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Top 10 Best Intake Manifold For 5.3 Vortec 2021 : A Complete Review & Buying Guide (Expert’s Recommendation)

The best intake manifolds for 5.3 Vortec will be the ones that can increase torque and horsepower. Stock intake manifolds come with remnant casting lips around their ports and plenums. As a result, these can interfere with the proper flow of air into the engine’s combustion chamber. To correct this problem, buy an aftermarket intake manifold that could suit your 5.3 Vortec.

With a lot of manifold brands on sale but the best manifold for a 5.3 Vortec is the 102mm A-Team Performance. This manifold not only fits all cathedral types but also works with a stock injector.

Lastly, ensure that the right manifold is affordable. To make this decision easier for you, we have created a guide with up to 10 product reviews. We also have a comprehensive buying guide with helpful tips on how to choose the right manifold for 5.3 Vortec engine.

A Comparison Table of Top 10 Best Intake Manifold For 5.3 Vortec

PreviewBrandDetails
Dorman 615-183
FAST 54039B
FAST 146302B
A-Premium
Edelbrock 7118
A-Team Performance Intake
LSXrt 102mm
Auto Dynasty
GM Genuine
Dorman 615-380

Top 10 Best Intake Manifold For 5.3 Vortec In The Market 2021

01. Dorman 615-183 Intake Manifold Engine – Overall Best (Editor’s Pick)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Comes with sleeve bolts
  • Have square ports
  • Has a map sensor
  • Factory fitted with O-rings

The 615-183 intake manifold from Dorman has been so precisely designed by the manufacturer that it does not only matches the functions of a stock manifold but also fits perfectly into specified vehicles.

This engineering precision makes it the ideal replacement for any original intake manifold that needs to be replaced. Furthermore, this Dorman intake manifold has been subjected to several industry-standard quality tests to ensure its durability and OEM performance is at a high quality.

As a result, this intake manifold is one of the most reliable manifold engines out in the market today. However, make sure the model of your car, its trim level, and model meet the specifications of this product before purchase.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • A good amount of space and openness on its inside
  • Operates with a very thick and beefed gasket

Cons

  • Its square intake causes a regular change of its intake gasket.
  • Not fit for Chevy or general motor engines

Recommendation

If your current manifold is showing signs of damage, you can buy this one from Dorman. It is will not be easy to install even if you will receive everything that is necessary for the task.

However, if you install it properly, it will do way with those pesky gas leaks. There is no need to buy new gaskets or fuel injector seals. What you need will be in the kit.

02. FAST 92Mm 54039B LSX INTAKE MANIFOLD (Best Designed)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Coated with a stainless steel cover
  • Fitted with an O-ring gasket
  • Has a sealing flange

This LSX intake manifold, measuring 92 millimeters, is well suited for cathedral ports. It is a three-piece model that has been designed to keep its RPM power at a high level while performing optimally.

In all this, it is still able to maintain its bottom-end drivability.

Furthermore, because this manifold has been designed to work seamlessly with a big mouth throttle body, it is therefore not a surprise that this product is the most preferred for general motors’ generation III engines (LS1, -2 and -6).

These are the engines found in racing cars, and its installation process is a simple bolt-on process.

This manifold from FAST is also flexible. You can decide to port it if you are looking to achieve more flow. Interestingly, this manifold’s assembly bolts have been coated with stainless steel to prevent corrosion.

Also, its throttle has not only an O-ring type of gasket but an improved sealing flange compared to other intake manifolds. Besides, it also has a threaded mount within the throttle body that ensures its durability.

Pros

  • Easy direct bolt-on installation
  • Fits all LS, 5.3 engines
  • Capable of generating huge power

Cons

  • No gasket located between the block and manifold

Recommendation

The LSX Intake Manifold is a reliable component because it is easy to install. Although it may not be the most exact fit, it is rather close.

And, as long as you’ve got the right sealant, you can do a successful installation job. After this you can expect the car power to go up.

03. The 102mm LSXr Intake Manifold For LS6, LS1 And LS2 (Best Air Inlet)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Created with a multi-piece design
  • A bigger air inlet
  • Has a removable set of runner
  • A Polymer outer body

This 102-millimeter intake manifold, created for cathedral ports, has been designed to maximize airflow resulting in an increased amount of power without any damage to its drivability.

