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Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-22-2015, 9:39 AM Reply   
Hi everybody,

I have been pretty busy and have not spent much time on the list for a while. Well many of you know that I supercharged my Chevy Avalanche a couple years ago. It had right at 100k when I added the Edelbrock E-force supercharger and it now has 144k miles on it.

Well, the blue smoke coming from the exhaust and the smell of burning oil tells me something bad has happened inside the block. It still runs strong but it's burning oil pretty bad. My initial guess would be a bad valve guide (very bad) or a broken piston ring. Either way the solution is the same, rebuild or replace.

I like my truck, with the supercharger it runs well and I am keeping it. I figure I can drop $3-5k into a rebuild and I will be good to go. That said, this also opens up a window of possibilities, I need to make some decisions and I need some help so I make them correctly.

The obvious thing that comes to mind is to upgrade the 5.3L to a 6.0L block while I am performing the major surgery. Nothing like a bigger stronger heart! However I will be retaining the supercharger and that manifold mates up to the less desirable cathedral port heads. I am probably limited to motors that utilize this type of head. I am not sure if any of the 6.0 motors had cathedral port heads. I am also unsure if I want to swap out to an iron block motor adding weight to the front end of the truck. I doubt this will make much difference so I would give it some consideration.

The easiest thing would be for me to buy a 50k mile junkyard 5.3L just like the motor coming out of the truck, swap the supercharger over to the newer motor, and stuff it back into the truck. No new tune required, no new injectors, no fuel system upgrades, no suspension, etc. This is probably what I will do unless folks with additional knowledge of these motors nudge me to do more.

Cam swap???
Old     (Scotty)      Join Date: Apr 2012       03-22-2015, 10:02 AM Reply   
Mikeski - I'm not a mechanic but I have rebuilt a couple of motors and upgraded others. If you are doing a rebuild, or even if you are swapping for a used 5.3, I recommend an upgraded cam. Check with your local machine shop. Crane makes so many different profiles and they give specs on which ones will work without any other changes to your motor such as timing and ignition/fuel mapping. I put an upgraded cam with stock lift but much longer duration in a turbo mustang. It made a big difference but still idled and ran smooth. (Radical cams make lots of power but are subject to rough idle and lower top RPM.) Good luck on your project.
Note: I know you already have the blower, but have you considered a turbo? STS Turbo has an interesting approach to forced induction that makes sense and is easy to install. They make a kit for your vehicle.
Old     (Jmorlan)      Join Date: May 2013       03-22-2015, 11:01 AM Reply   
Those new "nnbs" with the 4cyl shutdown mode "active fuel management or Afm" burn oil like no other and drop lifters. Hop on Google and look it up. It's not a terribly big deal. You can get a DOD delete kit and have it tuned out by BlackBear performance.
Gmfullsize or custom gm will give you all kinds of insight on the problem.
I can also walk you through the cam and lifter swap with links and whatnot. These ls motors are simple simple motors.
Look into it real quick and let me know what's up. I have a built 5.3 in my silverado. This is my cup of tea
Also, they did not switch to rectangular port heads until the l92 on the 6.2 nnbs trucks
Brian tooley racing has everything you need to get the dod delete kit, or Texas speed. Wither are great places to deal with, who can also spec you a great cam to work your supercharger.

Last edited by Jmorlan; 03-22-2015 at 11:08 AM.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-22-2015, 2:18 PM Reply   
Thx jmorlan. Dod was eliminated when I installed the huffer. It also eliminated the previous oil burn issue I had before the install. This is new and different. I'm talking about a big blue cloud of smoke about half of the time at cold start. Like a Greyhound bus size cloud. Enough to think my truck would be more at home in Tijuana...
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-22-2015, 2:21 PM Reply   
Scotty, I like the Eforce an even anticipated this day when I chose to install it on a motor with 100k. I debated a rebuild at that time. I got 40k out of the seasoned mill so I'm not unhappy.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-22-2015, 2:22 PM Reply   
This setup is CARB certified as I live where smog tests happen every other year. New cam is very interesting to me.
Old     (bzubke1)      Join Date: Feb 2010       03-23-2015, 10:58 AM Reply   
I'd say use your block or a junkyard block and have the crank and Pistons upgraded to something a little beefier that can handle the stress of forced induction better than the stock gm shortblock. Maybe a cam and possibly have the heads ported for better flow. All just depends how long you can be without your truck and how much you want to spend.
Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       03-23-2015, 11:12 AM Reply   
Oh man, I would be like a kid in a candy store with this one! The block is probably fine, the heads are probably fine. Me personally, I would be doing some kind of a stroker kit on it and maybe get the heads done (stage 1 at least). I would be looking for a build that gets some additional low end torque too. LOTS of resources for LS based engines and ready to drop in engines available.
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-23-2015, 11:57 AM Reply   
I don't think any 6.0 have the cathedral port heads.

