What are lifters and what do they do??  I think the proper name is "cam follower".  There are 8 in the air-cooled VW motor.  What they do is rub or follow the cam lobes as it turns and transmits the twisting motion of the cam into a pushing motion through the push rods which moves the rockers which in turn open and close the valves in the head (whew!).

   It's very important to ensure that you are not using lifters that are worn out.  But how do you know??  The face of the lifters, where they make contact with the cam lobes, are supposed to have a slightly convex shape to them.  By slight, I mean very slight.  A simple way to tell whether yours are convex is to put two lifter faces together and see if they sit flat of if they slightly rock side-to-side.  Re-ground lifters are pretty cheap (under $20 a set usually) so get 'em reground just to be safe.  Don't be cheap.

   The above photo is of a lifter that has been re-ground.  Note how it is ground.  It is ground so that the center is higher than the edges.  That's why the light shines on it that way.


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