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who all has rebuilt their ls1

This is a discussion on who all has rebuilt their ls1 within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Im wondering for future reference, who all has rebuilt their engine..and by that i mean done all the work yourselves. ...

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    who all has rebuilt their ls1

    Im wondering for future reference, who all has rebuilt their engine..and by that i mean done all the work yourselves. Did you pull the engine from the top? or did you drop it all from the bottom? Did you do anything to the cylinder sleeves? have the block cleaned by a pro? What are the main expenses in rebuilding these engines...??

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Easier to come out the bottom, but I use a lift.

    If it needs more than a simple .005 hone you're looking at changing sleeves, which is about $200 per sleeve. As you can see that gets expensive.
    At which point the engine becomes a door stop in my opinion. Plenty of better options out there, especially since you can buy a new LS6 crate engine complete for $3400, or look at many stroker combo's out there that are becoming affordable.

    For cleaning, you can backyard it if you are cheap. Need a good supply of various rifle style cleaning brushes for all the oil journals.
    I usually let the machine shop clean it, then give it another once over when I get it home just to be extra safe.

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    ^^ Not true the 97-98 blocks could only tolerate a .005 hone all 99-up blocks could go out to .010 Ive even seem some go a little bit more although its really not reccomended. If your doing just a refresh its worth it but if you start to need to go bigger than a .010 overbore and start adding things like a block heads etc, it does become cheaper to just get another motor especially since motors nowadays dont have the vin of the car stamped into them theres really no such thing as "matching numbers engines" anymore
    Last edited by Firebirdjones; 12-08-2010 at 01:36 PM.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    ^^ Not true the 97-98 blocks could only tolerate a .005 hone all 99-up blocks could go out to .010 Ive even seem some go a little bit more although its really not reccomended. If your doing just a refresh its worth it but if you start to need to go bigger than a .010 overbore and start adding things like a block heads etc, it does become cheaper to just get another motor especially since motors nowadays dont have the vin of the car stamped into them theres really no such thing as "matching numbers engines" anymore
    Well give or take .005 or .010 it really doesn't matter. That's not much material, and most engines with 70-80,000 miles or more will need more bore than that to clean up the out of round cylinders that you'll have.
    I'm thinking most that are needing or wanting a refresh will be well over 100,000 miles, at which point a simple hone is probably out of the question.

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    well, ultimately i wanna keep the ls1, but maybe cam and heads. just a mild street car with a little somethin in it. i dont really care about track numbers and who has the biggest this n that...just something ill be happy with. a refresh would be ideal, since the car has 140k on the clock...just wanting to get an idea of cost and how much labor itll take....

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    Senior Member rajiv1998's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    well, ultimately i wanna keep the ls1, but maybe cam and heads. just a mild street car with a little somethin in it. i dont really care about track numbers and who has the biggest this n that...just something ill be happy with. a refresh would be ideal, since the car has 140k on the clock...just wanting to get an idea of cost and how much labor itll take....
    If your gonna have a shop pull the motor, you might as well spend a little extra and get a new LS6 crate. I saw a link somewhere quoting 3k for a new LS6. Youll be in a win-win situation:
    1) A stock LS6 will dyno around 380ish or so, which is how much a camed LS1 makes. So your already at your desired level STOCK
    2) Should you decide to mod, the LS6 will make much more power.
    "Life is to short to drive a slow car"

    Gone but not forgoten: 1998 Pontiac Trans Am M6 "The Black Bandit"
    Bought- 11-18-05
    Sold- 10-14-08

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    well, ultimately i wanna keep the ls1, but maybe cam and heads. just a mild street car with a little somethin in it. i dont really care about track numbers and who has the biggest this n that...just something ill be happy with. a refresh would be ideal, since the car has 140k on the clock...just wanting to get an idea of cost and how much labor itll take....
    Ouch,,,,at 140K you are more than likely past a simple hone. Building various brands of engines over the last 30 years, i've rarely run into an engine that didn't need at least a .030 overbore with that many miles, sometimes even more was needed.
    Depends on the engine and how it was used. With all the side loading from the piston skirts, mainly on the thrust side, you get an egg shaped bore. Rod ratio varies with each engine as to how much side loading you have. Less rod ratio means accelerated wear over time.
    With as many miles as you have, I wouldn't hold your breath on a simple hone. You'll need a dial bore gauge to check it. Might be more needed, so be prepared.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajiv1998 View Post
    If your gonna have a shop pull the motor, you might as well spend a little extra and get a new LS6 crate. I saw a link somewhere quoting 3k for a new LS6. Youll be in a win-win situation:
    1) A stock LS6 will dyno around 380ish or so, which is how much a camed LS1 makes. So your already at your desired level STOCK
    2) Should you decide to mod, the LS6 will make much more power.

