LS Engines

LR4 4.8L Engine Specs: Performance, Bore & Stroke, Cylinder Heads, Cam Specs & More

LR4 4.8L Vortec engine

(Image/YouTube – Riverside)

The LR4 is a 4.8L iron block truck engine that was introduced in 1999.

Along with the LM7 and LQ4, they were the first LS truck engines. The LR4 was available in GM pickups, vans, and SUVs until 2007. The 4.8L engine is also known as the Vortec 4800.

The engine specs and information here is for a stock LR4 engine.

These engines are strong and durable. Many people use them with boost or nitrous. With upgraded internals, the blocks can handle over 1,000 hp.

Mechanically similar, General Motors’ LS and LS-based Vortec engines wound up on almost every branch of the GM family tree: Chevy, Pontiac, GMC, Cadillac, Buick—heck, even Saab, Hummer, and Isuzu got some LS love.

Since LS and Vortec engines are so common, they’ve become the go-to performance and swap engines of the modern era.

These motors are capable of making a lot of horsepower, and respond well to upgrades like turbos, superchargers, high-flow cylinder heads, intake systems, cams, and nitrous oxide.

[Looking to upgrade your LR4 engine? Check out LR4 4.8L Engine Upgrade Guide: Expert Advice for LR4 Mods to Maximize Performance.]

The aftermarket is strong for LS swap engines. Crate engines are available, and used motors are often cheaply sourced through junkyards.

Summit Racing has created a series of comprehensive guides for each engine in the LS family, so engine builders and tuners can have a handy reference for their projects.

This guide is specifically about the GM LR4 4.8L iron block engine. You can find our other LS engine spec guides and LS-related tech articles here.

(Summit Racing’s Paul Spurlock and Brian Nutter contributed to this article.)

GM LR4 4.8L Engine Specs

Special Notes

  • The 1999-2000 LR4 with a manual transmission had a crankshaft with a 1.250 in. long rear flange. (Casting #12553312)
  • All other LR4 engines had a crankshaft with a 0.857 in. rear flange. (Casting #12553482)
  • In 2001, the LR4 and LM7 were upgraded with MLS gaskets.
  • The 1999-2003 LR4 and LM7 had a  return-style fuel injection system.
  • They went returnless in 2004 (except in the Express).

The information listed below is for the stock engine.

LR4 Performance Specifications

LR4 Engine Ratings
Compression Ratio9.4:1
Horsepower Rating255-280 hp
Torque Rating285-295 ft.-lbs.

LR4 Applications

LR4 Applications
VIN 8th DigitYearMakeModel
V1999-2006ChevroletSilverado 1500
V1999-2006GMCSierra 1500
V2000-2006ChevroletTahoe
V2000-2006GMCYukon
V2003-2006ChevroletExpress
V2003-2006GMCSavana

LR4 Engine Block Specs

LR4 Block Specs
Casting Number12567392, 12567393, 12551358
MaterialIron
Displacement4.8L / 293 c.i.d.
Bore Dia. 3.780 in.
Stroke3.267 in.
Deck Height9.2309.240 in.
Bore Spacing4.400 in.
Thrust Bearing Location#3 Main
Main Cap Style6-Bolt
Main Housing Bore Dia.2.751 in.
Cam Housing Bore Dia. (1999-2003) Bore 1/5 = 2.326, Bore 2/4 = 2.317, Bore 3 = 2.307
Cam Housing Bore Dia. (2004-2006) Bore 1/5 = 2.346, Bore 2/4 = 2.326, Bore 3 = 2.307
Cam-to-Crank Centerline4.914 in.

