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Using oil after head/cam swap

This is a discussion on Using oil after head/cam swap within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I've driven my '02 about 700 miles and it still uses much more oil than before. About a half a ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member Hoss93's Avatar
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    Using oil after head/cam swap

    I've driven my '02 about 700 miles and it still uses much more oil than before. About a half a quart every two weeks. Is this normal? Will it subside after awhile? No leaks I can see AND the shop double checked when I took it back for tuning.

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    Life in the Fast lane sunsetorangess's Avatar
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    You may have to do the catch can mod, What weight are you running for break in?
    J
    2001 SS, Its not the car its the Driver that matters....

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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    Catch can, PCV delete would probably do the job. There really isnt a 'break in' period for just heads and cam that I can think of to, only thing I would do is change the oil 100 or so miles after the motor has been apart like that.

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    ANyone have a link to this catchcan mod/pcv mod. I've passed over them over the years on the vette forum but never paid attention. now that I have an ls I wish I read it all. I'm all ears !

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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    PCV/Catch Can/Crank Pressure

    I love this setup, it makes sense and I have high hopes for mine that I just finished.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    The catch can is great, but it doesn't stop oil usage,,,it only catches it before it enters the intake system.
    Eliminating the PCV system would be one way. But since you have done a head/cam swap and now have an oil sucking problem that leads me to believe you have something else going on.
    That has me thinking you have valve guides not setup properly and sucking oil, valve seals could be another issue.

    Are the heads new, reman from a shop?? If rebuilt, I sure hope the shop lubed the guides and valves before assembly. I've seen so many rebuilt heads put together dry. They tend to gull up on the first start up due to lack of lubricant. Then you wind up with excessive valve guide clearance that no valve seal will cure, and sucking oil as a result. In extreme cases they can even hang a valve open,,,bad news. Aluminum heads are especially suspect because the bronze guides are soft. And running stock rockers without a roller tip multiplies the issue when high lift camshafts are involved.


    Don't mean to strike fear, but it would be best to find out where the oil is going to be sure.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 06-08-2009 at 02:04 PM.

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    Member jambofla's Avatar
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    do you see any smoke on start up?

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    Grand Imperial Wizard Sarge's Avatar
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    I didnt read the other responses...so if I duplicate please forgive an old man.....
    Sounds like your valve guides are screwed up.

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    any smoking? You can pop the bellows and throttle body off in just a few minutes and check for oil on the back of the tb blade and inside the intake to verify if it's pcv related. That seems like a ton of oil to be going through the pcv though but I guess it's possible.

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    Junior Member Hoss93's Avatar
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    No smoking. Higher rpm's than usual do it?

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    If you are still running cats,,,,you probably won't see much (if any at all) visual smoke. Those things get so hot it will burn most of that off.

    Check what Orion mentioned, that will help narrow things down.

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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0rion View Post
    any smoking? You can pop the bellows and throttle body off in just a few minutes and check for oil on the back of the tb blade and inside the intake to verify if it's pcv related. That seems like a ton of oil to be going through the pcv though but I guess it's possible.
    When I just did my catch can/PCV delete. Obviously had the intake off, looked in 5 or so of the head runners and you could see a visible amount of oil sitting on top of the closed valves. The intake had a decent coat also. Mine was obviously not running well

    Also, whats some more info on the heads? Old/new?

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    Junior Member Hoss93's Avatar
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    LS6 heads PRC dual spring kit
    tsunami 235/240 111 lsa cam
    Also, PS ceramic coated headers with Y pipe hi flow cats

    Is there a link for catch can self-install?

  14. #14
    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    I posted it in post 5. Its all there. Any questions give a shout to someone here.

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    Junior Member Hoss93's Avatar
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    Awesome - thx

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    Junior Member texas twister's Avatar
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    re

    valve stem seals

  17. #17
    Junior Member Hoss93's Avatar
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    Yep that's what Texas Speed just wrote back to me and asked that I have checked. They told me they would send me new seals but dang I have to pay for the labor for my shop to check/install the things. I'm no mechanic and even if I were I just don't have the time. But even if it were seals wouldn't it smoke more?
    I started it up this morning and watched before the cats could warm up and burn any off and it only smoked for a few seconds just like normal.

  18. #18
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoss93 View Post
    Yep that's what Texas Speed just wrote back to me and asked that I have checked. They told me they would send me new seals but dang I have to pay for the labor for my shop to check/install the things. I'm no mechanic and even if I were I just don't have the time. But even if it were seals wouldn't it smoke more?
    I started it up this morning and watched before the cats could warm up and burn any off and it only smoked for a few seconds just like normal.
    No amount of smoke is normal. If you are seeing smoke on startup then you have a cylinder head issue.
    Chances are,,,valve seals aren't going to fix it. If these are brand new heads it should have had new seals to begin with,,and there isn't much that can go wrong on seals with initial start up unless the retainer to valve seal clearance is too tight, and they got pounded.
    What I see more often on new heads as I mentioned before. They are generally assembled dry. Without lube on the guides and valve stems,,,the first initial startup causes excessive wear and gulling. It's especially critical on soft bronze guides. High lift cams excellerate the problem when roller tip rockers are not utilized. So what you get is excessive valve guide clearance right from the start. Even a good valve seal won't stop it. The engine will still suck oil right through the valve stem/valve guide area any time you start the car,,,or on deceleration when high vacuum is present.

    I would first do as suggested by Orion and pull the throttle body. Check for oil anywhere in and around the throttle body and bellow. If so,,then fix that problem first. It's the easiest to deal with at the moment. If oil is still being used it's then time to dig deeper.

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