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Got bad news

This is a discussion on Got bad news within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; replied in your other thread...

  1. #41
    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    2002 Camaro Z/28 Pewter

    replied in your other thread

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    i got that there piston slappin too...my girl was like "wtf is that knocking!" i was all "relax, bitch...that shit happens on tha reg"

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluehawk2000 View Post
    The 00 is a wednesday motor lol.
    And my 02 is probably a Monday motor

  4. #44
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    '12 Silver SS 1SS
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    No offense intended but if your cousin hasnt heard an ls1 with piston slap he must not know them well EVERY one I've heard has it with the exception of 1 and ive heard and driven 10-15 different ones over the years. Its is entirely possible it has rod issues but were just double checking.
    piston slap:

    rod bearing:
    both of those videos are rod knock. the 2nd one is simply a lot worse than the 1st video. mine sounded exactly like the 1st video. it never got as bad as the 2nd one. neither of my Ls1's have piston slap and the '98 ended with 4 spun bearings.

    thing is, people who don't know anything go around posting videos with the wrong titles and misinformation. i understand their intentions are good, but there comes a point when it needs to be taken to a professional to be correctly diagnosed.

    and for the record, my oil pressure was fine (held a constant 50-60 psi), didnt use/burn oil, nothing to indicate the issue were infact rod bearings until i took it to a friend at the local chevy dealership and in 5 seconds he told me it was rod knock. torn down the engine, and he was right! he helped to confirm what i suspected the issue was.

    Here is my thread. you can see where i stated in August i think its rod knock. I got laid off in Sept. thats when I had the time to get the noise confirmed by my friend at the dealership. I started the engine work in mid-Oct and finished in mid-Nov. my only mistake was i did not record video of what the car sounded like with the rod knock.

    '98 TA Ws6 - Possible buy, any areas for concern
    Last edited by SSwt00SS; 12-14-2010 at 08:25 AM.

  5. #45
    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    The first one is def not a rod knock I have seen that car in person and know the owner its been doing that since the day he bought it and hes put many more miles on it since. it sounds just like mine which can be heard here : [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiR0WQhYXsU[/ame] oh and i should have clarified a little more bad oil pressure isnt a sure fire way to tell but it is a very good indicator because when the bearings spin in their cases there is nothing to hold the oil psi up so it becomes erratic or non existant in some cases. Not aqll ls1s slap just most of them do from what i have seen the 01-02's tend to be the worst because the piston and rings styles were changed during those years which didnt help the already existent problem of the bore and piston being different sizes.
    Last edited by redbird555; 12-14-2010 at 08:29 AM.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    The first one is def not a rod knock I have seen that car in person and know the owner its been doing that since the day he bought it and hes put many more miles on it since. it sounds just like mine which can be heard here : oh and i should have clarified a little more bad oil pressure isnt a sure fire way to tell but it is a very good indicator because when the bearings spin in their cases there is nothing to hold the oil psi up so it becomes erratic or non existant in some cases. Not aqll ls1s slap just most of them do from what i have seen the 01-02's tend to be the worst because the piston and rings styles were changed during those years which didnt help the already existent problem of the bore and piston being different sizes.
    go ahead and tear down that engine in the 1st video and i promise you, you will fine at least 1 spun bearing. im telling you this from personal experience. in that video from 1500-2000 rpm i bet his steering wheel vibrates, just like mine did. the noise that engine makes in the 1st video was exactly the sound mine made when it had the spun bearings.

    i would bet money on it.

    i saved the 3 worst rod bearings from my rebuild and the best looking bearing to show in comparision. i would be more than happy to take pics and post them. did you know there are over 15 different ways for a rod bearing to fail? each has it's own unique way of identifying how it failed too!

    do you wish for me to concede my 11 years of experience with these cars, simply cause you know the owner of the video? how well does the owner know exactly the entire past of the vehicle before he got it? tell you what, if i come across another Ls1 that sounds like it, ill sell it to you at premium price swearing up and down it's piston slap! then when you find yourself with spun rod bearings it might sink in, that im actually trying to inform you what the real problem is.

    if you don't want knowledge or advice thats fine, you don't have to take it. but trust me in this case. i just fixed what was causing my car to sound exactly like the car in the 1st video.

