LS Lifter Tray Torque Specs

The lifter trays in an LS engine are often overlooked when it comes to preventive maintenance, and that’s a very bad thing considering that a worn-out tray can destroy the hydraulic roller lifters, the camshaft, and even the lifter bores. But since you are here, it means you have taken the time to replace the trays, so here are the equally important bolt torque specs for them.

The LS lifter tray torque specs vary between different versions of the engine. The lifter tray bolt torque spec for all third-generation LS engines and some fourth-generation ones is 106 in-lb. For the rest of the LS engines, the LS2, LS3, and LS4, the lifter torque spec is 89 in-lb.

ls lifter tray bolts

How Do LS Lifter Trays Work

The LS lifter tray is a machined and press-shaped piece of thin metal that holds the hydraulic roller lifters in place. It’s also the lifter tray’s job to make sure the roller lifters don’t have any slop in them and that they can’t twist and turn.

On the face of it, the lifter trays look almost obsolete, but the job they are doing is extremely important. When a lifter tray wears out, the roller lifter will have slop, and that, first and foremost, leads to premature roller bearing failure.

After that, the roller lifter, which is, in that case, sitting twisted to one side, will quickly grind off and damage the camshaft lobes. And if that’s not bad enough, a loose roller lifter will slap the lifter bore and potentially damage it. Unfortunately, none of these is cheap or easy to fix and will cost you at least $500, even in the best-case scenario.

That said, lifter trays don’t have a set service schedule, but whenever you are replacing the roller lifters, valve springs, rocker arms, or essentially doing any relatively extensive work on the valve train, you should replace the lifter trays along the way. A set of four brand-new high-quality lifter trays is usually just over $40, which is neglectable if you are already inside the cylinder head.

Read: LS Flywheel Bolt Torque Specs and Sequence

LS Lifter Tray Torque Specs Explained

If you are doing an LS lifter tray install, you will notice they only have one bolt, which means they have no particular tightening sequence. Each tray is independent, so it doesn’t really matter which one you tighten first. Furthermore, the ls lifter tray bolts are not tightened to high torque, so there are no multiple passes either.

That said, it is important that you tighten them to the correct torque spec because, at the end of the day, the lifter trays are a part of the valve train and can cause a lot of damage if they come loose. Likewise, the same thing can happen if you overtighten them because you can strip the cylinder head threads, which is a huge problem by itself.

Third Generation LS Lifter Tray Torque Specs (1999-2007)

The 3rd generation Chevy small block series includes only two LS variations, and those are the LS1 and LS6. That’s also the first time LS engines ever appeared. And although the two engines share few similarities besides displacement, the lifter tray torque specs are the same.

Read: Ls oil pan torque sequence


Lifter Tray Torque Specs – 106 in-lb/8.3 ft-lb

Vehicles With the LS1 Engine

  • 1997-2004 Chevrolet Corvette C5
  • 1998-2002 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
  • 2001-2004 HSV GTO
  • 1998-2004 Pontiac Firebird Formula/Trans Am
  • 2001-2005 Holden Monaro
  • 2004 Pontiac GTO
  • 1998-2002 Pontiac Firebird Formula/Trans Am
  • 1999-2005 Holden Statesman
  • 1998-2002 Chevrolet Camaro SS


Lifter Tray Torque Specs – 106 in-lb/8.3 ft-lb

Vehicles With the LS6 Engine

  • 2007 SSC Ultimate Aero TT
  • 2004-2005 Cadillac CTS V-Series
  • 2001-2004 Chevrolet Corvette C5 Z06

Fourth Generation LS Lifter Tray Torque Specs (2005-2020)

With the fourth generation Chevy small block came six different LS series variations. Those were the standard LS2 and LS3, the transverse or front-wheel drive-only LS4, and the high-performance variations which were the LS7, LS9, and LSA. And unlike the previous generation, this one has some differences when it comes to lifter tray torque. The differences were present between the smaller or less powerful LS2, LS3, and LS4 and the high-end LS7, LS9, and LSA.


Lifter Tray Torque Specs – 89 in-lb/7.4 ft-lb

Vehicles With the LS2 Engine

  • 2005-2008 Saab 9-7X Aero
  • 2005-2008 HSV Grange
  • 2005-2008 HSV Senator Signature/GTS
  • 2005-2008 HSV Maloo R8
  • 2005-2008 HSV Clubsport R8
  • 2005-2006 HSV SV6000
  • 2005-2006 HSV Coupe GTO
  • 2005-2006 Vauxhall Monaro VXR
  • 2005-2006 Pontiac GTO
  • 2005-2006 Holden Monaro
  • 2006-2007 Cadillac CTS-V
  • 2006-2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer SS
  • 2005-2006 Chevrolet SSR
  • 2005-2007 Chevrolet Corvette C6


