Anyone know if 2004 5.3 Chevy Silverado might be a good host?

This is my first post - I picked up the book at the Mother Earth News Conference in PA this past year. I’ve been interested in the gasifier concept since seeing it on a TV show. Eventual research led me to the FEMA plans and then I came across the book at MEN and had to have it.

I own a 2004 Chevy Silverado 5.3, 1500 series pickup in 4WD. I’m wondering if anyone knows if it might be a good host vehicle? It has a GM Vortec engine in it, I believe LM7 - but I am investigating further. I gather fuel injection type is important as well.

Thanks for any input.


Hello Calvin and welcome to the site sir.

I don’t know of anyone that has converted a vehicle as new as yours yet . Although we have a couple on the site that are building a 2000 dodge .

If you have a plastic intake manifold it may create a problem ?

You may have already read Chris’s thread on the subject but here is the link if you haven’t.


Hi Calvin,

The GM 4.8 and 5.3 are what we are planning for future power plants in our larger stationary systems. However, we have not done it yet, we do plan to convert our GMC truck for a test mule. Here are some options to consider, the GM LS-1 engines already have a large after market and with these systems this will give you an advantage over most other older engines. You can convert this engine to a simple ignition control system by getting an MSD box. What is neat about this, is it plugs directly into your existing wiring and gives complete control over your engines timing by the turn of a knob inside the cab. If you dont have to have your vehicle state inspected you can also get an intake for a carburetor. This will eliminate the OBII and all issues that will come with it running wood gas. There is also a cam available that will boost HP on the 5.3 by about 90 hp and with the carb conversion it might be possible to get over 400 hp. So once converted to woodgas the power loss will hardly be noticeable. The new gen III V8 really are great little motors and are now proving to be very durable, Ive seen quite a few with well over 300,000 miles and still hold 60 psi oil pressure, my truck included.

But like I said we have not done it yet and this just what I have learned and am planning to do, plus other mods on ours.

Calvin & Matt, I would shy away from the vortec motors. There is a lot of plastic tubing, popit valves, and stuff in the manifold itself. I am currently running a 2.2 liter 98 Chevy with a plastic intake but have to add a pop off valve before running it on wood again. It is OBD2 and rarely throws a code worth mentioning. I keep a diagnostic tool in it to read the parameters and to reset codes. I think the one I usually get is from the second o2 sensor but it does that on gasoline as well. The cat converter has a crack in it. I get a lean mix message from time to time when I lean out the air mix too much on woodgas. I prefer the OB2 vehicles now. They seem to do everything automatically and faster than anything I could do manually. I’ve had two so far and both have run perfect but both have wasted spark ignition. My 95 and 91 olds cars ran fine as well but they were OBD1 … Mike

Oh no Mike we are not keeping the plastic or the OBDII all that is going bey bey. It will have a high performance aluminum intake in place of the plastic. We are basically going to build a race engine that will stay still. lol