  7. #47
    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    whoa whoa im not attacking your experience here. I'm sure yours did sound something like the first video however noises can sound similar but be completely different things. The first one on the video has 190k on the engine and gets a 100 shot on it every weekend theres no filings in the oil which would be there from a bad bearing grinding on the crank the noise has never gotten worse etc. If the op posts up a video we'll all have a better idea of whats going on but personally if my motor as well as a lot of different people on here sounds like the first vid and the oil psi is ok along with clean oil i wouldnt be tearing down the motor for a witch hunt problem that is common to most ls1's. anyway back on topic op we need a video lol

  8. #48
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    '12 Silver SS 1SS
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    whoa whoa im not attacking your experience here. I'm sure yours did sound something like the first video however noises can sound similar but be completely different things. The first one on the video has 190k on the engine and gets a 100 shot on it every weekend theres no filings in the oil which would be there from a bad bearing grinding on the crank the noise has never gotten worse etc. If the op posts up a video we'll all have a better idea of whats going on but personally if my motor as well as a lot of different people on here sounds like the first vid and the oil psi is ok along with clean oil i wouldnt be tearing down the motor for a witch hunt problem that is common to most ls1's. anyway back on topic op we need a video lol

    Red,

    after doing 2 oil changes prior to my rebuild (right after i got the car and then before driving it 550 miles one way to do the engine work), i had no shavings in my oil when i drained it, and did the paper test on the dip stick. it was only after i tore into the engine, dropped the oil pan and removed the cover, could i then see the shavings of the rod bearings.

    again, all the signs associated with having spun rod bearings were not there (oil pressure good, not burning it, could not see metal shavings when draining the oil). only the sound was there, and thats what i had to go off of.

    bought the car with 66,8xx miles and it now has 68,3xx miles. 1100 of which were driving the car in that one trip. so in 6 months of owning it, not even 2000 miles on the car cause i have been fixing it...

    she's done now and i couldn't be happier. i think all things considered, doing the engine work and paint work myself, she came out looking awesome!!!

    but i agree, OP needs to post up a video!

  9. #49
    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    to each his own but yes either way op before u blow 4g's on a rebuild lets get a group opinion

  10. #50
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Every engine is going to be different, and I'm sure everyone has their own story. But it doesn't change the fact that these engines do in fact have piston slap issues, even GM has acknowledged that.

    One of my LS1's also has piston slap, although not nearly as loud as that video posted. Not a big deal, and nothing new. It's been doing it for the last 30,000 miles and it's been the same degree of knock ever since it started a few years ago. After 5 minutes of running it goes away completely.

    I can however say I've spun bearings in a few other types of engines, and in all my experiences with spun bearings, a few things have always happened.

    One, my oil pressure dropped very low or lost completely.
    Two, the noise never went away even when the engine was warm, as a matter of fact you could say it got worse as the engine got hotter. Which is the exact opposite of what a loose piston in the bore will do.

    The differences in sounds are very audible to me. Being around 60's and 70's muscle cars most of my life with factory forged pistons, the cold piston noise is almost a given to me.
    On an LS1 with hyperutectic pistons that fit with some of the tightest tolerances in the piston industry, it simply shouldn't be happening.

  11. #51
    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    quoted from gm engineer when asked about piston slap...



    "Are you talking about piston slap during the first few minutes of warmup..??


    If so...that is what it is. Nothing to fear or nothing really wrong...just the piston noise until the piston warms up to fill the clearance to the bore.

    Pistons rock as they cross TDC where the thrust load from the rod angularity shifts from one side to the other. This makes noise. Harmless..but it is the source of piston slap in most all situations.

    To prevent this, pistons are designed with long, tapered, flexible skirts so that they can be fitted very tight in the bores when the bore and piston is cold. The taper of the skirt and flexibility of the skirt then prevents scuffing when the piston is hot. Also, the piston pin in OEM production pistons is always offset to one side....it is NOT in the middle of the piston. By offsetting the pin in the piston, artificial thrust load is created to control the piston "rocking" as it crosses over TDC.

