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Old 09-19-2020, 12:44 PM   #1
SierraMtns
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Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

I got a LQ9 that has almost 200k miles on it. So far my list of things to replace are...

Head bolts to studs
Lifter trays
LS7 lifters
Cam
Valve springs
Oil pump
Timing chain

I will freshen up the 317 heads and lap the valves and deck them flat.

Since I am in there do I bore it .030 over and do a 408 stroker if the block needs to be bored?

Thanks guys for the help.
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Old 09-19-2020, 04:38 PM   #2
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

I'm guessing at 200K it will need boring if it didn't lead a good life. If you have the cash I would stroke it no matter what. But if money is a bit short a good set of forged rods and pistons would be a good way to go. Will it need a valve job?
Head studs are kind of expensive. How about ARP main and head bolts?
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:43 AM   #3
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

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I'm guessing at 200K it will need boring if it didn't lead a good life. If you have the cash I would stroke it no matter what. But if money is a bit short a good set of forged rods and pistons would be a good way to go. Will it need a valve job?
Head studs are kind of expensive. How about ARP main and head bolts?
I was thinking the same thing if I was in there then go all the way and do a stroker kit. However, once I added up all the other little stuff I need to buy for the top end (gaskets, lifters, lifter trays and head bolts) I started running out of money for the stroker kit really fast.

Back 18 years ago when I was in high school our local machine shop let me come and port a head. They walked me through the process. It was a lot of fun. I stopped back by a couple days ago and then said bring that engine and lets build it.

So I guess I really want to build that engine just so I can learn how to do a full rebuild. lol

I like your idea of ARP head bolts vs head studs to save a little money. No matter what I want to get away from the torque to yield bolts.

Another option I was thinking was seeing if we can clean up the bores and then use some 706 or 799 heads and the current cam I have. Here are the cam specs. Dur 231/235 lift .635 and .610 LSA 111
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Old 09-20-2020, 04:24 PM   #4
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

I would call that a medium size cam. The 111 cl is going to you a bit of a chop at idle. If you are going to run an auto I would run good stall converter around 3000 stall. I like Yank or Circle. In my 68 I have a Yank 2800 and it drives like a stocker until you put the pedal down.
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:37 AM   #5
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LS short box View Post
I'm guessing at 200K it will need boring if it didn't lead a good life. If you have the cash I would stroke it no matter what. But if money is a bit short a good set of forged rods and pistons would be a good way to go. Will it need a valve job?
Head studs are kind of expensive. How about ARP main and head bolts?
Quote:
Originally Posted by LS short box View Post
I would call that a medium size cam. The 111 cl is going to you a bit of a chop at idle. If you are going to run an auto I would run good stall converter around 3000 stall. I like Yank or Circle. In my 68 I have a Yank 2800 and it drives like a stocker until you put the pedal down.
Good to hear thats a medium size cam. I was a little worried it was a little big. The company Tick Performance recommend a 3500 stall. I was going to go with Yank because they are only 2 hours away. Take a drive and go see there shop. I just need to figure out how to build this engine before ordering the Torque converter.

What lifters do you recommend? I was thinking GM LS7 lifters but then I was reading guys say they are not good for aftermarket cams. Get a set of lifters from Comp?
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:51 AM   #6
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Here is the cam in a LS2.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJXW6ahtG7g
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Old 09-21-2020, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

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Originally Posted by SierraMtns View Post
Good to hear thats a medium size cam. I was a little worried it was a little big. The company Tick Performance recommend a 3500 stall. I was going to go with Yank because they are only 2 hours away. Take a drive and go see there shop. I just need to figure out how to build this engine before ordering the Torque converter.

What lifters do you recommend? I was thinking GM LS7 lifters but then I was reading guys say they are not good for aftermarket cams. Get a set of lifters from Comp?


I've never heard anyone say that LS7 lifters are bad with aftermarket cams up to the .600 lift range. I'm sure there are better/lighter ones out there, but not that the LS7 ones are bad. In fact, they're most often recommended, from my experience.

