Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 41
Like Tree6Likes

Major Engine Work... Impressions (Finally)

This is a discussion on Major Engine Work... Impressions (Finally) within the Parts Review forums, part of the Sponsors Group Pricing and Parts Review category; So.... There is a long story which everyone (still) around here probably remembers with my car. I had an engine ...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    1,361

    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Major Engine Work... Impressions (Finally)

    So....

    There is a long story which everyone (still) around here probably remembers with my car. I had an engine failure that required a swap. I had to use the money (plus a whole bunch more) that I had saved for tires to fix the engine. Since my tires were getting low, I was only able to break in the new clutch before putting the car to bed for a long, long time. After weeks and months of research (waiting for the right financial timing) on tires, I settled on Michelin Pilot Super Sports as the tire I wanted to get. I was 50/50 between getting the Super Sports and the A/S 3s. The reason that the all seasons were even on my list is because the outgoing tires were all season Michelins and they were amazing. So I figured that this next gen A/S tire would be an upgrade. Plus, it is easier on the gas tank than the summer tires and they have a significantly higher tread life warranty. After some research on wet traction and finding out that summers are actually better than all seasons for dry and wet, I settled on the Super Sports.

    Problem: the Super Sports are not available in 275/17... nor are the A/S 3s. So I would also need new wheels. On the bright side, the wheels were something I'd always disliked about the appearance of my car, and when the decision was made to buy it, I had already reasoned that I would replace the wheels. So, after saving up for a long time and paying the cost of life's incidentals, I was finally able to get the wheels and tires on the car and can now explore the new (to me) engine under the hood.

    Here are the parts being reviewed:

    2001 Trans-Am LS1 68,000 miles
    Land Speed Stage 1 799 Heads (I looked on the website but it seems like Stage 1 is no longer offered...?)
    -Ported
    -4-angle valve job
    -Springs
    -Probably some other stuff I'm not thinking of
    Silverado Cam (not sure the specs)
    LS6 Intake (came with the engine, obviously)
    LS7 Clutch
    NicD Tune
    TSW Interlagos Wheels (18x9... mfr claims that each one weighs 18 lbs)
    Michelin Pilot Super Sports

    I can't really review a performance gain from the lightweight wheels, since I'm really experiencing them along with an additional 86 rwhp. Interestingly, Brett Land claims a "proven" 40 rwhp/rwtq gain on the stage 2 heads. If we assume that my outgoing engine, which had an air lid and a cat-back installed had a similar output to the 2001 TA that's in there now, then it's reasonable to speculate that my engine would have seen similar gains. Of course, this engine has the same air lid and cat-back, since those parts actually stayed with the car.

    Also, I've gone from a staggered to a square set up with the wheels and tires. I have no complaints about this so far, but I have not taken the car to any twisty back roads yet, so we will see what differences I am able to notice (if any) when I get the chance.

    But the wheels look worlds... or perhaps galaxies better than the off-going C4 replicas, which might just be the ugliest wheels GM ever put on a car, IMO. The new ones are the machined silver wheels, and they look a bit more robust in person than they do in pics. I actually think they looked better without the center piece in them, but I may get a Camaro emblem center piece and install that instead of the TSW center piece. I can now see the (somewhat rusty) wheel hubs and brake components, so I'll be detailing all that stuff when I get the chance. Also, as money permits, I'd like to beef up the brakes anyway. But that is far down the road with the torque arm and headers....

    So, the tires do just what I've expected. They put power down very well. Not even a chirp, though I do not ever do hard launches in my car. Usually a roll from no less than 10 mph is where I start. When grabbing 2nd gear, there is sometimes a slight break in the traction when the clutch engages, but the car stays straight. The road feel is very solid. I have been driving my wife's Honda Pilot for a year and getting back into my own car is kind of "new again." The SFCs and sway bars and springs really stand out. Also, the brake pedal (and brake performance) difference is really noticeable. I believe that my new tires are also contributing to the better braking that I'm experiencing, so all in all, everything feels quite solid and communicative. As old as my car is now, it actually feels like a higher quality and newer car than my wife's 2007. I attribute this to the suspension and chassis stiffening that I've done, which makes the car feel a lot more like a cohesive package, rather than individual systems fighting each other, as is typical of "normal" cars that I've driven, including the Pilot (not that its supposed to be any thing other than what it is). On the very modest curves that I have taken in a "spirited" manner, the car holds the road. No drama at all.

