Reprise's 2003 Sierra Build Project - Blue Crush

Mooseman

Moderator
Same here. Got a 404.
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Sorry, guys. Mixcrap informed me *after* the upload (and linking from here) that because I only posted *one* file, it was being hidden away. WTF?

So... I went to SoundCloud, and am repeating the exercise with them. Hopefully, this works a little better:
(fyi - SoundCloud was nice enough to warn me that they would collect analytics on those who access the file, and to let you know same)

https://soundcloud.com/user-954683170%2F1st-start-082321%2Fs-F0KhA0En4Wd
 

Mooseman

Moderator
I never saw oil come up to the rocker arms.
Sounds like an oiling issue. Think I heard valve clatter in there. You did fill it with oil right?
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Yep. 6 quarts went into the crankcase, and I dblchecked it.
Yes, there was valvetrain clatter (which you'd kind of expect, given my description).
I *was* pleasantly pleased that it started so quickly - that was literally the 1st turn of the key.

2nd (& last) clue: Listen to the section *after* I shut the engine off. :undecided:
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Some sort of oil or fluid pouring out. Sounds the same as if draining the oil pan but onto the floor.
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
You're 'burning hot' (almost there). But I did say 'exactly'. :raspberry:

I'll give you one more guess, and then we'll let someone else have a chance, before giving you another. Others can guess now, if they choose -- they don't have to wait for a 'miss' from you.

Yes, I had a catastrophic fluid loss. You pinned the noise, exactly. And you know oil was in the crankcase, so the plug in the pan was fastened, etc.
Trans wasn't touched during this project (except to remove the inspection cover, adjacent to the oil pan, for alignment).
It's a 2WD, so no t-case issues. And that'd have to be an awfully big diff, to hold that much fluid. :undecided:

Just saying 'oil' doesn't win. One could guess that from me shutting the engine down in just over 1min.

What specifically happened? (I'm just looking for the 'where', at this point; I'll go over the 'how', once someone guesses the last part of it).

Your 'Lanche's driveline is mechanically similar to this truck, so I think you'll nail it on the next guess, if you're still curious. E.g.; It's not the 'more obvious' answer.
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
If it's not oil, gotta be coolant, P/S or trans fluid, I'm going with coolant.
You're as cold as Moose is hot. Re-read my responses to his guesses.

We've established that what's being discharged is motor oil.
What would expel six quarts of it, so quickly? (yes, 'the high volume pump' - via what?)

At this point, I'm practically telling you guys... :laugh::lipsrsealed:
 

Mooseman

Moderator
My turn... Missing oil filter. Or you forgot to put the galley plug back in after priming.
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
'Nope' on both. LOL
I figured someone would guess the oil filter... that was the 'obvious' one, to me.

One last clue (related to my 2500HD comment, a few posts back)...

What do the 6.xL variants tend to have, that the smaller engines don't?
(the Dmax has one, too, but we'll ignore that, for purposes of this thread).

If the next poster doesn't get it, I'll reveal the answer, along with the backstory.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Tranny fluid from a disconnected cooler line?
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Oil Cooler?
Winner. Specifically, it was the bottom cooler line (which is the cooler inlet)

This will be your prize... if you would like to have it, please send me a PM with the address you would like to have it shipped to (USPS). I will mail it out later this week and notify you when it's on the way.

1613317301841.png
(This bearing is a direct press-in replacement for the idler pulley bearing on your GMT360, so you'll need a press (the ball joint / c-frame type should be fine).


As for why it came out of the line... I'll put that in my next update.
 

ddgm

Well-Known Member
Winner. Specifically, it was the bottom cooler line (which is the cooler inlet)

This will be your prize... if you would like to have it, please send me a PM with the address you would like to have it shipped to (USPS). I will mail it out later this week and notify you when it's on the way.

View attachment 99768
(This bearing is a direct press-in replacement for the idler pulley bearing on your GMT360, so you'll need a press (the ball joint / c-frame type should be fine).


As for why it came out of the line... I'll put that in my next update.
Thank you so much. But, as I no longer have my 97-X, I will decline your kind offer. Even though I have sold my Saab, I visit this site mostly every day to keep up with you guys, great site.

Doug
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
No worries. I did promise a small prize, so wanted to offer it, in case you could use it.


