5 Must-See LQ9 Engine Swaps

Produced between 2002 and 2007, GM’s LQ9 engine is a 6.0L Gen 3 small block engine. You can find this engine in the following vehicles:

  • 2002-2006 Cadillac Escalades
  • 2003-2007 Chevy Silverado trucks
  • 2006-2007 GMC Sierra 1500 trucks

This engine is also called the Vortec HO 6000 and VortecMAX. For the sake of clarity, we’ll stick to the LQ9 name throughout this article. The LQ9 engine is a popular engine to swap for the following reasons:

  • It’s a sturdy and reliable engine. It is constructed with a cast iron block and large cylinder bores.
  • It produces 345 hp and 380 ft/lbs of torque. Many swappers find it easy to amp up this engine’s power. It’s not unheard of to get this engine to produce up to 1500 hp.

Let’s check out some of the more unique LQ9 engine swaps out there:

1. LQ9 Swap In A Miata

If you’ve ever wondered if an LQ9 can fit into a Miata, the answer is yes. This YouTuber named Thomas wanted to bring a worthy vehicle to the 2019 US Drift Shootout. So he decided to put an LQ9 engine into his Miata. You can see a video of the swap and the first start up above.

2. LQ9 Swap In A 1968 Camaro

The LQ9 engine is perfect for a classic muscle car like a 1968 Camaro. YouTuber AGearHead4Life documented an LQ9 swap into his buddy Bryan’s ’68 Camaro. You can check it out in the video above.

Hearing it start up for the first time is quite satisfying!

3. LQ9 Swap In An IROC-Z

Image Credit: 3rdGen

Thirdgen.org forum user jtaliaferro sold his Corvette C5 to acquire an IROC-Z. His Camaro (that thinks it’s a Corvette) needed some TLC, so jtaliaferro went right down to work. He put in an LQ9 engine, along with a few parts he found on Craigslist. He documented the swap in this forum thread. Pretty much everyone agreed that the base car was in great shape, therefore it made a clean swap.

4. LQ9 Swap In A 2006 Infiniti G35

Image Credit: G35Driver

The 2006 Infiniti G35 is just as luxurious as a Cadillac. But it’s missing something: a Cadillac engine! G35Driver.com forum user Brew_haha took his Infiniti G35 and then added a bunch of upgrades to it:

A new 6.0L LQ9 V8 engine that has been upgraded with:

  • 102mm throttle body
  • 1-7/8” headers with 3-1/2” collectors
  • Computech Datamaxx LCD dash logger
  • Upgraded T-56 six-speed manual transmission

Check out the swap in this forum thread!

5. LQ9 Swap In A 2001 Corvette Z06

Image Credit: CorvetteForum

In 2013, a Corvette enthusiast named Joey Butel bought a 2001 Corvette Z06. It came with an LS6 engine that produced 405 hp, but Butel wanted more. He put in a supercharged LQ9 engine, along with many other upgrades to the car. The LQ9 produced a whooping 1000 hp. Read about this incredible project here.

Finding An LQ9 Engine

If you’re interested in doing an LQ9 swap, there are several ways to get an LQ9 engine:

  • Visit a junkyard
  • Buy a brand new LQ9 engine
  • Buy a remanufactured LQ9 engine

The last option – buying a remanufactured LQ9 engine – is the best one. If you grab an LQ9 engine from a junkyard, the engine likely has lots of costly problems. You would be paying top dollar for a brand new LQ9 engine. You’ll save a lot of money with a quality remanufactured engine.

At Powertrain Products, our remanufactured engines are as high quality as they come. They’re actually beefier and more reliable than their stock counterparts. It’s because we correct all known factory faults. Learn more about our remanufactured LQ9 engine here!

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