    The ride noise is something I cannot address because I always, always drive with the top down. Rain is the only thing that will get me to put the top up. So the wind noise overpowers the road noise.

    As for the ride quality, as I mentioned above, everything feels solid. The tires are not overly stiff or squishy. Considering that the tires I have now were likely designed with heavier cars in mind (as more modern cars get fatter and fatter), the paltry 3600 or whatever pounds is probably a walk in the park for the Super Sports. Though, the cars that currently come standard with these tires are still probably a bit lighter than my car, they're certainly heavier than sports cars of the late 90s.

    As for the engine... well...

    She's a lot louder with the extra flow through the heads... and not just louder, but noisier. It's annoying in the garage, but out on the street, I don't even notice it. As I mentioned above, I'm still running the stock exhaust manifolds, which makes the performance of this engine even more impressive to me: if I ever do decide to put headers on it, I imagine that it would free up well over the standard 20-30 rwhp that a stock engine realizes. I also expect it would make things even louder and more obnoxious... Though the Magnaflow that I have does a decent job of toning down the noise in the back... but even that is rotted out and needs to be replaced... someday...

    I spent a few weeks breaking in the clutch before putting the car into storage. So I couldn't really experience the full power that it had to offer. Now, with the clutch all mated up and the fresh tires, I can say that the car is definitely significantly faster on the butt dyno. The initial jolt of snap throttle acceleration doesn't necessarily seem significantly stronger in 1st gear, but I find myself reaching for 2nd gear almost right away. There is definitely a new "swiftness" to the acceleration that was not there before. It's actually a little unnerving: when I first bought the car, I had to learn how to work with and use the power. It was scary. And now, again, it's like having a new learning curve. Where I really notice the difference is in 3rd and 4th gear when passing on the freeway. Before, the pull was not all impressive, though it was certainly effective. Now, I actually feel it... I might say that the strength of the acceleration seems similar to if I were in the next lowest gear... so now, 4th gear feels like what 3rd used to feel like, or maybe even "2.5 gear". But I find myself having to monitor the tachometer which takes my eyes off the road a little more frequently than I'd like. This is one of those learning curve things. Once I get to know the nuances of the car, I predict that I will be able to properly time my shifts without monitoring the tach. For now.. it's still a bit scary... I can't even imagine trying to drive 500+ HP with this chassis (of course, mine is a vert, so there is that...)

    After 2 days of driving it, I was hoping that the new wheel/tire combo would help my fuel economy, but... my right foot may be getting in the way of that. When I had the new heads installed (milled, so they sit lower, which required a different spark plug), I asked for NGK IX Iridiums which gave me a noticeable improvement in fuel economy on the original engine. NicD said that copper plugs were more appropriate for the build, so that's what Sean put in there. He also said that the Iridiums would NOT make a difference to my fuel economy, but that runs contrary to what I actually logged and tracked for years with my car. I'm not saying he is wrong: there could be some factor that I was not accounting for in my own methodology; but, now, I at least want to give the Iridiums a try after logging a few thousand miles with the copper plugs to see f I (or, rather, NGK) is correct about that plug being more economic than the copper plugs. I also wonder if the "drop" in fuel economy can be attributed to the "blank" historical mapping: the computer has to learn the driver and as it does, it sets the maps appropriately... or so I'm told.

    As for the tune, the dyno graph is very smooth: it looks like a rainbow, more or less, with power building pretty much all the way up and ever-so-gently dropping off between the peak and redline. There might be a 5 or 10 HP loss in the last 1000 rpm... so, obviously, the torque curve is very flat. And it feels just like it looks. The power is very predictable, which is exactly what I like for the type of driving that I like to do.

    On my short list of future upgrades are a torque arm, new poly/roto LCAs (mine are rod-ends and they are old and noisy), a complete brake system (including steel lines) and some new Koni 4/4s. Once those things are on the car, I think it will be at a good stopping point and any more besides that would be based purely on convenience.

    Anyway, that's all for now. Hopefully, I will have a chance to take a recreational drive through a nice twisty route to get a feel for the tires. If I do, I'll be sure to post.

