Replacing 6.4 Hemi Lifters Without Removing the Cylinder Head

The 6.4-liter Hemi V8 engine, found in various Dodge and Ram vehicles, is a powerful and reliable powerplant. However, like any engine, it can develop issues over time, such as lifter problems.

Replacing lifters in a Hemi engine typically involves removing the cylinder head, a labor-intensive and costly process.

But what if there was a way to replace the lifters without removing the head? In this guide, we’ll explore a step-by-step method for replacing 6.4 Hemi lifters without the need to remove the cylinder head.

Before You Begin

Before attempting lifter replacement, make sure you have the necessary tools, parts, and a clean workspace. Additionally, disconnect the vehicle’s battery to ensure safety during the procedure.

Step 1: Prepare the Vehicle

  • 1.1. Lift the vehicle: Raise the vehicle using a jack and secure it on jack stands to create ample working space underneath.
  • 1.2. Remove the valve covers: Carefully remove the valve covers to access the top end of the engine. Be sure to disconnect any wiring or hoses attached to the valve covers.

Step 2: Rotate the Crankshaft

  • 2.1. Find Top Dead Center (TDC): Rotate the engine’s crankshaft until the piston of the cylinder with the damaged lifter is at Top Dead Center (TDC). You can do this by aligning the timing marks on the crankshaft pulley with the timing marks on the engine block.
  • 2.2. Remove the Rocker Arms: Remove the rocker arms, pushrods, and hydraulic lash adjusters (HLAs) from the cylinder you’re working on. Keep them organized for reassembly.

Step 3: Access the Lifters

  • 3.1. Locate the lifters: Now that you have access to the pushrod valley, you can locate and access the lifters. The lifters are typically housed in lifter trays or guides.
  • 3.2. Remove the lifter guides/trays: Carefully remove the lifter trays or guides that secure the lifters in place. Keep track of their orientation and placement.

Step 4: Replace the Lifters

  • 4.1. Extract the old lifters: Gently remove the old lifters from their bores using a magnetic pickup tool or lifter removal tool. Pay close attention to their orientation and location.
  • 4.2. Install the new lifters: Insert the new lifters into the lifter bores, ensuring they are properly seated.

Step 5: Reassembly

  • 5.1. Reinstall the lifter guides/trays: Carefully reposition the lifter trays or guides over the new lifters, ensuring they are aligned correctly.
  • 5.2. Reinstall the pushrods, rocker arms, and HLAs: Reassemble the valvetrain components you removed earlier. Be sure to torque the rocker arm bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications.

Step 6: Valve Cover Installation

  • 6.1. Reattach the valve covers: Carefully reattach the valve covers, making sure all wiring and hoses are correctly reconnected.

Step 7: Test the Engine

  • 7.1. Lower the vehicle: Carefully lower the vehicle from the jack stands and remove the jack.
  • 7.2. Reconnect the battery: Reconnect the vehicle’s battery.

Step 8: Start the Engine

  • 8.1. Start the engine: Start the engine and listen for any unusual noises or issues. Monitor for proper oil pressure and check for any oil leaks.


While replacing lifters in a 6.4 Hemi engine without removing the cylinder head is possible, it’s a complex and delicate procedure that requires precision and patience.

If you’re uncomfortable or inexperienced with such tasks, it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a qualified mechanic or technician who has experience with this specific engine model. Properly executed, this method can save time and money compared to the alternative of removing the cylinder head.

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