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2011 5.3 - Time to tear her down...


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With only 85,000 miles on it, my 2011 5.3 Z71 4x4 crew, bought new and babied its whole life, with a Range AFM Delete module since 2017, has a stuck lifter on #6 with a misfire at idle and a helluva racket coming from inside the engine.   Minus the misfire, she's running ok.

 

Dealer wants around $9k to fix, new cam + new lifters.

Will be pulling it home from the shop and tear it down myself.   Going to do a full AFM delete, new cam, new water pump, oil pump.   ECM reprogram.  

Hoping I don't have to pull the block out.

 

Pretty disappointed as I drove my last three Chevy trucks to 200k without any internal engine failures.  

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At least every 5-6k miles.  Always used good stuff, synthetic blend 5w-30.

 

Thing that hurts the most about it is that the truck still looks brand new - I'm not ready to replace it yet - and if the dealership was reasonable on the cost of the repair I'd prefer them handle it.

 

Was ready to order a '22 Suburban but now I'm rethinking whether I want to stick with GM V8 engines given the push rod issues.  I've bought 6 new GM cars and trucks in the past 12 years.  Never had a problem until now.  

Edited by wesd
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9 hours ago, wesd said:

With only 85,000 miles on it, my 2011 5.3 Z71 4x4 crew, bought new and babied its whole life, with a Range AFM Delete module since 2017, has a stuck lifter on #6 with a misfire at idle and a helluva racket coming from inside the engine.   Minus the misfire, she's running ok.

 

Dealer wants around $9k to fix, new cam + new lifters.

Will be pulling it home from the shop and tear it down myself.   Going to do a full AFM delete, new cam, new water pump, oil pump.   ECM reprogram.  

Hoping I don't have to pull the block out.

 

Pretty disappointed as I drove my last three Chevy trucks to 200k without any internal engine failures.  

 

Your truck uses the Dexos 1 oil standard, full synthetic.  Sometime in 2011 the AFM updates were complete, there was a newly designed VLOM, valve cover on the driver's side to reduce oil consumption, 3rd design De-Ac Lifters and a little shield in the oil pan.  

 

We see a lot of these fail early like yours, mine went to 110K, then there are millions of others with 200K miles and counting.  GM is fully committed to V8 engines and this cylinder deactivation to make Uncle Same happy, at least for another few years.

 

That kind of money the dealer wanted can buy a new engine with warranty!  

 

If you have the LMG engine, get the M355 oil pump.  If you have the LC9, get the M365 oil pump.

 

Do not use anybody's lifter trays unless they are GM OE only.  The Chicoms have been making some and they are ruining engines as they do not keep the lifters from turning.

 

A lot of companies sell a "stock replacement" camshaft for an AFM motor that is smaller than what was in their originally.  Guess it helps to sell their fancy cams.  Start moving above 210 degrees duration and the power band moves north, bottom end is lost and gained way up top.  Those who get those "mild" cams then put in high stall torque converters and gears to compensate, ruining the street manners of their beloved truck.

 

Here's some reading that might help you out, it did for me:

 

Rebuilding GMs GenIV 5.3 Engine.pdf

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What dealership charges $9,000 for a camshaft and lifer(s) replacement? Do they charge $200 an hour for labor and have the parts gold plated??

 

A new engine is only like $4,000-5,000 and then labor and you aren't even getting that.

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14 hours ago, swathdiver said:

 

 

 

 

Here's some reading that might help you out, it did for me:

 

Rebuilding GMs GenIV 5.3 Engine.pdf 1.09 MB · 3 downloads

 

Thanks swath, that's a big help.

 

Yes, I am going to do the rebuild myself.   Not looking forward to it.

Going with a stock non-AFM cam, power and performance is fine as is.     Will use all GM/ACDelco parts.

Hoping that a cam lobe is not wiped out and passed metal all through the engine.  

 

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1 hour ago, wesd said:

Thanks swath, that's a big help.

 

Yes, I am going to do the rebuild myself.   Not looking forward to it.

Going with a stock non-AFM cam, power and performance is fine as is.     Will use all GM/ACDelco parts.

Hoping that a cam lobe is not wiped out and passed metal all through the engine.  

 

image.thumb.png.1f269b55172a04a77364db74d0786a4a.png

 

My pleasure sir!  In the chart above, the second listing is your stock camshaft.  The camshafts under yours are of course a little larger but allow you to retain VVT.  If you wish to delete VVT, the L33 Camshaft used in the Generation 3 engines would be the way to go, it's grind is identical to the top listing without AFM, it's part number is 12583623.

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I was hoping to retain VVT, do you have a recommendation?

I'd like to keep it as stock as possible, without AFM of course.

I value low end torque over high RPM, hate revving her over 3000 RPM.  Rarely have.

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You'd have to run a 4.8 or 6.0 camshaft is just wanted to keep VVT.

 

Or switch to a non AFM/VVT camshaft, buy a new cam gear and swap to a non VVT front cover.

 

Get a tune and all that stuff.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/2/2022 at 4:38 PM, wesd said:

I was hoping to retain VVT, do you have a recommendation?

I'd like to keep it as stock as possible, without AFM of course.

I value low end torque over high RPM, hate revving her over 3000 RPM.  Rarely have.

So what did you decide to do?  In selecting a factory stock camshaft with VVT, I would go with the L9H camshaft.

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Just today a full AFM delete package from Scroggins Dickey Performance Center arrived.

Has a 6.0 VVT camshaft, Delphi LS7 lifters, and necessary gaskets.   Called and spoke with someone on the phone about what the recommended and I was pleased with the package and the pricing.  

 

Need to take a look and see what specific tools I need to disconnect fuel lines and hoses - probably some type of spring clamp removal tool.  Any recommendations?

 

Also I've been reading about exhaust bolts breaking, any special thing there?  I'll buy ARP bolts if needed.  

 

Will start project as soon as Sunday.  Gotta ship the computer off somewhere to have AFM disabled.   I'm not too interested in performance tuning so buying a tuner is not in the cards right now.  This truck drives around town and to hunting camp, got a Denali HD for any real work.  

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Yes on ARP bolts. Soak your current bolts in PB blaster for like a week straight if possible to avoid breakage. 

Need a pully puller for the crank pulley, the pushrods are the perfect length to use with it. Don't believe me? Try it!

MailOrderTuner in Temple, TX is fantastic and normally has same day turn around, $300, don't know what else you have in mind.

Fuel lines there is a tool at O'Reilly I used something like this but they are plastic https://www.amazon.com/ABN-Master-Disconnect-Fuel-Line/dp/B07JDDWPXV/ref=zg_bs_15707681_27/134-4785504-5581251?pd_rd_i=B07JDDWPXV&psc=1

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

About to get started on this...any suggestions for how to get into the engine compartment without breaking my back?

Was thinking of pulling wheels and letting it sit on the rotors?   

The front end sits up so high, and the engine is so far back in the bay, I'll be standing on a stool hunched over.

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