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Old 10-27-2019, 07:40 AM   #1
C.I.Blazer
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LQ4 service items before install

Getting ready to prep and paint my motor in anticipation of setting it in for the first time. The motor has 130k miles on it and ran well prior to removal (at least to the best of my knowledge). Everything looks pretty clean to my untrained eye. I want to try and get everything running in stock condition before I start thinking about upgrades.

Are there any service items that I should do while the motor is out and easy to get to? So far I am planning on knock sensors and wiring harness as well as replacing the valley cover gasket since I will remove it to use a lift plate. Of course I will also do plugs and wires. Any other common failure points? Oil pan gasket looks good with no leaks. I have heard about some issues with the oil pressure sensor?

Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 10-27-2019, 08:28 AM   #2
mongocanfly
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Re: LQ4 service items before install

what type of gauge are you gonna use for oil pressure?..i take out the LS sender and use the metric to npt adapter so I can run normal oil pressure senders
I'm kind of (if it aint broke don't fix it)
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:19 PM   #3
prodjay10
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Re: LQ4 service items before install

I did the rear main, the barbell looking thing, front crank seal, oil pickup tube seal, oil pan seal.
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Old 10-28-2019, 04:33 PM   #4
MDPotter
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Re: LQ4 service items before install

I did knock sensors, intake manifold gaskets, plugs, wires, water pump (or at least the gaskets), power steering pump, starter, tensioner pulley, and idler pulley. Just remember, it's a lot easier to do these things now than when it's in the engine bay. I haven't heard of oil pressure sensor issues. Like mongo mentioned, you can remove the OEM sensor and thread in a mechanical sensor to use for gauges. The PCM doesn't need to know oil pressure as far as I know. Or you can use a new oil port plate with threaded inlets to thread in a mechanical sender - I got mine from LSX Innovations.

If you're doing mods like headers or a cam swap, now is the time as well. Headers require new bolts and gaskets which eliminate any possible existing exhaust leaks or broken manifold bolts. Cam swap necessitates new front cover gasket and most of the time valve springs.
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:10 AM   #5
C.I.Blazer
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Re: LQ4 service items before install

Thanks for the replies and advice. I keep running into the whole "while it is apart I might as well....." and keep trying to find a place to draw a line. I think I am going to focus on the things that I cannot do with the engine back in the truck like the rear main, oil pan gasket and associated items. Of course I will also do the easy top end stuff like knock sensors, valley cover gasket, intake and exhaust gaskets.

I may or may not do a cam at some point but it is my understanding that I can do that without pulling the motor again. That would go for the front seal, timing chain, springs, etc. Same goes for the accessories. Just reuse what I pulled off and replace down the road as needed.

Mongo, your question about gauges really sent me down a rabbit hole. Hadn't thought that far ahead yet as I am learning so much as I go along. At some point I would love to install some dakota digital gauges but with the cost of everything else I do not have the money at this point. I would love to find a way to make my factory gauges work but that is not as easy as I thought it would be from my research. I am planning on using the Holley Terminator X system so I will have access to the important information on the 3.5" handheld that comes with it so I want to keep the stock senders. Even though some things like oil pressure are not used by the ECM, my understanding is that they will still display the information.

So... any advice on using stock gauges? Here is where I am so far:

Speedometer: I can use the existing speedo cable driven off the NP205 because I am pulling the VSS from the transmission.

No tachometer gauge in my truck.

Fuel - will come from sender in the tank.

Now the harder ones...

Oil Pressure - MDPotter, thanks for the advice in replacement block off plate. My motor had an oil cooler but I do not think I will use it at this point and will use this plate and connect it to my mechanical gauge. This is not really a sender correct? This is just an oil line that runs to the gauge?

Coolant Temperature - Looks like a lot of people use the available port on the rear of the passenger side head. What I cannot figure out is what temp sender do I use that is calibrated for my gauge and how do I get it to fit into this spot. I know autometer makes an M12X1.5 to 1/8NPT adapter but I cannot find the correct sender that is 1/8NPT. Looks like an option may be to use a newer sender then add a resistor to calibrate it for my gauge. Any suggestions?

