February 2010 Issue
TCM’s Lifter Crisis: Reclaimed Parts Rule
The lowly valve lifter used to be the first thing tossed during overhaul. Now, reusable parts are a hot item.
Owners buying engine overhauls have more or less adjusted to the idea that cylinders, cams and crankshafts have become a crap shoot. But valve lifters, too? These got added to the list of problem parts last fall when TCM announced that a massive batch of faulty lifters made it into the supply chain. Some showed failure wear in as little as five hours of operation. Although only engines built after June 19th, 2009, appear affected, the sudden demand has disrupted the supply chain for lifters to the extent that the industry—and the FAA—are relenting on the standard recommendation that lifters be replaced. Further, the market for overhauled lifters has become red hot and, at least well into 2010, they may be hard to come by. Only owners who had engines built after the June date need be concerned about bad lifters and not all of them may be affected.
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