As found in a cam-in-block engine, lifters are responsible for transmitting the movement of the camshaft lobes to the pushrods. The pushrods actuate the rocker arms, which open the valves. Hydraulic lifters allow the valve lift to increase with engine rpm by filling up with oil as the oil pressure rises. The oil inside pushes the rocker arms further away from the camshaft, which causes the valves to open further. Oil pressure failures are usually at the root of lifter tapping, also known as lifter collapse.
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