EDIT: Clearly I need more sleep. I just saw the cam specs. I'd still use the LS7 lifters and keep it below 6500rpm. If I wanted to spin higher than that without going a lightweight valvetrain, check out Johnson lifters.
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Last edited by skyphix; 09-21-2020 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Saw cam specs
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Old 09-21-2020, 04:38 PM   #8
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

I've used the LS7 lifters on a few builds with very good results.
A buddy of mine runs a cammed LS1 in 89 Camaro with a 3600 stall Yank billet converter and loves it. Similar to mine you can't really tell it's a stall converter until put the pedal down.
One question on the cam I would ask Tick is what it's idle vacuum is if you are going to run power brakes.
One other option for the heads would be L92 heads.
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:48 PM   #9
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Unless your running boost or nitrous.....You don't need head studs.

Just measured the bores on a 400,000 mile LQ4 & was close to PERFECT, It is getting a 4" stoke crank & will only need to be Honed a few thousands with new standard bore forged pistons which are actually a little oversized!

Comp Cams is a JOKE, Call Cam Motion for a custom grind which are A LOT easier on valvetrian components including the lifters. I build all my LSX engines with LS7 lifters.
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:59 AM   #10
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

another GM lifter that is considerable upgrade over the LS7 (which I might be wary of the really cheap ones out there right now), is GM part no. 88958689

these work well for higher rpm use and can be found under $300 if you shop around.
preload is critical on these, you will need the ability to check zero lash with the cam installed in the long block, and then order pushrods to get you in the .020-040" preload range (cold). They are actually a real good value for the price.

I've seen what Comp lifters do to good engines when the lifter wheel ends up in the pan...so I can't recommend using them if they were given to you.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:16 AM   #11
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clinebarger View Post
Unless your running boost or nitrous.....You don't need head studs.

Just measured the bores on a 400,000 mile LQ4 & was close to PERFECT, It is getting a 4" stoke crank & will only need to be Honed a few thousands with new standard bore forged pistons which are actually a little oversized!

Comp Cams is a JOKE, Call Cam Motion for a custom grind which are A LOT easier on valvetrian components including the lifters. I build all my LSX engines with LS7 lifters.
Just curious since your in there why not bore it out .030" and make a stoker 408? Have you had any issues with the 4" stoke and the piston coming out of the bore to far?

I couldn't find any GM LS7 lifters in stock so I went with Morel lifters.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:27 AM   #12
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Tearing into the engine.

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Old 09-24-2020, 11:28 AM   #13
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Couple more.



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Old 09-24-2020, 11:30 AM   #14
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

What do you guys recommend for trunion upgrades? I don't want my rockers to come apart and end up in the pan.

Here are the two kits I am looking at.

https://www.tickperformance.com/tick...or-ls-engines/

https://www.tickperformance.com/comp...union-upgrade/

Thanks
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Old 09-24-2020, 12:51 PM   #15
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

I'd buy new rockers from GM, if you are worried about the trunnions. The kits out there are mainly more of a problem than a solution. brand new rockers ~#200
most of these kits wear out the brass/bronze bushings in short order. Especially on a L92/LS3 offset intake rocker

for stroker consideration, if it needs bored, then you are buying pistons and might be halfway there to a rotating assy. Makes it a tougher decision....if the crank is bad and you need a crank anyway...then makes it easier.

most likely from what i can see in your pics, you don't need to bore the block or change crank. You can have the hone touched up and re-ring it, re-use everything else.
Put ARP bolts in the rods, fresh main and rod bearings...let it roll. You'll never have to take it apart again for a refresh.
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Old 09-24-2020, 04:34 PM   #16
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clinebarger View Post
Unless your running boost or nitrous.....You don't need head studs.

Just measured the bores on a 400,000 mile LQ4 & was close to PERFECT, It is getting a 4" stoke crank & will only need to be Honed a few thousands with new standard bore forged pistons which are actually a little oversized!

