Magnuson Supercharger for 6.2 EcoTec3 V8
| |

Ultimate Chevy 6.2 EcoTec3 Mods Guide

Jake Mayock

Meet Chandler

Chandler is a leading content writer for 8020 Media. Outside of writing truck related GM content for Chevy Trucks he creates a lot of articles around LS engines over on TuningPro. Chandler is a gearhead with tons of hands-on experience. Furthermore, he has a masters degree in history that makes him invaluable in crafting high-quality, well-researched articles on both classic and modern Chevy trucks.

As the largest member of the EcoTec3 V8 family, the 6.2 liter L86 is one of the best modern V8 power plants for trucks and SUVs. Boasting an impressive 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque stock, the 6.2 EcoTec3 can tow up to 13,400 pounds and has a max payload of nearly 2,100 pounds. Yet, while the 6.2 is the most powerful option for the Silverado 1500, when compared to the larger 6.6 L8T gas and L5P Duramax turbo-diesel, it is woefully underpowered. For those looking to really upgrade with some 6.2 EcoTec3 mods, we’ve got the perfect guide for you. Read on to find out how to make more than 500 wheel-horsepower and torque with the best 6.2 EcoTec3 mods. 

Chevy 6.2 EcoTec3 Mods Basics

First introduced in the 2014 model year, the 6.2 EcoTec3 is part of General Motors’ fifth generation small-block V8s. The current LT-EcoTec3 line of V8s replaced the outgoing LS-Vortec line of V8s in the 2014–2015 model years. They are known as being just as dependable and reliable, while also being capable of enormous power. 

The engine is a 6.2 liter, direct injected, naturally aspirated V8 engine. Both the engine block and cylinder heads are aluminum, and compression sits at 11.5:1. Chevy built the 6.2 for strength. They used a forged steel crankshaft, powdered metal “I-beam” connecting rods, and hypereutectic cast aluminum pistons. It’s basically an LT1 from the Corvette with a different intake manifold and slightly less horsepower. 

The engine can run on both pump gasoline and is E85, flex-fuel compatible. It also uses Active Fuel Management (AFM). AFM is designed to help improve fuel economy and reduce emissions by cutting power to half of the engine’s cylinders in certain lower-load situations. The 6.2 EcoTec is an overhead valve (OHV) engine with a single in-block camshaft. The valve train uses variable valve timing (VVT) for improved fuel economy and performance. 

Power–wise, the engine makes 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque. It can also tow up to 13,400 pounds and has a max payload of nearly 2,100 pounds. However, with just a few basic bolt-on mods and some tuning, the 6.2 EcoTec3 can easily make more than 500 horsepower and torque without breaking a sweat. 

Chevy 6.2 DoD Delete Kits

While it won’t add any horsepower, a very popular modification to make to the EcoTec3 is a DoD delete kit. DoD means “Displacement on Demand.” It refers to the Active Fuel Management (AFM) system the engine uses to boost fuel economy and reduce emissions. 

Many people do not like the feeling of AFM/DoD when driving. It sucks power and can make the truck/SUV feel very sluggish from a stop. In addition, the DoD also limits the lift of potential camshaft upgrades. This makes it a necessary modification depending on how big of cam you are going with (see recommendations below). 

While a DoD delete kit is not cheap, it definitely makes the car drive better on a daily basis and can really help with cam upgrades. One of the most popular kits is the Livernois Motorsports DoD Delete Kit. The LM kit has everything needed to delete AFM on the EcoTec3 V8 except tuning, which will be necessary for the engine to function properly after the delete. 

Chevy 6.2 Limits With Mods

In terms of power-limits, the 6.2 EcoTec3 is incredibly stout. While it’s still pretty new, it is known to handle more than 500 horsepower with stock internals. Additionally, the block is good for almost double that amount. It’s recommended that past 500 horsepower with 6.2 EcoTec3 mods, you look into forged pistons, forged connecting rods, and adding head studs and stronger head bolts. 

Best Chevy 6.2 EcoTec3 Mods

S&B Cold Air Intake for 6.2 EcoTec3
S&B Cold Air Intake for 6.2 EcoTec3 (Credit: S&B/Pedro F)

Our top Chevy 6.2 EcoTec3 mods are:

  • Cold Air Intake
  • Long-Tube Headers
  • ECU Tuning & Flex-Fuel
  • Camshaft
  • Supercharger

1) Chevy 6.2 Cold Air Intakes

To start off our 6.2 EcoTec3 mods list, we’re looking at cold air intakes. In all fairness, the term cold air intake is a bit of a misnomer. Technically, the OEM EcoTec3 intake is a cold air intake itself. Cold air intakes are simply intakes that route the filter away from the engine and towards the fenders, where it can grab colder air. This is beneficial because colder air has more oxygen which ultimately produces more horsepower and torque. Since the OEM intake already does this, an upgraded intake helps through increasing airflow by decreasing restriction and weight. 

