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GM Vortec engine

GM Vortec engine families
GM 122 engine
Type RPO Name Displacement
I4 L43 2200 [1]
LN2 2200 [2]
GM Atlas engine
Type RPO Name Displacement
I4 LK5 2800 [3]
LLV 2900 [4]
I5 L52 3500 [5]
LLR 3700 [6]
I6 LL8 4200 [7]
Chevrolet Small-Block engine, Gen. I-E
Type RPO Name Displacement
V6 LB4 4300
L35 4300 [8]
LF6 4300
LU3 4300 [9]
LG3 4300
V8 L30 5000 [10]
L31 5700 [10]
GM LS engine (Gen. III small block)
Type RPO Name Displacement
V8 LR4 4800 [11]
L33 5300 [12]
LM7 5300 [13]
LM4 5300
L59 5300 [13]
LQ4 6000 [14]
LQ9 HO 6000 [15]
GM LS engine (Gen. IV small-block)
Type RPO Name Displacement
V8 LY2 4800 [16]
LH6 5300
LY5 5300
LMG 5300 [17]
LC9 5300
LH8 5300
L76 6000 [18]
LY6 6000 [19]
LFA 6000
L92 6200 [20]
GM Big-Block engine
Type RPO Name Displacement
V8 L21 7400
L29 7400 [10]
L18 8100 [21]

Vortec is a trademarked name for a line of piston engines for General Motors trucks. The name first appeared in 1988 on a 4.3 L V6 that used "vortex technology" to create a vortex inside the combustion chamber, creating a better air/fuel mix. Now it is used on a wide range of different engines. Modern Vortec engines are named for their approximate displacement in cubic centimeters.




The Vortec 2200 (RPO codes L43 and LN2) is a OHV straight-4 truck engine. It is entirely different from the Iron Duke having been the last North American iteration of the GM 122 engine. The 2200 uses an iron block and aluminum 2-valve pushrod cylinder head. Output is and . Displacement is with an bore and stroke. 2200s were built in Tonawanda, New York.

LN2 applications:

  • Chevrolet S-10/GMC Sonoma/Isuzu Hombre (base models)
  • Chevrolet Cavalier/Pontiac Sunfire


The Vortec 2800, or LK5, is a DOHC 2.8 L straight-4 in the GM Atlas engine family. It produces and of torque. The Vortec 2800 is standard equipment on the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. It is mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission built by Aisin, or a GM 4-speed Hydra-matic automatic transmission.


The Vortec 2900, or LLV, is a DOHC 2.9 L straight-4 in the GM Atlas engine family. Displacement is increased from the Vortec 2800 it replaces to produce and of torque. First used in the 2007 Chevy Colorado, 2007 GMC Canyon, and 2007 Isuzu i-290.



The Vortec 3500, or L52, is a DOHC 3.5 L straight-5 in the GM Atlas engine family. It produces and of torque. The Vortec 3500 is optional on Chevy Colorado / GMC Canyon regular and extended cab trucks. It is standard on the Crew Cab Colorado/Canyon, and the Hummer H3.


The Vortec 3700, or LLR, is a DOHC 3.7 L straight-5 in the GM Atlas engine family. Introduced in 2007, the engine has increased in displacement from 3.5 L (211 cu in) in the Vortec 3500 to 3.7 L (223 cu in), producing and of torque. This engine is offered with both an Aisin 5 speed manual and GM's HydraMatic 4L60e automatic transmission in the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Hummer H3, Hummer H3T and Isuzu i-370 trucks.



The Vortec 4200, or Atlas LL8, is a 4.2 L straight-6 in the GM Atlas engine family. It has four valves per cylinder, utilizes dual-overhead cams (DOHC) design, and features Variable Valve Timing on the exhaust cam, a first for GM Inline engines. Introduced in 2002 for the Chevrolet TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy, and Oldsmobile Bravada, the engine is also in use in the Buick Rainier, Saab 9-7, and the Isuzu Ascender. The engine was rated at and in 2002 then and in 2003 2005. In the 2006 model year the GMT360 platform received an increase to and . The Vortec I6 engine was on the Ward's 10 Best Engines list every year since its introduction in 2002 through 2005.


  • 2002 ,
  • 2003 2005 ,
  • 2006 2009 , (can vary slightly through the years due to the new SAE rating procedures)

It is also the platform upon which the Vortec 2800/2900 I4 and Vortec 3500/3700 I5 engines for the Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Isuzu i-Series, and Hummer H3 are based. These engines are simply the 4.2L I6 LL8 minus a cylinder or two.