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    Veteran Blackbird WS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rajiv1998 View Post
    If your gonna have a shop pull the motor, you might as well spend a little extra and get a new LS6 crate. I saw a link somewhere quoting 3k for a new LS6. Youll be in a win-win situation:
    1) A stock LS6 will dyno around 380ish or so, which is how much a camed LS1 makes. So your already at your desired level STOCK
    2) Should you decide to mod, the LS6 will make much more power.
    i agree

    keep an eye in tech for sale section they have some good deals on there for engines sometimes with all forged insides

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    Ls6 crate sounds nice...but then I also think about the cost of a beefed tranny and rear end. The woman aint gonna like this.

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    Veteran Blackbird WS6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    Ls6 crate sounds nice...but then I also think about the cost of a beefed tranny and rear end. The woman aint gonna like this.
    will need trans and rearend no matter what my friend lol

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    Junior Member incbed's Avatar
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    i'm going to add my 2cents to this one.

    Based on my engine which had 115,xxx miles on it when I removed it to do H/C/I swap along with all new gaskets and connecting rod bolts,,my cylinder walls had no lip also still had the factory cross hatching still showing.

    When I took my short block to my machinest for him to measure PTV for me ,,we talked about the cylinder walls and the reason why the cylinder walls did not have a lip and the factory cross hatching still was showing.
    He said that the factory piston rings in the LS1's are not as hard as the cylinder sleeves ,,so the piston rings will wear out instead of the cylinder sleeves.
    The GEN 1 small blocks have piston rings that are harder than the material the blocks are made out of,, so the iron blocks cylinders would enlarge over time so in most cases the iron block would have to be bored during a rebuild.

    He said looking at my cylinders that if I wanted to I could just lightly ball hone my cylinder walls and install new rings to my factory pistons and that would be all I would need to do.

    He and I felt that I did not need to replace my piston rings because my car was still running a 13.8 at 103mph in 95degree heat in GA and my car was still factory even still had the factory muffler.

    If you or someone else decides to rebuild there LS1 engine and the cylinder walls are not wore and still show the factory cross hatching just number the factory pistons before removel along with marking which side is facing forward and just do a light ball hone and put new rings on the factory pistons and reinstall them,,you will not have a problem.

    Some people might say that the cylinders may be out of round. Well they maybe and probly most likely they are alittle bit ,,but thats why you need to number the pistons and mark which way the piston needs to be installed. Because if the cylinder is out of round so is the factory piston,,so when reinstalled they match up agian.

    Example the true way to bore engine cylinders ,,the machinest will need the new pistons before he finish hones the cylinders. The machinest will finish hone each cylinder to match each new piston and he will number each piston so he or you will know which cylinder each piston belongs to.

    If you or someone else is wanting to go with new pistons then I diffently would go with .005 over bore and pistons,,but if there is no need for new pistons then just do as I stated above and the engine will be fine.

    Also a compression tester can be had for cheap,,and if the engine still has good compression then I wouldn't worry about the pistons and rings.

    I will say replacing the oil pump and timing chain is a must,,along with using 10w30 oil if your engine has over 100,xxx miles on it.

    Agian just my two cents.

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    Member Jay37's Avatar
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    AMEN.

    In my experiance. These GenIII engines are TOUGH. But you really won't know until you get a cylinder head off. Have you done a compression test? Probably could get a better idea with that. If you have good compression...

    Personally I haven't seen or heard of one (in person) that needed new sleeves, that's only a handful of engines though. unless there was a catastrophic falure of some sort.

    I'd like to add a story... recently my friend bought a 85 monte SS, almost instantly he called me and said "the cars sweet, but a dog" I knew he didn't have to much money to spend on it, and I wanted to test a theory, I had picked up a assembled 3970010 350ci a couple months earlier and just bought it for the th400 that it was bolted to, but they were both field weights for 10-15 years. But it's much better than the light cast bullshit 305 H.O. after a couple gallons of tranny fluid, and a really big breaker bar, I broke the engine free. Oh yeah it was locked right up with grass under the valve cover! a couple tanks of gas later, a bunch of tuning, headers, cam, intake, carb, (all together w/ engine 1500), the car runs great! starts better than my 04 tahoe. now hes asking me how we can get traction haha. Yes it was a gamble, but shortblocks don't make the power, they handle it. The way I see things, if the short block can handle what you want it to, why mess with it. Thats story was genI... a bet 30 years from now (some) people won't blink an eye to pull a junkyard LS1 and run it, I know I don't.

    Also if your paying a shop to do it. It might be cheaper if you just let them decide if your engine is good bad, I guess I'm confused on if you or a shop are going to rebuild the engine? Most shops will give you a quote, and hopefully if the compression checks out... they won't tell you you need a new engine. If they do, I would find a different shop.
    Last edited by Jay37; 12-11-2010 at 06:58 AM.

