Top end re-work, 5.3

Discussion in 'Chevy Silverado Forum (GMC Sierra)' started by donyms, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. donyms

    donyms Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Hey guys, I am considering reworking the top end on my 5.3 I have a 2002 Silverado with the 5.3 with 4 speed Automatic. It is original and has about 180,000 miles on it. The problem is the tapping valves, sometimes it can be bad. I'm thinking new cam, lifters, push rods, have the heads done? The thing is, I have no idea what kind of lifters and cam I should get. I would like to get a little better cam if I can keep it running smooth. I don't want it to lope. I am looking for quality and longevity first then maybe a little boost with the cam. I am not looking for the cheapest parts, I know how to find those, I want to know the best. Any and all suggestions are appreciated. I will update as I get the parts and do the job. Thanks.
  2. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    put 6 oz of marvel mystery oil in the crankcase . if it is carbon deposits the noise will reduce or go away.. if not then the engine may need a complete rebuild. since it is your daily used vehicle you need find another ride when you rip the engine apart and determine how much your going to put into a 12 year old vehicle.

    with how nice that vehicle looks you use synthetic engine OIL right ? 5-30wt ? if not that could explain the engine issues.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2014
  3. TRPLXL2

    TRPLXL2 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I did a complete rework on my 5.7, and it cost me just over $4,000. I bought everything through summit racing, the cam, pushrods, lifters, rockers were all lunati brand. So far so good.
  4. buckmeister2

    buckmeister2 Rockstar 4 Years 100 Posts

    that is a beautiful truck! Check out the following link for some ideas. When you get there, click on "see full article". All the parts they use are available online, or from Summit.

    I, too, have a x-cab stepside. It's a 2001, 180K, Z71, LT. It's nice, but not even close to yours. Hope you can drive yours forever...they are unique.
  5. Rocketmanh5

    Rocketmanh5 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Ever considered a direct replacement? I finally talked my uncle into it on his '05 when he wanted to do the same as you are. He was glad he did because he tore into the original one to only find more needed replacing than what he thought. The cylinders weren't too bad but could have used some honing to clean them up. Except he had 250k on his odo.
  6. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    With proper maintenance, these engines should do 300,000. I'm not suggesting you have been neglecting the maintenance; but perhaps, as [MENTION=39185]j cat[/MENTION] suggests you might just have a problem with dirt/carbon. Adding a product to loosen the deposits and flushing the oil (maybe doing this a couple of times) and replacing the oil with a good quality synthetic would fix the lifter noise.
  7. rileyjr16

    rileyjr16 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I want to rework mine as well. Maybe when I get a fully free weekend I can maybe knock it out. Still getting the startup knock and a rattle sound around 55-65 when I get on it. Sounds like octane knock. Want to get my exhaust set up right first though. Gonna be saving up for a while with this one. Maybe if I had a house instead of an apartment I could work on it.

    I'm up to 260250 and would love to get to 300k.
  8. RayVoy

    RayVoy Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    My engine has less miles, but I was getting the cold start knock. Most say it's piston slap. It probably is, it's probably metal to metal (piston skirt and cylinder sleeve) without any oil on the metal.

    I have always used synthetic oil, but recently (a year ago) changed to Royal Purple. The piston slap has disappeared. My theory is the oil is staying on the metal and not draining into the crankcase. If I was to let it sit for a week, I'm sure I would get the slap, but over night it isn't draining.

    The PCM will adjust timing for octane knock, you should not hear it. If you suspect octane knock, try a higher octane fuel to see if it disappears.

    Both of the above suggestions are a lot cheaper than a rebuild.
  9. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I would check the fuel pressures . a lean condition will create pinging as well as old fuel with water in it.I had this happen to me when going thru S. Carolina I got a bad tank fuel of gas.. vehicle pinged until I got to the Virginia border and re fueled.

    on the cold start piston knock the use of synthetic oil along with adding marvel mystery oil to the fuel helps remove carbon deposits on the compression rings. with these rings lubed with the MMO the piston is less apt to rock since it is free to move. I have had this issue since 2000. when it starts to act up I just add 3 OZ of the MMO to the fuel may also notice that the MPG is better also engine is quiet.

    any engine noise will reduce MPG.. I got 18 plus MPG on my trip. with the bad S. Carolina GAS I only got 15 MPG...
  10. BornAgainBiker55

    BornAgainBiker55 Rockstar 100 Posts

    No matter which way you slice it, I'd love to see that nice of a truck on the road for years to come. They're a rare beauty
    If it were me I'd rebuild, but I have a spare car to daily-drive and the company can loan me a truck for any work that needs doing. And I think it's fun to tear the whole things apart. I did a blazer (that somehow had an Isuzu engine in it) a few years ago. Took me a month of after work evenings to replace the entire top-end and put it back together.

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