2010 Vortec 5.3L V-8 VVT (LH9)
VORTEC 5.3L Gen IV V-8 (LH9) TRUCK ENGINE
2010 Model Year Summary
New engine RPO content and benefits for 2010 model year:
• New variable valve timing
• Gen IV aluminum cylinder block
• Returnless fuel injection with stainless steel fuel rail
• Advanced electronic throttle control
• Advanced engine control module
• 58X ignition system
• Enhanced noise, vibration and harshness control
• Low-modulus air conditioning compressor belt
• Quad catalytic converter system
• Iridium-tip spark plugs
The new Vortec 5.3L V-8 with engine RPO code LH9 replaces the 5.3L V-8 with engine code LH8 because of the addition of variable valve timing. It is offered in the 2010 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon (extended and crew cab models), as regular unleaded fuel models.
The Gen IV Vortec 5.3L is GM’s most popular Vortec V-8 and a descendent of one of the most important and successful engines in automotive history – the original Chevrolet small block that debuted in 1955. The Gen-IV Vortec engines feature technology the creators of the first small block could not have imagined, yet they share one fundamental trait with the original: a market-leading balance of performance, sophistication, economy and durability.
The first Gen-IV Vortec 5.3L V-8 (LH6) was introduced for model year 2005 in GM’s mid-size SUVs.
Variable Valve Timing
The Gen IV Vortec 5.3L’s industry exclusive cam-in-block variable valve timing (VVT) is included in these hybrid applications, and allows the powertrain system to take advantage of late intake valve closing for greater efficiency. VVT eliminates the compromise inherent in conventional fixed valve timing and allows a previously unattainable mix of low-rpm torque, even torque delivery over a broad range of engines speeds, and free-breathing high-rev horsepower.
The Vortec 5.3L’s dual-equal cam phaser adjusts camshaft timing at the same rate for both intake and exhaust valves. A vane-type phaser is installed on the cam sprocket to turn the camshaft relative to the sprocket, thereby adjusting the timing of both intake and exhaust valve operation. The vain phaser is actuated by hydraulic pressure from engine oil, and managed by a solenoid that controls oil pressure on the phaser. The phaser
uses a wheel or rotor with four vanes (like a propeller) to turn the camshaft relative to the cam sprocket, which turns at a fixed rate via chain from the crankshaft. The solenoid directs oil to pressure ports on either side of the four phaser vanes; the vanes, and camshaft, turn as directed by this pressure. The more pressure, the more the phaser and camshaft turn. The Vortec 5.3L’s E67 engine control module (below) directs the phaser to advance or retard cam timing, depending on driving demands. The dual-equal phaser can turn the camshaft over a range of 31 degrees relative to the cam sprocket (or 17 degrees advance, 45 degrees retard relative to the crank).
The benefits are considerable. The cam phaser changes valve timing on the fly, maximizing engine performance for given demands and conditions. At idle, for example, the cam is moved to an advanced position, which allows for exceptionally smooth idling. Under other operating demands, the phaser adjusts to deliver optimal valve timing for performance, drivability and fuel economy. At high rpm it might retard timing to maximize airflow through the engine and increase horsepower. At low rpm it advances timing to increase torque. Under a light load, it can retard timing at all engine speeds to improve fuel economy. Without cam phasing, a cam design must be biased toward one strength or another – high-end horsepower or low-end torque, for example – or profiled at some median level that maximizes neither.
The cam phaser is timed to hold the intake valve open a short time longer than a normal engine, allowing a reverse flow into the intake manifold. This reduces the effective compression ratio, allowing the expansion ratio to increase while retaining normal combustion pressures. Efficiency is gained because the high expansion ratio delivers a longer power stroke and reduces the heat wasted in the exhaust. This increase in efficiency comes at the expense of some power from the lower effective compression ratio, but that can be compensated for by the overall higher mechanical compression ratio and the use of the electric motors in the hybrid transmission.
