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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; Tougher without a lift obviously. But there are plenty out there who lift it through the hood instead....

  1. #21
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Tougher without a lift obviously. But there are plenty out there who lift it through the hood instead.

  2. #22
    Visualize°Design°Create SSwt00SS's Avatar
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    '12 Silver SS 1SS
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    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...??
    I pulled the engine out from the top after removing the intake/heads off the block. installed it with the heads on. definately tight, but could not see a better way to make sure i got all the head bolts torqued to the correct spec if it was done in the car.

    *tip: remove the hood, the radiator and fan shroud. by standing inside the engine bay, you will have much easier access to the back intake, exhaust and cylinder head bolts, and connectors. it beats leaning over the fenders and cussing your ass off due to limited reach!

    I did the work myself. I only fixed what needed fixing. In my case it was (4) spun rod bearings. Cleaned everything in the parts cleaner, and covered everything when I wasn't working on it. polished the crank and did not have to have the block cleaned, or any cylinders re-sleeved. No damage to the heads, pushrods or lifters, so I did not replace or upgrade them as the engine was staying stock.

    your real expense would infact come from hainvg the block and crank removed, chemical dipped, etc., since you would be removing the reluctor wheel, cam bearing, main bearings, etc. also with having parts scoped and checked for clearance and tolerances prior to rebuild unless you have those tools yourself. in my case i do, but my rebuild did not involve going that far.

    you other expenses would be if you had to buy new parts (IE a new crank, in the event your previous crank could not be turned/polished due to, to much damage, or new rods/pistons). also anything that you would have to rely on a machine shop to do if you arent able to do yourself will cost you more as well.

    hope this helps.

  3. #23
    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSwt00SS View Post
    I pulled the engine out from the top after removing the intake/heads off the block. installed it with the heads on. definately tight, but could not see a better way to make sure i got all the head bolts torqued to the correct spec if it was done in the car.

    *tip: remove the hood, the radiator and fan shroud. by standing inside the engine bay, you will have much easier access to the back intake, exhaust and cylinder head bolts, and connectors. it beats leaning over the fenders and cussing your ass off due to limited reach!

    I did the work myself. I only fixed what needed fixing. In my case it was (4) spun rod bearings. Cleaned everything in the parts cleaner, and covered everything when I wasn't working on it. polished the crank and did not have to have the block cleaned, or any cylinders re-sleeved. No damage to the heads, pushrods or lifters, so I did not replace or upgrade them as the engine was staying stock.

    your real expense would infact come from hainvg the block and crank removed, chemical dipped, etc., since you would be removing the reluctor wheel, cam bearing, main bearings, etc. also with having parts scoped and checked for clearance and tolerances prior to rebuild unless you have those tools yourself. in my case i do, but my rebuild did not involve going that far.

    you other expenses would be if you had to buy new parts (IE a new crank, in the event your previous crank could not be turned/polished due to, to much damage, or new rods/pistons). also anything that you would have to rely on a machine shop to do if you arent able to do yourself will cost you more as well.

    hope this helps.
    so how hard is it to reach the tranny bolts while the engine is still in the car? I dont plan on rebuilding, rather i will purchase a LS6 crate engine and drop in there...what all would need to be changed to accomodate the ls6?

  4. #24
    Visualize°Design°Create SSwt00SS's Avatar
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    for an A4, I don't know as mine is an M6, so I do not know if they bolt up differently or not.

    for the M6, it's not to bad. you have access both above and below. the ones on the top side are a pain but can be reached to both loosen and tighten. my biggest issue was getting the input shaft back aligned. with the heads off the car on removal, it was a lot easier to work with the tranny bolts, plus the angle to separate the engine from the tranny was less.

    when installing the engine with the heads back on the car and going from the top, it made the angle harder as the oil pan kept catching the k-member. after seriously dicking with it and using a prybar we got it to fit. its a 2 person job. we would get within 1/2"-1" on the top and 1"-1 1/2" gap on the bottom cause of the oil pan catching. it took some jacking of both the car and tranny and the prybar before it finally engaged. in retrospect, it was probably the hardest obsticle for the entire process on reinstall.

