Best budget upgrades on a 5.3L rebuild?

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tRidiot

tRidiot

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The more I think about it, the more I think this is the way to go. A whole lot more money than I'd planned on putting into a 17 year old truck, but... I've already put so much money into building the stereo and electrical the way I wanted to over the years, if I sold it, I'd be lucky to get a grand or two out of it, and then I'd have to start completely from scratch on a new vehicle. AND be making vehicle payments, too. And I'm already gonna have to buy something else for The Wife this fall, as her Escape will probably go to my son when he turns 16.

It's always painful... and I knew it was coming from the day I realized the leak in my coolant was likely due to the 706 heads. That was like 3 years ago, so I am lucky I made it to 275k before this blew up in my face.
 

fasteddy

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The more I think about it, the more I think this is the way to go. A whole lot more money than I'd planned on putting into a 17 year old truck, but... I've already put so much money into building the stereo and electrical the way I wanted to over the years, if I sold it, I'd be lucky to get a grand or two out of it, and then I'd have to start completely from scratch on a new vehicle. AND be making vehicle payments, too. And I'm already gonna have to buy something else for The Wife this fall, as her Escape will probably go to my son when he turns 16.

It's always painful... and I knew it was coming from the day I realized the leak in my coolant was likely due to the 706 heads. That was like 3 years ago, so I am lucky I made it to 275k before this blew up in my face.

This gen Tahoe is Great! Thats why I'm restoring mine.
They are LS based and lighter than the later generations.
I bought mine on offer up for $3K and I'm at $9K and counting after audio, suspension, wheels, transmission and minor interior work.
I wish the seat belt was not integrated into the front seats....that sucks and limits seat choices.
But these seats are so much more comfortable than the new ones......And you drive a car from the inside, from the seat.
The aftermarket is friendly for parts and I just ordered a new carbon fiber cluster from digital dash with the trans cooler gauge...$250, very inexpensive.
My engine is next too but I can't decide on the config. 6.0/862? or 6.6L or AutoZone 6.0 with shaved 317s and cam.
But restoring is part of the fun......and so is not spending $85K on a new Tahoe.

Its cheaper to repower than to buy new.
And you mine Crypto, so you should have tons of money. BTC has gone from 4K to 60K in the past year.
Your drivetrain upgrade is only 1/10 of 1 coin. Sheesh.

AutoZone 6.0!
 
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tRidiot

tRidiot

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This gen Tahoe is Great! Thats why I'm restoring mine.
They are LS based and lighter than the later generations.
I bought mine on offer up for $3K and I'm at $9K and counting after audio, suspension, wheels, transmission and minor interior work.
I wish the seat belt was not integrated into the front seats....that sucks and limits seat choices.
But these seats are so much more comfortable than the new ones......And you drive a car from the inside, from the seat.
The aftermarket is friendly for parts and I just ordered a new carbon fiber cluster from digital dash with the trans cooler gauge...$250, very inexpensive.
My engine is next too but I can't decide on the config. 6.0/862? or 6.6L or AutoZone 6.0 with shaved 317s and cam.
But restoring is part of the fun......and so is not spending $85K on a new Tahoe.

Its cheaper to repower than to buy new.
And you mine Crypto, so you should have tons of money. BTC has gone from 4K to 60K in the past year.
Your drivetrain upgrade is only 1/10 of 1 coin. Sheesh.

AutoZone 6.0!

Yeah I just starting mining a couple of weeks ago. lol. I don't have enough to buy your dash cluster. lol
 

SUMTOY2

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So I'm going to need new heads - I've got the Castech 706s. Blew a head gasket, was looking at a motor swap, but I've got someone who'll do a rebuild for me. He knows what he is doing, but I'd like to think about upgrading some things while we're torn down.

I'm not worried about power, particularly. I don't tow, and don't see myself getting a boat anytime soon. It's got plenty to tow if I decide to pull a mower or two.I thought about putting in an LQ9 6.0, but the rebuild is looking like a good budget option at this point.

I don't know if I'll NEED new pistons, but I assume that is something we'll see once we tear it down. So, for heads, looks like they start at around $300 each at the local auto parts stores. Is there much reason to spend ~$1000 on heads?

I debated new exhaust manifolds or even headers. Main reason is I would like to improve my MPG somewhat. I assume this might require some modification to my stock exhaust. I might consider a new exhaust at some point. I know a rebuild probably will help my economy, but I was pulling 13-14 on the highway. I have 3 alternators and largish tires (Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Mud Terrain 275/60R20). A small 2" or so lift and new Bilsteins, my mileage took a hit with that upgrade from 15-17 down to 13-14. So... my understanding is headers would help, better intake might, too, but I think we're starting to get into some real money there (intake manifold, that is).

New camshaft? Not sure if this will help economy at all. I've read about it helping power and torque.

New higher flow oil pump?

I've already put electric fans on.

What else should I consider doing while we're torn down besides the basic rebuild kit, new seals, etc.?

I've got a little money to play with, but I just picked up a 1977 International Scout, so that's going to be my money pit for the future - the Tahoe is my grocery getter and family hauler.
Just my opinion but if you plan to keep it for a little while try a jasper motor. Replaced the 5.3 in our avalanche with one and what a difference! The avalanche gets up and goes and has plenty of towing power. You can add a bunch of quality parts and stuff but what kinda engine warranty do you get?
Our avalanche has a 3 year 100,000 mile warranty!
 
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tRidiot

tRidiot

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Well, crapola. Seems most of the major remanufacturers (including Nu Tech for Autozone and XP engines) are all 4-6 week backordered or more.


So I'm back to square one, looking for a low-mileage pulled motor on Ebay. :(
 
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tRidiot

tRidiot

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Man you bounce around more than a teenager in a house of ill-repute !!

I tried to order an engine from a couple of places and they're backordered over a month. I'm really sorry if that annoys you, but it kinda irritates me, too.


I don't have much choice, waiting another couple of months is a bad option for me.

And no, I can't pull a motor myself. If I could, I don't have a truck to haul one.
 
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tRidiot

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I really do wish it were cut and dry. I wish I could get this done in a weekend by someone good and just get my damned truck back.

It's been sitting for 3 months while I get funds together and try to decide what to do - I'd love to go out and just walk off the lot with a brand new or late-model truck. The really REALLY crappy thing is, I could do exactly that. I could walk on a lot and they would loan me whatever I wanted to spend to buy a vehicle - but I am trying to NOT add more debt, I got enough as it is. So it's super tempting, yeah. I'd love to have truck that warms up and blows cold and nothing rattles, and it's quiet and smooth running down the road, and has a warranty and the interior is pristine, and it's comfortable and soft, every little bell and whistle works.

I'd love to.

But I'm trying to make some small sacrifices for my future and my family's future. <sigh> So it's a little stressful. :(
 

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