The 5.3 Oil Pump Upgrade: Everything You Need to Know


Oil plays a very important role in the performance of your engine. And if the oil in your 5.3 engine isn’t flowing properly, it could spell disaster.

That’s why many 5.3 engine owners upgrade their oil pump – to ensure that their engine gets the flow and pressure it needs for optimal performance. Of course, understanding what an oil pump does and how to upgrade one can be tricky – so we’re here to help!

We’re going to break down everything you need to know about the 5.3 oil pump upgrade: what is an oil pump and why should you upgrade it? How do you go about upgrading it? Which oil pump do you choose? And finally, what is the cost associated with this upgrade? Let’s get started on our journey into the world of the 5.3 oil pump upgrade!

5.3 Oil Pump Upgrade

What Is the 5.3 Oil Pump?

The 5.3 oil pump is an engine component designed to circulate lubrication throughout the engine of vehicles with a 5.3 liter engine, like the Chevy Tahoe, Suburban, and Silverado. This part is important for maintaining engine life as it provides cooling protection to prevent engine overheating and internal damage.

Without the oil pump, any wear and tear on internal components such as pistons, rods, and camshafts would cause increased friction that can quickly damage the engine. The pump keeps everything running smoothly by providing lubrication to all necessary components while also absorbing some of the heat that’s generated from driving. Without this, the wear and tear on moving parts can add up very quickly, eventually leading to catastrophic engine failure.

Why Upgrade the Oil Pump on a 5.3 Engine?

When it comes to upgrading oil pumps on 5.3 engines, there are several potential benefits. The primary benefit is improved overall reliability and longevity of the engine and increased fuel economy due to improved efficiency. Another major benefit is increased power and torque due to increased oil pressure, allowing your 5.3 engine to achieve higher levels of performance than what was available before the upgrade was installed.


Finally, by upgrading the oil pump on a 5.3 engine you can improve its overall adaptability and compatibility with other aftermarket performance parts, such as turbochargers or cold air intakes, allowing for an even more powerful vehicle setup.

How to Upgrade the Oil Pump on a 5.3 Engine

Do you want to upgrade the oil pump on your 5.3 engine? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get it done quickly and safely:

Step 1: Remove all accessories

Begin by draining the oil from the engine and then remove all accessories, such as the alternator, starter motor, power steering pump, exhaust headers, and any other components that may be blocking access to the oil pump.

Step 2: Accessing the oil pump

You will then need to unbolt the oil pan to gain access to the oil pump. This is usually done by using an Allen wrench or a socket set. Once done, you’ll need to remove the bolts and carefully lift out the old oil pan.

Step 3: Remove the old oil pump

Now comes the time for removing the old oil pump from your 5.3 engine. The first step is to remove any electrical wiring connected to it and then unbolt it from its mountings before lifting it out of its housing.

Step 4: Install a new oil pump

Once you have removed the old oil pump you can then install your new one into its housing and tighten down its mounting bolts with a socket set or Allen wrench until they are snugly secured.

Step 5: Refill with new oil & Reattach accessories

Finally, after fitting your new 5.3 engine’s upgraded oil pump, you must refill your vehicle with fresh engine oil before reattaching all of the accessories that were removed earlier and test-driving your vehicle for any abnormal behavior or sounds that might indicate issues.

What are the Common Issues while 5.3 Oil Pump Upgrade?

When upgrading your 5.3 oil pump, it’s important to consider common issues that can arise. While a proper upgrade can dramatically improve the performance of your engine and reduce wear, certain factors could lead to 5.3 oil pump problems down the road.

Relief Valve

The relief valve in the 5.3 oil pump is designed to control the amount of pressure generated while the engine is running. Problems can arise when too much pressure builds up in the system, either due to an overly tight relief valve or an overly powerful oil pump. If you’re considering a more powerful oil pump, make sure it has a compatible relief valve.

Gasket Compatibility

Another thing to keep in mind when upgrading your 5.3 oil pump is whether or not your replacement gasket is compatible with your new pump. Some pumps require gaskets made from specific materials, so make sure you double check before installing anything! An incompatible gasket could result in a leaky engine or other damage down the line.

Oil Circulation

Make sure you take into account how much oil your new pump will be able to circulate throughout the engine compared to your stock one. A higher-performance pump might move more oil at greater volumes than necessary for your particular application, which could lead to over-cooling or increased wear and tear on other components in the system due to too much pressure or lubrication

Which is the Best Oil Pump for a 5.3 Engine?

The 5.3-liter engine is a popular engine used in many GM vehicles. When it comes to choosing the best oil pump for a 5.3, there are several options available on the market. Here are three top choices:

1. Melling’s Shark Tooth Pump

Shark Tooth oil pump offers an unbeatable combination of durability and performance. It features 10 external teeth, as well as a drilled passage that helps minimize air pockets and reduce noise.

The external design also allows for higher volume flow than its competitors, plus it helps reduce cavitation from startup to shutdown, leading to improved engine performance. And with its steel construction, you can be sure this oil pump will hold up for many miles to come.

2. Schumann’s New Oil Pumps

The new Schumann oil pumps come equipped with a billet steel drive shaft and an aluminum body, making them incredibly lightweight yet powerful. They also feature larger than average pickup tubes and a windage tray that helps reduce friction and minimize drag on the system, which helps minimize engine wear and increases its performance and efficiency.

Their pumps produce higher flow rates than comparable stock pumps, which can help increase horsepower and torque output in your engine.

3. Melling HV Oil Pump

Melling HV Oil Pump is a high-volume oil pump designed to provide an increased flow of oil to the engine’s components. This pump is typically used in high-performance and racing applications where increased oil flow is necessary to keep the engine properly lubricated and cooled.

The Melling HV Oil Pump features cast iron housing and a chrome-moly steel drive shaft for durability and longevity. The pump gears are also made of high-quality materials to ensure optimal performance and reliability.1

What Is the 5.3 Oil Pump Replacement Cost?

You can expect to pay between $200 and $400 for a new pump. The exact cost may vary, depending on the brand and type of oil pump you choose. Keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to buy the best quality oil pump you can afford; premium pumps usually carry a longer warranty, plus they’ll provide better performance and reliability over time.

For better or worse, if you hire someone else to install your new pump for you, that will also incur additional costs of labor so be sure to factor in those costs as well if needed.

5.3 Oil Pump Replacement Cost


Q. How do you increase the oil pressure on a 5.3 Vortec?

Increasing the engine speed above 1000 RPM causes the oil pressure to increase to about 45 psi. If the engine speed increases even more, the fuel pressure reaches about 55 psi.

Q. Will a high-volume oil pump increase the pressure?

A high volume oil pump can increase oil pressure in an engine. Higher volume pumps move more oil through the system, which can increase the pressure of the oil.

Q. Do 5.3 engines burn oil?

5.3 engines can burn oil. This is usually caused by worn piston rings or valve seals that allow oil to escape and be burned in the combustion chamber.


Upgrading the oil pump in your 5.3 engine is a great way to ensure your engine is running at its most efficient level. This upgrade can significantly reduce wear and tear on the engine, allowing it to last longer and perform at its best.

With the right steps and the right oil pump, you can ensure a successful upgrade and get the most out of your 5.3 engine. Before you take on the project, make sure you have the right parts and the right tools, and always remember to stay safe and take precautions!

Now Read: 5.3 Vortec oil type


Emon is Lubricants specialist who studied on Petroleum Engineering in UAE. He have more than 10 years experience on different kinds of lubrication including automobile troubleshooting.