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Using engine valve lifters in forging


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Good Morning Rad,

Welcome, If you put your locale in your Avatar, someone near you may be able to help you.

Hydraulic Lifters or Solid Lifters. Anything is possible, but it is not practical. Way more gooder material to get, easier using and way more better for Heat Treating. Why dive into the deep end, when you don't know how to swim? Sounds like you have been watching FF.

Neil

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Welcome aboard, glad to have you. You need to clarify what you're asking, the first thing that came to my mind was trying to modify an engine hoist into a forging press but that was too far out there to comment on. However the thought did come up. 

Your question is a little too general to get meaningful answers. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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If you are referring to engine valves I am told that some are filled with sodium and would be dangerous to forge.  Some folk here who are more gear heads than I am could tell you which ones and why they are filled.  The only filling that I am familiar with is chocolate or bavarian cream.

BTW, welcome aboard from 7500' above sea level in SE Wyoming.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

 

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I have two vehicles with engine rebuilds and the lifters on one of them got replaced. Yes, I am a new to forging, so I thought I'd ask before attempting to save them for a project.  Below is the information for the 12 engine lifters I am talking about out of a 2016 Chevy Suburban 5.6L V8 engine. Any more thoughts?

 

Thanks for all the responses so far.

 

Lifter Type

Hydraulic Roller

Material

Steel

Maximum Outside Diameter (IN)

0.842

Maximum Outside Diameter (MM)

21.38

Roller

Yes

Title

Engine Valve Lifter

Engine-Lifters4.jpg

4 hours ago, swedefiddle said:

Good Morning Rad,

Welcome, If you put your locale in your Avatar, someone near you may be able to help you.

Hydraulic Lifters or Solid Lifters. Anything is possible, but it is not practical. Way more gooder material to get, easier using and way more better for Heat Treating. Why dive into the deep end, when you don't know how to swim? Sounds like you have been watching FF.

Neil

Might be something way more "gooder", but I am thinking more about the pattern they would create. They are made of steel, although I do not know what type of steel.

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Sodium is put into some valve stems to improve heat distribution in the valve. One end of the valve is operting inside the cylinder at high temperature and the other end (the stem) is outside the block or cylinder head and is near room temperature. Sodium transmits heat away from the valve head toward the stem so the valve head doesn't get too hot. 

The exposed hot sodium would probably explode and damage the anvil, the hammer, and the blacksmith.

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At room temperature is the sodium a solid or liquid?  I assume that it is a liquid at operating temperatures.  Do you think that it would be safely possible to cut into a room temperature valve stem and remove the sodium?  It has to be inserted somehow during the manufacturing process.

Thanks.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Sodium is a solid at room temperature. Wiki says the melting point is 98ºC.

Sodium is violently reactive with water. It spontaneously dissasociates water forming sodium hydroxide and hydrogen gas. It gives off a lot of heat in the process which usually causes the hydrogen to burn and/or causes a steam explosion. My high school chemistry teacher demonstrated it.

I don't think it'd be safe to cut open a sodium-filled valve without a lot of specialized equipment and training. You have to isolate the sodium and sodium swarf from humidity in the atmosphere, for starters. Then heating it & pouring out the molten sodium sounds like one's worst nightmare about metal casting.

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9 hours ago, The1RadFox said:

They are made of steel, although I do not know what type of steel.

Those look like hydraulic type lifters. Ive seen them before. You would need to take them apart to do anything with them forge wise. The rollers and cap inside might be better steel but iirc the outer body might not be any good for forging but youd have to test it to determine . Just be careful. They are oily and should be cleaned to use. 

Disassemble one and do the spark tests to the parts to guestimate the type of steel. 

Being new to forging, canister damascus might not be a beginner project but that is up to you. 

Be safe and have fun. 

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Since we are talking lifters here, and not valves, there should not be any concern about sodium.  You are responsible for ensuring your own safe conduct.  Were they my lifters, I would be all over taking one apart, since I have determined for myself that it is safe to do so. If they are 'high end' lifters, there will be tiny needle rollers between the roller and its shaft. Could make for an interesting pattern.

Robert Taylor

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I'd cut one up with a angle grinder and then etch to see if it's been case hardened; really most likely what you'd get is mainly "bragging rights".

As for valves: cut in two with angle grinder, toss both sections in a large bucket of water and stand back.  Dilute the resultant NaOH and dispose of properly.  (We went through *pounds* of sodium in my advanced chemistry class, our teacher liked the boom!  Now anyone for replacing the rivets in an old Grumman Al canoe with sodium ones covered with a slowly water permeable coating?)

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Some of you may laugh . . . but I sat here for a full minute trying to figure how anyone was going to forge engine filters into a knife.

I just knew it would be a waste of time . . . why would anyone do that???

Then I looked at it again . . . it was engine lifters not filters . . . 

Dang . . . it's a pain to get old and not be able to read right.

May God bless,

Dwight

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Okay, I'm going to collect them up and take a canister Damascus class from a nearby Blacksmith. Just wish I knew a Blacksmith in Denver and not over an hour away from where I live.

Thank you all for your imput. When (if) I end up making the knife I'll post pictures.

 

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When my Dad was in the Air Force (1947-67) and working on radial engines , he said the procedure was to put the old valves in a bucket, take them out back of the shop, and bury them.....  I wonder how long it will take the stems to corrode through :D

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  • Mod30 changed the title to Using engine valve lifters in forging
On 1/9/2022 at 10:03 AM, ThomasPowers said:

I'd cut one up (...) most likely what you'd get is mainly "bragging rights".

And Thomas, I  have a surface grinder, and that would be da bomb!  Now* to find some lifters! (And not be laid up :wacko:). Nice to contemplate these things, in the least!

Robert Taylor

*figuratively

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Robert, hope you aren't laid up bad and are on the mend. 

I really think sodium filled valves/tappets are a rare thing but possible. Certainly think they would be in high end motors. I've never run into them, but I'm also a low end kinda guy messing with low end scrap. Lol.

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Happy New Year Rad,

To run, first you must learn to walk. Start with little tiny steps and with enough patience and time, you can walk to the Moon. The same is with Forging, it is very difficult trying to start out with a Huge Notion. They do it on F/F, it must be practical. KNOT!! Anything MAY be possible, but this notion is not practical. Roller Lifters are made from different materials, first you would need to know the type of steels in the lifter. And then..........

Get ahold of the Blacksmith group near you, probably there is someone who lives near you. Start with a simple project, not the dreaded 'Sword in the Stone'. Start out by making your own Tools, in the process you will learn a lot of the functions of Forging. Start by going to WallyWorld and pay 1 dollar for a small container of Play-Doh (yes, in the kids section). Play-Doh works the same as hot metal when it is in it's 'Plastic State' except you don't need Tools. Try to make something with the Play-Doh first, you can see the process and how much material you need,

Enjoy the Journey, there is no destination!!

Neil

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