Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
6/24/21 1:07 p.m.
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Five years ago, this project started with an engine. In fact, we didn’t even know what car we’d be installing our LS1 in. We just knew that buying the disassembled V8 for just $400 was a decision we wouldn’t regret.

Over the months that followed, we signed up for Daytona State C…

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CrustyRedXpress
CrustyRedXpress HalfDork
6/24/21 1:47 p.m.

What a ride.

So the oil pickup was causing low oil pressure, right? But what was causing the metal shavings? The rod bolt and oil pickup interference?

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
6/24/21 2:36 p.m.

This better not be the last motor you build.  You made one mistake and you caught it.  That's all. 

Were it me, I might've started with a stock-ish rebuild of something.  Maybe a slightly hotter cam and some bolt-ons for a little extra oomph without altering the basic architecture .  Maybe the reciprocating /rotary parts would remain stock with some premium bearings.  That way, you can practice the vagaries of the basic relationships (like piston-to-wall, ring gaps, bearing clearances, and pushrod length) before getting into the exotica.  It's hard to eat a steak by shoving a cow into your mouth.

Find some derelict and forlorn engine with some parts availability in the boneyard.  Make it into a useful tool again.  Run it for awhile so you can get some satisfaction and sell it on or give it to somebody who needs it.  I built maybe four engines before I started messing around.  You won't have to do that many.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy MegaDork
6/24/21 3:00 p.m.

Oil pump pickups are important.  I've always looked sideways at the aftermarket style you used, because I  picture hitting the wrong pothole just the right way, and pushing the pan up to block flow.   I prefer the stock appearing one that is designed like a babies nose- it can breathe even when stuffed right into something soft.

Stefan (Forum Supporter)
Stefan (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/24/21 3:05 p.m.

I'm getting flashbacks of the ill-fated Camry V6 project.

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
6/24/21 5:51 p.m.

Nice recovery. Hopefully the omelet is worth the broken eggs.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/24/21 6:10 p.m.
Jerry From LA said:

This better not be the last motor you build.  You made one mistake and you caught it.  That's all. 

Were it me, I might've started with a stock-ish rebuild of something.  Maybe a slightly hotter cam and some bolt-ons for a little extra oomph without altering the basic architecture .  Maybe the reciprocating /rotary parts would remain stock with some premium bearings.  That way, you can practice the vagaries of the basic relationships (like piston-to-wall, ring gaps, bearing clearances, and pushrod length) before getting into the exotica.  It's hard to eat a steak by shoving a cow into your mouth.

Find some derelict and forlorn engine with some parts availability in the boneyard.  Make it into a useful tool again.  Run it for awhile so you can get some satisfaction and sell it on or give it to somebody who needs it.  I built maybe four engines before I started messing around.  You won't have to do that many.

Some parts availability...like a Chevy V8 from a couple of decades ago? ;) Thing is, GRM is a magazine with advertisers that love to get their parts in the magazine, so it's kinda hard to avoid the big parts cannon. Heck, it's easier than finding stock parts.

So if I read this right, the failure was due to a poorly built or designed aftermarket pickup, which was required due to the non-standard engine install. The rest is just playing. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up, I think every LS failure I've had was due to aftermarket parts. It's no coincidence that every part in my engine these days has a GM part number.

Let's see how long it takes before that billet oil filler cap gets replaced with a plastic one because someone's tired of branding themselves to add oil. See Raiders of the Lost Ark for reference.

noddaz
noddaz GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/24/21 8:04 p.m.

And this is why I love this place.  You came and almost got your butt kicked and moved on and saved the day.  No our junkyard engine had low oil pressure so we bought a new one from GM. You dug in, got your hands dirty building the engine and car.  Things go sideways and you dig in again and hopefully we all learned something in the process.

Worst meme ever.

Anyway, keep doing what you are doing!

 

Scott

CyberEric
CyberEric Dork
6/24/21 8:07 p.m.

I really hope the new engine is better. God speed.

I’m suspicious of the LS swap thing. Have been for years. It seems like I hear a lot of people with a similar problem with oil starvation. Vorschlag ran into it long ago. I hear about it again and again. Even the GRM Z06 has a wet sump now to avoid the issue. 

I get it’s a compact motor with great power, but yeah, I feel nervous. Guess that’s why I’m slow!

dean1484
dean1484 GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/24/21 8:16 p.m.

