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5.3L Truck Motor Cam-only

 
Old 03-13-2013, 10:09 AM
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Default 5.3L Truck Motor Cam-only

I figured that since so many guys are using these 5.3's in swap vehicles and putting cams in them, that it would be cool for everyone to see exactly what a 5.3 with a cam can make to the tires. While it may not be the most impressive numbers or set-up in the world, it is merely just for reference and for those interested to see what they can do.

To start, this vehicle is a 2001 C5 Z06 Corvette that the LS6 it came with grenaded itself and was taken out of commission. The owner could not find a suitable replacement for a cost he found reasonable and he had plans to supercharge it anyways with an A&A kit. This brought up the idea of, "why not just put a 5.3 in it, they LOVE boost!" So we decided to swap a 5.3l engine in it!

2001 C5 Corvette
-LM7(5.3 w/ dished pistons)
-Stock 862 truck heads
-LS6 intake manifold
-Tick Performance LS1 Stage 1 Blower Cam 226/234 .598"/.612" 115+3
-ARP Head Studs
-LS9 Head Gaskets
-Pinned crank pulley for future A&A S/C kit
-Long Tube 1x7/8" headers
-Factory air box and paper filter
-Off Road X-pipe
-Factory Cat-back exhaust

Dyno Graph with SAE correction factor applied:
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Last edited by [email protected]; 03-13-2013 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:26 AM
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that's pretty cool. i figured a cam of that size would pull farther into the rpm range. do you think the stock heads are limiting it in that regard?
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by s346k View Post
that's pretty cool. i figured a cam of that size would pull farther into the rpm range. do you think the stock heads are limiting it in that regard?
No, I don't. What a lot of people either forget, or fail to realize is that even though a 5.3 is smaller in cubic inches than a LS1/LS6/LS2/LQ4/LS3 or anything else with a 3.622" stroke, is that a 5.3 also has a 3.622" stroke and the same 6.098" rod length.

What this means is that a 5.3 piston spends the same amount of time at top dead center and bottom dead center as any other LS engine with a 3.622" stroke and 6.098" rod length. When I hear guys say that 5.3's need teeny tiny cams it just drives me nuts! If that piston is spending the same amount of time at TDC and BDC as any other LS engine with that length stroke and rod, why would you need to hold the valves open for a lesser amount of time or shut them sooner on a 5.3? The answer is you wouldn't.

Now, because they are smaller in cubic inch it does mean that they need a little less cam, but not 15-20 degrees in duration like some guys (and self proclaimed experts alike) say that they do.

Hope this helps to enlighten you and anyone else reading this.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:04 AM
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i understand.

just wondering why such a large cam in a 5.3 would peak at 6200. i'd expect that cam to replicate the graph in an ls1, but 30 whp higher.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:16 AM
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I'm also curious on the peak rpm of 6200. Was the 243 heads damaged from the previous motor ?

Will you also update the thread with the blower graph as well.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:40 AM
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Thanks for posting this. I was wondering what a 5.3 would make at the wheels. I wonder how this 5.3's power would compare to a LS1 with this setup just to see how valuable cubic inches are.

Ricer math time, add a 2% gain to match the LS1 compression of 10:1, that would take 351 to 358. I would think a LS1 with this setup used would be around 390rwhp. Just a guess though. Roughly a 30rwhp difference for the 25 less inches.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by s346k View Post
i understand.

just wondering why such a large cam in a 5.3 would peak at 6200. i'd expect that cam to replicate the graph in an ls1, but 30 whp higher.
Because it has the same stroke as a LS1.
Originally Posted by oldschoolmuscle View Post
I'm also curious on the peak rpm of 6200. Was the 243 heads damaged from the previous motor ?

Will you also update the thread with the blower graph as well.
See above paragraph on stroke and rod length. Piston spends the same amount of time ATDC and ABDC as a LS1/LS2/LS6 etc. They will all peak at the same RPM because the piston spends the same amount of time on the intake, compression, power and exhaust stroke. Therefore the operating range for a given camshaft will be nearly identical.
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Old 03-14-2013, 03:01 PM
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makes perfect sense. 5.3 is to 5.7 is to 6.0 is to 6.2. Generally each of the bigger pistons will net 20-30hp. Not to mention the LM7 is 9.5 SCR. Also consider there's negative overlap and the fact it carries to 6.5K is pretty sweet. Should be killer with the blower. Especially with 300ft/lbs at 3K right now!!
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:03 PM
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This is great to see. Thank you Martin for doing this.

What do you think it could pick up with a set of PRC 2.5 5.3 or LS6 heads?
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Old 03-14-2013, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Jenson View Post
makes perfect sense. 5.3 is to 5.7 is to 6.0 is to 6.2. Generally each of the bigger pistons will net 20-30hp. Not to mention the LM7 is 9.5 SCR. Also consider there's negative overlap and the fact it carries to 6.5K is pretty sweet. Should be killer with the blower. Especially with 300ft/lbs at 3K right now!!
Yes! Exactly! We're sitting right at 0 degrees overlap and it drives like a dream. Should work great with a centrifugal.
Originally Posted by roswald0511 View Post
This is great to see. Thank you Martin for doing this.

