Results 1 to 7 of 7
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By 35th-ANV-SS

Advice for first time LS1 owner

This is a discussion on Advice for first time LS1 owner within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hey guys...we bought our first LS1 Camaro last month and just wanted some advice... First, some backstory. My wife is ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    arkansas
    Posts
    8

    pewter
    2000 z28

    Advice for first time LS1 owner

    Hey guys...we bought our first LS1 Camaro last month and just wanted some advice...

    First, some backstory. My wife is a big Camaro fan and had a '99 pewter Camaro with just a V6 but it had a nice little ground effects kit. She loved it but it did need some work on it after owning it for about 7 years. Her sister told us of a car lot that had a Camaro VERY similar to hers and we went to look at it just for fun. Turns out it was nearly EXACTLY like hers, same color and ground effects, only it was a Z28 with the LS1 motor and nearly mint interior. It also had the factory LS1 striping decals in black down the side. Needless to say, she fell in love instantly and we ended up driving it home that day.

    I wasn't real familiar with Camaros or the LS1, (my baby is my Dodge Ram HEMI) so I've done some reading up on them since we got it. There are a few things I've got concerns about, which is why I've decided to post here.

    First, the previous owner has done some modding, some of it I'm not sure exactly what. Among the ones I'm sure about: Borla catback dual exhaust system, SLP cold air induction system, slotted rotors and performance brake calipers, remote ignition/security system, and some programming/tuning according to the dealer. I don't think it's an actual SS model because the spoiler is a Z28 style, but it does have an aftermarket SS style hood and leather seats with the SS stitching. The emblems on the body are all Z28.

    So my question is, if any of you had bought this car, where would you start as far as "getting to know it"? I guess it'd be easier if it was all stock, but I'm just curious about all the mods. I know for sure that it needs a tune as the timing seems a little off, and I'm getting engine codes related to the knock sensors. Oil pressure is always normal but there seems to be some knocking/rattling type noise around the 1500-2000 rpm range but only when the car is in gear, not when sitting in park. I've heard these engines are notorious for "piston slap" and sound pretty rough sometimes until they're warmed up. Are the knock sensors related to this? There's a thump sometimes under the floorboard when it shifts, and sometimes it shifts hard from 1st-2nd, and I'm not sure if there's been a shift kit installed or not. Tranny mount could possibly be broken but I haven't been able to get it on a lift yet to check it all out. I know I sound like a newb lol, but honestly I'm not a huge motor expert and this engine is specifically new to me. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    pajeff02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mansfield, PA
    Posts
    21,567

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

    Welcome to the site and congrats! I'll try to answer some of your questions --

    Piston slap is generally only experienced on cold startup. The LS engines have short skirt pistons and until things warm up and settle in a little noise can result - it is no big deal and these engines generally go well north of 150,000 miles without issues. Timing is all computer controlled and is non-adjustable in the conventional sense. I would suspect that something else is going on -- most common issue is a dirty Mass Air Flow sensor (MAF) which is located between the air lid and the throttle body. You can buy spray CRC MAF Cleaner at just about any parts store. Remove the sensor and hose everything down good, paying particular attention to the bore and the sensor wires. Also, inspect the MAF to see if it has been tampered with. The stock MAF is made of cast aluminum, it should have a screen on the inlet side, and there should be no evidence of porting. As a general rule -- never mess with the MAF.

    You should give the entire car a once over. The knocking could be a transmission mount, exhaust component, torque arm mount -- or lots of other things. This knocking could be what is tripping your knock sensors. The more common problem though is that the sensors and harnesses can corrode over time if water is setting on top of the valley pan. Depending upon how the car was kept and the angle it was parked at in rain is what can cause this. If you end up replacing the sensors, go with stock GM pieces and not aftermarket. There are two (2) sensors installed in the top of the valley pan and you have to pull the intake to access them. There is no intake water crossover as in old school SBC motors, but you have to be very careful of the oil pressure sender on the back driver side corner of the block as it can get caught by the PCV hose and vacuum hose and easily breaks.

    Other things to check include the air filter (avoid the oiled cotton gauze style filters), plugs and wires, fuel filter, and carefully inspect the PCV hoses. The hose system originates at the back of the driver side rocker cover, goes behind the engine to the passenger side, and then travels up to the actual PCV valve and connects to the intake behind the throttle body. The hose deteriorates over time and creates a vacuum leak that will affect how the car runs. If you have higher miles, the front O2 senders can get lazy over time. Generally, these should be replaced by 80,000 miles. I always recommend Bosch P/N 13111 sensors (which is not what the parts store will look up for you - they will try to sell you 13444's). The 13111's have a nice long wire harness and work well with headers.

    Other than the above, servicing the transmission (fluid and filter change), flushing the cooling system and replacing the hoses and thermostat, replacing the belts, and changing the fluid in the rear differential are all good maintenance items as our cars are now aging (just a bit). If you have any other specific issues, feel free to post up as we do like questions on our site. Enjoy!

  3. #3
    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...

    In addition to what Jeff said I'll add take a look at the top of this section and you'll see Tech and General info stickies that will just about cover everything you may have a question on.

  4. #4
    Senior Member theorangeguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    1,434

    Black / White
    '00 T/A M6/'15 Hemi Truck

    I always recommend a few things with a new car "on top of what Jeff mentioned", especially an fbody...one, wash the car by hand and take your time the first time you do it because you'll find what needs attention, if you have any lose panels or ground effects, where the scratches and dents are, leaks in the hatch/T-tops, loose weather stripping, etc. Next I would put the car in the air on jack stands and take a look underneath and see how everything looks. I like to grab stuff and try to move it with my hands...or twist bolts with my fingers. The rear main seal is a known leak point and sometimes its very very slow and the only time you would notice it is if you were under the car and could see the oil/moisture build up. Check the rear end as well...moisture build up along the bottom of the rear diff cover and the drive shaft input is pretty common, but if you see any moisture you'll know what you'll need to pay attention to in the future...go ahead and cross your fingers that you dont find any moisture build up towards the back of the motor...rear main seal is no fun to replace lol

    Other than that, I think Jeff hit on everything

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    arkansas
    Posts
    8

    pewter
    2000 z28

    Lots of good info! I really appreciate it guys! Looks like I've got some tinkering to do lol

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
    pajeff02's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Mansfield, PA
    Posts
    21,567

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

    Tinkering is fun... especially on these cars!

  7. #7
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Wherever life takes me
    Posts
    12,465

    Red
    02 35th LE Camaro SS

    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    Tinkering is fun... especially on these cars!
    When you have the time, money, and a lift in your garage is makes it a lot more fun lol.
    pajeff02 likes this.
    It's on jackstands.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

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

Similar Threads

  1. Question: First time Ls1 owner... need help
    By King in forum Firebird / WS6
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 02-21-2012, 08:48 AM
  2. Tips, advice, recommendations, info for new owner
    By onetroubledguy in forum Firebird / WS6
    Replies: 33
    Last Post: 12-29-2007, 08:16 PM
  3. First Time LS1 Owner
    By Black_WS6_TX in forum New Member Introductions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-04-2007, 12:33 PM
  4. First time Camaro owner needing some advice.
    By Jasin in forum Camaro / SS
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 04-18-2007, 12:23 AM

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
  •