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Old 01-04-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
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5.3 twin turbo

hey guys, i know questions get asked like this all the time and I'm sorry i really am. i just don't want to waste money. i sold all my motor stuff i was going to do the blow threw carb build with and I'm going 5.3... after reading that hot rod article that made 1203hp on stock bottom end... how can i not. anyway i had my finger on the buy it button for ebay for some turbos but i so don't want to buy the wrong ones. can someone please tell me some specs for the turbo's i should be looking to buy. i want 800hp and yes to start I'm going with ebay turbo.. i know i know but for 200 to 300 bucks I'll consider them my learning experience till they blow as i know nothing about tuning or turbos. i know the guys over on the turbo forum LOVE the ebay "gt45" but that seems like it might be a bit much for the 5.3 i was thinking "gt35" but theres a few diff versions and the trim, a/r, etc .... i kinda get lost.

any help would be great. thanks guys.
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:45 PM   #2
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

My buddy runs twin 62mm turbos on his 5.3 that should make over 800hp now. thats GT35 range.

Twin GT45's could work but it will be laggy. I didnt like how twin 70's worked on my mild 401..they really need some flow to get spinning and thats why I added bigger cam and bigger heads GT45 ebay turbos are 69mm I believe. Not bad but abit big for twins ona 5.3.


Consider rod bolt upgrade if you want that motor to live. Also open ring gaps for best results but I understand you are looking for a already built bottom end and dont want to do anything to it. Also try to get one of the later years 5.3's, not the early 2000's models. Later ones i do believe have better internals. My friend has done a few stock bottom end 4.8-6.0 L builds and they live well with safe tuning but almost all of them he opens up the ring gaps and does rod bolt upgrades. Internals remain stock.

You kinda want to stick with 58-62mm on the compressor wheel. Similar P-trim sized turbine wheel in the 60-64mm range would work well for twins.

I sold my master power T60's to a guy with a 4.8L and he went 6.00's in the 1/8 mile at 116mph. Worked extremely well in his chevelle
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #3
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

thanks orr, always appreciated. ya plus the ebay gt45's are HUGE and will take up a lot of room. I'm thinking the 35's would be a great fit and i can get them for about $200 each. does the "t3" or "t4" make a difference? yes I'm that dumb when it comes to this stuff lolol I'm trying and i'm getting better though

as far as the motor goes i plan on taking it apart and getting it all redone and yes using new bolts all around. I'm going to pretty much follow the article i read. but i don't think i'd like to tune for anything more then 800hp... i mean anything over 800hp is just starting to get silly lolol they made 1203hp on there motor and when it finally failed it wasn't the bottom end

http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/h...g_bang_theory/
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:00 PM   #4
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

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.....they made 1203hp on there motor and when it finally failed it wasn't the bottom end

http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/h...g_bang_theory/
And it turned out it wasn't even 5.3 "big".....
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:20 PM   #5
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

T3 is a smaller housing. May make 800 using a T3 but I like T4's. T4 with a .68 a/r is plenty. 3" downpipes.

If using a T3, i'd try .81 a/r or slightly larger, whatever is available. A T3 .81 a/r will flow somewhat similar to a T4 .68.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:04 PM   #6
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

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And it turned out it wasn't even 5.3 "big".....
right, 4.8 and when it did fail it wasnt the bottum end it was something with the electrical and they said they ran that motor for over 60 runs past 1000hp... that earns some respect in my mind lol

orr thanks that clears things up and i will get a t4. sounds like it would be the wiser to do.

thanks
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:17 PM   #7
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

You cant believe everything you read in Hot Rod magazine. do you??

60 runs on the dyno is nowhere near 60 1/4 mile runs.

If you run a turbo Lsx engine make sure you install 4 gallon coolant reservoir.

using a blowthru carb is like using a bucket to paint your house instead of a paint brush.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:29 AM   #8
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

Whats the reservoir for? Certainly not for pushing water. 15-20psi, ARP head bolts, LS9 gaskets, no water pushed at all. The tune has alot to do with it.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:01 AM   #9
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

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You cant believe everything you read in Hot Rod magazine. do you??

60 runs on the dyno is nowhere near 60 1/4 mile runs.

