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Fellow SSR fanatics...I'm a car guy but a fairly new SSR guy. I have a quandary, to build on my 90K mile 5.3 or just sell it and buy an 05/06 6.0? My 5.3 has headers, K&N cold air and high flow cats other than that all stock, beautiful body and spotless interior w 90k miles. DYNO tuned producing 278RW/310 torque at @ 5500ft elevation (Albuquerque). Its a fun cruiser but compared to my other vehicles not a neck breaker in any way. All in all I prefer top end power over low if i have to choose for passing and when i can eventually take it to the AUTOBAHN!!!:)))) That being said I really want more low end performance while keeping relatively low rpms at highway speeds but wondering if I'd be throwing good money after bad with modifying the 5.3 any more than I have and just sell it to get a 05 or 06 with lower miles as a base to build on?? I guess my bottomline is do you all think there is enough upgrade potential in the 5.3 to still get it it up to 6.0 performance levels or into the low 400s without adding a blower? Or just enjoy as is at it already has 90K?
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A pro tune and a rear end gear swap (4:10 or 4:56) will make a significant differrnce in a 5.3. Total cost should be $1500 or less. That said, if you are truly power hungry, sell it and go for the 6.0.
BTW, I'm in Albuquerque too.
 

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Fellow SSR fanatics...I'm a car guy but a fairly new SSR guy. I have a quandary, to build on my 90K mile 5.3 or just sell it and buy an 05/06 6.0? My 5.3 has headers, K&N cold air and high flow cats other than that all stock, beautiful body and spotless interior w 90k miles. DYNO tuned producing 278RW/310 torque at @ 5500ft elevation (Albuquerque). Its a fun cruiser but compared to my other vehicles not a neck breaker in any way. All in all I prefer top end power over low if i have to choose for passing and when i can eventually take it to the AUTOBAHN!!!:)))) That being said I really want more low end performance while keeping relatively low rpms at highway speeds but wondering if I'd be throwing good money after bad with modifying the 5.3 any more than I have and just sell it to get a 05 or 06 with lower miles as a base to build on?? I guess my bottomline is do you all think there is enough upgrade potential in the 5.3 to still get it it up to 6.0 performance levels or into the low 400s without adding a blower? Or just enjoy as is at it already has 90K? View attachment 584025
Kaiser7lichter
My OPINION and its just an opinion. I have a bone stock 6.0 under the hood with a 6 speed. I am very satisfied with the performance. I have no plan to improve the HP or gearing. Although these vehicles in stock form are not neck snapping push you back in the seat with G force. They are fun for sure, the 6.0 does perform better than the 5.3 but being as heavy as they are stock 6.0 will not cause you to have to wear a neck brace. I guess I'll ask. Are you connected with your R or is it just a car/truck to you. If you truly LOVE your R then I say spend some money and make it faster. Mods are always a good conversation starter with others. Anyone can buy one and drive it, When one TESTFULLY modifies an R it'll cause a gathering. I have just installed the Core/Hurst short throw shifter and fell back in love with my R! Just me talking too much. 😋
 

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I agree with what @wizzr said. 4:10's and a pro tune from someone like Joe Delano. If you are thinking of going the supercharger route, you would be better off upgrading to the 6.0 L.
 

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BTW,
WHat are your "Other vehicles" you are comparing it with?? IF you have a Pantera or a Demon that's not fair to the poor SSR
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wizzr, thanks. I just moved from Cedar Crest to VA last month. I tried to sell the 04 out there but too many low ball offers so I brought it w me out East. Sure do miss NM! Thanks for the advice. Think I'll try to look for a lower mileage red 05/06 instead. Also I noticed some engine shrouds on 05/06s on line are colored (red, yellow) was this an option or just likely individuals who have painted or dipped their shrouds to match?
 

