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4 Best Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters for enhanced engine performance

4 Best Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters For Enhanced Engine Performance

Hydraulic flat tappet lifters provide a smoother operation compared to solid lifters. They help reduce valvetrain noise and contribute to a quieter engine. These essential components are responsible for transmitting the rotational movement of the camshaft to the pushrods and increasing the performance of a vehicle’s engine. 

Hydraulic flat tappet lifters are generally more suited to engines that operate in lower to mid-RPM ranges. When selecting the best hydraulic flat tappet lifters, factors such as durability, performance, and compatibility become paramount considerations. 

Today’s article is about the characteristics and features that define top-quality tappet hydraulic lifters. So, read on.

Best Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters in 2024

Table of Contents

Due to their cost-effectiveness, hydraulic flat tappet lifters are popular in budget-friendly engine builds where performance gains are desired without breaking the bank. Here is the list of best flat tappet lifters:

FeaturesCOMP Cams 812-16COMP Cams 84000-16maXpeedingrods Flat TappetEdelbrock 2102
Optimized Oil MeteringYesNoNoNo
Enhanced Contact DesignYesYesYesNo
Durable ConstructionYesYesYesYes
Extended Piston DesignYesNoNoNo
Quick Response Check ValveYesYesNoNo
ApplicationsChevrolet Small/Big BlockChevrolet Small/Big BlockSBC/BBC up to 1990Versatile
ProsPrecise oil metering, durableRacing performance, robustEnhanced performance, wide
Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Best Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters in 2024

1. COMP Cams 812-16 Hydraulic Flat Lifter 

The COMP Cams 812-16 High Energy Hydraulic Flat Lifter Set is a meticulously engineered component designed to enhance performance and durability. With its unique features and advanced design, this lifter set promises improved control, longevity, and optimal engine operation.

COMP Cams 812-16 High Energy Hydraulic Flat Lifter Set for Chevrolet Small and Big Block
COMP Cams 812-16 High Energy Hydraulic Flat Lifter Set for Chevrolet Small and Big Block


  • Optimized Oil Metering: The lifter set is equipped with an advanced orifice metering valve that ensures precise oil delivery to the rocker’s arms, promoting efficient lubrication without waste.
  • Enhanced Contact Design: Its design ensures consistent contact between the metering valve and pushrod seat, effectively preventing excessive oiling during high RPMs.
  • Durable Construction: Crafted with a special powdered metal iron alloy, the lifter’s pushrod seat undergoes heat treatment, enhancing its strength and resistance to wear.
  • Extended Piston Design: The lifter boasts a longer piston than traditional hydraulic lifters, offering an increased load-bearing surface. This design aspect significantly extends the lifter’s lifespan.
  • Quick Response Check Valve: Featuring a lightweight check valve disc, the lifter set allows for swift response times. This attribute contributes to higher engine speeds before encountering valve float and maintains superior control across various engine speeds and loads.


Ideal for Chevrolet Small and Big Block engines, this lifter set is a suitable upgrade for enthusiasts seeking enhanced performance and durability. 


  • Precise oil metering ensures optimal lubrication.
  • Durable construction materials for longevity.
  • Enhanced control and response across all engine speeds.
  • Suitable for a range of Chevrolet engines.


  • Specific to Chevrolet Small and Big Block engines, limiting universal application.
  • May require professional installation for optimal performance.

Who Makes Comp Cam Lifters?

COMP Cams lifters are manufactured by COMP Performance Group, a leading provider of performance aftermarket parts for automotive and racing applications.

Why Should You Choose Comp Cams DLC High Energy Hydraulic Lifters?

Choosing Comp Cams DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) High Energy Hydraulic Lifters offers enhanced durability, reduced friction, and improved wear resistance. These lifters ensure optimal performance, longevity, and reduced maintenance for high-performance engine applications.

2. COMP Cams 84000-16 Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifter 

The COMP Cams 84000-16 Race Hydraulic Flat Lifter Set is a testament to superior engineering tailored for high-performance racing applications. Crafted meticulously for Chevrolet’s Small and Big Block engines, these lifters promise more than just durability; they offer a performance edge that drivers can trust on the racetrack.

