What do you think of my deal with the dealership?

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Mar 16, 2003
I own a 2002 Z28 Camaro with an LS1 engine. Mine has a knock and piston slap. I know that LS1's have this problem and I had mine in the dealer to have a pinon seal that was leaking fixed so I asked the to listen to my car's "slap". Well I didn't expect them to say much and do nothing about it as it was "normal"(most folks don't seem to get much help with this problem from the dealer)but then said they heard it and it was not normal so they want ot rebuild the lower end with new pistons and rings and a bunch of other parts! I never even had to ask twice for them to do this!!! Well some folks on the Camaro forum are telling me not to let the dealer touch the engine.Becides the "slap" and a little oil burning it runs strong and according to UOA it is wearing excellent and has the best combustion efficiency of any LS1 they(lab)have seen. So some of those guys are saying to leave it alone. The dealer says they have a fix for the "slap". I know alot of LS1 owners are trying to get this done for their LS1's so I think I'm going to do it. I have one week till they tear into her. So if anyone knows if there are any pros or cons about this please let me know. Appreciate any thoughts!
"Mine has a KNOCK and piston slap." This quite a bit different than an engine with only piston slap. A knock is the beginning of the death knell. [Frown] In my humble opinion... let the dealer repair it before the factory rep calls it owner abuse... [No no]
Right, do it. Then you can break it in again, doing all the things that you wish you'd done the first time, and building on what you've learned here. One doesn't get many second chances in life.
I say Don't even think twice. Let them do rebuild!!! If those dumbass engineers at GM can't fix problem with engines year after year GM must pay for it. Take from GM and dealership as much as possible. That's why you also pay for the warranty. Besides, you get a rental car for a week. Go do some drag racing on it instead of racing your car.
I can understand yur concern: will you be worse off after the dealer "rebuilds" the engine - will they do it correctly? I wouldn't be too concerned about a piston slap but the knock you describe tells me a rod bearing or two is going away. Too bad they can't just swap your short block out with a factory assembled one. Yea, bring it to them and get it fixed before the time comes when you'll have to pay for it.
I have an '02 TA with LS1. No problems with mine is 12,000 miles (2 yrs in Oct). It does make light tapping noise when cold but I have listen to many and they all have this cold noise condition. I don't think it anything but normal. I certainly am not going to waste my time worrying about it, its just a car to me and if it blows up tomorrow, I will get a GTO. [Big Grin] But not hearing your car its hard to know if there is indeed a problem or if it is typical of mine and other? I was at a big F-Body show last fall and made it a point to talk with owners and listen to engines, my conclusion, the LS1 is a noisy engine. It is not a smooth running engine for sure. Part of the noise issue I believe is the lack of under hood insulation to dampen the noise and dis-similar metals in the engine. I had a 1994 Z34 Lumina that was noisy cold, Chevy fix? Install a thicker hood mat so the driver could not hear it and use Mobil 1 which was free for the warranty period. I traded the car in 1998 and someone I know purchased and drove if for many years. She always tells me that was the nice car I had. She never had any engine problems nor was aware of any noise. I never told her I made a fool of myself complaining to the dealer over the issue. But before I would allow it, I would certainly want to know why they would rebuild and not replace? Rebuilding keeps your same block and if you plan on keeping the car, it would best thing to have. People always wonder why a new engine and often assume the car was abused etc. Way back in 1968 when I got out of the Army, I purchased a used 1966 Impala SS396. I wanted a car so bad I paid little attention to anything. After driving it around for several days, I started to notice lifter noise above the loud exhaust. I went back to the Dodge dealer and had them look at it. They told me it needs lifters and maybe a cam. The warranty was 50/50 so I put if off. Decided to let Chevy dealer fix and let the car there for them to check out. When I came to check on if after work, service manager said, there is nothing wrong. That engine has mechanical lifters in there, normal for them to be noisy. [ August 08, 2003, 11:12 AM: Message edited by: Mike ]
I'd keep an eye of a tiger on that puppy for a long while after the techs at a dealer touch it just to make sure nothing is off base. Continue doing oil analysis like crazy to confirm that everything is A-OK, especially before you start hammering on it at the strip and such. If it just had slap BUT oil analysis and everything else indicated that it was running fine, I'd say let it be. That knock is strange though, If you had a bearing that was failing, you'd probably have high lead in your oil analysis and the noise would be scaring you into not driving the car. [crushedcar]
Okay, I have to ask, what is piston slap? It sounds like the piston hitting the head [Eek!] or something like that.
