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Engine is dying SES is blinking... HELP!!!

This is a discussion on Engine is dying SES is blinking... HELP!!! within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hello everyone... I am new to this forum, and unfortunately I need to make a shitty entrance... I just got ...

  1. #1
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    Exclamation Engine is dying SES is blinking... HELP!!!

    Hello everyone... I am new to this forum, and unfortunately I need to make a shitty entrance...

    I just got a 1998 Trans Am WS6 with 120000 miles on it. I was driving around about 2 weeks ago and while racing a mustang I let it bounce off the rev limiter for a few seconds. I realized afterwards that the engine was making a constant ticking sound that increased in volume and speed when I revved it and I don't know what it was. My friends and I came to the conclusion that it was either a bent pushrod or a crushed lifter. I was going to take the valve cover off this weekend and look into it.

    However, the service engine light came on about 5 days ago. I had it checked and it said it was a bad connection to cooling fan number 2. The light went off later that day. Then, the light came back on yesterday adn I figured it was the same problem, and that it would go off again so I didnt have it checked. Anyways, while I was driving tonight It seemed like the car was getting horrible gas mileage and there started to be a loss in power. The service engine light started blinking and the car started shaking. I pulled into a gas station and popped the hood. I no longer heard a constant ticking, but an on and off ticking noise that was now coming from the opposite side of the engien it seemed. Also, there is a trememndous loss in power and gas mileage now, and the engien just sounds very choppy.

    I have no idea what is wrong with the car, and I am hoping you guys can help me as I have noticed you are all very knowledgeable with the LS1.

    If possible quick responses would be much appreciated as I am planning on taking the day off of work tomorrow to take the car apart and figure out what is wrong, I just dont know where to start.

    Thanks
    -Scott

  2. #2
    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    ok first off yes you either floated a lifter or bent a rod, i highly suggest unless you know what your doing to take this one to a shop. you have to take the heads off to get to the lifters on the LS1, a friend of mine did the exact same thing as you did, and when he gets on here he will tell you the same as i will.

    if you are going to tackle this project make sure you have a TQ wrench to make sure all the head bolts are tight. or the car will over heat cause of a loss of fuild that will be leaking out of them and then you will have a seriour problem on your hands after that man.

    let us know what you decide to do.

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    floated a lifter?

    The reason I am asking what to do is because it went from a constant ticking to a random ticking and just running like shit guzzling gas and shaking. I think it started misfiring, I am gonna pull the valve covers off tomorrow and see wats going on there first. I am also gonna change the plugs while i am in there and see wat happens. I heard that a bad plug or wire or coil could cause a loud ticking, and the way the engine is losing power/running/using so much gas it almost seems like a serious misfire.

    Keep the advice comin tho thansk for your help so far.

    Thanks
    -Scott

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    Member keliente's Avatar
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    Hmm...bouncing off the rev limiter normally isn't a problem for the pushrods, it's when you mechanically overspin the engine (say you hit 2nd instead of 4th doing 100 mph) to a super high RPM that you bend a rod. I did so this March, pulled the valvecovers & rockers off and found two pushrods with a slight bend to them. I was glad it wasn't a lifter.

    Does the car run okay for the first minute or so, and then get crappy as you drive down the road? May want to look into the o2 sensors. I had one go bad and I thought the shifter was going to jump right out of the car the way the damn thing was shaking so bad. It was practically undriveable, I had to limp home. The flashing SES light just gave me a P0300 code (random misfire). While I was trying to decide what oxygen sensors to get, I flashed the car to stay in open loop (where it doesn't rely on o2 sensors for adjustment). It wasn't until 50-60 miles later that I got an SES light for an o2 sensor!

    This may sound silly but it also wouldn't hurt to check for an exhaust leak, which can also make a ticking sound. Check that your AIR & EGR don't have a random big leak in them, that could cause it to run very crappy...I would wait to check the lifters until the very end since it can be tedious to pull the heads off.

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    well im gonna get it scanned first thing tomorrw, then im gonna do the plugs and pll the valve covers and check the valvtrain from what I can see there. How hard at eh o2 sensors to replace, and what else could have caused that ticking. It doesnt seem to be ticking anymore, just running like crap.

    Thanks
    -Scott

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    well i had the codes checked, and found that it was cylinder 3 misfire... So i pulled the valve cover off and low and behold, there is no pushrod on one of the rockers for cyl. 3. So now I need to take the intake manifold off and hunt down the pushrod. It also took a chunk out of the side of the hole that the pushrod goes through in the head... Well I am getting another pushrod tomorrow morning and hopefully have this thing apart/back together by the end of the weekend.

    One mnore thing, anyone got any advice or a place to go on how to take off the intake manifold? I was thinking about taking it off without taking the fuel rails off, but I dont know if that would be the best way.

    Thanks
    -Scott

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    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    so you threw a rod???

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    define throw...

    I cant frin the rod under the valve cover, so it must be somewhere in the vally. I will find it tomorrow morning when I remoove the intake.

    Thanks
    -Scott

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    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    oh shit!! hope it didnt fuck anything else up!

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    the car still ran, just skipped a lot and you could hear a rattling from under the intake. Im sure it didnt mess anything up, hopefully...

    Ill post up some pics tomorrw, they will be interesting.

    -Scott

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    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    cool, i really want to see what happened, and you know there is a plenium under the intake dont you?

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    oh god... I was reading up on takign the intake off as you said that...

    I just noticed a plate there... can I remove this? how can I get to the valey without removing the heads??

    Thanks
    -Scott

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    Senior Member Zboner's Avatar
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    i really think the only way to get to the valley is to take the heads off is the best bet thats why i had that big post up top to take it to someone with experience and let them do this, it is a very complicated thing to undertake

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    well I notived screws holding that plenum down, what happens if you remove those? Can you take the plenum off that way?

    Thanks
    -Scott

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    You need to a little more research before you go digging. Leave the plate alone, it gives access to nothing. Try to find the lost rod with a magnet, and try a small magnet in the oil pan in case it fell through otherwise the heads and the possibly the pan have to come off. Also if you bought it used you should either have a tuner check the rev limiter or have a dealer reflash the original stock tune. Hitting the rev limiter should not cause a problem.

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    where can I get some info on getting the head(s) off... and I shouldnt need to take the passenger side head off if its a pushrod on the drivers side that broke right?

    Thanks
    -Scott

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    Pull the engine and just have a stock rebuild reusing the stock crank and rods as long as they are useful.

    120,000 miles, its about time to refresh that bird, nothing fancy just the main necessity's.

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    lol no thanks.

    Once I pay off the car the engine will have about 150k on it, then Im pullin it and doing LS6 heands/intake and a ncie cam and full exhaust. Along with the re-ring or rebild.

    As of right now I got the intake manifold off, and im workin on the water/power steering pumps. Ill post pics later of my progress and I hope to be done later... wish me luck guys...

    Thanks
    -Scott

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    well sounds like you are in a pickle....I'd say try a magnet or talk to an machine shop or racing shop that deals with these engines.

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    Veteran Hi-Po's Avatar
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    My instructer once told " a blinking check engine light means your Cat is going out"

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