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Spun Bearing rebuild advice

This is a discussion on Spun Bearing rebuild advice within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Hello everyone, A couple of years ago I believe I spun a bearing in my 01 Trans Am, LS1. I ...

  1. #1
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    Spun Bearing rebuild advice

    Hello everyone,

    A couple of years ago I believe I spun a bearing in my 01 Trans Am, LS1. I am in a position to get the engine pulled and have a shop fix it. They quote me $4,500 - $4,800 to pull the engine and rebuild it back to original. However this is one of those cases where "while the engine is out should I....fill in the blank".

    I'm toying around with the idea of putting a 383 stroker kit in but have a few questions.

    What upgrades should be done while the engine is out vs what upgrades could be done later once the engine is back in?
    Is a stroker kit worth the investment or could similar (HP gains) be made on the top end of the motor (i.e. cam, etc)?
    If I put a stroker kit in what needs to be upgraded and what can wait until later?

    I'm basically looking for the most bang for my buck I'm looking at about a $6-$7k budget.

    Thanks in advance for the help!

    Defel

  2. #2
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Lots of directions to go. Since you have a budget set aside and ready to go you have alot of options.

    First I'd have the machine shop inspect the damage and see what is salvagable and how bad things might be. Usually from my experience spinning a rod bearing passes trash through the engine very quickly and also gets other bearings hot in a very short amount of run time. Heat distorts the main saddle as well as the rods. The heat generated 9 times out of 10 also bends the crank.

    As long as the crank can be turned enough to clean up, most good crank shops can also straighten the crank (I just had this done myself) and salvage it.

    Because of the heat and distortion, at a minimum rods will need resized, and since LS engines use snap cap rods I'd suggest replacing with new. Chances are good the block will need align honed to straighten the mains as well.

    I think once you get into it and figure the cost of machine work to repair that crank, and the rods resized or replaced, that the stroker rotating assemblies really start looking pretty good from just a cost perspective alone.

    First thing I'd check before all this though is the block and it's bores. Need to make sure the bores can be honed back round again without going beyond spec on the sleeves, before you proceed too far with other things. Most can only be honed a few thou....if they are out of round more than that the block is done. Unless you wan to spend $1,000 sleeving it.

  3. #3
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    Like FBJ said with your budget you have options.

    One that he didn't mention is you can get a crate motor. TS&P has a short block 383 for $4200 shipped. That comes with new block, forged crank, H beam rods and Wiseco or Diamond Fire pistons. It is complete and ready to drop in after you transfer your oil pan, heads, accessories, etc.


    Are you able to do the work yourself? If you can you can save a ton on $$ in labor charges. That is about half your budget.



    Take a look at these engine builds to give you an idea of what your looking at.
    Engine Builds

    There are 3 examples of what can come up and bite you.

    The first thing that needs done before buying stuff is exactly what FBJ said, get the block and crank checked out. Both are the foundation for everything else.


    Going through my cost of my builds this will give you an idea on what it costs.

    1st time build (370ci); This was using the stock crank:

    Machine Shop Costs:
    6L LQ4 Block bore 4.005 (on examination the #8 cyl was out of spec): $250
    Balance rotating assembly: $160
    Block Magnaflux (for cracks): $65
    Install Cam bearings & check clearance for rods & crank) $85
    Line Hone for ARP Main studs: $130 (only needed is going to ARP main studs)
    Block clean: $60

    Parts
    Cam: $375
    Valve springs spec for cam: $220
    Full bearing set (Clevite): $160
    All Gaskets: $260
    Melling 10296 Oil Pump: $130 (You will need a new oil pump, recommend a Melling 10295 Oil Pump. Stock Ops are ok but with this many miles you should invest in new one. 10295 cost the same as the 10296 that I got).
    SCAT Forged 6.125" I beam rods: $340 (this was needed because the stock rods were toast)
    DSS Pistons Forged 4.005": $390 (this was required because of new bore size)

    Extras: (consider extra because you're not required to get but I did because they are far better over stock)
    ARP Head studs $260
    ARP Main studs : $210


    Now what I currently have because Rod bolt failure (I believe it's my fault, I must have missed a rod bolt and it baked out)

    2nd build (403ci); Stock crank from above was destroyed so new crank was needed.

    Machine Shop Costs (again):
    Examine block & Cam for damage from the rod bolt failure: $75
    Balance rotating assembly: $160
    Install Cam bearings & check clearance for rods & new crank) $85
    Block clean: $60

    Parts I reused the bold items:
    K1 Forged 4" crank: $875
    Cam: $375
    Valve springs spec for cam: $220

    New Full bearing set (King): $145
    All Gaskets: $260

    Melling 10296 Oil Pump: $130 (I took it apart and cleaned out all bearing material. This is a requirement if you have bearing failure)
    SCAT Forged 6.125" I beam rods: $340 (had to buy one rod to replace the one damage from the bolt backing off, cost another $75 for single rod)
    New DSS Pistons Forged 4.005": $390 (sold the previous pistons and bought new ones for 4" stroker clearance stroke)
    ARP Head $260
    ARP Main studs : $210


    I am also running with 243 cyl heads that I picked up for $400. I had the machine shop check them over and rebuild for $180. What was done - had new valve guides installed, lap the valves and had my springs set up for new cam.



    Now this isn't all the costs I spent on parts but more like the core. I have about another $500 in ARP bolts and other little stuff that I replaced. Notice the only labor charges are for the machine shop. Everything else I did. Shop labor estimate would be another $1000.
    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 05-08-2015 at 08:03 AM.

