How do pushrods and lifters work?

When you pop the hood of your car, you'll find an intricate world of parts working together to make the engine run smoothly.  Two essential components in this complex system are pushrods and lifters.  In this blog, we'll demystify pushrods and lifters, explaining how they work together to keep your car moving.

Pushrods are slender, metal rods that carry the movement from one part of the engine to another.  They might not seem as flashy as other engine components, but they're like the messengers in a relay race, passing on the motion and power your car needs to move.  One of the most important tasks pushrods perform is controlling the opening and closing of the engine's valves.  Valves are like doors in your engine's cylinders, and they need to open and close at the proper times to let in air and fuel and to let out exhaust gases.

On the other hand, lifters are small cylindrical parts that sit between the pushrods and the camshaft.  The camshaft is another crucial part of your engine: a long rod with egg-shaped lobes or cams.  Lifters are like little followers.  They ride on the camshaft's cams, moving up and down as the camshaft spins.  When the cam lobe pushes up on the lifter, it pushes the lifter up, which in turn pushes the pushrod up.  As the lifter moves the pushrod, it transmits this force to the rocker arms.  Rocker arms are like levers, and they help open and close the valves in response to the movement of the pushrods.

The magic here is in the timing.  The camshaft's lobes are carefully designed to push the lifters to open and close the valves at the precise moment.  This timing ensures that air and fuel enter the cylinders when needed and exhaust gases are expelled at the right time.

There you have it!  Pushrods and lifters might not be the flashiest parts under your car's hood, but they are essential for the engine's proper functioning.  They work together in a beautifully synchronized dance, controlled by the camshaft, to ensure that your engine's valves open and close at just the right times.  The next time you hit the road, remember that these seemingly simple components are helping to power your car's journey.

Pushrod Repair at Ferber

Written by Ferber's Automotive & Body Shop