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Old 05-26-2014, 01:58 PM   #1
Orange Crush 1LE

 
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Blown engine - Looking for advice on road course rebuild

What started out as an exciting day competing in a NASA time trial turned to disappointment when my newly-modded engine blew on the track. For details on what happened, see post # 16:

http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showth...18#post7694918

I had previously been running a stock bottom end with a mild cam, longtubes, a CAI and a tune with good success. It had 478 RWHP and ran strong and reliably at the track. For the NASA TT2 class that I run in, I wanted some extra oomph so I had my engine builder add Trick Flow heads and a match-ported Fast Intake. The engine builder also dyno tuned the new set up. I was disappointed to only get 497 RWHP, I was hoping for a little more but the gains may have been limited by the mild cam I'm running.

Since getting the new heads and intake, I had only driven home from the engine builder, then 3-1/2 hours to the track. The engine began bellowing blue smoke on the second lap where it saw wide open throttle. By the time I pulled into the pits, the engine was missing and you could hear rattling/knocking that is clearly internal damage of some sort. I also see a small puddle of oil under the engine. I’m thinking this may be a damaged block, but I haven’t had a chance to get it up on jackstands. Judging by the oil leak and the sound, I’m guessing I need a new short block. Hopefully the new heads survived, but too early to tell. Although I’m familiar with basic auto repair I’ve never blown an engine so this is new territory for me. I’ve got a lot to figure out, so I would appreciate any advice you guys can give me.

Road courses are hard on engines, and this car is primarily for the track. You are WOT much of the time, for 25 minutes solid, 4 to 5 times a day. My rev limiter is set at 6,800 RPM, I typically shift at around 6,500.

Is the stock LS3 bottom end up to this level of stress? If I find I need a new block, I can’t go up much in displacement because that will bump my HP up too high, which would put me in the faster NASA TT1 class. I need to limit my HP to about 510 RWHP, and I’m already close to 500. If you were to build a new short block for high durability that can withstand the rigors of road courses, what would you recommend?

What are your thoughts on the engine builder’s financial responsibility? The goal for my engine build was a mild build, my cam is only 225/230 duration with moderate lift. So I wasn’t pushing the limits there. It seems to me that if the failure began in the new heads, he should bear responsibility for the rebuild. If something in the bottom end went, then I would guess I would have to pay for the whole enchilada (unless improper tuning caused detonation, leading to a hole in the pistion(s)). Because the failure occurred immediately after the engine work, I’m hoping he will treat me fairly.

If you were to build a new LS3, what else would you do to ensure it can stand up to multiple seasons of hard driving?

Thanks for your help.

Todd
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Old 05-26-2014, 02:19 PM   #2
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That sucks Todd. Maybe tune to lean? Good luck with it, hopefully in the build amd tu e and tney can t
take care of it.
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:02 PM   #3
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Todd....Sorry to hear about the failure....For sure I'd give the guy who worked on it a chance to see what went wrong....My guess is that he is liable for whatever new parts he installed, and only if they are what failed....Things will probably get pricey real fast...

...On the other hand, it may not be as bad as you think....could just be one or two valves that went bad and hopefully no major lower end damage....

I'd see what went wrong first and what needs to be replaced before trying to figure out what you want to get next....Keep us posted....

I think the answer to your dilemma will be a new Z/28....lol....
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Old 05-26-2014, 03:39 PM   #4
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not knowing where the engine is leaking the oil.......... it made it too the pits that's good in a way. Maybe something went south in the new heads, black smoke as you know is oil in the exhaust though leading me to think of oil getting into the combustion chamber, having not really looked at the design of our cylinder heads much there has to be oil passageways that could have blown the head gasket into the chamber...? and of course on a tear down you always start at the top end so there you go. there is a nice article by hot rod I believe about how survivable our Camaros are at what power levels with stock parts.......... and the knocking could be head gasket also if your really lucky....... other wise piston kissing could be a real pain. good luck! http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/g...parts_failure/
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Old 05-26-2014, 04:14 PM   #5
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Hard to say what happened to it until you put it on a lift and start digging into it.

