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Discussion Starter #1
It never ends!

I don't seem to hear it immediately on a cold start. I start hearing it 2 minutes into the warm up, hear it for a other 10 minutes before it starts to quiet down and become barely noticeable.

I'm sure I'm just gonna be told to "start testing the engine apart until you find the issue, etc". Wondering if anyone else had this exact pattern before. Thanks!
 

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I did...lifters in motor weren’t getting enough oil pressure. Oil pump wearing out


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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your quick reply. Forgot to mention the oil pressure seems fine (50-60 cold idle, 18-20 warm/hot idle). Car has 41200 miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Also felt it's worth mentioning the recent work done:

Timing cover gasket replaced
Oil pan replaced (original pan was damaged by the shop)
Oil dye trace added (to pinpoint additional leaks, oil was changed after oil pan replacement, but not the filter)
Exhaust gasket replaced (original one crumbled when they removed the manifold)
Plugs, wires, and optispark replaced
 

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It never ends!

I don't seem to hear it immediately on a cold start. I start hearing it 2 minutes into the warm up, hear it for a other 10 minutes before it starts to quiet down and become barely noticeable.

I'm sure I'm just gonna be told to "start testing the engine apart until you find the issue, etc". Wondering if anyone else had this exact pattern before. Thanks!
What all have you done to your vehicle? What kind and weight of oil are you using in it? What year is the engine ? I saw the miles but is it stock or what has been done. I don’t normally read this because I have a new Camaro 2018 LT1. Not the same as your lt1. There’s a Gm bulletin for the roller bearings on the rocker arms that go bad and you will find metal in the oil plug if you have a magnet oil plug. But I don’t believe that is what you have going on because it’s a newer engine that has that problem. Like in 1999 5.3 engine. But you can have a loose rocker arms or just normal noise because my old TA had the same thing and it never did anything but noise and it didn’t get any worse. I went to Mobil one because I was told to do that on a different vehicle at the dealership that I worked for years ago for a cold start knock and they said put it in for one oil change and then whatever the current engine was using back in it. I was a master automotive Technician for thirty years. But this was a different problem but it did fix it and the reason I was told from GM was that the oil sticks to the metal and stays there better than just regular oil. Non synthetic oil. I didn’t believe it was going to work on the engine because it was my own vehicle and it did work because I drove it and put 200K on the vehicle before I traded it in for a new truck. I’m not saying that this is your problem but I’m now using only
Synthetic oil in every vehicle that I have now. GM new oil that you have to have in your new vehicle now is all synthetic oil and then I believe mobile one makes it. Where are you at in the country or send me a email to skypuppy99 @ gmail and we can talk about it there unless you don’t want to or have found the problem with it. I have had a 97 TA with the LT1 and a 99 TA with the LS1 and I miss both of them real bad. The 99 had over 250K before I swapped it out with a new GM crate engine it was 525HP 486 toque right out of the box. But to swap a LS3 In place of a LS1 is a lot of work if you don’t have a lift to raise the body off the engine assembly. You can do it with out one but it so much easier to do with the lift. So it will even run you have to buy a box from Lingenfelter that you wire it into the factory harness so all your gauges work still. Not counting the injector plugins are different but you can buy them for about ten dollars each. The best way to swap your engine to a newer one is a change the crank reluctor from the 58 tooth to the 24 one is to change it on the crankshaft and then you don’t have to buy the box from Lingenfelter it’s about $350.00 now and I went the first way and had it melted because of the heat from the headers. There are a few things that you do need to get everything to work together and then you have to have someone tune in and hopefully they know what they are doing and then you shouldn’t have any problems then. It’s so much better to do that then to try and rebuild the engine that will cost you more money than just the crate engine. You will need a different throttle body if you have cruise and want to keep it. Or you have to buy the kit for drive by wire which you get a new gas pedal and the harness to hook it up to run.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
41200 original miles, original engine, all stock internals, stock injectors, stock intake manifold, stock exhaust manifold, stock throttle body. Only basic bolt-ons (cold air kit, hypertech programmer and 160* stat, spintech muffler).
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
So I let another shop look at it this morning. They called me, telling me it's definitely internal but not sure what, they have to take the engine apart to see what it is.

They said the oil pressure is an issue, says it's supposed to be above 40 even when warm (I always remember it being 50-60 when cold, 15-20 when warm, accepted that as normal after seeing several other posts about oil pressure being lower when warm).

Thinking about changing the oil filter back to the usual K&N HP2002 I use (the dealer that worked on it last put the AC Delco PF454
 

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Mine was dropping just shy of 20 when warm when I would get my tick. I did a crate LT1 after finding out. It was cheaper than rebuild.