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    Member Jay37's Avatar
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    Just if your wondering... the theory I was testing. Was the light cast engines to the heavy genI
    this sounds ridiculus but I'm serious

    My dad told me one time he was hauling wood with his el-camino overheated the hell out of the283 locked it right up... it cooled down. he then broke it free with a 10' breaker bar and ran the car for next five years and when he sold it, it still ran great. Seemed like a stretch to me so. I decided to try with some someblocks. so I beat these things HARD when they started overheating I welded the gas to the floor on some I warped a head, not good. So after a coulple warped heads and blocks, a couple other engines did survive and get a second chance, and still run great! I decided the heavy cast 1976 and earlier need a nuke or an idiot (carb stem dropped in intake will blow them up) to blow'em. but the '76 and later are not so tough. I don't have the resources to be blowing up LS1s but the LQ4s I have overheated, set on rev limiter, one even smoke the clutches out of 4l80e and done almost anything in reason to blow them and they won't! So in my experiance with less than say 400ft lbs. there is no reason to be worrieing about the short block. As soon as the let me run a GENIII in my class of dirt track racing you bet i will! because I THINK they are tougher than the GENI
    Last edited by Jay37; 12-11-2010 at 06:55 AM.

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with my engine that I know of..but the car has 140k miles...so I'm just gathering info for the future. My woman has agreed that an LS6 will come, but in a year or so. So until then, I will continue to keep everything on the car in top condition, as well as not using it everyday. My 2500 runs great as a dd, so for now, the t/a will spend most of its time in the garage.

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    Senior Member redbird555's Avatar
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    The only real reason I see to overbore an engine anymore than .010 is if there are gouges in the walls. I'm sure the cylinders may get out of round with age but its nothing that a hone or slight bore cant fix. Ex my 66 mustag had 153k on it when I tore it down the cylinders were slightly glazed but after a simple hone and rings the cars burns NO oil and runs like a top. At 105k i redid the head gaskets on my ls1 as said above my walls had no lip on them and i could still see factory cross hatches my car burns about a 1/2 qt every 3k miles i equate that to mostly the crap pcv system. The old days of carbed engines and hard rings wearing an engine out are 80k are long gone id say as long ass the bore checks out maybe go .005 over to be safe or .010 if there are some surface scratches and put it back together

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbird555 View Post
    The only real reason I see to overbore an engine anymore than .010 is if there are gouges in the walls. I'm sure the cylinders may get out of round with age but its nothing that a hone or slight bore cant fix. Ex my 66 mustag had 153k on it when I tore it down the cylinders were slightly glazed but after a simple hone and rings the cars burns NO oil and runs like a top. At 105k i redid the head gaskets on my ls1 as said above my walls had no lip on them and i could still see factory cross hatches my car burns about a 1/2 qt every 3k miles i equate that to mostly the crap pcv system. The old days of carbed engines and hard rings wearing an engine out are 80k are long gone id say as long ass the bore checks out maybe go .005 over to be safe or .010 if there are some surface scratches and put it back together
    Those days aren't gone. I've seen a few of these LS engines that were too far out of round for a simple hone. Just because you see cross hatches, or there isn't much of a ridge at the top of the cylinder, doesn't mean the piston hasn't been side loading the bore making it egg shaped.

    Even it you did a simple hone and left the "out of round" bore, it won't be healthy for very long. The piston relies on tight tolerances within the bore for ring control. Without it, the piston tends to move around (ever heard of slap??? It's pretty common among the LS1 engine family) and when that happens, there isn't much ring control, and oil consumption as well as lost compression is the result. The engine may still run fine to most people, but for someone like myself, it's not the way to build a motor if you expect it to last another 100,000 miles. I also don't want an engine that I have to pop the hood and check the oil every time I want to drive the car.

    I prefer to do it right the first time, button it up and leave it alone for a few more years

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    Member Jay37's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    Nothing wrong with my engine that I know of..but the car has 140k miles...so I'm just gathering info for the future. My woman has agreed that an LS6 will come, but in a year or so. So until then, I will continue to keep everything on the car in top condition, as well as not using it everyday. My 2500 runs great as a dd, so for now, the t/a will spend most of its time in the garage.
    That would be sick! are you planning on swapping the engine your self? What info are you now looking for?

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    Junior Member bmax327's Avatar
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    When i opened mine up for heads and cam. It had 196,000 miles on it.

    Could still see the cross hone marks in the cylinders.

    Buttoned it back up and its still running great.

    Brad
    1999 Formula, M6, mostly stock daily driver. ARH Headers, Hooker cat back, Koni's. EFI live V2, LC-1 serial connection. BRE custom cam

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    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay37 View Post
    That would be sick! are you planning on swapping the engine your self? What info are you now looking for?
    When the time comes, I do plan on doing the work myself. I guess what I'm lookin for now is info on how much trouble it will be without a lift.

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