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Help MAJOR Engine Failure seeking advice and options

 
Old 05-09-2019, 10:15 PM
  #1  
truth.b
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Default Help MAJOR Engine Failure seeking advice and options

Hey CF fam,

After 6 years and 126K miles of bliss my Drysump LS3 decided it was time to say goodbye. It is currently seized and the shop has found bearing material in the oil. Based how I use my car and the situation in which the engine died does anyone have better options or ideas than what the shop presented me with?

How I've used the car:
  • year round daily driver & road trip car
  • track car for 3-5 event per year for the last 4 years (mostly VIR)
  • Rip around western NC mountain ranges
  • Drag strip a couple times ( I don't think I'll do this again )

How the engine died:
Went to the drag strip to do some WOT testing and data collection (car has headers and tune). I did roughly 3 runs and the car felt way down on power for the 2nd & 3rd runs. I thought it was just me and my bad shifting but after the 3rd run I heard some pretty bad knocking. To make a long story short: engine seized leaving drag strip, towed home, couple days later troubleshot the problem and got it running again briefly, drove a couple times to figure out knock, seized during last test, towed to shop.



Shops ball park options without tearing into the motor:
  1. Build a new engine to "my specs" -- around 10K depending on what I ask for
  2. Get a new LS3 GM engine and drop it in -- roughly 10K
  3. Tear my engine apart see how bad it is and rebuild it -- best case scenario 5K
  4. Buy a used motor -- price undetermined

Last edited by truth.b; 05-09-2019 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:08 AM
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sccaGT1racer
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Originally Posted by truth.b View Post
Hey CF fam,

After 6 years and 126K miles of bliss my Drysump LS3 decided it was time to say goodbye. It is currently seized and the shop has found bearing material in the oil. Based how I use my car and the situation in which the engine died does anyone have better options or ideas than what the shop presented me with?

How I've used the car:
  • year round daily driver & road trip car
  • track car for 3-5 event per year for the last 4 years (mostly VIR)
  • Rip around western NC mountain ranges
  • Drag strip a couple times ( I don't think I'll do this again )

How the engine died:
Went to the drag strip to do some WOT testing and data collection (car has headers and tune). I did roughly 3 runs and the car felt way down on power for the 2nd & 3rd runs. I thought it was just me and my bad shifting but after the 3rd run I heard some pretty bad knocking. To make a long story short: engine seized leaving drag strip, towed home, couple days later troubleshot the problem and got it running again briefly, drove a couple times to figure out knock, seized during last test, towed to shop.




Shops ball park options without tearing into the motor:
  1. Build a new engine to "my specs" -- around 10K depending on what I ask for
  2. Get a new LS3 GM engine and drop it in -- roughly 10K
  3. Tear my engine apart see how bad it is and rebuild it -- best case scenario 5K
  4. Buy a used motor -- price undetermined

This is very dependent on if your block is still usable and the heads are rebuildable. A complete high quality rotating assembly (callies or K1) can be had for around 3000 balanced. Find a machine shop your area that builds circle track engines. They know how to clearance a engine to last. Most of them anyways. Good luck and don't forget to change the oil cooler and clean out the tank/lines.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:48 AM
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I've not a fan of machining and reusing grenaded blocks when new ones are fairly cheap. One uncleaned oil channel and it all goes to crap again. The real benefit of a crate motor is the warranty. So ask yourself do you want a warranty or extra horsepower more?
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by sccaGT1racer View Post
This is very dependent on if your block is still usable and the heads are rebuildable. A complete high quality rotating assembly (callies or K1) can be had for around 3000 balanced. Find a machine shop your area that builds circle track engines. They know how to clearance a engine to last. Most of them anyways. Good luck and don't forget to change the oil cooler and clean out the tank/lines.
My gut told me I should make sure the get a new oil cooler versus trying to flush it. But what about the drysump tank, can it be cleaned and reused?


Originally Posted by synner View Post
I've not a fan of machining and reusing grenaded blocks when new ones are fairly cheap. One uncleaned oil channel and it all goes to crap again. The real benefit of a crate motor is the warranty. So ask yourself do you want a warranty or extra horsepower more?
I really don't care/need extra horsepower but I was wondering if it made since to work with them build up an engine that is more reliable.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:25 AM
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smitty2919
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Need to figure out HOW/WHY it failed before you can "build a more reliable engine."

