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Discussion Starter #1
Can I ask you guys a couple questions? I took in a 2002 LQ4 6.0 liter block and a set of 243 heads in for some machine work. 2 months later and some delays the bill came back way higher than originally quoted $3700 all in. They gave me the full meal deal package punched it out 20 thou, flat top pistons, decked, align bored/hone etc. Same with the heads valve job resurface and so on.

The delays were over some cam bearings different years, different sizes they say but its been resolved I'm told. Inspecting the block though it looks like they reamed out two of the cam bearings. I can still see the fine shavings around the bearings. As well there is a scratch big enough to catch a finger nail on as shown in the pic.

Also they charged me $375 for ARP studs I didn't ask for not sure why they couldn't reuse the OE ones I brought in. I'm not building a race engine. Also the main bearings have been opened and one of them is scratched as well. That's pretty much it appreciate your guy's thoughts on this situation.
 

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Clearancing the cam bearings to proper oil clearance is the main issue that plagues most LS's. That is a not atypical IMO.

$3700, phew, that's plenty and I would say that's not typical unless it's assembled with a new 408 rotating assembly, again IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm in Canada so everything is higher up here but even with that it still seems high yes.
 

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Looks like they honed or ? the cam bearing probably because it was tight.
The mark on the main bearing is from the dial bore gage used to check the main bearing clearance, very typical and actually a good thing as it means they actually checked the clearances.
 

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X2 with Engineczar. So much for cheap Gen III engines, when you go into the operating room they get costly. Still, I guess not out of line with building a stout Gen I, but the price tag surprises a lot of folks.

Bogie
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm learning a lot about LS engines, never thought honing new cam bearings would be required or accepted. Definitely not cheap if they need to go in the operating room as you say lol. The engine hasn't been assembled. To the machine shop's credit they dropped the bill to $3300 when I brought up the fact that I didn't authorize new ARP main studs. I just wanted to reuse the old ones.
I'm surprised they went with flat top pistons and 243 heads, basically built me a iron block LS2. Compression has got to be over 11:1 wonder if that might be a issue.
 

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Lots of guys just run junkyard engines because of the bearing issue and the fact often times you can pull a 300k mile engine apart with zero wear
 

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I'm surprised they went with flat top pistons and 243 heads, basically built me a iron block LS2. Compression has got to be over 11:1 wonder if that might be a issue.
You'll need an overwhelming good cooling system to run 87 octane in all situations. E50-E85 would make it be very doable.

What is your intended use with the motor and what cam was put in?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You'll need an overwhelming good cooling system to run 87 octane in all situations. E50-E85 would make it be very doable.

What is your intended use with the motor and what cam was put in?

I informed the machine shop that I will be putting it in a 69 GTO 5 speed manual with 3:55 posi. I wanted it in a cruiser that I would be able to take on long trips if I wanted to but still have decent mid range power. Its not going to see the strip and it needs to be pump gas friendly 93 octane at the most. No cam in it yet but they are recommending a comp 54-414-11 with comp 26918-16 valve springs
 

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Capt Mike
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Chad,

I'm at a loss at to the high cost for an engine bore job and not assembled, sent home with a bag of parts. IMHO, that's obscene. At this juncture you probably should read the invoice & quote that you signed and start finding out what you paid for and whats your recourse - if any. Retailers Now,,don't like Bad Reviews, that's probably your greatest Tool to a solution. We have government agencies to help, might be a something to consider.

Here in my State in USA, there are strick laws re charging more than a quote. I either use Pay Pal, a Credit or Debit Card for all my purchases. In my current build I've had several instances where a particular part was incorrect, damaged, or not suitable. When the seller refused or continually delayed crediting my Card, I simply called my Bank, problem solved.

An engine block, be it assembled or bare, it is unforgivable to not be properly cleaned. Any debris especially metal filings creates Huge Questions to the Shops Skills and Professionalism ! Another indication of "there's some wrong here".

Delays, not receiving your Engine on time for a Part Section, also raises many questions. Is this Shop neat, clean,organised ?? Or it is a fitly mess with and engine parts scattered ??

