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That's a great idea; didn't think to do it, but I yanked it pretty good by hand and it wasn't going anywhere, so I left it. It hasn't moved in 26 years / 168,000 miles...

No, actually it's got a slight rake to it. All of the pictures here are with those springs installed. The car is factory weight; no additional sound system or any other components.
I have taken engines apart where the pickup is sitting in the bottom of the oil pan no longer attached. also found ones where the pickup rotates very easily. putting a tack is considered standard practice. i get mine brazed fully personally. the machine shop I use gets theirs fully welded. it's cheap insurance if the engine is still out of the vehicle.
 

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To an extent, yes. It makes the paint a lot tougher, so it's more scratch and scuff resistant. It does not fix surface prep or adhesion problems. It also won't stay on bolts unless you use nylon-coated sockets, which I learned too late for this project. Where bolts with washers tighten down, the paint will just shatter into small flecks and not smoosh down. For places with somewhat flexible metal such as the hood latch brackets on the front of the radiator support, fully cured paint does not like that flexing. As I put things back together I used a lot of motorcycle chain lube, which is a spray containing thick grease held in suspension with a solvent, so it goes on runny and then dries hard. Never use any power tools - all goes back together by hand.
Awesome story so far really enjoy following along! I place a baggie over bolt head before putting a 6 point socket on it.Works great for protecting bolt head finish.
Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #43
I have taken engines apart where the pickup is sitting in the bottom of the oil pan no longer attached. also found ones where the pickup rotates very easily. putting a tack is considered standard practice. i get mine brazed fully personally. the machine shop I use gets theirs fully welded. it's cheap insurance if the engine is still out of the vehicle.
Agreed 100%. As I said above, I tested the pickup tube to see if there was any looseness at all, and there wasn't, so I just left it. If you look at race engines and engines that are subject to higher vibration forces, often the pickup screen area has a direct metal connection to the pump itself to prevent even vibration-induced tube failures. For a stock motor like this, and still very tight after this many miles, I left it.

Jim, that's an excellent idea!
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Here are a few more pictures of the diassembly and various engine work. This was the pickup screen and windage tray just after removing the oil pan.
197503

At the suggestion of a good friend, I bought the Kent-Moore tool specifically designed for removing LT1 hubs. I followed the instructions, and the hub came right out.
197504

Also of note in this picture is just how grooved the crankshaft hub is. I sleeved this before reassembly to give the new seal a fresh surface to ride on, and would highly recommend this if you ever take the front hub off. The sleeve and tool are cheap from Rock Auto. I've got pictures of that coming up. Also, see the bracket on the passenger side spark plug wires? That's part of what makes the passenger side so ornery to change wires on. I've changed wires on multiple LT1s before and never saw that bracket before; having the accessory bracket off made it very visible. I believe it's removable without removing the accessory bracket. When I did the new ignition system I ran all the wires in the factory locations; pictures will be forthcoming.

197505

Here's a closeup of the oil galley plugs with the small holes designed to lubricate the timing chain. They were unobstructed, showing more of how clean the motor was inside. Yes, there's some debris in the left side valley from the intake manifold gasket remains - rest assured that it was all thoroughly cleaned out.

197506

Brand new stock replacement timing chain, with timing dots lined up. The old one didn't seem too stretched, but hey, 'while I was in there'. Am I the only one that suffers from the "while I'm in there..."? Getting the new chain on took some finagling to do; pulling the cam bolts out and rotating the cam gear around the dowel a bit helped. Once everything lined up I put the cam bolts back in and torqued them down.

197507

Part of the reason I didn't take the heads off was because leakdown testing showed no leakage from any of the valves nor through the water jacket (which would indicate head gasket problems). Not all of the cylinders were this good, but none of them were terribly bad. I bought an OTC leakdown tester because of lousy reviews of the Harbor Freight one. Of note - putting 100psi in a cylinder will quickly bring the piston to BDC if the crank is even a few degrees off TDC. Had I known then what I know now, I would have done these tests with the piston at TDC where most wear is. Oh well, the point was to check for valve leakage and head gasket problems, and since there weren't any, carry on. A few of the exhaust valves were leaking a little, but bouncing them with a rubber mallet on top of the stems dislodged whatever carbon was holding them open, and they sealed up perfectly after that 'convincing.'