Variable valve timing allows linear delivery of torque, with near-peak levels over a broad rpm range, and high specific output (horsepower per liter of displacement) without sacrificing overall engine response, or drivability. It also provides another effective tool for controlling exhaust emissions. Because it manages valve overlap at optimum levels, it eliminates the need for an Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system.
Finally, cam-phasing helps maximize the fuel-saving benefits of Active Fuel Management technology (below). The cam phaser can adjust valve-timing for maximum torque when the Vortec 5.3L is operating as a V-4, keeping the engine in this fuel-saving mode as long as possible.
Gen-IV Cylinder Block
The LH9 5.3L’s Gen-IV cylinder block shares two key design elements with GM’s original small block V-8: a 90-degree cylinder angle and 4.400-inch bore centers. It debuted in 2005 as the foundation for the 400-hp LS2 V-8 in the Chevrolet Corvette and Pontiac GTO. The Vortec truck block applies all the improvements in the LS2, tailored for the demands of truck application.
The Gen IV block was developed with the latest math-based tools and data acquired in GM’s racing programs, and provides a light, rigid foundation for an impressively smooth engine. Its deep-skirt design helps maximize strength and minimize vibration. The bulkheads accommodate six-bolt, cross-bolted main-bearing caps that limit crank flex and stiffen the engine’s structure. A structural oil pan further stiffens the powertrain.
The LH9 5.3L features a low-mass aluminum block that allowed vehicle engineers more latitude in tailoring vehicle weight distribution and fosters a slight improvement in fuel economy. The Gen-IV aluminum block is cast from A356-T6 alloy, with cast-in iron cylinder liners. It weighs roughly 100 pounds less than a comparable cast-iron engine block.
Cylinder Head and Valvetrain
The intake and exhaust valve seat material was revised for improved high mileage durability on E85 fuel. Additionally, the intake valve material was also revised for compatibility with the new seats.
Returnless Fuel Injection with Stainless Steel Fuel Rail
The Vortec 5.3L is equipped with a returnless’ fuel injection system, also known as a demand system, as well as the latest-generation Multec injectors with USCAR connectors. The USCAR standard was developed to promote common, reliable connections across the auto industry and streamline regulatory oversight. The connectors are more compact than previous connectors, and designed for improved sealing.
Returnless fuel injection offers greater performance and decreased evaporative emissions. It eliminates the return lines and moves the fuel pressure regulator from the fuel rail on the engine to the fuel tank. Because it delivers only the amount of fuel needed by the injectors, and returns no fuel to the gas tank, the returnless system essentially eliminates heat transfer from the engine to tank. This reduces the amount of vapor generated in the tank and captured by the vehicle’s Onboard Refueling Vapor Recovery (ORVR) system.
With the returnless system, the 5.3L uses a fuel rail manufactured of stainless steel. The stainless steel rail allows installation of baffles that manage fuel pulses in the returnless system and reduce noise.
Advanced Electronic Throttle Control
GM has led the industry in applying electronic throttle control (ETC). With ETC, there is no mechanical link between the accelerator pedal and the throttle body. A sensor at the pedal measures pedal angle and sends a signal to the engine control module (ECM), which in turn directs an electric motor to open the throttle at the appropriate rate and angle. ETC delivers a number of benefits to the customer. With the ECM measuring throttle pedal angle and monitoring other data including the transmission’s shift status and traction at the drive wheels, the ETC system can deliver outstanding throttle response and greater reliability than a mechanical connection, which typically uses a cable that requires adjustment—and sometimes breaks. Cruise control electronics are integrated into the system, further improving reliability and simplifying engine assembly.
The Gen IV Vortec 5.3L takes ETC to the next level by taking advantage of capability built into its advanced E67 ECM (below) and further streamlining the system. Its up-integrated ETC system eliminates a Throttle Actuator Control (TAC) module, which had been used to interpret commands from the ECM and then operate the electric motor that opens and closes the throttle.
The E67 manages the throttle directly, without a TAC module, reducing cost and improving reliability. The direct link between the ECM and the throttle motor improves throttle response time (albeit in millisecond increments that are not apparent to the driver) and improves system security by removing a device (the TAC module) that must be monitored for malfunction.
