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how to get some more power out of a 5.3

More power from a 5.3l

Re: how to get some more power out of a 5.3

Postby 1500VHO » Oct 03 2012, 3:04am

Hi Sierra,

I posted this in another thread. Maybe it will help you..

Link: Carcraft

I hope this helped, :D
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how to get some more power out of a 5.3

Postby SilveradoZ-71 » Oct 03 2012, 3:22am

I will be looking into a new cam now thanks to you!!
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Re: how to get some more power out of a 5.3

Postby sierra07 [OP] » Oct 03 2012, 4:35am

1500VHO

Thanks for the link that does help me. The only thing is that now I realize that my tranny can't handle it I might as well forget doing any major mods to it. So just asking would I get any more power if even enough to worry with out of changing out my CATS and maybe some shorty headers or is that more trouble than help?

and a side point I don't really like my edge programmer the shift points are so firm it is jerky most of the time and the speed correction for my tires throws my ABS and Break lights off on the dash. So is that normal for all programmers, just edge, or my truck??? I might need to start a new thread somewhere for this I'm not sure.

Thanks for anything on both these questions.
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Re: how to get some more power out of a 5.3

Postby GarrettCobb » Oct 03 2012, 4:50am

Yeah they are very true, while cold air does make a bit of a difference it maybe be only 10hp
If you don't have headers I would get some shortys and if the transmission is a 6 speed 400hp isn't much stress on it, 4l60e... Don't even try it and expect longevity
But the guy talking about gears is correct, you probably have 3.42s, if not?, put 3.90 or 4.10 gears in it. Enormous difference.
Example, 3.06x3.42= 10.46x360(pounds of torque)
=3676 lb-ft of torque to the wheels
3.06 is first gear ratio of a 4l60 and 3.42 is the final drive gear
360 is just an estimate of the torque your making with the add ins given its the newer 5.3 making 335 torque
Change to a 3.90. 3.06x3.90=11.93x(360)
=4296lb-ft
That is 600 more pounds of torque to the wheels, which is a bigg amount, you will definitely notice that
Hope I could help
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Re: how to get some more power out of a 5.3

Postby 1500VHO » Oct 03 2012, 5:08am

sierra07 wrote:1500VHO

Thanks for the link that does help me. The only thing is that now I realize that my tranny can't handle it I might as well forget doing any major mods to it. So just asking would I get any more power if even enough to worry with out of changing out my CATS and maybe some shorty headers or is that more trouble than help?

and a side point I don't really like my edge programmer the shift points are so firm it is jerky most of the time and the speed correction for my tires throws my ABS and Break lights off on the dash. So is that normal for all programmers, just edge, or my truck??? I might need to start a new thread somewhere for this I'm not sure.

Thanks for anything on both these questions.


Hi,

Question 1: Long tube headers have proven to be the best answer for more HP and a broader torque band...
Shorty headers, in most cases and reports from web sites do not offer great results...
CATs - There are high flow cats out there, but long tube headers along with a good cat back system will gain more power for you...

Here's a link that compares stock vs shorty headers vs long tube headers: Fourwheeler

Question 2: If your want to more "real" power and possibly better gas mileage, get a Diablo InTune or Trinity. Then get in touch with Lew... He is here on this site as 06MonteSS... Also here's a link to his web site: Diablew He can get you a "custom tune" based on your particular engine combo. Several folks here on SS.com have used him, and swear by him... He made a BIG difference with my 6.0L engine in my truck. Shifts are firm at RPM, but not harsh... Normal shifts under day to day driving. I also got better throttle response, and gas mileage by 1.5-2.0mpg.

I hope this helped, :D
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Re: how to get some more power out of a 5.3

Postby camfire87 » Oct 03 2012, 6:37am

There's always a lot of confusion on this topic of how to get more power, so I would just like to make a few statements that should get everybody pointed on the right path...hopefully somebody will chime in if I misspeak or miss something altogether, but here goes.

Number one thing to know is that these truck come detuned right off the lot. The 5.3 is rated for 315-325 hp, but you aren't going to see all of that get used. The absolute best bang for your buck, and best thing you can do to let your truck use the power it has is to get it custom tuned (as was mentioned in the previous post) and that alone will make it feel like you are getting WAY more power than you actually are. The tune will allow your motor to run as hard as it is built to.

Next: if you just want more pickup off the line, you need torque. You can accomplish this by changing your gears, changing your tires, swapping trannies, or going all the way and getting a cam/crank setup that is built for low end power. Just don't be suprised when your top end suffers dearly for this. EG: I had an old farm truck that never went over 50km/h, so I threw in a 4.56 rear end. It could pull a house off its foundation, but i'll be damned if it could get up to highway speed.

If you want more top speed you need more horsepower, or if you already have enough horsepower you need to change the driveline to get that power delivered at a higher speed (note that your acceleration will drop steeply) eg: I had an old cutlass with 2.56 gears in the rear end. it did 150 km/h in second gear...but took a solid two minutes to get up there. As far as horsepower goes you basically need to dump in more fuel. (note that your fuel mileage will generally suffer). Of course you also need a certain amount of air to be able to burn that fuel properly in order to extract as much power as possible (this will result in higher efficiency, and possible increased mileage). Putting in bigger injectors is only useful if you have a fuel system that can provide adequate flow. Using that much fuel is only great if you have pistons,rings etc. that can take all the extra heat generated. Pumping in that much fuel is only useful if your air flow can keep up (that includes flow in AND out). Safe bet is that horsepower mods = economy loss.