This is possible due to a multi-piece design that provides a bolt-on 10-25 horsepower energy. The LSXr intake manifold comes with longer runners with fewer restrictions.

It also comes with an air inlet that is bigger than stock versions. This feature ensures that this intake manifold product can add more horsepower while maintaining a low-RPM toque.

All these guarantee maximum performance. The FAST intake manifold comes with a new invention; a modular design featuring removable runners that allows for quick disassembly and easy porting of parts.

This intake manifold features a body made from polymer. This is lighter and cooler than aluminum. The LSX manifold comes in three major port configurations fitting for LS1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 engines.

It is also a perfect fit for trucks under 6.0L, specifically 4.8 and 5.3L trucks. It can also be fitted in engines that have no clearance issues.

If this manifold is combined with the FAST Throttle bigmouth which is an LS upgrade, the performance levels increase. It is no surprise therefore that this manifold has a C.ARB approved no.D-279-8

Pros

  • Has an amazing mid-range pull
  • Has an in-built gasket
  • Function with fuel injectors

Cons

  • Difficult to install

Recommendation

To install this intake manifold, you will require additional parts such as fuel rails and a fuel pressure regulator. As a result, customers may end up having hidden costs they didn’t plan for.

Aside from that, the product itself is excellent in terms of craftsmanship and quality. It is will therefore last long and give you value for your initial cost.

04. The A-Premium Replacement Intake Manifold (A Budget Intake Manifold)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Comes fitted with an O-ring gasket
  • Comes with installation bolts
  • Has a black hose on its top

When it comes to choosing an intake manifold that can fit in a variety of vehicles, the A-premium upper is not too far from being a perfect choice.

Weighing about 15 pounds, this intake manifold works on a variety of vehicles except those with map sensors. The A-premium is compatible with the many car brands and models.

Pros

  • Can be connected to EGR tubes
  • Works with fuel trims
  • Injectors work with o-rings

Cons

  • no mounting for map sensor

Recommendation

This is one of the manifolds you can buy for your auto. Compared to some of the most trusted products on the market, this works great for half the cost.

It also comes with brand new gaskets, O rings, and bolts. Once you install it correctly, it will be the best buy you have done this year.

05. Edelbrock 7118 Performer LS1 Intake Manifold (Perfect Fit With Enhanced Performance)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Has an ignition system
  • Designed with 6 timing curves
  • Fitted with a throttle and transmission bracket

The Edelbrock LS1 performer is a break from the norm. This intake manifold is proving to become a favorite with customers and rightly so. The LS1 performer allows for a carburetor to be fitted to the engine.

This carburetor, a square-bored flange carburetor, is an effective alternative to engines that were previously controlled by computers.

This Edelbrock has an ignition system that combines with the sensors located in the Original Equipment Manufacturer.  This combination is so powerful that it helps to fire up the ignition system.

It also allows you to choose from any of the six available timing curves.

Another amazing feature of this intake manifold is the transmission and throttle bracket. This special device works with three range of transmissions – 700-R4, TH400 and TH350 transmissions.

If you are looking for a manifold that can fit perfectly into your muscle car, the Edelbrock Performer is a suitable option. Able to perform anywhere between 1500 and 6500 RPM, it is well suited for marine applications or even steel rod.

Pros

  • Works perfectly with CARB application
  • Easy to install
  • Compatible with both ports

Cons

  • Valley cover interferes with the manifold closing.

Recommendation

After installing this one you might notice considerable throttle response and higher power. You may have your reduced power problem eliminated for good, which is associated with General Motors autos.

The car might idle flawlessly too. As installation is relatively easy, you have no reason not to buy this item as it is reliable.

06. The 102mm A-Team Performance Sheet-metal Fabricated Throttle body Intake Manifold

 

Highlighted Features

  • Has a sheet-welded aluminum body
  • Very tall

When it comes to size, the A-team intake manifold is one of the largest in the industry measuring 102 millimeters and standing at a height of approximately 2″. It comes designed with a sheet welded Aluminum body that is 3 millimeters thick.

