2.2 GM rebuilding

I am debating what to do with my 96 S10 2.2.
Truck is still running fine. but the oil pressure drops to near zero after it warms up at idle. and when its cold, the
piston slap clatters like a diesel. (yes, i changed the oil pressure sensor)
From what i researched, the cam bearings are a common culprit for low oil pressure. this truck did have the head gasket replaced before i got it, and the head redone after i got it due to the timing chain slipping ad bending all 8 valves.
i am trying to do this myself of with assistance. questions:
what type of tool is required to remove and install cam bearings on a 2.2? is it the same as a small block tool?
Its not burning any oil to speak of (leaks a little and does not smoke) what to do with the bores? simply hone and replace rings? or bore how much? 10 over with new pistons (assuming minimal scuffing from piston slap. Are there any new types of pistons that minimize piston slap?
If the crank journals look ok, do i really need to get the crank ground?
I was possibly looking at getting front drive core to start work on to speed the process up and not lose the truck for driving. Any issues with using a front drive 2.2 other than the water hole in the head? I assume too from research it must be a 96-98 engine to be the same? do automatic or stick have different cams or flywheel mounts?
The head was just redone less than a year ago. can i just clean it and reinstall? or do i need to have it decked again?
The only other thought i had was there was a higher volume oil pump for the early 90's 2.2. i considered putting just a new hi-po pump in as a stop gap, but wondered if it would do much good.
Any other 2.2 tips?
Bob
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Ian is a good source for information on this engine. I remember him posting a long time ago about the provisions their shop made for working on this very engine.
Since no one has posted at all, I am entering the fray, since any opinion at all will sometimes generate a flood of positive and negative comments.
I have always been of the belief that you either rebuild to last or you patch.
If you measure the journals and they are not too out of round or worn, then I think you can probably avoid regrinding the crankshaft.
Ditto the cylinders...They are, IIRC, cast iron sleeves pressed into this block. If they are not egged or overly worn, you can probably get by with honing to restore the surface. ---If your pistons are not trashed. Maybe this will work if you are on a tight budget and dont want to have to bore and refit new pistons. A lot depends on the condition of the pistons, bores, etc.
I have no idea about the camshaft insert tool. Some of those, for different engines, can handle a rather wide variety of bearings and configurations. Maybe others will answer specifically about this little block. An automotive machine shop will ordinarily be able to do this for you cheaply enough if you dont have the tool.
Worn inserts are a common reason that oil pressure drops. A bad oil pump and or pressure regulator can be another reason. Leaking block plugs have been a problem on some other types of block, so I would certainly inspect this block to see if that could possibly be a problem. And I wouldnt tear one down without replacing the oil pump.
I dont think I would go back in with a higher volume oil pump. If you tighten up the specs and put in a new standard pump, the oil pressure should be fine.
Some may disagree with me, but I think the most of the comments above are just common sense. If you want to rebuild, resurface, refit everything, then you will spend a goodly pile of money. A job well done is the only guarantee that the engine will work properly and live. But, on a limited budget you can often hit the high spots and come up with something nearly as good.
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bob, your oil pressure problems is a bearing. rod main or cam could be anyone. if you get another block i really (from personal experience) advise using the correct year block to start with. 1996 to 1997 may be the same but im not sure.
DO NOT use a 95 or 98 short block. the 95 does not use a cam sensor your 96 does. 95 was multi port injected any thing newer was sequential port injected a 98 block uses different pistons, head, cam , rocker, pushrods are longer. if you use a different year block (not sure a bout a 96-97) you can use ONLY the block everything else must be changed ie. pistons, cam, crank, head. not sure if this is any help, but i am speaking from experience. i went through 3 motors and alot of cursing to get it right. dont do it.
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