If you run a turbo Lsx engine make sure you install 4 gallon coolant reservoir.

using a blowthru carb is like using a bucket to paint your house instead of a paint brush.

huh... using a blow through carb? not on my build and sorry but 60 runs over a 1000hp on a dyno is better then 90% of the stock blocks I've read about. i think that earns some major respect from anyone. i think I'll be safe with having mine tuned to about 800hp with a fresh rebuild and some goodies on the motor... dyno or strip i have a couple of month before i start working on the motor. right now I'm doing the suspension and work on the car. anyway thanks for chiming in.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:08 AM   #10
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

i was thinking about doing a turbo 6.0 there for a bit, but i think now im steering back towards a sbc. once you go through and freshen up an ls motor you will have spent a good bit of money, and the heads have sealing issues up around 1000hp. some of that may be tuning im sure, but it is deffinately an issue. 2 of my friends dealt with it by going to an aftermarket LSX block.
i already have a turbo sbc engine i built ~8 years ago with all forged stuff in it and victor jr heads. i think i am going to put that stuff into a dart block and run that instead of the LS stuff. goal is 1200+ at the wheels.
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Old 01-05-2012, 11:20 AM   #11
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

ya i plan on putting some $ into it. i figure do it once and do it right. i'm not in a hurry to get this project done. i plowed threw the green car in about 8 months and when i was done i really regretted not doing some things different and felt like i kinda wasted 10k. so this time i plan on getting the best i can get and taking my time. as far sealing issues... good bolts and good gaskets is all you can do with any motor i guess. i don't plan on getting to the 1000hp range, i was thinking a 750hp to 850hp tune and a 100hp shot of nitrous just for fun... i know i wont need it but ... i want it lolol i will be doing meth/water injection with this as well.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:24 PM   #12
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

yeah 1000 hp is a good practical limit. most street cars on stock bottom ends should be well below that. I just know my buddy's motors making 700-800+ whp on very stingy dynos has been holding just fine with ARP studs torqued down abit tighter than normal spec and LS9 gaskets.

SBC have the advantage with extra bolt per cylinder to clamp things down.

Remember a 100 shot of nitrous on a boosted motor acts ALOT larger than it would on a n/a motor. I'd leave the shot out of the motor if you want it to live. Definately dont need it to make power.
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:31 PM   #13
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

nitrous different on turbo ... i did not know that. well even if its just for appearance I'll still throw it on there lol at 34 i'm not done driving like a teenager but i deffinitly take better care of my cars and drive ... a little better now lol the car shouldn't get that much wear and tear to be honest. i live about 15 minutes from work and this will be my summer ride. it might see a track once or twice just to see what it can do.
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Old 01-05-2012, 01:21 PM   #14
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

You get a denser air charge + the cooling effects of nitrous on the air charge + the o2 that nitrous adds by its chemical nature, and you get a shot size that acts alittle larger than it would on a n/a motor. Just be careful with it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 07:01 AM   #15
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

good tip, thanks. is there a performance difference between exhaust housing regarding the ones that have that bridge going across vs the ones that do not?
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:33 AM   #16
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

The split inlet housings vs the open inlet housings? There can be when used in the right application. Like if you had a big single turbo, you'd take the left bank of cylinders and plumb that to the left side of the twin scroll housing on the turbine. Then take right bank and plumb that to the right side of the turbine. This way you get the pulse effect of 2 banks of cylinders firing off at different times. The pulsation of the exhaust energize the turbine wheel and you should see quicker spool times than if you just dumped both banks of cylinders into 1 pipe and fed that to an open inlet turbine flange. (single scroll)

For twin turbo applications, it usually doesnt matter since all 4 cylinders on one bank go into a collector then T3 to T6 flange. BUT you could make it so that 2 cylinders that are close in firing order meet at one side of the turbine flange and the oher 2 cylinders that fire at different times meet at the left side. This way you get the same pulsing effect.

