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My 1999 Beetle with ALH engine, shortly after after buying it with 100000 miles I had a cam follower (lifter) come apart. The top of it was worn so thin that the hydralic cylinder nearly came thru the top and the top separated from the side. It broke the hydralic cylinder loose from top and the top stuck under the cam lobe to the side of the lifter well in the head. I replaced the head with a used head with "40000 miles on it". 10000 miles later it happened again and now in addition to the one that came apart there are several that worn nearly thru the metal on the top and you can see the hydralic cylinder starting to push thru the top. Has anyone seen this. I replaced all the lifters with some I ordered "cheap" Amiata ones. I also had a new cam but the slot for the vacuum pump was too narrow (?AHU cam). I have ordered new OEM cam and followers from Bora Parts. Is this just substandard original lifters?
 

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This is a rare problem, maybe your camshaft lobes are wearing the lifter? How many, just one? I wouldn't order the emiata ones since they are all low quality Chinese parts and you say they didn't fit? What kind of engine oil are you using? Maybe a bad engine oil filter is causing the oil bypass to stick open, no oil is getting filtered and is wrecking the lifters? This is just a guess.
 

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This is highly unusual. Every used engine has "40-70k" miles though ;) The only thing that I can think of is bad lifters, bad camshaft, or poor oil lubrication. With flat tappet lifters you're supposed to break them in by (after engine oil pressure and idle has stabilized) holding engine rpm around 2000-2500 in neutral. This lets oil pressure build up and splash around. However, I don't believe that it would result in failure 10,000 miles later. If it was the wrong camshaft and "e m i a t a" lifters I'm not surprised if they failed since I believe he sells junk.
 
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