l27 rod knock engine swap questions??? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 04-18-2007, 01:09 AM   #1
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Default l27 rod knock engine swap questions???

I have a 1992 bonneville with 8th vin being an "L." It is a L27 RPO code. I found a guy with a remanufactured 3.8L but it is for a vin code "C." I do not know the RPO code. Will this work with my current computer, etc. Does any one know the differernce between a vin "L" and a vin "C." Are the cams different? What are good donor engines from a salvage yard?

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 04-18-2007, 01:29 AM   #2
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No. You need a 92-94 L27 (VIN L) only. That is the only option for a clean swap. Does your 92 have an EGR valve? That is the only difference (if so) between you and the 93/94'*.

You may have to keep your front exhaust manifold for that reason.
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Old 04-18-2007, 01:40 AM   #3
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Default EGR

I do not see an EGR and it has the aluminum intake. The vacuum schematic does not show an EGR. If it has one, where is it located? I do not care if I have to change only accessories as the reman engine because it is a GM reman. surplus I can get for $300. Most yards around here in Wisconsin get more than that for a used one. I do not mind changing the intake either to make a 93/94 work either. I went on www.car.part.com but the engines are very limited for 1992.

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:06 PM   #4
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Default Can anybody help?

ttt
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Old 04-21-2007, 09:32 PM   #5
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There are other subtle differences between the "C" and "L" vins that will not make the swap all that direct. The lack of a torque axis mount on the "C" engines means it will not have the bosses drilled for it for your '92. In other words...unless you WANT to spend more than the 300.00 for the "C" block, go stock for stock.

A 92-94 block will be your only window. Aim for a 93-94 as they have roller-pivot rocker heads, which equals an increase in power and torque over your '92. You could even use an L67, VIN "1" long block if you are able to find it.

Quick question though...HOW did the bearings go in the motor you have now? How many miles were on that block? And how was the oil looking? The reason I ask is because there is a reason why those bearings spun on you. Pre-Series 2 engines have alot of things in common with each other. One of them is the biggest reason why they fail - and that is spun bearings. On mine, the reason they spun was because a coil pack failed and the previous owner kept driving it that way. No spark on 2 cylinders means wasted fuel that got washed down into the crankcase, which thinned out the oil, which in turn spun the bearings.

In other words...no matter what you put under that hood, check, double, and even triple check everything else. Otherwise that new engine won't last very long.
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Old 04-22-2007, 12:03 AM   #6
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Default Reason for the spun bearing?

Thanks for yor replies!

I am assuming that a rod bearing spun because of the noise it is making and the fact that the oil is metallic black. Nice color for paint but not engine oil. The oil does not smell of gas. The motor has 113,000 and failed prematurely as I see. When the engine is running, there does not seem to be a ton of oiling to the top of the engine (pressure may be low from the oil pump). The gauge does bounce around when it is cold, but keeps about 45 psi when warm. The gauge may be faulty though. I may take the engine out and get the crank reground as the engine has only run about 10 minutes since the supposed bearing failure occurred. Can any other engine internal parts cause the metallic tint in the oil? The sound is a cross between a repeated rapping (not totally consistant) and a squeak. Would a slipped outer ring on the harmonic cause imbalance to make the rod pound harder under load? The harmonic seems tight when grabbed by hand. I have the serpentine belt off now to eliminate possible "noises" from the accessories.

BTW: The car is a 1992 SSE with the fabulous digital warning center!

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 04-22-2007, 08:05 AM   #7
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Hmmm....if it sounds like this (nevermind the fact you can't see anything...it'* what you hear that matters), then that would be rod knock:

http://s81.photobucket.com/albums/j2...t=90770c56.flv

Damage to the engine may not be too bad if it only ran 10 minutes. Don't even try to just throw in new bearings and hope it works. I'm living proof that it doesn't...not even for 30 seconds Do it right, yank the engine out, and regrind that crank. AND...have the rod that spun its bearing checked and resized, or go to the scrapyard and find a good rod to substitute.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer like the lot of us are, rebuilding what you have, after machining costs, gaskets, and other new parts, can be done fairly on the cheap. Nowhere near SBC-rebuild prices, but still can be done for less than going to buy a remanned one somewhere else. As suggested earlier, if you must go with a longblock, go with the 93-94 L27 or 93-95 L67 (yes those are supercharged assemblies, but will work very well in an NA environment too). Take your time and don't jump at the first engine you see. There were a gazillion of these motors made, so finding one that is right for you is just a matter of time.
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Old 04-22-2007, 10:19 AM   #8
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Default Sound clip

sandrock,

Thanks for the sound clip. That is exactly what the engine sounds like in the '92. I am an experienced DIY engine builder but was trying to find a cost effective way to get this car back on the road. I know I can not rebuild the engine for $300 and was trying to do it cheaper if i used the "C" long block listed above. The heads are very clean under the valve covers and I expect the rest of the engine to be very clean also. I have seen rod bearings spin because the oil pump pick-up tube was plugged but I do not believe that is the case here. With the "C" block, I would not even care if I had to put in a new cam but you say it lacks the torque axis mount. I guess I will follow the path of least resisitance and fix the one I have.

Thanks,

Dan
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