By using a larger, lighter, and less restrictive air filter and tubing, your engine will be able to suck in more air at a higher velocity. This is one of the best ways to increase horsepower and torque on the engine, by allowing it to essentially breathe easier. In addition, usually aftermarket intakes are made of heat resistant and lightweight material. This helps shed unwanted weight and keeps temperatures down. In addition, they also spruce up the engine bay and you can really hear the induction sounds much more, too.

Best Chevy 6.2 Intake Upgrades

For the best cold air intakes for the L86, the two top brands are Airaid and S&B. Both of them are very well known within the intake industry for producing solid parts. The real difference between the two is the construction of the airbox. The Airaid airbox is open on top, while the S&B airboxes use a closed top. In reality, this probably won’t make any difference for performance, though it might keep the S&B filters cleaner. 

With the Airaid Synthaflow Intake for 6.2 EcoTec3, you can probably expect around 5-15 horsepower and torque in gains. Same for the S&B intake for 2014–2016 6.2 EcoTec3, S&B intake for 2017–2018 6.2 EcoTec3, and the S&B intake for 2019+ 6.2 EcoTec3. S&B claims their intakes outflow the OEM intake by at least 40%. They are also a bit cheaper than the Airaid units, too.

2) 6.2 EcoTec3 Long-Tube Headers

For our second 6.2 EcoTec3 mod, the next step is to think about opening up the exhaust. Not only will an exhaust increase performance, but it will also add a noticeable volume to your engine. Just like with an intake, a larger and less restrictive exhaust helps the engine breathe better and suck-in more air at a faster rate. Less restriction and less back pressure means more horsepower and torque, and also a considerable amount more volume out of your exhaust, too. 

The most important part of the exhaust to upgrade on a naturally aspirated V8 like the 6.2 EcoTec3 are the headers or exhaust manifold. The headers connect directly to the cylinder heads. They help direct the flow of the exhaust gasses into the cat-back and out the tailpipe. By upgrading the headers, you’re reducing restriction as close to the engine as possible. That allows the effects to be as substantial as possible. 

There are two main types of header upgrades: either long-tube and short-tube headers. Long-tube headers will offer more performance than short-tube headers, because they replace more of the exhaust manifold. These either remove or replace the catalytic converters with high-flow versions, which is where a lot of the restriction in the exhaust comes from. Long-tubes will usually add 15-25 horsepower and torque, while short-tubes will be closer to 5-15 horsepower and torque. 

Best Chevy 6.2L Headers

For the 6.2 L86 EcoTec3, we suggest going with long-tubes from either American Racing Headers or Kooks Headers. Both ARH and Kooks have been in the header-industry for many years and are known for producing outstanding exhausts. They both use 304 stainless steel on their parts, and they both have 1-¾” x 3” primaries. ARH also offers a 1-⅞” x 3” unit, too. In addition, the ARH long-tube headers for 2014–2018 6.2 EcoTec3 and ARH long-tube headers for 2019+ 6.2 EcoTec3 can be catted or catless. The Kooks long-tube headers for 2014+ 6.2 EcoTec3 are only catless.

3) Chevy 6.2 EcoTec3 Flex-Fuel Performance Tuning

Now that you have really opened up the exhaust and intake, your next 6.2 EcoTec3 performance parts should be both a flex-fuel sensor and ECU tuning. ECU tuning is one of the most popular mods for any Chevy/GM truck and SUV, and the 5.3 EcoTec3 is no exception. Flash tuning involves using a handheld programmer to install new software onto your car’s engine control unit (ECU), which is what essentially controls the engine. 

Combining ECU tuning with flex-fuel takes the gains to a whole new level. Flex-fuel, or E85 ethanol, is much better for performance than traditional pump gasoline. Full E85 has an octane rating of around ~105, which is substantially higher than your normal 87-91 octane from pump gas. Additionally, ethanol also has superior cooling properties and combusts at a lower temperature, which also helps to reduce detonation and pre-ignition. 

By installing a new tune to your engine, things like the ignition timing, camshaft timing, fuel pressure, and variable valve timing can be optimized to increase the engine’s horsepower and torque output. In addition, if you have other mods — like an upgraded intake or headers — flash tuning will allow you to get even more gains. Usually, with tuning, you can expect to add 5-20% horsepower and torque over stock. 

Best Chevy 6.2 Tuners

For the 5.3 EcoTec3, the top custom tuning option is from Livernois Motorsports. The Livernois Motorsports tuner for 6.2 EcoTec3 is one of the most popular tuners for the EcoTec3 engines, and they use a proprietary MyCal flash tuning device. They can handle either otherwise stock vehicles or those that have been modified with intakes, exhausts, or even forced induction. On a completely stock vehicle with the Livernois Motorsports tune, gains can be up to 27 wheel-horsepower and 47 wheel-torque on pump gas for the L86 EcoTec3.