As for 'what happened'...

Started the audio recording and put the phone on the windshield / cowl, then started the truck (the audio I posted was edited for brevity). Saw there was oil pressure in about 2 seconds, and stepped out of the truck to listen for any top end noise, etc. (b/c I couldn't get oil up to the lifters, when I attempted various pre-oiling techniques). That was my main concern - top-end oiling. And I had the valve covers bolted on, so I couldn't see, directly.

Things sounded decent enough... started giving myself an 'attaboy'... then I realized I wasn't monitoring the oil pressure to make sure it was stable. Jumped back in the truck, looked at the gauge... and had almost 60lb (!) of pressure with the HV pump I put in (the truck was on high idle, of course). And then... as soon as I saw that... the needle started dropping. In about 3 sec, it was down to 10lb, and I was reaching for the key to shut it down. But not before the needle went to '0', and the DIC popped up with a warning / chime (either low oil level or pressure -- I have both sensors, and forget now which message displayed. My concern then was getting the engine shut down as quickly as possible.

During this time, I'm thinking maybe there's an issue with the pump cavitating (faulty o-ring install, etc.), and thinking that I was going to have to take the engine apart, again.
Then I heard it... as Moose said... like something dripping onto the garage floor (couldn't hear it w/ the engine running / garage door closed). That's about the time you heard me say "WTF" on the audio file.

Right after that, I looked under the truck... and I had a lake of fresh motor oil under the front of the truck, with about 1min 10sec total oil usage on the hourmeter. At least it was the cheap stuff, relatively speaking (it was only supposed to be in the engine for 20-30min of run-in, then drained out / replaced).

A few seconds later, tracing back where the fluid was coming from, I saw what had happened.

I had previously connected both cooler lines, when I was attempting to pre-oil. No problem there. But - later on, I was attaching the P/S pump & lines underneath the truck, and figured out I'd have an easier time if I disconnected the oil cooler lines from the radiator.

Problem was, I didn't immediately re-attach them, after I got done with the P/S pump / bracket (and I already had the upper / lower fan shroud on, so it wasn't apparent later that I'd forgotten to reattach the line). Plus, I'm sure I'd probably taken a break / quit work for the day & forgotten to reattach the lower cooler line whenever I started up work again).

(As an aside... If you've ever watched TV shows like 'Roadkill,' you know that the guys there often whiteboard a checklist of things to take care of, when they're bringing a car back from the dead. In retrospect, that's a good plan, and I will probably do it myself, the next time I do a project like this. I'm used to taking a cursory look, seeing 'no extra parts' lying around or in baggies, and deducing that I'm finished. Well, that didn't work, this time.) :nono:

So... I got to see just how efficiently the new oil pump could evacuate all the oil from the engine... and given that the lower cooler line (engine outlet) was the 'end of the loop', as it were... all the oil went from sump, to pump, (& through the engine,) and then to dump. Within a minute.

So now I had about six quarts of oil on the floor, heading toward the garage door (mine is built on a 6% incline, for drainage, etc. -- as most probably are.) Quick like a bunny to the kitty litter & shop towels. Then curse myself for not being more careful, and expecting that I might have spun one or more bearings. And not collecting my tools that were on the floor, etc., before starting the truck. Needless to say, I had a helluva mess going on, and thinking that I probably screwed the pooch.

Thankfully, I must've gotten some oil to the bottom end while I was pre-oiling, and the oil & assembly lube that I applied to the top end parts must've kept things intact, there. A couple of days later, I got the courage to refill the sump, make sure everything was connected, and fire up the engine (no desire for audio, this time). To my surprise & relief, it started more or less quietly, and quickly got quiet to the point where all I heard was the injectors clicking within about a minute.