The throttle body bore has been further optimized with two slight tapers known as “nostrils.” These slight machining changes to the bore provide additional resistance to harmful throttle body deposit formation.
E67 Engine Control Module
An advanced controller manages the multitude of operations that occur within the Vortec 5.3L every split second. All Gen-IV 5.3L’s use one of the three controllers in the GM’s new family of engine control modules (ECM), which will direct nearly all the engines in GM’s lineup. In the Colorado, and Canyon applications, the 5.3L is managed by the new E67 ECM. It includes the ability to control and synchronize all the advanced technologies available in the small block engine family as well communicate with all the advanced vehicle devices and functions.
The E67 features 32-bit processing, compared to the conventional 16-bit processing in previous Vortec engines. It operates at 59 MHz, with 32 megabytes of flash memory, 128 kilobytes of RAM and a high-speed CAN bus, and it synchronizes more than 100 functions, from spark timing to cruise control operation to traction control calculations. The E67 works roughly 50 times faster than the first computers used on automobile engines in the late 1970s, which managed five or six functions.
The family strategy behind GM’s new ECMs allows engineers to apply standard manufacturing and service procedures to all powertrains, and quickly upgrade certain engine technologies while leaving others alone. It creates both assembly and procurement efficiencies, as well as volume sourcing. In short, it creates a solid, flexible, efficient engine-control foundation, allowing engineers to focus on innovations and get them to market more quickly. The family of controllers means the ECM and corresponding connectors can be packaged and mounted identically in virtually every GM vehicle. GM creates all the software for the three ECMs, which share a common language and hardware interface that’s tailored to each vehicle.
The E67 also applies a new, rate-based monitoring protocol sometimes known as run-at-rate diagnostics. Rate-based diagnostics improve the robustness of the Onboard Diagnostics System (OBD II) and ensure optimal performance of emissions control systems. The new software increases the frequency at which the ECM checks various Vortec 5.3L systems, particularly emissions-control systems such as the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors. Rate-based diagnostics more reliably monitor real-world operation of these systems, and allow regulatory agencies to more easily measure and certify emissions compliance.
58X Ignition System
The Vortec 5.3L has an advanced 58X crankshaft position encoder to ensure that ignition timing is accurate throughout its operating range. The new 58X crankshaft ring and sensor provide more immediate, accurate information on the crankshaft’s position during rotation. This allows the E67 ECM to adjust ignition timing with greater precision, which optimizes performance and economy. Engine starting is also more consistent in all operating conditions.
In conjunction with 58X crankshaft timing, the Gen-IV Vortec V-8s apply the latest digital cam-timing technology. The cam sensor is now located in the front engine cover, and it reads a 4X sensor target on the cam sprocket. The target ring has four equally spaced segments that communicate the camshaft’s position more quickly and accurately than previous systems with a single segment.
The dual 58X/4X measurement ensures extremely accurate timing for the life of the engine. Moreover, it provides an effective back-up system in the event one sensor fails.
Enhanced Noise, Vibration and Harshness Control
The Gen IV Vortec V-8 engines were developed for quieter operation, with virtually every system or component reviewed in an effort to reduce noise, vibration and harshness. Quiet features built into the engines are complemented by improved engine cradles and mounting systems. These help reduce vibrations transmitted through the chassis and into the passenger compartment.
The NVH enhancements include floating-pin pistons, which reduce noise and increase durability. These pistons have wrist pins that “float” inside new lead-free rod bushings and the piston pin bores. Compared to a conventional fixed pin assembly, in which the connecting rod is fixed to the piston’s wrist pin and the pin rotates in the pin bore, the floating pin reduces stress on the pin and allows tighter pin-to-pin bore tolerances and reduces noise as the piston moves through the cylinder. To further reduce wear, the pistons are coated with a polymer material, which limits bore scuffing, or abrasion of the cylinder wall over time from the piston’s up-down motion. The polymer coating also dampens noise generated by the piston’s movement. The result is less engine wear, improved durability and quieter operation.