    Unfortunately, all of the above control techniques, common in past model engines to the extreme, create excess piston mass, cause friction and cost power and fuel economy. With the desire to build in as much power and free-revving capability and to improve fuel economy as much as possible thru friction reduction these design features are pushed in the other direction on modern engines.

    Piston pin offset has been reduced over the years to a bare minimum today to reduce the thrust load generated and reduce friction. Pistons have been lightened up considerably by shortening the skirts. This creates less rotating/reciprocating mass which is good for power, free revving capability and fuel economy. Light weight pistons are great but the skirts, by necessity, are short making it hard to make them both strong and flexible and the shorter ckirts make them more prone to rocking.

    Unfortunately, when the performance and fuel economy oriented pistons are run cold they are very prone to "slap" until they warm up to operating temperature.

    The piston designers and development engineers are always treading the fine line between piston slap cold and friction and power/fuel economy loss when the engine is warm.

    It is possible that you are hearing piston noise from an engine that is on the "high limit" for piston clearance so that it makes some noise cold. The good news is that the condition is harmless and that engine is probably a little more powerful (due to less friction) than a "quiet" counterpart. The bad news is that...it makes noise cold.

    As an example of what the piston pin offset can do, it was common back in the early 70's to turn the pistons around "backwards" in the large displacement Chrysler engines to gain power. Those engines had large piston pin offsets to create thrust load to control the piston slap. So much thrust load and friction was created that just turning the pistons around in the bores was often good for 10 HP. The engines were very quiet with the pistons in correctly and they slapped like crazy, especially when cold, with the pistons reversed so as to reverse the pin offset.

    Racing engines do not have the pin offset and thus the pistons slap like mad...but no one hears them over the open headers.
    The noise is an annoyance but will not hurt anything and the engine is fine.

    I don't remember if that engine had full floating pins or not but they can also cause some ticking just after start. Same sort of deal...the "correct" clearances in floating pins will cause clicking after startup for 30 seconds or so. To prevent the start up noise, the floating pin clearance must be kept so tight that the pins are almost press fit again."

  12. #52
    Member Jay37's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    i got that there piston slappin too...my girl was like "wtf is that knocking!" i was all "relax, bitch...that shit happens on tha reg"
    Thats funny no doubt, but bro if she can here it, you prolly have a problem.

    Piston slap goes away when warm. wtf is the issue lol. That first engine is toast, like I don't even see the debate. and second one sounds like a bad lifter to me, hard to tell in a video. Either way any one who learned from experiance I think would agree that if you can here it in a video its toast. I wasn't going to listen to the video because its hard to tell anything... but I did and yup you can hear it. I have seen loose exuast and to much advance in timing cause a sound like a bottom end knock... but not on a GENIII engine.

    -red- sometimes these engines go a long time on a knock I.E. rod or pin, but the longer you wait the more it will cost. Once a factory LS warms up... it should be quiet.

    Between running dirt track and just being around.... I learned that when I hear that sound I have two options....
    1. Run that bitch till she blows, which will prolly take my block too, then get out, call the car a piece of shit and forget I ever owned the car...
    2. shut it down and fix it
    Last edited by Jay37; 12-14-2010 at 02:44 PM.

  13. #53
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    OP-does it go away when warm?

  14. #54
    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay37 View Post
    Thats funny no doubt, but bro if she can here it, you prolly have a problem.

    Piston slap goes away when warm. wtf is the issue lol. That first engine is toast, like I don't even see the debate. and second one sounds like a bad lifter to me, hard to tell in a video. Either way any one who learned from experiance I think would agree that if you can here it in a video its toast. I wasn't going to listen to the video because its hard to tell anything... but I did and yup you can hear it. I have seen loose exuast and to much advance in timing cause a sound like a bottom end knock... but not on a GENIII engine.

    -red- sometimes these engines go a long time on a knock I.E. rod or pin, but the longer you wait the more it will cost. Once a factory LS warms up... it should be quiet.

    Between running dirt track and just being around.... I learned that when I hear that sound I have two options....
    1. Run that bitch till she blows, which will prolly take my block too, then get out, call the car a piece of shit and forget I ever owned the car...
    2. shut it down and fix it

    my engine noise goes away when it warms up. It aint no rod knockin, i know that. If it is, then its a tough ass rod. regardless, im not too worried about it. If it breaks, then it breaks. Its not my dd.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    my engine noise goes away when it warms up. It aint no rod knockin, i know that. If it is, then its a tough ass rod. regardless, im not too worried about it. If it breaks, then it breaks. Its not my dd.
    Right on. I retract my statement then

  16. #56
    Junior Member chantel's Avatar
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    Got the news today which is not piston slap,3 bad rods and my cousin Troy took it to his shop yesterday.Went over it with a help of an employee of his using a stethescope used for automotive use,rods pounding.Pulled out most of the way yesterday and came out today.Finally put it on the engine stand and pulled the pan.Pan was full of bearing material.#1,#3 and #6 rods bad and I saw the movement out of them.Called before pulling the caps,I came down and showed me this.bearings for the #3 rod were gone,fell apart in pieces.The crank is junk,scored up #3 badly.I finally said to get high performance rods including the crank which are on order.I plan on doing burnouts a lot and stock will not do.Block goes to the machine shop tommorrow.

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    Glad to see you went with option two! option one makes for a good storie though.
    1. Run that bitch till she blows, which will prolly take my block too, then get out, call the car a piece of shit and forget I ever owned the car...
    2. shut it down and fix it

  18. #58
    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay37 View Post
    Thats funny no doubt, but bro if she can here it, you prolly have a problem.

    Piston slap goes away when warm. wtf is the issue lol. That first engine is toast, like I don't even see the debate. and second one sounds like a bad lifter to me, hard to tell in a video. Either way any one who learned from experiance I think would agree that if you can here it in a video its toast. I wasn't going to listen to the video because its hard to tell anything... but I did and yup you can hear it. I have seen loose exuast and to much advance in timing cause a sound like a bottom end knock... but not on a GENIII engine.

    -red- sometimes these engines go a long time on a knock I.E. rod or pin, but the longer you wait the more it will cost. Once a factory LS warms up... it should be quiet.

    Between running dirt track and just being around.... I learned that when I hear that sound I have two options....
    1. Run that bitch till she blows, which will prolly take my block too, then get out, call the car a piece of shit and forget I ever owned the car...
    2. shut it down and fix it
    The first engine has dont it for about 90k so im pretty sure its just slap esp because it does go away when warm and it gets sprayed a lot. But also like jones and i said a rod knock almost always affects oil psi and it doesnt go away at all whereas piston slap will disappear with rpms and temp. To th op I'm sorry to hear about the motor make sure u get that new assembly balanced well its just as important as the parts going into it.

  19. #59
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    quoted from gm engineer when asked about piston slap...



    "Are you talking about piston slap during the first few minutes of warmup..??


    If so...that is what it is. Nothing to fear or nothing really wrong...just the piston noise until the piston warms up to fill the clearance to the bore.

    Pistons rock as they cross TDC where the thrust load from the rod angularity shifts from one side to the other. This makes noise. Harmless..but it is the source of piston slap in most all situations.

    To prevent this, pistons are designed with long, tapered, flexible skirts so that they can be fitted very tight in the bores when the bore and piston is cold. The taper of the skirt and flexibility of the skirt then prevents scuffing when the piston is hot. Also, the piston pin in OEM production pistons is always offset to one side....it is NOT in the middle of the piston. By offsetting the pin in the piston, artificial thrust load is created to control the piston "rocking" as it crosses over TDC.

    Unfortunately, all of the above control techniques, common in past model engines to the extreme, create excess piston mass, cause friction and cost power and fuel economy. With the desire to build in as much power and free-revving capability and to improve fuel economy as much as possible thru friction reduction these design features are pushed in the other direction on modern engines.

    Piston pin offset has been reduced over the years to a bare minimum today to reduce the thrust load generated and reduce friction. Pistons have been lightened up considerably by shortening the skirts. This creates less rotating/reciprocating mass which is good for power, free revving capability and fuel economy. Light weight pistons are great but the skirts, by necessity, are short making it hard to make them both strong and flexible and the shorter ckirts make them more prone to rocking.

    Unfortunately, when the performance and fuel economy oriented pistons are run cold they are very prone to "slap" until they warm up to operating temperature.

