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Unread 05-14-2014, 11:50 AM   #1
nzpete
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Opinions Please 5.3 SBC

I've been offered a 2003 SBC 5.3 engine with wiring harness/computer, but minus the alternator and PS pump. The guy wants 700 bucks for the whole setup and that appears, to me, to be a great deal. Any issues, pro or con, with this year model? Suggestions?
It is going to go into my 95 YJ.

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Unread 05-14-2014, 01:54 PM   #2
Jeepsr4me
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what trans you gonna use? And yes that 5.3 is GREAT....
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Unread 05-14-2014, 02:28 PM   #3
nzpete
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Originally Posted by Jeepsr4me View Post
what trans you gonna use? And yes that 5.3 is GREAT....
I picked up an SM465 for 50 bucks last weekend and plan on doing a rebuild. I will, most likely, buy an adapter to mate up the 231.
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Unread 05-14-2014, 02:35 PM   #4
yjcrawlr
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You are looking at a $627 kit to adapt a ls motor to sm465!
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Unread 05-14-2014, 02:59 PM   #5
nzpete
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Originally Posted by yjcrawlr View Post
You are looking at a $627 kit to adapt a ls motor to sm465!
Yes, I see the kit cost.
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Unread 05-14-2014, 04:16 PM   #6
Randonexplosion
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The only drawback I see for that year of engine is that the throttle body is Drive by Wire. But some people prefer that over cable. You can always swap it out to a DBC if you want to. Are you dead set on staying manual? I love my 4l60e.
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Unread 05-14-2014, 05:53 PM   #7
nzpete
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Originally Posted by Randonexplosion View Post
The only drawback I see for that year of engine is that the throttle body is Drive by Wire. But some people prefer that over cable. You can always swap it out to a DBC if you want to. Are you dead set on staying manual? I love my 4l60e.
I'm not put of by DBW, but will most likely do what is easier or most cost effective.
I'm not averse to an automatic, and wouldn't mind the opportunity to pick one up and rebuild it for the experience, but I have the SM465 already.
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Unread 05-14-2014, 05:55 PM   #8
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Auto for the win...... That manual you got is more than strong enough. But for some hard mountain trails were you got to just lay into it to get to top, you dont want to be shifting..
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Unread 05-14-2014, 06:40 PM   #9
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Early ones have cold start piston slap due to centered wrist pin (I think my 2002 tahoe does). Later Gen 3's have them offset. check ls2.com ls1tech.com they use to be big boards, not sure if they are anymore. Also intake manifold seals and knock sensors are also an issue. Do searching before you button everything up so you dont have to do it twice.
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Unread 05-14-2014, 06:52 PM   #10
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I like the DBW. The 4l60 seems to be a great trans, breeze to rebuild
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Unread 05-14-2014, 07:23 PM   #11
rykemc
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On the 5.3 motors, stay away from the newer body style GM 5.3 motors. 07 and up. They are junk compared to the earlier 5.3.
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Unread 05-14-2014, 07:56 PM   #12
Randonexplosion
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YJ4LIFE View Post
Early ones have cold start piston slap due to centered wrist pin (I think my 2002 tahoe does). Later Gen 3's have them offset. check ls2.com ls1tech.com they use to be big boards, not sure if they are anymore. Also intake manifold seals and knock sensors are also an issue. Do searching before you button everything up so you dont have to do it twice.
Good to know what my noise is. Goes away after 15-20 seconds. Never did it in the donor. My girlfriends 03 Tahoe doesn't do it and it has more miles than mine.
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Unread 05-15-2014, 05:56 AM   #13
nzpete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YJ4LIFE View Post
Early ones have cold start piston slap due to centered wrist pin (I think my 2002 tahoe does). Later Gen 3's have them offset. check ls2.com ls1tech.com they use to be big boards, not sure if they are anymore. Also intake manifold seals and knock sensors are also an issue. Do searching before you button everything up so you dont have to do it twice.
Thanks. I did a bit of research and it seems to be a widespread issue, and not limited to the 5.3 of any year group or even manufacturer. For 700 bucks with the wiring harness, and computer, I will probably go ahead and buy it.
Thanks, too, for those that suggested the automatic. I've always been a manual shiftin' kind of dude, but I just might opt for a used automatic and then rebuild.
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Unread 05-15-2014, 06:30 AM   #14
Chrisnvegas
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The 5.3?
It's a GREAT motor.

This magazine bought a used one with 160,000 miles, hooked it to a dyno, installed twin turbos just to see how much it could handle before bowing up.
After 70 dyno "runs" - 6300 rpms, 24 lbs of boost, they hit 1308 horsepower! On an old motor!

They were not able to "blow" it up, a lifter collapsed. They replaced the lifter and pushrod and it fired right up.

http://www.truckinweb.com/tech/engin...mm_turbos.html

What did you want to know?
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Unread 05-16-2014, 05:38 PM   #15
nzpete
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Okay, couldn't let the deal go, so I picked up the 5.3 complete with harness and computer. It came out of a 2003 Silverado and looks to be in very good shape. The truck it was pulled from had 80,000 miles on it.
I'm going to start cleaning it up and weld up a run stand so that I can make sure there are no issues. I have the SM465 for it, but after some of the comments, I'm seriously considering an automatic. It seems like an auto would be an easier swap. True?
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