2011 Chevrolet Silverado LTZ LS9 Camshaft Swap

300 bucks worth of stock parts, an LS9 camshaft, and 50hp gains on a 6.2-liter truck!

Justin Cesler Mar 7, 2013 0 Comment(s)
2011 Chevrolet Silverado Ltz Ls9 Camshaft Swap Camshaft 1/21

Nothing says hot rodding like dipping into the stock parts bin at GM, mixing and matching OEM components, and coming out the other side with almost 50 extra rear wheel horsepower and OE reliability. This trick, of course, is as old as the internal combustion engine itself, although it’s just recently that a couple hundred dollars worth of GM parts could add this kind of power. Seriously, the package we’re showing off here can be purchased for under 300-bucks if you shop smart (new parts, nothing used) and added 47-rwhp and 20 lb-ft of torque to our bolt-on equipped 2011 Silverado LTZ, through the factory automatic transmission. Besides the healthy power gains, we also drove away with a near stock idle, sublime under-the-curve drivability, long term reliability, and a stop light ready sleeper package that could surprise almost anything you’ll run into on the street. And the best part is, anyone can get this done with a couple hundred bucks and a 6.2-liter LS engine, which means the LS9 camshaft swap will work for a ton of truck guys, and fifth-gen Camaro enthusiasts as well. In fact, AntiVenom recently stuffed a 6.2 in our Ashy Larry project, with the same camshaft, and made over 400-rwhp!

2011 Chevrolet Silverado Ltz Ls9 Camshaft Swap Engine Bay 2/21

1. AntiVenom’s 2011 Silverado LTZ test truck had already been upgraded with a K&N intake and a set of long-tube headers prior to our arrival. Those modifications worked well with the stock 6.2-liter VVT-equipped L9H engine as it laid down 348-rwhp and 352 lb-ft of torque during our baseline testing.

So, what do you need to get this done? Let’s start with the LS9 camshaft (PN 12638427, $166.81), which is borrowed from the Corvette ZR1 and rather similar in specifications to the LS7 camshaft found on the Z06. With 211/230 degrees of duration at .050-inches of valve lift, the LS9 isn’t a tiny camshaft, but it’s also not massive like some of the aftermarket offerings we are accustomed to. Lift is also stout, with .558-inches on the intake lobe and .552-inches on the exhaust side. The smooth idle and tuner friendly drive comes from the large 122.5-degree lobe separation angle, but it is really the entire combo working together that makes this a great bumpstick. Along with the camshaft, would be modifiers will also need a set of LS3 valve springs (PN 12625033, $8.78/each) to handle the high lift, a 3-bolt camshaft gear (PN 12623754, $24.29) to get everything spinning, and an LS3-style front timing cover (PN 12600326, $45.41). If you’re doing this swap on an LS3 Camaro, well, you just need the cam, but truck and L99-equipped automatic Camaros will need all of those parts. Other than that, you’ll just need a weekend of your time and some garage space, or a competent mechanic, to get the job done. For our install, we turned to Greg Lovell at AntiVenom in Seffner, FL and he and his crew had the truck up and running in less than a day. With almost 400-rwhp in a brand new Silverado, it was all smiles in the bay and all tire smoke out on the street.

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