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2008 suburban 5.3 to 6.0

This is a discussion on 2008 suburban 5.3 to 6.0 within the GM Trucks forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Hey all. Im not technically new. Its been a few years though. I need to make sure I have correct ...

  1. #1
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    2008 suburban 5.3 to 6.0

    Hey all. Im not technically new. Its been a few years though. I need to make sure I have correct information.

    I have a 2008 suburban, with a 5.3. We have already spent $1400 on engine work, and now its acting up again. So we are planning a 6.0 swap. Ive done some research, and this is what I think I need:

    I found an LY6, 6.0 liter engine from a 2500 van, used for about $2000. I should use the heads, intake and exhaust manifolds, and timing cover from the 5.3, and swap it. Ill need a cam to eliminate the VVT (Ive read maybe a stock LS2 cam?), and a tune to turn off the AFM, and maybe free some unused HP.

    I would rather not involve a machine shop, or any shop. So If I can get a cam that doesnt require custom pushrods that would be great. Im a decent mechanic, but I dont have a lot of special tools.

    This is my wifes DD. So Im not worried about max HP. I want it to work, without using 4 qts of oil between changes, and eating its own guts out every 12 months.

    I might try and save the 5.3 for a later project (s-10 turbo swap) but it would be getting a rebuild and new, non-afm parts.

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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    How is the 5.3 acting up? We have around 102,000 on our '07 and it is still running like a champ even after hauling our race trailer up and down the hills of northcentral PA.

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    Sorry for the double post.

    The 5.3 used 4 qts of oil in 2 weeks (no evidence of a leak either), it chatters and pings and now has no oil pressure. Im tired of worrying about it. From what I have read, even if I take the AFM parts out, it isnt a guarantee to fix the problems with oil consumption. We took it to a trusted mechanic friend, and he said the oil looked very sluggy. We bought it used with about 75k miles, and have kept it maintained well. And as I posted, we replaced the cam, lifters and cam sensor last year.

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    Navy Blue Metallic
    98 T/A w/a little mods...

    You should have a 58x reluctor wheel on both the 5.3 and LY6. Just need to confirm it to be sure. They should have the same crank sensor. All the 5.3 heads and accessories will transfer over. Getting a used block you should always have it checked out. My 6.0l block looked well within specs as a replacement for my LS1 till I had it check out. #8 cyl was on the very edge of specs that the machine shop told me it would last a yr at most till I would need to rebuild it. So I had it bored 0.005" over (now a 4.005"). Yes it meant new pistons but that was in my plans already.

    Sounds like you had a small coolant leak and that's what's jelling the oil. 0 oil pressure can be simple as a bad OPSU, but with the oil being sludgy it most likely means the bearings are wiped. You can also have some of the piston rings gone and that would make one hell of a noise. I can't stress this enough to crack open the 6.0Liter block and look at it, check the bearings. I would hate for you to throw it in and be in the same situation you are in now.


    If you have to get pistons and rings there are affordable options besides Eagle & Wiseco. DSS makes some good pistons and I'm using them in mine.

    Cam recommendation - You'll want a cam for trucks meaning for TQ. It couldn't hurt to talk with a cam designers like Martin Smallwood, Brian Tooley or Geoff from EPS out of Baton Rouge. Martin has left Tick to start his own business and can be found on Facebook, the other 2 have their own websites. If need be I can pm you their sites.

    Each of these guys could recommend a decent setup that will work with what you're needing.


    If you look at my signature I have a link on my engine build with ALL of it's issues that came up in the build. It may help.
    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f7/my-6-liter-build-174257/

    http://www.ls1.com/forums/f8/my-8-8-rear-build-165553/

    6.0L Block - Forged 403 built, breaking it in , Polluter Stg3 Cam, FAST 102mm Intake, NW102 TB, MSD wires, NGK TR6 plugs, Truck Coil Packs, LS3 Fuel Injectors, CC Pacesetter LT Headers, TS&P ORY, QTP e-Cutout, Magnaflow Muffler, 104mm Air Lid & Line Lock, Catch Can, Stage 2 T56 w/Viper shaft, PRO 5.0 Shifter, Tick MC, Monster Stg 4 Clutch, QT SFI BH, MWC DSL, UMI: SFC, PHB, LCA's, LCA Relocation Brackets & TA, Hotchkis Springs (1" Drop), YR1 Snowflake Wheels wrapped in NT555 tires & Custom Fab Ford 8.8 rear w/4.10 Yukon Gears, WSQ Hood, 3"CM Strange Eng Drive Shaft.

    Horsepower never lies, but is often lied about!

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    Moderator Cutlass's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pajeff02 View Post
    How is the 5.3 acting up? We have around 102,000 on our '07 and it is still running like a champ even after hauling our race trailer up and down the hills of northcentral PA.
    Jeff, most likely you won't have any problems because you take good care of your stuff.
    The vast majority of problems I see with these can be traced back to oil problems. Usually extended oil change intervals or low quality oil.
    -------------------------------------
    Kooks 1 7/8" race headers, Kooks ORY, Borla catback, Nitto 555R, LS6 intake manifold, Shaner S3 ported stock throttle body, SLP lid, smooth bellows, JAAM Ram Air kit, Elite Engineering catch can, LS6 valley cover, EGR and AIR deleted, Frost tune, and Simpson Racing child car seat in the back. 13.2 @ 108MPH

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    '02 WS.6 / '07 Suburban

    Good to know. I remember reading up on these back in 2010 when we bought our Suburban and seeing complaints about oil consumption issues.

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