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LS3 Head Cam Swap - Parts List

Old 05-16-2018, 01:12 PM
  #1  
Bigwebb
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Default LS3 Head Cam Swap - Parts List

I know there have been variations of this thread before, but in reading them, I was a little confused about what people were replacing "because they were already in there" vs. what is actually needed.

I am trying very hard to stick to a budget here, and so far am doing fairly well. I dont want to cheap out on anything, but I also don't want to be replacing 100 $10 parts and pieces "just because I'm already in there". If there are things that aren't necessary, but are HIGHLY recommended "while I'm in there" I will probably do them. Timing chain is a good example. Plenty of guys running around with 500 whp on a stock timing chain with no issues. However, I'm going to be doing one as it's fairly cheap insurance.

I'd really appreciate some feedback from guys who have been down this road before.

To start the list I know of the following:
  • Timing Chain
  • Head Gasket - .040 Cometic
  • ARP Head Bolts (I don't think I need studs)
  • Balancer Bolt
  • ATI 10% Balancer (is this worth it?)
  • Exhaust manifold gaskets (changing to headers, should I just reuse existing gaskets?)
  • Pushrods (7.8 is what I believe I'm going to end up with)
  • Rockers? (On the fence about stock vs YT's)
  • Oil Pump (I feel this is unnecessary on a 60k mile car)
  • Injectors (Again varying opinions, but I think at ~500whp I wont be surpassing 80% duty on the stock injectors, anyone disagree?)
  • 160 degree thermostat (Lots of varying opinions on this, but I think I will skip)
  • Spark Plugs? (Just changed these 1,000 miles ago, not sure if I need to again?)
  • Locktite
  • ARP Thread Sealer


What am I missing? What am I writing off as unnecessary, that is actually necessary? What is on the list that I absolutely don't need at all? Any specialty tools I might need?



Thanks,


Daniel
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:53 PM
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anyone have experience with this set? https://www.summitracing.com/parts/cgt-pro1007t
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:16 PM
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I wouldn't order those 7.8" p'rod until you've checked things with an adjustable checker. It's probably going to check out closer to 7.4"

I'd run LS7/9 AC Delco plugs and call it good.

Not much of a believer in 160 stats in an N/A build. Maybe 180*.

If you're going over .620 lift, I'd do YT's. Under that, maybe stock rockers with bushing upgrades.

I'll probably change my timing chain when doing the cam swap. My Vette has 55K on the clock, but I bought it with 50K. Not sure how well the maintenance from the previous owner was kept up with.

There'd be no better time to change the crank pulley. I'll probably go with the 10% u/d too. Your feelings would be seriously hurt if the thing started wobbling soon after all the work was done.

I'd bet Tooley has a complete head/cam swap parts package. I'd trust him way more than I'd trust Summit.

Last edited by old motorhead; 05-16-2018 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:14 PM
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Can reuse stock original exhaust gaskets.
use ARP Utra torque instead of sealer.
can use stock push rods depending on which heads used they are better tHan every one give them credit for.
will appreciate using AC Delco ls9 spark plugs p# 41-104.
Hightly recomend changing oil pump for Melling p# 10355 (research this new pump)
David.
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:10 AM
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Stock injectors.

Have your builder measure for pushrod length, and supply them. Milled Trickflow heads versus stockers means you're almost certainly need a new set.

No sense in reusing old gaskets when you're paying $$$$ for a complete build-up of your engine. new gaskets is peanuts comparatively speaking.

KW

Last edited by KW Baraka; 05-17-2018 at 02:11 AM.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by KW Baraka View Post
Stock injectors.

Have your builder measure for pushrod length, and supply them. Milled Trickflow heads versus stockers means you're almost certainly need a new set.

No sense in reusing old gaskets when you're paying $$$$ for a complete build-up of your engine. new gaskets is peanuts comparatively speaking.

KW

does anyone offer a comprehensive gasket kid? I looked at the one in the link I posted by cometic, but I have no idea if that would cover everything.
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:16 AM
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I'd suggest PowerBond race series balancers in lieu of ATI. You can get a 10% u/d if you want, too. ARP crank bolt over the GM TTY. Roll the savings over into a genuine Katech C5-R timing chain. Katech also uses stock rocker arms on their Torquer cams with lifts up to .648"; their K501 as well.
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Old 05-17-2018, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by xBoostx View Post
Can reuse stock original exhaust gaskets.
use ARP Utra torque instead of sealer.
can use stock push rods depending on which heads used they are better tHan every one give them credit for.
will appreciate using AC Delco ls9 spark plugs p# 41-104.
Hightly recomend changing oil pump for Melling p# 10355 (research this new pump)
David.