IMO, a new crate motor with a warranty....maybe slip in a cam at the same time (but that may void the warranty).

Keep old motor and salvage what you can from it. As time goes on have the heads ported etc etc and swap them to the crate motor in the car. Then sell spare parts.

Last edited by smitty2919; 05-10-2019 at 08:26 AM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:35 AM
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andersnor
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525hp ls3, gm warranty

https://www.jegs.com/p/Chevrolet-Per...41625/10002/-1


tanks should be cleanable

oil cooler I would not risk, same with lines

Last edited by andersnor; 05-10-2019 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by andersnor View Post
525hp ls3, gm warranty

https://www.jegs.com/p/Chevrolet-Per...41625/10002/-1


tanks should be cleanable

oil cooler I would not risk, same with lines
My understanding is the above motor is not a drysump? Is this correct?
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:21 AM
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Regular wetsump yes

Keeping ls3, and drysump combined with warranty is going to be tough to find, ls7, ls9 etc yeah sure but $$$$

LT1 and such are drysump though... but probably a lot of work?
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by andersnor View Post
Regular wetsump yes

Keeping ls3, and drysump combined with warranty is going to be tough to find, ls7, ls9 etc yeah sure but $$$$

LT1 and such are drysump though... but probably a lot of work?
Thanks for the advice but I have a manual grand sport and I need a drysump LS3.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:52 PM
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Just to be clear, you're running the factory GS dry sump?
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Old 05-10-2019, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DunlevysZ View Post
Just to be clear, you're running the factory GS dry sump?
Yep. My car is a 2013 Grand Sport manual coupe.
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Old 05-10-2019, 10:29 PM
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Call Kyle from Thompson Motorsports. They are a supporting vendor, have some crazy specials and even stock some common builds. Warranty also!

(972) 853-2450
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Old 05-10-2019, 11:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Under-Pressure View Post
Call Kyle from Thompson Motorsports. They are a supporting vendor, have some crazy specials and even stock some common builds. Warranty also!

(972) 853-2450
thanks will do.
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:27 AM
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If metal particles get into the oil system the oil cooler and lines have to be replaced per GM Repair instructions. The dry sump reservoir itself can be taken apart and cleaned.

What is your long term goal with the car? Rebuilding your current engine keeps the car's originality. Anything else doesn't. I don't think you have too much of a worry about oil passages not getting cleaned out if a reputable builder does the rebuild. What you put inside the block doesn't have to be totally stock. If you want a shop that can do it all machine work, rebuild and maybe engine removal and install call Gibbons Motorsports in Mooresville, NC. They build circle track engines for various racing series, build drag engines and are familiar with LS engines. They were the shop I chose to do the head rebuild for the LS7 in my 08Z. When I was touring the machine shop I saw they had work sent to them by Joe Gibbs racing and Hendrick Motorsports. That is enough of a quality review for me.

https://www.facebook.com/gibbonsmotorsportssouth/

Give them a call and stop by to see them, get a shop tour and talk about what you want done. Peter will help guide you to a decision. From the things you do I suspect you really don't want a HP monster. You want a reliable, durable engine that can stand up to long track sessions Vs a 1/4 mile wonder that won't like being wide open for more than 15 seconds.

When they redid my heads they removed them from the engine, took them apart and measured the valves and the guides and determined the clearances. Two intake valves were slightly out of tolerance (Spec is .0037 and they measured ,0039). I sat and talked with Peter about the best way to proceed. GMPP authorized two brand new fully assembled heads and I had Gibbons tear them down and install bronze guides along with Ti/Mo intake and exhaust valves. Peter's son even purchased my old heads for an engine he was building for himself. I got a top of the line valve job for a total cost to me of just short of $3000. Those Ti/Mo valves are $160.00 each.

Bill
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Under-Pressure View Post
Call Kyle from Thompson Motorsports. They are a supporting vendor, have some crazy specials and even stock some common builds. Warranty also!

(972) 853-2450

We would love the opportunity to help with this. Our motor of the month would be a great solution and at a price that can not be beat. We can do a darton sleeved 427 dry sump with a k1 crank, H beam rods and coated diamond pistons for $5499, The better option for your use would be a callies center counterweighted crank and billet i beam rods with coated diamond pistons for $6999. Let me know if I can help in any way. Thank you, Kyle 972-853-2450

Thank you for the recommendation Under-pressure.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Bill Dearborn View Post
If metal particles get into the oil system the oil cooler and lines have to be replaced per GM Repair instructions. The dry sump reservoir itself can be taken apart and cleaned.

