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Failed Lifter Club

2065 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Rubber Duck
Probably.

So as some of you may know, my V is currently down. I modded my V back in 2016 with the following:

  • Cam swap - GP stage 2.5
  • Long Tubes/Green Cat's/B7B cat-back
  • ZL1 lid
  • 2.4 upper
  • DSX Aux flex fuel kit
  • ID1300's
...and a few other supporting mods (see sig)

It's has ran flawlessly since then and I have no complaints.

Fast forward to this summer, I went to take one of my lab's to the vet. Dropped her off and started heading to work. I started hearing a loud tapping sound. First thought was "Oh fuck!" So I pulled into a parking lot, popped the hood and listened. Sure enough it was coming from the drivers side of the engine. I sat for a while trying to figure out what it could be and what I should do and it went just went away. So I sat in the car and decided it would be best to just go home since I was pretty close and get the truck instead of driving across town to work. I started driving and at first seemed normal but the exhaust tone seemed off to me, almost like a miss. Couldn't tell if it was down on power as I wasn't going to chance high RPM's. So as I got closer to home, out of the corner of my eye I see my Aeroforce gauge flashing RED WARNING WARNING DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!! at me. Again, I think "Oh fuck!" I have one of my annunciators set to go off if oil pressure drops below 20 psi. And sure enough I look and my psi is running at 19-23 psi. Normal driving when warmed up is about 35-40. I'm close to home so I decide to limp it since I'm not at 0 psi (lol, hahaha, sigh...). I get to a stop light and psi dwindles down to 10-13 at idle. Welp, I'm boned, I decide. Get home, park her in the garage, and decide I'll mess with it when I get some time.

Took a while but I drained the oil and to my horror I see glittery gold goodness in my oil. Cut the oil filter and find shavings. Yay, I think, sarcastically. So I let her sit for a few more weeks as I'm swamped with work and life. I think, hey, I'll just take it to a shop since I don't have time or space to work on it. But no one wants to touch it unless they build it from the ground up, meaning my existing mods are worthless. So again it sits for a few weeks.

I finally pop the valve covers to take a looksie and sure enough, one of the rockers on cylinder #3 has a lot of play between the tip and pushrod. Should you be able to stick your finger between the two? I think probably not. I pull the rocker and discover the rod's not bent (plus). Reinstall, turn the motor over an see that rocker isn't moving at all (not a plus).

I decide to do a compression check and all my cylinders are pretty damn good except #3, of course (also not a plus).

So pretty sure my lifter failed and my next step is pulling the heads to see what else I can find. And then get discouraged enough to let it sit a few more weeks. Will I have damaged valves/heads? Will I have a shot lifter journal? Are my bearings worn? Is cylinder #3 FUBAR'd? My poor cam...RIP probably 馃槶. Stay tuned as I slowly and tortuously take parts off my motor and become increasingly discouraged.

#BecauseStreet/RaceCarProblems
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. Were you still running OE lifters when the cam was upgraded?
What oil were you running?


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I think you have a bent valve.

If it was a lifter failure, you would have compression.
When my LS3 crunched a lifter, the cam was completely fucked, so there's that. The lifter bore was able to be salvaged, but there were some scores in the cylinder wall that sent me into slight overbore territory to get cleaned up.

Otherwise, was just a "rebuild" with nothing extra or special.

I'd pull the motor if you're willing/capable, and then find a machine shop from there.
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. Were you still running OE lifters when the cam was upgraded?
Still had the OE lifters. I took the easy way and left the heads on when I did the cam swap. I was actually planning to change out the valve springs this winter as I'd been putting it off and figured it was probably overdue.

What oil were you running?


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Mobil 1 (kidding!!!) Always Redline 5W40 as recommended by Matt. Always changed well before needed.

I think you have a bent valve.

If it was a lifter failure, you would have compression.
Ah, I didn't think about a bent valve, just assumed something with the valve seats and possibly piston rings were responsible for the compression. All the metal goodness in the oil probably a cam lobe and/or lifter, hopefully not bearing dust.

When my LS3 crunched a lifter, the cam was completely fucked, so there's that. The lifter bore was able to be salvaged, but there were some scores in the cylinder wall that sent me into slight overbore territory to get cleaned up.

Otherwise, was just a "rebuild" with nothing extra or special.

I'd pull the motor if you're willing/capable, and then find a machine shop from there.
I'll pull the heads eventually so I can take a look at that cylinder and journal. In my dream land I was just looking at a cleanup and new cam/lifter swap but I don't have high hopes, not with the low compression in one cylinder and low oil pressure. If it needs any work I'll just get a forged short block. If I'm pulling the motor, what's going back in is going to be better than what it came with from the factory.
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If I'm pulling the motor, what's going back in is going to be better than what it came with from the factory.
As you should! My failure wasn't as bad as yours...thankfully but I made her better.
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No compression could also be from a hole in the piston.
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Best reply from you this year Raymond. :sleep: :eek::sleep:
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