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My Head/Cam Install

This is a discussion on My Head/Cam Install within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; i really am torn here on what to do about these damn rod bolts. Sounds like its gonna be a ...

  1. #21
    Senior Member splitfinger09's Avatar
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    i really am torn here on what to do about these damn rod bolts. Sounds like its gonna be a pita to change them. Also it does not seem like just swapping out the bolts will work according the firebirdjones. How many people when doing a H/C swap actually change these bolts? ahhhh

  2. #22
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by splitfinger09 View Post
    i really am torn here on what to do about these damn rod bolts. Sounds like its gonna be a pita to change them. Also it does not seem like just swapping out the bolts will work according the firebirdjones. How many people when doing a H/C swap actually change these bolts? ahhhh
    I'm willing to bet very few people actually change the bolts unless they are already in there for something else.

    From what Shady is saying, and from Katechs site, their rod bolts are okay to swap in without resizing the rods. I'm sure there are probably others out there that have done this.

    I guess what you have to ask yourself is, how high do you plan to spin the motor and how often?? Do you drive civilized 90% of the time or do you plan to wing it at every stop light??
    If the rpms are kept reasonable (~6500) and you drive it sensibly, I don't see a problem with it. Depends on where the camshaft peaks on the dyno, as to where your shift points will be.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady milkman View Post
    tell that to the already weak connecting rods that have years and mileage on them...if you hit 400rwhp then it is advised to change them on our cars
    I've got stories about years and mileage and spinning motors tight

    On old iron to boot even

    Like a 72 LT1 with over 100,000 miles on it. It used oil but still ran strong, shifted that thing at 6500 all the time when I was younger and didn't care. Motor had never been apart, stock "pink" rods and stock bolts. Drove it daily for years and it never gave up.

    Or the 327 I ran in the Nomad. A 65 vintage motor, shortblock was never opened, mileage unknown but it was ALOT. (I bought it used and just ran with it ) Compression was a bit weak, but I freshened the top half with heads, cam intake etc....then proceeded to drive the weee out of it daily for several years, shifting at 6500, this was mid 1980's. That motor is still in one piece by the way resting comfortably on a stand. Just started using too much oil

    There were others but I won't get into all of it. With that said, on engines that were past their prime, I would hope to put more faith in the LS motors with all this technoligy. Powdered metal rods aren't the best, but I see alot of guys running stock bottom ends with cam only, or cam and heads and running successfully. So I really don't know what to think.
    I'm betting the LS6 engines of 01-03 had the same rods and rod bolts as our LS1's, and those engines had a factory redline of 6500, and easily went there.
    I know I won't be changing the rod bolts in mine, and it runs best shifting at 6500 (small cam only). Even moved the limiter to 6700 and held the engine there for about 150-200 feet banging the rev limiter trying to cross the finish line in 3rd gear I just wanted to eliminate shifting to 4th on that pass to see what it did for ET. Couldn't quite get there
    I figure if it ever lets go, I'll upgrade to a completely different package, something better. For now, with 75,000 miles it runs like a clock, so I leave it alone.

    Really up to the individual and what you plan to put the car through I guess. Only the owner knows for sure.

  4. #24
    Member TRANS-DAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady milkman View Post
    tell that to the already weak connecting rods that have years and mileage on them...if you hit 400rwhp then it is advised to change them on our cars
    Shady im not try-n to argue w/you but I think 400 is safe in a head & cam motor????..............mabe a donky **** cam only that you have to spin the motor to 7500rpm's to achieve that 400!