90-degree V6s in passenger cars. The 4300 is based on the Chevrolet small-block V8, and first appeared in 1985 with the throttle-body injected LB4 in passenger cars; light trucks and vans used Quadrajet carburetors for 1985. In 1991, the limited-edition GMC Syclone featured a and turbocharged and intercooled LB4 with the first use of multi-point fuel injection on a Vortec V6. The central-port injected L35 (Vin 'W') debuted in 1992; the cylinder block was slightly changed, a balance shaft was added to remove minor vibrations, and better breathing yielded . Another CPI engine, the LF6, joined in 1996 with the introduction of Vortec cylinder heads, while the LB4 was retired after 1998. In 2002, GM introduced a new multi-point injected LU3 engine, and a LG3 variant appeared soon after. This engine's origins date back to 1955, when the original Chevy small-block V-8 was introduced.

All Vortec 4300s use a cast iron block and heads with a bore and stroke, both of which are the same as a 350, which gives them a displacement of . Connecting rods still measure although the rod journal diameter is . 1992 and later cylinder blocks used a different timing cover since these engines used a balance shaft (some 1992 production cylinder blocks for the LB4 with TBI induction used the 'traditional' front timing chain cover from the small block Chevrolet). This change created a situation where most aftermarket timing chain alternatives do not fit. This is true of gear drives and double roller chains. They are pushrod (center camshaft) engines with two valves per cylinder and are produced in Tonawanda, New York and Romulus, Michigan. Power output of the new LU3/LG3 engines is to and to .

4300 applications:

  • 1985 2005 Chevrolet Astro/GMC Safari
  • 1991 1993 GMC Syclone/GMC Typhoon (See LB4 below)
  • 1988 1995 Chevrolet Blazer/GMC Jimmy
  • 2001 2002 Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana
  • 1988 2003 Chevrolet S-10/GMC S-15
  • 1994 2001 Oldsmobile Bravada
  • 1985 2001 Chevrolet C/K
  • Toyota Forklifts 7000 lb Capacity and up

LU3 applications:

  • Chevrolet Astro/GMC Safari (base models)
  • Chevrolet S10 Blazer / GMC S15 Jimmy
  • Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana (base models)
  • Chevrolet S-10/GMC Sonoma
  • Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra (base models)
  • GMC Envoy
  • Isuzu Hombre (optional)
  • Oldsmobile Bravada (base model)

LB4 applications:

  • 1991 GMC Syclone
  • 1992 1993 GMC Typhoon



Generation III


The Vortec 4800 LR4 is a Generation III small block V8 truck engine. Displacement is with a 96.01 mm (3.78 inch) bore and 83 mm (3.27 inch) stroke. It is the smallest of the Generation III Vortec truck engines and was the replacement for the 5.0 L 5000 L30. The LR4 produces to and to , depending on the model year and application. LR4s are manufactured at St. Catharines, Ontario and Romulus, Michigan.

LR4 applications:

  • 1999 & 2002 2006 Chevrolet Silverado 1500/GMC Sierra 1500
  • 1999 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon

Generation IV


The Vortec 4800 LY2 is a Generation IV small block V8 truck engine. Like its LR4 predecessor, it gets its displacement from a bore and stroke. The smallest member of the Generation IV Vortec engine family, it is unique in that it is the only member of that family that does not feature either variable valve timing or Active Fuel Management. It is rated at and of torque for all applications.

LY2 applications:

  • 2007 present Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2007 present Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2007 present GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2007 present GMC Yukon


Generation I

The Vortec 5000 L30 is a V8 truck engine. Displacement is 5,013 cc. Bore is , stroke is . The compression ratio is 9.1:1.[22] It is a based on the Generation I small-block from Chevrolet. It was replaced by the 4.8 L 4800 LR4 for the 2003 full-size vans. In van configuration it produces net flywheel at 4,600 rpm and net flywheel torque at 2,800 rpm. The engine uses a hydraulic roller cam and high flowing, fast burn style vortec heads. Differences include bore and stroke, intake valve size, and smaller combustion chambers. L30 applications:

  • Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana
  • General Motors C/K full-size trucks


Generation III

The Vortec 5300, or LM7/L59/LM4/L33, is a V8 truck engine. It is a stroked (by 9 mm) version of the Vortec 4800 and replaced the 5700 L31. L59 denoted a flexible fuel version of the standard fuel LM7 engine.

