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Old 07-18-2013, 10:33 PM   #1
boost2na
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Default LS7 blew up; happy ending

Well guys I never thought I'd be posting this but it happened to me too. Thankfully the story has a happy ending so I'd like to ask everyone to look at the bright side and please no violence.

2009 Z06, 17,300 miles. I'm the second owner (bought it with 4000 miles); had it for almost 4 years so I average about 3500 miles/year. No tracking on my part; I'm typically pretty light with it, but I drive it hard on weekends. Engine is stock. I have minimal mods (ZR1 x pipe, Borla stingers). At one point I thought about a ported intake manifold and the potential warranty issue scared me (turned out to be a blessing).

I also religiously follow certain practices like waiting for oil temps. to hit 160 deg. before full throttle, avoiding high RPMs on really hot days, waiting for tires to warm before hard driving, etc.

Had the car out for a Saturday drive on June 22. A few miles from the house I was the only car at a red light. Turned green, hit about 4000 RPM in 1st and BOOM, everything shut down and it rolled to a stop. Had it towed to my dealership and they let me take pics during the tear down.

First up, the cause, big shocker here:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Shrapnel in intake manifold:

Click the image to open in full size.

Pistons and cylinders:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now for the good news. GM truly went above and beyond on this one! They replaced the entire engine, oil tank, oil cooler, intake manifold, lines, etc. When I say new engine I mean new engine, new heads with brand new valves. I was in a depressed funk. This seriously had me thinking about another option, especially if the old valves had been put back in. But they really came through and restored my faith. Hell the car is newer than when I bought it.

It's running like a champ. The only difference I can notice is that the new engine is ridiculously quiet compared to the old one pre-explosion. The ticking and tapping were registering but I just kept thinking people would think I'm crazy and hearing things (a little OCD). That's my only regret - that maybe if I would have taken it in and asked for the valve guides to be checked it may have saved all parties from the pain the suffering.

This may be really good motivation for some of you guys to keep your cars basically stock though. And the lesson that I learned is that no one is immune. I thought I was operating this beast as safely as I could, but the exhaust valve still snapped.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boost2na View Post
Well guys I never thought I'd be posting this but it happened to me too. Thankfully the story has a happy ending so I'd like to ask everyone to look at the bright side and please no violence.

2009 Z06, 17,300 miles. I'm the second owner (bought it with 4000 miles); had it for almost 4 years so I average about 3500 miles/year. No tracking on my part; I'm typically pretty light with it, but I drive it hard on weekends. Engine is stock. I have minimal mods (ZR1 x pipe, Borla stingers). At one point I thought about a ported intake manifold and the potential warranty issue scared me (turned out to be a blessing).

I also religiously follow certain practices like waiting for oil temps. to hit 160 deg. before full throttle, avoiding high RPMs on really hot days, waiting for tires to warm before hard driving, etc.

Had the car out for a Saturday drive on June 22. A few miles from the house I was the only car at a red light. Turned green, hit about 4000 RPM in 1st and BOOM, everything shut down and it rolled to a stop. Had it towed to my dealership and they let me take pics during the tear down.

First up, the cause, big shocker here:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Shrapnel in intake manifold:

Click the image to open in full size.

Pistons and cylinders:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now for the good news. GM truly went above and beyond on this one! They replaced the entire engine, oil tank, oil cooler, intake manifold, lines, etc. When I say new engine I mean new engine, new heads with brand new valves. I was in a depressed funk. This seriously had me thinking about another option, especially if the old valves had been put back in. But they really came through and restored my faith. Hell the car is newer than when I bought it.

It's running like a champ. The only difference I can notice is that the new engine is ridiculously quiet compared to the old one pre-explosion. The ticking and tapping were registering but I just kept thinking people would think I'm crazy and hearing things (a little OCD). That's my only regret - that maybe if I would have taken it in and asked for the valve guides to be checked it may have saved all parties from the pain the suffering.

This may be really good motivation for some of you guys to keep your cars basically stock though. And the lesson that I learned is that no one is immune. I thought I was operating this beast as safely as I could, but the exhaust valve still snapped.
Thats a great story, however what did GM do different the second time?
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boost2na View Post
Well guys I never thought I'd be posting this but it happened to me too. Thankfully the story has a happy ending so I'd like to ask everyone to look at the bright side and please no violence.

