Best 5.3 Bolt Ons: Performance Mods for LS Engines

best 5 3 bolt on performance upgrades
Photo courtesy dave_7 via flickr. Used under a CC BY 2.0 license.

Chevy’s LS 5.3 engine is one of the most popular and versatile engines on the market.

It’s a great platform for modifications, and one of the best ways to increase horsepower is through bolt-on upgrades.

In this article, we’ll explore seven of the best 5.3 bolt-ons for the Chevy LS engine to boost its horsepower and performance.

1. Cold Air Intake

Sale
K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: High Performance, Guaranteed to Increase Horsepower: Fits 2014-2020 Chevy/GMC/Cadillac (Silverado 1500, Suburban, Tahoe, Sierra 1500, Yukon Denali, Escalade) V8,63-3082
  • GUARANTEED INCREASE IN HORSEPOWER & TORQUE: K&N cold air intake systems provide a less restrictive path for airflow, increasing the volume of cool, oxygen-rich air into your engine an estimated increase up to 11HP and up to 21.24 ft.lbs. of Torque
  • HEAR THE GROWL: K&N’s intake systems allow your engine to breathe and sound as it should- your engine will growl on acceleration and return to quiet once at speed
  • DYNO TESTING YOU CAN TRUST: K&N air intake horsepower/torque testing is performed on wheel-based dynamometers and the reports are include with each intake system
  • BETTER TOWING: Air intake kit improves acceleration and uphill performance when towing by improving throttle response and overall horsepower and torque
  • FEATURING K&N’s SIGNATURE, REUSABLE AIR FILTER: Combines 4 layers of pleated, breathable cotton with K&N’s red filter oil to absorb dirt and dust particles, allowing clean air to continue flowing into your engine, only needs cleaning every 100,000 miles under normal highway driving conditions

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the easiest ways to increase the horsepower of your LS 5.3 engine is by adding a cold air intake.

A cold air intake system replaces the factory air intake with a larger and smoother air intake tube, which allows more air to enter the engine.

This results in improved engine performance, more horsepower, and better throttle response.

2. Exhaust System

Rough Country Dual Cat-Back Exhaust for 2014-2018 Chevy/GMC 1500 | 5.3L - 96007
  • Dual Cat Back Design w/ Side Exit.
  • Corrosion Resistant 409 Stainless Steel | 16 Gauge Tubing.
  • Dual Wall Stainless Steel 304 Black Tips.
  • Installs into OEM Hangers | No Welding | Easy at Home Installation.
  • Backed by Rough Country's Limited Lifetime Replacement Warranty.

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another way to improve the performance of your LS 5.3 engine is by upgrading the exhaust system.

A 5.3L Vortec performance exhaust system is designed to reduce backpressure and increase the airflow through the engine.

This results in more horsepower, better fuel efficiency, and a deeper exhaust note.

3. Performance Headers

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Adding a set of performance headers is another way to improve the horsepower of your LS 5.3 engine.

The best performance headers for 5.3 Vortec replace the factory exhaust manifolds and are designed to improve exhaust flow, resulting in more power and torque.

Additionally, performance headers can improve fuel efficiency and throttle response.

4. Performance Camshaft

COMP Cams MK54-702-11 Stage 2 Thumpr Master Cam Kit for GEN III LS 4.8/5.3/6.0L Trucks
  • Developed and Tested on the Dyno - Adds 81 Horsepower to LS Trucks and SUV's
  • High Tech, High RPM - Features innovative LST camshaft technology that improves valve train stability at higher RPM.
  • No Guesswork - Properly matched components in MK kits completely remove any guesswork in selecting the rest of the valve train.
  • Horsepower Gains - Delivers excellent horsepower gains and broad torque curve; perfect choice for muscle cars and street rods.

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

A performance camshaft is a popular bolt-on for the LS 5.3 engine that can significantly increase horsepower.

The camshaft is responsible for opening and closing the engine’s valves, and a performance camshaft is designed to improve valve lift and duration, resulting in improved horsepower, torque, and overall performance.

Side note: If you wanted to really up the horsepower, a good 5.3 performance heads and cam package will do just that. The 5.3 ported heads hp gain would be worth it but the cost is much higher.

5. Performance Throttle Body

Jet Performance 76108 Performance Throttle Body, 1 Pack
  • Aircraft quality CNC machined 356 aluminum castings
  • Compatible with other performance upgrades
  • Includes updated electronics pre-installed
  • CARB Approved

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Upgrading the throttle body is another way to increase the horsepower of your LS 5.3 engine.