Power output is and torque is to . Displacement is 5.3 L () from 96.01 mm bore and stroke stroke . Vortec 5300s are built in St. Catharines, Ontario, Romulus, Michigan, and Silao, Mexico.


The LM7 (VIN code 8th digit "T") Vortec 5300 was introduced in 1999, and can be considered the "garden variety" version of the Generation III 5.3 liter V8's. The LM7 has an iron block and aluminum heads.

LM7 applications:

  • 2002 2005 Cadillac Escalade 2WD
  • 2002 2006 Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2003 2007 Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana
  • 1999 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 1999 2007 GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2000 2006 Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL
  • 2000 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon

The L59 (VIN code "Z") Vortec 5300 is a flexible fuel version of the LM7.

L59 applications:

  • 2002 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2002 2006 Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon
  • 2002 2006 Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL
  • 2002 2007 GMC Sierra 1500

The LM4 (VIN code "P") Vortec 5300 is an aluminum block version of the LM7, and had a short production life. It should not be confused with the L33 described below.

LM4 applications:

  • 2003 2004 Chevrolet TrailBlazer EXT
  • 2003 2004 Isuzu Ascender
  • 2004 GMC Envoy XL
  • 2003 2004 Chevrolet SSR
  • 2004 Buick Rainier

The L33 (VIN code "B") is an aluminum block version of the LM7, and was referred to as the Vortec 5300 HO in marketing materials. How ever it should be noted that the L33 uses a flat top piston from the 4.8L instead of the standard dish piston found in the LM7. This increased the compression from 9.5:1 to 10.0:1 . As a result power increased by , to , over the LM7, and torque was unchanged. It was only available on extended cab 4WD pickup trucks. Only 25% of trucks made in 2005 had the L33 engine.

L33 applications:

  • 2005 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 4WD
  • 2005 2007 GMC Sierra 1500 4WD

Generation IV

First introduced in 2005, the Generation IV Vortec 5300 engines share all the improvements and refinements found in other Generation IV engines. At present, four versions of the 5300 are in production: 2 iron block versions (LY5 and LMG) and 2 aluminum block versions (LH6 and LC9). All versions feature the Active Fuel Management system. The LH8 does not incorporate Active Fuel Management.


The LH6 with Active Fuel Management replaced the LM4 for 2005, and was the first of the Generation IV small block V8 truck engines to go into production. It is the aluminum block counterpart to the LY5.

LH6 applications:

  • 2004 2009 Chevrolet TrailBlazer including EXT (through 2006)
  • 2005 2009 GMC Envoy Denali
  • 2005 2006 GMC Envoy XL
  • 2005 GMC Envoy XUV
  • 2005 2007 Buick Rainier
  • 2005 2009 Saab 9-7X
  • 2007 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2007-2009 GMC Sierra 1500

Introduced in 2007, the LY5 Vortec 5300 is the replacement for the LM7 Generation III engine. For SUV applications, it is rated at 320 hp (239 kW) and of torque; for pickup truck applications, it is rated at at 5200 rpm and at 4000 rpm

LY5 applications:

  • 2007 present Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2007 present Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2007 present Chevrolet Suburban 1/2 ton
  • 2007 present Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2007 present GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2007 present GMC Yukon
  • 2007 present GMC Yukon XL 1/2 ton

The LMG Vortec 5300 is the flexible-fuel version of the LY5. Power and torque ratings for SUV and pickup truck applications are the same as each application's LY5 rating.

LMG applications:

  • 2007 present Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2007 present Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2007 present Chevrolet Suburban 1/2 ton
  • 2007 present Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2007 present GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2007 present GMC Yukon
  • 2007 present GMC Yukon XL 1/2 ton

The LC9 Vortec 5300 is the Flex-Fuel version of the LH6, and is found in 4WD models. SUV applications are rated at and of torque.

