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5.3 to 6.0 swap is it worth it ??

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Re: 5.3 to 6.0 swap is it worth it ??

Postby tsuintx » Feb 16 2020, 4:16pm

ThaDoubleJ wrote:I did this, newer truck though:

09 1500 5.3 to 6.0 Swap, For Real

Here's the gist: I'm at 5000 feet, with the 5.3 and a 4 speed my truck, and two others that we have at work, were pulling 11.5 second 0-60s. I did an L96 6.0 from a 2015 3/4 ton, it was almost plug n play, just had to change out the front cover to non VVT (factory harness plugged right in) and left the AFM plug hanging behind the manifold. I also had the trans rebuilt, put a shift kit, corvette servo, metal accumulators, stronger sun basket (that's not what it's called, I forget) and of course all new guts. I put a mild truck cam in, intake, exhaust, and a black bear tune.

Guess what? The truck is still slow. It weighs 11 tons and has a 4 speed. There's no air up here for it to breathe. I'm pretty frustrated to be honest. I can hit 60 in 9.5 seconds now, but I have to fart around with the accelerator to trick the torque management system (which I had turned almost all the way off). I can't do a burnout in 1st, but I can spin hard enough to activate traction control on the 1-2 shift.

Guess what else I got for my troubles...13 MPG on 91 octane fuel.

I haven't made it to a dyno yet, but I estimate that I should make a corrected-for-sea-level 415ish HP at the crank, which should equate to more HP at the wheels than my 5.3 made at the crank.

Doesn't matter, the truck weighs 11 tons, that's the end of it

I say not worth it. Get another 5.3 with less miles, put a nastier cam in it, maybe intake and heads, maybe headers (gotta be long tubes though, so prepare to move your cats and all that crap) and get a real tune on a dyno. Probably be faster than mine at that point and you don't have to do anything hokey with the wiring harness or computer. Then, if you have a 4L60E, it'll explode, so do that too while you're in there.

Again, mines an 09, don't know about the 01, but regardless of bore, valve sizes, cam, intake, exhaust, fuel etc., when I put my foot down, my computer says "NO" and won't let me haul ass. Plus, the truck weighs 11 tons.

On my Subaru, I didn't even have to pull the engine. Bigger turbo, intake, exhaust, fuel pump, and some other light modifications + dyno tune = dangerously fast in the lower gears. It hits so hard in 1st and 2nd I don't let other people drive it. It doesn't weigh 11 tons. It also makes 5 HP less than a stock 5.3... 4.44 gears don't hurt either.

What I'm saying is that if you want to go fast, get an Ecoboost, the one I drive for work is a missile. Doesn't sound as vicious as my Silverado though, that's for sure.


Thanks for posting this. My plan is to swap a 6.0 in mine when ever the 5.3 kicks the bucket. At 254K it’s still running good, just has pretty loud lifter tick every now and then. I’m not looking for better 0-60 times, mainly just getting rid of any AFM stuff.

Rebuilding the 5.3 with AFM delete kit is an option, of course, but depending on what kind of deal I can find on a 6.0, the swap might be cheaper. I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. For now, if it ain’t broke, I ain’t fixing it. :mrgreen:
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Re: 5.3 to 6.0 swap is it worth it ??

Postby ThaDoubleJ » Feb 16 2020, 5:34pm

Pretty much nailed it on the head, snow. Turbo cars and trucks are extremely prevelant up here. The diesel truck scene is so big we had to enact a law against rolling coal. So many Subarus they could move the factory here and save on shipping. Problem with turbos is the waiting though, spool is a thing, and we don't drive LS motors to wait for power. The ultimate answer? Don't move to Colorado.
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Re: 5.3 to 6.0 swap is it worth it ??

Postby ThaDoubleJ » Feb 16 2020, 6:08pm

TSU, my 5.3 also had an occasional lifter tick. I thought it was a plugged oiling hole because I didn't know anything about AFM. I'd bet 100 bucks you just need a set of lifters and an AFM delete to be good for another 100K, but that involves pulling the intake, heads, and exhaust manifolds. You have to get a tune, replace the valley cover, and you really should do an oil pump once you're in there. If you're doing an oil pump, you have to pull your diff (not actually that big of a job), drop your pan and pull your water pump and front cover. If you've made it that far, you'll be looking at your cam gear...pull the rad support and radiator and now it's a couple more bolts to pull and replace the cam. You've already got your heads off, why not send them in for some work? Maybe put a better intake on...a lumpy cam (you're already getting a tune, right?)

Only problem is, book time for all of that work is about 20 hours. Book time to R&R the motor? About 20 hours. (Took me 6 months, that's why I don't work in a shop anymore) Of course, one of them involves an engine hoist and stand, the other doesn't.
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Re: 5.3 to 6.0 swap is it worth it ??

Postby IceTea2001 [OP] » Feb 16 2020, 7:09pm

I also have a lifter tick on a cold start
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Re: 5.3 to 6.0 swap is it worth it ??

Postby ThaDoubleJ » Feb 16 2020, 7:13pm

Does your 01 have AFM? If not, that might be an easy fix. Do an oil change, substitute a quart of transmission fluid for one of your quarts of oil, drive 300 miles like you're a 100 year old lady, and then do another complete oil change. If at any point you see low oil pressure, drive straight home and do the oil change immediately. If that happens, you may have to do this procedure twice.
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Re: 5.3 to 6.0 swap is it worth it ??

Postby ferraiolo1 » Feb 16 2020, 7:40pm

Afm didn’t start till 07.5.


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Re: 5.3 to 6.0 swap is it worth it ??

Postby Walkers » Feb 17 2020, 1:51pm

It seems like adding boost is the answer, especially at elevation...[/quote]

Nah, getting the truck lighter than 11 tons would be the key! At that weight he has exceeded every rating on the truck! Now mine weighs half that much at 5 1/2 tons, or 11,000 pounds!
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