Engine Swap to stroked 6.0 (408) and general vehicle refurbishment

OP
OP
Chooko

Chooko

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Posts
97
Reaction score
188
Location
The Great State of Texas
At long last, I was able to work on the Tahoe today!

I recently started a new job, and I've been living in a hotel since the end of March, and away from home, so obviously unable to do any work. Today I installed the new head unit, and got the wires run most of the way to the back for the rear view camera that I'll be installing at some point in the near future. It looks great, and sounds even better. Wireless Carplay is worth ALL the effort. While I was in there I also added a bunch of acoustic foam, and more Killlmat under the dash. In particular I Killmat'd the back side of the panel that's at your knees when you drive. Hopefully all this sound deadening is worth it.

Once that was done, I jacked the Tahoe up again, got underneath it (wearing ear protection!) and had my wife start it several times trying to verify where the oil leak was coming from. I noticed some leaking around the %^&*&%ing adapter that you have to use with the Milodon oil pan. I tightened all of those bolts up a couple of more times, and finally got that to start leak, and I thought for a few minutes that maybe I was going to get lucky and not have to replace the main seal. Alas, it was not to be. It started ******* oil all over the place again once it got hot and I knew that I'd be pulling the transmission. I got to work, and like most things that you do for a second time, it went pretty smoothly. I even managed to get all of the bellhousing bolts without pulling off the intake manifold. I wasn't to bad when I let the engine/transmission hang down and back, and then used about 3 feet of extensions to get tot he top bolts. Once it was out, i pulled the flex plate, and could see that, sure enough, the rear main was not square (round?) on the crank snout. I'm sure that the plate that holds it got pulled slightly as I #$%^'d with that #$%^ing Milodon adapter which bolts into it from below and through the flange of the oil pan. Tomorrow I'll be installing a new seal, with the tool holding the plate in place as I tighten the @#$%ing Milodon adapter. Then I'm going to put everything together, and see what I'm deaing with.

A couple of questions:

1. Is there any way to test the seal before I put everything back together? I'd like to start it with the transmission pulled, and verify that the seal is holding. But I'm not sure if the car will even start, or if there is some other reason why that isn't a good idea?

2. My fans aren't coming on. I really don't know why because they were working great before I pulled the car apart. When I installed the new tune in HPtuners, and started the car for the first time, it appeared to me that the fans were being commanded to on, so I don't think its the tune. What is the best way to troubleshoot/fault isolate the fans?

3. We started the car several times over the course of about 45 minutes, and it got up to 210 degrees on the coolant temp. Then I gave it a solid hour or more to cool off before i started working on it. The headers were cool, the oil pan was cool, but the starter was so hot I could barely touch it. I managed to hold onto it long enough to get the bolts out, and get the connectors on the back off, but it was HOT! WAY hotter than I'd expect for a starter, really ever, and certainly after the amount of cool off time I gave it. I had only disconnected the battery a couple of minutes before I pulled the starter, and the heat of it made me suspicious that the starter was drawing current all the time, just sitting there, but on the other hand the car just sat for 2 months and the battery was good, so I don't think anything has been drawing that shouldn't. The starter is an aftermarket MSD. Anyone ever experienced this? Does it seem normal?
 

Just Fishing

Full Access Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Posts
2,356
Reaction score
4,884
Location
Utah
For the tune,
If it has never been done.
Select write entire.
It's not the default, and it takes a very long time vs the default.

When I did that, the change was noticeable.
Like some fields didn't get written before.

I hear that's only needed one time after unlocking the ecm...
 

iamdub

Full Access Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2016
Posts
16,988
Reaction score
32,275
Location
Li'l Weezyana
At long last, I was able to work on the Tahoe today!

I recently started a new job, and I've been living in a hotel since the end of March, and away from home, so obviously unable to do any work. Today I installed the new head unit, and got the wires run most of the way to the back for the rear view camera that I'll be installing at some point in the near future. It looks great, and sounds even better. Wireless Carplay is worth ALL the effort. While I was in there I also added a bunch of acoustic foam, and more Killlmat under the dash. In particular I Killmat'd the back side of the panel that's at your knees when you drive. Hopefully all this sound deadening is worth it.