A performance throttle body is designed to improve airflow into the engine, resulting in more horsepower, better throttle response, and improved fuel efficiency.

6. Performance Intake Manifold

Sale
A-Team Performance - Intake Manifold 102mm Throttle Body Sheet Metal Fabricated EFI 15° Throttle Opening - Compatible with Chevrolet GMC Pontiac LS LS1 LS2 LS6 Silver
  • Silver Intake Manifold 102mm Throttle Body Sheet Metal Fabricated EFI 15° Throttle Opening
  • Compatible with Chevrolet Chevy GMC Pontiac Cathedral Port LS1/LS2/LS6 Heads
  • Drive by Cable Throttle Body - 102mm Bore Throttle Body Openings
  • 3mm (1/8") Thick T6061 Sheet Aluminum Construction the Intake Will Not Bend or Flex With Boost or Vacuum
  • Fabrication - TIG Welded Aluminum

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Another bolt-on to consider for the LS 5.3 engine is a performance intake manifold.

The intake manifold is responsible for distributing air to the engine’s cylinders, and a performance intake manifold is designed to improve airflow and increase horsepower.

A performance intake manifold can improve throttle response and overall engine performance.

7. Performance Tuner

No products found.

Finally, a performance tuner is a must-have bolt-on for anyone looking to increase the horsepower and performance of their LS 5.3 engine.

A performance tuner is designed to optimize the engine’s performance by adjusting key parameters such as fuel delivery, timing, and air intake.

This results in improved horsepower, better throttle response, and improved fuel efficiency.