LR4 Rotating Assembly

LR4 Rotating Assembly Specs
Piston MaterialHypereutectic Cast Aluminum Alloy
Piston StyleFlat Top
Piston Volume0cc
Wrist Pin Dia. (1999-2004)0.9447 in., 0.9448 in. (Pressed)
Wrist Pin Dia. (2005-2006)0.9429 in., 0.9431 in. (Floating)
Connecting Rod MaterialPowdered Metal
Connecting Rod StyleI-Beam
Connecting Rod Length6.275 in.
Connecting Rod BoltsM9 x 1 x 43
Crankshaft MaterialCast Iron
Crankshaft Main Journal Dia.2.559 in.
Crankshaft Rod Journal Dia.2.100 in.
Reluctor Wheel24x
Flywheel Mounting Flange (1999-2000)1.250 in.
Flexplate Mounting Flange (1999-2000)0.857 in.
Flexplate Mounting Flange (2001-2006)0.857 in.

LR4 Cylinder Heads

LR4 Cylinder Head Specs
Casting Numbers862,706
MaterialAluminum
Combustion Chamber Volume61cc
Intake Port ShapeCathedral
Intake Runner Volume200cc
Exhaust Port ShapeOval
Exhaust Runner Volume70cc
Intake Valve Diameter1.890 in.
Exhaust Valve Diameter1.550 in.
Cylinder Head Bolt StyleTorque to Yield (TTY)
Cylinder Head Bolt Size (1999-2003) (8) M11 x 2 x 155, (2) M11 x 2 x 100, (5) M8 x 1.25 x 455
Cylinder Head Bolt Size (2004-2006)(10) M11 x 2 x 100, (5) M8 x 1.25 x 45

LR4 Camshaft Specs

LR4 Cam Specs
Duration @ .050 in. (int./exh.)191°/190°
Valve Lift (int./exh.)0.457 in./0.466 in.
Lobe Separation Angle (1999)115.5°
Lobe Separation Angle (2000-06)114°
Cam Gear Attachment3-Bolt

LR4 Valvetrain

LR4 Valvetrain Specs
Lifter StyleHydraulic Roller
Lifter Link StylePlastic Lifter Tray
Lifter Body Diameter0.842 in.
Pushrod Length7.385 in.
Rocker Arm Mounting StylePedestal
Rocker Arm StyleDie-Cast, Roller Fulcrum
Rocker Ratio1.7
Rocker OffsetNone
Valve Spring StyleBeehive
Valve Spring ColorNatural
Valve Angle15 Degrees
Intake Valve MaterialSteel, Solid Stem
Intake Valve Dia.1.890 in.
Exhaust Valve MaterialSteel, Solid Stem
Exhaust Valve Dia.1.550 in.

LR4 Throttle Body, Fuel Injector Specs & More

More LR4 Engine Specs
Intake ManifoldTruck-Style
Throttle Body78mm, 3-bolt
Throttle Control (1999-2002) All Cable Operated
Throttle Control (2003-2004)Drive-by-Wire phased in on most models
Fuel Injector Flow1999 - 21.8 lb/hr., 2000 - 24.8 lb/hr., 2001-2006 - 25.2 lb/hr.
Fuel Injector Length Between O-Rings 1.900 in.
Fuel Injector Connector Mini-Delphi / Multec2
PCMWarren
Crankshaft Reluctor Ring24x
Camshaft Sensor LocationRear mount, 1x on Cam
Oil Pan
Deep Rear Sump
Oil PumpStandard Volume

NOTE: You can find engine specs and detailed engine upgrade advice for every LS and LS-based Vortec truck engine in one place: The Definitive Guide to LS Engine Specs and LS Engine Upgrades.

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29 Comments

  1. I know the V8 is king, but for how long?4.3 V6 Versus 4.8 ? I would like to know where I can find upgrades for 4.3 V6,s, and the 2014 on 4.3 aluminum block 285 horse truck engine????

    • Roger Simmonds says:

      For the older 4.3 litre engines, there is a fair amount of performance upgrades available in the aftermarket. Especially given that a fair number of components are carry over from the earlier 350 and 5.7 litre engines. Given that the LV3 in the newer pickups is based on the current Generation 5 V8 architecture, finding performance upgrades may be a challenge even without taking into account that it is an engine that does not have a large calling for aftermarket performance upgrades. There is also the direct fuel injection that is a bit of a hurdle to overcome.

