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Old 03-01-2021, 06:24 PM   #1
cmitchell17

 
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Advice on What to do With Engine

So I was going to ask in my other thread but figured I would start another one since it got so long.

So my stock intake valve seats all broke on my TSP PRC ported stock heads. I got them off and it looks like about 1k to put in oversized and hopefully better seats than stock.

My #8 piston has some knicks on the top of the piston as well as the head, but I imagine my machine shop is going to resurface them and maybe they will go away. I don't think its enough damage to the piston to warrant a teardown but I know everyone on the internet says 100% always tear it down, but I think you have to think about how I could mess it up potentially along with break things when pulling it out, not having enough room in the garage etc.

I was thinking of pulling it and doing a stroker and trying to get more displacement, but then I realized the astronomical price of that and realized that would never be worth it and also realized there is no way at least cheaply to do L8T hardware to increase stroke.

So now thats out of the equation it looks like I am just going to fix my heads and put them back on, measure PTV and clearances, wait a month for a cam, measure for pushrod length, wait some more, then pull radiator and swap cam.

Right now both heads are off, I don't consider it about half as much effort to pull heads as pulling the radiator. At this point I could still pull the motor but I just think it would be extremely pointless, yes it would be a lot easier degreeing the cam, checking clearance, etc. with the motor out. I've never pulled the motor in these cars but I can't imagine it being any easier than pulling the radiator, I would think it would be much harder disconnecting the compressor, trying to roll the car around (my garage is only 19 foot in length), crawling under pulling TC bolts and bellhousing bolts, etc.

The only think I can see as far as "upgrading" while I am doing all this work is to try to get a thinner head gasket and maybe gain half a point in compression, where my ideal goal in compression. I would love to have 13.5 or 14:1 and would run 100% E85 but people seem to hate hard on that idea, I plan to stay FI even though everyone is going to say turbo or supercharger instantly.
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Old 03-01-2021, 06:32 PM   #2
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If it was me, the block would be out of the car and at the machine shop. Metal pieces bouncing around the cylinder certainly did not do the cylinders any favors. My 2 cents.
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Old 03-01-2021, 07:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NA18CamaroSS View Post
If it was me, the block would be out of the car and at the machine shop. Metal pieces bouncing around the cylinder certainly did not do the cylinders any favors. My 2 cents.
Yeah, I hear you, problem is I moved away and don't know of any machine shops I trust around here, I already am going to be paying probably over $300 shipping the heads back home to get fixed. I can't imagine how much it would cost shipping the block, unless I drove it back myself but I don't really have time to do that.

But you are right I probably should pull it, but if I do it seems like I would have another 1k in machining costs for boring, then another 3k in rotating assembly, crank, rods, and pistons for more displacement, then more costs to get it balanced. Unless there are tricks I don't know to save money it seems this would easily be close to 5k with me doing all the install and reinstall labor?

I guess if I do pull the motor, I could do a stall, but then again how effective is a stall on a 8 speed with a 4:1 first gear ratio where you are already at the limits of traction with drag radials, I think the torque converter needs to be immediately locked in all gears after 1st like the factory commands it to.
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Old 03-01-2021, 08:06 PM   #4
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I've been eyeing the stroker kits for a little while now, that's how I would go for sure. Definitely not cheap. Stroker and twin turbo is my dream, and way out of my price range. However having a NA car is getting to be almost a rarity now, and I kinda like it.

No matter what you do it's gonna cost a bunch of money. And yea, that radiator is a PITA!!! It's probably easier to pull the engine out. Whenever mine comes apart I want to make it as bulletproof as possible.
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Old 03-01-2021, 08:28 PM   #5
cmitchell17

 
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Originally Posted by Baddawg53 View Post
I've been eyeing the stroker kits for a little while now, that's how I would go for sure. Definitely not cheap. Stroker and twin turbo is my dream, and way out of my price range. However having a NA car is getting to be almost a rarity now, and I kinda like it.

No matter what you do it's gonna cost a bunch of money. And yea, that radiator is a PITA!!! It's probably easier to pull the engine out. Whenever mine comes apart I want to make it as bulletproof as possible.
Which stroker kit were you looking at?
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Old 03-01-2021, 10:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cmitchell17 View Post
Which stroker kit were you looking at?
https://www.texas-speed.com/p-4301-t...-assembly.aspx

I keep going back to this one for no reason in particular, I suppose if I ever get serious about it all do more research.
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:28 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Baddawg53 View Post
https://www.texas-speed.com/p-4301-t...-assembly.aspx

I keep going back to this one for no reason in particular, I suppose if I ever get serious about it all do more research.
So I went ahead and ordered a Cometic .028 head gasket, this should give me according to my calculations, .089 more compression, almost a full point. I guess Cometic is a good gasket, I looked it up and its only a 3 layer, I am wondering about sealing issues and if I would have any using these 3 layer aftermarket gaskets instead of AC Delco/GM gaskets being NA and not FI.