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Wizzr, thanks. I just moved from Cedar Crest to VA last month. I tried to sell the 04 out there but too many low ball offers so I brought it w me out East. Sure do miss NM! Thanks for the advice. Think I'll try to look for a lower mileage red 05/06 instead. Also I noticed some engine shrouds on 05/06s on line are colored (red, yellow) was this an option or just likely individuals who have painted or dipped their shrouds to match?
Those are painted. I would look here first before you shop elsewhere. Most of the people on here have done a lot of the recommended upgrades. Their trucks are usually very well cared for too.
 

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I have both an 04 and 05 and there is of course a difference in driving them. The 6.0 has more power so it is felt if you have your foot in it. Both around town and on the highway. The only draw back is the 6.0 likes premium fuel and the 5.3 runs just fine on regular.

Do an upgrade on the muffler or do a cat back and the 6.0 will really run going down the highway.
 

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For the ultimate, consider a 6.0 with Supercharger. 525 HP nominally, but yet still easy to drive. This one is still available( sold it a couple of weeks ago, but the sale fell thru for health reasons) ...
 

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Definitely go for the 6.0. I have an 05 with a SC, headers, exhaust, cam and other mods. Lots of fun. About 510 at the crank with a dyno tune.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I agree with what @wizzr said. 4:10's and a pro tune from someone like Joe Delano. If you are thinking of going the supercharger route, you would be better off upgrading to the 6.0 L.

Poker guy, Joe Delano is where? Yeah I had it tuned in NM by a fairly well regarded tuner in that area and expected a lot more out of the 5.3 than 278 RWHP with the cold air + headers + high flow cats but se la vie....the rest of the engine is stock so maybe my expectations were too high especially at that altitude. Any info on reputable East coast tuners for GM in the Washington DC area?
Kaiser7lichter
My OPINION and its just an opinion. I have a bone stock 6.0 under the hood with a 6 speed. I am very satisfied with the performance. I have no plan to improve the HP or gearing. Although these vehicles in stock form are not neck snapping push you back in the seat with G force. They are fun for sure, the 6.0 does perform better than the 5.3 but being as heavy as they are stock 6.0 will not cause you to have to wear a neck brace. I guess I'll ask. Are you connected with your R or is it just a car/truck to you. If you truly LOVE your R then I say spend some money and make it faster. Mods are always a good conversation starter with others. Anyone can buy one and drive it, When one TESTFULLY modifies an R it'll cause a gathering. I have just installed the Core/Hurst short throw shifter and fell back in love with my R! Just me talking too much. 😋
Great advice!
I have both an 04 and 05 and there is of course a difference in driving them. The 6.0 has more power so it is felt if you have your foot in it. Both around town and on the highway. The only draw back is the 6.0 likes premium fuel and the 5.3 runs just fine on regular.

Do an upgrade on the muffler or do a cat back and the 6.0 will really run going down the highway.
I agree with what @wizzr said. 4:10's and a pro tune from someone like Joe Delano. If you are thinking of going the supercharger route, you would be better off upgrading to the 6.0 L.
Sir could you tell me where Joe Delano tunes out of? Now that I'm in VA I'm looking for a reputable tuner in the VA/NC/MD/PA area.
 

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Great advice!

Sir could you tell me where Joe Delano tunes out of? Now that I'm in VA I'm looking for a reputable tuner in the VA/NC/MD/PA area.
Joe Delano owns Left Coast 32 in Vista, CA:


He did a performance tune on our R. Highly recommended but he's not in your neck of the woods. Others will probably have recommendations for someone else close by.
 

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Great advice!


Sir could you tell me where Joe Delano tunes out of? Now that I'm in VA I'm looking for a reputable tuner in the VA/NC/MD/PA area.
Sorry, he is a SoCal guy. I know that several east coast guys have recommended Jeremy Formato @ “Fasterproms.net”
 

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Jeremy is located in Florida and very busy. He does come to the SSR Rallys usually. If you don't want to wait to hook up with him my advice would be make contact with drag racers or hot rod guys in your area and ask them if there is a custom tune shop with a Dyno. A lap top tune runs about $300. A good Dyno tune is about $500. I would hold off until you are done with all the other performance modifications or trading to the LS2 before you invest that kind of money. The tune should be the last thing you do to pull it all together as it adjusts everything including the shift points in the transmission. Good luck.
 

