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Thread: Avalanche Z71 1500 5.3 cam / converter kit

  1. #1
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    Avalanche Z71 1500 5.3 cam / converter kit

    Hi guys, Happy New Year!

    I am thinking of getting a TSP stage 3 with a circle D 26-2800 converter for my Avalanche and wondering if this kit would be good and how much tuning would it take to run decent. Truck is currently tuned and has a catback system and a CAI so looking to start adding some more proven power but there's no dyno where I live so that would be out of the question. Let me know what you guys think..

    Thanks

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    Can't tell you dyno numbers or any of that but I'd go with a TSP Stage 2 instead of the larger Stage 3. It would be overall easy to tune and dial in while still gaining a good horsepower/torque.

    Don't forget that if you are on stock non flex fuel injectors, you may want to consider going to 8.1 injectors or factory flex fuel injectors to make sure you don't run out of a duty cycle.
    Last edited by 5FDP; 1 Week Ago at 06:38 PM.
    2016 Silverado CCSB 5.3/6L80e, not as slow but still heavy.

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    Thanks for the info 5FDP, this is a Gen 3 and non flex fuel. Reason I was thinking of the stage 3 is, I think the truck would really benefit from a higher stall and since I was going that route I would just get the stage 3 as that recommends a higher stall. I am welcome to any suggestions but I thought I was going on a good path.

    Thanks

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    Unless you plan to spend a good amount of time bouncing off the limiter at 7K (in an Avalanche? really?), you'll be happier with the converter you mentioned and the smaller cam. Hell, in a heavy tank like that a looser converter even with the stock cam makes a world of difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blindsquirrel View Post
    Unless you plan to spend a good amount of time bouncing off the limiter at 7K (in an Avalanche? really?), you'll be happier with the converter you mentioned and the smaller cam. Hell, in a heavy tank like that a looser converter even with the stock cam makes a world of difference.
    No I don't think I'll be spending much time at 7K but just figured I would put the higher stage in there since it is a heavier rig and could benefit from that. If the stage 2 will be more than enough then I will go that route and definitely going with the 26-2800 stall. Will these 2 items be a really noticeable difference in performance?

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    Each "stage" (Jesus H. but do I ever hate that trend of replacing actual duration with "stages") moves the power band higher. More power at 6,000 does you no good when most of your driving is in the 1800-2800 range. An Avalanche is heavy, it's not like a single cab SWB pickup. It's a Tahoe with a little bit of the roof cut off.

    "Stage" 2 high-lift is 212/218 @.050 and listed as 1200-5800 RPM. "Stage" 3 is 216/220 @.050 and 1400-6000. Optimal shift point is always higher than where peak power occurs... so a 5800 peak will probably like to shift at 62-6300, and 6000 peak at 64-6600. Which then asks the question: what trans do you have? If you have a 60E, you should really look into what happens to the reverse drum, which spins at 2x engine speed in 1st gear, when you regularly wind 1st gear out to +6000 RPM (hint: centrifugal force bends the tangs out until it saws the case in half).

    screenshot.13-01-2021 19.55.40.png

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    Whether 80e or 60e, the use of a 9.5" Lockup converter and OEM style Flexplate is ideal. I used and recommend the tightest, lowest stall (around 2800rpm is minimum from Yank)
    It will be a large improvement over OEM and free up rotating weight which will improve cruise economy. Overall the vehicle mileage will increase from the converter 9.5".

    power...
    That Power does not come from a cam. It comes from forced induction. Trying to squeeze a low stall, daily driver for power using a large camshaft is the worst of both worlds.
    The correct camshaft for a daily driver is low lift to preserve valvetrain components and slow ramp rates to emphasize high rpm control of valves. And enough duration to get the job done...

    duration is to match vehicle weight/stall/gear/tire... max rpm and time spent at/near max rpm
    For: high weight, low stall, numerically low gear, large diameter tire, The resulting range will be: low-medium RPM range for driving, so duration must be kept to that range (usually duration less than 225@.050" with 212-216 typical).