Comp Cams is a JOKE, Call Cam Motion for a custom grind which are A LOT easier on valvetrian components including the lifters. I build all my LSX engines with LS7 lifters.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 71cadc10 View Post
I'd buy new rockers from GM, if you are worried about the trunnions. The kits out there are mainly more of a problem than a solution. brand new rockers ~#200
most of these kits wear out the brass/bronze bushings in short order. Especially on a L92/LS3 offset intake rocker

for stroker consideration, if it needs bored, then you are buying pistons and might be halfway there to a rotating assy. Makes it a tougher decision....if the crank is bad and you need a crank anyway...then makes it easier.

most likely from what i can see in your pics, you don't need to bore the block or change crank. You can have the hone touched up and re-ring it, re-use everything else.
Put ARP bolts in the rods, fresh main and rod bearings...let it roll. You'll never have to take it apart again for a refresh.
Do the new rockers fix the problem with the side cams coming off and the needle bearings ending up in the pan? I am running the 317 heads so I don't need to worry about the offset rockers.

My wife would like the idea of just honing it and putting it all back together and run it. lol Way cheaper of a build.
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Old 09-24-2020, 11:55 PM   #17
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SierraMtns View Post
Just curious since your in there why not bore it out .030" and make a stoker 408? Have you had any issues with the 4" stoke and the piston coming out of the bore to far?

I couldn't find any GM LS7 lifters in stock so I went with Morel lifters.
I don't take any material out of a bore unless I have to, Like I said....Aftermarket pistons are oversized a little. 5 cubic inches means absolutely nothing!

I buy stroker kits from TSP & never had a problem with piston height.

200,000 miles isn't a reason to think your LQ9 needs rebuilt.
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Old 09-25-2020, 01:05 AM   #18
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by clinebarger View Post
Unless your running boost or nitrous.....You don't need head studs.

Just measured the bores on a 400,000 mile LQ4 & was close to PERFECT, It is getting a 4" stoke crank & will only need to be Honed a few thousands with new standard bore forged pistons which are actually a little oversized!

Comp Cams is a JOKE, Call Cam Motion for a custom grind which are A LOT easier on valvetrian components including the lifters. I build all my LSX engines with LS7 lifters.
I just read your post again. Can you explain what would be a benefit with staying with the stock bore and doing a stoker crank? I am trying to learn.

Thanks
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Old 09-25-2020, 01:31 AM   #19
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

No reason to bore a straight/round cylinder, I have my machine shop torque plate hone the block to the pistons.
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Old 09-25-2020, 09:39 AM   #20
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

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Do the new rockers fix the problem with the side cams coming off and the needle bearings ending up in the pan?
my opinion on this, is that 'problem' is internet created...to sell more trunnion kits. I've been into a lot of LS engines, and never have I seen a stock rocker with the needle bearings out of it.
I run cams up to .650 lift all the time with stock GM rockers, and never worry about it. I did the trunnion kits when they first hit the scene, thinking is was good insurance. What we found was around 10k later the trunnions were shot and had clearance to the shaft...due to lack of oiling getting to what is basically a journal bearing, that isn't spinning its just rocking back and forth about 30* of rotation. You can't keep an oil wedge in there and it wears out prematurely. It's tough to explain that to a customer when they come back 10k miles or less later and their stuff needs fixed again. In the end they are going to blame you for screwed something up.

The better materials and the oil grooves on these later versions may help a bit...but after I saw what was happening I just quit using them. If there is a kit out there that uses needle bearings, with snap rings...that would be ideal. solves the concern with the stock needle bearings cages being able to fall out.


my opinions of course...I know shops will argue all day that you need trunnions...they like selling them.
The longer these engines are around, I think more folks are coming to the realization that if you stay within certain limits (lift is about the only concern with the stock shoe type rocker), the stock stuff GM provided is way more reliable than the majority of the aftermarket bits out there. Lots of bracket racers have this figured out

in my mind, these 3 areas you need to spend good money on quality stuff:

