Project Dark Knight Vortec LQ4

Well this project is going to finally get a truck that will RUN. Not that project black magic didn’t run but 344hp in a 4000lb truck just isn’t enough.   I have acquired a 2004 Vortec 6.0L motor with 4L80E automatic from one of my customers. I am not going to drastic as you can pretty much pull 400hp with just bolt ons.   I am going to change the cam, valve springs and pushrods to wake the 6.0 up and put a set of pace setter long tube headers on the truck with true dual 2.5 pipes back to a magnaflow ultra muffler than has the X pipe built in much like the blue whale project truck and see if I can pull a very streetable 450hp/400lbs of torque from this truck.   Coupled with some 3.73 gears and the Auburn Pro series posi that I acquired. I should be able to get this 4000lb truck into the 12’s at the track and I am hoping to still be able to get over 20mpg on the highway

I am looking to use these Schoenfeld Long Tube headers.

and the cam, valve springs and pushrods from Patriot Performance.  Stock vortec 6.0L motors have a pretty pathetic 190 duration @ .050 cam from the factory so I should see a pretty significant gain going to a 218/224 duration @ .050, .550″/.550″ lift and 114 lsa. These GEN3 and GEN4 heads really like a lot of lift to get the air flow going and the IVE ratio on the heads doesn’t require much if any split on that duration. Some of you might say why not a much bigger cam, and well this isn’t a race car.  I don’t want to have to run a big stall and get crappy gas mileage just to be a little faster.  This is a truck and I will tow my atv’s around with it and drive it daily so I want a good daily driver that is pretty darn quick. People have a tendancy to over cam their engines and I like a better all around package. For valve springs, I used these beehive springs from Scoggin Dickey Chevrolet.   price is reasonable and I am not going to go thrashing this thing over 6000 rpms so I believe they will be just fine.

For motor mounts I am going to use these adapters from summit racing.

Click here for more information about part# TRD-4572

For the AC, I am going to modify this kit from Fbodymotorsports so that I can use my factory AC compressor and hoses to try and make things less complicated than my Camaro project.

For the throttle body, I found a nice 80mm aftermarket throttle body to go on this truck intake.

I will be running 2 electric fans on the radiator to give me that extra little bit of power from this engine and they were about the only things left over from the black magic project.

When it comes to wiring this computer system I will try to list the resources for that wiring and let you know how hard it was and how it turns out.  There is a lot of swap information on

I am posting a couple of links for wiring that I found useful.


Went to the dyno and finished the tune for this project so I can start the next stage of this project and install a whipple supercharger on this thing.    I can tell you this 6.0L has plenty of torque.  I tow with this thing quite frequently and I can put 3 or 4000 lbs behind it and it will run off with it and hardly ever downshifts except for pretty steep grades.  Anyway it pulled 326hp and 321lb of torque at the wheels weather corrected (20% drivetrain loss puts those numbers at 408hp and 400lbs of torque) which is a little lower than I expected from this engine but if you look at the graph it pulled those horsepower numbers pretty low rpm for the cam that I am running and really flattened out quickly past 4800 rpms which is odd for a LS series engine.  I think combination of small van MAF sensor and truck intake manifold is to blame.  I really should have put a LS2 GTO or corvette intake on this engine with a 90mm throttle body and a larger LS2 MAF sensor.

GM fuel injection for the average guy