    For example in 02' LM7 862 head 5.3L application with 216/220@.050" peak engine torque (VE curve) is near 5000rpm which causes power to climb to 80mph in 1:1 gear (dyno light loading) and level off at 80mph staying somewhat flat all the way through 120mph, which is the range 4400-6200rpm [1:1->3.54:1->27.4"Tire].

    Because of the need for high MPH in forced induction, numerically lower gearing must be used which demands more from the engine to move the vehicle at low speeds similarly.
    A Race car doesn't care because it will not be run at low RPM frequently. A daily driver leaves alot of stoplights without going WOT.
    A drag race car can use 5000stall and a cam to peak numbers 6000 7000 8000rpm making max power.

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    There's zero reason to use a 'low lift' cam on a LS, other than being too cheap to buy the correct springs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blindsquirrel View Post
    There's zero reason to use a 'low lift' cam on a LS, other than being too cheap to buy the correct springs.
    What do you mean "No reason" Of course there is a reason!

    The less lift, the less stress! Longer valve guide life! Longer valvetrain life! Longer lifter life! Everything is happier.

    If you use a STRONG SPRING you will cut valvetrain life down significantly. A very strong spring must be replaced ever 20k to 30k miles.


    To throw your statement back at you,
    "There is no reason to use a "high lift" cam on an LS, other than to destroy the valvetrain and create catastrophic failure sooner"

    In other words, I can make over 1000hp with a Low Lift Camshaft (0.560"~) So why in the hell would I want or need a higher lift?

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    Quote Originally Posted by blindsquirrel View Post
    Each "stage" (Jesus H. but do I ever hate that trend of replacing actual duration with "stages") moves the power band higher. More power at 6,000 does you no good when most of your driving is in the 1800-2800 range. An Avalanche is heavy, it's not like a single cab SWB pickup. It's a Tahoe with a little bit of the roof cut off.

    "Stage" 2 high-lift is 212/218 @.050 and listed as 1200-5800 RPM. "Stage" 3 is 216/220 @.050 and 1400-6000. Optimal shift point is always higher than where peak power occurs... so a 5800 peak will probably like to shift at 62-6300, and 6000 peak at 64-6600. Which then asks the question: what trans do you have? If you have a 60E, you should really look into what happens to the reverse drum, which spins at 2x engine speed in 1st gear, when you regularly wind 1st gear out to +6000 RPM (hint: centrifugal force bends the tangs out until it saws the case in half).

    screenshot.13-01-2021 19.55.40.png
    Thanks Blindsquirrel and yes Iv'e heard some stories about the trans mostly the sun shell and gear. I'd be fine with upgrading the trans in the future if needed and I don't drive the Avalanche every day and don't just beat on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingtal0n View Post
    Whether 80e or 60e, the use of a 9.5" Lockup converter and OEM style Flexplate is ideal. I used and recommend the tightest, lowest stall (around 2800rpm is minimum from Yank)
    It will be a large improvement over OEM and free up rotating weight which will improve cruise economy. Overall the vehicle mileage will increase from the converter 9.5".

    power...
    That Power does not come from a cam. It comes from forced induction. Trying to squeeze a low stall, daily driver for power using a large camshaft is the worst of both worlds.
    The correct camshaft for a daily driver is low lift to preserve valvetrain components and slow ramp rates to emphasize high rpm control of valves. And enough duration to get the job done...

    duration is to match vehicle weight/stall/gear/tire... max rpm and time spent at/near max rpm
    For: high weight, low stall, numerically low gear, large diameter tire, The resulting range will be: low-medium RPM range for driving, so duration must be kept to that range (usually duration less than 225@.050" with 212-216 typical).

    For example in 02' LM7 862 head 5.3L application with 216/220@.050" peak engine torque (VE curve) is near 5000rpm which causes power to climb to 80mph in 1:1 gear (dyno light loading) and level off at 80mph staying somewhat flat all the way through 120mph, which is the range 4400-6200rpm [1:1->3.54:1->27.4"Tire].

