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Old 01-07-2013, 08:08 PM   #1
ME 109 OP
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Second hand cam followers

Is it ok to use good second hand followers instead of buying new ones?
I read recently that some preferred a good old follower to a new one.

Yes, I'm talking about ebay.
The price of the s/hand units can be less than 25% of new price.
If the head? and side of the follower looks ok in a piccy with no obvious excess wear, is it safe to assume it's ok?

I'm not a tight arse so to speak, I've spent a shite load on my RS over the years.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:17 PM   #2
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I call it the base but not sure I'm correct either. The surface that rubs on the cam shaft is were they sometimes have problems. Pitting or flaking is to be avoided. I think it's OK to use used.

There are at least two distinct different vintage, styles, of lifter. One the slots are straight up and down, the other the slots are angled. I don't know which are better. ??
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:35 PM   #3
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That was me. If the base hasn't flaked, they aren't cracked, and they haven't had an aftermarket pushrod bore a hole in the top. I would use them. I just worked on a bike that had the bores and the sides of the lifters all scared up from running them after a crash and with a bunch of crap down the tubes because of the crash.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disston View Post
.........

There are at least two distinct different vintage, styles, of lifter. One the slots are straight up and down, the other the slots are angled. I don't know which are better. ??


I have been told that the angled ones are weaker and possibly heavier. The general rule of thumb is use the latest ones for everything. As the years went by the clutch got lighter, the conrods got lighter and stronger, the rockers got quieter etc etc.

The straight slotted cam followers are the later ones. I've only seen one cam follower broken and that was an angled one.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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I totally agree with your general rule. For instance, the rocker arms got quieter AND lighter! I have probably seen about three or five broken lifters. I think a couple of them were lightened. I have seen a couple of sets get bored through with aftermarket pushrods.
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
That was me.
I know.

Right, it's the base then.

The bases of the ebay jobbies look quite ok compared to some that I've seen.
It does appear tho' that the sides of all the followers I've seen generally display odd wear marks.

I scored a set of 4 complete rocker sets, arms, bearings, shafts, pillow blocks for a bit more than 100 bucks.

I have a persistent noise from the rh side that won't go away even with .1mm both valves, next to no end play.

It may be the push rod hitting the head gasket.....dunno.
I had a s/hand pair of heads reconditioned with valves and guides a couple of years ago (a few million revolutions)
so I'm not expecting anything there but I'll find out when i pull the rh side off.

There is a weep from the rh barrel base, so before going in, I'm getting prepared to swap out any worn out stuff with partially worn out stuff.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:21 AM   #7
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I have bought new lifters to go with my new camshaft, they can bed in together. If you use Dreibond/ Yamabond sealer on the cylinder crankcase joint, then it should not weep any oil.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:33 AM   #8
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Gidday Charles, if I had a new cam to put in I'd use new lifters for sure.

I have Threebond to use. I bought it about a year ago when the left side started weeping. no leaks on the lh now.
Time for the right side.

No more permatex high temp silicone. It's red shit anyhowz.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:17 AM   #9
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Everything I have read about installing a cam, since the days of my youth, has said to use new lifters with a new or used cam. Putting lifters from another cam - or interchanging lifters on the same cam - is an invitation for problems. A lifter (cam follower) regrinding service may exist or a piece of carbide sandpaper on an ultra flat granite plate with a jig to hold the lifter may work. Myself, I buy new for such occasions - but would try the granite plate and sandpaper. Motobins has better prices on such parts, but they are still (relatively) expensive. Good luck!
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Stan_R80/7 View Post
Everything I have read about installing a cam, since the days of my youth, has said to use new lifters with a new or used cam. Putting lifters from another cam - or interchanging lifters on the same cam - is an invitation for problems. A lifter (cam follower) regrinding service may exist or a piece of carbide sandpaper on an ultra flat granite plate with a jig to hold the lifter may work. Myself, I buy new for such occasions - but would try the granite plate and sandpaper. Motobins has better prices on such parts, but they are still (relatively) expensive. Good luck!
I have heard that same story my whole life. It might be true with some engines but not our airheads. I have seen way too many real low mileage airhead lifters flake and I have seen tons of real high mileage lifters never flake. I am just putting two and two together. New or old isn't nearly as important as the lifter itself. If it hasn't flaked for a lot of miles, chances are it won't flake for a lot more. If it's a new lifter, you won't know that for somewhere around 40k miles. I work on a lot of airhead engines and I have had real good luck with that policy.

When I put my new sport cam in my bike for a flaked lifter getting into the stock cam at 28k miles, there were two flaked lifters in my engine. I replaced them and used the other two used and proven lifters on my new 336. I just looked at them 70k miles later for having the top end off and all four where perfect as was the cam. I put all four back in.

IMO, if you replace your lifters as a set every time you find one flaked, you are going to be replacing all four lifters on a regular basis!

supershaft screwed with this post 01-08-2013 at 11:39 AM
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:48 AM   #11
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On second thought, having the proper tool to resurface lifters makes more sense. There are shops that specialize in this type of re-grinding, i.e.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN3Skq6HedY

Myself, I would not put cam followers (lifters) back in another cam or a used cam without having them resurfaced. The reason for resurfacing, as I have always understood, is to allow the lifter and cam to wear together during break-in which ensures good cam (and lifter) life.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:28 PM   #12
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All this talk of regrinding followers and nobody has mentioned that you need to have them hard chromed again after. Don't leave that step out.

That said has anyone tried any of the newer, harder, slipperier coatings like DLC on cams or followers? A lot of modern high performance bikes are coming with DLC coated cams and followers these days. Gears are another common application of these new hard and slippery coatings. The hard surface and lower coefficient of friction of these coatings could entirely eliminate the need to use oil with higher than normal amounts of ZDDP.
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Old 01-08-2013, 02:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stan_R80/7 View Post
On second thought, having the proper tool to resurface lifters makes more sense. There are shops that specialize in this type of re-grinding, i.e.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hN3Skq6HedY

Myself, I would not put cam followers (lifters) back in another cam or a used cam without having them resurfaced. The reason for resurfacing, as I have always understood, is to allow the lifter and cam to wear together during break-in which ensures good cam (and lifter) life.
Resurfacing the lifters like in the video IMO ist the best method to produce crap as you get a lifter with a flat surface where you need one with a convex surface.

I had a talk to an engineer from Schleicher and he recommended to re-bonder used lifters when running them with a new cam. But he didn't describe it as an absolute must.

A friend of mine changed cams quite often (always looking for more power), always with the same lifters.
Don't know his current mileage but he's riding a lot. He never had a cam or lifter issue.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:05 PM   #14
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It says in the video that this machine does do the domed surface. They also say it's the only way to properly do lifters. Since it looks like a solid lifter in the film and we have solid lifters in our bikes this implies to me it is common to have this convex shape to the base of the lifter. I don't know if there are any special angles or amounts of convexness to our lifters. Like valve seat angles BMW may do things differently.

I think it is Cycle Works that will regrind lifters for you. I don't know about the Hard Chrome plating though. Do they also do that? Somebody else here complained though that after all is said and done it was still a crap shoot and reground lifters also fail.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:46 PM   #15
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It says in the video that this machine does do the domed surface.
You are right, I missed that.
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