trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

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jsharpe
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trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by jsharpe » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:26 pm

I have a 1980 Cherokee Laredo that I just pulled the old 360 out of. I was going to just get it rebuilt, but then got to thinking about the late model swaps. I know there are several on here who have done them. I would like to know how much trouble was it? was it worth it? would you go 6.0 or is the 5.3 plenty for a weekend driver? did the fuel economy improve much? Thanks for the input. JS


Blazer3664
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by Blazer3664 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:49 am

I've been wondering what guys are getting (for MPG) out of the 6.0 swap. My DD is a 2500HD with the 6.0, and has plenty of pep, but the fuel mileage is horrible.
1978 Cherokee chief AKA = Butt Ugly
Current status = BACK under construction
modified body w/TJ flares
AMC 360, junkyard TBI, 4L80e
NWF doubler w/ upside down 203
SOA D60/14B-FF
custom shackle flip w/F150 springs
H1 wheels + (for now) tires
-----Coming Soon-----
snorkels, home brew OBA+OBW

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j20owner
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by j20owner » Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:57 pm

6.0 burns more than a 5.3, that is for sure.
Tatsadasayago wrote:And here i thought Capitalism was hitting the Shift Key...

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The PIG Smith
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by The PIG Smith » Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:36 pm

I have a friend with a fairly new GMC Denali that is powered by a 6.0L.
He reported to me that he gets about 12/13 MPG... which I think is CRAZY!
I think with a super tuned AMC 360, a person could pull down 12/13.

Where I work, one of the company vehicles is an '08 Chevy Tahoe with a 5.3L with Active Fuel Management System that shuts off a pair of cylinder as you cruise up the Interstate.
It really does work well and that huge Land Yacht SUV can pull down 20MPG on a long trip, cruising on 4 cylinders for most of the way.
When you want to pass a truck or climb a hill, you just step down into and it feels like an old school 4 barrel carb kicking in.

I dunno how you could ever swap all that mess into another vehicle, like a FSJ.
Bryan Smith
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
- 5.7 HEMI powered
1982 Jeep J10
- Progress toward road-worthiness is being made!
1981 Jeep J20
- Commercial flat bed - Long term Project: RUST! Long term project (RUST!)

IFSJA Member #1933 Joined November 30, 2001

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j20owner
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by j20owner » Wed Mar 13, 2013 8:06 pm

I wouldn't own an AFM engine for any amount of money.
Tatsadasayago wrote:And here i thought Capitalism was hitting the Shift Key...

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Jeffsj
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Location: Prescott, Az.

Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by Jeffsj » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:02 am

I have over 6,000 miles on my 5.3 now and don't regret a thing. LOVE IT! The reliability and performance alone make it worth every penny and hour to me. I am getting between 15 and 17 mpg average, which beats my old 360 by a mile and vapor lock is a distant, horrible memory. The swap wasn't exactly cheap and unless you can do the work yourself, it may be a bit much to justify, but if you have the means I say go for it! It was a very challenging project, but also the most satisfying project I have ever taken on.
Jeff

Beast : 1979 Cherokee Chief
Engine : 2003 GMC 5.3 liter Vortec
Trans. : 2002 4L60e / Transfer Case : 1989 NP241C with Slip-yoke eliminator
Lift : 4" / Tires : 33/12.50./15 BFG KM2's
Dakota Digital dashboard cluster

My 5.3 swap thread:
http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=767
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrqX1ip2KkM
Tad's SOA/Shackle Flip installation: http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3347

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lindel
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by lindel » Thu Mar 14, 2013 3:03 pm

Jeffsj wrote:I have over 6,000 miles on my 5.3 now and don't regret a thing. LOVE IT! The reliability and performance alone make it worth every penny and hour to me. I am getting between 15 and 17 mpg average, which beats my old 360 by a mile and vapor lock is a distant, horrible memory. The swap wasn't exactly cheap and unless you can do the work yourself, it may be a bit much to justify, but if you have the means I say go for it! It was a very challenging project, but also the most satisfying project I have ever taken on.

My '03 Silverado with a 4.8L would regularly pull down 21 mpg, so I'd say that 15 to 17 is pretty good for a brick.
Lindel

His: 1999 TJ - 4.0L/AX-15/NV231 - with lots of mods...

Hers: 1987 GW - Shiny, new 360/727/NP229 - 31" Falken Rocky Mountain ATs and rust.

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Jeffsj
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Location: Prescott, Az.

Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by Jeffsj » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:59 pm

lindel wrote:
Jeffsj wrote:I have over 6,000 miles on my 5.3 now and don't regret a thing. LOVE IT! The reliability and performance alone make it worth every penny and hour to me. I am getting between 15 and 17 mpg average, which beats my old 360 by a mile and vapor lock is a distant, horrible memory. The swap wasn't exactly cheap and unless you can do the work yourself, it may be a bit much to justify, but if you have the means I say go for it! It was a very challenging project, but also the most satisfying project I have ever taken on.

