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Q: Lifter noise and replacement on 1998 Chevrolet Tahoe

I have a 1998 Cheverlet Tahoe with 168K on it. I have owned it since new so I know the maintenance history and it has been excellent. I have not had any previous problems, but it has just recentely started having the tell tale sign of lifter noise when I first start it up in the morning. I let it idle and within 3 or 4 minutes it goes away. I don't have it any more for the rest of the day unless it sits all day and then I have it again for a few minutes in the evening and it goes away. Everything else runs fine with no problems. I talked to a mechanic today about fixing it and he reccomended not to do so and just let it fail and replace the engine when it becomes necessary. He said it has been his experience that when you replace top end parts such as lifters on an engine with that many miles, it will put too much stress on the older bottom end parts and the engine will fail anyway. I don't know, but that just doesn't make sense to me. Can I get another opinion
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I totally agree. The tech/mechanic is one of those honest guys that according to the public are not out there very much. There are alot of them but when they sometimes tell a driver something they don't want to hear or don't understand then the first response is "he is a ripoff or doesn't know anything". If cust keeps looking they will find the tech that will tell them what they want to hear. Sorry for getting on my soapbox. I by no means am insinuating that Terry K. is doing this but did see a chance to educate some of the motoring public. Thank you....
I have used this shop before, just not this mechanic. My mechanic there for years has now retired, but I trusted him like family. Just don't have enough experience with the new guy and am questioning something I have no experieince with. I have worked on a lot of my vehicles over the years and was a pretty decent old school shade tree mechanic. Most folks today don't even know what points and a condenser are. I even built a couple of engines back in the day, but it was a lot simplier then. It's just I can't wrap my head around why changing out the roller lifters, push rods and roller rockers that are in this motor would have an impact on rings or bearings in the bottom end. I know it has 168K on it, but it is till a strong motor. If it is a matter that it doesn't make since to spend the money as under best of scenarios I may only have 30 or 40K miles left on the motor, then I can weigh that decision out. If it is as he says that this will cause the bottom end to fail prematurely, I don't understand why. What are the mechanics at play that could result in a spun bearing or whatever the concern is? I appreciate yout time and feedback.

When you freshen up the upper end of an engine the lower still has all those miles and wear and tear on it. It may feel strong and likely is but still has all that wear and tear from the mileage. That wear and tear happens gradually and as a driver you will not feel the slight amount of diminished strength over that time. It then will be asked to work with brand new upper pressures and at that point will accelerate the wear on lower end and can cause problems. This is a known fact thru the industry. You have good intentions but do yourself a favor and hold off. The noise does go away, this is normal and will still perform ok for for a long time to come. Then you can freshen all up and really feel the difference when the time comes. Good luck.
Okay, that makes more sense to me. I really appreciate your taking the time to file me in. So, based on your experience, I would be okay to keep driving it as it is for some time if I take it easy? How will I know when it has reached the end of the road?

Thanks Again!!
When the noise conditions change drastically and the noise stays or takes much longer to go away then things are changing internally. The hyd lifters are bleeding down when parked and when restart are making noise till they pump up. Once they have pumped up they are ok. If this pattern increases then it is getting worse. Pay attention to the engine sounds and performance and you will know when it is time to bite the bullet and get repaired. If you truly love your vehicle and has no other concerns and you want to fix and keep till rusts off the frame so to speak then it is worth it. If is paid off and you don't want any other car payments then you will be smart to fix and all is good at the end of it. Good luck. The main thing is that you want to keep even if have to put $ in it.
Yes, I am a long term owner and will get my money out of a rebuilt engine when it is ultimately needed. Thanks again for all your input and advice.
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