1. cams (obviously if you want more you need an aftermarket one). I've quit using Comp completely...their cores are unreliable. CamMotion 8620 and 8660 cores or Bullet grinds is what I've used last several years. Haven't had a single issue.
2. Valve springs: (PAC X series, or PSI)
3. Pushrods: 3/8 diameter fit the stock heads...I use these instead of 5/16 for stability.

rest of the valve train, I stick with stock parts. Rockers/lifters/trays
if you don't plan on removing the heads again soon, I'd even use stock head bolts and shift the ARP money to the areas above...or buy some bling for the outside.
If you think heads will come off again (for porting etc down the road) then the ARP head bolts are money well spent since you can re-use them over and over.
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Old 09-26-2020, 09:07 AM   #21
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71cadc10 View Post
my opinion on this, is that 'problem' is internet created...to sell more trunnion kits. I've been into a lot of LS engines, and never have I seen a stock rocker with the needle bearings out of it.
I run cams up to .650 lift all the time with stock GM rockers, and never worry about it. I did the trunnion kits when they first hit the scene, thinking is was good insurance. What we found was around 10k later the trunnions were shot and had clearance to the shaft...due to lack of oiling getting to what is basically a journal bearing, that isn't spinning its just rocking back and forth about 30* of rotation. You can't keep an oil wedge in there and it wears out prematurely. It's tough to explain that to a customer when they come back 10k miles or less later and their stuff needs fixed again. In the end they are going to blame you for screwed something up.

The better materials and the oil grooves on these later versions may help a bit...but after I saw what was happening I just quit using them. If there is a kit out there that uses needle bearings, with snap rings...that would be ideal. solves the concern with the stock needle bearings cages being able to fall out.


my opinions of course...I know shops will argue all day that you need trunnions...they like selling them.
The longer these engines are around, I think more folks are coming to the realization that if you stay within certain limits (lift is about the only concern with the stock shoe type rocker), the stock stuff GM provided is way more reliable than the majority of the aftermarket bits out there. Lots of bracket racers have this figured out

in my mind, these 3 areas you need to spend good money on quality stuff:

1. cams (obviously if you want more you need an aftermarket one). I've quit using Comp completely...their cores are unreliable. CamMotion 8620 and 8660 cores or Bullet grinds is what I've used last several years. Haven't had a single issue.
2. Valve springs: (PAC X series, or PSI)
3. Pushrods: 3/8 diameter fit the stock heads...I use these instead of 5/16 for stability.

rest of the valve train, I stick with stock parts. Rockers/lifters/trays
if you don't plan on removing the heads again soon, I'd even use stock head bolts and shift the ARP money to the areas above...or buy some bling for the outside.
If you think heads will come off again (for porting etc down the road) then the ARP head bolts are money well spent since you can re-use them over and over.
Do you have a GM part number for the new rockers?

Thanks again for all the help.
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Old 09-27-2020, 03:38 PM   #22
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

looks like the GM ones have gone up in price....dang. 16 of these about $304
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/n...1275?rrec=true

there is a cheaper set Summit brand, not used them so not sure how they compare to the real GM.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-141550?rrec=true
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Old 09-28-2020, 12:52 PM   #23
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

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looks like the GM ones have gone up in price....dang. 16 of these about $304
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/n...1275?rrec=true

there is a cheaper set Summit brand, not used them so not sure how they compare to the real GM.
https://www.summitracing.com/parts/sum-141550?rrec=true
So it might be easier to keep my current ones and rebuild them with these?

https://www.tickperformance.com/comp...union-upgrade/
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:21 PM   #24
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Those "Roller Trunnion" kits have their fair share of failures, The OE rockers use a hardened steel inner race & the aftermarket needle bearings ride directly on the shaft.
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Old 10-05-2020, 11:47 AM   #25
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Re: Rebuild LQ9 or...Stroke it?

Do you guys remove the oil and water plugs from the block and replace them? Or re-use them?
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