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Old     (al_d)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-17-2008, 7:35 AM Reply   
I have a 2003 Suburban to tow my MB B52. It tows ok, but seems just a little underpowered. I was going to step up to a 07 or 08 Suburban 6.0 1/2 ton or go with a 3/4 ton 6.0 to get a little more pull power.

Stock HP on the regular 5.3 is 320 (35 HP more than my 03).

Has anyone used any bolt on HP adds or a chip to boost HP? Does it make much difference?

There is a lot more selection in 5.3 Suburbans than 6.0. I have looked at Denali and Escalade, but rather stick with Chevy if possible.

Thanks for any input.
Old     (gbugg19)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-17-2008, 7:52 AM Reply   
You can do little things like exhaust, air intakes, Chips, throttle body spacers. All kind of liitle tricks. If you order a summit catalog in the back they have an area for just late model GM small block upgrades.
Old     (rallyart)      Join Date: Nov 2006       05-17-2008, 11:09 AM Reply   
Supercharger is easy but a turbo system works better. Both give you as much power as your parts and driveline will handle, or more.
A performance engine rebuild with head work and cam is always good.
None of these are the cheap easy fix.
Old     (lav)      Join Date: Jun 2007       05-17-2008, 11:20 AM Reply   
take a look at these turbos I want one BAD. It even says it increases MPG im sure if it was on y truck MPG would definitely drop
Old     (lav)      Join Date: Jun 2007       05-17-2008, 11:24 AM Reply   
Couple of videos
Old     (chpthril)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-17-2008, 11:47 AM Reply   
What is your rear end gear ratio?
Old     (al_d)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-17-2008, 12:21 PM Reply   
I will to use this as a daily driver. I drive 2500+ miles a month with work. I'll only drive a thousand miles a year maximum with the boat.

I would like to add maybe 20-50 HP without spending a lot of money or changing the gas mileage or drivability much. Turbo and super charger are probably out.

I'm fairly familiar with a lot of upgrades, I'm just wondering if anyone has added some HP and if they noticed much difference.

The regular 5.3 is 320 HP (the torque isn't listed) and the 6.0 is only 360. I think I've been spending a lot of time trying to find the right 6.0 burb at the right price, when maybe I should just upgrade a 5.3.

Head and Cam would be the biggest job I would pay for. Exhuaust and chip are more likely.
Old     (johnsvt)      Join Date: Dec 2006       05-17-2008, 2:05 PM Reply   
I would get a 5.3 with the 4.10 rear, GM performance cold air kit, and GM cat back exhaust is about the best compromise. I am not sure if PCMforless is doing anything with the new suburban right now, but I know he does a good chip for the previous generation.

The 6.0 in the suburban is nice but will use more gas than a 5.3. The 6.2 in the escalade and denali are nice motors but the AWD tends to hurt the mileage.
Old     (soundbox)      Join Date: Oct 2007       05-17-2008, 4:27 PM Reply   
Al D - Superchips programmer on my 05 5.3 make the biggest difference overall. Rev limiter, shift point, shift firmness, fuel rating, adjust for tire height changes, check and clear fault codes...... Best part about it is you can calibrate the engine and tranny for towing in about 5-10 minutes and then back to performance or stock just as fast.

Intake and Magnaflow exhaust would be the next best bang for the buck. Throttle body spacers are nice but some people do not like the whistle sound that they make. A set of quality headers would help your low - mid range torque.
Old     (al_d)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-19-2008, 12:41 PM Reply   
I'll probably go with the chip and see how well that works.
If it isn't enough I'll go with exhaust and headers. Maybe a cam.

Maybe the extra 35 HP in the new model will be enough.
Thanks for the advice.
Old     (malibudude)      Join Date: Feb 2001       05-19-2008, 12:57 PM Reply   
Skip the chip, can't possible make more hp unless more air comes in and out. I've been on the chevy forums and in the gassers it's a WOM imho.

Get a K&N intake system, a throttle body spacer and a bigger diameter mass air flow set up. More flow in and more flow out. Headman headers, dual exhaust, dual catalytic converters, dual Magnaflow mufflers with a cross over pipe do all in 2.25" diameter that's the ticket.
Old     (02wakesettervlx)      Join Date: Jun 2001       05-19-2008, 1:03 PM Reply   
I have the 6.2 in my Escalade, and I see about 19 on the highway. It does better than my PSD did. The Escalade tows better than any gasser that I've ever owned. In fact, part of the decision in going with the Caddy was the 6.2.
Old     (al_d)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-19-2008, 2:20 PM Reply   
I'd love to go with an Escalade or Denali, but I need seating for 8. At the Escalades price, I'll have to go used (07 or 08). It's really hard to find a second row bench seat on a used one. It's hard enough on a new one. Everything has the captains chairs.

I'm still looking. I'm just trying to add to my options with the 5.3.
Old     (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-19-2008, 3:33 PM Reply   
What's your towing mpg with the 6.2 compared to the PSD???? I've seen several people towing with that 6.2 and getting 7 or 8 mpg, that's not nice!
Old     (al_d)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-19-2008, 3:50 PM Reply   
I know you weren't asking, but my 5.3 2003 Burb, gets about 8mpg.
Old     (srh00z)      Join Date: Jun 2003       05-19-2008, 4:15 PM Reply   
I would work on air intake/exhaust first. I have had a few LS1's and that is a great bang for the buck. Heads/cam uprgrades do really well on LS1 motors, but will be more costly and involved of course. The heads/cam will also be more effective if you do the intake/exhaust. is a great site for research.
Old     (tomfish)      Join Date: Apr 2003       05-19-2008, 5:46 PM Reply   
I have 2003 chevy w/ 5.3 and it has airraid intake, borla exaust, hypertech programmer, tb spacer, and descreened maf, and it towed my 97 sunsetter pretty damn good but when we just upgraged to the 07 23LSV it is waaaaaaay heavier and the truck really struggles now especially on hills. Not many more upgrades you can do just bolt on. But the one I have do make a nice difference over stock.
Old     (al_d)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-19-2008, 5:54 PM Reply   
I had an 06 VLX and my 03 worked fine. Now I have a 22' MB. I think about halfway between the old VLX weight and your LSV.

I'm not even going to bother with upgrades on my 03. I'll get an 07 or 08 and start out with an additional 35 HP.
Old     (02wakesettervlx)      Join Date: Jun 2001       05-19-2008, 7:40 PM Reply   
I haven't figured out what my 6.2 gets towing, but it's better than 7 or 8. My PSD had about the same sized fuel tank. I towed my X Star from the dealer to my house, through town and used a 1/4 tank. My PSD would have used the same. The trip from the dealer to my house is 1.5 hours, I think about 50-60 miles.
Old     (tanner)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-19-2008, 8:01 PM Reply   
DO NOT GET THE STS turbos if you tow a boat. I talked w/ the manufacturer extensively about this. He warned against it.


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