With the (new replacement) oil staying in the engine, oil pressure with the HV pump is about 'two clicks' more than with the old pump (so about from 38psi, to 42psi, according to the dash gage -- which we know isn't calibrated accurate, but it's fairly close). But it was higher than that, the first few times I started the engine. Took about a week, I'd say, for the needle to move from about 56-58psi, down to its current ~ 42psi, at high idle / cold viscosity. I have no idea why that is. But given that I had good pressure with the old pump, I didn't want to go with a HP / HV pump -- and it looks like I made the right choice, in retrospect. Yay me. :dance:

So... that's the 'how' of why all my oil drained out of the truck, at first startup. :Banghead::dunce:

Next update -- break-in of cam & valve springs; 1st drive; initial impressions.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
We've all been there. I remember my first oil pan swap in my 78 Z28. All proud of myself, start pouring the oil in the 7 quart pan, check the dipstick, nothing. Hmmm. Pour another one in, nothing. Wow, it sure takes a lot of oil. Yes, just as sure as the Exxon Valdez, an oil slick came towards me. Forgot the drain plug. :Banghead: For a while, my nickname was "slick".

We live and learn.
 

NJTB

Silver Supporter
Forgot to put a drain plug in once on a 12 cyl. Rolls Royce diesel generator once. Luckily I caught it after about a gallon, if I remember correctly, it held 25 gallons of oil.
Yes, quite the mess.
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
We live and learn.

True that. In fact, that's half the reason why I document it... so someone else doesn't have the same issue happen to them. The other is in (hopefully) providing something entertaining to read on our favorite (?) subject.

Thankfully, I didn't have the same outcome with this, as with the Envoy's transmission a few years back, after I put the TransGo kit in it (also documented here). That was a $2000 lesson, which could've been avoided if I'd checked the fluid level one more time, rather than just dumping 5 qts in and assuming it was full (in the time it took me to put in the kit, more fluid drained out (likely from the converter). Would've been fine, otherwise (and I'd have $2000 in my pocket).

All in all, I was happy with the outcome of this, given how easily it started & ran.
I wouldn't be saying that if I'd done damage to the bottom end, of course.
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Initial run-in

After adding six more quarts of break-in oil (e.g.; cheap 30-wt, not the fancy Joe Gibbs 'Driven' oil... although I might use that on an all-new engine), I fired up the truck again to break the cam & springs in.

The conventional wisdom is that a hydraulic roller cam does *not* need break-in (old style flat-tappet cams do.) After doing some reading, however, I decided that I'd still do a run-in, which means 20 minutes of varying speeds between ~ 1500-2800 rpm, immediately after starting the engine.
Word of advice - don't do this in a closed garage. While I wasn't worried about starting a fire, the ambient temp in the garage after I finished was about 130F, as reported by my MAF sensor. That's hot. And it was August, so likely a bit warm to start with.

I didn't find out until later, but new valve springs are supposed to be broken in before running the engine hard. Hold the throttle @ 2000 rpm (for 20min, IIRC).

BTW... If I ever do another new hydraulic cam / springs, knowing what I know now, I'd do the straight 20min @ 2000rpm, for the springs, and not worry about the cam so much.

After that first 20min, it's recommended to drain that straight 30W oil out, replace with a fairly inexpensive conventional (non-synth) multi-weight oil, and change the filter. I drained / refilled the oil, but left the filter in-place, since it was a nearly new M1. Then run that oil 500mi or so, before draining that, and replacing with what you're going to normally run in the engine.
BTW... if building an all-new engine, I definitely would have changed the filter & cut it open after that 20min run, to see if anything was amiss. But my bottom end was still stock, so I didn't see the point, tbh. The oil drained clean. Hated to get rid of it after a 20min run.

First Drive

After making sure things looked good with the motor (no vacuum leaks, coolant level in spec, etc., etc.) it was finally time to get ol' Blue out of the garage and on the road. Idle was a bit rough, as you'd expect. I'd budgeted $500 for a professional tune, and I knew I'd need one. However, my misfire counts weren't triggered at all.

Drove her nice & easy until I saw she was fully warmed up. Then I did a little part-throttle, 30-50mph acceleration, etc.

Initial thoughts?
Well, since the cam was fairly mild, and favored TQ over max HP, it wasn't a neck-snapping experience. But I did notice a subtle improvement, via the butt dyno. Kinda like when I took off the Flowmaster muffler and replaced it with a stocker. I could tell the difference then... again, subtle, but it was there.