  4. #4
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    I agree. He seemed content with trying to rebuild what he had so I didn't elaborate more.

    My own personal thoughts are right in line with what SMW mentioned here. The only time I go through the trouble with machine shops are for numbers matching builds, high end restorations, engines that aren't available in crate form etc...and I run into this alot with classics.

    In the case of a 4th gen where numbers matching isn't a concern, I'd go straight for a crate short block, or even long block from someone like Texas Speed, transfer what's needed from the old to the new, drop it in and run with it.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I tried the "budget" build but in the end it still cost the same as a crate would have been because of one expensive mistake.
    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f7/my-6-liter-build-174257/

    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f8/my-8-8-rear-build-165553/

    6.0L Block - Forged 403 built, breaking it in , Polluter Stg3 Cam, FAST 102mm Intake, NW102 TB, MSD wires, NGK TR6 plugs, Truck Coil Packs, LS3 Fuel Injectors, CC Pacesetter LT Headers, TS&P ORY, QTP e-Cutout, Magnaflow Muffler, 104mm Air Lid & Line Lock, Catch Can, Stage 2 T56 w/Viper shaft, PRO 5.0 Shifter, Tick MC, Monster Stg 4 Clutch, QT SFI BH, MWC DSL, UMI: SFC, PHB, LCA's, LCA Relocation Brackets & TA, Hotchkis Springs (1" Drop), YR1 Snowflake Wheels wrapped in NT555 tires & Custom Fab Ford 8.8 rear w/4.10 Yukon Gears, WSQ Hood, 3"CM Strange Eng Drive Shaft.

    Horsepower never lies, but is often lied about!

  6. #6
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with budget builds. I wouldn't hesitate if I'm working with a known good engine to start with.
    I just did a budget build on a 454 for my old truck that spun a rod bearing. It had right at 100k miles on it, I've owned the truck for more than 20 years and know the history well.

    That spun bearing took the rod bearing out next to it, got some of the main bearings hot, bent the crank from heat and distorted the main saddle of the block from heat.

    Machined and straightened crank, align honed the block. Resized all the rods but didn't need new bolts, they weren't blackened from heat so they were reusable (not spinning this engine to 8 grand so upgrade here isn't necessary, engine will only see 5,000 to 5,500 max on rare occasions)
    Checked the block deck surface, nice and flat, everything square to the main saddle. Checked the bores and everything was perfectly round and in spec, amazing after 100k miles. A simple re-hone with a torque plate and that was it, the block was back in business. I got out of the machine shop for right around $650 for all work performed.

    Pistons were perfect with virtually no skirt wear, no reason not to use them again. Short block done.

    Heads had no seat wear, and guides were within spec. Simply lapped the valves in, (A little clean up work in the bowls because I can't leave anything alone ) new seals, shim springs for proper seat pressure. Heads are ready to go. I only spent money on valve seals and a pack of spring shims.

    I spent $400 on all parts that included new bearings, new gaskets, new cam and lifters (Melling cam to make grunt, .460 lift and 220 @ .050, 112 lsa) works with stock springs so no money spent there, new moly piston rings, new fuel pump and oil pump.
    The engine already had a new roller chain installed back at about 60k miles to replace the stock plastic gear, so don't need that.

    In the end I spent about $1200 total to do this engine, parts and machine work. It's about as budget as one can get without cutting corners.

    I've even refreshed an engine cheaper if there was no damage done. Just polish up a used crank for new bearings, and ball hone the cylinders for new rings and go with it, lol. The things we did when teenagers I wouldn't think of doing now but you do what money allows.

  7. #7
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    I should have rephrase my "budget" comment. Mine started out as a budget build up but once the rod bolt failure happen it was game on. If all would have went well on the first build I would have been kicking myself for not going ahead with a stroker build.



    My best advice for the op is know what you want prior to purchase.

  8. #8
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    LOL, it's a domino affect, and it's addicting.
    SMWS6TA likes this.

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    Thanks to all for the replies thus far. I would like to keep the number matching. I bought the car new and it is a Trans Am WS6. I plan on keeping this car for as long as I live or my wife let's me (which ever comes first) :-).

    So basically what I am hearing is have the block and bore checked. If they are ok and the crank is salvageable then just have it rebuilt.
    Otherwise if there is boring involved then might as well put a stroker kit in it. -it looks like K1 and Wiseco has a rotating assembly kit now
    Else if block is borked then might as well go with a crate LS6 perhaps?

    I don't know much about the engine specifics and am just looking for the best way to get my TA out of the garage and on the road again while juicing it up some.

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Keeping the original engine, then first and foremost I'd have the block checked to make sure the cylinders are round enough that a simple hone will clean them up. I don't believe they can go anymore than .010 on these aluminum blocks with the sleeves GM installed. They were never designed for long service life with multiple rebuilds.

    As long as the block is servicable in that respect, then I would procede with the rest of the rebuild as you wish. At that point I'd look at stroker rotating assemblies if it were me.

  11. #11
    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    IIRC it's no more than 0.005" on LS1's and 0.010" on 5.3 blocks. Can't remember why those numbers stick out.....

    Now if you have to get a new block oh you have lots of options......I'm a huge fan of the LQx 6liter blocks. But that will be for another discussion....:

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    this is what I would do with the stock motor.........then I would stick a stroked crate motor in there.


  13. #13
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    All these lengthy replies... in a word (or two), short block. Numbers matching on a modern car simply isn't that big a deal imo.

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