LC9 applications:

  • 2007 present Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2007 present Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2007 present Chevrolet Suburban 1/2 ton
  • 2007 present GMC Sierra 1500
  • 2007 present GMC Yukon XL 1/2 ton

The LH8 Vortec 5300 is a variant of the 5.3 L Gen IV small block V8 modified to fit in the engine bay of the GMT 345 SUV and GMT 355 trucks. It produces at 5200 rpm and at 4000 rpm. It has a displacement of .[23]

LH8 applications:

  • 2008 2010 Hummer H3 Alpha
  • 2009 present Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon


Generation I

The Vortec 5700 L31 is a V8 truck engine. Displacement is 5.7 L. It is the last production Generation I small-block from Chevrolet. The cylinder heads feature combustion chambers and intake ports very similar to those of the LT1 V8, but without the reverse-flow cooling. As such, the L31 head is compatible with all older small-blocks, and is a very popular upgrade. It offers the performance of more expensive heads, at a much lower cost. It does, however, require a specific intake manifold (a Vortec head has 8 bolts attaching the intake manifold as opposed to the traditional twelve bolts per head). The L31 was replaced by the 5.3 L 5300 LM7. The 2002 model year was the final year for the L31 5.7 L small block V-8 whose origins date back to 1955. The Vortec 5700 produces to at 4600 rpm and to of torque at 2800 rpm. It is currently being produced as a crate engine for marine applications and automotive hobbyists as the "ramjet 350" with minor modifications.

L31 applications:

  • 1996 2003 Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana full-size vans
  • 1996 1999 Chevrolet/GMC C/K full-size trucks
  • 1996 1999 Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Suburban full-size long-wheelbase SUVs
  • 1996 1999 Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon (and 2000 Tahoe Limited) full-size short-wheelbase SUVs
  • 1999 2000 Cadillac Escalade

TBI L31 applications

  • 1996 G-Series vans over GVW w/ 4L80E transmission

Special applications

  • Oscar Mayer Wienermobile
  • Isuzu Box Trucks


Generation III


The Vortec 6000, or LQ4, is a V8 truck engine. Displacement is from a bore and stroke . It is an iron/aluminum (1999 & 2000 model year engines had cast iron heads) design and produces to 325 hp and to . LQ4s are built in Romulus, Michigan and Silao, Mexico.

LQ4 (VIN U) Applications:

  • Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana
  • Chevrolet Silverado 2500 Pickup, 3500 Pickup, Crew Cab, and Chassis Cab/GMC Sierra 2500 HD Pickup and Crew Cab, C3, Denali, and 3500 Pickup and Chassis Cab, 1500HD Crew Cab
  • Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL Denali
  • Hummer H2 SUT
  • GMC Yukon Denali

The Vortec HO 6000 or VortecMAX is a special high-output version of the Vortec 6000 V8 truck engine originally designed for Cadillac. This engine was introduced in other truck lines as VortecMAX for 2006. It features high-compression (10:1) flat-top pistons for an extra and , bringing output to and . LQ9s are built only in Romulus, Michigan. GM also listed it as based on LS architecture.[24]

LQ9 (VIN N) Applications:

  • 2002 2006 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2002 2006 Cadillac Escalade EXT
  • 2003 2006 Cadillac Escalade ESV
  • 2003 2007 Chevrolet Silverado SS
  • 2004 2005 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Vortec HO Edition Only [Badging on truck](B4V)
  • 2006 2007 Classic Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra VortecMAX Option

Generation IV


The Vortec 6000 LY6 is a Generation IV small block V8 truck engine. It shares the same bore and stroke as its LQ4 predecessor, and also features variable valve timing. 4.0 inch bore stroke

LY6 applications:

  • 2007 present Chevrolet Silverado HD
  • 2007 present GMC Sierra HD
  • 2007 present Chevrolet Suburban 3/4 ton
  • 2007 present GMC Yukon XL 3/4 ton
See also the automotive L76

The Vortec 6000 L76 or new VortecMax is a Generation IV aluminum small block V8 truck engine based on the Holden L76 engine, and features variable cam phasing, along with Active Fuel Management. It can be considered the replacement for the Generation III LQ9 engine. It produces at 5400 rpm and at 4400 rpm. Production started in late 2006, and is only available with the new body style Silverado and Sierra VortecMax.

L76 applications:

  • 2007 2009 Chevrolet Suburban
  • 2007 2009 Chevrolet Avalanche
  • 2007 2009 Chevrolet Silverado
  • 2007 2009 GMC Sierra
  • 2007 2009 GMC Yukon XL

The Vortec 6000 LFA is a Generation IV small block V8 truck engine. The LFA variant is used in the GM's hybrid GMT900 trucks and SUVs. Major features include Active Fuel Management, a late-intake valve timing system, and a higher 10.8:1 compression ratio. It produces at 5100 rpm and at 4100 rpm. Engine VIN code of 5.