COMP Cams 84000-16 Race Hydraulic Flat Lifter Set for Chevrolet Small and Big Block
COMP Cams 84000-16 Race Hydraulic Flat Lifter Set for Chevrolet Small and Big Block


  • Robust Construction: Each lifter boasts a .842″ diameter, ensuring a sturdy build to handle the rigors of racing.
  • Optimized Performance: The lifter set comes with premium one-piece pushrod seats, ensuring consistent and optimal performance.
  • Durable Design: The inclusion of an extra heavy-duty snap ring design not only fortifies the lifter’s strength but also enhances its longevity.
  • Precision Engineered: With stringent internal mechanical tolerances, these lifters are engineered for top-tier performance, ensuring every race is met with peak efficiency.
  • Lubrication: A lubricated cam face ensures reduced friction, promoting smoother operation and prolonged lifter life.


Tailored explicitly for Chevrolet’s Small and Big Block engines, these race hydraulic lifters are a go-to choice for professional racers, engine enthusiasts, and performance-driven individuals.


  • Designed with racing in mind, these lifters guarantee superior performance, giving drivers the competitive edge they seek.
  • The robust design, coupled with premium materials, ensures these lifters can withstand intense racing conditions.
  • Engineered for compatibility with specific Chevrolet engines, installation is streamlined for efficiency.


  • While these lifters excel in racing environments, they might be over-engineered for everyday driving needs.

How Do I Prepare My New COMP Cams  Lifter?

To prepare your new COMP Cams lifter:

  • Cleanliness: Ensure it’s free from any debris or contaminants.
  • Lubrication: Apply a thin layer of assembly lube or engine oil to the lifter surface.
  • Installation: Place it in the lifter bore, ensuring proper orientation.

3. maXpeedingrods Flat Tappet Hydraulic Lifters 

Experience enhanced performance and reliability with the maXpeedingrods Hydraulic Tappet Lifters. Crafted with precision and durability in mind, these lifters promise to deliver optimal functionality for your vehicle.

maXpeedingrods Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters for Chevrolet Small Block Chevy SBC 283
maXpeedingrods Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters for Chevrolet Small Block Chevy SBC 283


  • Durability at its Best: Constructed using premium materials, these lifters ensure longevity and resilience against wear and tear.
  • Precision-Crafted: Each lifter undergoes CNC machining, guaranteeing maximum accuracy and a seamless fit.
  • Robust Design: With a forged and heat-treated chrome alloy steel body, these lifters offer exceptional strength, making them suitable for high-speed operations.
  • Optimized Performance: The internal components are meticulously machined and heat-treated, ensuring consistent and efficient performance.


Ideal for Chevrolet Small Block Chevy engines up to 1990. Suitable for a range of models including SBC and BBC, covering displacements like 283, 307, 327, 350, 402, and 454.


  • Enhanced engine performance due to precise manufacturing.
  • High-quality materials ensure durability and long-lasting performance.
  • Wide compatibility range covering multiple engine types and displacements.
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty, reflecting the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s quality.


  • As aftermarket parts, ensure compatibility before purchase to avoid installation issues.

Maxpeedingrods Flat Tappet Hydraulic Lifters Parts

They consist of a body, plunger, and hydraulic chamber filled with oil. When the camshaft pushes on the lifter, the plunger moves up, transferring motion to the pushrod. 

Why Should You Choose Maxpeedingrods?

They offer precision engineering, improved valve train stability, reduced friction, and enhanced longevity, making them a trusted choice for automotive enthusiasts.

4. Edelbrock 2102 Tappet Lifter Kit

The Edelbrock 2102 Tappet Lifter Kit is a meticulously designed component, engineered to enhance the performance of compatible engines. Tailored for those who seek a balance between power and reliability, this kit stands out as a testament to Edelbrock’s commitment to quality.

Edelbrock 2102 Performer-Plus Camshaft and Lifter Kit
Edelbrock 2102 Performer-Plus Camshaft and Lifter Kit


  • Camshaft Type: The camshaft in this kit is of the cast variety, ensuring durability and consistent performance over extended periods.
  • Lifter Type: The hydraulic design of the lifters ensures smoother operation, reducing wear and tear while optimizing engine performance.
  • Duration & Lift: This kit boasts a duration of 214 degrees for the exhaust and 204 degrees for the intake. When it comes to valve lift, the figures stand at 0.442 inches for the exhaust and 0.42 inches for the intake.
  • Lobe Steps: With a lobe separation of 112 degrees, the camshaft in this kit ensures optimal valve timing, promoting efficient combustion and power delivery.


Perfectly suited for a range of vehicles, from daily drivers to trucks and vans, the Edelbrock 2102 Tappet Lifter Kit is versatile.


