LM7 engine build

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mofokriss

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Hello guys, I have an 02 Suburban I received from my parents in 2011. I practically grew up in the burb. Parents bought it from Chevy with 29k miles. I received it with 93k miles and I'm currently clocked at 260k miles on stock lm7 with 2nd trans installed at 230k miles. I'm about to open her up for the first time ever. Most intensive repairs I've done has been fuel pump replacement and knock sensor replacement on this one. Headers were a PITA to install but not as bad as dropping a fuel tank alone with at least 3/4 full. Anyways, I will be doing the following:
1) replacing heads with fresh rebuilt heads that I installed .600 beehive springs
2) replacing most gaskets if not all
3) replace camshaft with BTR truck norris cam
4)replace oil pump and install pick up tube brace
5) replace timing chain, crank gear, cam gear, tensioner etc
6) replace lifters, trays, pushrods, install trunnion kit to rocker arms
7) might install bigger injectors, mechman h.o. alternator.
8) replace diff oil and gasket
9) replace current trans cool with trucool 40k trans cooler
Was going to do today but got called into work last min.
Enjoy the pics and wish me luck!
 

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Sam Harris

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Good luck! Waiting to see the progress! Sure would be cool to see before / after dyno pulls. :cool: I’d say if you’re doing that work, plan to replace a couple other items: cam position sensor, cam retainer plate and bolts, crank seal (do yourself a favor and replace the balancer as well, or that new seal will likely leak after a bit..) tstat, spark plugs, wires if they’re older -but probably not, since you recently did the headers. I’d recommend ARP head bolts as well, but not necessarily needed.. pushrods? Oh.. and are you upgrading your torque converter..? If you’re getting into the rear end of it, then you can also do the rear main, (better to do the whole plate, with the seal already installed, as the rear cover seems to be a common source for leaks), diverter barbell (billet).
 
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mofokriss

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Good luck! Waiting to see the progress! Sure would be cool to see before / after dyno pulls. :cool: I’d say if you’re doing that work, plan to replace a couple other items: cam position sensor, cam retainer plate and bolts, crank seal (do yourself a favor and replace the balancer as well, or that new seal will likely leak after a bit..) tstat, spark plugs, wires if they’re older -but probably not, since you recently did the headers. I’d recommend ARP head bolts as well, but not necessarily needed.. pushrods? Oh.. and are you upgrading your torque converter..? If you’re getting into the rear end of it, then you can also do the rear main, (better to do the whole plate, with the seal already installed, as the rear cover seems to be a common source for leaks), diverter barbell (billet).
Thanks! I didn't think about the cam sensor now that you mention it. I did buy a new cam retainer plate, arp crank bolt, replacing balancer as well, plugs, wires, 160* tstat, knock sensors, pushrods. Replaced the rear main seal along with new torque converter when trans was replaced. I went with stock head bolts only bc I have a certain budget with this while I build my other stroker vehicle I'll try arranging a dyno pull before all this. As it stands, I'm on CAI, headers, catless and a 91 performance superchips canned tune. Probably about 240ish rwhp will log tons of pics
 

Sam Harris

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Thanks! I didn't think about the cam sensor now that you mention it. I did buy a new cam retainer plate, arp crank bolt, replacing balancer as well, plugs, wires, 160* tstat, knock sensors, pushrods. Replaced the rear main seal along with new torque converter when trans was replaced. I went with stock head bolts only bc I have a certain budget with this while I build my other stroker vehicle I'll try arranging a dyno pull before all this. As it stands, I'm on CAI, headers, catless and a 91 performance superchips canned tune. Probably about 240ish rwhp will log tons of pics
Be sure to use OEM parts for the knock sensors and pigtail / harness. Or you’ll be doing it a second time. Can’t wait for progress pics!
 
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mofokriss

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Yea I've read on so many knockoffs failing after months of replacement. I spend the extra on ac Delcos. They haven't failed since replacing back in '14 so they must be good
 
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mofokriss

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Teardown pt i:


mechanical fan, Radiator and air intake removed 20230314_171638.jpg

20230314_181808.jpg
Harmonic balancer and water pump out of the way. Look at that oil sludge buildup on the timing cover
20230314_194638.jpg
Intake manifold removed as a complete unit with fuel rails and injectors as well as the valve covers and alternator. Next is the heads

Passenger side removed. 260k dishes pistons. Wish it had come with flat top...20230314_211345.jpg

Drivers side removed. All in all it has been a pretty smooth process. That valley cover has seen better days...20230314_223214.jpg
 
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mofokriss

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Teardown pt ii.


Now that the rocker arms, pushrods, lifters and lifter trays are out of the way we can start making our way into the cam. We start that by removing the timing cover to expose the oil pump, cam gear and timing chain. Here I already removed the 3 bolts holding the cam gear on place and you can see the cam retainer plate being held by 4 bolts
20230314_233806.jpg

With the cam retainer removed I then proceed to install 2 water pump bolts into 2 of the 3 threads on the cam and begin sliding the stock cam out. With little leverage, it feels heavier than it really is!!
20230314_233811.jpg


Old cam here. Top of mind I thing it is a 190/191 duration and something like 460ish lift with 114 LSA. FAREWELL
20230314_234011.jpg

Hello new cam! Cleansed it with brake cleaner then lubed it up with Lucas assembly lube. Same procedure in reverse order. Slide it in then add 2 water pump bolts for leverage at the end
20230314_234442.jpg

Installed new cam retainer plate because they provide a little ribbed seal in the back that keep oil in through the 2 oil journals and with time those ribbed seals get flattened out. Also pay attention to the type of retainer plate you get. There's usually 2 type. 1 that uses flat head bolts and the other that uses countersunk bolts. Mine came with flat used bolts originally but the new one I got is countersunk. Either one is good. Preferably I'd get hex head bolts because of less chance of stripping the heads off. Also remember to align the cam to 3o clock so the cam gear matches the notch on the cam and has the cam gear mark pointing down to 6o clock in alignment with the crank gear mark (behind the oil pump) at 12 o chock. I'll show a pic on my 427 on pt iii to simplify this overwhelming explanation
20230314_235601.jpg
 
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mofokriss

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Used remove parts:



Here are the original lifters, lifters trays and Harmonic balancer. Along with rebuilt head and new cam waiting to go in20230314_234251.jpg

Here i have the stock pushrods on the side and these dirty as hell head. Oil was definitely leaking from the LOMA and the valve covers...20230314_233828.jpg

Old Cam gear (left) new cam retainer plate (middle) old cam retainer plate (right)
20230314_233824.jpg

Here are the valve covers, Old gaskets, head bolts, the other head, both coil packs and a set of rocker arms removed. In the far back is the intake manifold
20230314_233834.jpg

Didn't take picture of the old knock sensors but they weren't rusted. Either way I replaced them along with the valley cover gasket AKA LOMA. Also cleaned up the grime on the valley cover and on the intake manifold too
20230316_153409.jpg
 

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