But generally a V8 doesnt have problems spooling a properly sized turbo...not like 4 cylinder imports. V8's actually can make decent n/a power and have alot of flow already before getting boost. Most 4 cylinders dont have alot of exhaust flow all motor
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:33 AM   #17
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

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good tip, thanks. is there a performance difference between exhaust housing regarding the ones that have that bridge going across vs the ones that do not?
only if you build the headers specifically for a divided housing. even then its probably not much of a difference.
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:39 AM   #18
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

thanks guys very easy to understand really appreciate it.
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Old 01-06-2012, 11:52 AM   #19
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

http://www.ebay.com/itm/330359446424...84.m1423.l2649

yes/no ?
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #20
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

Size wise it is ok for twins except the exhaust housing is WAY large. 1.15 a/r. You want more like a .68. Turbine size is a p-trim type wheel. Same as my twin 60 and twin 70mm Master Powers. My 400 spooled the .68 a/rs 60mm compressors by 3500 rpm. Hard for me to tell since my converter stalled over 4000 rpm but they came on quicky. The 70's had alittle lag to them but some of that was tuning issues.
Should do the same in a 5.3 if not sooner depending on the load. My friends 5.3 using twin 62's and .68 a/r T4's with a stick shift comes on in the low 3000 rpm range but he has ported heads and a cam I believe.
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Old 01-06-2012, 12:56 PM   #21
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

*sigh* lol its kinda tricky finding the right combo on ebay lol OK I'll keep looking. oh and as far as heads go i plan on sending mine out to be worked. the only part I'm trying to skimp out on is the turbos at this point. the rest is going to be good stuff. i actually made up a price list today and i looks like i'll be putting about 4k into the motor it self with what i want to do. anyway thanks again and sorry for the newbie questions.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:30 PM   #22
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

ok talked with some guys over at the turbo forum and i decided to go single turbo. vs over there has a good deal on them so hopefully I'll have my s475 in a few weeks... unless orr tell me I'm an idiot and that's not the turbo to use lolol
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:08 PM   #23
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

That will work, but its a big frame turbo. T6 I believe. you can get T4 but the price goes up on those units. T6 is harder to mount and heavier but it can be done. Just need to make a brace for it.

I was a fan of the Q trim T76 from Master Power and now there are Magnum line of turbos that I believe come from Master power. Price wise its about the same, less than that of the T4 S400 series I believe. That would fit this good, but maybe tapped out for 800 whp tho. Not sure how much they are getting out of those units. I've seen 70's make near 600whp, not sure a old school MP 76 will do 800. Not sure how much the S475 can make. From some maps i've seen, looks like 85-90lbs a min max in a 75mm wheel. Near 800whp.

The S480 with the 80mm wheel would do it. Those are good to 900whp and maybe more
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:03 AM   #24
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

understood. thanks i'll make sure i get the t4 flange and i'll check out that s480 as well. i think going single will save me some head aches. anyway THANK YOU
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:29 AM   #25
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

T4 is gonna limit power tho unless the turbine is big. Not sure if just the housing changes with the T4 or the turbine wheel also gets smaller. I know guys have gone 8's on T4 turbine housing for a single turbo so it should be plenty for your goals and spool very quickly. T6 will also work great but spool will be delayed slightly. Depends on if the 5.3 will remain stockish or if you cam it up alittle to extend the rpm range.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:55 AM   #26
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

well i was planning on cam, ls6 intake, injector to support, msd ignition, and head work although someone just mentioned the 799 heads are a great upgrade for the 5.3 and no head work would be needed in the ls board for someone else doing a 5.3 so still out on that one. i talked to a trans shop last night and I'm definitely doing the 4l80e trans with my 4:11 posi rear.. i think i should have a good combination. although every time i decide on a turbo something makes me rethink it
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:49 AM   #27
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

Think you have way too much gear. With a turbo I see no reason to go higher than 3.23's with an automatic. Lower gears actually do help load the motor harder so you can spool a turbo sooner.

799's are same as 243's and are a great factory head. Can make good power on those. Similar to the truck 317 castings but smaller chambers are on the 243/799s for more compression. Easy way to lower your comp is with 317 heads from the trucks. Since 5.3's are found in trucks, i'd just keep the stock 317 heads if thats what you have.
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Old 01-10-2012, 09:55 AM   #28
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

"to much gear" ya i know but i couldnt pass up the deal on the rear end and those were in it. rear end from a 99 camaro ss with brand new drilled and slotted rotors with pbr brakes and richmond 4:11 posi. only had a few thousand miles on the whole thing for $300 i can always change it later.

thanks for the tip on the heads i'm pretty sure i have the 317's i have not pulled the motor apart yet (just got it last week)

ok orr if this was your build what turbo would u put on it lol I'm sorry to keep asking all these silly questions i really am i feel like a dope but at the same time i want to do this right.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:23 AM   #29
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

i think i would do a 75mm t6 borg warner.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:26 AM   #30
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

