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Have any of ya'll done anythig to easily soup up a Chevy 5.3l V8? I have a Tahoe, and wm kinda thinking about adding seomthing that is cheap if it could help me out. I am looking for something that would do about the same thing as a performance chip in a deisel. Just want a little more power, and better fuel economy for a relatively cheap price. I have the mechanic skills of a toad, so it would have to be something VERY simple.

Ya'll know of anything?
 

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You will never see the type of performance gains from a chip in a gas engine as you will in a diesel engine. You can relieve the exhaust and help out the intake with a better filter, but any gains you get will be minimal. I don't know why diesels see such a performance gain from a chip, but the results are remarkable in some engines.
 

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Old Guys Rule (When we're up to it)
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I don't know what your budget is but here goes.
I have Hypertech III, a 180 degree thermostat (my truck engine now runs about 190-195 degrees), Gibson 3" cat back exaust (Gibson is quietest I have found) and a K & N air intake system. Also get a trans cooler or maintain your tranny when it is time (or before).
If you want to go a cheaper way I would just get a K & N air filter for stock air filter replacement and a 3" cat back exaust (or equal). The exaust made the most dramatic difference freeing up my 5.3, Especially the low to mid torque. Dramatic difference pulling my boat. Make sure to get a muffler quiet enough to live with as most high flow mufflers are way too loud for me.
The K & N air intake system did not give the perfomance gains I had hoped for but much improvement over stock. The air filter by themselves are available as stock replacements.
The Hypertech III Power reprogrammer is nice too. It allows to reset the thermostat to a lower setting (when installed), firmer automatic transmission shift with less clutch slip and shift points can be reset. Speedometer corrections for oversized tires is great. And spark advance choice for regular or premium gas.
Overall my truck runs like a spotted arsed ape without too much money spent on the extra horsepower. Not bad for the cheapest bolt-ons.
If I were to go to the next level (and I doubt I will) I would pull off the fan on my water pump and go with a double electric fan replacement. A lot of power gain there and premium cooling. Then a performance throttle body.
After that it gets pretty expensive and labor intense.
I offer a tip. If you go with a cat back sysyem, have a muffler shop install it for you for the $65 or so that they charge. The cat back systems are supposed to be pre-fitted but in shipping (or whatever) the round pipe ends turn out to be not so round. The muffler shop has tools, tricks and maching to get them round again to fit it together. Money well spent.
 

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Belt Sander knows what needs to be done to that 5.3 to get it breathing a little better. Spot, you could also add under drive pulleys ($100) that will free up a few extra ponys. A good set of headers will also help you out.

Jeff, the reason why diesels see such a gain from performance chips is they are de-tuned from the factory. The reason they are de-tuned is the automatic trannies can not handle the torque. The newer models are getting more powerful because the manufactures are beefing up their trannies.

The reason diesels see better fuel economy with the addition of chips is because torque is increased. The more torque you have the less an engine has to work to get moving and keep it moving.
 

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I have done the fans and the underdrive pullys on my previous truck and do not recomend them. I had the chip, headers, exhaust, k&N and throtle body riser and the thing ran like a dream. when I added the pullys it did weird things to the charging system and the electric fans do not cool near as well as the reg one. In the mid summer you will have overheating problems while in traffic. I had the highest capacity fan I could get and still had to take it off and put the reg fan back on it. Get your horse power from somewhere else and keep the fan and stock pully system. Or at least only change your crank pully. If you change the water pump pully it will also cause temp issues. On cars with smaller engines and loads you can get away with the mods but in trucks they dont seem to take. In my expy I have the borla exhaust system(except headers) and the k&n filter and it made a difference right off the bat of around 15% fuel economy and noticable power increase.
 
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