    pulled the engine out with the motor mounts left on the block, but installed with them off, and then once we got it all in and mated up, installed the motor mounts to the block and then lined up with the k-mamber. its the little things that catch ya!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    so how hard is it to reach the tranny bolts while the engine is still in the car? I dont plan on rebuilding, rather i will purchase a LS6 crate engine and drop in there...what all would need to be changed to accomodate the ls6?
    Alot of guys call really long socket extensions, bellhousing extensions for that reason. Just drop the tranny bracket, tilt it back and you can get in there.

  6. #26
    Junior Member incbed's Avatar
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    Good long extentions with a good swivel socket makes removing the transmission bell housing bolts simple. Wrap the swivel socket with some electrical tape,,it will keep the swivel socket from flopping around.

    Also I installed my engine from under the car by my self no help needed.
    I strapped the kmember with engine to a steel dolly and used my engine hoist and a seat belt to lift the car.
    Once I rolled the kmember and engine under the car I slowly let the car down moving the kmember when needed.
    Once the front of the car was back on jack stands I used my floor jack under the dolly to jack the assmebly up and bolt the kmember to the front end.

    Installing everything from the bottom is 100x easier,,,because you can already have everything installed on the engine even the headers.

    Also getting back to rebuilding your engine,,,,,everyone needs to remember that when you buy new pistons and bore the cylinders it is 100% best to have the rotating assembly balanced even if it is external or internally balanced engine.

    Also you have to make sure that the pistons you buy have the correct size pin hole to match the connecting rods,,and the same goes for buying new connecting rods you have to make sure the big in is correct for your crank and the piston end is the same as the pistons you have.

    Along with making sure the piston hieght is for the connecting rod length that is being used.

    There is so many companies that make cranks ,push rods, and pistons that it can be very easy for someone to buy these parts that want work together.
    So make sure everything you buy will work together,,or just buy a complete rotating assembly.

    Also if you have your engine bored then you need to make sure the machinest uses a torque plate when boring the cylinders,,and make sure they have the new pistons in hand to finish hone each cylinder to each piston.

    I feel that the LS6 longblock is over priced,,but then agian I can and have everthing to rebuild my engine if I needed to ,,,,except for the machine work.

    The only thing I see that is a plus when it comes to buying the LS6 long block is that it has the LS6 243 heads with sodium filled valves,,the LS6 intake manifold which most people already have and it has the LS6 cam which most people replace anyways.
    As for the short block they are no different than what the LS1 comes with.
    And the LS6 still has the weak link to the LS motors and thats the connecting rod bolts.

    Also you have to remember the LS6 only has 400 flywheel horse power,,which in most cases equals to around 350 rear wheel horsepower.
    You can buy a rebuilt LS1 short block and have your original heads resurfaced and a valve job and add a cam and LS6 intake manifold and be making the same power or more depending on the cam.
    Also with the LS6 longblock your still going to have to have the car tuned.

    So agian I don't think the LS6 longblock is worth the price.
    Of course the LS6 heads will make more power when adding a cam compared to the 241 heads ,,but you can buy a set of slightly used 243 heads with standard valves for around $350 after shipping and you might be only loosing maybe 15hp compared to the LS6 heads because of the heavier valves.

    Plus if you add a cam to the LS6 longblock your still going to have to measure push rod length and buy new valve springs and push rods just as you would have to if you had a LS1 long block.

    The LS6 longblock sounds great and all ,,but if your just wanting a replacement engine to just drive and don't want to change anything to it then I would buy the cheaper LS1 longblock and not have to pay the extra money to have the car tuned.

  7. #27
    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    well this site here has some decent prices on their engines...id rather go this route than rebuild...

    http://www.crateenginedepot.com/stor..._ID=273&Page=2

  8. #28
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Yes, and that place also runs a special on it from time to time. I've seen the LS6 crate motor as low as $3200 there and some shipping deals as well. I've talked to them before.

