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What is my best option for a 120k mile GTO with a worn engine

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently changed my oil and found tiny metal flakes in the oil for the first time. There was a lot, but they're miniscule. I don't hear any ticking or knocking, but I know it's not gonna get any better from here. I've been wanting to upgrade my GTO lately and my ultimate goal is a cam with full bolt-ons. The rest of the car is in decent shape and I would like to keep it as long as I can. What do you guys think my best options are? Should I rebuild and upgrade, swap or get another lower mileage GTO? Problem with the last is GTOs are going up in value. I can't find one as cheap as I bought it just over two years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rebuild and upgrade the original engine.
Yeah, I'm leaning towards that. I've always wanted to rebuild an engine, but never had the opportunity. I'd just have to figure out the cost. I hope they have a good rebuild kit so it would make it easy to figure out. Then I'd obviously just have to get the heads and block machined, which I have no idea how much that costs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
every engine has a small amount of barely visible wear metal in the engine oil, if you look close enough.

send it until it starts knocking.
Mine has quite a few sparkles in it. First time I've seen it too. I just found out that I should have been overfilling the oil in these engines. I would just let it go, but I've really been wanting a cam. I figure a cam will only put more stress on it and I'll have to open it up again soon. The only issue is money I guess, so that might be my only option.
 

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The best option is to send an oil sample to blackstone labs to find out what your dealing with then assess from there.
i agree. at least that way he'll have a professional excuse to rebuild his engine.:ROFLMAO:

i also suggest anyone reading take a very bright light and put it, and their faces, up to a pan of freshly drained oil from whatever you happen to be working on. you're probably going to want to rebuild your engine.
 

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i also suggest anyone reading take a very bright light and put it, and their faces, up to a pan of freshly drained oil from whatever you happen to be working on. you're probably going to want to rebuild your engine.
Ok I definitely won't be doing that..
 

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I just found out that I should have been overfilling the oil in these engines.
That’s not correct. It’s suggested that you do overfill it a bit if you are doing racing, but certainly not for a car that you just daily drive on public streets.
 
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My original engine used to have a bunch of metal on the magnet at every oil change. my suspicion is from the rocker arms. i broke a piston from too much timing, thats why I put another engine in it. The factory engine is in perfect condition (crank, rods, bearings) except for that piston. I wouldnt worry with it but If you have a bunch of money to burn, rebuild it or better yet, put an LS3 in it if you want more power.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
That’s not correct. It’s suggested that you do overfill it a bit if you are doing racing, but certainly not for a car that you just daily drive on public streets.
Yeah, I don't race currently. I've heard the oil pump isn't great in these. I guess an upgraded one is the best solution anyway. I plan to get the Melling high pressure/ normal volume one if I add the cam.

I just read your thread "LS2 WOT Oil Pressure" too. I'll probably get rid of the AFM valve too. Did it fix the issue at WOT?
 

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The oil pump is perfectly fine in these engines. Failures happen, but it isn’t the norm at all. I’ve owned 4 GTO’s and never once had an issue with the oil pumps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The oil pump is perfectly fine in these engines. Failures happen, but it isn’t the norm at all. I’ve owned 4 GTO’s and never once had an issue with the oil pumps.
Have you had any issues with oil on yours at all? I know other have, but I don't know how common it is. Just trying to find the best most cost effective way to make this thing last. I imagine it can't hurt to use a Melling high pressure pump. I've heard of issues with the high volume one on some cars though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
every engine has a small amount of barely visible wear metal in the engine oil, if you look close enough.

send it until it starts knocking.
This is looking to be my best option haha. I still want a cam, so I might as well send it a little more. I only really want a "mild" cam. I'm looking at a Texas Speed 224R 112LSA since they're on sale. Maybe the metal is coming from the valve train anyway and I'll just replace all of that. I'll look more into the engine when it's out.
 

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Have you had any issues with oil on yours at all? I know other have, but I don't know how common it is. Just trying to find the best most cost effective way to make this thing last. I imagine it can't hurt to use a Melling high pressure pump. I've heard of issues with the high volume one on some cars though.
None.

Is the car running strong? If so, keep up the maintenance and just keep driving it.

Throwing a cam into a 120k mile engine that you may think is beginning to wear out is a terrible idea too. Drive the thing until you know for sure the engine is wearing out, then pull it and do a complete rebuild to include any upgraded parts (cam, heads, lifters, oil pump, etc).
 
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If you cam it, along with replacing the valve springs, replace the lifters, lifter trays, pushrods, and maybe even the rocker arm bearings with the CHE trunnion kit. You have to pull the heads to replace the lifters and lifter trays, but it'll make swapping the valve springs easier on the bench instead of under the hood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
None.

Is the car running strong? If so, keep up the maintenance and just keep driving it.

Throwing a cam into a 120k mile engine that you may think is beginning to wear out is a terrible idea too. Drive the thing until you know for sure the engine is wearing out, then pull it and do a complete rebuild to include any upgraded parts (cam, heads, lifters, oil pump, etc).
The car runs well, but this is the first time I've seen the flakes. I figure it'll only get worse. I don't want to destroy the engine, but a cam will give me the opportunity to look in the engine. Maybe the top end just needs to be rebuilt, which I could do.

I don't know. I go back and forth on ideas like this and usually end up doing nothing anyway. Probably a pipe dream.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If you cam it, along with replacing the valve springs, replace the lifters, lifter trays, pushrods, and maybe even the rocker arm bearings with the CHE trunnion kit. You have to pull the heads to replace the lifters and lifter trays, but it'll make swapping the valve springs easier on the bench instead of under the hood.
Yeah, if I do a cam, I want to replace all of that. I was planning on just pulling the engine so I can look deeper. I like the idea of working on a bench a lot more than cold concrete like I'm used to haha. I pulled my transmission twice in the winter so I'm accustomed to miserable work on vehicles. This would probably be fun.
 
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