the lifter holes or go out to the.904" lifter size. Make sure that the lifter bores are at the proper angle to the top of the block. Some engines have the lifter bores a few degrees on an angle to get the push rod straighter up to the rocker. Dema Elgin
I also talked to John at Autosport Seattle who agreed that the 0.001-0.002" spec is appropriate for these lifters. Both Dema and John suggested going to 0.904" or rebushing the lifter bores. John suggested it would probably be more cost effective to find another block. I think I agree with him.

I haven't found a good 1592 block within a few hours drive, so at this point I am probably going to build a 1725 based on one of the short blocks from Sunbeam Specialties instead.
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Old 09-20-2017
Jay Laifman Jay Laifman is offline
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I got the German lifters from Rick. They look great. But, they actually have that one little chip at top of them. I'm now thinking it must be part of the manufacturing process. They all measure .874" on the dot. German manufacturing for you.

Meanwhile, in surfing the web, I've learned more about lifters. Perhaps others here already know this.

There are common lifter sizes across all engines. .874" is one, .904" and .842" are others.

There are common lifter bore hones. They come in .843, .875 and .906. But they are stated as "nominal" sizes. I don't know what that means here - in other uses I've seen that mean that the size isn't actually what is listed. Like a 2x4 is not actually 2x4.

There are all sorts of suggested gap sizes out there. From what I've seen, .0018 - .0025 appears to be the commonly accepted numbers for street/performance cars. I saw up to .003 suggested for a stock road car.

Less than .0015 is a no no - and can cause too much binding/friction and possible seizing.

Some engine builders like to be on the lower end of the range because they believe it helps keeps pressure of oil down on the crank and not up to the heads.

Some said that some factory block lifter holes are not perfectly lined up for the rockers and they suggested sleeving those holes and redrilling in the correct alignment.

However, others criticized the machines available and that they were not as accurate as some seemed to believe or rely upon.


That brings me back to my block. I simply could not measure any bore larger than .875". It can definitely be my lack of skill or using a caliper rather than bore scope tool. Nevertheless, there was no indication that I have any excessive wear. So I'm going to happily either leave my current lifters alone, or use the new ones. I'll probably use the new ones.

Also, in sliding my lifters up and down, and rotating them, I got no noticeable binding and at the same time, no noticeable lateral play or motion or clicking. I know that is not a sanctioned test.
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Old 09-20-2017
Jay Laifman Jay Laifman is offline
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On re-reading Jeff's post, it looks like what I found is pretty much what he already provided. Thank's Jeff
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Laifman View Post
I got the German lifters from Rick. They look great. But, they actually have that one little chip at top of them. I'm now thinking it must be part of the manufacturing process. They all measure .874" on the dot. German manufacturing for you.

Meanwhile, in surfing the web, I've learned more about lifters. Perhaps others here already know this.

There are common lifter sizes across all engines. .874" is one, .904" and .842" are others.

There are common lifter bore hones. They come in .843, .875 and .906. But they are stated as "nominal" sizes. I don't know what that means here - in other uses I've seen that mean that the size isn't actually what is listed. Like a 2x4 is not actually 2x4.

There are all sorts of suggested gap sizes out there. From what I've seen, .0018 - .0025 appears to be the commonly accepted numbers for street/performance cars. I saw up to .003 suggested for a stock road car.

Less than .0015 is a no no - and can cause too much binding/friction and possible seizing.

Some engine builders like to be on the lower end of the range because they believe it helps keeps pressure of oil down on the crank and not up to the heads.

Some said that some factory block lifter holes are not perfectly lined up for the rockers and they suggested sleeving those holes and redrilling in the correct alignment.

However, others criticized the machines available and that they were not as accurate as some seemed to believe or rely upon.


That brings me back to my block. I simply could not measure any bore larger than .875". It can definitely be my lack of skill or using a caliper rather than bore scope tool. Nevertheless, there was no indication that I have any excessive wear. So I'm going to happily either leave my current lifters alone, or use the new ones. I'll probably use the new ones.

Also, in sliding my lifters up and down, and rotating them, I got no noticeable binding and at the same time, no noticeable lateral play or motion or clicking. I know that is not a sanctioned test.
A couple thoughts on this.

First, there should be no correlation between lifter side clearance and oil pressure on the Alpine, since the lifters are not part of the oil system. As far as I can tell, the lifters bodies are indirectly lubricated by oil that drips down from the rockers, and the faces are primarily lubricated by oil splashing on the cam. I believe some V8's have oil passages that feed the lifters, so in that case it would matter since more clearance would allow more oil to escape the high pressure oil system. Not true on the Alpine.

Second - I think part of the challenge with bushing lifters on the Alpine is that no one is set up to do this work. If it was a V8 block there would likely be fixtures available and folks who are familiar with the operation. On the Sunbeam it would require hand setup and new fixtures so unless you can find someone who has done it before and has a setup, it's likely to be expensive and time consuming work.

Your numbers on clearance agree with my research.

I measured my lifter bores with a dial bore gauge. Most bore gauges can't go down below 1" diameter, but I was able to find a relatively inexpensive gauge on amazon that does (made by Fowler). I think my measurements are pretty accurate since I am using a micrometer for reference.
I'm in the process of tearing down a second block so I will check that block and compare.
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