    For a fresh motor ready to go it's hard to beat if you want drop in and go convenience where everything plugs in as it should.

  9. #29
    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    Yes, and that place also runs a special on it from time to time. I've seen the LS6 crate motor as low as $3200 there and some shipping deals as well. I've talked to them before.

    For a fresh motor ready to go it's hard to beat if you want drop in and go convenience where everything plugs in as it should.
    hell, a crate ls1 is like $2600...perfect for someone building an old school and wanting modern power...

  10. #30
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by incbed View Post
    I feel that the LS6 longblock is over priced,,but then agian I can and have everthing to rebuild my engine if I needed to ,,,,except for the machine work.

    Also you have to remember the LS6 only has 400 flywheel horse power,,which in most cases equals to around 350 rear wheel horsepower.
    You can buy a rebuilt LS1 short block and have your original heads resurfaced and a valve job and add a cam and LS6 intake manifold and be making the same power or more depending on the cam.
    Also with the LS6 longblock your still going to have to have the car tuned.

    So agian I don't think the LS6 longblock is worth the price.
    Of course the LS6 heads will make more power when adding a cam compared to the 241 heads ,,but you can buy a set of slightly used 243 heads with standard valves for around $350 after shipping and you might be only loosing maybe 15hp compared to the LS6 heads because of the heavier valves.

    Plus if you add a cam to the LS6 longblock your still going to have to measure push rod length and buy new valve springs and push rods just as you would have to if you had a LS1 long block.

    The LS6 longblock sounds great and all ,,but if your just wanting a replacement engine to just drive and don't want to change anything to it then I would buy the cheaper LS1 longblock and not have to pay the extra money to have the car tuned.
    I see more advantages to this swap than not. With just headers and a tune, stock LS6 longblocks are making 370+ rwhp out of the box. A few members here have done the swap, and mid to low 12's at 112+ mph without cracking the motor open is nothing to sneeze at.
    Not to mention it passes emissions, which is a concern for alot of people here, as well as driving like a stocker, stock type gas mileage etc....

    For someone that needs to start over, and they don't have an LS1 that's rebuildable, this is a great alternative. A mild cam and it's easily over 400 rwhp, on a new engine to boot. Not a cam swap on a 100,000 mile LS1 that everyone is doing.
    Tuning isn't that big of a deal. Even if you pay to do it, Frost has mail order tunes for ~$150 that many people are extremely happy with. I'm sure he has a bin file for a bolt on LS6 that's just about spot on
    The picky person that I am, even swapping in another LS1 I'd want a tune anyway, even if it's just a touch up. Every time I'm changing a part on the motor, whether it's an intake or just 02 sensors I'm hooking up the laptop to check things anyway to see if it needs tweaked. So tuning is just a given for any engine as far as I'm concerned.

  11. #31
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    hell, a crate ls1 is like $2600...perfect for someone building an old school and wanting modern power...
    Ya they are finally starting to get cheaper now.

  12. #32
    Member Jay37's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by incbed View Post
    Good long extentions with a good swivel socket makes removing the transmission bell housing bolts simple. Wrap the swivel socket with some electrical tape,,it will keep the swivel socket from flopping around.

    Also I installed my engine from under the car by my self no help needed.
    I strapped the kmember with engine to a steel dolly and used my engine hoist and a seat belt to lift the car.
    Once I rolled the kmember and engine under the car I slowly let the car down moving the kmember when needed.
    Once the front of the car was back on jack stands I used my floor jack under the dolly to jack the assmebly up and bolt the kmember to the front end.

    Installing everything from the bottom is 100x easier,,,because you can already have everything installed on the engine even the headers.

    Also getting back to rebuilding your engine,,,,,everyone needs to remember that when you buy new pistons and bore the cylinders it is 100% best to have the rotating assembly balanced even if it is external or internally balanced engine.