What do you think it could pick up with a set of PRC 2.5 5.3 or LS6 heads?
No problem! I knew this would enlighten a lot of guys doing this type of swap. On average we see a 20-30rwhp gain with those heads.
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:51 PM
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Subscribing to this thread. I'm looking to do a 5.3 build and these are some good numbers to see.
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Old 03-14-2013, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
No problem! I knew this would enlighten a lot of guys doing this type of swap. On average we see a 20-30rwhp gain with those heads.
Thanks for the information. Based on that info on the PRC heads, which heads do you think would work best with that cam and a single s480 on a 5.3 in that relative price range?
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by roswald0511 View Post
Thanks for the information. Based on that info on the PRC heads, which heads do you think would work best with that cam and a single s480 on a 5.3 in that relative price range?
I would use whatever castings you can get cheapest if it's a stock bottom end build. If it's a forged bottom end build then I'd worry about having a set of 243/799 castings CNC ported.
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Old 03-16-2013, 11:20 PM
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Martin,

I can't argue the piston speed with the same stroke and rod ratio. Things I think reflect the differences and food for thought.

Although stroke/rod ratio is the same, bore is different. Which means:
There is more volume to fill for the 5.7, 6.0, 6.2
Same sized valves means the larger bore can breath more easily due to the unshrouded valve.

I believe that as the cyl volume increases (5.3 to 6.2) if the same heads are used, a bigger cam would be required to keep the same peak as there s not enough duration to fill the cyl adequately. 5.3 to 5.7 not so much. At some point the valve is not causing a restriction as bore goes bigger.

Am i wrong in saying the smaller bore motor suffers with the bigger cam in the lower rpm. The small 5.3 bore won't pull the same vacuum as a 6.2 wearing the same top end.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by LIL SS View Post
Martin,

I can't argue the piston speed with the same stroke and rod ratio. Things I think reflect the differences and food for thought.

Although stroke/rod ratio is the same, bore is different. Which means:
There is more volume to fill for the 5.7, 6.0, 6.2
Same sized valves means the larger bore can breath more easily due to the unshrouded valve.

I believe that as the cyl volume increases (5.3 to 6.2) if the same heads are used, a bigger cam would be required to keep the same peak as there s not enough duration to fill the cyl adequately. 5.3 to 5.7 not so much. At some point the valve is not causing a restriction as bore goes bigger.

Am i wrong in saying the smaller bore motor suffers with the bigger cam in the lower rpm. The small 5.3 bore won't pull the same vacuum as a 6.2 wearing the same top end.
You're correct that the 5.3 bore will not pull the same vacuum, but the change in bore size is minimal and doesn't have the effect on peak torque and power RPM's you think it would. Piston speed and it's relation to TDC and BDC in the bore and how that correlates to the valve events that allow those cylinders to fill and allow exhaust gas to escape is what matters.

The LS1 Stage 1 Blower cam(226/234 115+3) has an intake valve close event of 45 degrees after bottom dead center. Here is my LS1 Street Heat Stage 2 cam(231/238 113+3) in a 4.0" bore LS2 engine with stock cylinder heads and a stock LS2 intake with the same 45 degree after bottom dead center intake valve close event and look where it peaks...at the exact same RPM. The 799 heads on the LS2 actually have a 210cc runner versus the 190cc runner on the 5.3 engine. The 799 heads also have a 2.00" intake valve versus a 1.89" intake valve on the 5.3 heads.

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And the 5.3 graph again:

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When two engines have identical runner length like the 5.3 and this 6.0 now in comparison, and they have the same intake valve close event along with the same rod length and stroke, they will peak at the same RPM's. Bore does not play hardly any factor in this equation. It is a very common misconception, but it is hard to wrap your brain around at first.
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Old 03-17-2013, 11:27 AM
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Dam if i can get my taho to make power like that ill be happy as hell.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:13 PM
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^Since it is an automatic in a MUCH heavier driveline I would expect a Tahoe to lose at the very least 30rwhp if not more because of the weight in the driveline and going through an automatic transmission.
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:33 PM
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I helped a buddy do a 5.3 about 5 years ago. Used a set of stage 2 ported 5.3 heads, a 224/224 cam, mid length 1 3/4 headers. That was basically it. His 4wd Silverado made a pich over 340rwhp with a 30" tire.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:18 PM
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The LS6 intake also seems to hit a wall just after 6K RPM and simply doesn't flow any more air.

Impressive numbers from a stock 5.3 bottom end.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:44 PM
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I always thought it would be interesting to see a budget 5.3L build on a 200shot...
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