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Check out Texas Speed Shop, and YouTube some videos of the 5.3 mods. I personally am not a fan of the 5.3 but you have it and it can be a seriously bad ass power plant. I had an Avalanche With the 5.3 and wad disappointed , but there are differences. That being said, you could probably drop 3k into your 5.3 and be completely satisfied with cam ,heads and a good tune.
Honestly, I have the 6.0 and love it but wish it had more. I am very hesitant to start major mods as I feel as the 6.0 is “ in my opinion” very special . It should be appreciated and maintained accordingly In a fairly stock form
If I had a 5.3 things would be different.
I beat myself up going back and forth.
My 2 cents Is if you like your car pump the S out of that 5.3 and call it good.
I mean no disrespect to the 03-04’ years but IMHO they will never have the collectible potential as the 04’-06.
not going to even get into the stick vs auto comparisons.
 

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2005 Redline SSR, 1990 Harley Davidson FatBoy FLSTF
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Fellow SSR fanatics...I'm a car guy but a fairly new SSR guy. I have a quandary, to build on my 90K mile 5.3 or just sell it and buy an 05/06 6.0? My 5.3 has headers, K&N cold air and high flow cats other than that all stock, beautiful body and spotless interior w 90k miles. DYNO tuned producing 278RW/310 torque at @ 5500ft elevation (Albuquerque). Its a fun cruiser but compared to my other vehicles not a neck breaker in any way. All in all I prefer top end power over low if i have to choose for passing and when i can eventually take it to the AUTOBAHN!!!:)))) That being said I really want more low end performance while keeping relatively low rpms at highway speeds but wondering if I'd be throwing good money after bad with modifying the 5.3 any more than I have and just sell it to get a 05 or 06 with lower miles as a base to build on?? I guess my bottomline is do you all think there is enough upgrade potential in the 5.3 to still get it it up to 6.0 performance levels or into the low 400s without adding a blower? Or just enjoy as is at it already has 90K? View attachment 584025
Just my two cent and that is about what it is worth, why not enjoy the beauty that you sooo well maintained. You would selling your well kept SSR and purchasing an unknown. I would hate to learn that you had both seller and buyer's remorse. Bird in hand better than the 6.0 in the bush.
 

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Just my two cent and that is about what it is worth, why not enjoy the beauty that you sooo well maintained. You would selling your well kept SSR and purchasing an unknown. I would hate to learn that you had both seller and buyer's remorse. Bird in hand better than the 6.0 in the bush.
That was my very first thought. I’ve sold vehicles to buy bigger, faster, better only to regret it. The replacements were often a let-down. They may have been better in some ways, but more often than not, they just weren’t as great as what I’d just sold. I try to take the best care of my rides possible. I’m sure others here do too. But you never know how good you had it until it‘s gone and all.

@Kaiser7lichter, you have a know-known and other than it’s not as quick off the line as you’d like, it can be (much) quicker and it sounds like you love it, otherwise you’d be hunting for something else. As @Superheat said, it can be one bad-a** beast without spending too much money or really breathing too hard.

We have a 6.0L. It’s great. We love it. We lucked out because the previous owner was about as meticulous as I am. However if I wanted a race car it wouldn’t be a 4700 lb. truck. ;)

I’ve had enough buyer‘s remorse for one lifetime. If you have your heart set on something new, go for it. Or, as the song says, love the one you’re with.