    Also you have to make sure that the pistons you buy have the correct size pin hole to match the connecting rods,,and the same goes for buying new connecting rods you have to make sure the big in is correct for your crank and the piston end is the same as the pistons you have.

    Along with making sure the piston hieght is for the connecting rod length that is being used.

    There is so many companies that make cranks ,push rods, and pistons that it can be very easy for someone to buy these parts that want work together.
    So make sure everything you buy will work together,,or just buy a complete rotating assembly.

    Also if you have your engine bored then you need to make sure the machinest uses a torque plate when boring the cylinders,,and make sure they have the new pistons in hand to finish hone each cylinder to each piston.

    I feel that the LS6 longblock is over priced,,but then agian I can and have everthing to rebuild my engine if I needed to ,,,,except for the machine work.

    The only thing I see that is a plus when it comes to buying the LS6 long block is that it has the LS6 243 heads with sodium filled valves,,the LS6 intake manifold which most people already have and it has the LS6 cam which most people replace anyways.
    As for the short block they are no different than what the LS1 comes with.
    And the LS6 still has the weak link to the LS motors and thats the connecting rod bolts.

    Also you have to remember the LS6 only has 400 flywheel horse power,,which in most cases equals to around 350 rear wheel horsepower.
    You can buy a rebuilt LS1 short block and have your original heads resurfaced and a valve job and add a cam and LS6 intake manifold and be making the same power or more depending on the cam.
    Also with the LS6 longblock your still going to have to have the car tuned.

    So agian I don't think the LS6 longblock is worth the price.
    Of course the LS6 heads will make more power when adding a cam compared to the 241 heads ,,but you can buy a set of slightly used 243 heads with standard valves for around $350 after shipping and you might be only loosing maybe 15hp compared to the LS6 heads because of the heavier valves.

    Plus if you add a cam to the LS6 longblock your still going to have to measure push rod length and buy new valve springs and push rods just as you would have to if you had a LS1 long block.

    The LS6 longblock sounds great and all ,,but if your just wanting a replacement engine to just drive and don't want to change anything to it then I would buy the cheaper LS1 longblock and not have to pay the extra money to have the car tuned.
    plus 1

  13. #33
    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    400 flywheel hp from the ls6 beats the 340ish from the ls1...add full bolt ons and you got a nice little street machine without havin to go internal. I'd take the smooth reliability of stock internals with 420ish rwhp over any heads/cam/ ls1 that puts down the same. Simplicity is key for me.

  14. #34
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jiveass View Post
    400 flywheel hp from the ls6 beats the 340ish from the ls1...add full bolt ons and you got a nice little street machine without havin to go internal. I'd take the smooth reliability of stock internals with 420ish rwhp over any heads/cam/ ls1 that puts down the same. Simplicity is key for me.
    I can understand that. I am the same way when it comes to my wifes SS. She doesn't need/want a lumpy camshaft. Quite frankly since it does double duty as one of the family long distance cars, I don't want that either.
    With the current LS1 and LS6 camshaft along with bolt ons, it's plenty fast for her, and even fun for me ( 12's at 111+ mph). Still drives like a stocker and gets 30 mpg highway, 21-22 mpg around town here.

    When it shows signs of wear, I'll just go the LS6 crate route, put the car back on the road over a weekend so she can have the car for work on Monday, and it'll run better than it currently does to boot

  15. #35
    Junior Member incbed's Avatar
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    everyone is different

    I will have to say,,for the people like me that are doing H/C/I swaps to our 1xx,xxx mile cars is working out for us.
    I personally would NEVER buy a crate engine,,even if I slung a rod threw my block.I would just buy another block and buy what guts I want in it and put it all together my self.
    I have always been a hands on kinda guy,,I get more enjoyment in the end because I did the work my self.
    Anyone can go out and buy a crate engine and drop in there car and call it good,,but thats just not me.
    I like being able to say I did the work my self ,, I like the feeling I get when I start up a engine I put together,,it's very satisfying to me.

