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SUBJECT: # 12291: chevy with 4.8 vs 5.3

Submitted by scott (68.154.130.168) from ALABAMA on 11/8/2006 11:45:00 AM

seems to be good deals on some z71 ext cabs with 4.8 motors..is there that big a difference in them? Will they have similiar power..know the fuel mileage is a little better..what do yall think..and are the trucks with the 4.8 exactallyt he same as the ones with the 5.3..


  1. 11/8/2006 4:27:00 PM Submitted by RedAllison (70.63.59.242) from TN says Scott I can't say...
    for sure as I don't have a tremendous amount of experience with the 4.8 but lastyear I did drive one for a day. Feb/05 I had a family thing in OK City so we flew into OC and rented an 05 Tahoe (2x4 LS with little tires, fully loaded, 3rd row seat... standard "rental" fleet stuff) and it had a 4.8 in it. We drove about an hour south of OK City and the highway/country there is relatively flat (slight rolling hills) and running 75-90 on the interstate the 4.8 would have to downshift out of OD to maintain a steady speed and pull the hills. I could've pulled my boat over the same hills in OD at the same speed with my 5.3 Avalanche.

    I was really surprised at how much difference there was between the two engines. The little motor just seemed to be working hard. Now if it was in a regular cab pickup and all you towed was a jonboat then I'd probably say ok. But for either an ext cab/crew cab 4x4 or Tahoe/Suburban and to pull a trailer full of 4wheelers or a full sized bassboat/skiboat/dual jetskis I think you'd be MUCH happier with a 5.3 or even better the 6.0 Max.

    Hope that helped, RA


  2. 11/8/2006 6:57:00 PM Submitted by Cajunearbass (139.55.17.233) from KY says 4.8
    have a friend with a 4.8 and as near as we can tell the 4.8 works a lot harder and uses as much if not more gas than my 5.3 . get the 5.3.i pull my sprint 221 with no problem .


  3. 11/8/2006 7:07:00 PM Submitted by twinscrew (68.91.103.44) from TX says 5.3l
    Agree with R A. There's not much difference in the fuel eco between the two. The HP ratings aren't that far apart either. But, the ease with which the 5.3 moves a heavy truck around, compared with the 4.8, is striking. I have three of the 5.3's. One in a new Avalanche, one in my son's 1500 ext cab, and another one in my "play" truck. It's an '05 reg cab step side with a supercharger on top. They are a really good blend of power and economy. I wouldn't own a 4.8 unless the deal was too good to pass up.


  4. 11/8/2006 10:19:00 PM Submitted by John T. (12.31.88.232) from AL says My father in law has both…
    His personal vehicle is an ext. cab Z71 with the 5.3 and his company vehicle is an exact match except with the 4.8.

    I’ve pulled his ski boat (guess @ 1850lbs?) with the 4.8 and while it has enough power the engine does seem to work a lot harder the whole time. Gas mileage while towing is actually @1.5 to 2 mpg better with the 5.3… about the same otherwise.

    My truck is the Z71 with the 5.3 and if you tow a boat a lot then I wouldn’t go down to the 4.8 unless the deal was too good to be true, just my opinion.

    Good luck. JT


  5. 11/9/2006 10:45:00 AM Submitted by Chad (216.124.136.2) from IL says 4.8
    The bad thing about some of the tahoes is that chevy puts that little 4.8 in that heavy SUV and then gear it with either 3:23 or 3:42 gears!!! Stupid if you ask me. A new 07 chevy at the dealership down the road has the 4.8 in it, its a crew cab and it has 3:23 gears!!!!! What the heck are you gonna do with a small V8 and those high gears!!!


  6. 11/9/2006 12:35:00 PM Submitted by scwildbill (198.253.25.51) from AL says 4.8 vs 5.3
    Scott,

    In the past year I've owned both in a 1500 ext cab P/U.

    The 4.8 had no problems pulling my boat thru the mountains of Tn but it did downshift more than the 5.3 does. I tow a TR21X....This was not really a bad thing but I hadn't noticed any fuel savings with the 4.8....Pulling the boat on the interstate doing about 75 in the hot summer months with the AC going it did downshift a bit more than the 5.3....After having both, I don't see an advantage of having the smaller V-8 when fuel consumption is about the same. Hope this helps.


  7. 11/9/2006 2:11:00 PM Submitted by scott (70.157.148.213) from AL says great info
    thanks for all the comments i think i now know why so many smaller v8s are for sale pretty cheap..im gonna stay with the 5.3


  8. 11/9/2006 7:29:00 PM Submitted by twinscrew (68.91.103.44) from TX says One more reason to get the 5.3.....
    ...as you noted and others have said, it will be much harder to get rid of when the time comes. When it gets right down to it, even an unloaded pickup is a load. The few extra cubes in the 5.3 make a lot of difference. You may pay a little extra on the front end, but it won't cost you any more to operate, and you'll get it back + when you sell it.


  9. 11/15/2006 7:16:00 AM Submitted by Chevymon (198.97.67.59) from OH says Whichever.....
    Just make DAM sure you don't get the 3.23 gear...I have the 3.42 with the 5.3 and if you don't have anything over 2500 lbs. it will suffice. The 3.73 is better and you only sacrifice about 2 MPG on average. Just a cents worth :) The 4.8 is a haulass buildup motor for light trucks but, the 5.3 is better at towing. A buddy has the 4.8 with cam ,headers and other goodies with a stick and it's a wild ride ;)


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