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i think i would do a 75mm t6 borg warner.

thanks for the tip I'll go check it out. i cant beleive how many different choices there is for turbo and confusing it can be... when i find some of the numbers suggested (trim,a/r etc) the other stuff doesn't line up grrr with time i guess lol

thanks
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:05 PM   #31
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

If you cammed up alittle bit and could find room to mount it, which there is definately room for just have to brace it since its so heavy, its hard to beat the bang for the buck of the S400 series turbos. The base 75mm will likely cover your hp goals. If you wanted more power, S480 all the way. T6 will work. I believe there are a few guys on turbo forums running similar setups just fine. Can you get them on a 1.00-1.05 a/r instead of the 1.32? May help alittle with spool time. Not sure how laggy that will be.
My friend ran a T88 with a large T4 housing I believe on a cammed/heads 4.8 and it definately had some lag but that motor peaked over 7000 rpm and made 700whp. Looked like a supra power curve. 75mm should be much easier to spool on a larger 5.3 even tho you may not have as much cam as he had. 230/236 degs but dont know who's cam it was. But you really dont need too large of a cam anyway with a turbo motor, although it can make power easier with less boost when you use more cam/head. Thats pretty obvious, it can breath better and more rpm is more power when setup right. I'm a fan of less boost/more motor.

I like twin turbos and thats why i built a twin setup and now redoing the twin setup on my car. Just seems odd to have a single turbo to me on a V8 motor but i understand the cost benefits in some cases, and it can be easier to setup.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:19 PM   #32
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

thanks orr, ya twin vs single... i think i better wait a little bit longer before i make this purchase. maybe get my motor done and in the car cuz i originally wanted twins and i still do i was just thinking about convenience but then again i don't want to do this again in a couple years. this is my 8th camaro and i kinda want to enjoy one for a while lol after all the reading today i think i finally understand what all the numbers mean when it comes to size, a/r etc. i have enough to work on with the rest of the car so I'll just chill for a few more weeks on the turbos.

you guys rock, this site has been the best learning tool yet
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:40 PM   #33
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

Turbos can be last thing you buy..whether single or twin. I made the mistake of planning my build around a 383 motor with twin 60's and ordered the turbos before the motor was even finished. i had the 383 at 11 to 1 comp but didnt know how I wanted to drop compression. Either pistons or larger chamber heads but I figured I'd atleast mock up the turbo system first.

Well I eventually changed plans for more power and went 400 dart block. I should have put the right heads on it and the larger turbos I wanted to run. The combo worked well for my original goals.. very mild but very fast. But as in all performance builds with me. I always want more so I started with larger turbos and found out they were too big for the combo so now I am doing heads/cam to match.

Get the motor done and really figure out what you want to do. You may find a deal on a pair of turbos for a good twin setup in the near future that you can snag for same price as a single. That will keep it cost effective. No real advantage in going twins over single other than possible packaging issues...twins can be easier to deal with sometimes and smaller downpipes easier to route. I just like the look and sound when you say you have "twin turbo". Thats kinda of R icer but oh well
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:02 PM   #34
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

before you buy the turbo or turbos ,why dont you call Precision or Turbonetics????

there is no one here on this thread, me included that could recommend you a turbo.
In turbo application headgasket sealing is very important. A 5.3L (junk) will lift the head push coolant.I would recommend a SBC at least maybe a SBF too. SBC have a proven record with turbos , check out Andy Jensen pro mod corvette running in the 5`s in the 1/4 with a turbo sbc. leave the LSx to the sheep.

i would run the 4.11 and see how it goes before id change anything. Turbos do not care about gearing.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:37 PM   #35
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

thanks dave for the tip.
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:00 AM   #36
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

LSx engines tend to blow head gaskets real easy on boost, compared to a traditional SBC which actually has a real deck. They do fine naturally aspirated, but on boost its another story.
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Old 01-12-2012, 06:01 AM   #37
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

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LSx engines tend to blow head gaskets real easy on boost, compared to a traditional SBC which actually has a real deck. They do fine naturally aspirated, but on boost its another story.
well i'm not going to jump on the "junk lsx" band wagon yet. i hear ya, and i'm sure they have there problems but from the friends i have that have them and from the reading i've done on these motors... i think it's worth a try nothing wrong with newer things and just like anything relatively new it will have bugs to be worked out. for head that lifts.. I'm sure there will be a bolt that gets tighter or a gaskets that seals better.

