Loping idle on my new engine (and old one).

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by Ape, May 10, 2012.

  1. Ape

    Ape Member 100 Posts

    Thanks Giorge, I'll see if I can find that tomorrow and play with the timing if I do.

    From what I've been reading here and elsewhere on the on the net, it sounds like this is a pretty common problem with the 5.7 of this era. But I've yet to read of someone who's found a definitive answer to the issue? Most of what I've read has been people doing like me and replacing part after part with no luck.
    If it turns out to be a simple timing issue I'll try and make sure to post back to let others know who search the internet for the answer like I've been doing.
    For that matter, I'll pst back no matter what the problem winds up being so others will know. I'm just hoping it's not the fuel pump since I just filled my 40 gallon tank up the other day! :-/
    Last edited: May 14, 2012
  2. giorge

    giorge Rockstar 100 Posts

    That would suck, think positive it's the timing!
  3. Ape

    Ape Member 100 Posts

    I hear ya! I'm trying to think positively.....But it's getting harder and harder reading all the headaches with no resolutions. :-/
  4. Ape

    Ape Member 100 Posts

    Well, alot has happened since my last post about this. So bear with me, this may be a bit of a long post.

    My local mechanic that I use for stuff I can't tackle, or don't want to tackle had it for a few days trying to fix my "loping idle issue.

    From the reading I've done on the internet, this seems to be a common issue with this general era of 5.7L's. Problem is, all the post's I've read on the subject never have any definitive answers or resolutions?!?!? It's all the same old chatter of vacuum leaks, emmison control issues, computer problems and electrical glitches. But before I tell you more on that issue let me tell you my "other" issue......

    The other issue I have is my BRAND NEW ENGINE, that's made in MEXICO, has an OIL LEAK!
    Before sending it over to my mech I tracked it down to be either the rear main seal or the rear of the oil pan. Luckily it's covered under my warranty. Even though it doesn't make me feel good/confident that my brand friggin new engine has a friggin oil leak!

    So I made sure to let my mech know that it has a pretty major oil leak and not to worry about it since it's under warranty. They told me they'd go ahead and take it over to the Chevy dealership I got the engine from when they were done so I could get the oil leak fixed. Cool!....... Right???....... Nope!

    The mechanic calls me and tells me his "tech" says my oil leak is coming from the rear of my intake manifold.
    I asked him if he was sure because that was the only part I had to put on the new engine. Other than the TBI and all the other top side crap that is....
    He assured me it was definitely that, and that it was leaking really badly.
    Needless to say I was pissed off and annoyed to no end since it was my fault it was leaking oil. But mostly I was embarrassed. I mean, I've rebuilt my fair share of engines in my time, so an intake manifold is cake compared to that!

    So he tells me the loping idle was probably due to the leaky intake. Which made sense to me. He then tells me he'll "cut me a deal" and only charge me 3 hours of labor to take off the intake and put new gaskets back on it. Sucks, but I figured take my humility check and look on the bright side. Now I don't have to take it to the dealership for the warranty repair when it was actually my fault.
    Once again....Cool...... (I thought.)

    Cut to the next day and I call to see how it was coming along. He tells me they replaced the intake gaskets and it's still loping. So now his "tech" was looking at other things.
    Next morning I get a call telling me it's all good now and I can come get it.
    So I get there, pay my bill and go to leave, only to find it's still loping at idle just as bad as when I brought it in!!!!!
    So I go back inside and start bitchin! He takes my keys and appologizes for about 5 minutes straight, telling me his "tech" told him it was all good.

    Left it there and called the next day to see what they were doing and if it was going to be done before the weekend since they're close on weekends.
    He tells me the tech is in the act of replacing the O2 sensor and MAF sensor....The only 2 sensors on the dang thing I had yet to replace!

    Calls me back an hour or so later and says it's all done (for real this time) and I can come pick it up anytime. No charge this time around.

    So I pick it up and take it home thinking "At least it's all done finally and the drama is over?".......NOT!!!!!!

    The loping idle is fixed, but now I noticed (while driving it home) that when starting out from a stop under light throttle use, it stumbles and coughs a small amount?!?!?!?
    But I decided to let it go for the weekend and see if it's just the puter learning the new sensors.

    Turn the book of saga to the next day and I go outside to take the truck for some time on the road and break the engine in some more and see if the stumbling light throttle goes away. But to my dismay, I notice that there's a puddle of OIL on my driveway! AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And it's the same size and location as when I brought it to my mechanic!
    Now I'm just pissed off beyond belief!

    I drive it a few times last weekend anyhow. I decided I'm gonna let go of the oil leak thing for a bit and just see how it's running. At this point I shouldn't have been surprised that it didn't start running any better. Matter of fact, it started running worse! It was dying when coming to a stop now as well!