What is your long term goal with the car? Rebuilding your current engine keeps the car's originality. Anything else doesn't. I don't think you have too much of a worry about oil passages not getting cleaned out if a reputable builder does the rebuild. What you put inside the block doesn't have to be totally stock. If you want a shop that can do it all machine work, rebuild and maybe engine removal and install call Gibbons Motorsports in Mooresville, NC. They build circle track engines for various racing series, build drag engines and are familiar with LS engines. They were the shop I chose to do the head rebuild for the LS7 in my 08Z. When I was touring the machine shop I saw they had work sent to them by Joe Gibbs racing and Hendrick Motorsports. That is enough of a quality review for me.

https://www.facebook.com/gibbonsmotorsportssouth/

Give them a call and stop by to see them, get a shop tour and talk about what you want done. Peter will help guide you to a decision. From the things you do I suspect you really don't want a HP monster. You want a reliable, durable engine that can stand up to long track sessions Vs a 1/4 mile wonder that won't like being wide open for more than 15 seconds.

When they redid my heads they removed them from the engine, took them apart and measured the valves and the guides and determined the clearances. Two intake valves were slightly out of tolerance (Spec is .0037 and they measured ,0039). I sat and talked with Peter about the best way to proceed. GMPP authorized two brand new fully assembled heads and I had Gibbons tear them down and install bronze guides along with Ti/Mo intake and exhaust valves. Peter's son even purchased my old heads for an engine he was building for himself. I got a top of the line valve job for a total cost to me of just short of $3000. Those Ti/Mo valves are $160.00 each.

Bill
Thanks Bill I'll reach out to them Monday.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Thompson Motorsports View Post
We would love the opportunity to help with this. Our motor of the month would be a great solution and at a price that can not be beat. We can do a darton sleeved 427 dry sump with a k1 crank, H beam rods and coated diamond pistons for $5499, The better option for your use would be a callies center counterweighted crank and billet i beam rods with coated diamond pistons for $6999. Let me know if I can help in any way. Thank you, Kyle 972-853-2450

Thank you for the recommendation Under-pressure.
Thanks I'll give you guys a call on Monday.
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Old 05-11-2019, 06:53 PM
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So I think I'm going to ask the shop to pull my motor and see what happen before I go forward with a new crate engine. But in the mean time I've been going through my data and I'm not sure why this happened. Unfortunately I don't have full data on the 2nd & 3rd runs because my computer crashed, but I do have AIM Solo DL data for all three and temps and pressures correlate with the 1st.

In general these are my big take aways:

The computer doesn't register the engine loosing oil pressure during any of the runs
Oil was 160F during first run... is that problem?
I missed the 1st to 2nd shift in the first couple of runs so the engine free spun to 7K in neutral.

There was really bad spark knock during the first run but my AFR and advance appears normal.
- I did clean my Attack Blue filter the day before, but there are roughly 80 miles between my house and the track so I figure any weirdness should have worked itself out.
- I now wonder if the MAF malfuctioned and caused a lean condition but Wideband doesn't back up that guess.
- Also I did fill up with roughly 1.5gal of gas at a BP near the track, so it is possible I didn't get the 93 I paid for.
- I've never seen the engine knock like this before. Could something have been going on with a fuel injector or the fuel pump?












Last edited by truth.b; 05-11-2019 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:11 PM
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Really bad spark knock can destroy rod bearings. From your data in the previous post, that's where I'd put my money. Really bad spark knock should result in immediate closed throttle and diagnosis to figure out why.Sorry this happened to you car.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by DunlevysZ View Post
Really bad spark knock can destroy rod bearings. From your data in the previous post, that's where I'd put my money. Really bad spark knock should result in immediate closed throttle and diagnosis to figure out why.Sorry this happened to you car.
Thanks. Unfortunately, i didn't know of the knock until post analysis. This is why i wonder if it was something up with the fuel and/or malfunctioning MAF. If it is a rod bearing how bad is that versus main bearing? Google really isn't helping me learn right now because I don't think I'm asking the right questions.
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