Piston Slap: Delphi Lifters Make the Sale?

Sajeev Mehta
by Sajeev Mehta
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piston slap delphi lifters make the sale

TTAC Commentator OldWingGuy writes:

My question concerns how General Motors manufactures new replacement engines. Do they use old stock from when the engine was in production, or do they continue building them even though they have been superseded years ago?


I have a 2010 Chevy Silverado with the 5.3-liter engine, with Active Fuel Management. It has over 300,000 km. Oil pressure at idle is starting to drop, but not critical yet. Probably another couple years left in the engine. But I am contemplating putting a replacement new GM engine in when the time comes.

The issue is some of the 5.3L engines have Eaton lifters with an occasional nasty lifter noise. If your engine has this, the Eaton lifters need to be replaced with Delphi lifters. The only way to tell which you have is to remove a lifter, which requires removing both intake manifold and cylinder head. Not something to do with a new engine. So, if you buy a replacement engine from GM, has it been sitting around for 10 years ? Or are they produced occasionally? If the former, I would have no way of knowing which lifter was used short of pulling a cylinder head. If produced occasionally, I would assume GM uses the Delphi lifters.

Anyone out there know how GM produces new replacement engines for a ten year old vehicle ?

Sajeev answers:

I love questions that open multiple layers of concerns…not just because I can blow ’em off with deflective answers.

The only folks who’d know are inside General Motors, so find a dealership’s service/parts department manager motivated enough to find out. That’s because the odds of calling a customer service hotline for the answer is low, and no PR flack will dole out information to a journo if the truth hurts (I presume, I don’t know any PR-peeps!). Nobody wants to admit their employer made/is making a mistake, except when there’s no other option. If you aren’t a self-made entrepreneur, if you care about your job/career, you know the drill.

Don’t sweat it, that’s just life.

And it doesn’t matter how GM usually manufactures replacement engines: you need the specifics about valve lifters and if there’s a stop sale (so to speak) on 5.3L motors with Eaton bits.

I suggest offering a dealership the sale in exchange for verification of the Delphi lifters, otherwise you will contact Jasper to see if their customer support is any better. While I have no personal experience/vested interest here, the Internet is pretty kind to their work and their ability to perform readily available upgrades on their products. For the most part.

Best and Brightest?

[Image: General Motors]

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

Sajeev Mehta
Sajeev Mehta

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  • DenverMike DenverMike on Oct 26, 2019

    I'd seriously consider the "parts truck" purchase. Yeah I realize that would mean storing a wreck on the lawn for many, except it's a beautiful thing when any part you need is "in stock", pennies on the dollar, or free at some point. For long term, high miles ownership, you're likely going to need a transmission, rear end, and countless other parts that can nickel and dime you to death. Finding an upper trim truck, leather, nav, 20' wheels is a bonus, along with updated, mid generation refreshed and aftermarket upgrades. It doesn't hurt that you're dealing with the 2nd most popular truck on the planet, but there's a surprising number of decade old trucks around with around 50K miles, extremely clean and garage kept. Nothing beats original OEM parts, but of course you'd be looking for salvage title, totaled, but drives/running, with a bent frame, light damage, flooded, rolled, hail damage, etc.

  • -Nate -Nate on Oct 26, 2019

    Please define the difference between 5.3 and 5.7 liter Chevy V8's..... -Nate

    • See 4 previous
    • -Nate -Nate on Oct 27, 2019

      @Hummer Thank you, much apreciatred . -Nate

  • Marky S. I own the same C.C. XSE Hybrid AWD as in this article, but in Barcelona Red with the black roof. I love my car for its size, packaging, and the fact that it offers both AWD and Hybrid technology together. Visibility is impressive, as is its small turning circle. I consider the C.C. more of a "station wagon" by proportion, rather than an “SUV.” It is fun to drive, with zippy response and perky pick-up. It is a pleasant car to drive and ride in. It is not trying to be a “Butch Off-Roader”, or a cosseting “Luxury Cruiser.” Those are not its goals or purpose. The Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid AWD is a wonderful All-Purpose Car (O.K. – “SUV” if you must hear me say it!) with a combination of all the features it has at a reasonable price.
  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.