Thanks, how much of the ultra torque do you think I'd need? It comes in a .5 oz blister pack (was thinking of just getting a couple of these for a few bucks), a 1.69 oz squeeze tube, and then 10 and 20oz containers. I feel like I should probably just get two of the little blister packs which would total an oz and be about 5 bucks shipped from amazon.


Daniel
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Old 05-18-2018, 03:35 PM
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for the timing chain, is the chain alone sufficient? Or should I get one of the sets that include the gear?

Also, I've read alot about hinson vs katech, and lots of people slamming the hinson unit, although I have not read about a single failure of either of these units. WTo further complicate things, hinson now offers a c7r timing chain which is even beefier than the C5r. Wondering if anyone has experience with this unit, and whether or not it requires any additional work to insure proper clearances?


Daniel
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigwebb View Post
Thanks, how much of the ultra torque do you think I'd need? It comes in a .5 oz blister pack (was thinking of just getting a couple of these for a few bucks), a 1.69 oz squeeze tube, and then 10 and 20oz containers. I feel like I should probably just get two of the little blister packs which would total an oz and be about 5 bucks shipped from amazon.


Daniel
Two of those be fine one is likely all you need though, larger is for shops using it often.

Originally Posted by Bigwebb View Post
for the timing chain, is the chain alone sufficient? Or should I get one of the sets that include the gear?

Also, I've read alot about hinson vs katech, and lots of people slamming the hinson unit, although I have not read about a single failure of either of these units. WTo further complicate things, hinson now offers a c7r timing chain which is even beefier than the C5r. Wondering if anyone has experience with this unit, and whether or not it requires any additional work to insure proper clearances?


Daniel
If converting from one bolt to 3 bolts you need a different cam gear...

Suggest saying with factory lower chain sprocket and staying away from multi choice.

https://www.briantooleyracing.com/ls-timing-chains.html
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Old 05-20-2018, 12:50 AM
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Are you just doing a cam? No other engine mods or forced induction? BTR has kits that has everying you need. Springs, push rods, timing gear, gaskets etc..


If you just want a cam I probably wouldnt pull the heads off no reason if youre not boosting it. If you want to though use ls9 head gaskets and new lifter trays with ls7 lifters.


No reason to get new rockers in my opinion, you should at least do the truniun upgrade on them.


Wont need injectors for a decent cam, oil pump is extra insurance but not really needed,


What I did on my build was called BTR and told them what I was doing and they set me up with exactly what I needed and nothing that was unnecessary. Think it was around $1200 and no hassel of picking and choosing what I should and shouldnt buy.

Last edited by g23crawler; 05-20-2018 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 05-20-2018, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by g23crawler View Post
Are you just doing a cam? No other engine mods or forced induction? BTR has kits that has everying you need. Springs, push rods, timing gear, gaskets etc..


If you just want a cam I probably wouldnt pull the heads off no reason if youre not boosting it. If you want to though use ls9 head gaskets and new lifter trays with ls7 lifters.


No reason to get new rockers in my opinion, you should at least do the truniun upgrade on them.


Wont need injectors for a decent cam, oil pump is extra insurance but not really needed,


What I did on my build was called BTR and told them what I was doing and they set me up with exactly what I needed and nothing that was unnecessary. Think it was around $1200 and no hassel of picking and choosing what I should and shouldnt buy.
tfs heads and cam
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Old 05-20-2018, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigwebb View Post
does anyone offer a comprehensive gasket kid? I looked at the one in the link I posted by cometic, but I have no idea if that would cover everything.
The only new gasket you need is head gaskets if you do the work yourself you'll know why I say this, people not doing work on the LS engines or pay for their work will not know.
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by xBoostx View Post
The only new gasket you need is head gaskets if you do the work yourself you'll know why I say this, people not doing work on the LS engines or pay for their work will not know.
thanks, that just saved me some money. What about some of the seals that folks recommend?
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Old 05-21-2018, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Bigwebb View Post
thanks, that just saved me some money. What about some of the seals that folks recommend?
If any will only change water pump gasket but only if the rubber part of it is flat, if the rubber remains thicker than the aluminum part, can too be re used.

Exhaust gaskets are a double layer stainless used are better than must aftermarket new.

