Engine swap '04 Tahoe 5.3 to 6.0

rockola1971

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I'd go with aftermarket exhaust manifold bolts, possibly ARP. I bought some stainless #8 bolts iirc from Michigan Motorsports.
If you're not sure about the O rings, if you have a Harbor Freight locally they sell a whole O ring kit with a bunch of different sizes for a really reasonable price.
Since OP has some time...he can just order up if he doesnt have one locally. Mine is like 10mins from my house! :p
 

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Let's see some pics or description of gussy'd up engine compartments. I regret not painting the block now, but what's done is done. However, I've been considering spraying some paint color on the accessory bracket after seeing how much better a fresh coat of black paint on the balancer looks.....nevertheless, seeing the balancer once it's all back together isn't the easiest. If you spent some time with paint or other details in the engine compartment, let's see. I'm all eyes on suggestions. Thanks again.
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Little duplicolor HiPo Pontiac Blue to go with the blue body color. And the blue catch can.
I'm not a big fan of painting or dressing up under the hood.
I follow the old adage " chrome don't get you home ".
 

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I've seen two different style exhaust manifold bolts, 1 with a smaller head and 1 with a larger head. I'm guessing they were updated by GM to try to stop them breaking off in the cyl heads.

I've used the same Dorman manifold bolts on an '05 (Gen3) and on my '08 (Gen4). I didn't pay any attention to the head sizes of the originals. I'd get ARP and use high-temp anti-sieze.


Which exh. manifold bolt is the better, or newer of the two? Just about ready to reinstall the exh manifolds. Is there any factory manifold that is a better choice, perfomance wise, than the standard truck manifold off the original 5.3? I'm not sold on changing to headers at this point, from a cost standpoint and the fact that they heat up the engine compartment.

I think all the LS-series truck engines use the same exhaust manifolds.


I've seen replacement studs & hardware available for the outlet side of the exh manifolds. Is replacing those a "gotta do it" thing or will the original rusty ones live on for another 300k? The nuts took forever coming off, but no thread galling or breakage.

I wouldn't call it a "gotta do thing". They're not known to break nearly as much as the ones at the head are. IMO, it's just hardware and, therefore, a relatively cheap upgrade to be more easily serviceable later should something happen. Doing it now, while you have easy access is the benefit. You could drill out the threads and use quality bolts and hardware to clamp the joint. If a bolt breaks or if you ever need to separate that joint and the hardware is seized together, you can cut it off with no real affect the manifold.


The original crank position sensor and cam position sensor were functional when I tore everything down. I looked at replacing both with GM parts but GM is pretty proud of those things now. Last time I had looked they were ~$50 for both IIRC. So I guess I'll be re-using my originals. However, I'd like to replace the O-rings to ward off any oil leaks from these 2. Anyone have a part # or O-ring part # for these two? I found a seller on Ebay offering a replacement for $20 but figured I'd see if there is a common O-ring I can source locally?

Since they don't have any moving parts, the cam and crankshaft position sensors last a really long time. Personally, I'd replace them to ensure that those two critical signals are as accurate as possible for tuning of the new engine. I don't think they degrade up until their death, like oxygen sensors, for instance, and they're not terribly difficult to replace. So, it's not an absolute necessity if you really don't have it in the budget to replace them. I'd check with Napa for O-rings. The one near me carries a nice assortment of them and they're not cheap rubber that will harden and crack within a year. I'm not sure what the ones Harbor Freight has are made of. Aim for Buna-N (AKA "nitrile"). You might could measure a sensor or the O-ring on the sensor at the parts store and source the O-ring yourself.
 
