This isn’t exactly new news, but it serves as a reminder. 2000 and later V6 and V8 engines feature rocker arms that ride on needle bearings. If you find needle bearings in the oil pan during an oil change or other service, immediately inspect all rocker arms.

GM recommends replacing only the faulty rocker arm(s). During the repair, needle bearings may also be found in cylinder head oil drains or in the oil pan. Be sure to clean the oil drains and pan to retrieve the needle bearings. 

The diameter of the needle bearings is larger than the oil pickup screen mesh, which should prevent any needle bearings to be pulled into the oil pump.

Note: GM uses uncaged needle bearings which may dislodge. Aftermarket trunnion bearing conversion kits are available that prevent this. The conversion involves using the original rocker arms, but replacing the trunnion and bearings with retaining C-clips.

The un-caged needle bearings used in OE rocker arms can dislodge and scatter.

The un-caged needle bearings used in OE rocker arms can dislodge and scatter.

Aftermarket kits are available to prevent the problem. The kits include upgraded trunnions, caged bearings and C-clips. Converting is an easy job requiring a bench vise.

Aftermarket kits are available to prevent the problem. The kits include upgraded trunnions, caged bearings and C-clips. Converting is an easy job requiring a bench vise.

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