The Gen IV Vortecs also feature a heavy-duty timing chain developed expressly for quiet operation. The chain, which connects the cam and crankshaft, is validated for 200,000 miles and is fitted with a new leaf-spring dampener. Even the most durable chains stretch with time. In many engines they must be adjusted or replaced at scheduled intervals. The Vortec 5.3L’s chain dampener maintains optimal chain tension for the life of the engine and eliminates any flapping motion that might develop as the chain stretches with mileage. It ensures that the timing chain operates as smoothly and quietly as new, even as the engine accumulates high mileage.
Exhaust manifolds were developed to improve durability and sealing and reduce operational noise. Cast nodular iron was the material of choice for its basic durability and excellent heat management properties. The manifolds feature saw cuts along the cylinder head mounting flange. These cuts split the flange into three separate sections, allowing each section to move under extreme hot-cold temperature fluctuations without interacting with, or creating stress on, another section. The cuts virtually eliminate friction on – and movement of – the exhaust manifold gaskets. This helps ensure proper sealing for the life of the engine and reduces the chance of gasket failure.
The exhaust manifolds are fitted with new triple-layer heat shields fabricated from stainless steel and insulating material. The shields limit heat transfer from the engine to the engine bay, allowing the Vortec 5.3L to reach optimal operating temperature more quickly, yet reducing heat in the engine compartment once that temperature is achieved. They also dampen the sound of exhaust gas rushing through the manifolds and further reduce the amount of engine operational noise that finds its way into the vehicle interior.
Low-Modulus Air Conditioning Compressor Drive Belt
The 5.3L V-8 (LH9) uses a low modulus A/C compressor drive belt in the accessory drive system. This belt provides the same 150,000 mile durability as the old belt, but allows elimination of the tensioner required with the former material, which saves product cost and reduces mass.
Quad converter system
The Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon applications of the 5.3L V-8 require a specially-designed exhaust system to accommodate the unique packaging space, as the emissions and On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) requirements that must be accommodated. To that end, each exhaust leg includes a small “close-coupled” catalyst and a larger “underfloor” catalyst mounted further downstream. This system allows for optimized precious metal content while still meeting all applicable regulatory standards.
Advanced Ignition Coils
The Vortec 5.3L’s individual coil-near-plug ignition features advanced coils developed for the LS2 and LS7 Corvette V-8s. The coils are smaller and lighter than those used on previous Vortec V-8s. While they are still mounted on the rocker covers, they attach with a new mounting bracket that simplifies engine assembly. An individual coil for each spark plug delivers maximum voltage and consistent spark density, with no variation between cylinders.
Iridium-Tip Spark Plugs
Improvements to the Vortec 5.3L’s ignition system include advanced spark-plug technology. Its spark plugs have an iridium electrode tip and an iridium core in the conductor. The iridium plug has a recommended life of 100,000 miles, but it offers a number of advantages over the platinum-tip plugs previously used in Vortec V-8s.
The iridium spark plug has higher internal resistance, maintaining optimal spark density over its useful life. Its “self-cleaning” properties are improved, decreasing potential for plug fouling and further reducing the likelihood of maintenance over the 100,000-mile plug life. The electrode design improves combustion efficiency for maximum fuel economy and minimum emissions. Finally, iridium is more plentiful than platinum, reducing the plug’s material cost and preserving scarce noble metals.
The Vortec 5.3L builds on the solid foundation of its immediate predecessor, the Gen-III Vortec V-8. Gen-III introduced a host of advanced technologies to the overhead-valve V-8, including aluminum cylinder heads, a thermoplastic intake manifold and electronic throttle control. Its cylinder heads have replicated ports that are identical in every detail, allowing consistent cylinder-to-cylinder airflow. The valvetrain was developed on the belief that lighter is more efficient. A steel camshaft provides excellent durability. Steel roller rockers add stiffness, allowing greater engine speed with less vibration. Hydraulic roller lifters reduce friction for better fuel economy and wear resistance. The Gen-IV truck engines deliver even greater efficiency, with further refinement and more advanced technology.
