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Trying to adjust rocker arms on 2001 Trans Am WS6

This is a discussion on Trying to adjust rocker arms on 2001 Trans Am WS6 within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; I took off my rocker arms to check the push rods. All are good. Now I am trying to adjust ...

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    Trying to adjust rocker arms on 2001 Trans Am WS6

    I took off my rocker arms to check the push rods. All are good. Now I am trying to adjust the rocker arms.
    I have looked at many threads saying to run the motor and loosen the bolt until the rocker chatters, then tighten until it stops, add 1/4 turn and you're done. I have done that, but once I finish all 16 rockers, I notice that many of them are chattering again and the bolts are very loose. I have seen threads that discuss a set screw but I don't see one or any other way to keep the screw from backing out. Am I doing this right? Sorry, I am a newbie to this engine stuff, but I'm trying to learn.

    -Tom

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    Factory LS rocker arms are non adjustable. They are torqued to spec and your done. The only adjustment is longer or shorter pushrods, unless you have upgraded the rocker arms.

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    So do I just tighten them all to a specific torque? Or do I need to set the cylinders in a certain position before torquing?

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    Junior Member smokestack's Avatar
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    I think factory is 22 foot lbs but i may be wrong. That at TDC for the valve. Set screw would be right in the middle of the nut!

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    The valve you are tightening should be on the base circle of the cam. Then torque to 22ft-lbs.

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    One thing I noticed while I was running the motor with the valve covers off is that I'm not getting much oil. In looking at other threads, I was expecting oil to be spattering everywhere. I was able to get a small stream of oil out of the 5th rocker arm back from the front of the driver's side if I loosened it up quite a bit. The others don't seem to provide much oil. Is this normal?

    How do I set the motor for the valve to be at the base of the cam? Do I need to remove the belts and turn it by hand, or do I just start and stop it until the rocker is in a certain position? Sorry again, I am new to this.

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    You can pull your spark plugs and put a socket on the balancer bolt and spin it over with a ratchet. Spin it to the right as if you are tightening the bolt so you don't inadvertently loosen it. It shouldn't come loose anyway, but just to be sure. Many guys don't even worry about it being on the base circle. They just torque them to spec.

    There won't be oil shooting all over the place with the engine at idle.

    I don't want to discourage you from working on your car, but you should find a friend with experience to help you with things like this before it costs you a fortune.

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    "Many guys don't even worry about it being on the base circle. They just torque them to spec."

    So I can just torque them now without doing anything to the position of the motor?

    "I don't want to discourage you from working on your car, but you should find a friend with experience to help you with things like this before it costs you a fortune."

    Yeah, this is actually the last part of changing out the lifters. I had a mechanic friend help me do everything, but I was getting some banging noise that seemed to be coming from the valve/rocker area, so I took the covers off to look. After looking on the Internet about adjusting the rocker arms, I thought I'd give it a try. I guess I should have left it alone.... :-(

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    Yes, you can just torque them to spec.

    If this is the first time you fired it up after changing the lifters, it may take a minute for the lifters to fill with oil. This would also explain the noise and the lack of oil coming out of the pushrods.


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    Actually, I have about 3000 miles since the lifter change. I was hoping that changing the lifters (used the new LS7 lifters) would get rid of the clanking noise, but it didn't. In fact, I think it is worse. I saw some posts talking about piston slap causing noises but I'm not sure that is what my problem is. It is quieter when the engine warms up, but still present. When the engine is cold, it sounds like a thrown rod (I had a thrown rod in a 76 pickup that I had many years ago and yes it is that loud or louder). When it warms up, it just sounds like a light tapping noise.

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    OP here read this thread.

    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f6/checking-pushrod-length-171920/#post2828406


    There is a lot of info you need for your problems.

    In the thread above talks about corrected push rod length when you install LS7 lifters. Some guys get lucky and get away with using stock length (7.4") push rods while others need to swap to a shorter length.

    The geometry has to be just right or it runs like pooh.


    Does it sound like in these videos?




    Last edited by SMWS6TA; 01-22-2013 at 09:15 PM.

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    You do not have to worry about being on the circle of the cam. Did you put the push rods back in the same lifter ? 22 ft. lbs. is correct.
    My ride is a 2002 Camaro SS SLP #3296 with 30k, LTH, 3" Y, CME, Frost tune, K&N, ported TB, Blackwing lid, Bellows, MSD, Denso Iridium, and 85mm MAF, Bilsteins, Eibach springs, SLP strut brace, Adj. Panhard, TA Girdle, UMI, Pro 5.0, Nitto NT555
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    Wow! That sounds like an airplane. No, mine isn't like that. When it is cold, it is a solid metallic "Bang" just like a thrown rod. The frequency seems like it is only coming from one piston/cylinder.

    When we changed the lifters, we compared the old ones with the new ones side-by-side on a flat surface and they appeared to be the same height. If they weren't, it was not noticeable by just looking.

    Once I tighten the rockers to 22ft-lbs, I'll try to record the sound and post it.

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    Spaz is My Mentor SMWS6TA's Avatar
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    One more thing there there is some major discussion in the LS community about how the cup in the LS7 lifter seats higher then the LS1 lifter. Outside they are the same length. But it's the cup posing in the lifter that seems to be different.

    It is always smart to verify the push rod length after the heads have come off. The length can be effected by how much the cylinder was milled, gasket & lifter lengths and even type of rockers used.



    Comp cams sells a push rod checker, I got mine for $20. Summit & WS6 Store carry them. I didn't see any of the vendors carrying them.


    Me & 98TransAmWs-6 (Will) are currently working on a how to for this subject and in the coming days we'll post it for a sticky.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2002ssslp View Post
    You do not have to worry about being on the circle of the cam. Did you put the push rods back in the same lifter ? 22 ft. lbs. is correct.
    Yes we kept the rods, bolts, and rockers all numbered so they would go back in the same locations.

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    Note that the banging noise was present before I tried switching the lifters. I changed them to try to get rid of the noise, but that didn't work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SMWS6TA View Post
    It is always smart to verify the push rod length after the heads have come off. The length can be effected by how much the cylinder was milled, gasket & lifter lengths and even type of rockers used.

    Comp cams sells a push rod checker, I got mine for $20. Summit & WS6 Store carry them. I didn't see any of the vendors carrying them.

    Me & 98TransAmWs-6 (Will) are currently working on a how to for this subject and in the coming days we'll post it for a sticky.
    I will watch for the post. If my rods are too long, could I have caused permanent damage?

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    A thrown rod sounds a lot different than piston slap.

    Is the noise coming from the top of the engine or the bottom? Have you used a stethoscope to pin point the noise area?

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    Is a push rod length checker used after the heads are put back on? In other words, if I order one now, can I use it to check my push rod lengths just by removing my rockers, or do I need to dig deeper into the motor. If I can use it, I will order it now so it will be ready when the how-to is posted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 35th-ANV-SS View Post
    A thrown rod sounds a lot different than piston slap.

    Is the noise coming from the top of the engine or the bottom? Have you used a stethoscope to pin point the noise area?
    I have not used a stethoscope, but it seems to be coming from the top. I will try to record it tomorrow and post it in this thread.

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