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86Pacecar

2006 5.3 Cam Chirp, small upgrade time?

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Newbie here looking for some help.

 

My 2006 Avalanche with 180K has the dreaded cam chirp.  I isolated it down by removing the accessory belts and the chirp remained and increased with engine speed.  Doing some on-line research as to what I will need to do a cam and lifter swap in this 5.3, done a few on my 350 small block in the Vette but the LS motor is new to me for a tear down.  Anyway trying to do research on a cam and lifters because since I'm in there maybe there is a bit of extra power I can squeeze out without affecting drivability .  As this is our weekend highway cruiser to the lake I need to keep the better half in my good graces and keep it as close to stock running as possible.  I do use the truck to tow the boat and a trailer regularly so I was looking at possibly getting a cam that may give me a bit of a boost in low to mid end torque.  I can easily get a replacement LM7 stock cam and new lifters and be quite happy with the truck back to bone stock.  While towing I'm never pushing the rig to high RPM's and it lives life below 4K RPM most of the time.   However there seems to be a few cams out there that may give a bit of a boost without the having to upgrade springs and get a tune.  Looking at a good used LQ9 from a 6.0 that if I'm right will give a bit of increase and idle like the stock LM7 cam.  Also looking at the Crane TruckMax "drop in" cam at 200/208 that they say works with stock tune.

Any advise out there on these low lift cams?  Biggest thing I'm looking for is to keep the idle smooth and possibly pick up some increase in torque for towing.   

Thanks in advance

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You could look at the Brian Tooley Racing Stage 1 truck cam.

Should keep you close to stock but a little bump in power.

I'd look in to upgrading the valve springs to the "beehives" and adding the trunion kit to the rockers if you are going to push any more RPM.

I put the Stage 2 in my 5.3 -> 5.7 LS1 build and it's got a definite lope, but great bottom to mid range power.

I pull a 6000# travel trailer and daily drive the truck.

Sent from my moto g(6) using Tapatalk

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I agree with the above, I would still do new valve springs and the trunion upgrade even on a small camshaft. It's good piece of mind if you ask me. Most small camshaft can do LS6 springs.

 

You'd have to stay on the small side if you wish to use the stock tune, anything larger will want a real tune done to help dial things in. If you're in the twin cities metro I could help with a 6.0 swap tune or a small camshaft upgrade, those would be pretty easy to tune.

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8 hours ago, CamGTP said:

I agree with the above, I would still do new valve springs and the trunion upgrade even on a small camshaft. It's good piece of mind if you ask me. Most small camshaft can do LS6 springs.

 

You'd have to stay on the small side if you wish to use the stock tune, anything larger will want a real tune done to help dial things in. If you're in the twin cities metro I could help with a 6.0 swap tune or a small camshaft upgrade, those would be pretty easy to tune.

My goal really is to have this truck continue to idle a close to stock smooth as possible.  It cannot have the cam lope of a bigger cam as my wife drives the truck as well and hates the idle of the Vette we have.

When you say small camshaft, is the BTR Stage 1 on the easily tunable side to get the idle smoothed out?  It looks like that cam offers a bit more lift and duration but nothing too extreem.  

From research it looks like the LQ9 cam does not offer too much gain over the LM7 but since I have to go into the motor anyway the price of a used LQ9 is not breaking the bank for little gain.

I'm on the NW corner of the metro area in MG, not too far from you.

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Yeah a stage 1 camshaft is a good small one. You could go with a BTR or even a Texas Speed camshaft, either one should be just fine. With a tune it's probably an easy 20-25hp gain.

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On 10/5/2020 at 6:11 AM, 86Pacecar said:

My goal really is to have this truck continue to idle a close to stock smooth as possible.  It cannot have the cam lope of a bigger cam as my wife drives the truck as well and hates the idle of the Vette we have.

In my opinion, you're looking for something like the Brian Tooley Torque Cam, designed specifically for trucks.  Probably a better choice than any Stage 1,2,3 for your application.

 

As long as your replacement cam doesn't have too much lift, the stock springs will probably perform well, beyond the life of the vehicle.  Beehives usually can't make the same claim.

 

Welcome to the world of $400 cams.  Look on the bright side.  You don't really have to change your factory springs.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by GhostWriter
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Well got the cam and lifters swapped out,  I went with a used LQ9 cam and new lifters.  Runs like new again!

I guess I waited too long once I heard the first bit of chirping from the old cam

 

lifters.jpg

cam 1.jpg

cam 4.jpg

cam 2.jpg

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