2010 Model Year Hydra-Matic 4L60 (M30) / 4L65 (M32) / 4L70D (MD8) Car and Truck Transmissions
Hydra-Matic 4L60 / 4L65 / 4L70D four-speed automatic rear- and four-wheel-drive transmission
FULL DESCRIPTIONS OF NEW OR CHANGED FEATURES
The Hydra-Matic 4L60 and 4L65/4L70 are differentiated primarily because of gearset design. Each of the two planetary gearsets in these four-speed automatic transmissions have four pinion gears in the 4L60, and five pinion gears in the 4L65 and 4L70. The 4L65 was introduced in the 2001 model year as a heavy duty (HD) variant with more robust parts that provide increased strength. Beginning in 2002, many of the technologies from the 4L65 applications that add durability have been incorporated into the 4L60, such as more robust bushings and bearings. The 4L70 is a variation of the five-pinion 4L65, with additional strengthening in the output shaft and reaction internal gear to handle increased engine torque. A 4L70D variant for a 2.8L turbo diesel contains all the 4L70 upgrades plus additional strengthening at multiple interfaces.
The Hydra-Matic 4L60 / 4L65 / 4L70 are also characterized by rigid structures and low noise designs. These transmissions are state of the art for rear-drive and four-wheel-drive cars and trucks because of their adaptive shift electronic controls and GM's proprietary Electronic Controlled Capacity Clutch (ECCC) technology. The ECCC allows sophisticated variable clutch slip to dampen engine pulses, providing smooth shifting and driveline feel. The transmissions also take directions from vehicle powertrain control modules to avoid hunting between gears when climbing hills. All domestic applications utilize , the stand-alone T42 transmission control module, which allows sophisticated software control of the transmission.
An extremely versatile transmission, the 4L60 / 4L65 / 4L70 functions in a wide range of applications. Its sophisticated electronic controls and high-torque capabilities allow it to serve in pickups and SUVs ranging from the compact Chevrolet Canyon and GMC Colorado pickup trucks to the roomy GMC Yukon XL. Because of a new input speed sensor added for the 2006 Model Year, the 4L60 is able to be tuned to match the brand character of any of its applications.
A new transmission fluid, DEXRON-VI, was developed for the 2006 Model Year to behave more consistently during temperature and other environmental variations, as well as to provide even lubrication of the moving surfaces of the transmission. This fluid is validated in all 4L60/4L65/4L70 transmissions.
The 4L60 / 4L65 / 4L70 are produced in Ramos Arizpe, Mexico. The Ramos Arizpe plant has state-of-the-art gear processing systems.
As part of a corporate-wide reduction of environmentally hazardous materials, the use of lead in aluminum, bushings, and bearings will in essence be eliminated, and the 4L series will comply with both GM and EU requirements.
FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE OPTIONS
The 4L60 / 4L65 / 4L70 transmission is mated to several different transfer cases used by four- and all-wheel-drive applications. The Colorado and Canyon pickups use the Isuzu model T150 part-time two-speed transfer case with electric engagement of driving ranges. The 2010 Sierra and Silverado pickup trucks utilize either a MP3023 Two-speed Active or a MP1222 Two Speed Manual Transfer case, the 4L60/5 is no longer used in the FST SUVs and Escalade series. The new Magna Active Transfer case brings improved powertrain control integration and band width for torque input, and GM is the only Domestic Manufacturer that uses Active Technology in a Full Sized Truck ( Pickup ).
Excellent info Rashadd. Really good read, I love this kinda stuff!
Just wanted to point out that a lot of the info is also the same for the LH8 to the LH9, E67 58x ignition GEN IV Block etc.. The main diff is VVT! GM likes to make an old engine sound new! There is a lot of differences, but the E67 is not one of them..lol
Also wanted to mention the the 6L80E does not use the T42 it has an internal trans module, as far as I know. Also I don't know of anyone using it with a 24x ignition motor, and E40, as far a I know if you want the 6L80 you need a E67 or E38 with 58x ignition.
The 4L80E, 4L70E, 4L65E, 4L60E all can be used with either a 24x or 58x motor, using the E40, E67 respectively, and T42 trans module.