As far as exhaust note / lope... it has just a little bit. If you listen by the tailpipe, you can tell it's cammed. You can also tell it in the idle (more on this later), but it's definitely *not* like those trucks you see the YT videos of. Added performance without excess noise / roughness -- exactly what I was hoping for, given the application. Some of you may think that's a waste of effort / money -- but if I'm towing for hours on end, I want to hear the stereo, not an endless drone. Or, if something goes south while driving, I want to be able to hear that, too.
As far as the torque end, and getting the 5800lb truck moving... it did seem stronger than it had before (and it wasn't a slouch, stock). I noticed that it seemed easier to get the truck accelerating from a given speed, while just barely nudging the throttle. That was new, and I made a note to myself a few drives later that I was going to really have to watch my speed, or I'd be going +10mph faster without even realizing it; not even the exhaust note changes.

Getting out of the truck after the drive, I noticed I had no valve clatter at all -- the only sound I could hear was the injectors clicking on / off. In that way, it was even better than it had been stock. Felt good when I heard... 'nothing' LOL

However, I still had the 'thump' coming from the rear after she'd been running about 10min, so decided to put her back in the garage and do the u-joints and put in the upgraded fuel pump, before having her tuned.

Am going to write up separate threads on the u-joint & fuel pump, and just link to them in this thread, rather than duplicate. I'll save the suspense, tho... the u-joints made no difference in the 'thump', and the fuel pump went in, but I would *not* recommend 'tipping the bed'. Details to follow in the other threads (I'll edit this post and link them, afterward).
 
OP
Reprise

Reprise

Lifetime VIP Supporter
Reprise
Was a PCM retune required for this cam?

I'm thinking there's two ways to answer that...

- Does it need a tune to start / run?
No. I was able to start it on first turn of the key, and drive it pretty much normally. But a more radical cam (say, above .225 lift) might need to raise the idle speed before it would start & run.

- Does it need a tune to run optimally?
Absolutely. This particular cam (specs are in an earlier post, above) is the 'largest' in Comp's 'XFI Extreme Truck' series, made specifically for the 6.0L (not that I'd call .212 / .216 a 'large' cam). On their website, they state "programmer required". It does live nicely with a stock torque converter, and I liked that, back when I selected the cam.

I got it from Summit, and they recommended an older stand-alone box (kinda like a Diablo, which is the name that comes to mind as I write this). But as it turned out, I found a guy selling the 'Pro' 3.x version of HP Tuners, cheaper than I'd spend on a pro tune. And since I kinda like doing / learning for myself, I decided to jump on that.

The downside is that it's a fairly steep learning curve, IMHO. As people on their forum have said... "it's a process, not an event". Meaning that it's not a 'one and done' kind of deal. There's a million things that can be changed in the PCM (more, if you've got a Gen IV, and more on top of that, with a Gen V engine). Some that *must* be changed, some that *need* to be changed, and some that are advised *not to touch*, if you don't want to brick the PCM.

If you like the idea of a self-adjusting / learning system, like Holley's Dominator EFI system... you could probably save a lot of time. But you might have to ditch the PCM (not sure). I know it's easy to hook up... only 5 wires, and two of those are power and ground.

That being said... I've gotten good results so far... got a nice idle dialed in (it'll never be as smooth as the stock cam, but it's definitely acceptable -- and I'm kinda picky.) While the cam's response curve is supposed to be from 800-5200 rpm, I noticed the thing shines its brightest in the midrange -- from about 3000-up. On one test run, I let it rip from about 50mph (just about 3000 rpm, cause I've got the 4.10 gear), and it was the first time driving the truck that I wondered if I had enough brake to stop it quickly (I do, and it has new pads / rotors). And there's a lot more to dial in, yet.

Since I'm at the point where I'm going to swap out the intake and injectors (the stockers are a measly 24lb, and I've had them up to 97% duty cycle already), I've put the truck back to a stock tune, as I'm trying to track down the 'no start on first crank' issue that's developed. I thought it was the check valve in the fuel pump, but I still have the issue after replacing it. I wanted to put an E85-capable pump in, anyway, so I don't feel like I wasted the money on it.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of what to expect. I'll be posting more about tuning, later -- especially as I figure out the various sections (the short version is: Idle > airflow > timing > AFR (via a wideband), and only after all of that, to touch fueling). I'm still on 'timing', but moving to the wideband, soon.
 

Online statistics

Members online
3
Guests online
228
Total visitors
231

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
21,114
Messages
607,154
Members
14,711
Latest member
eddyw

Secure Browsing

Top Bottom