For flex-fuel kits, the 6.2 EcoTec3 DSX Flex-Fuel Kit is a solid option. It is a plug-and-play part that is easily installed into the OEM fuel lines. The DSX kit is not compatible with all tuners, so make sure to confirm it works with your particular tuning solution. With ethanol, you can expect at least 5-10% more in power gains. 

4) Chevy 6.2 EcoTec3 Performance Camshaft Upgrade

Livernois Motorsports Camshaft for 6.2 EcoTec3 V8
Livernois Motorsports Camshaft for 6.2 EcoTec3 V8

For our next 6.2 EcoTec3 mod, the best option is a performance camshaft upgrade. Camshafts are responsible for actuating how long and how much the valves open. This plays a crucial role in how much air the engine can take in and how much power it can make. The most important things to look at are the camshaft’s duration and lift.

A camshaft that has a longer duration will allow the valves to stay open for longer, letting them suck-in more air. Camshafts that have a larger lift will open the valves more, allowing for more air to be ingested into the engine. These contribute a significant amount of airflow and air velocity for the engine, which really increases horsepower and torque. Depending on the size of your cam specs, you can easily add more than 50+ horsepower with the right cam. 

The OEM camshaft specs are: Duration 200°/207° (intake/exhaust), Lift 0.551 in./0.524 in., and LSA 116.5°. That makes them fairly mild in terms of duration, but relatively high-lift, too. 

Best Chevy 6.2L Camshaft Upgrades

For the best 6.2 EcoTec3 camshafts, we have options from both Gwatney Performance and Livernois Motorsports. Both of them range from mild to quite aggressive, and your ultimate build goals will determine which is best. If you are doing a lot of towing, you will want to stick with a lower-lift option that will still keep lots of torque from a stop. For those looking for better numbers and more get up and go, a higher duration and lift cam will be a better option.

The following are top 5.3 EcoTec3 camshaft upgrades:

5) Chevy 6.2 EcoTec3 Supercharger Kits

For our final 6.2 EcoTec3 mod, we suggest going all out and getting a supercharger. While the other bolt-ons above will net around or a little over 500 horsepower crank, forced induction is really the only way to crack 500 horsepower at the wheels. Without forced induction, you’ll need to look at upgrading the cylinder heads, intake manifold, as well as getting a high-lift cam that will really change how the engine handles. 

Going with a supercharger is the quickest and easiest way to gain lots horsepower and torque on the 6.2. The purpose of a supercharger is to induct compressed air into the engine, which massively increases horsepower and torque output. Depending on the size of your blower, you can easily add anywhere from 50-150+ horsepower in just a few hours. The 6.2 is a great candidate for supercharging because it already has very stout internals, and its large displacement means it will make some serious power. 

Best Chevy 6.2 Supercharger Kits

There are three different supercharger kits for the 6.2 EcoTec3: Whipple, Magnuson, and ProCharger. All of them use different kinds of superchargers, but they all produce outstanding amounts of performance. First up are the Whipple Supercharger for 2014–2020 6.2 EcoTec3, Whipple Supercharger for 2019–2023 (Truck/SUV) 6.2 EcoTec3, and the Whipple Supercharger for 2021–2023 (SUV) 6.2 EcoTec3. Using a Gen 5 W185ax 3.0 liter twin-screw blower, these kits are capable of more than 500 wheel-horsepower and torque. 

Next up are the Magnuson Supercharger for 2019+ 6.2 EcoTec3 and Magnuson Supercharger for 2014–2020 6.2 EcoTec3. These kits use an Eaton TVS2650 roots-style blower, and can produce as much as 640 horsepower and 580 lb-ft of torque.

Finally, we have the tried and true ProCharger for 2014–2018 6.2 EcoTec3 and ProCharger for 2019+ 6.2 EcoTec3. ProChargers are centrifugal style superchargers, and these units will add approximately 45% power, making around 600 horsepower and torque. 

Top Chevy 6.2 EcoTec3 Mods FAQ

How much horsepower can you get out of a 6.2 EcoTec3?

The 6.2 EcoTec3 makes 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque completely stock. With the right modifications, like supercharging, the 6.2 EcoTec3 can make more than 625 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque.

How much power can a stock 6.2 EcoTec3 make?

The 6.2 EcoTec3 makes 420 horsepower and 460 lb-ft of torque completely stock. With the right modifications, like supercharging, the 6.2 EcoTec3 can make more than 625 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque.

What are the best 6.2 EcoTec3 mods?

The best 6.2 EcoTec3 mods are cold air intake, long-tube headers, ECU flex-fuel tuning, camshaft upgrade, and a supercharger. With the right modifications, like supercharging, the 6.2 EcoTec3 can make more than 625 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *