Chevrolet Performance 5.3 swap

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by rileyjr16, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. rileyjr16

    rileyjr16 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    So after a bit of deliberation, I have decided that one day once I'm in the Navy and it comes time for a new truck, I'm not going to get one. Instead I'm thinking about doing what [MENTION=12279]Tachyon[/MENTION] did. Buying a new performance replacement engine and going that whole route.

    After a bit of searching, I came across a Chevrolet Performance 5.3/327 High Output. Same as a 383 is for a 350; drop in replacement essentially. I'd probably do this myself using MOST accsessories off of my old engine and some help from some Navy buddies probably unless I can get a professional to do it while I'm away. Eventually I plan on lifting the truck 3 inches and putting on 33s and regearing and this is probably when I'll do it. Sure will be alot cheaper than a new truck.

    If I do this I plan on adding a air intake, a "custom" exhaust system to help it breathe better and maybe even a tune to squeeze a few extra horses out. Not sure yet if I'll rebuild my 4L60 or get a new 4L80 trans to stick behind it.

    Anyone know anything on those engines? I have provided a link to the engine from JEGS. Sure does look pretty.
  2. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    The good thing about your choice is that once in the Navy you will have access to what they call a hobby shop. The hobby shop is where you can go work on your truck and have the use of the lift and some tools. Most also have a guy that works there to assist you should you need help. The one at MCAS Cherry Point usually had a few guys that were always up to help pop and swap motors. So where evere you get stationed you may get lucky and have people that would like to helpout.
  3. Skippy

    Skippy Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    My father was US Army... Man were those Hobby Shop bays cool. All the tools you needed, just drive in get'er'done and drive out.

  4. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I was just gonna mention the Auto Hobby shop, they also normally have deals set up with local vendors so you can get a better price on parts and machine work.
    Some Auto Hobby Shops are set up so the vendors will pick up and deliver parts to the hobby shop during normal working hours.
    Every one of them I've ever been to has lifts and cherry pickers along with bench's, drill presses, and many other tools all available for you to use at the Hobby shop.
    Just one more of your little known Military benefits provided by the MWR.
  5. rileyjr16

    rileyjr16 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    See I probably wouldn't have know about the Auto Hobby Shops if someone would have told me.
  6. Tachyon

    Tachyon Rockstar 100 Posts

    Sounds like a plan. Here's a few thoughts in case you are interested in my two cents.

    - Have you looked at the GMPP versions? I was going to go with a third party vendor and get some friends to help with the swap, but after considering everything, I put off the whole thing for a year and saved up to have it done at the dealer. The primary reasons for this were a) warranty through any GM dealer b) emissions compliance

    - Regarding transmissions, if you have a 4L60E now, I'd upgrade because once you start upgrading, it's hard to stop adding power. The 4L60E is a little weak so you don't have a lot of room to grow. GMPP has a 4L70E made for rodders and swappers. More power handling and available stand alone controller to make it work with anything. And again, it comes with a warranty.

    - I absolutely recommend going with a full stem to stern upgrade plan. A hot engine that can't breathe is a waste of your hard earned money. I'd spec, price, and plan for a Cold-air intake kit, shorty headers, and exhaust system.

    - Definitely do the headers at the time of the engine swap, even if that means putting it off a little longer to save the money. It's much easier to do at the same time as the engine swap and will let the engine breathe better from the get go. Shorty headers let you mate to the factory exhaust which lets you upgrade that later. It also lets you purchase an off the shelf, custom fit manifold back exhaust system from someone like Magnaflow instead of having to pay more for an untested and unoptimized custom fit exhaust system.

    - Do your research. Google is free. Mistakes are expensive.

    - If you're lucky, there's a shop in your area that's got a dyno and is good with EFI-Live. That would be my final step in this stage of the upgrade.

    - Don't underestimate the value of a dealer warranty.

    Good luck and thanks for serving!
  7. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Since your in Canada I know the warranty works a little different, in the U.S. you can get the engine/trans as a carry out to install at home and you still get the same warranty. When the dealer installs the engine the dealer only warranties their work for 90 days so if your a mechanical type guy with the ability to do this job you'll end up money ahead by doing it yourself.
    But yea adding all the extra parts on at installation time makes a lot of sense and should save time and money, the worst part is you might have to wait a little longer to come up with the funds but it will save in the end.
  8. Sierraowner5.3

    Sierraowner5.3 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    another option on the tranny is to gut your 4L60, and rebuild it with 4L8o internals, should save you a few $$$.

    anther option would be a LQ9 swap for a escalade. i believe the excalades came witha 4L80. if you could find a lower mileage one with a good engine and tranny, it should all just bolt up. I think anyhow. just a few thoughts for ya.


Share This Page

Newest Gallery Photos