If you are looking for an intake manifold that will fit a cathedral style, then this product is worthy of consideration.  It is capable of fitting into several cathedral styles like the LS1, LS6, and the LS2.

Also, it is compatible with the 4.8, 5.3, 5.7 and 6.0 head types. However, it is important to note that this intake manifold model does not flex with vacuum nor bend with a boost.

This product comes with several extra parts like the fuel crossover line, gaskets, black fuel rails, a black throttle body with a drive-by cable and hardware.

However, this product is more suited for a Chevrolet with a Gen III/IV small V8 block engine. Using it for any other brand might not fit in perfectly.

Pros

  • Works with a stock injector
  • Uses a vacuum port to connect map sensors
  • Works excellently with cathedral ports

Cons

  • Does not fit well with all engine types

Recommendation

This product is not for all engine types. For this reason, you should be sure that it is ideal for your vehicle. If you do, installation will be manageable and you will have a part that can improve your auto’s overall performance.

Installation requires slight fabrication of the sharp edges of the IAC passages. If you cannot deal with that, skip this product.

07. The 102mm Cathedral-Port Head LSXrt Intake Manifold

 

Highlighted Features

  • Made with an injection polymer
  • Has an air inlet
  • Comes with an integrated nitrous bung
  • Has a bolt-on fit

The beauty of the 102-millimeter intake manifold designed by FAST is in its uniqueness. This FAST LSXrt intake has been made to work specifically on vehicles with no hood clearance issues.

These are vehicles that contain not only the GM 4.8, 5.3, or 6.0L truck engines, but also the cathedral port types like the LS1, -6 and the -2 race applications.

The modular design of this intake manifold makes porting and disassembling easy. It also includes a top runner design that produces an astonishing 25 horsepower gain at its peak.

All this is achieved on a 6.0L stock engine with a big mouth throttle body. This ensures minimal restrictions while keeping a high flow. Also, individual runners can be removed allowing for modification whenever you want.

Constructed with a precision injection polymer, the LSXrt intake manifold is lighter, stronger and has a lesser propensity to soak heat.

Although it comes with an air inlet designed for a 102-millimeter throttle body, it is also perfect for a 90 or 92-millimeter throttle body.

A further look reveals an integrated nitrous bung that comes along with a bolt-on fit that allows factory accessories to be connected without any adjustment issues.

Pros

  • Works with cathedral port cylinder head
  • Works with different millimeters of throttle bodies
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Fuel rails don’t fit injectors properly.

Recommendation

This is a high-quality component from FAST.  However, it is not for someone who doesn’t like doing DIY car jobs. The instructions are provided but they are hard to follow.

As a result, you must be good at this kind of work to complete the task successfully. We don’t like the fact that FAST is not fast enough to respond to customer messages and the price is slightly high. Given these points, it is upon you to decide what you want.

08. Replacement Upper Intake Manifold For Caddilac Escalade, Chevy-Silverado

 

Highlighted Features

  • It’s a one-piece design
  • Covered in reinforced plastic
  • Pre-installed gasket

This replacement intake manifold has been designed to be a direct replacement in the place of a factory manifold. When an intake manifold gets damaged, it can result in problems like vacuum leaks and coolant leaks.

These leaks are dangerous and could lead to more dangerous issues like misfires and overheating. This is why it’s necessary to replace them with brand new gaskets that will help ensure the engine functions properly.

This replacement model has an auto dynasty feature that helps to improve cooling efficiency. The replacement intake manifold molds an intake gasket into an intake manifold as a direct replacement option for the OE style intake manifold.

It has a one-piece style design coated with reinforced plastic, re-engineered to ensure durability.

Pros

  • Works with an in-built gasket
  • Can be used for fuel-injector and cathedral type
  • Can be installed with ease

Cons

  • Does not fit well with the 4.3 V6

Recommendation

First, we love this product a lot and it is not just us. It makes a good replacement part for OEM at substantially lower amount. You will receive extra bolt just in case you break or lose the main ones.

If you install this item correctly it will be the best one you have ever bought. It does not come with instructions, so you have to figure it out yourself.