Timing cover gasket is aluminum with rubber just need to add some silicone at lower corners where they seat on top of oil pan gasket just to seal the corner area (this must be done to new gasket as well). (Of course unless they were broken by someone)

Valve covers have a seal I re use all the time cause I haven't found a single aftermarket set that don't stretch plus they fall off when you attempt to lay the valve cover on the head.

Intake manifold and throttle body seals unless you loose them can be re used as new every time.

If you remove water temp sensor put some thread sealer before it goes back for more. There is no other gasket needed in a heads and cam change other than head gaskets that I can think off.

A word of caution if you are doing it yourself for first time the timing chain cover gasket can be installed in two different positions all bolts will align, cover side can not be installed to the block cause a large oil leak will result & the harmonic damper will have to be removed ouch!
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Old 05-23-2018, 10:35 AM
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I would open the oil pump and check for scoring. If it looks good reuse. If scored, replace with a Melling 295. They are pretty cheap (60 bucks on Amazon). Make sure you don't mess up the O ring on the pick up tube. The Stock Exhaust gaskets are reusable multiple times. Measure your pushrod length using a pushrod checker, then order the right size.


Originally Posted by Bigwebb View Post
I know there have been variations of this thread before, but in reading them, I was a little confused about what people were replacing "because they were already in there" vs. what is actually needed.

I am trying very hard to stick to a budget here, and so far am doing fairly well. I dont want to cheap out on anything, but I also don't want to be replacing 100 $10 parts and pieces "just because I'm already in there". If there are things that aren't necessary, but are HIGHLY recommended "while I'm in there" I will probably do them. Timing chain is a good example. Plenty of guys running around with 500 whp on a stock timing chain with no issues. However, I'm going to be doing one as it's fairly cheap insurance.

I'd really appreciate some feedback from guys who have been down this road before.

To start the list I know of the following:
  • Timing Chain
  • Head Gasket - .040 Cometic
  • ARP Head Bolts (I don't think I need studs)
  • Balancer Bolt
  • ATI 10% Balancer (is this worth it?)
  • Exhaust manifold gaskets (changing to headers, should I just reuse existing gaskets?)
  • Pushrods (7.8 is what I believe I'm going to end up with)
  • Rockers? (On the fence about stock vs YT's)
  • Oil Pump (I feel this is unnecessary on a 60k mile car)
  • Injectors (Again varying opinions, but I think at ~500whp I wont be surpassing 80% duty on the stock injectors, anyone disagree?)
  • 160 degree thermostat (Lots of varying opinions on this, but I think I will skip)
  • Spark Plugs? (Just changed these 1,000 miles ago, not sure if I need to again?)
  • Locktite
  • ARP Thread Sealer


What am I missing? What am I writing off as unnecessary, that is actually necessary? What is on the list that I absolutely don't need at all? Any specialty tools I might need?



Thanks,


Daniel
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Old 05-23-2018, 02:33 PM
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HB pin kit
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Old 05-23-2018, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by schizcat View Post
HB pin kit
What does this do? I've seen where some guys do it and others don't, but not exactly sure what it does. Is it just a safety measure to make sure the HB doesn't fall off?
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Old 05-23-2018, 04:26 PM
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A new seal in the front cover for the HB wouldn't be a bad idea, either.
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Old 05-23-2018, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by xBoostx View Post
If any will only change water pump gasket but only if the rubber part of it is flat, if the rubber remains thicker than the aluminum part, can too be re used.

Exhaust gaskets are a double layer stainless used are better than must aftermarket new.

Timing cover gasket is aluminum with rubber just need to add some silicone at lower corners where they seat on top of oil pan gasket just to seal the corner area (this must be done to new gasket as well). (Of course unless they were broken by someone)

Valve covers have a seal I re use all the time cause I haven't found a single aftermarket set that don't stretch plus they fall off when you attempt to lay the valve cover on the head.

Intake manifold and throttle body seals unless you loose them can be re used as new every time.

If you remove water temp sensor put some thread sealer before it goes back for more. There is no other gasket needed in a heads and cam change other than head gaskets that I can think off.

A word of caution if you are doing it yourself for first time the timing chain cover gasket can be installed in two different positions all bolts will align, cover side can not be installed to the block cause a large oil leak will result & the harmonic damper will have to be removed ouch!

+1

I would change the water pump gasket at least for piece of mind. Just about everything else can be reused but always make sure to inspect anything you reuse. We can set you up with a complete cam package if you like as well.
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