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mattt

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Recently, I picked up another big beefy piece of the puzzle for the Tahoe transformation, a 14B SF "AXN" rear axle from a crashed 06 Escalade 2wd that showed up locally. My original 10B rear axle is functional and quiet, but I figured why not...with the 6.0 swap and the factory spec-ing this axle for 2wd 6.0 applications, which my Tahoe is 98% of the time, except those rare times that I hit the 4wd button. Thankfully these axles only came in 3.73 gear ratio, which matches the Tahoe. Also managed to score the gauge cluster from the same Escalade and it shows ~180k miles. I popped the rear cover to have a look and check the magnet with that mileage, but everything looked really good inside. No limited-slop-gov-lock-bomb but that's okay.

Hopefully it's a straight bolt-in but that will be figured out once the engine is complete and the trans gets done. I didn't get the track bar, as they visually looked the same between the Tahoe and Escalade. Driveshaft I didn't bother with since the length was wrong, 2wd v 4wd. One minor difference I've already spotted is the drop down brake line difference. The Escalade axle has separate lines for each side and the Tahoe has a single drop line that splits side to side on the axle....shouldn't be too much of a hurdle though.

The only drivetrain piece that will be untouched is the transfer case. But that brings up a question, does the 1500 transfer case in an 04 Tahoe Z71 suffer from the same problem I've read about in the 2500HD transfer case....aka "pump rub?" If it does, how can it be checked for? Is there a thread with detailed info in the 1500 T-case?

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rockola1971

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Recently, I picked up another big beefy piece of the puzzle for the Tahoe transformation, a 14B SF "AXN" rear axle from a crashed 06 Escalade 2wd that showed up locally. My original 10B rear axle is functional and quiet, but I figured why not...with the 6.0 swap and the factory spec-ing this axle for 2wd 6.0 applications, which my Tahoe is 98% of the time, except those rare times that I hit the 4wd button. Thankfully these axles only came in 3.73 gear ratio, which matches the Tahoe. Also managed to score the gauge cluster from the same Escalade and it shows ~180k miles. I popped the rear cover to have a look and check the magnet with that mileage, but everything looked really good inside. No limited-slop-gov-lock-bomb but that's okay.

Hopefully it's a straight bolt-in but that will be figured out once the engine is complete and the trans gets done. I didn't get the track bar, as they visually looked the same between the Tahoe and Escalade. Driveshaft I didn't bother with since the length was wrong, 2wd v 4wd. One minor difference I've already spotted is the drop down brake line difference. The Escalade axle has separate lines for each side and the Tahoe has a single drop line that splits side to side on the axle....shouldn't be too much of a hurdle though.

The only drivetrain piece that will be untouched is the transfer case. But that brings up a question, does the 1500 transfer case in an 04 Tahoe Z71 suffer from the same problem I've read about in the 2500HD transfer case....aka "pump rub?" If it does, how can it be checked for? Is there a thread with detailed info in the 1500 T-case?

View attachment 370843View attachment 370844
The area in the blue circle is where you check for worn through pinholes from the pump rub and all 246 Tcases have the problem. Easily solvable with the $20 anti pump rub plate unless there is already a hole worn through then the rear half case has to be replaced which is around $90.
 

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mattt

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The area in the blue circle is where you check for worn through pinholes from the pump rub and all 246 Tcases have the problem. Easily solvable with the $20 anti pump rub plate unless there is already a hole worn through then the rear half case has to be replaced which is around $90.
Thank you for that. That is the rear output, correct? I'm guessing disassembly of the T-case is required for the $20 anti pump rub plate to be installed. I'll be looking into this. Thanks again.
 

rockola1971

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Thank you for that. That is the rear output, correct? I'm guessing disassembly of the T-case is required for the $20 anti pump rub plate to be installed. I'll be looking into this. Thanks again.
Just the rear case half needs to be pulled which can be done in minutes once Tcase is removed from vehicle. There are tons of youtube vids on the 246 tcase.
 
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mattt

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Just the rear case half needs to be pulled which can be done in minutes once Tcase is removed from vehicle. There are tons of youtube vids on the 246 tcase.
Does it eventually happen to all 246 cases, or is it a "case by case" basis (pun intended)?
 

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