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Old 12-23-2012, 06:47 PM   #1
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5.3L chev engine with tow/rv cam replacement.

Happen to see a video the other day on changing out cam on the chev/gmc 5.3 -5.7 L motors.

was wondering if anyone had a motor and has done this change out and did it help with

towing, better by adding more power/torque and
did it give better MPG as well..

is this possible with 5.7L toyota engine?? i see it a dual overhead cam system.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
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I have often wondered about such things as this. I'll be following this closely. I have the 5.3L. Love to get 2 more MPGs!
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:06 AM   #3
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I used to mess around with hotrods, built engines, changed all kinds of internal components from pistons to cam shafts, and everything on the outside, and in previous engine families like the old Chevy 350's there were lots of gains to be had. I even had a computer dyno program that I did a lot of playing with changing different specs in the engines like compression ratio, camshaft profiles, valve size, head flow, etc., to see what improvements were available.

The first thing that became apparent was after displacement, compression ratio was the biggest factor at making horsepower, and then came valve size and head flow. The cam shaft profile actually was where the least amount of gains was available. Even so, if you could get one horsepower per cubic inch, you had a good performing engine.

However, now days with engines like the GM 5.3L (about 320 cu. in.) the manufacturers are exceeding one HP/cu. in., and doing it with normal asperation (no supercharging), and with reliability and economy. Simply amazing to me.

So, having said all of this, personally I would not mess with the new engines available today by swapping parts in hopes of getting better performance. The computer control systems used today, the induction, injection systems, and ignition systems are so good, it would take something magic to improve on them. This is just my opinion.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:45 AM   #4
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I tow with a 5.3 with 90k miles. I haven't changed anything but when I ordered it I got high ratio rear end.3.73 I believe. I pull 30' with no issues. Mountains would be a,different story though. I get 11 mpg towing in Florida.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tater View Post
I tow with a 5.3 with 90k miles. I haven't changed anything but when I ordered it I got high ratio rear end.3.73 I believe. I pull 30' with no issues. Mountains would be a,different story though. I get 11 mpg towing in Florida.
What year model truck is the 5.3 in, and does it have the 4 or 6 speed transmission?
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:28 AM   #6
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I have had two aftermarket cams in my truck as a learning experience as much as anything else. I also have had Thorley Tri-Y headers (favor torque production between 2,500 and 4,500 RPMs) and have made a number of other changes. My truck is a 2000 K2500 Yukon XL with the 6.0 (same engine family as the 4.8, 5.3, 5.7 & 6.2 L Gen III and Gen IV small block V8s) and has a 4.10 rear axle.

I am currently running a 200/206 (intake/exhaust duration) cam which does give me more torque and good manners at idle. The newer small blocks have variable valve timing and more complex computers, and I probably wouldn't fool with a cam change if I were youl.

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Old 12-24-2012, 09:55 AM   #7
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I have an 05 silverado extended cab 1500. It is a four speed and in Florida I can tow mostly in overdrive.
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Old 12-24-2012, 10:31 AM   #8
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With the newer PCM power-plants probably the most cost effective mechanical route would be improvements in the intake and exhaust system. Open up restrictions in both, add/improve cold air intake will, in my experience, give very good results.
A quality integrated system could add 15-20hp and 1-3mpg.

Another stand alone option is the Computer Programmer, I am using the Flashpac on our 8.1 Burb with excellent results. Several included tune options, perf, econ, towing, along with time distance logs, fault code read-out/clear, tire diameter, transmission shift points etc. Econ mode on our 496ci adds about 1-1.6mpg, doesn't sound like much but adds up over time.

Remember any mod's will take time to amortize, so it's important to rationalize carefully. The more you plan to tow the better.

Bob
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:00 PM   #9
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Carl,
Bob makes a good point about the powertrain control module/engine control module. Each time that I have changed the cam, I've had to adjust the volumetric efficiency table because of the effect of the cam. I use a software/hardware solution called EFILive FlashScan that is capable of broad spectrum tuning changes plus engine/transmission parameter logging and diagnostics. There's a big learning curve associated with learning this type of software. I also own a tuner similar to what Bob is talking about. Regardless, I don't recommend this route unless you're really interested in learning a lot about performance.