Do you know what your coolant temps were, or oil pressure when the car started having issues?
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:12 PM   #6
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Man that sucks. This happened to me last year. Mine started with a broken valve spring then broken valve, then two grenaded connecting rods and a big hoe in the block. I'm just about ready to put my ATK 415 back in. I went with a 415 so I can use more torque and less rpm next time I get back on the track. This whole experience has me gun shy of big cams and high rpms(for road course stuff) with all of the cam, lifter, valve spring failures I've been reading about. God lick with whatever route you decide on.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:29 PM   #7
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wow, I'm so sorry, I was planning on following your footprints in time with add ons. I;ve seen your videos and your car is a rocket. I know is it painful, but let us know what yo learn so I don't go down the same path. I hope it is something that isn't too costly. We're you able to limp the car home? i know you have the slick track trailer with extra wheels/tools.
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VR Baron View Post
That sucks Todd. Maybe tune to lean? Good luck with it, hopefully in the build amd tu e and tney can t
take care of it.
It's funny, the builder was just suggesting that I get my own software to monitor air:fuel readings Etc. Looks like that was good advice!
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro Stock John View Post
Hard to say what happened to it until you put it on a lift and start digging into it.

Do you know what your coolant temps were, or oil pressure when the car started having issues?
With the heavy traffic I was in, I could not take my eyes off the track for 1 second. My coolant temp I know was good, I don't know about oil pressure.
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Forged 416 road course stroker. 514 RWHP, 497 RW Ft-Lb
1 Camaro, 75 Vipers: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=393697
Buttonwillow Raceway: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=389086
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 90503 View Post
Todd....Sorry to hear about the failure....For sure I'd give the guy who worked on it a chance to see what went wrong....My guess is that he is liable for whatever new parts he installed, and only if they are what failed....Things will probably get pricey real fast...

...On the other hand, it may not be as bad as you think....could just be one or two valves that went bad and hopefully no major lower end damage....

I'd see what went wrong first and what needs to be replaced before trying to figure out what you want to get next....Keep us posted....

I think the answer to your dilemma will be a new Z/28....lol....
Nah, Z/28's not fast enough
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Forged 416 road course stroker. 514 RWHP, 497 RW Ft-Lb
1 Camaro, 75 Vipers: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=393697
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christianchevell View Post
not knowing where the engine is leaking the oil.......... it made it too the pits that's good in a way. Maybe something went south in the new heads, black smoke as you know is oil in the exhaust though leading me to think of oil getting into the combustion chamber, having not really looked at the design of our cylinder heads much there has to be oil passageways that could have blown the head gasket into the chamber...? and of course on a tear down you always start at the top end so there you go. there is a nice article by hot rod I believe about how survivable our Camaros are at what power levels with stock parts.......... and the knocking could be head gasket also if your really lucky....... other wise piston kissing could be a real pain. good luck! http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/g...parts_failure/
Excellent article, thanks for passing this on. I will keep this in mind as I'm right at the limits that they mention for some components.
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Forged 416 road course stroker. 514 RWHP, 497 RW Ft-Lb
1 Camaro, 75 Vipers: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=393697
Buttonwillow Raceway: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=389086
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Old 05-26-2014, 09:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1977and2010 View Post
Man that sucks. This happened to me last year. Mine started with a broken valve spring then broken valve, then two grenaded connecting rods and a big hoe in the block. I'm just about ready to put my ATK 415 back in. I went with a 415 so I can use more torque and less rpm next time I get back on the track. This whole experience has me gun shy of big cams and high rpms(for road course stuff) with all of the cam, lifter, valve spring failures I've been reading about. God lick with whatever route you decide on.
I tried to avoid the risk of a broken valve spring by going mild cam with reasonably low lift, because I was concerned about that very thing. Now I'm gun shy too, I just want something robust that will last multiple seasons. I will track about 20 track days a year competing in NASA, so it's going to see some harsh duty.

I looked at the ATK engines. The 415 c.i. will increase my HP to the point where I couldn't compete in the NASA class that I'm in. Any advice on a top quality short block builder for the stock 378 c.i.?
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Forged 416 road course stroker. 514 RWHP, 497 RW Ft-Lb
1 Camaro, 75 Vipers: http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=393697
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:06 PM   #13
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So... White or blue smoke? Were you burning coolant, licorice smell? Could have blown a head gasket. In the teardown you'd see a head gasket with some burned channels, or damage or some kind.

If you had an oiling issue. bearings will look all scored.

If you ran too hot, you could blow a head gasket.

Didn't read your other threads on the board but I'd be more concerned about your cooling system, and what your oil pressure was doing.
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12.06@113 1.70 | + CD 3200 + 18" NT05R + RCR Intake + NE OTR + GPI Tune
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:09 PM   #14
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Sorry if you have already covered this but why not look at a 427 cGM crate engine? It has about the same power and has been engineered for the driving you are doing. Not sure on what the warranty is but worth looking into.

My other question is have you considered moving into a ZL1 which would give you added power and has track warranty so you can run it as hard as you want. I've watched your videos on here and have really enjoyed the stuff you've posted.
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