Rotating assy advice .. is it too much to ask ? - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion

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Rotating assy advice .. is it too much to ask ?

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Old 06-13-2018, 07:25 AM
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Default Rotating assy advice .. is it too much to ask ?

To start ill mention im from the UK so shipping parts overseas isnt easy for me .. just a few weeks ago i paid $36 shipping on a $25 part and i havent had import duty hit me yet .. so i cant easily raid junkyards for parts nor ship things from the states easily without any thought before hand

ive got a 2000 A4 camaro with the usual bone stock parts on it at the moment ... and im looking to do the upgrades most people do on these cars such as a heads/cam swap duals ect .. my issue is that my car just crossed 150,000km over the weekend and its starting to make me consider if im asking too much on the rotating assembly if i start increasing pressure on the stock bottom end ?

and if it is reccomended i do some work to the bottom end just what exactly would be reccomended to change to support the work im planning on doing

"I know some people will say just use the search option to find this elsewhere but seeing as my location and mileage i cant exactly go buying parts wildly and have to think things through first so i feel my question is slightly different"

thanks all for your time !
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:35 AM
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Probably will be OK, depending on how crazy you get with the other "upgrades"... 150k km is about 100k miles, which if the engine has been reasonably well taken care of all its life, is hardly even broken all the way in yet, let alone worn out. These things can last A LONG TIME with proper maintenance. But since it's too far away for me to see what it looks like inside, all I can do is speak about the odds, not the specific case.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:17 AM
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If you go aggressive camshaft, which will be your biggest power increase generally without Forced induction/nitrous replace cam,springs,lifters/trays/pushrods (depending on what cam manufacturer specs and measure for length) all at the same time.... The lifters/trays are extra insurance obviously as in most of my swaps, I don't. Seeing as how you want to upgrade the heads too, might as well replace the lifters.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:24 AM
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So you're at roughly 100,000 miles. If the car in good working and mechanical condition, then there should be no problem doing those mods. Many people have done this before with similar mileage. These motors are very stout and reliable if they are well taken care of
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:18 PM
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If you are not planning on adding boost then the stock internals will take you to 500 - 525 hp no problem. As others have commented the bottom ends in these motors are stout. After that you will be at risk of snapping a rod. You can take the oil pan off and inspect the bottom end. If you don't see any unusual wear patterns in the bores you are probably in good shape. If you are not going to rebuild the bottom end don't mess with the crank or rods. It aint broke, don't fix it. If you want to play around with the compression you can get some drop in dome or dish pistons, probably would not hurt to get the rings replaced anyway. Not a lot of issues with the oil pumps on these so you are probably good there as well.

The biggest bang for the buck is going to be the heads, valves, and cam. As long as you stay below .600 on the lift you can run the stock rockers. Comp Cams makes a trunion rebuild kit that will really enhance the bearings in the rockers which will allow for higher RPM and help with valve float. Assuming it its a 5.7 it is pretty close to square on the bore/stroke so you have a lot of flexibility on the cam. Depends on where you want the power band. I am a torque nut so I tend to stay in the 205 - 210 duration range, and the intake lift in the .575 -.595 range, but that is just me.

Of course you will need a good tune with all the added air, I am assuming you have someone that can do that.

For the heads it may be difficult to find someone local that can port them but this will make a huge difference. Does not matter how long the valve is open if you can't get enough air into the runner. I have a guy here in Kansas City that has been rebuilding / porting heads for 30 years and does great work. Would be glad to facilitate the head work for you if you decide to go that route. Stiffer springs and some stainless valves along with a gasket match port and polish will yield big results. Again if you stay in the range of the stock rockers you won't have to worry about lash and valve adjustments or buying a roller kit.
Good luck with it.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:30 PM
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If you're going to do a trunnion kit DO NOT use Comp's with the needle bearings. Use a bronze bushing type from either Straub or CHE. Comp's kit wears on the trunnions very quickly due to soft trunnion metal, within the first 1k miles.
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:24 AM
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Cheers everyone ! Thats helped me tonnes ! Unfortunatley i think i'd struggle to find anybody who can port my heads so simply and the best engine builder i know in the uk tells me he stays away from LS motors as hes got more than enough work to keep him busy on the older style engines but i'll keep a eye out for somebody for sure! thanks for all the advice and sensible answers ! The ammount of people over here who have just told me to buy a crate engine and ship one over is ridiculous haha i know for sure theres so much potential in what ive already got without starting fresh
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:01 AM
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It may be your lucky day. I just swapped the motor in my truck and have a set of 706 heads from the 5.3. The early castings (1999-2001) of these heads got some bad press because they would crack around the center bolt. Mine are from 2005 after the flaw was fixed. They have been shot peened around the bolt to harden them, full port to match a Felpro gasket and the intake valves were expanded so they are now 2.0 instead of the stock 1.89. They also have the "corvette" springs and upgraded rockers. I have tried to sell them but they are common as house flies around here and I've had no luck.

No disrespect to your builder, but you are going to struggle to get the same juice out of an old school small block that you can get from an LS. In the interest of fostering interational trade relations I am willing to trade them for a case of Guinness and a bottle of the spirit popular in your town. The Guinness we get here is months old and does not taste all that great. That and the shipping and you can have them.

