Dropped a valve lifter shim and can't find it. Most likely location is oil passageway in head cylinder. What now?

Hey Scotty, dude you've really helped me so much. I'm a first time mechanic doing a head gasket replacement on a v8 (toyota tundra). I do have a question for you though. Because I'm a first timer I didn't realize I should put the valve lifters on before I put the head cylinder on the block and one of the lifter shims fell and it sounded like it went into the engine. So I removed the head cylinder to search for it. It wasn't in the cylinders, or valves and the only other open holes it could have gone into from where it fell was into an oil passage way. I checked the ground but no luck. My question is, if it fell into the oil passageway will it come back at some point and possibly damage the camshaft, or will it stay in the oil pan or passageways? Obviously you can't know 100% for certain if I'm not even sure where it went, so I'm really just looking for a 'most likely scenario' and if you tell me its fine and it turns out not fine I'm not going to blame you. I'm really just soliciting an expert opinion. If you ever make it to San Diego I'd love to buy you a beer. ~Che

Comments (1)


you must find it or you will get damage internally if you put it back together and run the engine. I would say drop the oil pan and look from the bottom up