Once that was done, I jacked the Tahoe up again, got underneath it (wearing ear protection!) and had my wife start it several times trying to verify where the oil leak was coming from. I noticed some leaking around the %^&*&%ing adapter that you have to use with the Milodon oil pan. I tightened all of those bolts up a couple of more times, and finally got that to start leak, and I thought for a few minutes that maybe I was going to get lucky and not have to replace the main seal. Alas, it was not to be. It started ******* oil all over the place again once it got hot and I knew that I'd be pulling the transmission. I got to work, and like most things that you do for a second time, it went pretty smoothly. I even managed to get all of the bellhousing bolts without pulling off the intake manifold. I wasn't to bad when I let the engine/transmission hang down and back, and then used about 3 feet of extensions to get tot he top bolts. Once it was out, i pulled the flex plate, and could see that, sure enough, the rear main was not square (round?) on the crank snout. I'm sure that the plate that holds it got pulled slightly as I #$%^'d with that #$%^ing Milodon adapter which bolts into it from below and through the flange of the oil pan. Tomorrow I'll be installing a new seal, with the tool holding the plate in place as I tighten the @#$%ing Milodon adapter. Then I'm going to put everything together, and see what I'm deaing with.

A couple of questions:

1. Is there any way to test the seal before I put everything back together? I'd like to start it with the transmission pulled, and verify that the seal is holding. But I'm not sure if the car will even start, or if there is some other reason why that isn't a good idea?

2. My fans aren't coming on. I really don't know why because they were working great before I pulled the car apart. When I installed the new tune in HPtuners, and started the car for the first time, it appeared to me that the fans were being commanded to on, so I don't think its the tune. What is the best way to troubleshoot/fault isolate the fans?

3. We started the car several times over the course of about 45 minutes, and it got up to 210 degrees on the coolant temp. Then I gave it a solid hour or more to cool off before i started working on it. The headers were cool, the oil pan was cool, but the starter was so hot I could barely touch it. I managed to hold onto it long enough to get the bolts out, and get the connectors on the back off, but it was HOT! WAY hotter than I'd expect for a starter, really ever, and certainly after the amount of cool off time I gave it. I had only disconnected the battery a couple of minutes before I pulled the starter, and the heat of it made me suspicious that the starter was drawing current all the time, just sitting there, but on the other hand the car just sat for 2 months and the battery was good, so I don't think anything has been drawing that shouldn't. The starter is an aftermarket MSD. Anyone ever experienced this? Does it seem normal?

It's been a while so I don't remember- what's the purpose of the Milodon oil pan? The stock one is a structural part of the lower end and is machined on its adjoining surfaces to tight tolerances. I'm wondering if there's a defect in the fabrication or even the design of the Milodon.

I'm also wondering if your starter was stuck engaged and being spun the whole time by the engine.
 
OP
OP
Chooko

Chooko

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Posts
97
Reaction score
188
Location
The Great State of Texas
For the tune,
If it has never been done.
Select write entire.
It's not the default, and it takes a very long time vs the default.

When I did that, the change was noticeable.
Like some fields didn't get written before.

I hear that's only needed one time after unlocking the ecm...
Hhmmm, I'll verify that my tune file looks like it was copied properly.
 
OP
OP
Chooko

Chooko

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Posts
97
Reaction score
188
Location
The Great State of Texas
It's been a while so I don't remember- what's the purpose of the Milodon oil pan? The stock one is a structural part of the lower end and is machined on its adjoining surfaces to tight tolerances. I'm wondering if there's a defect in the fabrication or even the design of the Milodon.

I'm also wondering if your starter was stuck engaged and being spun the whole time by the engine.
Well, the purpose of the Milodon oil pan is that the stock one was filthy and my wife said "you can't put that on the new engine" and I said "I'm going to clean it first" and then she gave me a certain look and I went inside to buy a new, clean, oil pan. And since I was getting a new one anyway...I might as well get the fancy one with the baffles and extra capacity, and the cool gold color. And honestly, I like the pan. Its the dipstick and the oil filter adapter that you MUST use with the pan that are the issues. The adapter doesnt use normal bolts. You have to use a hex bit and one of them is located in a spot where there is just NOT ENOUGH CLEARANCE to get any reasonable tool in there, where as if they were normal bolts it wouldn't be a big deal to get a wrench or maybe even a short socket on the fastener. Very frustrating for the price. And when I say "in a spot" I mean in relation to the oil pan, Milodon's own product. So I'm forced to use their adapter, and the fasteners are garbage when attaching their fastener to their pan. Its ALL within their control, and is a poor design.

Rant over.

It doesn't mate to the block the way the stock one did. However, that isn't structural I don't think. I think its more of a dust seal. I even asked CircleD, who built the transmission, and they said it was good to go with the Milodon pan.

I had to start the car a number of times today, and I think that you are on to something with the starter staying engaged and running with the engine. So there is ANOTHER thing to add to the lsit to fix before this car is truly ready for the street.
 