My $.02. :)
 

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2004 SSR chevy slingshot yellow
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I've have a 04 ssr, and also think it needs more power, and have been toying with the thought of taking the 5.3 and stroking it out to a 383. Some comp. Are selling short block 383 for less then 2,500. Just a crazy thought, in my warped mind. then take it to a tuner, and see what kind of power it might make.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Jeremy is located in Florida and very busy. He does come to the SSR Rallys usually. If you don't want to wait to hook up with him my advice would be make contact with drag racers or hot rod guys in your area and ask them if there is a custom tune shop with a Dyno. A lap top tune runs about $300. A good Dyno tune is about $500. I would hold off until you are done with all the other performance modifications or trading to the LS2 before you invest that kind of money. The tune should be the last thing you do to pull it all together as it adjusts everything including the shift points in the transmission. Good luck.
Thanks Sir. Good advice. Since my SSR has 90k although it is solid mechanically, great interior, paint + nav and audio upgrades I'm just worried it's a little "long in the tooth" mileage-wise to burn any more $$ on upgrades that may be better spent on a lower mileage 05 or 06 with more stock HP to build on. Thanks for your advice.
Check out Texas Speed Shop, and YouTube some videos of the 5.3 mods. I personally am not a fan of the 5.3 but you have it and it can be a seriously bad ass power plant. I had an Avalanche With the 5.3 and wad disappointed , but there are differences. That being said, you could probably drop 3k into your 5.3 and be completely satisfied with cam ,heads and a good tune.
Honestly, I have the 6.0 and love it but wish it had more. I am very hesitant to start major mods as I feel as the 6.0 is “ in my opinion” very special . It should be appreciated and maintained accordingly In a fairly stock form
If I had a 5.3 things would be different.
I beat myself up going back and forth.
My 2 cents Is if you like your car pump the S out of that 5.3 and call it good.
I mean no disrespect to the 03-04’ years but IMHO they will never have the collectible potential as the 04’-06.
not going to even get into the stick vs auto comparisons.
That was my very first thought. I’ve sold vehicles to buy bigger, faster, better only to regret it. The replacements were often a let-down. They may have been better in some ways, but more often than not, they just weren’t as great as what I’d just sold. I try to take the best care of my rides possible. I’m sure others here do too. But you never know how good you had it until it‘s gone and all.

@Kaiser7lichter, you have a know-known and other than it’s not as quick off the line as you’d like, it can be (much) quicker and it sounds like you love it, otherwise you’d be hunting for something else. As @Superheat said, it can be one bad-a** beast without spending too much money or really breathing too hard.

We have a 6.0L. It’s great. We love it. We lucked out because the previous owner was about as meticulous as I am. However if I wanted a race car it wouldn’t be a 4700 lb. truck. ;)

I’ve had enough buyer‘s remorse for one lifetime. If you have your heart set on something new, go for it. Or, as the song says, love the one you’re with.

My $.02. :)
Great advice. I have used Texas Speed before. Good guys. Yeah it's really the 90K miles that is making me "gun shy" of putting more $$ into it plus the collectability (or lack thereof) of an 04 vs an 05/06 down the road. Texas Speed had my 5.3 in my 04 Sierra pushing 475 RWHP (since then i dropped a blown 383 w meth injection...612 RWHP at 5500 ft elevation) so I'm confident my 5.3 can be built to be bad and the body is a straight no rust Western car. Just weighing the 90K mileage / return on investment as the miles keep ticking up no matter how radical the i possibly build the engine. But I do love it just need some more ponies to at least get some respect from the riff raff!:)...and as I am a little OCD with my toys I want it to be the best it can be like most of us here but as one of 5 cars I dont want it to put me in the poor house! 🤣 I think I'll make some calls...set aside $4K to pump it up as I already have the cold air, performance exhaust and headers....I'm a good ways there already. I know if I find a low miles 6.0 stock I'd probably have to drop another 5k in cold air/exhaust/interior upgrades anyways on top of what I pay.

Decisions decisions. Appreciate your advice! What a great bunch of folks...🤗
 
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