LFA applications:

  • 2008 present Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
  • 2008 present GMC Yukon Hybrid
  • 2009 present Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
  • 2009 present Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid
  • 2009 present GMC Sierra Hybrid


Generation IV


The 2007 Cadillac Escalade has a 6.2 L Vortec 6200 (RPO L92) ( 376 cu in) engine. It is an all-aluminum design which, while still a pushrod engine, boasts variable valve timing, a first in a mass-produced non-overhead cam V8 engine. The system adjusts both intake and exhaust timing between two settings. This engine produces and in the GMC Yukon Denali/XL Denali, Sierra SLT (2009+), GMC Sierra Denali, and in the Cadillac Escalade. and makes an additional torque in the Silverado and Sierra Vortec Max pickups, and and in the Hummer . It was also available in the Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ, with power ratings of and .


  • 2007+ Cadillac Escalade
  • 2009 Chevrolet Tahoe
  • 2007+ GMC Yukon Denali/Denali XL
  • 2007+ GMC Sierra Denali
  • 2008+ Hummer H2
  • 2009+ Chevrolet Silverado 1500
  • 2009+ GMC Sierra 1500




The Vortec 7400 (RPO L29)( 454 cu in) was a truck version of the Chevrolet Big-Block engine. Introduced in 1996, it was produced for five years until being replaced by the Vortec 8100. Even though it was introduced as the Vortec 7400 in 1996, it was basically a 454 big-block with a hydraulic roller cam and parts more suitable for use in light duty trucks and more advanced technology.

L29 Applications:

  • 1996 2000 Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra GMC Sierra Classic 2500HD & 3500 (option)
  • 1996 1999 Chevrolet Suburban 2500/GMC Suburban 2500 (option)
  • 1996 2000 Chevrolet Express 3/4 or 1 ton

The V8 features MPFI (multi-port fuel injection) and 2 valves per cylinder. Among the many improvements was more power for the gasoline engines. The Vortec 7400 big block V8 has a bore, stroke, produces at 4000 rpm and at 3200 rpm.


The Vortec 7400 (RPO L21) was a Commercial version of the Chevrolet Big-Block engine used in the Medium Duty truck platform. Its design shares much the L29 454, but with the addition of forged pistons and crankshaft, and coil near plug ignition. It has slightly reduced power compared to the L29 454 and uses a different PCM than the light duty trucks. The L21 was paired with the early 4 speed Allison automatic transmission or manual transmission depending on application.

L21 Applications:

  • 1998 2001 Chevrolet Kodiak/GMC TopKick/Isuzu H-Series 4500 5500
  • 1998 1999 Chevrolet Suburban 2500/GMC Suburban 2500 (option)
  • 1998 2000 Chevrolet Express 3/4 or 1 ton

1998 2001 Kodiak/Topkick 1998 2001 P12 HD Motorhome Chassis. The Workhorse W-20 is clone of the P12 Chassis...




The Vortec 8100 (RPO L18) is a V8 truck engine. It is a redesigned Chevrolet Big-Block engine and was introduced with the 2001 full-size pickup trucks. It is an all-iron engine (block and heads) with two valves per cylinder. It retains the same bore centers as the old 7.4 L big-blocks, but stroke was upped by to reach 8.1L (496cuin) for a total of bore and stroke. Power output ranges from to and torque from to . Vortec 8100s were built in Tonawanda, New York. The Vortec 8100 is the engine used in the largest Uhaul, their truck. GM stopped installing big block V-8's in the Silverado HD trucks, when the GMT-800 series was discontinued in 2007. 8100 marine engines range from 400 to and come with a stand-alone Engine Control Module (ECM). The last L18 was manufactured in December 2009.

Important differences between the Vortec 8100 and older big blocks include a changed firing order (1-8-7-2-6-5-4-3), a new 18-bolt head bolt pattern, different symmetrical intake ports, different oil pan rails and the use of metric threads throughout the engine. The fuel-injection system for the Vortec 8100 is nearly identical to that used on Gen III engines, right down to the fuel and spark tables in the ECU.[25]

L18 Applications:

  • Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 2500HD & 3500HD (option)
  • Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL (option)
  • Chevrolet Express 3/4 or 1 ton
  • Chevrolet Avalanche 2500 (std on GMT800 2500)
  • T-98 Kombat
  • Chevrolet Kodiak

See also

  • List of GM engines


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