My votes is sell the super charger and put in a 6.2. I have one in my denali and with headers and a custom tune it really fast for a gas truck.


here a link on a guy that already did it.
Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       03-23-2015, 12:12 PM Reply   
Are you kidding? Keep the supercharger, make it a 6.2/6.3 or bigger and put down 550 rwhp.
Old     (corerider)      Join Date: May 2008       03-23-2015, 12:24 PM Reply   
The way you describe the smoke on start-up it sounds like valve guide seals, but that's just speculation. You could do a leak-down check to see if the rings are letting air by, but that could also be a leaking intake/exhaust valve and they wouldn't cause oil burn.

Finding a salvage yard engine could be your best route. Even if you want a "new" engine you could still have the salvage engine freshened up with whatever parts you desire, and have the built long block sitting here waiting to be dropped in. That way you wouldn't be without a tow vehicle for as long if that matters. Just pull the old engine, swap over any accessories, drop the new mill back in place. You could have it done in 1 weekend.
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-23-2015, 12:24 PM Reply   
The only reason I said sell the supercharger is it won't work with the rectangular port heads on a 6.2.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-23-2015, 1:50 PM Reply   

I talked to my tuner this morning and he suggested I stay with the cheaper lower compression LQ4, put a LS6 cam in it, and of course I will be keeping the supercharger. This setup should yield a good balance of reliability, tow vehicle stability, and power. I expect this will probably be somewhere between 50-100hp more than what I am currently running with little or few downsides. Considering it currently dyno's at 365rwhp I would expect something like 430rwhp or just over 500 crank HP from this combination.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-23-2015, 2:41 PM Reply   
The LQ4 is a low compression 6.0L motor with cathedral port heads compatible with my existing blower. Yes, 6.0L motors had cathedral heads on the earlier versions and these bolt right up to my blower.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-29-2015, 10:51 AM Reply   
Motor has been purchased, ATK HP93 6.0 LQ4 450hp before the supercharger. Anybody have a recommendation for a shipping company?

I'm probably going to go ahead and do a tranny while I'm in there...

Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       03-30-2015, 7:01 AM Reply   
Sweet dude! That will be a nice upgrade! Can't wait to see what you put down at the wheels now. Should be at least 450hp at the wheels with the blower on it.
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-30-2015, 7:28 AM Reply   
I like it

I want to see some video's too.

It's nice to see some body build up a gas engine instead of whats popular now and build a diesel.
Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       03-30-2015, 6:53 PM Reply   
Are you getting it from Summit Racing? It says Free Shipping on their website:
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-31-2015, 12:40 AM Reply   
I found it on ebay from a company called Street Machines. They had good feedback, answered the phone, answered my questions so I did the deal with them. It was $3100 plus shipping compared to Summit who was $3599 shipped. Shipping will be $350 but I also saved the tax. It should be here next Monday. The ATK folks told me Summit would not sell the motor to me in California? Not sure if that's true but I figured I would save a few bucks with the ebay deal anyway.

Now the next decision is to go with a built stage 3 4L65e tranny that bolts right in or go with the stronger 4L80e that requires quite a few mods including wiring, driveshafts, new crossmember, programming, etc. The 80 is also 80 pounds heavier, not that 80lbs makes any difference in my heavy avalanche anyway. I flip/flop on this almost every day.
Old     (BaadLS1)      Join Date: Dec 2013       03-31-2015, 1:02 AM Reply   
The built stage 3 should be more than enough for your application. Would have been nice to see the crank and pistons forged. how fast are you spinning the supercharger? And/or what pulley size are you using? I would also recommend (since you have the down time) that the supercharger be serviced to ensure seals, bearings and belts are in good shape.