Right after we pulled the motor out of the car we replaced the valve stem seals and valve springs with Edelbrock stock replacements. My friend who helped me with the engine removal did them so fast I didn't have time to even snap a picture. But I have the receipt from Summit Racing. :cool:
 
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Discussion Starter #45
Before I did all the bearing and oil pump work, the motor desperately needed a good cleaning. If you look at the exhaust ports, you can clearly see on the #8 port, forward bolt has been broken for awhile. See how the area forward of that port is not clean like the rest of the ports are? There was the exhaust manifold leak.
197517

After lots of wire wheeling, it's starting to look like a motor. You can see the VIN etched in the rear driver's side of the block just above the oil filter mount. The transmission has the same thing on the front of the bellhousing next to it. These are both easily visible if you remove the driver's side catalytic converter. Boy there's a lot of casting flash on this block.
197518

Well, being OCD, I couldn't just leave that there. With my angle grinder just a few feet away, I grabbed it and started smoothing the block ridges. You can see I've done the first few inches up from the bottom here. Took only a few moments.
197519

More work done. You can clearly see the VIN here. This is a numbers matching car; original engine and transmission.
197520

Passenger side is done. At this point I'm a filthy mess. But hey, the block is ready for a wash-down and paint. all ridges ground down on the front and rear of the blockk.
197521
 
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I still had a lot to do before painting, so all the mechanical work and cleaning I posted above got done in between. Just so YOUR OCD can be satisfied, here's the final paint prep and application. I'll post more of the mechanical work as we go. Everything washed down multiple times and clean:
197522

Everything taped and ready for paint:
197523

Timing cover on. Cleaning and prepping this took a surprising amount of time. Clever observers will note the sleeve I installed on the crankshaft hub. I'll cover the sleeves in more detail in future posts:

197524

First coat of primer. The front crankshaft sleeve is more clearly visible here.
197525

All that time with the grinder paid off. Block edges look a lot nicer. The dark areas are shaded, not thin paint spots.
197526

Topcoat starting to go on.
197527

After several coats, the VIN started to get more difficult to read.
197528

Clear coat applied. Motors are tricky to paint; lots of 3D surfaces. Another reason that multiple thin coats from multiple angles are better.
197529
 

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Real easy to spot leaks when the engine bay is painted Matterhorn White.

-Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #49
I've had a number of LT1s hit nearly 200,000 miles and never leak from the rear main seal. But... since the motor is out, and the transmission was getting completely rebuilt to handle up to 400hp, why NOT put a new rear main seal on it?
The first thing I noticed was a significant groove in the crankshaft from the old seal. The front hub had a similar groove. Repair sleeves are available along with a tool that looks like a very shallow cup for installation. Installation took maybe a minute after I cleaned up the surface and followed the directions.
197539


197540

Here is the sleeve installed, along with the installation tool in the background.
197541
 

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Final assembly pictures of the ported oil pump along with the new oil pump driveshaft coupler. This was taken just prior to the rear sleeve installation. And yes, I cleaned the windage tray off before I installed the oil pan.
197542

When I started rebuilding 4L60Es way back in 2005 I took pictures of EVERYTHING as I reassemble it. Nothing worse than waking up at 2am wondering if you installed the shim under the front needle bearing on the input housing, or the oil seal and roller bearing between the input and output shafts. Here's proof that the oil pump bolts were loctited.
197543
 

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I also ported the oil cooler adapter. Lots of room for improvement here. Before:
197544

197545

197546
 
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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
After: (note, if you do this, make sure the two bypass valves in this assembly are both clean and working properly)
197547

197548

These pictures make it look coarser than it is. The stock hole had two drills at 90 degrees, but the vertical drill went farther than the horizontal drill so there was a stub in the bottom, not great for flow. So I lowered the opening so no more stub. I also radiused the inner curve though it's not visible in this picture.
197549
 
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Finally, I radiused the oil port on the block. Remove the plug on the outside of the blog, plug the inner port so no debris gets in, and grind away. One port in process, other not started yet. A lot of these motors spin bearings at hot idle due to low oil pressure; helping the oil move through the ports as smoothly as possible, combined with new crank and rod bearings, should guarrantee a long life with sufficient oil pressure.
197553

Both ports done and cleaned.
197551

Both ports done. Lower port is tough to get to, so I did what I could.
197552

If I had a high mileage LT1 that I wasn't planning on rebuilding, I'd probably just delete the external oil cooler to avoid the pressure drop it causes.
 

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With all of the oil passages prepped and cleaned, we went through the valvetrain. We removed and examined each lifter for any signs of wear on the rollers, needle bearings and oil plunger mechanism. All the lifters were clean and in good working order. We then checked all rocker arms for any abnormal wear and found none. Every pushrod was straight, clean, and the tips in good shape. So we assembled everything and set lifter preload to factory specs.
197554

Where there was work that could be shared with my sons, I did. Here is one of them learning how to tell lifter preload (via the spinning pushrod method).
197557

In case you're wondering, the rocker arms have a contoured washer (not visible) that fits between the rocker nut and the rocker. The ends are crimped to keep the nuts from backing off.
Here is my oil pressure gauge, and the oil pump priming tool. Note the shiny knurling on the tool - someone has spun the drill on that tool before, and likely sent a bunch of shavings into a fresh motor. Take the tool and grind three flats on it for the drill chuck to grab; eliminating the debris problem. Oil pressure tap is on the rear center of the block.
197558


Here is the drill I used; a well-worn Ryobi. It probably made it to 900 rpm, which is the equivalent of 1800 crankshaft RPM given that the oi pump is driven by the cam. I'm assuming the oil pump drive gears are 1:1 ratio; anybody know for sure?
197559

To prime the engine, I hooked up the oil cooler lines and the radiator, filled the engine with oil, then began to pump. You sure can tell when the oil pump loads up. Oil pressure would shoot right up to around 40psi and then relax to 35, likely the oil pump pressure relief valve opening. Remember that pressure is an indirect measure of the excess between supply and losses. For a cold engine operating at 1800 rpm, it's fine. GM min spec on these engines is 6psi at 1000rpm hot, 18psi at 2000rpm, and 24psi at 4000 rpm. Given that the oil pump relief will likely reach max flow shortly above the test speed, oil pressure will again begin to climb as engine speed increases, ensuring plenty of oil.