  2. #2
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    22,520

    98 Formula
    06 duramax

    the biggest thing is to just get out there and enjoy driving it.......I don't even drive mine a whole lot these days. I think I put 200 miles on it last year. That needs to change this year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mean Green Z28 View Post
    Don't worry about understanding women. Women understand women, and they hate each other

  3. #3
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    1,361

    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    You did better than me! I put 0 miles on mine last year... :P
    Lid, Throttle Body, LS6 Intake, Heads, Cam, Magnaflow, LS7 Clutch, SFCs, STB, Panhard Bar, Strano Springs, Hollow Sway Bars, Poly/Roto LCAs, Konis, MGW Shifter

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    pajeff02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mansfield, PA
    Posts
    21,576

    Black & Blue
    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Nice detailed write up. Glad you are able to get out and enjoy her again.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    1,361

    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    You know... as I drive through the neighborhood on my way home, where everything is nice and quiet, I notice a bunch of little annoying things. The noise of the rod-end LCAs has always bothered me, but also there is the exhaust. The little rubber exhaust hanger grommet thingy is torn and it squeaks with the vibration of the muffler/tail pipes... so my car sound like a rusty bucket of bolts idling down the street. Not to mention, the worked heads have that sewing machine sound, which adds to the clatter.

    I think I will have to stop by the auto parts store in the morning and pick up the grommets. I just hope I can get them installed in a few minutes. The muffler and LCAs would be nice to swap out, but I'm told that the band clamps are so tight, that the muffler would have to be cut out to get it off, at which point... a replacement would require an all new cat-back... so that's a few hundred bucks I don't really have at the moment.... oh well...

  6. #6
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ugy Lower Corner of AL
    Posts
    10,511

    Navy Blue Metallic
    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    Major Engine Work... Impressions (Finally)

    When I had no exhaust couldn't hear the engine noise as well. Now that the exhaust is finished at idle it sounds like a sewing machine, but mine is a 403ci. I only hear it at idle once the rpm's get above 1500 all I hear is exhaust rumble.


    These cars are not the quietest, the body flexes, bushings get old, etc. I'd still drive it over 95% of the cars out there. Then again as my wife says it...I'm obsessed with it. She literally thinks it's my mistress.

    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f7/my-6-liter-build-174257/

    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f8/my-8-8-rear-build-165553/

    6.0L Block - Forged 403 built, breaking it in , Polluter Stg3 Cam, FAST 102mm Intake, NW102 TB, MSD wires, NGK TR6 plugs, Truck Coil Packs, LS3 Fuel Injectors, CC Pacesetter LT Headers, TS&P ORY, QTP e-Cutout, Magnaflow Muffler, 104mm Air Lid & Line Lock, Catch Can, Stage 2 T56 w/Viper shaft, PRO 5.0 Shifter, Tick MC, Monster Stg 4 Clutch, QT SFI BH, MWC DSL, UMI: SFC, PHB, LCA's, LCA Relocation Brackets & TA, Hotchkis Springs (1" Drop), YR1 Snowflake Wheels wrapped in NT555 tires & Custom Fab Ford 8.8 rear w/4.10 Yukon Gears, WSQ Hood, 3"CM Strange Eng Drive Shaft.

    Horsepower never lies, but is often lied about!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    1,361

    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Well, I don't expect it to be a Cadillac. What I'm really concerned with is just that any sounds it makes are ones that its supposed to be making. That stupid LCA clunk and rattling, squeaky exhaust is really kinda embarrassing.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    pajeff02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mansfield, PA
    Posts
    21,576

    Black & Blue
    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Squeaks, rattles and other noises drive me nuts, especially on our play cars. I do what I can to eliminate any noises. The only one I am living with happily is the tunnel mount torque arm that will occasionally "clunk" on our Trans Am. It is responsible for planting the ass end when I launch the car so that is a trade off that I can accept.

  9. #9
    Senior Member raynor139's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Age
    33
    Posts
    1,319

    Pewter
    2002 Trans Am WS6 M6

    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    When I had no exhaust couldn't hear the engine noise as well. Now that the exhaust is finished at idle it sounds like a sewing machine, but mine is a 403ci. I only hear it at idle once the rpm's get above 1500 all I hear is exhaust rumble.