    The piston designers and development engineers are always treading the fine line between piston slap cold and friction and power/fuel economy loss when the engine is warm.

    It is possible that you are hearing piston noise from an engine that is on the "high limit" for piston clearance so that it makes some noise cold. The good news is that the condition is harmless and that engine is probably a little more powerful (due to less friction) than a "quiet" counterpart. The bad news is that...it makes noise cold.

    As an example of what the piston pin offset can do, it was common back in the early 70's to turn the pistons around "backwards" in the large displacement Chrysler engines to gain power. Those engines had large piston pin offsets to create thrust load to control the piston slap. So much thrust load and friction was created that just turning the pistons around in the bores was often good for 10 HP. The engines were very quiet with the pistons in correctly and they slapped like crazy, especially when cold, with the pistons reversed so as to reverse the pin offset.

    Racing engines do not have the pin offset and thus the pistons slap like mad...but no one hears them over the open headers.
    The noise is an annoyance but will not hurt anything and the engine is fine.

    I don't remember if that engine had full floating pins or not but they can also cause some ticking just after start. Same sort of deal...the "correct" clearances in floating pins will cause clicking after startup for 30 seconds or so. To prevent the start up noise, the floating pin clearance must be kept so tight that the pins are almost press fit again."
    For a GM engineer he sure says some very strange things in there. I've never in all my life of being around top notch engine builders and building them myself, ever heard anyone say they want there engines to have loose fitting pistons that slap in the bores to make more HP That just cracked me up. That sounds more like a GM engineer trying to cover his ass from warranty claims out the wazzoo.
    When a piston is rocking around that much in the bore, it's not making more HP,,,,it's having a hard time controlling the rings, probably has blowby, lost compression, and in severe cases I've seen piston skirts actually broken clean off and laying in the oil pan. Not to mention all that slapping is creating accessive and unnecessary cylinder wall wear.
    Todays pistons don't have much of a skirt anymore however.
    And when it comes to Hyperutectic pistons that are so common now, they are setup very tight in the bores. Generally they only call for .0015 of sidewall clearance, split that in half (remember we are dealing with a circle) and you start to realize how tight that really is per side. We are talking engine bearing type of clearances here.
    I just refreshed a 406 I've had with KB hyperutectic pistons in it, and they called for this same .0015 clearance. That baby is as quiet as a mouse.

    Forged pistons are usually in the .004 to .006 range if that gives you any idea. And even those are pretty quiet when cold.
    My 640 HP 454 with forged pistons, built many years ago with a piston sidewall clearance at .004, tons of passes on it, and about 25-30,000 street miles and that thing is still as quiet as a mouse when it's cold.
    My 70 formula is another good example of a quiet forged piston, been together since 99, tons of passes and street miles. Quiet as the day it was built.

    So for an engine to be slapping enough to make an audible noise, especially like the video above, it would have to be pretty damn loose. I'd hate to even think the amount of clearance in those bores and what it's doing to the bores.
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 12-14-2010 at 04:57 PM.

  20. #60
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    -red- just my 2 cents man a bottom end knock doesn't have to be a rod, i didn't say anything about a rod. As already stated, a rod will yes get worse with heat, but a pin will get better. I can't pinpoint something from a video, really all you can tell is something is knocking loudly.

    I was also always taught that a loose engine is good for racing (less friction) and doesn't last
    tight engines good for the street,

    "My 640 HP 454 with forged pistons, built many years ago with a piston sidewall clearance at .004, tons of passes on it, and about 25-30,000 street miles and that thing is still as quiet as a mouse when it's cold.
    My 70 formula is another good example of a quiet forged piston, been together since 99, tons of passes and street miles. Quiet as the day it was built."

    I thought that the C-5 C-6 corvettes... were designed to hang with the big boys so they shortened the skirts to try to add a couple ponys and took every trick out of there bag, to biuld a "race inspired" engine.
    In my experiance I have not seen a good racing engine, that doesn't burn at least a quart of oil a race and literally blow out of the the valve cover breathers because of so much blow by from the loose engine, but you can't hear the slapping and knocking over open headers, thats dozens off 355s and 406s... just go to a stock car race.

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