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5.3 to 6.0 Swap

This is a discussion on 5.3 to 6.0 Swap within the Internal Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; New to your forum. Hope to get some good info here. I'm an old SBC guy and don't have a ...

  1. #1
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    5.3 to 6.0 Swap

    New to your forum. Hope to get some good info here. I'm an old SBC guy and don't have a lot of knowledge about LS stuff but hre goes. I ahve a 2009 Silverado with 5.3 vortec. Basically stock with a Blackbear tune and Air raid intake.
    I am considering an upgrade to the following:
    Build a 6.0 truck short block (Upgraded rods and forged pistons) with ls6 cam.
    Swap into my truck with the 5.3 heads.
    Run a new tune.

    What can I expect in the way of performance inprovement. I would expect a lot more torque but what type of Hp gains? Am I making a mistake in using my 5.3 heads. I really don't want to spend the $$$'s on heads at this time. Also, how much piston volume will I need to mke the CR of the new set-up the same as I presently have? I beleive the 5.3 heads have ~61CC's.

    Thanks in advance for your comments and info.

  2. #2
    dbl clutch'n like i shld WICKEDLS1's Avatar
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    You will see a difference it wont be huge until you put a bigger set of heads like 243's which you can find in the $500 range however with it being a 2009 you will need to do a DOD delete (displacement on demand) which is what shuts off the cylinders to concerve gas. the DOD kit alone is upwards of 1k but if you going to all the hassle to do a swap you might as well put a 224r or 224/228 cam or something around that size. Honsetly though i would just keep the 5.3 and put H/C/I on it. A buddy of mine here in ok is making 12.1 passes in his ex cab 5.3 with just a cam, built trans, gears, and a 150 shot. if you want to see a pic just check out my profile. as far as HP numbers i know the 5.3 with just a cam will be around 320ish to the tires depending on the mileage. however if you do a cam swap you will need a stall convertor which for a good one like Yank will set you back about 800 alone but IS MANDATORY.

    Are you using this truck as your daily driver?
    2000 ss camaro, forged lq9 370 short block, stage 3 PRC 243 heads, fast 102 w, big mouth throttle body, MS3 cam, 1.7 roller rockers, stage 3 t-56, monster stage 3, pro 5.0, 4.10's with moser axles, bmr tq arm, lca's, phb. SOLD (thankfully)!!!

    New project: 1968 step-side, partial restore, ls/th400 swap. hopefully boosted pics and more info to come!!!


    Having a small cam is like having a small dick, everytime you go to use it you wish it was bigger

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    Blackbear already took out the DOD, change the shift firmness, etec.. How big a cam can I can you run on the 5.3 before i need a converter change?

    I just thought the extra cubes of the 6.0 would give me a lot more grunt. Bt if the heads won't support the cubes thennot a good plan.

    Got a Yank converter in my 55 2-door post 3700#+ S/S car. Runs 9.84 1/4 mile with a SBC on the bottle. Really like their converters.

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    dbl clutch'n like i shld WICKEDLS1's Avatar
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    You could get away with a small cam like 218-228 duration as long as it has a 115 lsa or higher which limits you to mostly custom grind cams. and there are parts inside the motor for the dod that have to be removed and replaced which is why the kit is so expensive. but like i said for what you would spend to do the 6.0 swap you could build that 5.3 and be much faster for the same amount of money.

    where in OK are you located? i just noticed that you were here too

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    If you want to build a 6.0 from scratch with upgraded rods and pistons, why not toss in a 4" crank too and make a 402/408 out of it

    That would certainly make the swap worth while. 327 to 364 vs 327 to 408 sure sounds better

    In any event, I run a 6.0 in a blazer and love the torquey power it has. I was going to swap in a 5.3 and came close to pulling the trigger on that, but in the end I knew I just wouldn't be happy.

    Sounds like alot of work though on a fairly new 2009?? Any reason you don't want to trade in for something with a 6.0 (or 6.2 now ) already in it?

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    dbl clutch'n like i shld WICKEDLS1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firebirdjones View Post
    If you want to build a 6.0 from scratch with upgraded rods and pistons, why not toss in a 4" crank too and make a 402/408 out of it

    That would certainly make the swap worth while. 327 to 364 vs 327 to 408 sure sounds better

    In any event, I run a 6.0 in a blazer and love the torquey power it has. I was going to swap in a 5.3 and came close to pulling the trigger on that, but in the end I knew I just wouldn't be happy.

    Sounds like alot of work though on a fairly new 2009?? Any reason you don't want to trade in for something with a 6.0 (or 6.2 now ) already in it?
    That would be the way to go but since he doesnt want to spend the $$$ on bigger heads for a 6.0 i wouldnt figure him to want to spend alot on making a 408

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    You are correct. I don't want to spend the $$$'s for a stroker kit. In fact if the stock pistons and bores look good we may not even change those. However, I may be able to obtain the heads off this shortlblock for a little more money. We'll see.

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    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    In that case, it's an awfull lot of work for what I see as little gain. You will find a broader/flatter torque curve, and slight HP gains, but in stock form the difference isn't astronomical.

    Personally I'd do a cam/head swap on the current 5.3 and have some fun.

    Are you wanting a smaller lighter 1/2 ton with a 6.0 installed? Because yours being a relatively new truck wouldn't it would be easier to trade up for a 3/4 ton with the 6.2 and have loads of power?

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