    These cars are not the quietest, the body flexes, bushings get old, etc. I'd still drive it over 95% of the cars out there. Then again as my wife says it...I'm obsessed with it. She literally thinks it's my mistress.

    I get accused of loving mine more then my gf also.
    Mods - Lid, Skip Shift Eliminator, MGW shifter, UMI SFCs, Founders Lower Control Arms, Founders Panhard Bar, Founders Adj. Torque Arm, UMI Torque arm mount, MWC Drive shaft safety loop, KONI Yellows, Strano Springs, Strano Sway bars, UMI Upper and lower A Arms, 160 thermostat, TSP headers and TSP true duals Monster stage 2 clutch, racetronix fuel pump, Strange S60 rear axle and tune by Frost.

  10. #10
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wherever life takes me
    Posts
    12,465

    Red
    02 35th LE Camaro SS

    Just eliminate your catalytic converters, along with get LT's and add a LM exhaust. Unless your engine blows up you will not hear anything lol.
    It's on jackstands.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    1,361

    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Squeaks, rattles and other noises drive me nuts, especially on our play cars. I do what I can to eliminate any noises. The only one I am living with happily is the tunnel mount torque arm that will occasionally "clunk" on our Trans Am. It is responsible for planting the ass end when I launch the car so that is a trade off that I can accept.
    Ahh... the torque arm... that is on my short list... but even my short list is on hold indefinitely...

    Based on my research last night, the noise might actually be a result of the failing exhaust hanger. Or, it could be a loose clamp allowing the exhaust to bang against the underbody or some other component/heat shield, etc. I've ordered the hangers and will hopefully be installing them next week. If that solves my problem or, when I get under the car I can see an easy solution, I'll be happy as a clam. That will leave only the LCAs. As firm as the ride on my car is, I find that its the noises which accompany the bumps that really get irritating. If the ride were quiet(er), it would change the whole experience, IMO... noises make it seem like something is broken or not working right.

    As for the engine noise (sewing machine), that is one that I happily tolerate as well, though I'm not opposed to sticking some Dynamat under a fiberglass hood, if I ever get around to doing a hood.

    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    Just eliminate your catalytic converters, along with get LT's and add a LM exhaust. Unless your engine blows up you will not hear anything lol.
    Ha!

    Hey, Jon, are you running stock internals? If memory serves, you're still using a stock top end, right? Just full exhaust and SC?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    1,361

    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Squeaks, rattles and other noises drive me nuts, especially on our play cars. I do what I can to eliminate any noises. The only one I am living with happily is the tunnel mount torque arm that will occasionally "clunk" on our Trans Am. It is responsible for planting the ass end when I launch the car so that is a trade off that I can accept.
    Quote Originally Posted by raynor139 View Post
    I get accused of loving mine more then my gf also.
    Now that my wife's car is due for $7,000 of maintenance + incidentals, she has become much more understanding of the amount of money and attentiveness that I put into my (significantly older) car. Interestingly, even with the 5-digit price tag of the engine work that I had done, I still have not spent as much money on my car (including the purchase price) as it cost just to buy her car (which came with a complimentary 61,000 miles on it). Plus, mine is more fuel efficient and costs less to insure and register... so that's my "justification," for whatever that's worth.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator
    pajeff02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mansfield, PA
    Posts
    21,576

    Black & Blue
    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    The exhaust is real close to the underbody where it passes over the rear axle. That would be the first place to look for a noise. Easy test is to grab the tailpipe and wiggle the entire exhaust system to see if it makes noise.

  14. #14
    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    ohio
    Posts
    22,520

    98 Formula
    06 duramax

    are the LCA's popping? If so they probably just need to be tightened up. I think the spec is 80-90 ft/lbs on those but my experience has been that in order to keep them from popping you have to put every ounce of ass you have into them.
    The sewing machine is sexy.....anyone who doesn't think so doesn't know shit about cars. When I hear a noisey valve train on a cammed car I expect to hear those valve springs working. When you don't hear the sewing machine you know they cheaped out.

