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no, that's not how it works at all, you misunderstand what the hydraulic portion does. all they really do is self-adjust valve clearances when the valves are closed. as soon as the valve starts to open, the hydraulic portion doesn't do much until the valve is closed again.
 

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you wouldn't see a bent (or more likely burned or mis-seated) valve; the exposed portion of the valve inside your valve cover is rarely tweaked. it would be bent or burned on the other side of the guide, in your combustion chamber. a compression or leakdown test would reveal that.

it could certainly cause a bank to trim excessively, as it would fake your oxygen sensor out big time, so it's a valid theory. definitely check compression so you can rule it out and move on. remember to check it warm, with the throttle wide open, and the injectors disabled.
 

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sure unplugging them is fine, or pull the injector fuses (i think LS1 cars still have seperate injector fuses.. im not an LS1 guy so dont listen to me..)

thermometer is nice to have, but you're on the right track by reading plugs, that'll tell you almost as much. leakdown is good for subtle problems. in your case, compression will be good enough to see if you have any torched valves.
 
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