June 1, 2015

The Gen3 (1999-2006) GM Vortec V8 engine aftermarket has reached a new situation.  Trucks & SUV’s of this era are typically NOT being repaired these days.  Fenders, Doors, Beds, Interiors, etc. are of little to no value to the auto recycler (wrecking yard) except for the actually scrap metal value.  Therefore the auto recycler must make their profit on the engine, transmission, and a few other drivetrain parts.  The engine being the most valuable component has driven prices up significantly in the past few years.  This, along with the dwindling supply and increased demand (every forum, magazine, Facebook page, etc. is littered with the next LS / Vortec Swap project) has also increased prices.  BD Turnkey Engines is not making any more on our engines today than when we started but have seen our retail prices increase almost 50%.

 6.OL Specific Availability & Pricing

6.0L’s can be considered somewhat “limited production”, especially when compared to 5.3L’s.  We don’t know the exact production numbers from GM but we get about 10 5.3’s for every good 6.0L.  For the most part, the only good 6.0L’s we find these days are from the SUV’s (Escalades, Denali’s, Tahoe’s, etc.).  Not too many 2500 trucks were made with the 6.0L in the Gen3 (1999-2006) era.  If you wanted a work truck or needed larger towing capacity over a 1500 chassis people generally bought the Duramax 2500 HD or 3500 trucks back then.  Because of this “limited production” situation, Gen3 6.0L’s are in short supply and the price has increased dramatically.  We’re not saying 6.0L’s aren’t available but you may be waiting awhile for a good one and be prepared to pay a premium for them as we have to pay more when purchasing them.

 4L60 / 4L80 with the 6.0L

First, we do NOT sell transmissions, but our harnesses can be plug-n-play for 4L60 / 80 transmissions.  Our standard, fully loaded, Gen3 engines use a modified OEM harness.  Since the 4L60e and 4L80e are NOT electronically interchangeable and have different plug configurations and speed sensor requirements you need to use the electronic transmission that came with the 6.0L from the factory.  It is possible to convert from a 4L60e to a 4L80e but it is a conversion in the wiring harness and requires a calibration segment swap and not something that we offer.  Therefore, when we do have a 6.0L available more than likely you will need to use the 4L60e transmission.  As mentioned above, most 6.0L’s we currently get come from SUV’s which were primarily from 1500 chassis and the 4L60e was used.  Transmissions were sized to chassis and towing capacity not engine HP ratings.  The TH350, TH400, or Manual transmissions can be used with any engine.

 Our Goal to you!

Our target customer is the home fabricator or the more “budget” friendly build.  Any engine, transmission, intake manifold, accessory package is obviously possible.  But when you start converting, adapting, or providing custom combinations the price and complexity increases.  This also opens the door for potential incompatibility and drivability problems.  Our goal is to provide the customer with a truly “turnkey” engine that does NOT require any additional tuning or modifications.  This is why we don’t offer the 4L60 / 4L80 conversion, intake manifold and accessory options, etc. and run ALL our engines on a Speed Density – Closed Loop calibration.