Lifter Tray Torque Specs – 89 in-lb/7.4 ft-lb

Vehicles With the LS3 Engine

  • 2008-2013 Chevrolet Corvette C6
  • 2011 Jensen Interceptor R
  • 2010-2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS
  • 2015 Drakan Spyder
  • 2015-2017 Holden Commodore VF
  • 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP
  • 2014-2017 Chevrolet SS


Lifter Tray Torque Specs – 89 in-lb/7.4 ft-lb

Vehicles With the LS4 Engine

  • 2008-2009 Buick LaCrosse Super
  • 2005-2008 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP
  • 2006-2009 Chevrolet Impala SS
  • 2006-2007 Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS


Lifter Tray Torque Specs – 106 in-lb/8.3 ft-lb

Vehicles With the LS7 Engine

  • 2006-2013 Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06
  • 2013 Chevrolet Corvette 427 Convertible
  • 2014-2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28


Lifter Tray Torque Specs – 106 in-lb/8.3 ft-lb

Vehicles With the LS9 Engine

  • 2009-2013 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1


Lifter Tray Torque Specs – 106 in-lb/8.3 ft-lb

Vehicles With the LSA Engine

  • 2009-2015 Cadillac CTS-V
  • 2012-2015 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
  • 2014-2017 HSV GTS GEN-F

ls lifter tray torque

How Do I Know if My LS Lifter Tray is Bad

There are no obvious symptoms by which you can know that your lifter trays are bad while driving. And while they might rattle, they will most likely be so quiet that there is almost no way you can notice it with the engine running.

Also, there are no corresponding fault codes for the lifter trays, be they direct or indirect. The only way you can suspect that your lifter trays are bad is if you hear the hydraulic lifters tapping, which means they have failed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the lifter trays are bad.

The only way you can know for certain that the trays are bad is to remove them and inspect them. When you remove the lifter trays, plug th4 hydraulic lifter into them and check if the lifters have any slop or if they can twist inside the trays. If the answer is positive, the lifter trays are worn out. Also, if the hydraulic lifters easily fall out of the lifter trays, that’s another sign they are worn out or that they soon will be.

Read: LS Rocker Arm Torque Specs and Sequence


Q: What are the torque specs on an LS engine?

What the LS torque specs are, depends on which component you are interested in. For example, the engine mount bolts are 70 ft-lb, the flywheel bolts are 74 ft-lb, the rocker arm bolts are 22 ft-lb, and the rear cover bolts are 18 ft-lb. All components have different torque specs, so it’s best to look for a specific part.

Q: Which way do lifter trays go in an LS engine?

If your lifter trays have indentations on one side, which is specific to LS2 lifter trays, those indentations should face down or towards the outside of the engine block. However, most other LS-series engines have symmetrical lifter trays, in which case the LS lifter tray direction is irrelevant.

Q: How much torque does a stock 5.3 LS have?

A stock 5.3 LS engine, code named LS4 has 323 lb-ft or 438 N-m of torque with 303 horsepower. The power ratings are the same for all cars that got the LS4 engine, including the Pontiac Grand Prix GXP, the Chevrolet Impala SS, Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS, and the Buick LaCrosse Super.

Q: Do all LS engines use the same lifters?

No, not all LS engines use the same lifters. The lifters in LS engines can have different ratios and different shapes, which is the case with LS3 and LS7 lifters, for example. That means their specs are different, plus they are not always interchangeable.

Q: What is the difference between LS solid and hydraulic lifters?

A solid LS lifter is a solid piece of metal that slides over the camshaft lobes and transfers the movement directly to the rocker arm. These solid lifters have clearances and need to be manually adjusted and tuned periodically. Hydraulic lifters, on the other, are spring-loaded and filled with oil, both of which serve to absorb the impacts of the camshaft lobes on the rocker arms. That means they can have zero clearance and don’t need any manual adjustments.

Final Words

To summarize and simplify the above information, the lifter tray bolt torque for LS1, LS2, LS7, LS9, and LSA engines is 108 in-lb or 8.3 ft-lb. The lifter tray bolt torque for the remaining LS2, LS3, and LS4 engines is 89 in-lb or 7.4 ft-lb. Also, you can tighten the lifter trays in any sequence you like, and one pass with the correct torque setting is all that’s needed.

Ibro Cehic

Ever since I was bitten by the automotive bug during early childhood I was obsessed with cars. My first driving experience came when I was ten and I already started tinkering with cars and motorcycles at thirteen. So, right from the beginning, I knew my life would revolve around cars, even if I wasn’t sure how that would happen. And today, thanks to my second passion, writing, I get to share my love for automobiles with other enthusiasts through my articles.

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