    People act like putting together a engine is hard,,but it's not as long as you have the tools to do it.
    Heck for those that have high miles on there engines and are afraid there not going to last much longer,,go ahead and get your self a used block or short block and start rebuilding it. You can buy and do alittle at a time.Then once you have everything together,,,do your engine swap.

    Not everyone is like me though.

  16. #36
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by incbed View Post
    I will have to say,,for the people like me that are doing H/C/I swaps to our 1xx,xxx mile cars is working out for us.
    I personally would NEVER buy a crate engine,,even if I slung a rod threw my block.I would just buy another block and buy what guts I want in it and put it all together my self.
    I have always been a hands on kinda guy,,I get more enjoyment in the end because I did the work my self.
    Anyone can go out and buy a crate engine and drop in there car and call it good,,but thats just not me.
    I like being able to say I did the work my self ,, I like the feeling I get when I start up a engine I put together,,it's very satisfying to me.

    People act like putting together a engine is hard,,but it's not as long as you have the tools to do it.
    Heck for those that have high miles on there engines and are afraid there not going to last much longer,,go ahead and get your self a used block or short block and start rebuilding it. You can buy and do alittle at a time.Then once you have everything together,,,do your engine swap.

    Not everyone is like me though.
    I share your thoughts more than you know. I prefer to build my own recipe for the classic stuff with tricks and carefull detail, especially for class racing.
    But when it comes to our 4th gens, since they are primarily drivers, (especially for my wife),,,it's crate motors all the way for me. I can't have the cars down for weeks or months at a time.

  17. #37
    its short but its skinny. jiveass's Avatar
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    like i said, its simplicity for me. i know ill have decent power, and since ive never built an LS engine, ill be more confident when i go to turn the key with a crate engine.

  18. #38
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    hello all-in reading thru this post I now need to ask the following..

    When I bent a few valves and rods,,and when I removed my heads,,,I cleaned out the carbon deposits that were in my heads,,the top portion of the combustion chamber areas,,,not much was there,,,but I cleaned them up.,..then I took a rag with kerosene on it and cleaned out each cylinder wall to reveal sme scratches. Later on I shown these pics to a friend of mine at work and he said (you have over 275K miles on your motor and you still show the cross hatch patterns on all areas of the cylinder walls)...he later told me that this was a real good sign,,,

    BUT now I ask,,do these cylinder cross hatch patterns (that on my car exist basically frm the lowest piston point all up to the last 1/4 inch) is this a good sign to see for a hi mileage motor like mine and does this mean that cylinder wall wear is minimal,,?

    I know that before I bent 2 rods and 2 valves compression on my weakest cylinder was 153 psi,,and after I replaced bent parts and lapped all valves,,,,psi's were all around 160 to 165...dry compression test.

    So is seeing cross hatch patterns on the cylinders walls a good sign at 275K miles on a 2000 LS1?

    -go ahead and make my day,,,data please,,

  19. #39
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    Are you seeing cross hatches all the way around the cylinder from top to bottom? The most critical area is the thrust side of the piston which will be the lower and most outer portion of the cylinder wall. That is also the side of the piston skirt that will have the most wear as well.

    You may notice cross hatches are less apparent in that area of the bore, or simply non existent. A sign that the cylinder may not be perfectly round. On high mileage engines or engines that have had trash in the oil you may also notice scuff marks on those outer piston skirts, or at the very least the skirt ribs are gone or worn down.
    All of which are signs of high mileage and in need of replacement and reboring.

    These are only visual clues. The only sure fire way to know regardless, is to use a dial bore gauge and check each bore for excessive wear at the top, middle, and bottom of the bore.

  20. #40
    Member Jay37's Avatar
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    what happened to bend the rods and valves? Cross hatches still being there are defiantly a good sign.
    Last edited by Jay37; 01-01-2011 at 05:26 AM.

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