I have a 2000 Chevrolet Malibu 3.1. I changed the head gaskets the intake manifolds and the valve stem seals. Before starting the engine and putting everything 100% back together , I wanted to make sure that nothing would sound before starting. While hand cranking I am getting this tapping noise. From what I can see the valve lifters are hitting the camshaft after the Lobes lift the lifters. From a limited view above, i can clearly see the lifter tapping the camshaft when I'm hand cranking. Is this normal? What's going on if not? The pushrods are installed in their correct locations and rocker arms are properly torqued to 11 foot pounds with an extra 30 degree turn according to my service manual. I've lubricated everything. Pulled the valve lifters cleaned degreased and lubricated as well. here's a short video of me hand cranking the engine. The sound is not present when the pushrods and rocker arms are not on. Mind you there's no oil in the engine. Is this the reason why?


1 Answer 1


Completely normal. You have hydraulic lifters they take oil pressure to work.They will take up the slack that is causing the noise.

See this video for an better explanation

  • Wow. Going to be disappointed if this is normal but actually I'm happy if this is the case cuz it gives me a better understanding of how they work. I've been asking them forums for 3 days now and people are saying it is not normal and to recheck my valve stem seals Springs and keepers as well as pushrods and torque specs
    – Ant Davis
    Jan 24, 2017 at 21:33
  • @AntDavis The lifters take up the slack, but they can't do that without any oil in them Jan 24, 2017 at 21:51

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