  • Designed to produce peak torque in the lower to mid-range, ensuring responsive performance in everyday driving scenarios.
  • Ensuring a comfortable driving experience without sacrificing performance.
  • Comes complete with hydraulic lifters, assembly lube, and detailed instructions.


  • Installation might require a certain level of mechanical expertise. 

Edelbrock 2102 Cam Specs

The Edelbrock 2102 cam weighs 0.01 ounces and has intake and exhaust valve lifts of 0.42 inches and 0.442 inches respectively. The exhaust duration at 0.050 lift is also specified.

Edelbrock 2102 Cam Sound

The Edelbrock 2102 cam is known for producing a deep, aggressive exhaust note that enthusiasts often describe as “throaty” or “rumbling.” Its sound captures the essence of classic performance, turning heads wherever it’s heard.

Best BBC Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters

The HARUMA HL1817S is a reputable hydraulic flat tappet lifter by BBC, known for its durability and performance. It offers smooth operation, reduced friction, and ensures optimal valve train dynamics. A top choice for many enthusiasts seeking reliability in their engine builds.

Best Hydraulic Lifters For SBC

Hex Autoparts hydraulic flat tappet lifters SBC is specifically designed for Chevrolet Small Block Chevy (SBC) engines. These lifters are engineered for optimal performance and durability, making them a top choice for enthusiasts and professionals seeking reliable valve train components for their SBC applications.

What Are Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters?

Hydraulic flat tappet lifters are components in internal combustion engines that translate the rotation of the camshaft into vertical motion to actuate the valves. They use hydraulic pressure to maintain zero valve lash, ensuring consistent performance and reduced wear.

Can You Use Hydraulic Lifters On A Flat Tappet Cam?

Yes, it’s possible to use hydraulic lifters on a flat-tapet cam. However, this is generally not recommended due to compatibility issues and the potential for engine damage. 

Which Is Better Hydraulic Or Solid Lifters?

Hydraulic lifters offer quieter operation and reduced maintenance due to their self-adjusting nature, while solid lifters can be noisier and require periodic adjustments due to valve lash. Both have pros and cons; the best choice depends on specific needs and conditions.

Why Are Hydraulic Lifters Better?

  • Reduced maintenance: No periodic valve adjustments.
  • Quieter operation: Minimized valve train noise.
  • Consistent performance: Adjust automatically for wear.
  • Longevity: Less wear on camshaft lobes and valve stems.
  • Enhanced fuel efficiency: Optimal valve timing.
  • Improved engine responsiveness: Quick valve actuation.

Which Is Better Hydraulic Or Mechanical Flat Tappet Cam?

The choice between hydraulic and mechanical flat tappet cams depends on specific engine requirements Hydraulic flat tappet cams offer quieter operation without lash but may lack performance above 6,000 RPM. Mechanical cams can provide better high-RPM performance but are noisier due to their design.

Johnson Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters

The Johnson Drop-In Lifters for LS Engines are meticulously engineered for optimal performance. Boasting a precision-ground needle roller bearing and a high-chromium steel axle, they ensure longevity and reduced friction.

With a high-flow disc-style check valve, they offer a swift response at elevated RPMs. Experience consistent oil metering, prioritizing rocker arm lubrication while maintaining optimal oil pressure.

USA-Made Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters

Clay Smith manufactures USA-made hydraulic flat tappet lifters. Known for quality, these lifters ensure optimal engine performance and longevity.

DLC Coated Flat Tappet Lifters

The COMP Cams 89842C-16 DLC Coated Lifters offer enhanced durability and reduced friction. DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coating ensures longevity, minimizing wear and ensuring consistent performance. Ideal for high-performance engines, these lifters guarantee reliability and optimal valve train operation.

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SBC Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifters

SBC hydraulic flat tappet lifters provide smooth valve operation in small-block Chevy engines. These lifters use oil pressure to maintain consistent valve lash, enhancing engine performance and reliability.

Solid Flat Tappet Lifters

Solid flat tappet lifters are engine components that directly transfer camshaft motion to valves. Unlike hydraulic lifters, they lack internal compression and require precise adjustment for optimal performance and longevity.

How Do I Know If My Hydraulic Lifters Are Good?

  • Listen for abnormal engine ticking or tapping sounds when running.
  • Check for consistent oil pressure.
  • Perform a manual inspection: remove valve covers and observe lifters for wear or damage.
  • Test for compression loss.
  • Look for signs of oil contamination or sludge.
  • Monitor engine performance: check for misfires or reduced power.
  • Consult a mechanic for a professional evaluation if unsure.

Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifter Install

Here is how to install a hydraulic flat tappet: 

Step 1: Preparation

Ensure the engine is cool and parked on a level surface. Gather necessary tools: lifters, engine oil, gaskets, torque wrench, and assembly lube.

Step 2: Removal

Remove the valve covers and rocker arms. Take out the pushrods and lifters.

Step 3: Cleaning

Clean lifter bores with a lint-free cloth and solvent. Ensure no debris is left behind.

Step 4: Installation

  • Coat new lifters with assembly lube.
  • Insert lifters into their bores, ensuring proper orientation.
  • Reinstall pushrods and rocker arms.
  • Torque rocker arm bolts to specifications.
  • Replace valve covers with new gaskets.
  • Fill engine with appropriate oil.

Step 5: Final Checks

Check for any leaks and correct if necessary.

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Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifter Failure

Several factors can lead to hydraulic flat tappet lifter failure:

1. Lack of Proper Lubrication

Hydraulic lifters require sufficient engine oil flow for proper operation. If the engine oil is not changed regularly or if the oil becomes contaminated, it can lead to lifter failure due to inadequate lubrication.

2. Worn or Dirty Oil

Old or dirty engine oil can contain contaminants that can damage the lifters over time. It’s essential to use the recommended oil type and change it at regular intervals.

3. Incorrect Installation

Incorrect installation, such as improper lifter preload or incorrect lifter orientation, can lead to premature wear and failure.

4. Engine Overheating

Overheating can cause the lifter components to expand excessively, leading to interference with other engine components and eventual failure.

5. Lifter Collapse

Over time, the internal components of the lifter can wear out, causing the lifter to collapse or fail to maintain proper lash adjustment.

6. Excessive Valve Spring Pressure

Excessive valve spring pressure can put undue stress on the lifters, leading to premature failure.

Hydraulic Flat Tappet Lifter Preload

Here’s a brief overview of the importance of preload and how to set it:

1. Starting Position

Ensure that the lifter is on the base circle of the camshaft lobe for the valve you are adjusting. This means the valve should be closed.

2. Initial Adjustment

Back off the adjusting nut or pushrod seat until there is clearance between the pushrod and the rocker arm (or camshaft if adjusting directly on the lifter).

3. Zero Lash

Slowly tighten the adjusting nut or pushrod seat until all the clearance is removed between the pushrod and the rocker arm (or lifter). 

4. Preload Setting

Typical preload values can range from 0.020 inches to 0.060 inches, but always consult the specific engine’s service manual or lifter manufacturer’s recommendations.

5. Tightening Sequence

If adjusting a rocker arm setup, be sure to follow the correct tightening sequence and torque specifications. 

6. Recheck

Recheck the preload on all the lifters to ensure they are within the specified range.

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What is the quietest hydraulic roller lifter?

The quietest hydraulic roller lifters are often characterized by advanced designs and materials that minimize noise during operation. Specific models, such as the EVOLUTION™ HYDRAULIC ROLLER LIFTERS, may offer reduced noise compared to standard lifters.

Who makes the best hydraulic lifters?

COMP Cams is a renowned manufacturer of hydraulic lifters in the automotive industry. Their products are considered high-quality and reliable.

What Is The Function Of a Hydraulic Lifter?

A hydraulic lifter in an engine ensures valve clearance by maintaining constant contact between the camshaft and valve, eliminating the need for periodic adjustment and reducing engine noise.

What Is A Hydraulic Lifter?

A hydraulic lifter is an engine valve component that uses oil pressure to automatically adjust valve clearance, ensuring proper valve operation and reducing maintenance needs in internal combustion engines.

What is the maximum rpm for hydraulic flat tappet lifters?

The maximum RPM for hydraulic flat tappet lifters is typically around 6500 RPM.

Are hydraulic lifters noisy?

Hydraulic lifters can become noisy due to wear, lack of maintenance, or oil contamination. 

How long do hydraulic lifters last?

Hydraulic lifters can typically last over 100,000 miles when properly maintained.

How do I know if my lifters are worn out?

You can determine if your lifters are worn out by listening to ticking or tapping noises, noticing reduced engine performance, or experiencing misfires and poor fuel efficiency.


In the intricate world of engine performance, choosing the best hydraulic flat tappet lifters can make all the difference. Whether you prioritize durability, racing performance, or versatility, the reviewed lifters from COMP Cams, maXpeedingrods, and Edelbrock offer a range of features to meet your specific needs. 

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