By Siik_two High Country
Alright guys I acquired some new parts today for the High Country, picked up a Howard's Cams american muscle cam, and dod delete kit, I need to know everything there is to know before I start this project, tips, tricks, videos, will I need new pushrods, new oil pump, anything other than what came with the kit, etc. Thanks
I have a very slightly used Range Technology AFM disabler. Keeps your truck locked in V8 (or V6)mode and simply plugs into the OBD port and can be unplugged as needed. Worked perfectly and never caused a fault. Used it for less than 2 months and have sold the truck. My understanding is it works with any GM vehicle that has AFM. Paid $200, asking $140.
My 2009 Silverado build started out of anger and desperation. My 5.3L LC9 was suffering from oil consumption issues and the dreaded "lifter clack" that so many of us have suffered through. My cam was replaced once under warranty because a lifter failed and fell apart, scoring one of the lobes and my lifters were replaced twice; once with the cam and then a second time because the dealer maintenance dept. installed the wrong lifters... I brought the truck in several times but the oil consumption amount wasn't quite to the point where they would replace the engine. Fast forward several thousand miles and I finally crossed the 100,000 mile mark. The truck was past the warranty limit and the dealership THEN decided that they would be willing to help me out (out of my pocket, of course). I inquired about them installing a different cam and supporting parts to eliminate the AFM and they quoted me almost 2000.00 in LABOR alone. So, I decided to try my hand at doing a cam swap. What's the worst that could happen, right?!
First, I sat down and went through all the parts that I would need to swap to support the AFM delete. Cam, obviously... Lifters, Valley Cover, Valve Springs to support the new cam. In question was whether I needed a new timing cover, oil pump, etc. I decided to go ahead and replace/upgrade it as well. Part of the frustration was the fact that I bought a project car and had planned on building it into an LS powered sleeper, so I had already started buying parts to build it. More on that some other time, but suffice to say, some of THOSE parts ended up in the Silverado.
I decided to go with a pretty mild cam (GM LS Hot Cam), Pace Setter coated long tube headers, Y Pipe, CNC machined 799 heads with LS6 valve springs from Scoggin-Dickey, a Melling high-volume stock pressure oil pump, Trick Flow push rods (stock height) DUI Sultans of Spark coils, and Taylor Thundervolt 10mm wires, LS2 Dampner, LS2 Valley Cover... I know I'm probably forgetting something...
Step 1: Buy a tech manual. I picked up a Haynes manual at Autozone and I bring this up because the pics and the descriptions were so-so. I also had to consult the internet to get at some of the stuff (oil pickup tube to oil pump bolt for example).
Step 1.5: Dis-assembly. I started pulling parts based on internet testimonial and common sense mechanical intuition.
The Offending AFM parts are out. (Yes, I'm skipping some stuff).
The bolt attaching the pickup tube to the oil pump is a real bitch to get out. I had to lower the pan by loosening the bolts which was made even more fun by the front axle and diff (4WD).
The gear/pulley puller was an el cheapo that I got from my Grandpa who got it to pull off a pulley on a mower deck I think it was a Harbor Freight special. I damn near snapped it in half pulling off the crank pulley.
Step 2: Clean up the mess... The tech at the Chevy dealer that did my last lifter replacement apparently was getting sponsored by Permatex because there was enough RTV on the block and head mating surfaces to caulk a boat. In his defense, I had no leaks. I got the mating surfaces and the intake cleaned up of the oily goop and RTV.
Step 3: Start putting parts in!
Rockers lifters and LS "Hot Cam" soaking in some break in oil. Not really necessary, but I read conflicting info so I decided to do it.
Cam and oil pump installed. I read that the 3-bolt style is the way to go. Incidentally, I think the Hot Cam only comes as a 3 bolt.
Heads with Harland Sharpe 1.7 Rocker Arms. I heard good and bad things about them but I'm here to tell you that they are AWESOME. As it happens, they are taller than the stock rockers, so you'll have to get some different valve covers or some spacers. Pro Form makes some good, decently priced valve covers. UMI Performance makes some 1/2" billet spacers that I got off eBay. I didn't have a ton of luck with them, so I switched to the Pro Form valve covers. You have to order the coil pack mounts separately, so be sure to get the LS3 style mounts or you'll be sad.... guess who ordered the wrong ones....
I sprayed my stock valve covers with some Duplicolor crinkle paint in flat black. They look shiny because they aren't dry yet. On the first start, I realized VERY Quickly that they weren't tall enough. That's ALSO when I found out just how tough the Harland Sharpe Roller Rockers are. They took a beating but kept working.
Step 3: Close her up and refill all the fluids. I don't have pics for that, but I did flush the radiator. I filled the radiator after buttoning everything up and wouldn't you know it... on the second gallon of coolant (at 11:30PM the night before I had to leave at 2:30 to catch a very early flight), I started to hear the sound of running water.... running coolant, actually. Turns out that the back steam ports on the Scoggin-Dickey heads were not blocked off like my factory heads. A set of Trick-Flow port blocks later and it was no longer leaking coolant.
Step 4: Clean everything up, AGAIN.... Attempt to start engine. First time go! I had video of the first start up and the first dyno tuning session but then I had to get a new phone so I lost the old stuff.
After the dyno tune, the truck put down 366 horses to the rear wheels. I wasn't looking for a huge jump, so I was pretty happy. Everything ran OK for a few weeks, but I screwed it up. I decided to get a PCV catch can and despite all the research I did, I still mis-routed the hoses. WARNING: if you mis-route the hoses, you will cause some serious additional issues. I started throwing all kinds of codes including P0300 and P0106, P0141... it was like the truck was going haywire. This was due to some issues with the tune and the fact that I had a self-induced vacuum and oil leak. I embarked on a journey of sensor chasing that finally got under control after I took it to a professional. Hoses rerouted, a re-tune (the original tune was apparently too agressive without getting into a couple of the tables that SHOULD HAVE been addressed. It was a learning experience. The new tune is driveable but hasn't been optimized yet. I ran out of time that I could be without my truck, so the guy I took it to got it in decent enough shape that it wasn't surging or throwing Traction Control and Stabilitrak failures. I'm going to take it back when I get back off the road and have some more tuning done. I'm also going to swap my Magnaflow muffler for a 50 series flowmaster because the drone with the magnaflow is deafening through Long Tubes. I'm also looking for a new torque converter with just a little higher stall than stock. Anyone with some good advice feel free to chime in.
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