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Old 12-12-2007, 09:16 PM
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99 Tahoe - 5.7L Rebuild

I am currently doing a rebuild on a 5.7L, 99 Chevy Tahoe. The engine was knocking on the top end pretty badly. A complete rebuild is underway, new pistons, rings, rod bearings, main bearings, cam bearings, machine work, etc. We do this kind of work in our shop all the time. This Tahoe however has been a bit different.

Being a 99' it's the last year of the true production "350", the engine and bay have been fully prepped. All electrical, fuel, oil cooling lines, starter, tranny bell house, flywheel bolts, power steering, hoses, fan assembly, engine mounts, etc have all been disconnected/removed. The engine lifts freely from the mounts but does not want to seperate from the transmission. 2 bolts on each side of the bell house and 2 more at the top have been removed....6 in total. This has been commonplace for all the late model GM's we've worked on.

The engine has been raised/lowered and shaken around a good deal already in an attempt to free the flywheel/block from the tranny. The top of the tranny seems to have seperated some on the driver side, but that's it. I'm thinking the alignment pins are just stuck? I've checked for any remaining bolts on the tranny bell house, I didn't feel anything...(hard to tell with all the wiring harness run right behind the back of the block).

If anyone has done a similar pull before and has any insight on whether I missed something or whether I need to keep shaking the pins loose I would appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-13-2007, 05:03 AM
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This may be one of my stoopidest posts to date but...

On my Blazers (Tahoe package), there are two "braces" that run from the bottom-ish of the bellhousing up to the block (I think, there's not much room to see clearly where they go up there) under the exahust manifolds. If your Tahoe has those same braces, I would think that might be the trouble.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:36 AM
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Tahoe Rebuild

Not a stupid response at all, those connecting rods were no easy feat to remove (on the drivers side, very little access)....I did however remove them prior to attempting the motor pull. At this point I'm fairly certain the pins are stuck/the angles were off when we tried the pull....wouldn't be the first time someone had trouble seperating an engine/trans while in the vehicle.

If worse comes to worse we'll undo the tailshaft and tranny mounts and pull the whole unit as one I suppose. Any other input would be appreciated!
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:13 PM
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Those braces bolt to the motor mounts and the convertor cover. If you took off the convertor cover from the trans you had to unbolt them. I pulled the engine from my 97 hoe this summer and it popped right out. Got a nice long prybar?
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:35 PM
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Rods, etc

Yeah, they did have to come out...obviously. There would've been no way to access the bell housing bolts, etc without doing so. I believe this is just a case of some sticky pins. I'm going to jack up the bottom of the tranny this evening with the engine seated...should help to work things lose a bit. I figure if I alternate back and forth between lifting the tranny and lifting the motor it will break loose rather quickly.

My concern was due to the strange nature of the stick...I've taken out more 350's than I can count and never had any want to hang on to the tranny so bad...especially on a vehicle that's not that old. Such is automotive work though right? Nobody has ever seen it "all"
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:49 PM
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if you are SURE all the bolts are out. take a thin screwdriver and hammer it between the engine and trans. i have had to do this a few times.
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Old 12-14-2007, 04:52 AM
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did you unbolt the converter from the flexplate?
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Old 12-14-2007, 06:44 AM
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5.7L - Out and Ready

Got it out last night with another 20 minutes of work....it was the pins sticking. I broke it loose with a combination of a short handled pry bar and by jacking the transmission up and down a bit.

I did have the torque converter bolts out from the start of course, this wasn't my first rodeo

This motor had a random and very audible metal hitting metal sound....the "loose bolt sound"...like someone dropped in a bolt or 2 and occassionally it slams into something on the top end. I tested compression, ran around 150 all the way around. It could be "felt" by touching the passenger side valve cover when running, prior to pulling the engine I removed the valve cover and discovered several of the valve sets had no oil flow when running. This indicates badly worn rod bearings to me, I'd imagine the random "hit" was a piston slapping around on the crank or the cylinder.

I've yet to pull the bottom end off to inspect the rod bearings and crank. My hopes are that enough damage wasn't done to make the crank unturnable. I'm fairly uncertain, this vehicle is owned by a friend...being the genious he is he towed a camping trailer while it was knocking...ended up getting loud enough that he got it towed home. Genius.

I'm fairly sure a good turn on the crank, oversized rod and main bearings should take care of it.

If any of you guys have had similar symptoms feel free to share, I've been turning wrenches for 13 years and still feel 2 (or more) heads are better than one.

Thanks!
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