2009 Z06, 17,300 miles. I'm the second owner (bought it with 4000 miles); had it for almost 4 years so I average about 3500 miles/year. No tracking on my part; I'm typically pretty light with it, but I drive it hard on weekends. Engine is stock. I have minimal mods (ZR1 x pipe, Borla stingers). At one point I thought about a ported intake manifold and the potential warranty issue scared me (turned out to be a blessing).

I also religiously follow certain practices like waiting for oil temps. to hit 160 deg. before full throttle, avoiding high RPMs on really hot days, waiting for tires to warm before hard driving, etc.

Had the car out for a Saturday drive on June 22. A few miles from the house I was the only car at a red light. Turned green, hit about 4000 RPM in 1st and BOOM, everything shut down and it rolled to a stop. Had it towed to my dealership and they let me take pics during the tear down.

First up, the cause, big shocker here:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Shrapnel in intake manifold:

Click the image to open in full size.

Pistons and cylinders:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now for the good news. GM truly went above and beyond on this one! They replaced the entire engine, oil tank, oil cooler, intake manifold, lines, etc. When I say new engine I mean new engine, new heads with brand new valves. I was in a depressed funk. This seriously had me thinking about another option, especially if the old valves had been put back in. But they really came through and restored my faith. Hell the car is newer than when I bought it.

It's running like a champ. The only difference I can notice is that the new engine is ridiculously quiet compared to the old one pre-explosion. The ticking and tapping were registering but I just kept thinking people would think I'm crazy and hearing things (a little OCD). That's my only regret - that maybe if I would have taken it in and asked for the valve guides to be checked it may have saved all parties from the pain the suffering.

This may be really good motivation for some of you guys to keep your cars basically stock though. And the lesson that I learned is that no one is immune. I thought I was operating this beast as safely as I could, but the exhaust valve still snapped.


Good that they stepped up to the plate.

An essentially stock 2009 dropping an exhaust valve is somewhat of a rarity in here, but goes to show that none of these cars are immune to the phenomena.

Last edited by '06 Quicksilver Z06; 07-18-2013 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 10:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Dugmole View Post
Thats a great story, however what did GM do different the second time?
If I'm being pessimistic, technically nothing, new one has the same probability of exploding as the old one. But I've read on here that in many cases they try to reuse parts like the 'good' valves, pistons, etc. Without naming names I was told that they didn't do that in this case because of a suspicion about the integrity of the old valves and other parts. Gave me a lot of confidence. Basically whatever route I take from here I probably have more time and reliability than I would with the old valves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by '06 Quicksilver Z06 View Post
Good that they stepped up to the plate.

An essentially 2009 dropping an exhaust valve is somewhat of a rarity in here, but goes to show that none of these cars are immune to the phenomena.
Yeah, I really did not expect it, but I knew exactly what happened when it went down.

Last edited by boost2na; 07-18-2013 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:00 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boost2na View Post
If I'm being pessimistic, technically nothing, new one has the same probability of exploding as the old one. But I've read on here that in many cases they try to reuse parts like the 'good' valves, pistons, etc. Without naming names I was told that they didn't do that in this case because of a suspicion about the integrity of the old valves and other parts. Gave me a lot of confidence. Basically whatever route I take from here I probably have more time and reliability than I would with the old valves.



Yeah, I really did not expect it, but I knew exactly what happened when it went down.
Thank God its not like heart surgery. Not busting your chops but other than it didnt cost you anything other than your time and anixety Im not sure I would have such a warm fuzzy.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by boost2na View Post
Without naming names I was told that they didn't do that in this case because of a suspicion about the integrity of the old valves and other parts.
If this was from someone in an official capacity, it does lend credence to the manufacturing variability/quality control theories... but we've all been there/done that in other threads.

Can you elaborate on the context of who said this - without naming names, was it a GM guy, a service guy at the dealership, etc?