i had an sbc, and all the parts to go with it before i bought this 5.3 but a stock sbc is'nt going to hold 800hp and when it dies odds are i would need a new block and new machining to support. IF this lsx motor lifts a head... i have to clean the motor and put on some new gaskets... just my opinion. that 5.3 from everything i've been reading is the new "get it" BLOCK i'm seeing more and more of them with CRAZY hp numbers running for a long time and having no issues. to each his own and well i'll give it a try thanks guys for the input i really enjoy it and learning new things has always been a passion
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:41 AM   #38
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

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before you buy the turbo or turbos ,why dont you call Precision or Turbonetics????

there is no one here on this thread, me included that could recommend you a turbo.
In turbo application headgasket sealing is very important. A 5.3L (junk) will lift the head push coolant.I would recommend a SBC at least maybe a SBF too. SBC have a proven record with turbos , check out Andy Jensen pro mod corvette running in the 5`s in the 1/4 with a turbo sbc. leave the LSx to the sheep.

i would run the 4.11 and see how it goes before id change anything. Turbos do not care about gearing.
I work with compressor maps for a living...alot larger scale stuff but concepts are the same...Its not hard to size a turbo.

LSx will not push water at that hp level if you do it right and use the right gasket with good head bolts. Super high boost/high hp builds yes they may have issues...My buddy has built 4 different lsx motors all over 700whp and they all are doing fine. Never pushed water. Use LS9 gasket if possible, they work well. All on stock bottom ends, some with rod bolt upgrades...some with wider ring gaps but still stock internal parts.

800hp is not out of the question for a turbo 5.3. I'd suggest a good turbo cam and head combination to make it easier to get there but even with stock head castings it is possible.
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Old 01-14-2012, 04:12 PM   #39
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

hey guys, well attached my dual fuel pumps, did some painting on the underbody and started tearing down the motor. just an fyi.. dont drop your brand new pump or you will have to waste money to replace it Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size.Click the image to open in full size. does anyone have any opinions on using the stock manifolds for the turbo's? upside down or do you think they would choke the flow. I'm not opposed to making up or buying some headers but if they will do the job then why not. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-14-2012, 06:45 PM   #40
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

those manifolds have been used to 1000+ hp many times they will be fine
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Old 01-14-2012, 07:28 PM   #41
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

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those manifolds have been used to 1000+ hp many times they will be fine

to cool, thanks for the input that will save me some time and money. this build is getting better and funner the further i get into it

thanks
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Old 01-15-2012, 04:47 PM   #42
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

ok the dual feul pumps is easy till it gets stuck then its..well .... hard lol it took me a little while but it went in and now i just need to put it back up in the car. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:03 PM   #43
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

yeah dual pumps just fit, i tried installing 3 pumps mounted up 2 p u tthem in the tank and then tried squeezing my hand in the tank to mount up the 3rd my hands were way to big so i gave up
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Old 01-15-2012, 07:35 PM   #44
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

well i think dual will supply my needs. what was your reason for wanting 3?
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Old 01-15-2012, 08:56 PM   #45
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

i roginally had dual aremotive 340lph pumps ,but they both died due to a plugged return line. so while i sent them back to aremotive i had goten a deal on vette zr-1 pumps for 15 bucks each so i bought 3

they are only 190lph each

i have 2 new areomotive pumps to go back in,one of these days ill swap them back out
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:28 PM   #46
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

Still using thirdgen tank? 4th gen tanks have larger hole opening at the top...should be able to get 3 in there, I know MightyMouse on ls1tech has done that.
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Old 01-15-2012, 10:53 PM   #47
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

yeah dfoes a 4thgen tank bolt right in?
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:08 PM   #48
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

Mine bolted in just fine. For some reason I had to bend the two metal hold down straps abit to get the bolt hole to line up with the mount on the body but other than that, it went in fine. All plastic too so no rust out. Just watch your exhaust goin over the axle if you have that setup..it will melt the tank if too close! mine has
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Old 01-15-2012, 11:36 PM   #49
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

good to know. dont have to worrk about the ex as mine exits behind the front tires.
no mufflers or full ex system for me
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:28 AM   #50
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Re: 5.3 twin turbo

i'm still using the third gen tank on mine. it was tight but no biggy.
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