09. The ACDelco Original GM 25200449 Intake Manifold

 

Highlighted Features

  • Has a single port for map sensors
  • Has another port for evap canisters and brake boosters
  • Fitted with factory seals

The ACDelco intake manifold can easily be regarded as one of the top manifolds in the industry. It comes with two intake port each made for map sensors and the brake boosters.

These ports receive an even distribution of the engine combustion mixture or air in the case of a direct injection type of engine. These ports are located in the cylinder head and require this mixture to function properly.

However, if you intend to purchase this product to solve a check engine problem, you will need to also buy a valve cover. Also please do note the PCV valve is likely to fail when it’s around the 50 thousand mile mark.

This failure will stress and potentially shred the vacuum diaphragm.

Pros

  • Comes with an in-built gasket
  • Uses a set of pre-installed seals
  • Easy and quick to install

Cons

  • no intake runner solenoid

Recommendation

Even when only the PCV and valve cover are damaged, you should try and replace the entire manifold. This is the only way to get rid of the issues completely.

When that time comes, chose this product as it seems to be a genuine OEM option. It will fit well and resolve your problem at once.

10. Dorman 615-380 Engine Intake Manifold for Select Buick / Chevrolet Models (OE FIX)

 

Highlighted Features

  • Has a map sensor
  • The outer body made with polymer
  • Designed with a retaining pin

Although listed last, it is not the least effective. This Dorman intake manifold comes with a special design that is guaranteed to reduce the amount of oil consumed by the engine.

In addition to that, it has been deliberately coated with a nylon polymer material, tough enough to prevent cracking.

Also, the valve has a retaining pin that helps to prevent any potential valve failure. Although this manifold is made for Buick and Chevrolet vehicles, it does not fit every model.

Please do make sure to check that this fits your vehicle.

Pros

  • Easy installation process
  • Uses a fuel injector O-ring
  • Crack fears are eliminated with a polymer design.

Cons

  • No intake solenoid runner

Recommendation

It is not uncommon to find out that your car is leaking oil. If you have noticed that already, perhaps you should check your intake manifold more closely. One-way valve inside it could be missing or damaged.

In such a situation, you should change the entire manifold with a new valve to enhance pressure control inside the crankcase. This will be the best choice for you to buy.

The Buying Considerations of The Best Intake Manifold For 5.3 Vortec

There are factors to consider before choosing the intake manifold to purchase for your vehicle.  Listed below with detailed explanation are the factors to consider:

Types of Plane

When choosing an intake manifold, the type of plane is an important factor. This is because vehicles have different plane types and choosing the wrong type effectively renders the intake manifold useless.

There are several types of planes, and the most common are the dual-plane, tunnel ram, air-gap, and the single-plane intake manifold.

The dual-plane type of intake manifold can easily be identified by its two distinct and independent plenums. These plenums let in air and/or fuel directly from the vehicle’s carburetor.

Each separate plenum, also known as an opening, is responsible for channeling air or fuel to four cylinders if the engine is a V8.

As a result of this design, each group of four cylinders is certain to handle 1 in 2 firing pulses, otherwise known as 180 degrees of crack rotation.

This ensures that there is reduced overlap occurring with the induction pulses. This, in turn, results in an induction pulse that is extremely clean when the RPM is low.

Also, this type of intake manifold comes with intake runners that are longer than normal. This makes them the perfect fit for power productions in the low range and mid-range.

In summary, the dual manifold is ideal for street performance, mild racing, and low-RPM response, especially if the power is within the 1500 – 6500 RPM range.

The single plane functions with only one plenum. The plenum is responsible for supplying eight cylinders on a V8 vehicle with air and fuel.

This type of plane ensures that not only is the flow distribution equal between cylinders but also better. This is despite the single-plane not providing the same clean induction pulse as the dual-place type.

Moreover, single-plane intakes are designed to have runners that are short but also direct. This design lets it move huge swaths of air from the engine carburetor to its heads.

This working mechanism is what makes the single-plane type of intake manifold the ideal fit for race cars and engine with a high-rpm horsepower that can generate as much as 8,000 rpm.

The tunnel-ram intake manifold is a special type that comes with dual-carburetor. This type of intake manifold has been in use since the 60s and 70s where they became popular in drag-strip vehicles.

