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Cracked '99 5.7 Vortec Heads

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  • GREGK
    replied
    LOL any engine sounds better when the repairs work the way you expect them!

    Happy New Year to you and family.

    Leave a comment:


  • tuner
    replied
    After 21 years and 1385hrs the seals and seats were causing problems. The exhaust note is better too! It was a chore but worth it!

    Happy New Year!

    Leave a comment:


  • GREGK
    replied
    The smoke on startup gone, guess the valve guide seal were starting to go dry. So you have that going for you!
    Happy New Year!

    Leave a comment:


  • tuner
    replied
    Sea trial today. The engine ran great,unfortunately, there was a 3-5' short period wind swell that hampered performance testing. I will need a nice day with smooth conditions and less crap in the water (recent rains have "flushed" the encampments and other trash, trees, etc.). I was getting a bit of oil smoke on start-up and the new heads may have fixed that too. Great throttle response and the idle seems smoother than before, maybe the new valve and seats get the credit. So far so good!

    Leave a comment:


  • tuner
    replied
    I like my current "sound system"......most of the time

    A switch that controlled the exhaust sound would be great, like "cut-outs' on a hotrod

    Leave a comment:


  • Fisherlady2
    replied
    Now there is a great reason to upgrade the sound system!

    Leave a comment:


  • tuner
    commented on 's reply
    LOL, I would need a serious sound system to hear over my 4" exhaust and Hooter "megaphones"!

  • Fisherlady2
    replied
    Time to turn up the stereo!

    Leave a comment:


  • tuner
    commented on 's reply
    The injectors are the same, the valvetrain is quieter with new lifters so the injector noise is more apparent.

  • GREGK
    replied
    Why are the injectors louder? Any ideas?

    Thanks for the update.

    Leave a comment:


  • tuner
    replied
    Heads are on. I ran the engine for 1/2 hour and it sounds perfect. The idle is smooth and the valvetrain is quiet, the TBI injectors are louder. The only potential issue with the Edelbrock heads is the exhaust flange sticks out a little more than the GM Vortec heads, the gap between the house wall and the manifolds is only about 1/4", maybe an 1/8" closer than before. Hopefully, I can sneak out for some testing next week.

    Leave a comment:


  • tuner
    replied
    Thanks Greg. I had no idea the problem was so prevalent so I wanted to share the info. Otherwise, the 5.7 Vortec is such a great engine. I might have been able to run some of those GM radiator biscuits that Cadillac put in the awful Northstar engines....

    I'm not expecting a big change but I will share my results after a few test runs. I'll tear into it on the weekend.

    Leave a comment:


  • GREGK
    replied
    Thanks for the FYI on what’s going on with your Vortec. Interested in how much improvement you get. Good luck with the repairs

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  • tuner
    started a topic Cracked '99 5.7 Vortec Heads

    Cracked '99 5.7 Vortec Heads

    Bad news for me.

    During the last few trips we noticed a slight increase in steam out of the starboard hooter along with an occasional "fuel" smell on warm restart. I assumed it was just condensation as the engine ran great and temps were normal, unfortunately that wasn't the case.

    I was due for an oil and filter change and after it was done I checked the heat exchanger tank, sure enough it was down over a quart. I ran the engine on the hose and the starboard steam was slight but obvious. After pulling the spark plugs, I noticed the #2 plug was just a bit cleaner than the others. I had heard of some cracked Vortec heads but not enough to realize the problem was significant.

    I made a call to a favorite machine shop/engine builder (Derek at L&R Engines) and he confirmed my speculation by stating that 90% of the 5.7 Vortec heads he checks will not pass a magnaflux test. I asked his opinion on the GM Bowtie 185cc Vortec heads and the Edelbrock 170cc Etec heads, the two I was considering. Derek said both heads are very good but preferred the Etecs. I also asked his opinion on pulling the engine for complete rebuild at 1385hrs and he recommended just the heads at this time, adding that the Vortec shortblock is very durable.

    Fortunately, I was able to purchase all of the parts and received them within a few days. This included Etec 170s #60795, Melling lifters and rockers, Comp Cams pushrods (0.100" long due to the higher valve stem on Etecs), and gaskets.

    The upside may be a slight performance improvement
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