Best synthetic to quiet down valvetrain

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May 11, 2004
In your opinion what is the best synthetic oil to quiet down the noisy valvetrain in an LT1 or LS1 engine? These engines often come with noisy valvetrains in addition to another tapping noise that comes more from the bottom-end (not sure if its piston slap or what but it is noticeable). Both noises are bothersome, especially when you pop the hood and want to show off your engine running and all you hear is clicking and tapping from all around the engine. I hear that many people experience this with M1 oils, i am one of these people [Razz] but I also have not found any oil that actually quiets the noise down.... I've experienced most of both of these noises when using straight M1 10W-30, little less with mix of M1 10W-30 and 15W-50. Recently I switched to M1 T&SUV, somehow hoping the noise would quiet down, but I still have it as bad as before. I've heard some people have good results using Redline to quiet these noises, any truth to that? I've tried Redline for one interval, but didnt see much difference myself, same for RP 41.... Anyone out there getting some good results at quieting these noises?
97 LT1, so unfortunately that one wont apply to me [Frown] From what i heard and read neither of the noises is actually damaging, but who enjoys clicking and tapping?
Most of that sound you're hearing when you pop the hood on an LT1 is the injectors actually. I don't find mine to be objectionable. Other times people mistake an exhaust leak for a loud valvetrain too (I've been there) I will say this though. When I first got my LT1 it was quite noisy. Running two treatments of Auto-rx definitely reduced that noise though. And when I started running GC I noticed it was a tiny bit quieter too. But it'll never be silent.
RL is a dense oil and seems to really be the best at quieting an engine. Realize though that all your doing is masking the problem. The noise is from a non-oil related problem.
Buster, the noise is not actually a problem, per se, as pretty much every one of these engines makes it, I've owned 3 lt1's so far and all have made the noise all the way until i sold them. Dino oils seem to quiet them down a bit, but i only eat synthetic honey.... Patman, yeah the injector noise is there too, but i also have a lot of valvetrain clicking, most noticeable when you lean towards the driver side valve cover, but passanger side has some too. Its not nearly as bad as my past lt1's, but this one is newer so i was expecting it to be quieter [Big Grin] Do you know what exactly creates the noise from the bottom of the engine? you can hear it when you stick your head under the car right behind the front wheel (try driver side so you dont hear the cat(s) at work as much).
Yup, that is a good way indeed and it is the method i used to pinpoint the valvetrain noise. Put a screwdriver against the valvecover and listened to the other end.... another excellent way is to use an actual stethoscope [Smile] but watch out, people will think you're a freak especially if you start smelling the oil on the dipstick with your eyes closed, not that i've done that or anything! [No no]
I am somewhat hard of hearing now so when I use the screwdriver method the other engine noises drown out what I can hear. I have found that a 2-3 foot length of heater hose works best for me. Try it with both and use which ever works best for you.
Well I do not own an LS1 or LT1. THe quitest oil I have come across so far in my 03 Camry is Redline 5W40 number 2 is Delvac 1300 15W40. My engine is not what I would call a noisey engine but you can tell a difference from one oil to the next.
interesting, that was going to my next oil to try for the summer....
Rotella T 5w40 has really quieted down my lightly modded LT1(mild cam and roller rockers which are usually noisy), next quietest I found was Amsoil 10w30. The Rotella actually made it louder for a couple hundred miles then it really quieted down, most guys at the track even guess it is stock [Burnout] by the way it sounds, but the honest man in me corrects them. I am almost due for a UOA and this is the first fill so maybe you want to wait and see.
I've used Amsoil in my first LT1, I liked it, but availability was an issue and when i started looking online for it I found the whole marketing kind of nasty so I've stayed away from Amsoil since then, but haven't had any bad experience with the oil itself though.... I've been doing some research on past posts on Redline, on paper it looks great, but so far what I see is not many good UOAs, while its great for racing it may not be good for extended intervals. Also from what I've seen the TBN drops quite a bit, so im not sure whether I'll give it another try after the T&SUV. [Off Topic!] what cam and which RR are you using? I was thinking of getting Crane Gold 1.6's.
The best way I've found to isolate the location of engine noise is to use a large screwdriver as a stethoscope, put your ear to the plastic handle and tip to wherever, works good, great way to verify rod knock,injector, valvetrain noise etc.
I have a ZZ3 cam, I know it is small but it is in a Caprice daily driver all weather light towing, I am looking to go a tad bigger later this summer. The rockers are Proform 1.5s(exhaust lift with 1.6s on the ZZ3 cam is too much for the stock iron LT1 heads, I have a solution for that as well [Wink] ). When I bought the Proforms the Comp ProMagnums were not out yet or at least I was unaware of them, those would be my first choice now. The Proforms have served me very well though, been in a good 30K the last 15k of which included the cam and stiffer springs, have heard of several instances of the Crane Golds wearing out before that, not that they are bad just trying to give a reference point. If you are interested in the Comp rockers I suggest springs as well, Combination Motorsports usually has a great package deal on those items. Might also look at the GMPP rockers, they are made by Crane but only good to .550 lift if that fits your needs.
DJ: I bet you love that cam, i run the zz4 cam, which i believe is the same as yours--they renamed the zz3 to zz4 cam at one point i believe. Love the low-end on it and sounds nice too, but likewise with me most people dont catch it, except the guy that does my emissions testing hehe :-) btw, i love the caprice, great ride especially for long cruising! if you want some more power (supercharger) get in touch with Keith Brantley, he's a GREAT guy to deal with. Seth is cool too, but I dont know him as well.... [ May 28, 2004, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: cweed ]
Yeah same cam, I don't regret the cam for an instant, but something larger calls, going to go custom somewhere up around the size of the 845 cam, but optomized for the LT1. I know who Keith is, did you kow he sold his car? [Frown] On the Impala forum I go by 96capriceMGR and am rather active there, so maybe that handle rings a bell.
I'm pretty happy with the zz4 cam, mostly because my driving is virtually 99% city driving so I like to have as much power/torque down low.... I used to post on the impala board back in the day so i must have seen you around, but i dont really post anymore, became an oil freak [Frown] Can't believe Keith sold his car, some lucky guy (or gal) got a nice ride now. Do you know what he ended up getting?
I think he sold it for $25K to the Combination Motorsports guys, then they tore into it and bolted on a 400hp nitrous kit. Waiting for the big summer Impala event to unveil it, which is in just a couple weeks in Vegas. Figuring on a few cars breaking into the 9s [Eek!] , that one among them.
Really! When is the show? I am in vegas from tomorrow morning until June 10th, would love to see that car.... gotta love single-digit 1/4s [Big Grin]
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