LS1 engine damage - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 03, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 376

My friend has a 98 camaro with the aluminum LS1. While driving on freeway engine lost power and s.e.s light came on. Towed back.I used the tech 2 and it Had code P0336 crank sensor circuit. I checked the wiring, installed known good sensor but same thing(hard code). I told him the reluctor wheel on crank must be damaged(something hit it etc..)

Towed to shop,they confirmed damaged tooth on wheel via bore scope. They removed pan and found metal pieces in pan(needle bearings from rocker arm, larger roller possibly from a lifter and some other smaller metal pieces)

The car would start and run, no water in oil, idles ok but no power and backfires.

My question: Is the engine a boat anchor? I know aluminum is easier to damage but its also repairable. How bad do you think it is? He wants to know if its worth paying the shop to remove/strip/inspect the block or just pay for a straight engine replacement(providing he can find a used engine, not sure if a new LS1 would be worth it for him. May exceed the value of car if you include the labor)

Thanks, Rayzor

p.s. I found a gm technical service bulletin that was about finding needle bearings in your oil pan, they recommend replacing all 16 rocker arms.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 22nd, 03, 06:19 PM
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 21,341

Have no idea about cost vs worth of the car, but do want to say that it's a shame your friend's engine appears to be toast! Sorry it happened!!!

I just gotta ask how many guy's on this board think that aluminum needle bearing rockers, stock or otherwise should be used for daily drivers?

Especially when there is a service bulletin out that say's IF you find rocker arm parts in your motor, then replace all of them, but they sure didn't say back to good old-fashioned STEEL ones like has been used since I was a pup!!!!!

And doesn't Chevy use some aluminum valve spring retainers on a few of the hi-po V-8 motors and just how long is the life expectancy of those suckers too??

I wonder if there is a service bulletin out on them that say's to pull the flat strip steel dampers out of the springs when they start chewing the aluminum retainers up and you drop a valve!!

I am just mildly venting here b/c it is stuff like this that has totally turned me off anything new from GM unless it is made by Suzuki or Toyota or whoever else that has a GM rebadged car/truck/SUV being sold through them..


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 03, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 376

PDQ67 I hear ya! I worked as a mechanic from 90-96 at GM/import dealerships (Pontiac/Isuzu then Chevy/Toyota) and it was a fact that when mechanics went to buy new family cars using their alloted employee discount, 90% of them bought the imports (mostly Toyotas).

Not trying to bash GM, Heck 3 of the 4 cars I've owned were GM's(71 camaro,68 camaro,67 camaro ,toyota 4-runner)Be it I didn't have to worry about a bad mass air flow sensor,e.c.m.,crank sensor with my Gm's

The LS1 engine is out of the camaro and the shop will be tearing it down for inspection.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Oct 23rd, 03, 02:58 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Vacaville, CA
Posts: 10,474

That is the down side to roller anything, once it lets go it is usually very ugly. No more roller cams for me (at least not on the street). As for roller rockers I have run aluminum with no problems, the cheaper ones are just that (cheap). My Comp Pro Magnums are not aluminum and are very nice.

Royce (NO XQSSS) Bradley

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