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stock 03 5.3 needs help with towing.

This is a discussion on stock 03 5.3 needs help with towing. within the General Help forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; 03 GMC sierra 5.3 4X4. truck runs great for it being stock, just cracked 80 grand on her. i pull ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member jeffz0rz's Avatar
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    stock 03 5.3 needs help with towing.

    03 GMC sierra 5.3 4X4. truck runs great for it being stock, just cracked 80 grand on her. i pull a toy hauler durring the winter season and i want some more umph out of her. besides for a no name muffler that came with the truck, she is stock. i dont want to break land speed records or kick any ass at the strip, i just want more power so i can pull my trailer a litter easier. where should i start ? i'm a little older and wiser than i was in high school when i was trying to beef up my truck, and whoop ass and be "cool". cool waved goodbye to me a long time ago. now i just wans something that runs good and reliable. i'm guessing these truck are in the low 200's as far as hp, just a guess mind you. i'm new to the 5.3 scene so i'm in the dark as far as adding power. pretty much any info would help alot. thanks
    jeff

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    the easiest and cheapest is usually air in and air out. I'm not exactly sure what the aftermarket looks like for the trucks although I'd like to find out because I forsee a new truck in my future. Good air intake and headers/exhaust is where I would start along with a tune. You could get into cam and heads but it doesn't sound like that's where you want to go just yet.

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    LT headers with X-pipe kit ,good flowing mufflers,and a hand held tuner. a LS towing cam from compcam,check out their on line catalog.

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    There are tons of mods that can be done. I wanted the same out of my 6.0 so I did catback exhaust, tune, CAI, U/D pulley, and E-Fans. It is a totally different truck now and gets better gas mileage if I keep my foot out of it.
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    SOM
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    I would be more concerned about the tranny crapping so I would add an additional cooler before an HP mods. Headers and a tune will help but make sure you get a towing tune. I assume you have the tow/haul switch on the end of the shifter...

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    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    A tranny cooler as said above should be one of the first things unless it has a true tow package which it will already have one. Cold air intake and exhaust are the easiest. Do those first and see if you want more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrondownhiller View Post
    A tranny cooler as said above should be one of the first things unless it has a true tow package which it will already have one. Cold air intake and exhaust are the easiest. Do those first and see if you want more.
    I meant add another cooler if he is towing something that big.......

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    Junior Member jeffz0rz's Avatar
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    tranny cooler, check. what about these under drive pullies? not sure what they do or what the purpose, and a CAI ? what exactly is that ? will headers really give me something i will notice ? i'm on board with the intake system, the cat back (any i should look for?) now a hand held tuner is something i want to get after my boltons right ? with a tuner can i adjust what needs to be adjusted if i end up going with a mild cam in the future? what all can these tuners do ?

  9. #9
    Junior Member jeffz0rz's Avatar
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    biggest thing i will EVER tow with this truck is my 23 foot toy hauler. i think its 8,000lbs give or take a thousand lbs

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    Senior Member bigrondownhiller's Avatar
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    Underdrive pullies will help a little but you will slow down your accesories which might not be ideal. You will be limited on headers because in CA you can't move the cats from their original position. If you do a cam you will need a dyno or mail order tune. I don't think any of the handhelds will be able to help you there. Exhaust just go for one that you like the sound of. I have a Gibson on my 95 tahoe and I like the fit and the sound of it. CAI is cold air induction. It replaces you air filter and inlet piping to the intake to give you more airflow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffz0rz View Post
    tranny cooler, check. what about these under drive pullies? not sure what they do or what the purpose, and a CAI ? what exactly is that ? will headers really give me something i will notice ? i'm on board with the intake system, the cat back (any i should look for?) now a hand held tuner is something i want to get after my boltons right ? with a tuner can i adjust what needs to be adjusted if i end up going with a mild cam in the future? what all can these tuners do ?
    well I'm a little fuzzy on the under drives myself. But a CAI = cold air induction, yes headers are usually good for noticable power and with a good tune even better. Other folks here can give you a better low down on tuners and so forth such as Frost. His add is in the upper right hand corner of the page.
    Last edited by Smittro; 09-17-2009 at 09:01 PM.
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    Junior Member jeffz0rz's Avatar
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    what intake are you running on your 6.0?

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    Technically LT's are illegal in all 50 states as federal law basiclly says you cannot move the cats further downstream. Cali is just strict in enforcement from what I hear. And 8500lbs is getting close to max rated towing capacity so I would DEFINITELY add another cooler for piece of mind. Less than $100 for everything....

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    Junior Member jeffz0rz's Avatar
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    ok, new problem. truck is harder and harder to start after it sits for a while. like a few hours. i just changed the fuel filter and it stil does it. still does it. any ideas ? theres no check engine light or anything. whats goin on ?

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    one thing to try is to cycle the key a couple of times before actually starting it. Turn it to run but don't start it a couple of times and then try to start it and see what happens. The more scientific approach would be to throw a fuel pressure gauge on it and see what your fuel pressure is.

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    starter heat soak . heat shield or aftermarket starter, or bigger battery and cables.

  17. #17
    Junior Member jeffz0rz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garygnu65 View Post
    starter heat soak . heat shield or aftermarket starter, or bigger battery and cables.
    i'm not sure if this has anything to do with the truck having trouble starting. the starter turns the motor over just fine, it just seems that fuel isnt getting there.

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    Junior Member jeffz0rz's Avatar
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    any idea whats going on here ?

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    Veteran 0rion's Avatar
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    have you verified fuel pressure?

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    Junior Member jeffz0rz's Avatar
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    negative. i'm assuming i need to attach a gauge to the end of my fuel rail and turn the ignition on ? thats how it was done on my old f-150 atleast. if it was my fuel pump, would it just quit working, or would it slowly go out ?

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