True,, LS engines have had Cam Bearing issues, not the first time nor new to manufacturers. The Cam bearings are pressed into the block,, It's a precision fitment. Having to Home or manipulate one for two Cam Bearings raises suspicions as to WHY ! Looking at that Photo, Me I'd have the Cam Bearings Pulled and check this Block, Mains, Cam Journals and Deck. New installed bearing should all be 100% Flawless. Find out if their "Rolled Bearings"

One cause could be a loss cost "rolled" Cam Bearing installed, or improper installation.. Something to research. You'll find out when the Cam Bearings all pulled. IMHO, removing these bearings and finding out why this shop Honed or modified them is paramount. IF the Cam bearing Journals aren't True, there will be serials problems.

BTW, just because your presented with an opened Box with parts, IE Bearings, doesn't prove the contents are the same.

Was this Engine "Line Bored" or not ? Was it Checked ? What about the Deck heights ? I'm asking because if the Deck Heights where not square and the Mains also where not Square, raises more questions to the Cam Journals alignment. This shop should have provided these measurements to you.

What is that used main bearing your holding represent ?

You might try speaking to a few of the Tech support people at some of the top engine builders and forums like LS1Tech.com. Start with Lingenfelder, re the cam bearings.

It's also popular here for DIY builders to install LSX used engines, Truck cast iron block, and get years of service. Their not popular so typical cost here in my area runs $500 - $1000 complete with ECM and engine harness, sometimes with a trans.

With the help of friend WE installed a LS1 w Tremic T5-6 back in the Spring of 2007 in my '56 210. Was well worth the effort !!

Good Luck,

Michael..
 

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Discussion Starter #11
CaptMike I requested that the engine be left assembled for cost as well so I could have a look. The price also includes a set of 243 heads to redone as well which I am still waiting to receive back.

This machine shop has been around for years and has some decent reviews. So when I dropped off the engine block heads, crank and pistons they gave me zero documentation and a verbal quote.

I'll admit their unprofessionalism and lack of paperwork really concerned me but from everything I've heard they do good work and let it slide. So I do have a little bit of leverage, all they have at this point is a $1000 deposit and my heads still. I have the engine block with crank, new bearings, rings, pistons.

It has not been a pleasant experience however. Too many delays and bull#$% fed me. Still uneasy about these "polished" cam bearings.

Is it common practice to not number pistons and connecting rods to their respective cylinders? I was just left with a box of pistons which I'm assuming is in the same orientation of the engine block.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's the invoice. The first one was for $3700 then they gave me a "deal" for $3582. I complained about the ARP main studs I did not request and they have since lowered it to $3300.
 

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Capt Mike
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You can certainly assemble this engine, but you very much need to read up and watch Videos. this isn't the same as assembling a SBC. There's plenty of GM assembly instructions. Be cautious !! Never guess nor estimate !! LSX engines are a vert different breed.

Well, since your only in a thousand $$. IMHO, I'd put the brakes on the head work based on what you've shown here. Also request, firmly if necessary, a complete listing of the shops machining work etc. on everything and all of the part numbers of all of the parts !!, sometimes called a traveler, build sheet etc. You absolutely need this information to make decisions.

Once you receive this info, then decisions can be made. But, Me those cam bearings need to be removed and this Blocked checked, no if's and or Butts

There are a few low cost upgrade kits for the oil pump, read and decide.

But just don't assemble blindly. This is what you need to read about, and there's more.... There's a host of low cost parts that you need to know about. Most are inexpensive, and save much down the road. Another example is the Harmonic Balancer, there are many failures. Me, I'd never install a used HB off any LSx engine. A take-off from a new crate engine yes, never used. They can and have slipped and come off he front, havoc...

Are the 243 your heads or theirs. ?? I don't see any reason to complete extra machine work on LS heads for a street car. Most I know leave them alone, even with a hot cam and get plenty of power.

The main concern in LSx heads are to replace the Needle bearing in the Trunnions. The best are, and at the same price, are CHI Racing,, trunnion kit $200. Nothing else is needed for these head in your application. Not a complicated installation. However, if this shop did not label each and every rocker assembly, Decked your block, heads or both,, You will need to complete full fitment for each and every rocker !! Not Rocket Science, but it takes time and these rockers are NOT adjustable. MY C5 now has 44k miles and the rockers I can hear when cold. Since I don't what metal in the oil, time to change.