    So now all of the sudden I've lost some faith in a shop who's always done right by me in the past. They were always trust worthy and did a good job with other things I've given them. And they're not cheap, but I put the old addage of "You get what you pay for" to this kind of thing.
    But I can't ignore the fact that this "tech" obviously made an assumption that my intake was the culprit for the oil leak and loping idle. I figure he came by that assumption partially because he knew I had to put the intake on, and partially because an intake leak made some sense as to the problems described. And I can't say as I'd even blame him for making that assumption. I'm sure they see lots of shadetree mechanic screw ups that they have to fix.
    My problem isn't with his "assumptions", but rather with his "choice" to not make an actual inspection to verify his guess!
    Instead he just tears into it does a bunch of $#!% that didn't need to be done! And I'm the one who has to pay for his "assumptions!!!

    Fast forward a bit to Monday morning and I drop the kid off at school and head straight over to the mechanics. Imagine the look of dismay on their collective faces as I walked in the door!
    I wont go into a bunch of details as to my conversation with them....But suffice it to say that they understood in no uncertain terms that I wasn't happy!

    Later that day I get a call telling me the idle problems (in gear and out of gear) are all fixed and the Suburban is on it's way over to the Chevy dealership for the warranty work. Can't say as I was confident in what they were telling me, but I just let him know he'd know as soon as I did if it was REALLY fixed now.
    He tells me the most recent problem with the low idle/light acceleration stumbling was due to a vacuum hose that wasn't hooked up correctly by the "tech" when he finished the last time. Once again, not feeling much in the way of confidence or loyalty at this point, but that'lll just have to wait and see what happens when I get it back.
    He also tells me that the tech agree's with me now that the leak is either the rear seal or the rear of the oil pan by the rear seal. Imagine that!?!?!? Now he's gonna listen to me huh????

    He then asks me to hold as he puts me on the phone with the owner of the shop. The owner then comes on the line and begins kissing my backside for a few minutes. And I don't know about you guys, but that kind of thing just annoys me and has no real meaning. So when I tell him the appolgy is a nice sentiment but seems irrelevant at this point since I was basically ripped off for repairs that weren't needed.
    I honestly didn't expect to get money back, even though I had hoped for it.

    Long, long long story made a bit shorter.......So now it's currently at the dealership getting the rear main seal replaced under warranty.
    There was a small amount of drama with this too of course.
    The service tech leader called me and said the milage on my truck was about 6,000 miles less than what my original receipt showed. And apparantly GM wont give him the go ahead to do the warranty work with that discrepancy.
    So he had to talk with his supervisors when they got done with their lunches to find out what to do and he'd get back with me. So I made some calls to his supervisors (cause I was sick and tired of messing around with this thing by now and wasn't about to wait!) as well as the guy who took my miles and VIN# when I bought the engine. Turns out it's no big deal, the guy who took my numbers from me screwed up by making a typo error and all they had to do was change them and get it signed off.
    So the techs took it into the service area and started taking the engine out to make the repair. He also told me I should have it back by Wednesday evening?!?!?
    I'll believe that when I see it though........
  5. Ape

    Ape Member 100 Posts

    Next I get a call from the service manager telling me his tech came to him with another problem....... One of the studs on my tranny mount broke off!
    As soon as he said that I realized they were just dropping the tranny to get to the rear seal. Now the short turn around made more sense.
    Sad part is, I just replaced that when doing all of this with a new part from NAPA. But I did notice at the time that the new mount seemed a bit more flimsy than the original one. So I gave him the go ahead to replace it and to save the old one for me in order to get a refund from NAPA.

    Cut to the next day....... I got the call to come pick it up. And at this point (of course) I'm pretty skeptical that everythings gonna be all good. But I put on my positive hat and drive down there to sign the paperwork and get the keys back. I couldn't actually pick it up and take it home until the wife got off work. But I figure it's best at this point to go down there and check everything out before the end of the work day. That rings true later!

    So I get there and sign everything for the warranty and take posession of the keys. I then go out start it up and let it warm up a bit. So far so good. It's running smoothly in park with no loping idle.
    Once it's warmed up a bit I decide to take it for a drive and test out the idle/start/stop issues it was having last time. So I drove it around for about 10 minutes and everything worked as it's supposed to! ....... Could it be?????

    I get back to the dealership and park it with somewhat subdued happiness. After all, this drama fest couldn't really be over yet, could it?????
    So I pop the hood and take a close look at pertinent parts to make sure nothing was left undone or out of place. Happily, I find that everything seems to be in order and sounds good while running.

    Next I hesitantly start scanning the underside of the Suburban to see if there's any tell tale signs of a leak. My first glance was to the trouble area and I see no signs of puddles in that area on the ground. WOO HOO!

    Then I scan further down towards the transmission and THERE IT IS! DRIP.....DRIP.....DRIP.......DRIP.......DRIP.......

    A few seconds of VERY loud cussing by me and then before I know it I'm on my back under my truck in the middle of the dealership parking lot!
    And as soon as I'm there I see the obvious culprit......It's leaking from my seal at the driveshaft/Transfer case mating point.

    Now mind you, this is an easy fix, and I've done a few in my days. But come on! How in the heck does the tech not see this after pulling my friggin tranny in order to get to the rear seal and then replacing it when everythings said and done?!?!?!?!? That's mechanics 101 for crying out loud!