Bestseller No. 1
Camshaft Retainer Plate Gasket Seal and Bolt Kit Fit for LS1 LS2 LS3 Gen III IV V 4.8L 5.3L 6.0L 6.2L Replaces# ARP 134-1003 B31822 12589016 Cam Bolts
  • 【Function】Replacement Camshaft Gasket Prevent Oil Leakage, As Well As Prevent Other Harmful Substances From Entering The System.
  • 【Compatibility】1999-2010 Buik Cadillac Pontiac GMC 4.8 5.3L 6.0L 6.2L LS LS1 LQ4 LQ9 LS2 LS3 LSX LQ9 LQ4 LT1 LT4.
  • 【Replaces Number】GM # 12589016 Thrust Plate & GM # 11561455 (Hardware) ARP 134-1003 B31822.
  • 【Premium Quality】Made of High Quality Material. Tested & Certified to Meet or Exceed OEM Quality Standards.
  • 【12-Month Warranty】The Camshaft Gasket come with 12 Months Warranty. Hassle-free Return and Refund Policy. Please Buy it with Your Confidence.
Bestseller No. 2
AMS Racing Gen III Rocker Arms with Upgraded Trunion Kit for LS1 LS2 LS6 LQ4 LQ9 LM7 4.8 5.3 5.7 6.0 (Rocker Arms with Hardened Bolts)
  • Kit includes: 16 Gen III LS Series Rocker Arm bodies - 32 rocker arm bearings, 32 rocker arm retaining rings, 16 rocker arm trunnions
  • AMS Racing LS Series retrofit trunnions are designed to convert stock LS Series rocker arms into captured roller trunnions for added durability in higher horsepower applications.
  • We utilize LS rocker arms and install new LS1 rocker arm retrofit trunion kit that replaces the cageless, loose OEM needle bearings and powdered metal trunion with a premium 8620 steel alloy trunion and caged roller bearings for added durability. The caged roller bearings that greatly reduce the possibility of the bearing failure experienced with stock LS1 needle bearings, which can send loose needles throughout the engine upon failure.
  • For use with a max .600" lift camshaft in all these applications: LS1 LS2 LS6 LR4 Vortec 5300 LM7 L59 LM4 L33 – 4.8 5.3 5.7 6.0 Engines
Bestseller No. 3
A-Team Performance - GM AD244 Style High Output 220 Amp Alternator Black - Compatible with Chevrolet BBC SBC GM Diesel
  • Black Serpentine Alternator AD244 Style High Output 220 Amp
  • Compatible with Chevrolet BBC SBC GM Diesel and is usually used is Used in Tandem With Our Car and Truck LS Relocation Brackets
  • Perfect for vehicles with a lot of accessories and equipment
  • This style is used in most LS-era truck applications
  • Equipped to take the OEM connection
Bestseller No. 4
Aluminum radiator for Chevrolet Silverado 1500 2500 3500 4.8L 5.3L 6.0L V8
  • Silverado 1500 4.8 5.3 6.0 V8 1999-2013 Silverado 1500HD 6.0 V8 2001-2006 Silverado 2500 6.0 V8 1999-2004 Silverado 2500HD 6.0 V8 2001-2010 Silverado 3500 6.0 V8 2001-2007 Silverado 3500HD 6.0 V8 2007-2010 Please Verify 34" wide core.
  • Core size: 860mm×440 mm×30 mm
  • Overall size: 1300 mm×470 mm×150 mm
  • Inlet/Outlet: 40mm/35 mm
  • All Aluminum include Core & Tank
Bestseller No. 5
AFM Disabler Active Fuel Management Delete Disabler AFM/DFM Disabler Compatible with V6 & V8 GM Motors AFM Disabler 5.3 Silverado (Chevy GMC Sierra GMC Yukon Cadillac Escalade etc)4.3L 5.3L 6.0L 6.2L
  • ????【2024 New Version】AFM/DFM Disabler is the 2024 new upgraded version, which outperforms the old model.
  • ????【Safety Guarantee】This AFM Disabler won't modify your original ECU programming; unplugging it resets to factory default settings.
  • ????【Simple Usage】No tools required; simply plug into the OBD-II port and it starts working.
  • ????️【Enhanced Driving Experience】AFM/DFM Disabler keeps your engine in V6/V8 mode at full power all the time, enhancing the driving experience.
  • ❤️【100% After-Sales Satisfaction Guarantee】If you have any quality issues or dissatisfaction with our AFM Disabler, feel free to contact us; we'll offer returns or exchanges. We always adhere to providing a 100% satisfaction guarantee for our customers. (Note: Please check compatibility with your car model before purchase.)
Bestseller No. 6
High Performance 8Pcs D585 UF262 Ignition Coils Pack Round Type + 8Pcs 8mm Spark Plug Wire Set Part Number 748UU 12622553 12656210-15% More Energy
  • Premium Materials: Coils are made from high quality isolating epoxy, copper wires imported from Germany, stainless steel spring with ferrite core; Fiberglass braid and carbon impregnated fiberglass core of Spark Plug Wires for added strength and superior conductivity
  • Replacement Coils Pack Part Number: D585, E254, E254P, C1251, UF262, IC413, IC41310457730, GN10119,5C1082, 245262, 247733, 521647, 10457730, 12563293, 19005218, 8104577300
  • To avoid fitment issue: DO NOT only check the vehicle type, because the same vehicle type may use different shapes of coils, ROUND or SQUARE. To avoid fitment issue, you also need to look in your engine compartment to double check the coil shape. These ignition coils are ROUND!
  • Round Ignition Coils Fitment: Perfect for Chevrollet GMC Buick Isuzu Cadillac 4.8L 5.3L 6.0L 8.1L V8; Please double check for the fitment details in the descriptions and part number, and make sure your original coils is round type before purchasing.
  • Complete Ignition Coils Pack: 8 Pieces D585 ignition coils + 1 Set Spark Plug Wires (8pcs) + 1 Set Wire Separator Loom; Benefits: Improves throttle response & gas mileage, reduces misfire, ensure for long lasting use and high performance after long journey on the road; 12 months warranty for free replacement or refund
Bestseller No. 7
Michigan Motorsports LS1 Rocker Arms and Bolts with Trunion Kit Installed Fits LS2 LS6 LQ4 LQ9 LM7 4.8 5.3 5.7 6.0
  • Whether you have a stock LS motor or a highly modified LS motor, replacing your rockers with a true roller bearing setup is highly recommended. Michigan Motorsports' LS1 Rocker Arms with Trunnion Bearings Professionally Installed
  • LS1 Rocker Arms have been disassembled and new Trunion Bearings have been professionally installed. LS1 style bolts are included for installation.
  • These rocker arms are a must have for any aggressive heads and cam combo.
  • We utilize LS rocker arms and install new LS1 rocker arm retro-fit trunion kit that replaces the cageless, loose OEM needle bearings and powdered metal trunion with a premium 8620 steel alloy trunion and caged roller bearings for added durability.
  • The caged roller bearings that greatly reduce the possibility of the bearing failure experienced with stock LS1 needle bearings, which can send loose needles throughout the engine upon failure.
Bestseller No. 8
Michigan Motorsports LS Main Crank Bearings .010" Undersize SI-Series for Stock or Performance -Fits 4.8 5.3 5.7 6.0 6.2 LS1 LS2 LQ4 LQ9 LS3 L92 L94 L76 L77 LY6 L96
  • Michigan Motorsports Main Bearings -.010" Undersized
  • Main Bearings, SI-Series, .010" Undersize, Bi-metal, Silicon Aluminum, Chevy 4.8 5.3 5.7 6.0 6.2 Gen 3/4 Set of 5
  • Michigan Motorsports SI-Series main bearings are recommended for stock or performance engines using factory crankshafts.
  • The bearings have an improved crankshaft finish for reducing microscopic ferrite peaks on improperly ground or polished nodular cast iron crankshafts.
  • SI-Series main bearings feature improved oil clearance to reduce wear and increase engine life, which in turn reduces operating noise, vibration, and excess oil flow.
Bestseller No. 9
LS1 Rocker Arms and Bolts with Trunion Kit Installed Compatible with LS2 LS6 LQ4 LQ9 LY5 LY6 LM7 4.8 5.3 5.7 6.0 Engine YX04308
  • Compatible with LS2 LS6 LQ4 LQ9 LY5 LY6 LM7 4.8 5.3 5.7 6.0 Engine
  • Includes:16* LS Series Rocker Arms 16* rocker arm trunnions 32* rocker arm bearings 32* rocker arm retaining rings 16* bolts for LS trunnion kit
  • Made of high-quality steel
  • Professional installation recommended
Bestseller No. 10
MOOSUN 4 inch Cold Air Intake Black Tube + Heat Shield for 1999-2006 GMC/Chevy V8 4.8L/5.3L/6.0L Silverado 1500/2500/3500 Blue
  • 【unique】The kit includes a intake tube and steel heat shield that features a durable carbon-black powder coating for long lasting good looks
  • UniqueThe kit includes a intake tube and steel heat shield that features a durable carbon-black powder coating for long lasting good looks
  • International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions

Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQ: How Can I Get the Most Power Out of My 5.3 Vortec?

Add a Cold Air Intake – A cold air intake can help increase airflow to the engine, resulting in more horsepower and better performance.

Upgrade the Exhaust – A performance exhaust system can reduce backpressure and increase the airflow through the engine, resulting in more power and a deeper exhaust note.

Install a Performance Chip – A performance chip can optimize the engine’s performance by adjusting key parameters such as fuel delivery, timing, and air intake.

Add a Performance Camshaft – A performance camshaft can significantly increase horsepower by improving valve lift and duration.

Install Performance Heads – Performance heads can improve airflow and increase horsepower, but they may require other upgrades to fully realize their potential.

FAQ: How Can I Improve My 5.3 Performance?

In addition to the above options, there are several other ways to improve the performance of your 5.3 engine:

Upgrade the Ignition System – Upgrading the ignition system can improve combustion and increase horsepower. A fresh set of LS plugs and plug wires and a good coil pack will help.

Install a Higher Stall Torque Converter – A higher stall torque converter can increase torque and acceleration.

Add Nitrous Oxide – Nitrous oxide can provide a significant horsepower boost, but it’s important to use it responsibly and carefully.

FAQ: How Much HP Can a Stock 5.3 Make?

A stock 5.3 Vortec engine can make between 285-325 horsepower, depending on the year and model. However, this can vary based on factors such as altitude, temperature, and the condition of the engine.

FAQ: How Much HP Can a Built 5.3 LS Make?

A built 5.3 LS engine can make significantly more horsepower than a stock engine. With the right modifications, a built 5.3 LS can make over 500 horsepower on the dyno. However, the specific horsepower output will depend on the specific modifications made to the engine.

Final thoughts about the best 5.3 bolt-ons

In conclusion, there are several ways to improve the performance of your 5.3 Vortec engine and increase horsepower.

From adding a cold air intake to upgrading the ignition system, there are many Avalanche 5.3 performance upgrades available to suit your needs and budget

A stock 5.3 can make between 285-325 horsepower, while a built 5.3 LS can make over 500 horsepower with the right modifications.

By choosing the right upgrades for your engine, you can enjoy a more powerful and responsive driving experience.

Find the best 5.3 bolt-ons on Amazon.

Originally posted 2023-02-19 13:09:28.