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Lifter Ill Redux: A Demonstration Of The Gen 3 Hemi Camshaft And Lifter Issue

Lifter Ill Redux: A Demonstration Of The Gen 3 Hemi Camshaft And Lifter Issue

One of the most infamous videos Uncle Tony has ever released  was his call-out of the cam and lifter issue that third-gen Hemi engines have been known for. The answer is pretty much the same, especially on MDS (cylinder deactivation) equipped engines: a seized lifter roller bit into the camshaft. Jalopnik has discussed this in deep technical detail. Plenty of forum posts, NHTSA complaints, et cetera…it’s a known fact that there are certain issues with the Gen 3, and that’s not to call it out as a bad engine, just that it has an issue that you need to be aware of, like trying to get over 500 horsepower out of a Ford 302 without splitting the block in half. The short story is that the lifter roller’s needle bearings do not get the lubrication they need due to a lack of splashing oil from the crankshaft at low RPMs or idle and the shallow angle of the lifter is not conducive to get oil fed up at the top of the lifter down to the roller.

The controversy started the second the video went live. Many claimed that Tony had figured out the issue and were heaping their praises, many said that there was no way it was possible, many claimed that this was another case of “old man yells at cloud” and wrote him off as a kook, somebody who hated any engine that didn’t come with a carburetor straight from the factory. Well, this time around he’s going to show you…not just tell you, but show you…what is going on within the engine that is at least part of the problem, if not the entire problem.

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10 thoughts on “Lifter Ill Redux: A Demonstration Of The Gen 3 Hemi Camshaft And Lifter Issue

  1. Curtis

    Tony’s a pretty smart dude. Its basically a common sense issue if you look at it from a simple point of view. Never had one of these engines apart but I wonder if you couldn’t use a plunge EDM (electrical discharge machine) to create a small hole that would spray oil from an oil gallery onto the rollers? Or possibly fabricate some very small tubes that bring a metered amount of oil to the lifer rollers?

    1. Steve harrison

      Curtis’s idea is exactly what I was thinking. Back when Jeep used the AMC engines I would see distributor gear burn up. I could remove one of the oil galley plugs and angle drill a small bleed hole and reinstall it so it would spray toward the drive and driven gears.problem solved.

  2. Earl Bowman

    I used patron plus formula 7 in my 2017 challenger scat pack and in my 2020 hell cat bout had the startup death rattle after about 50 miles the start up rattle had never come back cost some bucks

  3. claymore

    Somebody should try cutting a groove or grooves (depending on how much oil flows with the grooves) on the sides of the lifter body to allow oil to pass through down to the roller tips. Especially down at the tip end where the recessed area is just before that ridge just above the tip. You could see in his simple test that the oil hits that ridge and is deflected from getting down to the tip.

  4. Rob

    We’ve seen the needle bearings in the rollers turn to powder. Tracing the numbers lead us to believe the composition of the metal was wrong. Also think lifters were left over from Mercedes affiliates in Germany.

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