I made sure that oil was flowing out of every pushrod, and then we were good to go. Still lots more to do though!
197560
 

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Nice! It's crazy to me that GM's min pressure for 1k rpm is only 6 psi
 

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Man, love this thread! Thanks for sharing.

I really enjoyed pulling, tearing down and rebuilding the LT1 in my old 96SS. It was my first engine rebuild also. Did it all in my carport. All I had for a reference was this book and the Impala SS Forum and buddies in ECIRS. Fun times...

197564
 
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With all of the oil passages prepped and cleaned, we went through the valvetrain. We removed and examined each lifter for any signs of wear on the rollers, needle bearings and oil plunger mechanism. All the lifters were clean and in good working order. We then checked all rocker arms for any abnormal wear and found none. Every pushrod was straight, clean, and the tips in good shape. So we assembled everything and set lifter preload to factory specs. View attachment 197554
Where there was work that could be shared with my sons, I did. Here is one of them learning how to tell lifter preload (via the spinning pushrod method).
View attachment 197557
In case you're wondering, the rocker arms have a contoured washer (not visible) that fits between the rocker nut and the rocker. The ends are crimped to keep the nuts from backing off.
Here is my oil pressure gauge, and the oil pump priming tool. Note the shiny knurling on the tool - someone has spun the drill on that tool before, and likely sent a bunch of shavings into a fresh motor. Take the tool and grind three flats on it for the drill chuck to grab; eliminating the debris problem. Oil pressure tap is on the rear center of the block.
View attachment 197558

Here is the drill I used; a well-worn Ryobi. It probably made it to 900 rpm, which is the equivalent of 1800 crankshaft RPM given that the oi pump is driven by the cam. I'm assuming the oil pump drive gears are 1:1 ratio; anybody know for sure?
View attachment 197559
To prime the engine, I hooked up the oil cooler lines and the radiator, filled the engine with oil, then began to pump. You sure can tell when the oil pump loads up. Oil pressure would shoot right up to around 40psi and then relax to 35, likely the oil pump pressure relief valve opening. Remember that pressure is an indirect measure of the excess between supply and losses. For a cold engine operating at 1800 rpm, it's fine. GM min spec on these engines is 6psi at 1000rpm hot, 18psi at 2000rpm, and 24psi at 4000 rpm. Given that the oil pump relief will likely reach max flow shortly above the test speed, oil pressure will again begin to climb as engine speed increases, ensuring plenty of oil.

I made sure that oil was flowing out of every pushrod, and then we were good to go. Still lots more to do though!
View attachment 197560
I also enjoyed watching you rebuild your 96 Chevy SS. I makes me want to have my SS done. Thanks for sharing.
 

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I really enjoyed pulling, tearing down and rebuilding the LT1 in my old 96SS. It was my first engine rebuild also. Did it all in my carport. All I had for a reference was this book and the Impala SS Forum and buddies in ECIRS. Fun times...

View attachment 197564
I have this book as well; got it from a well known forum member from the early days who sold his Impala a fe years ago. The book lives on, continuing to add value. Rebuilding engines yourself is definitely fun when you have the right tools and a good machine shop nearby!
 
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Man, love this thread! Thanks for sharing.

I really enjoyed pulling, tearing down and rebuilding the LT1 in my old 96SS. It was my first engine rebuild also. Did it all in my carport. All I had for a reference was this book and the Impala SS Forum and buddies in ECIRS. Fun times...
Lance!

You still resemble my avatar!!

N A B
 
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Next up was the intake manifold. I had it cleaned up at a local machine shop. They used what looked like glass beads; but when I got it back, it was still full of media. I had them clean it out, and then I took it home and cleaned it again. Word to the wise.
197571


197572


When I took the pipe plugs out of the idle plenum, I noticed that the #1 idle port was smaller than the rest. Anyone else seen this? I opened it up with a drill to match the rest of the ports. I also cleaned up a bunch of casting flash out of the intake ports with my Dremel; I don't know if I took any more pictures of that; some is visible below:

197573


A few coats of Rustoleum Engine Enamel, followed by clearcoat.

197574


Baking in the oven (don't tell my wife!):

197575


I also replaced the PCV fitting. I don't think this is the right one; I had to do a lot of whittling to get it to fit properly. That part number worked great on the passenger side valve cover though.

197576
 
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