    Exhaust is easily fixed....get some new rubber under there and if that fails put a cut out on it. I don't mind all the noises and vibrations that comes with a sports car. Lets you know the thing under you is doing some work.
    Naaman likes this.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    1,361

    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6

    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    are the LCA's popping? If so they probably just need to be tightened up. I think the spec is 80-90 ft/lbs on those but my experience has been that in order to keep them from popping you have to put every ounce of ass you have into them.
    The sewing machine is sexy.....anyone who doesn't think so doesn't know shit about cars. When I hear a noisey valve train on a cammed car I expect to hear those valve springs working. When you don't hear the sewing machine you know they cheaped out.

    Exhaust is easily fixed....get some new rubber under there and if that fails put a cut out on it. I don't mind all the noises and vibrations that comes with a sports car. Lets you know the thing under you is doing some work.
    I am 1 or maybe 1/2 a generation removed from a lot of folks on this forum, but I feel that I can relate now that the automotive industry has left my favorite era behind. The cars I really like (late 90s, early 2000s) are now relics of a bygone era, just like the muscle car before them. I fear that internal combustion may even be on the chopping block in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, there are things that just never get old for those who have come to enjoy them. The sewing machine thing is something I am not used to, but since I know what it means (and not that my engine is crying), I just choose to enjoy it.

    As for the LCAs, they are not popping. They are articulating (heim joints). When I'm under the car, if I manually articulate them, they make the exact sound that I hear in the cabin. It's been that way since day 1. I, myself have put 60,000 miles on them, and according to UMI, they are not meant to last "long" compared to polys or rotos, so I figure they may be due for a swap (I hate the noise, anyway, so I'd swap them even if they were new).
    Last edited by Naaman; 03-10-2016 at 12:49 AM.

  16. #16
    Super Moderator
    pajeff02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mansfield, PA
    Posts
    21,576

    Black & Blue
    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Unless you track the car, I would swap over to a standard polyurethane bushed control arm. The UMI LCA's have grease fittings and after almost 7 years ours have remained noise free. If you want to go with a heim joint style arm, then check out UMI's roto-joints which are a definite upgrade over standard heim joints.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    1,361

    Cayanne
    98 Z28 Vert M6



    Yup. Been looking at the roto-joints for years. In certain parts of their descriptions, UMI indicates that the roto joint is "quieter" than the rod-end. However, when I ask for an actual explanation, I can't get a clear answer as to how noisy they are. Given your comment above about the torque-arm clunk, I assume that the rotos do not make noise?

    If so, then I'd go with double rotos. However, in the meantime, I had almost settled on the poly/roto combo.

  18. #18
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wherever life takes me
    Posts
    12,465

    Red
    02 35th LE Camaro SS

    I have hardened push rods and upgraded springs on the top end. Other than that, the motor is completely stock.

  19. #19
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Ugy Lower Corner of AL
    Posts
    10,511

    Navy Blue Metallic
    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Unless you track the car, I would swap over to a standard polyurethane bushed control arm. The UMI LCA's have grease fittings and after almost 7 years ours have remained noise free. If you want to go with a heim joint style arm, then check out UMI's roto-joints which are a definite upgrade over standard heim joints.
    +< on the roto-joints....

  20. #20
    Senior Member raynor139's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Age
    33
    Posts
    1,319

    Pewter
    2002 Trans Am WS6 M6

    Quote Originally Posted by Naaman View Post


    Yup. Been looking at the roto-joints for years. In certain parts of their descriptions, UMI indicates that the roto joint is "quieter" than the rod-end. However, when I ask for an actual explanation, I can't get a clear answer as to how noisy they are. Given your comment above about the torque-arm clunk, I assume that the rotos do not make noise?

    If so, then I'd go with double rotos. However, in the meantime, I had almost settled on the poly/roto combo.
    I've ridden in a car with roto joints. They will make noise but they are alot quieter then rod ends but not as quiet as poly.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. crazy day at work with an engine
    By BamBam87 in forum External Engine
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-15-2009, 10:56 AM
  2. 07 zo6 at my work, blown engine
    By blue02Z in forum Almost Anything Goes
    Replies: 138
    Last Post: 02-26-2009, 08:50 AM
  3. Finally after all the work , ITS RUNNING!?!?
    By camarostripes96 in forum LT1
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 10-06-2007, 10:18 AM
  4. Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-01-2007, 05:49 PM
  5. Does a 98 PCM work with a 99 Engine!
    By 9t8z28 in forum Computer & Tuning
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 01-18-2007, 06:34 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •