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How to get comparable vortec 5.3 power to ecotec 5.3

1382 Views 15 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  CJM8515
Hi I have a 2011 silverado 5.3 vortec that I do a fair amount of towing with. I think weight wise I am well with in my limits of towing (7x14 enclosed with 4 harleys max - about 6k loaded) is the biggest load I will tow. It does an okay job, but seems to struggle to maintain speeds over 60mph and expecially on hills. I don't think the load that I am trying to tow necessitates a diesel, and I have heard that the more horsepower that the ecotec 5.3 puts out seems to help the truck quite a bit in the tow department. Are there any bolt ones that I could do (headers, tune, exhaust) that will make my truck more comparable to a new one? To be honest I am suprised that chevy's main engine for these year trucks are down a minimum of 40hp when compared to the other trucks in that category for the year. Any advice? I really don't want to have to bite the bullet for a new truck becuase I find it kind of rediculous that the truck struggles to tow even 70% of the advertised tow ratings. I do use WDH when towing this amount of weight and keep my paid load numbers way down when possible. I have checked all weights and they are all in within tolerances of what the manual and internet seems to suggest. Not sure if I am asking too much of the truck or what?? Thanks in advance!! Help me not be the slowest tow vehicle on the road please! When I am towing this load it is for far distances (CT to Florida) so the more enjoyable I can make the ride the better.
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what gear ratio do you have? are you using tow/haul? is the trailer a flat front or v nose? steel or aluminum?

Also get some lighter bikes :D
Get rid of the hogs. Problem solved :). And yes the new 5.3s are a little stronger in power. But I think a regear would help the most

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ferraiolo1 said:
Get rid of the hogs. Problem solved :). And yes the new 5.3s are a little stronger in power. But I think a regear would help the most

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That's Blasphemy !!!
Hook the hogs up to tow the truck it will save gas and be an easy tow for the hogs ;) But for sure try a tune and some long tube headers then if not enough you`ll have to re gear it as posted already price it out re gear might be the cheapest to start because you`ll need all the other stuff together.
You will definitely see an improvement with a custom tune. If you tow a lot, 4.10 gears would greatly help out, along with Long tube headers. I would do 4.10 gears, Airaid intake, Longtubes, catback, and a tune. Should gain around 35whp or more plus the gears would help get the vehicle moving and maintain speeds uphill. The catback is mainly for sound tho and not needed, you may gain 3-5hp with a good catback.
What gear ratio do you have? That has to be part of it but it sounds like you may have another issue also. The truck should have plenty of power to pull that. Mine is an 11 (3.42:1 6L80) also and I have no issue maintaining 70 or more with that weight.
I'll personally will be regearing from 3.08 to 3.73 asap

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The truck has the 3.42 6L80 combo in it. I am running 275/70/r18 tires on it that seem to be pretty heavy (general grabber at2) which I am sure probably does not help. The trailer is an all aluminum enclosed 7x14 plus about 4 foot v-nose front. I was thinking of re-gearing, but for the money I am not sure it would really be worth it since the truck is 4wd. It's looking like a tune and a set of long tubes/intake may be my best go to option. I can get most of that for alittle over $1200 which isn't too bad. I just am nervous to do it and still not be happy with the truck. My buddy has a 5.0 F-150 and that thing would out tow my truck like nothing. I know peak hp numbers aren't everything when looking at the overall power of a vehicle but it is crazy that chevy was selling trucks that are down like 50-70 horsepower to the competition.
That's strange because its the complete opposite of that to me. F**D has come along in the last 4-5 years but before that especially with the 5.0 there was just no power there. And a 4.6 just had no business in a truck. Every F**D I have driven just cannot deliver with the gas engines. With that said on paper the new ones look decent but I haven't driven to see for myself.

You and I have basically the same setup and the vehicle your comparing to cannot begin to compare with mine. So this puzzles me. And not holding 60 MPH? Is a very long very steep grade? You have a problem somewhere. I would straighten that out before making the mods. How many miles on the vehicle? Does it run and idle ok without a load?
I would make sure you are using the Tow/Haul mode and maybe drop it into M5 to keep it from going into overdrive. Don't be afraid to let the tranny drop a gear or two and run at 2500-3000 RPMs. They have the six speed trannies high geared for mileage, not towing power at the top end.
Personal experience here. My 2012 1500 new would struggle going on overpasses. Sad right? I would be gunning it and maintain if not lose speed. Got an intune and changed a few things. It was an entirely different truck. Got the diablew tune and I can beat stock ram's with hemi's now. Mind you I also have a fully loaded tool box, HD bumper and 120lb winch.
As others have stated, gearing and a tune would be the most help. Torque is what you are after, more than horsepower. Torque is what you feel more than the horsepower, and the gearing would be the biggest seat of the pants feel and help you tremendously. If you do a lot of towing I would go with a least a 3.73. Mine has a 3.08 and when pulling heavy loads I don't have any issues as long as I keep it out of 6th gear. I also have a Diablew tune, which helped tremendously. If I towed a lot I would have already changed it to a 3.73, and with the tune it has, it would run circles around a 5.0 Ford.
How does it compare to the ecoboost?

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1. DiabLew tune or at least the 87 octane tune, trans firm shift tune and afm off.
2. 3.73 or 4.10 gearing
3. Tow haul mode and keep it in 5th
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