Also, to your question about the DOHC Toyota 5.7 L engine, a cam change on that engine involves replacing 4 camshafts and not many aftermarket cams are available for this engine series.

Steve
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:37 PM   #10
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Carl,
I've re-read your original post and given it some thought today as I've done some chores around the house today. The whole engine/transmission/rear axle setup on modern trucks (and other vehicles for general use) represent a highly refined compromise between the goals you stated (torque/HP/fuel economy). Added to your list would be durability of the components, noise/harshness/vibration and a well-behaved vehicle regarding drivability. So doing anything to increase power (HP and torque are different ways of viewing the same animal if you throw the variable of RPM in the picture) will hurt fuel economy. This might not be true if it weren't for the fact that the modern computer-controlled drivetrains are designed to optimize everything all the time (mixture, spark, etc.). A performance based air intake system or less restrictive might gain 10 to 15 HP, but it would be noisier too! There is no magic bullet...only silver bullets!

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Old 12-26-2012, 07:08 PM   #11
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Instead of fooling with cams, an after market programmer does more in the power/torque department. All factory computer settings come with the mildest settings for the most mileage for the most average driver. After market programmers can maximize for towing and mileage. A lot of diesel owners use programmers as do some gasser owners. I have a Mike's SCT 5 Star and have mine set on 89 octane tow/performance and it makes my V-10 a screamer.

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Old 12-27-2012, 04:08 PM   #12
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in doing a bit more looking around i see the "chipping" one is the way to power and fame.. I don't own a TV at this time just trying to get a feel for what is out there and is the best "bang for the buck" deal.

The ford eco boost are have issues it seems so not a play, the BMW diesels are nice but expensive rides, same with MB deals, dodge cummins diesel are nice but the diesel overhead issue, so it looking like a hemi dodge or chev/gmc silverado/sierra deal.

my BIL (brotherinlaw) had a 31 or 32 foot SOB that when fulled loaded topped out well over 10K. He was pulling with a 5.3L tahoe and pro hitch. He was telling me last night when pulling around the east coast was fine but when they hit some "hills" it struggled. When asked about pulling the MTn of nc he said they never went west so not sure how it would do.

I do not think he "chipped his ride" and i know he got a newer tahoe that pulled worse that the older one..(same 5,3L) His new TV is a ford 2012 f-250 SD 4 door powerstorke 6.2L diesel hooked to a 42ft 5th wheel deal.. and yes the SD pulls better.

SO how has "chipn" helped the V-10? better power/torque,. better MPG both on hook and off..? what are MPG before and now after chipping..

looking for answers past the rainbow.. and suggestions from all.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:33 PM   #13
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Carl,

You have not said what size/weight trailer you are thinking about, that I have seen. It would help us help you if we knew that.

However, seems you are considering a 1/2 ton truck, and I were considering a 1/2 ton, which by the way I just went thru all of that exercise, I would go with the Ram 5.7L with the 3.92 rear gears. It should easily tow most any Airstream, but the payload would be an issue with the largest of them, but it would also be with any 1/2 ton. Or, the Toyota with the 5.7L would also work, assuming you want to send some of your money to Japan.

Just my thoughts.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carl2591 View Post
Happen to see a video the other day on changing out cam on the chev/gmc 5.3 -5.7 L motors.

was wondering if anyone had a motor and has done this change out and did it help with

towing, better by adding more power/torque and
did it give better MPG as well..

is this possible with 5.7L toyota engine?? i see it a dual overhead cam system.
Carl

I worked as a student engineer many years ago in the engine development for Pontiac Motor Co. I don't think you are going to improve one iota the performance or economy by changing any of the hardware. If anything the performance will diminish. The factory has already maximized the performance and economy using the best test equipment and dinamometers available.

You might try changing a computer chip. I still think it will be a waste of time and money. There is just no free lunch. Also my favorite "new solutions have new problems". At least if you try a new chip, it is easy to go back to the original setting or "chip".

The Toyota 5.7 already gets pretty good fuel economy if you go with 2wd and keep it under 60 mph. I get 13 mpg when towing my 66 Tradewind. Believe me I have plenty of power and torque.

Dan
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