  5. #25
    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    here is some more info on rod bolts and resizing


    "You cant resize LS1 rods like you can SBC rods...the rods are different and allow you to just replace the bolts...thats what my previous post was about. When resizing the rods, you have to machine the mating surfaces...since an LS1 rod is fracture split and this locates the rod cap, you cant do that. SBC rods actually have studs that are a press fit that locates the cap. When you install new studs, the cap location can change, hence the need for the resizing."

    damn it firebird...now you have really confused me

  6. #26
    Senior Member splitfinger09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady milkman View Post
    here is some more info on rod bolts and resizing


    "You cant resize LS1 rods like you can SBC rods...the rods are different and allow you to just replace the bolts...thats what my previous post was about. When resizing the rods, you have to machine the mating surfaces...since an LS1 rod is fracture split and this locates the rod cap, you cant do that. SBC rods actually have studs that are a press fit that locates the cap. When you install new studs, the cap location can change, hence the need for the resizing."

    damn it firebird...now you have really confused me
    that makes two of us lol. okay so i really think im just going to leave the rod bolts alone. Im thinking of changing the motor mounts. What all is involved in doing this? What will this benifit me?

  7. #27
    King 0f n00bz shady milkman's Avatar
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    motor mounts will limit the amount of movement you engine makes ...with everything you are doings...it may save you some headaches to remove the engine...that way you can install the rod bolts just fine and have mucho room to install the cam and heads and motor mounts

  8. #28
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shady milkman View Post
    here is some more info on rod bolts and resizing


    "You cant resize LS1 rods like you can SBC rods...the rods are different and allow you to just replace the bolts...thats what my previous post was about. When resizing the rods, you have to machine the mating surfaces...since an LS1 rod is fracture split and this locates the rod cap, you cant do that. SBC rods actually have studs that are a press fit that locates the cap. When you install new studs, the cap location can change, hence the need for the resizing."

    damn it firebird...now you have really confused me

    You are right, I forgot the big end of these LS rods are snap caps, or fracture split as you called it. They are not "cut" in half like typical rods.
    All the more reason to change the rods for something better in these LS engines.

  9. #29
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    I have a umi K so maybe I can change the rod bolts by just removing the oil pan...

    has anyone else done this???

  10. #30
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    First I want to say that I have indeed replaced my factory connecting rod bolts with the ARP 2000. I installed them with the engine out of the car.

    Before I started I scratched a line on each side of the connecting rod cap were the cap is pressed to the rod on the outside and on the inside of each one ,,I did this to make sure that the ARP bolts weren't miss aligning the caps when torqued down.

    When I swapped the bolts I did them one at a time and torqued each one that I put back in at a time.After I had them all replaced and went back and rchecked each one to make sure there was no changes,because of the way I did this process.

    All the lines lined up exactly as they were with the factory bolts and I have 45 psi oil pressure at idle in traffic and at 1800rpm in 6th gear I have 60psi oil pressure.

    I have put over 500 miles on the engine since,,and have taken it over 6500 rpms with no problems and I have changed the oil twice since I did my H/C/I/I and ARP 2000 bolt swap and there has been no shavings stuck to the oil plug magnet.

    But I do want to add that you can resize the LS1 factory cracked rods if someone does choose to do so.the cracked ends of the rods do not interfear with the center bore of the big end.

    In the end who knows what might happen from the result of not resizing my connecting rods,,only time will tell,,but if it does blow up that just gives me a reason to build something bigger and stronger. Plus the car is just a toy to me it's not my DD.

  11. #31
    Member jb3golf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by incbed View Post
    First I want to say that I have indeed replaced my factory connecting rod bolts with the ARP 2000. I installed them with the engine out of the car.

    Before I started I scratched a line on each side of the connecting rod cap were the cap is pressed to the rod on the outside and on the inside of each one ,,I did this to make sure that the ARP bolts weren't miss aligning the caps when torqued down.

    When I swapped the bolts I did them one at a time and torqued each one that I put back in at a time.After I had them all replaced and went back and rchecked each one to make sure there was no changes,because of the way I did this process.

    All the lines lined up exactly as they were with the factory bolts and I have 45 psi oil pressure at idle in traffic and at 1800rpm in 6th gear I have 60psi oil pressure.