    Because of the need for high MPH in forced induction, numerically lower gearing must be used which demands more from the engine to move the vehicle at low speeds similarly.
    A Race car doesn't care because it will not be run at low RPM frequently. A daily driver leaves alot of stoplights without going WOT.
    A drag race car can use 5000stall and a cam to peak numbers 6000 7000 8000rpm making max power.
    Thank you Kingtal0n for the info and good to know about the stall because I think that alone helps big time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingtal0n View Post
    What do you mean "No reason" Of course there is a reason!

    The less lift, the less stress! Longer valve guide life! Longer valvetrain life! Longer lifter life! Everything is happier.

    If you use a STRONG SPRING you will cut valvetrain life down significantly. A very strong spring must be replaced ever 20k to 30k miles.


    To throw your statement back at you,
    "There is no reason to use a "high lift" cam on an LS, other than to destroy the valvetrain and create catastrophic failure sooner"

    In other words, I can make over 1000hp with a Low Lift Camshaft (0.560"~) So why in the hell would I want or need a higher lift?
    As usual...

    1000hp with a low lift cam and a giant turbo. As usual, completely irrelevant to the OP's situation which if I recall is a cam-and-converter-only Avalanche. A TSP Stage 2/3 high lift cam, with the correct springs and everything else stock, will not be any harder on parts than a TSP Stage 2/3 low lift cam. The low lift cams only exist to cater to the people who don't want to change springs - either because they are cheap-asses, or they think changing springs is too hard. (or, to cater to the people who have the misguided belief that high lift 'destroys valvetrain parts'.)

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    You could also just put some different gears in it, that would help make it feel quicker and you wouldn't have to do any engine/tranny work. And the only tuning you would have to do is for the speed calibration, you could just use the gear change wizard in the editor and it adjusts speedo and shift points for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan_axberg View Post
    You could also just put some different gears in it, that would help make it feel quicker and you wouldn't have to do any engine/tranny work. And the only tuning you would have to do is for the speed calibration, you could just use the gear change wizard in the editor and it adjusts speedo and shift points for you.
    Thanks ryan_axberg, I already thought about that route with gears but it's not that economical and it already has 3.73's. It's 4 wheel drive so that means I would have to swap out the front diff's gears as well and 2 sets of gears and labour on the 2 diffs isn't worth that. Iv'e adjusted the shift points and truck really drives much better and is quite snappy for a big rig.

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    We do cammed trucks all the time.. The smaller the cam the better the truck will feel day to day. People want to hear that lope and we can make them drive just as good as stock but power below say 3k is almost always affected. I vote smaller cam with stock converter. If you want the sound that's one thing (nothing wrong with that, it's yours) but if you want a truck that feels like it has more power everywhere there are better options.
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    Hi Alvin, I plan on going with a converter as well so will a 212/218 be a good fit with the 26-2800 stall?

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    [QUOTE=blindsquirrel;638013]
    The low lift cams only exist to cater to the people who don't want to change springs -
    The OEM springs will not work in any performance application. Therefore changing the springs will always be necessary, practically.

    PAC1218 is a valvespring for gen3 which is stronger than OEM and suitable for 1000hp. It is also not overly stiff as to cause excess stress on the valvetrain.
    With a combination of PAC1218 and a Low Lift camshaft, valve control in reliability application is best. As observed by grinds such as TFS-30602001, which are ground using slow ramp rates and low lifts, for use in circle track application where high RPM valve control was most important. The key being that the low lift and slow ramp is what allows for a smooth valve opening and closing, when using a suitable valve spring of course.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by John5 View Post
    Hi Alvin, I plan on going with a converter as well so will a 212/218 be a good fit with the 26-2800 stall?
    You should be able to get by with the stock converter on that. The stall will still help.
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    Ok thanks and yes I think I will go with the higher stall as well because it needs that IMO.