Looks like you got that one just in time. The rod bolt thing was really interesting!!!  Did you figure put how the pickup depth happened?  Could  the rod hitting the tube bend it down? From what I know there is not a lot of clearance when set properly but  I have never done a complete rebuild of an LS motor and as such I found this really interesting. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
6/24/21 8:36 p.m.

Lesson to be had:  The corollary to line honing a block with the bolts torqued to spec, is that if you change the torque spec, you have to line hone the block again.

 

And people wonder why I am super critical about "unimportant" fasteners like cam cap bolts.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/24/21 9:19 p.m.

In reply to dean1484 :

I suspect that the problem was the original dimensions of the pickup, that put it into contact with the bottom of the sump and the rod bolt. Good thing it made contact with the bolt, really.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
6/25/21 1:06 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Some parts availability...like a Chevy V8 from a couple of decades ago? ;) Thing is, GRM is a magazine with advertisers that love to get their parts in the magazine, so it's kinda hard to avoid the big parts cannon. Heck, it's easier than finding stock parts.

So if I read this right, the failure was due to a poorly built or designed aftermarket pickup, which was required due to the non-standard engine install. The rest is just playing. It'll be interesting to see how it holds up, I think every LS failure I've had was due to aftermarket parts. It's no coincidence that every part in my engine these days has a GM part number.

Let's see how long it takes before that billet oil filler cap gets replaced with a plastic one because someone's tired of branding themselves to add oil. See Raiders of the Lost Ark for reference.

What I meant was doing a couple of stock motors on the side until he gains a level of familiarity with the process beyond the book-learning aspect.  It doesn't have to be a V-8 or it could've been a bone-stock LS.  Whatever it takes to build the muscle memory.  If I recall, Chevy has been known to buy advertising too so a recent motor with gennie GM parts (plus a few bolt-ons or a mild cam from their catalog) might pique their interest.  Then the side project becomes a front-and-center project.  There's plenty to check on a stock build without worrying about the relationship between new rods from Manufacturer A, a crank from Manufacturer B, pistons from Manufacturer C, a wild cam and lifters from Manufacturer D, and all held together with bolts from Manufacturer E.

jharry3
jharry3 GRM+ Memberand Dork
6/25/21 7:58 a.m.

Note to self: Next time put the clay in a baggie so it doesn't gunk up the oil intake screen.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
6/25/21 9:12 a.m.

In reply to jharry3 :

Yeah, learned that trick on the second test-fit. laugh

And we did measure the pickup and pan when we originally assembled the engine, but either we measured wrong, we didn't account for something during assembly, or something changed. The rod bolt was definitely interfering from day one, though. Missed that and we were in such a hurry doing the swap that we didn't spin the engine after installing the pickup.

Overall, though, it was a great learning experience and I'm happy I caught it in time. All part of the process! 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/25/21 9:44 a.m.

My first engine rebuild lasted about 17 miles before it threw a rod (mgb 1800). I'm mostly certain it was incorrect torque on the bolts. 

But I also think that until you try and rebuild your own, it is easy to not have an appreciation for how good a factory engine actually is. 

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
6/25/21 9:54 a.m.

In reply to Robbie (Forum Supporter) :

We should start a separate thread about early rebuilding experiences. But chances are your MG rod failure  had more to do with a rod bolt failure, than anything else.  
      First engine I actually "helped" rebuild was a 270 Offenhauser sprint car engine. The lessons  I learned  set the foundation  for all subsequent rebuilds/ modifications. 

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
6/25/21 10:44 a.m.

My first was a 1608cc FIAT twincam I was getting paid for.  It took me like three months because I checked everything 362 times.  The only non-stock item was a set of oversize pistons and rings.  There was a FIAT parts distributor operating out of his basement about a mile from my place so I was lucky to have access to original parts.  The engine came out fine due to the great fear level in screwing it up and having to refund the money.  However, I also rebuilt the carb which need a couple of passes to get correct.

The most problematic was a Triumph Dolomite engine (essentially half a Stag motor) found in pre-'73 SAAB 99s.  The biggest issues were around casting porosity and it being a Triumph Dolomite motor.  That one I did for myself.  After months of struggle, I got it back together and drove it across the country.

f1carguy
f1carguy New Reader
6/30/21 7:24 p.m.

I need help! Where do I find the rod bolts on my Mazda 13B?

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
7/1/21 1:01 a.m.

Should have rotary swapped it. :)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
7/1/21 12:03 p.m.
f1carguy said:

I need help! Where do I find the rod bolts on my Mazda 13B?

They're hidden by the cam caps.

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