    I have put over 500 miles on the engine since,,and have taken it over 6500 rpms with no problems and I have changed the oil twice since I did my H/C/I/I and ARP 2000 bolt swap and there has been no shavings stuck to the oil plug magnet.

    But I do want to add that you can resize the LS1 factory cracked rods if someone does choose to do so.the cracked ends of the rods do not interfear with the center bore of the big end.

    In the end who knows what might happen from the result of not resizing my connecting rods,,only time will tell,,but if it does blow up that just gives me a reason to build something bigger and stronger. Plus the car is just a toy to me it's not my DD.
    Good choice on the ARP's. So, how much money, time and effort did you expend taking the engine out of the car???????? I've been reading your posts and I recently changed my rod bolts (along with a bunch of other stuff-check my threads on this) and did ALL the labor with the engine in car. I paid zero dollars on labor, so I'm curious here.........

  12. #32
    Junior Member incbed's Avatar
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    The whole reason I even took the engine out was because I already had the transmission out because I lost 5th and 6th gear.
    And my wife was complaining about the engine leaking oil on our drive way,,so I told her OK I will fix the oil leak
    So that opened the door for the OK to do go ahead and buy everything for a H/C/I/I swap since I already had the 243's worked on and everything else to fix that oil leak she was bitchin about

    So I first started to do the swap with the engine in the car,,,but after I had pretty much removed all the accessory brakets and I still had to use my engine lift to remove the oil pan,,,I said Fuk all I have left to do was remove the Starter,motor mount bolt on each side and disconnect the harness from inside the firewall and disconect a ground wire,, I could just pull the engine from the top. And that would make doing the swap and replacing the gaskets alot easier since Tick said my transmission wouldn't be back to me until two weeks.
    So I pulled the engine from the top which I had done before with a Silver 99 Z28 I had bought for profit back 6 years ago,,,,but anyways I ended up taking the engine over to the guy that did my 243 head work and had him measure PTV for me and he suggested my cam for me based off what he came up with in his measurements.

    So I orderd my cam from TSP and went on and swapped the ARP 2000 connecting rod bolts,,changed the rear cover gasket,and seal,,removed all the old graphite head gasket material that was left attached to the top of the block.
    I took a break for a day then the nextday my came showed up,,I install the cam ,,with LS2 timing chain,,dot to dot,,then installed the new oil pump and Oring,I used the black Oring by the way.
    Then I installed the oil pan with new pan gaskets,,then installed the front timing cover with new gaskets and front crank seal.
    Then I put new LS7 Lifters in that had been soaking in oil for over a day,,then I installed new lifter trays.
    Then I used GM STD steel head gaskets and torqued down my worked 243 heads,,then I installed the hardend pushrods and new secrete roller rockers that were donated to me for tryll purposes,,then I did the rocker arm preload one cylinder at a time.
    Then I installed the valve covers which I had to do some sheet metal removing and grinding on the inside of them to fit properly.
    Then I installed my FAST intake and TB with new GM white injectors already installed,,then the water pump with new gaskets.
    Then I decided I would go ahead and remove the K member from the car and put the engine back in from the bottom.
    So I removed the Kmember cleaned it up alittle bit ,,bolted the motor to the Kmember,,installed all the brackets and accessories,,Then mounted the coils ,and starter.
    Then I plugged in the wiring harness to everything on the engine,,installed new AC Delco iridium spark plugs,and I can't remember the brand plug wires.

    Then I installed my Pacesetter Lt's,,then I rolled everything back under the car lowered the car down on the Kmember,,and bolted everything back up.

    Then I noticed that I needed to remove the starter so I could run the oil level sensor harness,and crank position sensor harness and starter cable harness the correct way.
    Then my transmission came in two days later ,,so I installed that and everything else,,bla bla bla .

