6.0 swap tahoe

Dec 7, 2012
This past weekend was a blast. Gave the 2005 Tahoe quite a bit of love.

About a month or so back, I picked up a 120k mile, super clean 2007 LQ4 near me that was in an old NY state van. For those of you not familiar with LS, LQ4 is a Generation 3 6.0 -- this is probably the cookie cutter 6.0 found in anything and everything.


Here's the van on its way up to its final decommission. RIP Express van 😥.


My old man went with me and took his truck to get the mill.


Went through the motor, thew in a baby cam, 205/217 Summit 8718R1. Had a good used set of LS6 springs, new timing chain, new Melling M295 oil pump, new oil galley plug, and re-gasketed it from top to bottom. Used Fel-Pro gaskets everywhere (I have never had a problem with them). Knocked the rust and scale off 'er and layed on a layer of BBQ paint. Some of you down south probably don't get to see these crusty. But it always happens. Clean motor inside.





Dressed the engine with new knock sensors, water pump w/New Delco thermostat, new Delco motor mounts, new Delco plugs. New Delco cam, crank, and engine temp sensors. Bought a set of used but CLEAN like new 5.3 manifolds from eBay. Painted them in BBQ black. Used Mahle MLS exhaust manifold gaskets and ARP header bolts. I had a good low mileage set of injectors from a LS2 corvette cleaned and tested. Used them with some ICT billet spacers to raise the truck fuel rails and some mini Delphi 2 to EV6 adapters. Probably could've gotten away with some fender washers to be honest. Found out the radiator was leaking... replaced that.



Used the OE truck intake, truck manifolds, truck air tube and box. Tuned on HPTuners.

And while I was in there, replaced tranny lines (they were rusty), new Bluetop steering gear, new idler assembly/arm, new pitman arm, and all new power steering lines. Put a new can on my OE power steering pump. Filled the PS system with TES-295.

What a difference does a 6.0 make. WOW. The truck has an ample amount of power and torque. The most noticeable was on the NYS thruway and going up hills in my area. The 4.8 would always downshift and pickup its RPM to make grades. With this 6.0, the trans comes out of lockup and just cruises up hills at 1800-2200 rpm. Simply amazing.

The steering is another thing. I never knew a GMT800 could be this tight. It is equally as awesome. I am super happy. This truck is now enjoyable to drive. Should've came with a 6.0 from the factory in all of them.

My good mechanic buddy did a lot of this work, he is the mechanic who dabbles in IT - I am the IT guy who dabbles in mechanic. We both do a lot of our own work outside of our respective fields but certain projects or jobs, we call on each other. With these situations it is more like a hang out day versus a "customer waiter" type of event -- and that goes for both IT or mechanic work.

Will have to get some clips of driving, sounds, exhaust once I am finished tuning and get some miles on it.
OK forgot to add, for first oil change went with some Valvoline Daily Protection 5W-30 and a ACDelco PF61E filter. Will probably dump it early in a couple weeks.

I have to update my signature now I guess.
What did you do ecm wise? Did you have someone retune? Especially with a new cam?
If this was a 6.0 truck to begin, it would probably run alright on a stock tune this isn't a huge cam. With different injectors though, that was out of the question.

It is the stock P59 ecm tuned with HPTuners. Got a buddy tuning it. If I didn't though, I was thinking I could probably pull the calibration off of the truck, load a stock LQ4 Yukon Denali calibration and swap in LS2 vette injector data and it'd probably run decent enough until fully tuned.
Didn't see it mentioned, but I assume you did the oil pickup o-ring?
Yes absolutely, came with the new oil pump.

Just crazy. (y) Old school swapping & wrenching on a modern truck. Well done sir.
Thank you! It was a good time. I am sore as all get out, I'm not used to that much. My buddy is a good friend helping with these projects. His general guidance, my parts knowledge and service/programming info. Makes a decent team.
What was in the Tahoe originally?
Long story short. Originally the Tahoe was a LM7 5.3 bone stock. Got the truck around 171k miles in 2016 and was presumably the original engine. Around 215-225k? (Was long ago), it needed lifters as it was physically down a couple cylinders. Had a stock LR4 4.8 lying around out of an Express van with maybe 60-80k on it. At the time, it was the best option, and it was swapped in.

It wasn't fast, but it ran good and got the job done.

I have now since nicknamed the 4.8 -- DR. Slow.
Yes absolutely, came with the new oil pump.

Thank you! It was a good time. I am sore as all get out, I'm not used to that much. My buddy is a good friend helping with these projects. His general guidance, my parts knowledge and service/programming info. Makes a decent team.
Excellent. Looks like a great project!