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LS7 Lifter Swap Guide

4/17/2020
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I’m in the process of going through the top end of my motor on my LQ4 6.0. I already swapped out the cam, and while doing that, I also changed out the oil pump and timing chain. In this article, I’m going to go over the process of changing out the lifters. When I decided I was going to swap out lifters for new ones, I looked at the Speedway Motors website and found the LS7 Roller Lifters. These come in a package of 8, so if you plan on replacing all your lifters, you will need two sets for a total of 16 lifters.

To start the process of swapping out the lifters, you first need to remove any wiring that you still have connected to the top of the motor—followed by the coil packs and any other parts that are connected to the valve covers. The intake manifold will need to come off. Unhook the fuel rails and disconnect any wiring to the intake manifold. Remove the intake manifold. You can now remove the valve covers.

With the valve covers and intake manifold removed, you have access to the rockers. Loosen the rockers that don’t have a spring load on them. After loosening the ones without spring load, rotate the engine until the rest of the rockers don’t have a load on them, then loosen those. The rocker assembly will come off as one piece. After removing the rocker assembly, you can pull out the pushrods. You now have access to the head bolts. There are 15 bolts per head holding the heads in place, 10 M11 bolts, and 5 M8 bolts. Remove the 15 bolts on each side, and your cylinder heads are ready to be pulled off.

Now that you have removed the heads, the next step is to remove the head gasket. With the heads and gasket removed, you will have access to the lifter trays and lifters. I removed the lifter trays, then pulled the loose lifters out. I had a couple of lifters that were difficult to get out, so I had to use pliers to grab them and pull them out. After getting the lifters out, I cleaned up the lifter trays because I was going to reuse them. I had the top end of my motor all removed, including the front cover and cam out of my motor, and then cleaned the internals the best I could.

I was now ready to prep the lifters. I first soaked them in oil. The lifters now set at the bottom of the lifter tray. You put 4 lifters in each lifter tray. A total of 4 lifter trays, 8 lifters per side, or 2 lifter trays per side. With the lifters in the lifter trays, putting the new lifters back in was as easy as lining up the holes that the lifters go in and pushing them in. After getting the lifters all lined up and pushed in, I was able to tighten the screw that holds the lifter tray in. This is the process I used to change out the lifters. To reassemble, I suggest using new head gaskets and head bolts. I also upgraded my valve springs while my heads were off. You are now ready to reassemble!

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