This all being said, if you want your truck to go faster, push the pedal down farther. If the pedal is on the floor and it still isn't enough, then you need to get more air in and out. This is the only circumstance when a cold air intake is really worthwhile. At anything less than WOT a cold air intake is essentially useless. It will make a nice sound, and possibly get you a little better response, but the actual power gain is nearly negligible. You can get to the point where you are porting heads and putting in bigger valves, and if you are then you're building yourself a pretty serious machine.

Next stop (and probably the most important one IMHO) is your exhaust. The first and foremost thing I need to say here is that straight piping your exhaust is useless unless you have an EXTREMELY powerful engine with a turbo or supercharger, and are running it balls to the walls at all times (see: racing). By removing the backpressure that an exhaust system provides, you are GREATLY reducing the efficiency of the motor at lower rpms, and needlessly burning fuel without any real gains. Most people don't really understand the true purpose of an exhaust system, and assume it is merely to redirect toxic fumes away from the passengers and drop the decibel level of the engine. While it does do both those things, it also has a much greater purpose. Somebody who wants incredible top speeds will have a much different exhaust setup than somebody who wants a ton of power at their bottom end. Changing out your cats is beneficial if you have plugged cats. Otherwise, new trucks have fairly efficient cats from the get go, and any benefit from deleting or swapping them is very minimal and probably one of the last things I would recommend changing out. If you go and buy yourself a cherry bomb and slap it in, and cut off all the pipe behind it, be ready for terrible fuel mileage and an actual drop in power. MAKING YOUR EXHAUST BIGGER DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL MORE POWER. Your exhaust needs to be matched up with your intake so that a) the motor is not working too hard to force out the exhaust and b) has enough velocity to maintain a proper flow in and out of the cylinders. Bigger exhaust = lower velocity. smaller exhaust = higher velocity. A high end muffler has properties that will allow the amount of backpressure to change with the speed of the motor and let it breathe properly. A cheap muffler, simply said, will not do this. the piping after the muffler is also important in that the muffler was designed to have piping come after it, and will not work as well as it can if it doesn't have this. If you are going to spend some bucks anywhere, I highly recommend spending it on your exhaust. A performance exhaust shop knows all this and more, and can help you design the perfect system for your purpose. Be aware, though that you need to plan the exhaust to match up with other mods that you are doing in order for it to work harmoniously and as efficiently as possible. Long tube headers are great, they help a ton with air flow and getting some extra power. Shortys sound nice and that's about it.

So, my final piece of advice is to save up your bucks and get all your mods done at once. This way you can buy everything so it matches up with the rest of the package, and you won't end up having to continually change out different things to get it all working the way you want. Get a tune done AFTER you've done everything else, and that way your computer will know how to use all the goodies you've installed.

That's my rant for now, hopefully it all makes sense and is correct. (I'm working nights right now, so hopefully my lack of sleep hasn't made me delusional)
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Re: how to get some more power out of a 5.3

Postby 1500VHO » Oct 03 2012, 4:09pm

Hi Campfire,

No delusions there... In fact, I think it's spot on... What you really want on the street, and in a truck is Torque... Torque makes things move... As you so eloquently stated. I love the tractor example... :lol:

This is why I pointed to Long tube headers... They "seem" to broaden the power curve (torque) and add a little HP above 5,000rpm... But for most trucks, we don't run them at 5,000 - 5,700rpm all the time. I bet very infrequently... The down side of Headers of any kind, is longevity, heat in engine compartment, and maintenance keeping the bolts tight over time... However, I do like the way they sound and look. But in Michigan, with winter and salty roads, they would not last long!

My stock truck, 2005 Silverado VHO, with a Lew tune, Corsa dB cat back exhaust (Great muffler BTW) and Volant CAI, performs very strongly and runs past 140mph if I'm so incline to make it do so... Off the line, it will press your spine into the seat.. That's all I want... Is it the fastest truck or vehicle in my area, of course not! Is it the fastest vehicle I've ever owned, No. That prize goes to my 1969 Camaro with a 427cid and 4.10 posi. But my truck is sure more pleasurable to drive, gets better gas mileage, AND it can haul and tow stuff... That's why I love my truck!!!

So as a last word - a "Pro" tune (Lew) and Diablo programmer is the best bang for the buck... IMHO.

Take care and good read! :D
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Re: how to get some more power out of a 5.3

Postby DarkGothic » Oct 03 2012, 4:25pm

How much horsepower can you expect to tack on with popular mods such as CAI, exhaust, and handheld tuners? Just curious.
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Re: how to get some more power out of a 5.3

Postby 1500VHO » Oct 03 2012, 4:52pm

Hi Emily,

Not what the manufacturers claim.. If that were the case, my little motor would be over 400HP... The CAI in conjunction with a good Cat back exhaust system lets the motor breathe... Then Lew or a "Pro" type tuner can extract everything that the motor is capable of putting out. You'll "FeeL" a difference... How much, total?? I would like to think at least 20HP and 25f/lbs of torque. But without going to a dyno, or reading that a magazine has made ONLY these exact mods, it's hard to say.

My 6.0L LQ9 was rated by GM at 345HP/380ft/lbs Torque. Every magazine I've read states that the numbers are really 356HP/397ft/lbs Torque. So right off the bat GM was conservative. I truly believe that the engine is how putting out somewhere between 370-375HP and 415-420ft/lbs of torque. Only a dyno would be really able to detect these numbers...

But it's sure fun "bench racing" and telling stories... However, at my age, I tell the truth, rather than stretching it like I did in the ol' days...

I hope this helped, :D
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Re: how to get some more power out of a 5.3

Postby DarkGothic » Oct 03 2012, 5:13pm

I'm pretty sure my truck puts out well over 300hp. bhp or rwhp I don't know.
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