In simple terms, its the piston rocking in the bore at or near TDC. Modern engines use a shorter piston skirt (light weight/hi performance) etc. This is usually a cold engine condition and goes away in several minutes allthoug it can last longer in cold temperatures.
Originally posted by MikeW: Okay, I have to ask, what is piston slap? It sounds like the piston hitting the head [Eek!] or something like that.
Depending on the severity of the slap, it can simply sound like a slight ticking noise under the hood, or as bad as a diesel engine type sound. I had a 94 Grand AM GT (3100 V6) which had the more severe sound to it when cold. Traded it in on a 95 Trans Am when the dealer kept telling me the noise was normal. Whether it was or not, I was tired of the funny looks I got from co workers who heard me starting up my brand new car and hearing it sound like crap. Funny thing was, whenever I had that car in for service (and the TA as well after I got it) I would get Grand Am rental cars, and every single one of them had that cold start slap!
I'm going to talk to the service manager before I let them tear into her. If they bore out the cilenders I'll have thin walls and that can be a problem, right? My car sounds just like a diesel when it slaps but not all the time. Anymore advice? Appreciate it guys,thanks!
Originally posted by Chris B.: I'm going to talk to the service manager before I let them tear into her. If they bore out the cilenders I'll have thin walls and that can be a problem, right?
The LS1 uses iron sleeves in it's aluminum block though, so there is a chance they might just replace those sleeves instead. Although I think the fix doesn't typically necessitate that, I think they can just re-ring the motor.
Wait- Do not certain 02-03 F-Body engines share the LS6 varient Corvette Block?? If so, this might qualify for GM's upgrade piston and ring rebuild. This special warranty recall service is supposed to diminish the consumption caused by the old tension springs. Do some research my friend and do not be bashful to extract as much warranty service from General as you can. It is your vested customer right and duty to see your bumper to bumper warranty honored to T. *LoL* Tell them BITOG sent ya-
Do not certain 02-03 F-Body engines share the LS6 varient Corvette Block??
Almost all 2002 f-bodies have the LS6 block, yes, but remember, no 2003 f-bodies exist, they killed them off! [Frown]
The knoc is a serious situation and needs to be adressed. Most tech.'s that can follow directions and have a clean shop should have no problem doing an OEM rebuild. They will check everything out and decide what is needed. GM does an excellent job of training and educateing it's tech.'s in the field!! I am just guessing here but I would imagine that the slap issue is going to be addressed with moly coated piston. They will probably put a better high tension second ring on as well to reduce oil consumption issues. [ August 09, 2003, 11:16 AM: Message edited by: JohnBrowning ]
Originally posted by Chris B.: Patman, how do I tell if I have the LS6 block?
* In the February (or maybe it was March) 2003 issue of GM High Performance Pontiac (GMHPP), there was an article stating the following: Apparently there have always been two version of the LS1: One built in Montupet, and one built in Nemak, Mexico. They use two different methods in creating the block, and apparently the Nemak block is a stronger, more performance oriented block. (The material properties were about 10% higher/stronger. Nemak uses a low-pressure precision fan process, more high performance oriented.). When the Z06 Corvette came out, GM decided to use the Nemak plant to build the LS6 block, since they built stronger blocks. So Nemak built LS6's, while Montupet built LS1's. Since there were so many LS6 blocks made, several made it into F-bodies. Numbers from GM are that about 10-15% of 2001 cars had LS6 blocks, and 25% of 2002 cars did. To confirm if your 2001-2002 F-body has an LS6 block, grab a mirror and a flashlight. Open the hood and head over to the driver's side to try and see the back of the left-hand deck, above the transmission flange. A cast-in #12561168 denotes the LS6 block. And if you aren't able to see the number, you may be able to tell by the block's luster-the Montupet plant cast a shinier block, the Nemak plant made the duller block. The Z06 block (LS6 block) is not only much stronger, it also has 87% better ventilation between bays, which equates to less pumping losses at high RPM's. (So my numbers were off, I could've sworn that most of the 2002s got the LS6 block, but this article above shows otherwise) [ August 10, 2003, 05:43 AM: Message edited by: Patman ]
My 2002 SS has the #12561168 on the back of the engine block. You can see this by jacking up the front of the car and looking back by the firewall. My LS1 has no piston slap whatsoever and also has no oil consumption issues. Could this be because of the LS6 block? Or did I just get a well built LS1? To get a good understanding of piston slap and to actually hear a slapper LS1 go here..... www.pistonslap.com [ August 10, 2003, 05:33 PM: Message edited by: Ryan00TJ ]
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