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Needing help in increasing performance in my '96 5.7

Discussion in 'Towing & Trailer Tech' started by BobLisaRVing, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. BobLisaRVing

    BobLisaRVing New Member

    I'm a newbe here, so please bear with me. The wife & I are retired & we travel alot in out 30' rv which we are going to pull with our 96 chevy K3500 / 5.7 Vortec / 5 speed that i just purchased. I have looked all over the internet trying to find the hp & torque & finding different answers. So, maybe I can find it here from Chevrolet owners. Also, what can I do to increase the performance exterior since I will be towing a 5th wheel. Any information will be appreciated. Thanks
  2. buckmeister2

    buckmeister2 Member 1 Year 100 Posts

    Your '96 5.7 was rated at 255 Hp and 335 torque. I had a '96 1500 with the 5.7, and loved it. I found that the addition of a Cold Air Intake and a cat-back exhaust freed up some ponies, maybe 10-15. The '96 models still had a somewhat restrictive intake/exhaust system, so those mods helped. Many folks are still putting them on the newer trucks, but finding there is little or no diff due to the improved actory systems on newer vehicles. After the intake and exhaust, you are probably looking at a bumped up cam, and possibly headers (headers by themselves will do very little). You did not mention what gears you have in the truck, and that could be critical. Most 30' 5th wheels are pushing 8K pounds, at least, and some could go to 10K pretty easily. If you have 3.42 gears, that will be asking a lot from a 5.7. Even the 3.73 would be not much help. Your best bet might be to go with 4.11 gears, which should easily get you into the sweet spot of your engine under 65 mph. Of course, if you have 4wd, the gear changeout is quite costly.

    If the engine is in good shape, your cheapest bet should be intake, exhaust, a custom tune, then cam and headers, in my opinion. And, keeping an eye out for a good deal on gears.

    good luck.

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