My '03 Silverado with a 4.8L would regularly pull down 21 mpg, so I'd say that 15 to 17 is pretty good for a brick.
I don't know what you're talking about, these things are aerodynamic marvels! The big tires help too! ;) :D
Jeff

Beast : 1979 Cherokee Chief
Engine : 2003 GMC 5.3 liter Vortec
Trans. : 2002 4L60e / Transfer Case : 1989 NP241C with Slip-yoke eliminator
Lift : 4" / Tires : 33/12.50./15 BFG KM2's
Dakota Digital dashboard cluster

My 5.3 swap thread:
http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=767
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrqX1ip2KkM
Tad's SOA/Shackle Flip installation: http://fsjnetwork.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=3347

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The PIG Smith
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by The PIG Smith » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:03 am

j20owner wrote:I wouldn't own an AFM engine for any amount of money.
I knew I was gonna take some heat for my comments...but that's okay...I stand by what I said.
When I discussed this on the 'Mothership', I had some rocks thrown at me as well.

I know some folks have had issues with AFM, just like owners of Cadillac's 4-6-8 equipped cars of yesteryear.

What I can say, with confidence, that our company Tahoe runs great.
It is a pool car that get checked out by everyone and their brother, beat on like a rental and put away dirty and the tank empty.
I am proud to drive it.
I run it through the car wash if I am at a gas station with a car wash.
It runs good, rides good and has plenty of performance for a large full sized SUV.

I will concede there is a reason that GM LS style crate engines are not equipped with Active Fuel Management.
Some might say the reason is because it sucks.
Bryan Smith
2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
- 5.7 HEMI powered
1982 Jeep J10
- Progress toward road-worthiness is being made!
1981 Jeep J20
- Commercial flat bed - Long term Project: RUST! Long term project (RUST!)

IFSJA Member #1933 Joined November 30, 2001

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j20owner
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by j20owner » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:27 am

Wait till the lifters start to stick and shut down cylinders when you need all 8. They have problems that arise as mileage increases. I work on them. ;)
Tatsadasayago wrote:And here i thought Capitalism was hitting the Shift Key...

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ProTouring442
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by ProTouring442 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:26 pm

j20owner wrote:Wait till the lifters start to stick and shut down cylinders when you need all 8. They have problems that arise as mileage increases. I work on them. ;)
Sure... and when the Oldsmobile Cutlass was the number one car in America, they were always in the shop. And then when it was the Ford Taurus, well, those were always in the shop.

If you work at a dealership, you will get the stuff that goes bad. Then again, my neighbor has a Suburban with DOD (or whatever GM calls it this week) with 200,000 miles on it. The only maintenance she actually does on a regular basis is oil changes.

Keep up with the maintenance, don't let the thing overheat, and I bet the average DOD engine has zero problems. :D


FSJ Guy
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by FSJ Guy » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:01 pm

I was talking with my mechanic about AFM a few weeks ago. Engine oil is VERY important to those systems. You MUST use the correct spec'd oil and change it religiously. I bet that is why they continue to get a bad rap. The concept is sound. I'd use an AFM motor if I could.
Ethan Brady

http://www.bigscaryjeep.com

Jeepless, but I still have a lots of old parts in my garage!

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jeep ranch
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by jeep ranch » Fri Apr 19, 2013 5:17 am

The PIG Smith wrote:
Where I work, one of the company vehicles is an '08 Chevy Tahoe with a 5.3L with Active Fuel Management System that shuts off a pair of cylinder as you cruise up the Interstate.
It really does work well and that huge Land Yacht SUV can pull down 20MPG on a long trip, cruising on 4 cylinders for most of the way.
good thing its a company truck, sounds like a maintenance nightmare


pass45
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Location: Wildwood il

Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by pass45 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:43 am

I have a 5.3 in mine running 65-70 it gets around 15 mpg but its on one tons and 37s pulling my offroaf trailer at 80 it got 9.8:'(

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Billyj7175
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by Billyj7175 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:14 am

Not long after I tore apart my 360, I had a 5.3/4L60 practically fall in my lap. I thought it over quite while and finally decided against the swap. IMO, the only reason to keep the 360 is for the novelty of it.

From a driver's pov, it would be hard to beat the smooth, reliable power, EFI and overdrive in one package that the 5.3 swap would bring to the table.

If I had to do it all over again, there's no doubt I would have went with the 5.3...


supergeess
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Re: trying to decide if a 5.3/6.0 swap is worth it

Post by supergeess » Mon Apr 22, 2013 1:31 pm

You will not be disappointed with either the 5.3 or 6.0. I did a 6.0/4L60E swap and I am lovin' it! It is absolutely the best upgrade I have ever done to my Jeep. Power, gas mileage, dependability...it was an easy choice between the 6.0 and my old 360. Like Jeff said, if you can do the install yourself, you will save a lot of money. Otherwise, be prepared... My 6.0 is PLENTY of power. I'm sure the 5.3 is more than enough when going from the OG engine.
1977 Chief: Vortec 6.0, 4L60E, NP241, SYE, Dakota Digital guages, 35s...more to come.

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