OP
OP
Chooko

Chooko

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Posts
97
Reaction score
188
Location
The Great State of Texas
Today I got the rear main swapped and fitted, with a high degree of confidence that its correct this time (hope I don't jinx myself). I got the transmission back in, and then tinkered with the temperature for a while. It turned out that the fans actually were working. I'm not sure how I missed it before. But the car was still overheating, and the air coming off the fans was not hot at all. Eventually I decided that the cooling system might have air in the high points, so I pulled off the upper radiator hose and put water in that way. It took a fair bit, and I kept filling until the water started coming back out of the radiator where the hose was off. After that...viola! The fan air started to get warm, and the temperature on both the gauge and HPtuners stayed right at 210. So great. But whats not great is the car is smoking pretty bad. I started it a number of times today working through this, and it didn't smoke in the morning, but it started this evening, and it doesn't seem to be letting up. It's currently on Maxima break-in oil, on the initial tune (before data logging and refinement), has some sections of new pipe in the exhaust system, and has no cats until I can get it to an exhaust shop. I'm sure that all of those could contribute to an engine smoking. Still, I feel like this is a bit excessive:


Its white, but doesn't smell like burning coolant. It doesn't smell like much at all except exhaust.

Thoughts?
 

Tonyrodz

Resident Resident
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Posts
28,946
Reaction score
39,331
Location
Central Jersey
Today I got the rear main swapped and fitted, with a high degree of confidence that its correct this time (hope I don't jinx myself). I got the transmission back in, and then tinkered with the temperature for a while. It turned out that the fans actually were working. I'm not sure how I missed it before. But the car was still overheating, and the air coming off the fans was not hot at all. Eventually I decided that the cooling system might have air in the high points, so I pulled off the upper radiator hose and put water in that way. It took a fair bit, and I kept filling until the water started coming back out of the radiator where the hose was off. After that...viola! The fan air started to get warm, and the temperature on both the gauge and HPtuners stayed right at 210. So great. But whats not great is the car is smoking pretty bad. I started it a number of times today working through this, and it didn't smoke in the morning, but it started this evening, and it doesn't seem to be letting up. It's currently on Maxima break-in oil, on the initial tune (before data logging and refinement), has some sections of new pipe in the exhaust system, and has no cats until I can get it to an exhaust shop. I'm sure that all of those could contribute to an engine smoking. Still, I feel like this is a bit excessive:


Its white, but doesn't smell like burning coolant. It doesn't smell like much at all except exhaust.

Thoughts?
Sounds good. Does it smoke when it's warmed up? Maybe because there's no cats? Mine does the same thing when it's cold, til it warms up. Also could be your more aggressive then stock cam. I have long tubes with no cats. Btw--mine is an 03 with a cammed 6.0.
 

Just Fishing

Full Access Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2020
Posts
2,356
Reaction score
4,884
Location
Utah
Sounds good. Does it smoke when it's warmed up? Maybe because there's no cats? Mine does the same thing when it's cold, til it warms up. Also could be your more aggressive then stock cam. I have long tubes with no cats. Btw--mine is an 03 with a cammed 6.0.

I noticed mine doing that today while I was at my little hole of desert.
I set my phone to see if it could capture it, and if it got worse when i revved it.

I got water spewing out in the video. :jester:

ETA: Watched again in full screen.
Running a little rich maybe?
Do you have a wideband setup?
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Chooko

Chooko

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Posts
97
Reaction score
188
Location
The Great State of Texas
Sounds good. Does it smoke when it's warmed up? Maybe because there's no cats? Mine does the same thing when it's cold, til it warms up. Also could be your more aggressive then stock cam. I have long tubes with no cats. Btw--mine is an 03 with a cammed 6.0.
Yes, it smokes when warmed up. In fact in that video it was at 210 on the gauge. I'm going to check it in the morning, but if anything I'd say it smoked less when cold.

I never thought of it being the cam. Thats interesting. I HOPE that's not the issue as I really don't want to change the cam, and I want this smoking to stop.
 
OP
OP
Chooko

Chooko

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
Posts
97
Reaction score
188
Location
The Great State of Texas
I noticed mine doing that today while I was at my little hole of desert.
I set my phone to see if it could capture it, and if it got worse when i revved it.

I got water spewing out in the video. :jester:

ETA: Watched again in full screen.
Running a little rich maybe?
Do you have a wideband setup?
No wideband. It could possibly be rich as it is on an initial tune. But I thought it would be a darker color smoke if it were rich? I'll get a video in the morning in light so the color of the smoke is more clear.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
120,090
Posts
1,658,060
Members
81,242
Latest member
Yvan
Top