You can soak them or pump them up with a pump type oil can. Lots of oil on the cam lobes is good too.
I will go along with you on this, but myself I like to use tramsmission fluid, over oil, higher detergent.well, since you have taken the load off, i would sugest immersing them in a coffee can of oil( enough to cover the lifters) then use a push rod and depress each lifter until resistance is felt.
FWIW- you were only cleaning the outside? that is varnish. I would not suggest pulling the lifters apart.
printman31, your original post above looks like it says you are cleaning the carbon off the lifters, not trying to be picky but we can only go by what you tell us, but anyway,you will never get the water passages clean without at least boiling the block.Ok I'm in the process of cleaning all the carbon off my lifters seeing that I got the heads off.. Now my question here is. Do I need to soak the lifters in oil before reinstalling them???
PS 98 Windstar 3.8