IF your heads need all moving parts, then best to look at a set of new heads for so many reasons. Again, this is a street rod. Even with a GM hot cam, some bracket racing,,, theirs two OEM choices and you won't need a mortgage. For my street cars, I seek reliability always first. Do comparisons.

https://www.texas-speed.com/p-5982-che-lslt-trunion-kit-for-stock-rockers-bushings.aspx


My C5 Corvette convert and my Sons '04 C5 ZO6 is a FRC LS6 Led Mans edition, both cars have 243 heads. The ECM power tune makes the difference. His ZO6 is extremely fast.

Send me your email via PM and I'll email a video of my '56 with the LS1 / T-56 out here in the country corners. And all the help you need on a LSX transplant, been there several times.

"they gave me zero documentation and a verbal quote." I don'y know about your laws,,, but that is illegal here, period.

"I have the engine block with crank, new bearings, rings, pistons."

Check the parts carefully, part numbers, manufacturers stamping etc, know what each and every part. It is difficult to see your pistons, but those don't look new. Didn't have the block bored ???. And that is very sloppy and unprofessional way to box up piston / rods assemblies. Another important is what work have they done to these rods & pistons ??

"Still uneasy about these "polished" cam bearings."

Have them removed.

assembly,,

My Dad helped me rebuild many a Chevy Engine. We always had the block tanked, a through check and scrub, and then over to Dad's life long friend Jack. Jack was a Journey Man / Tool and Die Maker. He always installed my and my friends Cam bearings, Sized and mounted the Rods to the pistons and checked all the clearances. They where both fanatics about cam bearing installations and He had the machined tools for the installation and checking them. No surface scratches, dings, scrapping etc was tolerated. They had to be absolutely perfect. Gads Jack always lectured me, rubbed off. All the assembly of cam, crank and rod bearings was completed after each and every bearing was checked to the manufacturers spec. And Latex gloves,, mandatory.

You've seemly "Got An Itch" re these Cam bearings, Don't take a chance. The delivered block had metal filings and honed bearing,,, tells a tale.

Is it common practice to not number pistons and connecting rods to their respective cylinders?

I've never had an LSX engine apart. I'm about to remove the Holley oil pan and install a Corvette Bat Wing oil pan, extra clearance needed. So I'll know soon. Even the LSX oil pan have a bolt torque sequence !!

I've seen very few GM engines that didn't have the rods labeled. I was taught to always check and stamp if the rods where not numbered. It's important to know which side a rod / piston assembly is installed.

Just my thoughts. I've seen many of my friends take chances, it usually ended poorly.

Michael..
 

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Looking at your invoice I don't really see anything here that's way out of line. Top of the line pricing yes, but most performance machine work is expensive nowadays. You've got $1250 in parts listed there so the actual labor cost is around $2000. The block was squared/decked, align honed, bored and honed, hot tanked, ect. There's also head work included in there as well.

The soft side of the deal like how long it takes and how good the work might be is a different story and subject to question.

To many hotrodders displeasure the days of getting an engine machined for $500 is long gone. For the remaining performance machine shops the costs of doing business is quite high especially once you add in competent employees and specialized equipment. Even something as basic as hot tanking is an expensive proposition when you add in the government regulations that have to be followed.
 

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More for Less Racer
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There are some pretty high shop prices in there from a midwest United States standpoint, but I don't know how that correlates to Canada.

Part prices have a pretty hefty mark-up, 75% to over 125%, I don't know exactly how import fees and exchange rate influences it, so I'll just give US examples and let you do the figuring...
The pistons, $220/set here
Valvesprings, $195/set
ARP main studs, $225....but those were not even needed, the LS has a 6 bolt, cross bolt main and stock fasteners would do the job to far beyond what the entire block casting will ever hold.

Near as I can tell, in my area, entire bill would come in under $2000.

As far as the cam bearings, it is not unusual to have to line hone or size them on some engines, in a lot of cases they are installed and line reamed from the factory, I've seen this with the LS and the Ford Clevelands were often the same way.
I've seen info on guys doing it at home by taking the old stock cam and cutting "flutes" in the main bearing journal with a cutoff wheel to make a down and dirty reamer when they find a tight one/out of alignment after replacing cam bearings.