I noticed the kit is usually supplemented with a fuel pump upgrade. Do you have any other concerns about fuel delivery? (Injectors?). Not sure how much fun you are actually wanting to have with your setup.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-31-2015, 4:39 PM Reply   
The truck is originally a flex fuel vehicle. Requires 20% more fuel delivery to run on E85 so the entire fuel system is designed for the extra capacity. There are guys on the performance truck forum running supercharged 6.0 L motors on this fuel system pushing over 500 RWHP so I think I'm okay for adequate fuel delivery.

I'm currently running 3 7/8 pulley, i'm gonna bump up to a 3.5", that will bump the boost from 5 to 6.5-7 lbs. The truck form guys are trying to talk me into bumping to 10 lbs but I don't want to do it. I still want to maintain the reliability of the truck.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-31-2015, 4:41 PM Reply   
I can't run E85 with this field system anymore, but that's okay. It's hard to find anyway.
Old     (BaadLS1)      Join Date: Dec 2013       03-31-2015, 5:53 PM Reply   
Do these have any issues with belt slip? I'm coming from Magnuson experience, but am just curious. I am spinning the tar out of mine, but before I did so, upgraded the fuel system to an 8.1L in tank pump setup on my GTO. You should have good reliability as long as you tune conservatively. I heat soak before I run out of air. Fuel not a concern. Should be a lot of fun!
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       03-31-2015, 6:14 PM Reply   
I am concerned about the heat. Debating between a bigger radiator vs oil cooler. Belt slip is not an issue in this heavy truck. The blower has plenty of time to spin up plus it's running mild boost.

In a light car with a high stall converter and a lot of boost (small pulley) I'm sure it could have a problem with belt slip.
Old     (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       04-26-2015, 1:13 AM Reply   
Hey Mike. Hows the new engine coming along?
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-19-2015, 11:19 PM Reply   
Update. Had to pull the crank and swap 24x reluctor to a 58x. I did it from the bottom without pulling heads, pistons, or cam. It was a very sketchy process, felt like I could easily destroy the new motor if I dropped or nicked anything but I think I got it all back together cleanly.. I had Robert Godfrey build a stage 4.5 4L60e, both are sitting in my garage ready to go in the truck. The new engine has a cam that may prevent it from passing easily. My smog is due this yearly so I decided to wait a few weeks get a smog the.n start the swap.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-19-2015, 11:47 PM Reply   
There are a few more things I need to deal with the knock sensors need to be relocated so I need to find some unused bolts into the side of the block or drill and tap the block for the gen 4 sensors. The cam cover and oil pressure sensor are different between gen 3 and 4 so they need minor adaptation. I already had a bung welded in the exhaust for a wideband air/fuel sensor. I also have a tru-cool 40k cooler ordered for the trans. I need to figure out where to mount an A/F gauge and boost gauge on the truck dash so it doesn't look like a cobbled on afterthought. Most aftermarket gauges look pretty silly in my opinion. I may also just get one of the interfaces so I can display this info on my iPhone which is almost always in the holster on the dash.

The old engine and trans already has a new home planned too. One of guys who works for me has a 68 six cylinder Camaro. I'll probably help him freshen them up and stuff them in it.

Feeling pretty about how all of this is turning out.
Old     (norcalmalibu)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-20-2015, 7:49 AM Reply   

for your dash, you can just use the factory display to read-out boost.

I was going to order this for the V but at this point have stopped dumping cash into it =)

sending you an email now.
Old     (jws2)      Join Date: Apr 2015       05-20-2015, 8:10 AM Reply

I would do something like this rather then an overhaul.... you usually get a nice warranty with it.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       05-22-2015, 1:36 AM Reply   
I went with this one:

Given this combo makes 450HP with a carb and headers I figure it will probably make 500HP with a supercharger and stock exhaust manifolds. At least that's what I am shooting for, I have 3 different pulleys for the blower so I should be able to dial in how much HP I want.

Waiting for another 2 weeks so I can do my smog is killing me...


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