    I'll spare you all the sorted details of my conversations with the guys inside after all of this.....But suffice it to say that I wasn't happy and neither were they when I was done with my rant.
    But don't get me wrong, I didn't go inside and start raising heck because of this. I only got loud and rude after the Supervisor for the tech dept had the nerve to tell me that "the seal was old and brittle, so of course it leaks now that it's been messed with". And even then I held my attitude back, because he was right. It was more than likely the original seal from 1989!
    I only got mad and started showing it to everyone within "raised voice" distance when he told me they'd replace it and fix it for a one hour labor charge and 22.95 for the cost of the seal?!?!?!?!?! SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!?

    Cut to my losing my temper and acting WAY differently than I would normally handle anything like this. I'm normally a VERY laid back guy that handles most stressful situations with a calm intellectual ease. But the last 3 or 4 weeks has built up to this sudden explosion of what I can only liken to a volcano's inevitable pressure release.
    I was even consciously thinking to myself as it was happening that "this was freaky!?!?!?" In other words, I shocked myself too! lol

    So anyhow, they took it back in and replaced the seal and had it back out to me in about 20 minutes. Somebody was motivated I'm guessing. But by then it was raining like crazy. So I could tell if there were any leaks because of the wet ground. And I wasn't in the mood at this point to get on the wet ground and crawl underneath to check either.

    So I drove back home and when the wife got home from work we went back down there and picked it up. And yes it was still raining.. I figured it'll let up tomorrow so I can give it a good look over again the next day.

    ---------- Post added at 11:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:23 PM ----------

    Good news is that all of my leaks are finally gone (knock on wood!) and it's running great!
    I now have about 120 miles on the new engine, and I'm guessing only 30 or 40 of them are when it's been running right and not leaking! lol
    After 500 miles I'll change the oil and see how everythings looking. If it all looks good from there, then I'll take her to the gun club (highway miles) and she how she does. But I have to wait until I get at least 500 miles of break in time on it before I put it on the highway and leave it at a steady rpm for an extended period of time.

    Sorry for the REALLY long drawn out story, but I figured this might help someone at some point in the future if they have simular issues.
    But if anything, it was good therapy for me to type it all out! lol
  6. 08_rado_rocker

    08_rado_rocker Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    WOW... that's really all i can find to say to these events. I absolutely cant stand messin with dealerships for ANY reason whatsoever.. even purchasing. But... glad that your problems are resolved finally. How much did it end up costing you for everything?
  7. Ape

    Ape Member 100 Posts

    I'm with you on dealing with dealerships Rado.....But I also hate dealing with mechanics who aren't on the up and up. There's a reason people talk about finding a "good" mechanic being so important.

    All in all I'd say with the crate engine (about 2 grand), the time at the mechanics to fix the loping idle and all the new parts I bought just to make everything in the engine bay like new again.....I'm about 3 grand into it. So I don't see that as being a bad thing. The only thing that hasn't been touched as far as repairs or upgrades to my driveline is the 700R4. I rebuilt the rear end gears last year as well as a new axel. The front end has all new parts on it from last year as well. So hopefully I can move on to doing cosmetic changes to the truck now.
    I've already done a few things with the interior. So all I really want to do there is a new headliner to replace the sagging one I've got now. After that I have to tackle sanding and painting the big beast. I haven't shot paint in years, but I figure this will be a good vehicle to get my guns back out for and test my skills again. If it turns out not so great I wont care too much since this is more of a daily driver and hunting/camping/gun club vehicle. I have no desires to try and make it car show worthy.
  8. 08_rado_rocker

    08_rado_rocker Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    That's not bad at all actually. And i hear ya on the paint thing. After i get my new toy in my posession and running at full potential i plan to eventually straighten out the body and paint it blue granite metallic like the NNBS trucks have available.. the last thing i painted was a GSXR600 lol.. so It should be interesting haha.
  9. Ape

    Ape Member 100 Posts

    Ya I weighed the options between rebuilding the old engine and buying a crate engine, and the cost wasn't going to be enough of a difference to make the decision hard for me. The main thing that made my mind up was getting a warranty in case of problems. I figured I was too old and fat to yank the engine again if I got something wrong with the build. lol

    Can't say as I'm familar with that color? But it almost sounds like one of the colors I plan on doing the Burb in. The main color will be some sort of gun metal bluish grey. Then I plan on doing a middle (more towards the bottom) stripe in a balck and grey type of camo.
    The last (complete) paint job I did has to be 30 years ago. I painted a few cars back then, but they were all just circle track cars that didn't have to be perfect since they were going to beat to heck soon after. lol And to be honest I've never painted a car that needed to look like a professional could've done them. So I wouldn't say I have much in the way of "skills". But IMO, spraying is the easy part. The hard part is all the body work and prep to get it ready for paint.
  10. 07XCSB

    07XCSB Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    Wow Ape! Thats a hell of an ordeal to go through. Glad you got it fixed, finished,and running good. I probably punched that tech in the mouth. LOL It's hard to find a good shop now days.

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