As always, thanks to everyone for their help!
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Old 11-01-2019, 09:34 AM   #6
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Re: LQ4 service items before install

The oil blockoff plate is just a piece of machined aluminum with NPT ports on it. You can get it with two or four ports and with different threads. The oil pressure sender I'm talking about is a resistance sender with one wire to hook up. Here is a link to the gauges I have on order: http://newvintageusallc.mybigcommerce.com/73201-05/

I don't see many guys using New Vintage for some reason. I like them because they're reasonably priced and they have some cool designs. They're different from Dakota Digital in that there isn't one or two plugs going to the gauge cluster, rather one plug for the tach, one for the speedo, and then individual wires to the fuel/oil/water/volts. This cluster comes with the oil pressure sender and water temp sender, both of which are 1/8-27 threads. This may be more info than you want, but it's what I've learned from doing my dad's New Vintage gauges and what I'm going to do on mine:
-Don't put any kind of thread sealant on the temp sender bushing or sender threads as it will increase resistance and make the gauge read high.
-You may have to install a resistor inline on the temp sender wire depending on what your gauge reads. I would connect it and test it out without one but be prepared to install one.
-In order to use any of the warning indicators, you have to use a relay. I am using one of the indicators as a low brake pressure warning light and another as a check engine light. Since both of these are ground triggers (one from the prop valve and the other from the PCM), you have to send those ground triggers through a relay to send a 12V signal to the indicators and turn them on.
-Oil pressure hookup is easy-just one wire to the sender.
-Tach more or may not need a resistor (powered), depending on what engine you have. More info on this from LT1Swap and in the New Vintage instructions.
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Old 11-01-2019, 12:45 PM   #7
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Re: LQ4 service items before install

Timely thread for me as I'm right in the middle of finalizing my L96 before mounting it. I'm replacing the starter, water pump/gaskets, power steering pump (using the hydroboost is driving most of my reasoning here), oil pump, and timing chain/VVT sprockets, VVT Solenoid/Actuator, Timing cover gasket, Oil pickup tube/seal, wires/plugs and I replaced the valves and port/polished my 823 heads as well as new stretch bolts and head gaskets. I have new headers and exaust gaskets/bolts.

Front crank seal is an excellent idea as well...

Hope the list helps.
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Old 11-04-2019, 03:03 PM   #8
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Re: LQ4 service items before install

If you plan to do a cam, you should replace the lifters, and then the heads need to come off. You can do a factory LS9 or LSA cam and some LS7 lifters and pick up like 90hp, plus you can pick up one of those cams for like 90 bucks from your local dealer, or less if you get a used one. The LS's are pretty good about being sealed up, if they don't leak I wouldn't mess with it unless you want to replace the oil pump and timing kit. You need a way to realign the covers if you pull em off just FYI. Either I'd go in and do a cam, lifter, oil pump, valve spring upgrade now, or just let it be and stick with the intake seals and knock sensors. Use GM sensors and replace the under intake harness with GM also. Plenty of people have run into issues using after market there, also you can seal up the rubber with silicone to help keep dirt and water out of the knock sensor wells.
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Old 11-18-2019, 02:28 PM   #9
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Re: LQ4 service items before install

One more thing: I did some research and decided to replace my harmonic balancer (bolt replacement required) in addition to the above. I finished it all and it took a few hours but was pretty straightforward. Having replaced all the seals as well (including front main seal), I feel much better about not only leaks but any issues moving forward that require me to pull off all the accessories again.
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Old 11-19-2019, 10:11 PM   #10
prodjay10
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Re: LQ4 service items before install

Do the harmonic balancees fail on these?
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:14 PM   #11
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Re: LQ4 service items before install

As mileage piles up, they can wear, causing alignment issues and inability to absorb harmonic vibration that then passes to your accessories and crank. Certainly not at the top of the "needs replacement" list but higher mileage increases chances of wear.
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