    Then started the engine on factory tune ,,it ran like shit,,would only stay running between 1500and 2000 rpm.
    So I had Vengeance do a flash tune,,the car ran 100% times better,,and now (Damian) is left to finish the tune.

    If anyone has any question please feel free to ask.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmarkx View Post
    I have a umi K so maybe I can change the rod bolts by just removing the oil pan...

    has anyone else done this???

    anyone?

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmarkx View Post
    anyone?
    Not sure of what your trying to say here???? How is a UMI K-member different from the stock piece that would change the install process???

  15. #35
    Junior Member incbed's Avatar
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    Ether way your not going to be able to properly torque the bolts with the Kmember in the way. It needs to be moved out of the way.

    Just use a engine hoist to hold the engine up and remove the Kmember and do it right the first time.

    Also don't forget to look and see if your connecting rods have FERRELS in them ,,if so they need to be removed before installing the new bolts.

  16. #36
    Junior Member incbed's Avatar
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    Also JB3golf,,

    The only work I did not do myself was the machine work to the heads and he put them togther for me for free,,and he checked the seat pressure and hieght and all that good stuff for me.

    Also I did not rebuild the transmission.

    But everything else I did by my self. And I did it without loosing any Freon.

    Also I replaced my powersteering pump.

    I forgot to answer one of your questions about time and money,,

    for engine removel ,and everything that I done to it along with putting the engine back in,,and transmission and till I started it back up the first time was about 3 weeks,,,
    I could have done it faster ,but I ended up finding the FAST intake and TB so I had to wait on shipping for that.

    Also I have roughly around $3,200--$3,500 not including the transmission rebuild ,,and they had to replace the 5th and 6th gears and some other stuff so I have $2,600 in the transmission.

    Then I have about $150 in my flowmaster merge and installation.

    Also I would like to add the vendors I used for purchases are as following in no order,
    TSP
    WS6 store
    Thunder Racing
    Comp Cams
    Ebay
    Neighbors automotive and machine work.
    GM
    Pacesetter
    Flowmaster
    Felpro
    Melling
    FAST
    PTM
    Katech
    Tick Performance
    Veangence Racing
    Spartan Performance,,aka (Damian)
    Toyo
    MSD
    AcDelco
    Patriot Performance
    Mad Dog Racing
    And i'm sure there's others i'm forgetting
    Last edited by incbed; 10-22-2010 at 06:53 AM.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by jb3golf View Post
    Not sure of what your trying to say here???? How is a UMI K-member different from the stock piece that would change the install process???
    the difference between the factory and umi is night and day. factory K covers almost the entire bottom of the pan. umi K just has a tube going across the bottom leaving the entire oil pan exposed....

  18. #38
    Senior Member splitfinger09's Avatar
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    talked with the shop I ordered the parts from and we have decided to leave the rod bolts alone. I dont plan on beating on the car or spinning it past 6500 rpm so I think they should be fine. Okay so I am getting ready to install the cam. Any pointers? Tips, tricks?

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    Member jb3golf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xmarkx View Post
    the difference between the factory and umi is night and day. factory K covers almost the entire bottom of the pan. umi K just has a tube going across the bottom leaving the entire oil pan exposed....
    Ahhh......I learned something today!!!lol

  20. #40
    Member jb3golf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by splitfinger09 View Post
    talked with the shop I ordered the parts from and we have decided to leave the rod bolts alone. I dont plan on beating on the car or spinning it past 6500 rpm so I think they should be fine. Okay so I am getting ready to install the cam. Any pointers? Tips, tricks?
    Nope......just follow LS1howto's install doc's and it SHOULD be a breeze. Make sure you have the dot to dot issue dead on before you button everything back up.

    Although you probably wont do this, I would suggest (as I may do this on my next project) purchasing a 2-piece timing cover. It looks like this item would make cam swaps SO MUCH easier since you wouldn't have to remove the crank pulley......as all of us (that have done the labor!!!) can vouch that the pulley is DIFFICULT to get off...........

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