New piston sizing in todays CNC manufactured world is fine tolerance enough that marking pistons to bore location because the size varied so much that cylinders needed to be match honed to each individual piston has become a thing of the past.
Set's are now so close in size that you just check them to verify where the set falls in the tolerance range, and hone all cylinders in the block to the same final size.

At this point, if you have no recourse on working a solution with them, I'd tell them to "keep the heads and suck it, you'll go buy a new set of aftermarket performance heads before you'll get hosed by them again"...use the $2700 you aren't paying them for new heads.
US prices on rebuilt 243 castings is $600-800/pr. with no core.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I really appreciate everyone's input its really quite helpful. Upon further inspection I've discovered one of the new .020 oversized pistons looks it was dropped or knocked around. It has a slight raised edge on the top of the piston now where you can feel a slight bump.

The connecting rods were label according to cylinders with a paint marker when they were dropped off. Now that's been washed away and no markings to be found anywhere to indicate which cylinder they belong to aside from the orientation in the cardboard box provided.

I've only put together a couple gen 1 small blocks in the past without issue so this might sound like a newbie question but shouldn't the connecting rods go back to the same journal they were removed from? In hindsight I should of marked them with a punch instead a paint marker.
 

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Just dress that piston smooth with a fine file, a sanding block, or hone stone and it will be fine.

Rods don't have to go back in the same hole or on the same journal, that's the beauty of replacement bearing inserts.
Only two things specific about the rods...
One, the rod and rod cap are machined together as mates, rod cap must be kept with it's original rod and not mixed up.
Two, side of the connecting rod with the large chamfer in the big end of the rod bearing bore must face out toward the crank cheek, and not in toward the other rod on the same journal.

Dimple on piston is oriented to toward the front of the engine.
This means you should have 4 connecting rods with the large bore chamfer facing the same direction as the dimple on the piston(#'s 1, 3, 5, 7), and 4 that face opposite the dimple(#'s 2, 4, 6, 8).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just dress that piston smooth with a fine file, a sanding block, or hone stone and it will be fine.

Rods don't have to go back in the same hole or on the same journal, that's the beauty of replacement bearing inserts.
Only two things specific about the rods...
One, the rod and rod cap are machined together as mates, rod cap must be kept with it's original rod and not mixed up.
Two, side of the connecting rod with the large chamfer in the big end of the rod bearing bore must face out toward the crank cheek, and not in toward the other rod on the same journal.

Dimple on piston is oriented to toward the front of the engine.
This means you should have 4 connecting rods with the large bore chamfer facing the same direction as the dimple on the piston(#'s 1, 3, 5, 7), and 4 that face opposite the dimple(#'s 2, 4, 6, 8).

Awesome thanks :thumbup:
 

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Race it, Don't rice it!
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I don't see anything out of line either other than pricing is premium but I know nothing if the shop either.
 

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After all this I should have just threw in some new cam & rod bearings, piston rings, honed the cylinders and lapped the valves and called it a day lol. Live and learn I suppose. I was expecting to get the parts back and start with the assembly but their business practices have just created more questions than answers. You guys have been more accommodating and responsive than the machine shop. At least your advice is not bias and self serving.

Another novice question, but should the crank have been balanced considering the new over sized .020 pistons? I didn't provide them with the harmonic balancer or fly wheel. In theory if the machining is true and correct does it matter what cylinder these new pistons go in? No markings on the connecting rods or pistons to indicate cylinder position. Ericnova72 touched up a little on this earlier, he mentioned:

"New piston sizing in today's CNC manufactured world is fine tolerance enough that marking pistons to bore location because the size varied so much that cylinders needed to be match honed to each individual piston has become a thing of the past. Set's are now so close in size that you just check them to verify where the set falls in the tolerance range, and hone all cylinders in the block to the same final size."

They didn't mention if the crankshaft was balanced, didn't see it on the invoice. I've asked them about this but still waiting for a response on it. Once this is all said and done I'll update this thread and let you'all know whether it'll be a success or if this thing will blow up in the first 100 miles.
 
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