      In terms of the 4.3 versus the 4.8, the 4.8 engines have more power potential over the 6 cylinder. And, the 4.8, even being an older design, is going to have better NVH characteristics, likely to have better fuel economy, and a much larger base of available parts and upgrades.

    • Howard I feel you I have both engines and plans to upgrade both i have found an article/guide to get 450hp out the V6 before boost using lots of the 350s pro parts cant find it anymore but found this one https://www.hotrod.com/articles/chevy-43l-262ci-v6-engine-build/

    • 4.3 and 4.8 are not comparable. Easy aftermarket upgrades to the 4.3 vortec include S10 superchargers or turbo kits. On a stock motor with a mild tune you’re looking at 250 hp & 320-350 tq. A stock 4.8 is around 250-280 hp & 280 tq. 4.8s take to boost much better than the 4.3. There are examples in the 500 hp range on stock block internals.

      The LB4 sy/ty 4.3’s are a different animal than the 96+ 4.3 vortecs.

  2. Really appreciate for your amazing article. Keep going on, good stuff. happy wheels demo

  3. ethandelozier says:

    How far can you bore one of these blocks out, looking to build a big bore short stroke motor, and with a 4.125 piston comes out go 5.7 liters, but is there enough metal to go that far

    • Roger Simmonds says:

      Max bore on these is in around 3.900 inches. The only factory LS block that has the ability to run a 4.125 inch bore on the original sleeves is the LS7 block. Any other factory LS block will require sleeving to achieve a bore that big.

    • Wladimir g hodniuk says:

      Aonde encontro em.bostom a bomba da direção hidráulica do motor 5.3 vortec v8 da avalanche ou tahoe, para ser enviada para o Brasil

  4. David Litzenberg says:

    Have 242000 miles on my silverado 4.8 runs like new

    • David Carter says:

      04 Tahoe 2wd with same mileage also runs like a top. No tuneup in years, minimal oil usage less than a qt. Btw changes. Replaced water pump , alternator, and that’s it other than normal maintenance items. Biggest issue is body rust!

  5. Michael Williams says:

    I have a 65 Chevy II with a tired 283. I was wondering if a 4.8 swap could be done? It will still be close to the same cubes. Can I keep the powerglide? Thanks for the info.

    • Yep, you sure can! Carbed or EFI…
      Do some online research, call TCI for the proper torque converter. It’s all pretty much a bolt in swap these days. The great things about the 4.8’s are they can be found cheap, and you can bore and stroke to about 383 CI, just like the 5.3 truck and 5.7 ls1.

  6. I need a build book for my 2007 4.8 from an express 2500. Going to add boost with your guide for Baja style truck. Can you point me in the direction. Great read too

  7. Russel Ashby says:

    I would like to know the gap on the way spark plugs for an 03 GMC Sierra 1500 with a 4.8 engine?Thank you!

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  10. So the 04 sierra with a 4.8 the trans feels like it’s starting to slip at 170k miles. Looking at swapping the trans what model would that be? Do you happen to know off hand?

  11. Pingback: LY2 4.8L Engine Specs: Performance, Bore & Stroke, Cylinder Heads, Cam Specs & More - OnAllCylinders

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  13. Pingback: LR4 4.8L Engine Upgrade Guide: Expert Advice for LR4 Engine Mods to Maximize Performance

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  17. What’s the 5 speed transmission name that came behind these? And will an np208 transfer case bolt up to them? Thinking about swapping this setup into my 4×4 4runner

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  19. Thank you very much i like it so much good work

  20. David Flloyd says:

    I am looking to upgrade the cam on what I believe is a ’99 4.8 liter before putting it in my S10. I would like to know what the most lift that the stock valve springs can handle? I am also looking for suggestions on a cam that would make the most torque. With such a light weight vehicle, I don’t think that I need 800 hp, but 350-400 would be perfect.

  21. Anthony Cromer says:

    It’s a great article for car enthusiasts, thank you. bubble shooter

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