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Discussion Starter #10
What about using a different brand of 5w30 oil? I did a google search and have seen quite a few stating that 5w30 Mobil 1 in particular is one of the "thinner" 30w oils.

Should I step up to Mobil 1 0w40?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had a shop look at it. They pulled the valve cover off, tried readjusting the rockers, thought they fixed it, noise retured, thinking lifter tick. They also mention sludge buildup on the pushrod ball end (car has 41200 miles, oil has been changed every 1000-2000 miles using Mobil 1 5w30).

Now they're trying to sell me a new engine instead of trying to fix this one. I was thinking the lifters just need to be changed to resolve this issue.
 

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When mine went bad, exact same symptoms, oil pressure with motor warm would drop just shy of 20 at idle. Motor swap, I am always just north of 20 with no lifter noise. I think it’s more an oil pump issue. Need a strong pump to get that oil up to lifters/push rods. If truly a sludge issue, you could try some sludge remover...not sure how much i buy into that stuff working. I think Sea Foam is supposed to be pretty good at cleaning up motors.


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Discussion Starter #13
When mine went bad, exact same symptoms, oil pressure with motor warm would drop just shy of 20 at idle. Motor swap, I am always just north of 20 with no lifter noise. I think it’s more an oil pump issue. Need a strong pump to get that oil up to lifters/push rods. If truly a sludge issue, you could try some sludge remover...not sure how much i buy into that stuff working. I think Sea Foam is supposed to be pretty good at cleaning up motors.


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Here's a pic taken by me this morning. If I truly had a sludge issue wouldn't it be real nasty over here too? It looks pretty clean...
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
  • So.....its at another shop now cause the tick got worse (mostly around 1900 rpm, still gets quieter at operating temps, no ticking at idle). Found out both my head gaskets are leaking coolant slightly (once I heard that I thought that may be why its ticking. But I dont have white smoke out the tailpipe, car doesnt overheat, oil looks normal, etc). Hopefully they can fix this engine with new head gaskets and lifters.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Another shop letdown....they wont fix this engine...they rather sell me a remanufactured engine from Jasper or ATK (I refused and ran away).

Meanwhile the tick still seems to only be there when cold. The longer I run the engine at operating temps, the quieter it gets to the point the tick is barely audible, sometimes completely gone!

This is starting to make me think it isn't mechanical....maybe the sound is from the leaking head gaskets, exhaust gasket. intake, or a combination of all.

So now I'm looking for a FOURTH shop! uggh!!
 

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Bummer, no fun chasing engine noises and certainly costing you some time and money dealing with the shops. I’d try the 0-40 mobil one to see what happens. That’s what I run in my high mileage engine and runs quiet with good oil psi. I’d also make sure you've got good fuel and run a full bottle of chevron Techron concentrate fuel system cleaner. You have a low mileage car so has to have sat quite a bit.
 

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Download the 96 factory service manual at the following limk. It will instruct you on removing lifters, & removing cylinder heads to change head gaskets. www.mediafire.com/?40mfgeoe4ctti

But, before you go and change head gaskets, perform compression test of every cylinder. And do a cylinder leak down test of every cylinder. These 2 tests will tell you if (1) head gasket is blown. (2) valves & rings are good or bad.

Also take radiator cap off when engine is cold. Run engine until hot. See if there are bubbles in the coolant in rad. This is a sign of compression leaking past head gasket and going into coolant.

Head gasket failure can have many symptoms. Oil in coolant, coolant in oil, overheating, low compression on 1 cylinder, low compression on 2 adjecient cylinders, & many other things. So do the compression test on all cylinders.

If your not familiar with compression test or leak down test, try youtube. There will be numerous videos on how to do the tests.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The shop that has it now does not see anything wrong with the head gaskets but suggests one of the lifters is taking longer to pump up, believes that is why it eventually quiets down as it keeps running.

Haven't heard from them in a few days, hopefully they figure this out once and for all!
 

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maybe wait until it gets worse......easier to pick out , just about any shop is going to try selling you on something. It may be cheaper to just tell them to replace the lifters VS having them take hours to diagnose ....not that hard ,if you can do a brake job you can do lifters ....imo , just take a few pics or a video if it makes things easier .about half a day sleeping half the time
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The biggest headache so far was finding someone willing to work on it! This shop hears the sound (still comes and goes). He truly believes it's one or more of the lifters so hes gonna start there, hoping the camshaft isnt damaged (otherwise that will need to be replaced too).

If the cam needs to be replaced he suggests that I step it up with a mild cam upgrade from stock (I'm a little concerned because I'm not sure if I can still use the Hypertech tune if I get a non-stock duration cam).

If I end up with a cam swap I guess I can get rid of the Hypertech and let a tuner reprogram for the new cam.
 
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