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2008 TrailblazerSS
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I drove my SS today after it sat for a few weeks. I drove about 150 miles and it was running well for the first 130 miles then I put a little foot into it and it felt like it was down on power. It almost seemed like there was a parachute attached to the back of the truck. I didn't think much of it and thought it was heat soaked. Then I noticed a more severe random misfire at idle than I already had. I kicked it down to pass someone in traffic and it sounded like someone was shaking a tool box under my hood. It had no power and felt similar to a clogged catalytic converter. As I idled down to the closest parking lot, the dash lit up and said "Low Oil Pressure, Turn Engine Off" or something along those lines. As I wheeled into the parking lot it sputtered and died. There was no oil or smoke coming from the exhaust or under the truck just a slight puddle of water underneath. The water seemed to be coming from the passenger rear side of the top of the block.
I am 99% sure the truck stuck a lifter about 15,000 miles ago but I figured I would just drive it as the damage has already been done. The truck also had A/C issues where the A/C would only blow cooler air out of the passenger side and the driver side was ambient temp. What do you think? Did I drop a valve? Spin a bearing or three?
99748

99749

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Discussion Starter #2



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Discussion Starter #4
Water is prob from the ac. I know these truck just dump water along the passenger frame rail when the ac is on.
Yeah, I figured it probably was. I was in so much shock this thing finally went but I’m also not really surprised. She did 137,XXX hard miles on the stock motor.

I’m going to be yanking it this weekend and hopefully get into it by Sunday to diagnose what happened. Either way, she’s going to be pretty stout when she goes back together.


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07 tbss awd
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Kinda sounds like you may have spun a bearing.

Kind of bummer, but perfect time for badass build!
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Kinda sounds like you may have spun a bearing.

Kind of bummer, but perfect time for badass build!
That’s what I’m hearing and kind of what I’m thinking.

I plan on keeping this truck forever as it has sentimental value. I’m not made of money but I want to do this right the first time for reliability and fun (hot rod fun). It will be my daily driver come December. I am a teacher and work from home during the summers so I don’t anticipate a ton of miles per year. Pros and cons for forged stroker vs. crate LS3?


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07 tbss awd
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Meh, kinda dealers choice, if your going NA personally I would build your current ls2 as a stroker and stay with cathedral port heads.

Sticking with Cathedral port heads makes it a little easier since you can reuse fuel rails, intake manifold ect. Also cathedral port heads in NA builds tend to have a better low end torque which is crucial.

The compete LS3 with rectangular port heads will require new intake manifold, fuel rails, ect. Ultimately making it a bit more expensive at the extent of low end torque.

If your plan is to add a supercharger later then I would definitely go ls3 so you have more and larger blower options, Magnuson 2300, LSA, whipple ect..

Plan to upgrade the transmission either way. More power and the weight of these rigs don’t get along well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I appreciate the info. I have a 4L80e sitting on a pallet in my garage. It just needs a quick run though and a converter and it should be good. I have a line on some LS3 heads so I’ll probably go that route.
I’ve talked to a few local engine builders as well as the big guys and every single one of them tells me something different. One says go stroker, another says don’t go stoker because the geometry is way off and he’s seen a few pistons beat up the cylinder walls. One talks shit about another etc. One says he won’t touch it unless I bring him the engine whole. Another says to tear it down as much as possible as that saves me money and all he’s doing is measuring all of it to make sure the block is usable.


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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I got the motor and transmission out finally. I’m going to tear into it as time allows this week. I think I’ve decided to go the crate L94 route as these can be had pretty cheap and I can still throw a cam and valve train in it before I install. I am pretty set on the built 4L80e with a stall and we should be good. Has anyone done a L94 in their TBSS?


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07 tbss awd
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The l94 is essentially an ls3 with a different cam for variable valve timing, slightly lower compression and the truck intake.

As far as swapping goes you won’t find any real difference between the two motors, except the price.

Swap cam and valve train, keep the heads, truck intake and it should be good for an easy 500hp at the crank.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I was losing sleep over this so I decided to go with a trusted engine builder here in central Florida. I decided to rebuild the stock block with a fully forged 408, ported heads and cam, oil pickup tube and a 4L80e swap.


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Discussion Starter #13
Haha!! That’s the plan. I figure I should do it right the first time and not have to sweat it. I’m excited to get this thing going. I’ll update when the build is completed.


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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Here’s the end result. The truck spun a rod bearing and stuck a lifter. It looks like when the bearing went it broke the ceramic on the plug and a bit of ceramic bounced around and did a little damage to the piston and the head.

In this pic, you can see the rod cap on the spun cylinder got incredibly hot. I’m not sure if this happened over time or just the 45 seconds it ran after the bearing went.

This is the worn down cam lobe from the stuck lifter.



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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I guess I’ll turn this into a build thread.

I picked up a used 4l80e from a buddy for $200. He acquired it attached to an LQ9 out of an 04 2500 Silverado. He only wanted the LQ9 so this had been sitting in his garage for a few years. I was happy to take it off his hands.

Anyhow, I dropped the 4L80e off at the transmission shop today for a full rebuild and shift kit. I’ll order the swap kit from Left Coast 32 in a day or so. I’ve decided to go with a TCI flex plate and a Circle D 3000-3200 stall. ETA for the transmission is a week or two.

I’ll be dropping the motor off at the machine shop Wednesday to get the motor build started. While this is all going on, I figured I’ll gut the interior and get it sound deadened and get a new, more modern audio system set up.


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Discussion Starter #16


Most of the parts are here. I’m waiting for the torque converter and the headers/ mid pipe and for the motor to be finished along with the transmission then she’s ready to go back together.


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Discussion Starter #17
Today I got the rear hatch trim and panel removed along with the cargo area trim and seats. The center console, carpet and roof panel are next. Hopefully I can get that out today. So far, the interior removal has been pretty easy. I’m taking a little break as it’s pretty damn muggy out.




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Discussion Starter #18
The truck is completely gutted. I got the stock stereo components taken out along with the carpets and ceiling liner. I went with 150 square feet of the 80 mil Fatmat butyl stuff. It will be here tomorrow. I’m hoping to have this truck completely deadened by Friday. It was incredible just feeling how hot the roof was when the liner dropped out today. I’m hoping the deadening really helps with keeping the air in and the Florida heat out.



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Discussion Starter #20
Sounds like it's turned into a nice project. Good luck with the swap/upgrades!
It sure has. It’s been fun so far but hopefully this motor and transmission get wrapped up soon. I’m dying to drive this thing!


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