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LS3 ate a lifter, how big of a dice roll is just replacing cam and lifters?

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LS3 ate a lifter, how big of a dice roll is just replacing cam and lifters?

 
Old 06-07-2019, 08:53 PM
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Default LS3 ate a lifter, how big of a dice roll is just replacing cam and lifters?

My c6 ls3 has a lifter that has failed. I hope to get it out tomorrow, but it only moves maybe 1/4" in the bore. I intend to pull the cam and get the lifter out the bottom as it's generally seeming like it would damage things to force it out the normal way. I'd ideally like to just put a cam and lifters (and head gaskets and bolts and so on and so forth) and run the motor until it bucks me.

What are my odds here? If I eventually have to pull motor it will likely be for a crate motor vs a long block, so I don't much care about a good core. The way I see it, I'm risking my efforts (I don't charge much for my time) and whatever I have in parts for a cam, lifters, and parts required to put it back together. Seems worth the gamble to me... But talk me into or out of it.

Thanks!
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:56 PM
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Hopefully the lifter bore is in good shape and you can just go back in with a new cam and lifters.
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:10 PM
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Not that lifters fail all that often - but the typical failure mode is galling/flatspotting of the roller itself...

But that wouldn't prevent the lifter from being pulled out the top (the normal way).

What happened to the lifter?!?
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Old 06-07-2019, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by spearfishin View Post
My c6 ls3 has a lifter that has failed. I hope to get it out tomorrow, but it only moves maybe 1/4" in the bore. I intend to pull the cam and get the lifter out the bottom as it's generally seeming like it would damage things to force it out the normal way. I'd ideally like to just put a cam and lifters (and head gaskets and bolts and so on and so forth) and run the motor until it bucks me.

What are my odds here? If I eventually have to pull motor it will likely be for a crate motor vs a long block, so I don't much care about a good core. The way I see it, I'm risking my efforts (I don't charge much for my time) and whatever I have in parts for a cam, lifters, and parts required to put it back together. Seems worth the gamble to me... But talk me into or out of it.

Thanks!
Were you running an aftermarket camshaft?
If so, what specs?
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:13 AM
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Stock cam, as far as I know, and hard to say what exactly has happened until I get it out, but roller appears to have stopped rolling or otherwise created friction with cam. I can only see what little I can see through the holes in the valley.

I bought the car in this condition on the assumption that I was buying a motor as well. So I paid accordingly little for the car. Now that I'm tearing into it, the wheels started turning on how good a deal it would be if it was purchase price of broken car + price of cam and lifters. I mean even if it craps out on me sooner rather than later, all the burnouts between now and then are essentially free... Right?
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:20 AM
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It is probably locked up and has a flat spot as suggested above. You may be able to get away with a cam swap and new lifters.

I suggest cutting open your oil filter. If you see a pole of shavings then you know you need a rebuild. If not, drain the oil, swap the cam and lifters, try not to get too big a case of #WhileImInThere syndrome, and drop the oil pan to make sure it is free of debris
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:12 AM
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Bought an ls6 with a tap....lifter roller decided to exit the building....decided not to risk it and yanked the motor. Glad I did as there was metal bits EVERYWHERE.
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Old 06-08-2019, 08:41 AM
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You can't take any chances with these engines.
Mine had to get stripped when a head bolt snapped and parts of it when inside the engine.
Any metal particles and you can have catastrophic failure
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by bortous View Post
You can't take any chances with these engines.
Mine had to get stripped when a head bolt snapped and parts of it when inside the engine.
Any metal particles and you can have catastrophic failure
Agree that any metal is bad, but oil filter didn't seem to be loaded up with metal... Headed back to working on it after lunch. Will hopefully be able to report back this evening with what the lifter looks like and so on.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:02 PM
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It doesn't all end up in the filter. It goes EVERYWHERE.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by G Atsma View Post
It doesn't all end up in the filter. It goes EVERYWHERE.
Sure, I'm merely using it as a barometer of how much metal may have been sent into the motor.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:09 PM
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Don't take chances. Tear it down and inspect.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:43 PM
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Yeah, definitely not tossing a cam in and rolling on. More cam lobes are scored and/or pitted than aren't. The bad lifter came out the bottom with no issues, but it's worse than I was hoping.
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Old 06-09-2019, 12:30 AM
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Iíll go against the grain. If it looks well otherwise, then I would change the cam/lifters, change oil, and swap over to a magnetic drain plug. Change the oil often at first.

It is a stock build, low cost, and had intentions of replacing it anyway. So nearly a free shot to see if that will do it.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:44 PM
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Wow, that looks terrible. Been that way awhile, too... tons of wear on that roller - the cam even started running on the roller pocket. Gotta be tons of steel all through that engine. Bummer.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Hodgdon Extreme View Post
Wow, that looks terrible. Been that way awhile, too... tons of wear on that roller - the cam even started running on the roller pocket. Gotta be tons of steel all through that engine. Bummer.
Yeah, there's more than a little steel floating around in there. I'll get a picture of the cam tomorrow. Ain't pretty.

Now I'm back to deciding between crate motor and a local rebuild.
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Old 06-09-2019, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by spearfishin View Post
Yeah, there's more than a little steel floating around in there. I'll get a picture of the cam tomorrow. Ain't pretty.

Now I'm back to deciding between crate motor and a local rebuild.
I'd take it apart, assess damage, and go from there. Bottom end MIGHT be OK, but tear it down and know for sure. If you are any good at a rebuild, WS6store has great deals on rebuild kits and excellent service. Call them when the time comes.
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:44 AM
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The metal get's everywhere, I would do a complete rebuild and toss the pistons in the trash even if they look ok, Metal can be embedded into the skirts.
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Old 06-10-2019, 01:00 AM
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If this was my engine, I would tear the thing down and most likely rebuild it.
While rebuilding it, you may as well do a stroker too.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:47 AM
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Given what you found, if it is my engine, I would get a shortblock from GM and then do the heads and cam I want. Maybe send the heads to GPI and grab a mild cam like 223/235, getvthe compression up, drop in a set of morel lifters, and have a really good street motor that should be very dependable and very fun.
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