I was going to just probably put my motor back together when I get my valve seats fixed since I just can't afford to have it sitting around broken and not useable, and wait a month or so until I get my cam done and tear it down again, but given that you have to buy all new TTY bolts and all these other gaskets and cam phaser bolt, all this stuff adds up to like $300 or $400.
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:45 AM   #8
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please replace your busted piston, The areas that are dented or dinged have high spots in them and they will create hot spots on the pistons which will lead to detonation which will lead to a hole in the side of your block which will lead you to spending more money cuz now you have to replace the whole block and rotating assembly. at least do some drop in rods and pistons you won't have to pull your motor ever again.
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Old 03-02-2021, 08:58 AM   #9
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I have had stroker engines and I wouldn't build another one unless it was for a tow truck low rpm application. They are old school methodology for a performance application. Todays small blocks are comfortable revving reliably, so I would prefer to keep the engine square. Also the Gen5 stuff makes plenty of torque and really that is mostly where your gains are with a stroker. If you want a larger engine then 427 is what I would be looking at but I don't really see it making much more power then a 376 unless you plan on spending a lot of coin on the top end of the engine to feed those additional cubes.
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:44 PM   #10
cmitchell17

 
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Originally Posted by That1guy_tim View Post
please replace your busted piston, The areas that are dented or dinged have high spots in them and they will create hot spots on the pistons which will lead to detonation which will lead to a hole in the side of your block which will lead you to spending more money cuz now you have to replace the whole block and rotating assembly. at least do some drop in rods and pistons you won't have to pull your motor ever again.
I will probably end up pulling it, but there are some reasons I don't want to do "drop ins":

This is somewhat of a objective opinion, but I just don't trust aftermarket parts like I do a stock untouched motor that has gone plenty of miles. Now yes, if I was FI I would definitely upgrade. Everytime I have seen someone spend 10-20k on all these pre assembled shortblocks and put in rotating assemblies and all that, things seem to always break and within like 10 or 20k

Second thing, it seems to me they ignored the GM combustion chamber design and I want to definitely maintain that, and also I think it would be even harder to try and increase compression on the GPI drop ins, I think the quench pad under the spark plug and spark plug clearances have to be checked on those because they get so close.

I keep hearing people say 14.5:1 or around there compression is obtainable stock but then I never hear and explanation of how to get there.
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:11 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by KingLT1 View Post
I have had stroker engines and I wouldn't build another one unless it was for a tow truck low rpm application. They are old school methodology for a performance application. Todays small blocks are comfortable revving reliably, so I would prefer to keep the engine square. Also the Gen5 stuff makes plenty of torque and really that is mostly where your gains are with a stroker. If you want a larger engine then 427 is what I would be looking at but I don't really see it making much more power then a 376 unless you plan on spending a lot of coin on the top end of the engine to feed those additional cubes.
I did a comparison if I were to take my motor now (PRC Ported Stock Heads (12.06:1, 228/236-114 .635/.636, LT2 Intake, Kooks 1-7/8) and stroke it to the L8T stroke out to 400 ci:
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The window on the left is the LT1 motor, but you can see on the graph I just have torque, when you try to graph HP on a fitted axis it gets hard to look at so I just look at torque (I think its completely a waste of time and useless to analyze both torque and horsepower since horsepower is directly proportional to torque). The green lines is frictional consumed power, you can see the stroker at max RPM takes over 10 more HP to turn, and you can also see the torque increase at those high rpms where you are going to be most of the time hopefully is negligible.

Don't confuse the HP on the right axis, its scaled low because the green lines are only graphing the frictional consumed power.

I agree with you though, its completely not worth it, almost as not worth it as paying $2500 for headers for a extra 10hp.

Also don't forget, I didn't recam the stroker motor, I think you could see better gains if it were re cammed, the VE% on the stroker drops off 10% drop from the LT1 stroke past 6000rpms.

Last edited by cmitchell17; 03-02-2021 at 06:21 PM.
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:15 PM   #12
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the marks on top of the piston are not worrisome. the missing piece of the piston on the outside edge is why you need to replace it.

consider most setups using aftermarket, preassembled short blocks are making 2-3x more power than you are and have a plethora of variables ultimately leading to the engines demise.

it sounds like you need to replace that piston with another stock one and carry on. you might be able to get away with doing that in the car.
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:29 PM   #13
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If I do pull the motor and put it on a stand, what else can I do to make it better? I never could get any recommendations on how much RPM you can spin but mostly importantly spin safely and not be gambling with something failing. Can you put in rod bolts? or is that require machining and a PITA?

Also before I go any further, the GPI "drop in" is basically the only aftermarket option we have for a different piston without having one custom made? I really can't find anything else? and the GPI ones won't help my compression situation.
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Old 03-02-2021, 06:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmitchell17 View Post
If I do pull the motor and put it on a stand, what else can I do to make it better? I never could get any recommendations on how much RPM you can spin but mostly importantly spin safely and not be gambling with something failing. Can you put in rod bolts? or is that require machining and a PITA?

Also before I go any further, the GPI "drop in" is basically the only aftermarket option we have for a different piston without having one custom made? I really can't find anything else? and the GPI ones won't help my compression situation.
there are several pistons available for these engines. the question is: what is your goal with this engine? if you're staying na, i wouldn't bother with upgrading the pistons and rods. my rock stock long block has seen 7k+ for several months and a few thousand miles now, i wouldn't be afraid to upgrade the valve train and spin 7500.
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