It still sucks - but I'm glad to hear they took care of you.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:10 PM   #7
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Glad to hear it got resolved. Hopefully people don't accuse you over over revving or maintaining it poorly.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:20 PM   #8
boost2na
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Originally Posted by Dugmole View Post
Thank God its not like heart surgery. Not busting your chops but other than it didnt cost you anything other than your time and anixety Im not sure I would have such a warm fuzzy.
Oh I was in a nasty funk for a couple weeks. I thought they were gonna tell me that my warranty had been blocked because a burned CD created centrifrugal force that caused the motor to blow. I had thoughts that the car would never be the same like a near total. I'm still worried, I know it's happened to some of you guys twice. I'd be lying if I said I haven't considered WCCH heads plus a torquer.

And I really do feel for all my other fellow members of the blown LS7 club. Knowing it's happened to quite a few of you guys helped me keep my sanity.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:26 PM   #9
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id still get the heads done on the new setup. happens way too often for comfort
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Random84 View Post
If this was from someone in an official capacity, it does lend credence to the manufacturing variability/quality control theories... but we've all been there/done that in other threads.

Can you elaborate on the context of who said this - without naming names, was it a GM guy, a service guy at the dealership, etc?

It still sucks - but I'm glad to hear they took care of you.
Service guy. I *think* it was partially due to knowledge that a part may look fine but is seriously compromised due to the stress from the event plus partial knowledge of what we post here and what the culprit is in most cases.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:47 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Unreal View Post
Glad to hear it got resolved. Hopefully people don't accuse you over over revving or maintaining it poorly.
Thanks. I hope not. I was pretty OCD with maintenance too.

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Originally Posted by croatbob View Post
id still get the heads done on the new setup. happens way too often for comfort
I'm definitely gonna think about it. If I do it I'll definitely need to ask you guys for good shops in the mid Atlantic.
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Old 07-18-2013, 11:48 PM   #12
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My condolences on the damage and congratulations to you for getting through it and to GM and the Dealer for doing what their warranty said they would do.

I am in "the keep it stock and on public roads until GMPP runs out" crowd. Too many of these happening. A bit like playing Russian Roulette. Even with only 1 or 2 bullets per 100 magazines, it sure will hurt when it happens to you.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:15 AM   #13
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Now I await my future with the LS7!or
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:28 AM   #14
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OP, that sucks, sorry to hear about another basically stock C6 Z having a catastropihic valve failure and this on a 2009 model.

GREAT to hear that GM is standing behind their vehicle/warranty and giving you a brand new engine, etc.

I have to admit this was factory when I decided to trade in my 2006 C6Z with 19,5000 miles on the clock this past Saturday, for a 2009 Silver/Black 600HP stock Viper Coupe SRT 10.

Best of luck to you going forward.

Last edited by Mopar Jimmy; 07-19-2013 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:31 AM   #15
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id still get the heads done on the new setup. happens way too often for comfort
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:33 AM   #16
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[...] I'm definitely gonna think about it. If I do it I'll definitely need to ask you guys for good shops in the mid Atlantic.
All you probably need to do are some periodic checks on valve guide wear. But you know that already

Bummer that it blew, but good that you got all your concerns addressed
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Old 07-19-2013, 01:22 AM   #17
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Sorry to hear you are Another person part of the 1% failure crowd. Mighty kind of GM to replace the original motor they built that lasted all those miles.
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Old 07-19-2013, 02:17 AM   #18
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Sorry to hear you are Another person part of the 1% failure crowd. Mighty kind of GM to replace the original motor they built that lasted all those miles.
Let's keep our fingers crossed for this guy:

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c6-z...post1584445268
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Old 07-19-2013, 07:54 AM   #19
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I'm glad I went the PRC/SS valve route..........I don't put a lot of miles but there must be many out there now with decent miles that have SS exh valves.........not reading of any breaking yet. ?? good
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:11 AM   #20
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Let's keep our fingers crossed for this guy:

http://forums.corvetteforum.com/c6-z...post1584445268
Yeah from what the guy posted recently GM is not being so kind. He gets his new motor, but they are making him pay labor. About 6k. And while that still stinks a bit it's not 15k out of his wallet. I think that if GM would stand up and do this more often they would most certainly be more popular with the Z06 crowd. Hell loyalty would be sky high....but alas GM is not so nice most of the time so we know and pay for the fix.

What's still surprising is the fact that if you even bring up getting your valves checked or replacing your heads there are guys here who call you chicken little. What's up with that?

Op congrats on your new engine. You know what to do now when the warranty runs out.
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Old 07-19-2013, 09:11 AM
 
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