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Old 02-14-2018, 03:35 PM   #1
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Opinions on cam bearings

Aside from dropping the oil pan to get the lifter that I dropped out, the only thing keeping me from putting the LS3 back together is the cam bearings. They show a little bronze but I heard from a rep at Texas speed that even after 500 miles those bearings are know to bronze a bit. Should I change these out or should I move on and not worry? Just trying to save $1k if necessary.
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:15 PM   #2
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How many miles on the engine ?
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:26 PM   #3
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50k
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Old 02-14-2018, 04:48 PM   #4
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I'm no expert, but from experience with other engines, those bearings look dangerous to me. I'd hate for you to lose oil pressure to other journals because the cam bearing clearance is bad. And, this is the sort of problem that accelerates as it worsens. My vote is for new bearings.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:01 PM   #5
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Out of curiosity what kind of oil intervals were you doing?
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:06 PM   #6
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I can't really tell from the photo . Ya got it apart , may as well be on the safe side and replace them . I can not imagine it would cost $1000.00.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:19 PM   #7
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I vote to replace also..I mean you are all ready here...bearings are cheap insur...heard the install can be a b tho...good luck OP!
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:30 PM   #8
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Do not even think about doing them! Id not touch them even if it had 200k on it unless one had a serious gouge, people rarely do them right.
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:33 PM   #9
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As an engine builder for over 40 years, those cam bearings are shot!! And why $1000? New cam bearing set is less than $100 retail. You can buy a cam bearing removal/installer from Jeg's for around $100 and your good. Smallest goes in first, etc.


A machine shop should replace them for about $200 and they do it daily. But, there has to be a reason they are so wiped out as your picture shows....so determine why before reassembly.




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Old 02-14-2018, 05:34 PM   #10
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Btw, I've personally seen a 5k mile ls3 that had bearings in similar shape. I've also seen a 175k motor that looked like that too. My friend replaced them on the higher miles motor because it was out and now it lost oil pressure from a improper cam bearing after little run time. Motor was fine prior...
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Old 02-14-2018, 05:42 PM   #11
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What does the cam look like?

I agree, replace the bearings and find out what did that (did the lifter come apart?).

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Old 02-14-2018, 05:53 PM   #12
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Replace not hard with a installation tool just make sure oil feed holes are aligned.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:07 PM   #13
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I don't have the equipment to get the block out to change the bearing. I would have to pay to get the whole thing done. That first bearing has a few scratches from when I tried to take out the cam.. no room! The journals on the old cam looked great! The other cam bearings also look great. Just show a little copper. It all happened because a lifter decided to float on me and came down sideways spinning on the cam lobe. I heard that an LS3 even after 500 miles will show copper.
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:48 PM   #14
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That bearing is trashed. The cam journal is hardened, the soft aluminum bearing will show debris damage before the cam journal.

If it wiped out a lifter and cam lobe, how does that lifter bore look? At the bottom?

I've seen plenty of people short cut a wiped out lifter/cam repair and it not last very long.

Just my opinion, I'd pull the block, tear it down to bare and off to a machine shop. Getting a close look at that lifter bore from the bottom. If that is tore up, that has to be addressed. All the ones I've seen that spun a lifter...people say, it's fine - new cam and lifter it'll be fine. Then a few weeks later it spins a bearing.

The mains are oil fed off the lifter galley. The cam is fed off the lifter galley. If a lifter goes ballistic...the mains and cam bearings are next. Your cam bearing shows major damage. If that is not enough to call for repair, what would it take for someone to think it needs to be replaced? Completely spun and pieces in the pan?

Just my opinion. Formed after seeing many lifter repairs half assed and not last very long. For what it's worth. Usually when a motor goes back together with bearings looking like that, it's so it runs long enough to make it over the auction block.
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