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Old 06-14-2018, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil coppney View Post
It may be your lucky day. I just swapped the motor in my truck and have a set of 706 heads from the 5.3. The early castings (1999-2001) of these heads got some bad press because they would crack around the center bolt. Mine are from 2005 after the flaw was fixed. They have been shot peened around the bolt to harden them, full port to match a Felpro gasket and the intake valves were expanded so they are now 2.0 instead of the stock 1.89. They also have the "corvette" springs and upgraded rockers. I have tried to sell them but they are common as house flies around here and I've had no luck.

No disrespect to your builder, but you are going to struggle to get the same juice out of an old school small block that you can get from an LS. In the interest of fostering interational trade relations I am willing to trade them for a case of Guinness and a bottle of the spirit popular in your town. The Guinness we get here is months old and does not taste all that great. That and the shipping and you can have them.

That sounds like something i'd definetly be willing to look into ! Do you have any pictures ect of them ? Id like a closer look

and hmm well i can find guinness easy enough ! Hey we even have in on tap at the local pubs but as for shipping it i'll have a look at just how simple of a job that would be the local spirit for us is normally things like whiskeys but london brewed craft beer,cider and real ales are the big thing right now
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Old 06-14-2018, 10:43 AM
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I ran 5lbs of boost through these with no issues.

The block the heads came off



706 casting mark


Corvette springs


Porting


porting



Porting

Note the Shot Peening on the center bolt hole
Head and rockers






Upgraded rocker studs


Valve covers
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:16 AM
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TallPaul they dont start to really get fast until 100k miles. Thats the ideal window for performance imo. I've stripped down a lot of these engines and even ones with 300k miles ( Over 500k ) still look decent in the bottom end.

Do you have a power goal?
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by cam View Post
TallPaul they dont start to really get fast until 100k miles. Thats the ideal window for performance imo. I've stripped down a lot of these engines and even ones with 300k miles ( Over 500k ) still look decent in the bottom end.

Do you have a power goal?
i dont have a exact power goal .. but id want my power curve to be useable "driving around tight english roads isnt really ideal for a 700hp monster where the power kicks in around 5000rpm"

but to generally say if i could make the car capeable of running a 11 second 1/4 and still easily useable on the street i'd be beyond happy pretty much a real fast steet car without being over the top
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:32 AM
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I see. Some long tube headers, a decent little cam around the 224 range with springs/pushrods, maybe an LS6 intake, along with the KEY being a well matched stall converter and you will meet those goals on your stock heads. Add some decent heads to the mix and 11.0 is within grasp with some tire/suspension work. Any further than that and your rear diff is going to hate life, it might very well hate life as it is, they are not overly robust.
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by cam View Post
I see. Some long tube headers, a decent little cam around the 224 range with springs/pushrods, maybe an LS6 intake, along with the KEY being a well matched stall converter and you will meet those goals on your stock heads. Add some decent heads to the mix and 11.0 is within grasp with some tire/suspension work. Any further than that and your rear diff is going to hate life, it might very well hate life as it is, they are not overly robust.
thats brilliant to hear ! Cheers for the advice I've already got a ls6 intake from my brothers ws6 .. the guy he bought it off thought it was junk and gave it to us to throw away and also some speed engineering long tubes

and we have shopshere that can get us decent rear ends what about my stock 4l60e ? Will that need work or is it worth the risk for a while ?

do you have anything specific cam wise that i should look into ? .. ive mabye fallen into the trap of loving the sound of the magic stick from texas speed but im not sure if thats suitable for me to actually drive with
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:57 AM
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I've grown increasingly favorable towards smaller cams simply due to maintenance concerns. Bigger cams mean pricey springs, and frequent replacing. Cams that can run the stock "blue" LS3 springs run pretty much as a stock cam does but do not sound overly exciting, although the performance is very respectable. I've grown fond of the 216/220 TrickFlow cam with the blue springs. That set up can probably run stock push rods without much grief but I do add chromoly for safety. When the tune up is right you can barely tell theres a cam installed, very mild. That along with the FTI 3200 sb ( basically a trail blazer SS converter ) works well and is daily driver reliable.

To step up past that is NOTICEABLY more thrilling however. Its hard to argue against the snap and ravage of an aggressive cam shaft with a "real" converter. The Texas Speed 228r is thrilling, and works very well on 346 cube engines. For a converter I have always REALLY like Coan converters but the price reflects the quality. PTC also very good although I dont know about their NA experience though the boost crowd LOVES their converters. Circle D gets a lot of mention around here although I have no personal experience I am sure they can easily support your needs.

The converter/cam match is really the key to excitement along with the tune up being very accurate. Nail those three aspects and you will be having a lot of fun with that ride
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Old 06-14-2018, 12:53 PM
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The stock 4L60e is pretty solid. You can have it rebuilt with a "beast pack"
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that contains better plates and also add the improved sunshell housing. I did this to my truck and (about 2500 lbs heavier than Camero) and have beat the crap out of it. Still shifts like it was new and I haul a boat around to boot. I would do the engine mods and pound the tranny until it fails, then have the rebuild done with the upgrades. There are people pushing 900 - 1000 hp through them so you should be good with a daily driver set up for a low end power band. Put a good cooler on it and change the fluid often.
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