4.8 vs 5.3?!? - LS1TECH - Camaro and Firebird Forum Discussion



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4.8 vs 5.3?!?

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Old 04-02-2012, 03:56 PM   #1
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Default 4.8 vs 5.3?!?

I've done some reading on here, just wanna ask a simple question. I can get a 4.8 complete w computer harness complete for 800 with 90. This motor is going in a 82 Chevy pick up I don't plan on building up the motor or nothing crazy, just a realible daily driver. My question is, should I go with the 4.8 or save a lil more for the 5.3?
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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Any of the LS motors make great power for their size. In a basic P/U i'm sure you'll be happy with the performance of either motor. If not can always do a Cam swap pretty cheap and pick up 20 to 30 hp pretty easily.
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Old 04-02-2012, 04:58 PM   #3
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I really doubt if you could tell the difference between a stock 4.8 or 5.3 when your behind the wheel, so if you could get the 4.8 a lot cheaper I'd say go for it...plus might be a little better on gas
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:43 PM   #4
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Sweet! Thanks guys I just didn't want to get the 4.8 and later be upset I didn't do the 5.3 but like I said I ain't going for to much power just want a nice clean ls motor w decent power w no regrets
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Old 04-02-2012, 05:49 PM   #5
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I strongly disagree.

Even in a single cab the 4.8 is very noticeably weaker than the 5.3 and I would wait. If you were going to turbo it or something it would be different, but stock they feel very lacking to me.

I wouldn't even expect it to be better on gas, they seem to be down at the area of diminishing returns...need to work harder to move a heavy truck so the MPG are almost negligible.
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:01 PM   #6
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I personally would go with the 5.3 as well. I drove a fully loaded Suburban rental with a 5.3 and was pleasantly surprised with both the power and fuel economy. Actually got mid 20 mpgs on the flat lands of west Texas. That's impressive!

If your truck were an S10, I might opt for the 4.8 but the C10 is heavier.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:29 PM   #7
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Here's my take. I've got the 4.8 in my extended cab truck. 325K+ reliable miles on it. My buddy has the same year extended cab truck with the 5.3. I can tell a difference when I drive his. His has got more torque or "grunt" and the mileage is roughly the same. Maybe a hair better with the 4.8.

Either motor is super reliable. I would think you could get the 5.3 for about the same price.
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:08 AM   #8
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I guess 5.3 it is I just hate buying something used I've been screwed so much with this truck even if I get a low mileage 5.3 who's to say they took care of it? What are things to check/look for when looking at these salvage yards?
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Old 04-03-2012, 03:18 AM   #9
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Who's to say your even buying a 5.3? The 4.8 and 5.3 use the same block and heads. Only way to truly tell is to check the pistons for a dish or a flat top.

Who knows, that 4.8 your buying could be a 5.3. Or you might pass up on the 4.8 and buy a 5.3 only to find out later it's a 4.8.

Go armed with knowledge and a medium sized screw driver and a 5/8 spark plug socket. Pull any plug and poke around on the top of the piston and feel for the dish. If it has a dish it's a 5.3 if not, its a 4.8
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:14 PM   #10
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Thanks that's great advice, anything else I should Check when looking at these used motors? How can you tell if it's a 6.0?
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Low82C10 View Post
Thanks that's great advice, anything else I should Check when looking at these used motors? How can you tell if it's a 6.0?
6.0L blocks are cast with 6.0L on the outside. 4.8 & 5.3 blocks say 4.8/5.3 on the outside. That's why you can't tell them apart without looking at or feeling the top of the pistons. Flat top = 4.8L, dished = 5.3L.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:18 PM   #12
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I looked at two 5.3 vortecs just now, one was 600 bucks just motor no access. It looked super clean pretty much brand new I think it was 2002 or 03 fly by wire. There was another 5.3 that has 140k with the harness attached, for 500 bucks. The compression on that one was like 170-160 I think he said. My question is whats a decent comp pressure for something in that year range?
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:33 AM   #13
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Anyone?!?!
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:58 AM   #14
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4.8l w cam > 5.3l stock =$, get more for your money to get the project finnished faster.
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:12 AM   #15
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A cammed 4.8 is better then a stock 5.3 is what your saying? What kind of compression should I be looking around when looking at these used motors
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
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4.8l w cam > 5.3l stock =$, get more for your money to get the project finnished faster.
Maybe in a light car or lighter truck, but a full sized truck needs all the torque it can get IMO and then there is still room to cam the 5.3 down the road for even more power. It's basically like starting with a "hot rodded" 305 versus a HO stock 350. Give me the 350 and I will mod it later rather than hit a dead end with a 305.

As far as compression, a lot of gauges read different. My cammed ls1 was 190-205. My old 355 sbc was 170-180 on the same gauge.

So for a truck ls engine which have lower compression than the ls1, I would think the numbers you are reading are in the ballpark.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:42 PM   #17
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So would you recommned a 5.3 w 140k and 140-150 comp?
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Old 04-06-2012, 09:47 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Low82C10 View Post
I've done some reading on here, just wanna ask a simple question. I can get a 4.8 complete w computer harness complete for 800 with 90. This motor is going in a 82 Chevy pick up I don't plan on building up the motor or nothing crazy, just a realible daily driver. My question is, should I go with the 4.8 or save a lil more for the 5.3?
i had a 02 silverado with the 4.8, added a 80mm tb, exhaust, maf, tuner, and cai, i LOVED it and it ran great for 6 years. i sold it, but would recommend it to anyone
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Old 04-07-2012, 04:08 PM   #19
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I just wanna make sure since my wife is flipping out since we been screwed w this truck plenty of times, she's all freaked out the used motor from JY will not be good
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Old 04-07-2012, 05:45 PM   #20
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I would do a 5.3 as well,or look for a lq9,4, wait for the right motor and do it right the first time, later down the road if you plan to mod you will be happy about the better motor
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