Easily recognized by its tall height, this type has only one plane, ensuring the RPM power-band is expanded. The dual-carburetor mentioned earlier requires additional tuning and greater space.

A tunnel ram intake is ideal for racing, generating high-rpm power and to create an aggressive look.

Find The Right Fit

Choosing an intake manifold that will fit your vehicle engine perfectly is the next crucial factor to consider. In deciding the right fit, the following factors should be considered:

1 It’s hood clearance

  1. The mounting of the carburetor on the throttle body
  2. The design of the cylinder’s head-port.

These factors don’t change with the type of intake manifold.  They can work with a carburetor intake or fuel-injector intake. Hood clearance is an important factor if the vehicle is needed for street racing.

If you intend to retain your hood, ensure to take an accurate measurement of the stock manifold. This will guide you in choosing an appropriate intake manifold.

Alternatively, you can still fit in a manifold that exceeds the measurement. This will require you to use a low-profile air cleaner assembly, a hood scoop or any other requirement. But this will cost you more money and time.

The cylinder port design is another important factor. This is evident in choosing heads that come in big blocks. These heads come with different port designs like oval, rectangular and peanut-style designs.

Nevertheless, buy an intake manifold with runner ports matching the intake ports on the cylinder heads.

Furthermore, while choosing the right size, ensure the new intake is compatible with the carburetor configuration and will mount perfectly on the mounting pad.

To make this work, you need to ascertain the type of mount pad fitted on your carburetor matches that on the intake.

There are several types of mounting pads like the spread bore, the dominator style and the square bore.

If you intend to purchase a fuel-injected manifold, confirm that the inlet on the throttle body works perfectly with the size of the throttle body.

Watch this video on Youtube:

The Basic FAQ About Best Intake Manifold For 5.3 Vortec

What Is An Intake Manifold?

An intake manifold is a key part of a vehicle’s engine that plays a vital role in the engine’s combustion process. Intake manifolds are mainly found in vehicles with an internal combustion engine.

The engine needs the intake manifold to supply it with air and/or fuel. In simple terms, it needs it to breathe.

An intake manifold has a design to function with three important components, namely the spark, the air mixed fuel, and the combustion.

Attached to the intake manifold is a series of connecting tubes that help to direct the air flowing into the vehicle’s engine while ensuring the air is also equally distributed across all cylinders.

This distributed air is very important when the engine combustion goes through its first stroke.

Intake manifolds also play an important cooling role within the engine. This cooling process helps to keep the engine at a temperature that ensures overheating does not occur.

It does this by using a coolant that flows from the manifold to the engine’s cylinder heads. Here, the heat is absorbed by the coolant effectively reducing the temperature.

Which Intake Manifold Is Best?

To be honest, just like when choosing cylinder heads, it is difficult to proffer a one-stop-shop solution to the question. To be able to choose the best intake for your engine, you must have an in-depth understanding of your engine’s requirements and combinations.

Not all intake manifolds will fit perfectly with every engine. An intake that will fit in with a Chevrolet 4.8L engine might not necessarily work well with a  Cadillac escalade having a different set of engine specification

Also, several engine tracks are built for specific intake manifolds. This is why it is really important to confirm the requirements and ascertain the best or specific type of intake manifold your engine will need.

What Are The Symptoms Of A Bad Intake Manifold?

When an intake manifold starts developing faults, the signs are usually noticeable. If and when you notice any of the symptoms below, you fail to alert your mechanic, you could be setting up your engine for further damage.

The following are the symptoms displayed:

  • Coolant leaking out from your vehicle
  • The engine begins to operate roughly
  • Check engine light comes on frequently
  • When the engine begins to experience excessive heating
  • Presence of colored leaks under your vehicle, colors could include but not limited to yellow, red green
  • Your engine will begin to misfire
  • Reduced fuel efficiency

Is It Possible To Drive With A Bad Intake Manifold?

Yes, it is possible to drive your vehicle with a bad intake manifold just like any other car part but you should only do this when it’s the situation is unavoidable.

It should never be done intentionally. This is because a bad intake manifold means coolant keeps leaking out anytime you drive. This will increase the probability of the engine experiencing an overheat.

An overheating engine can lead to your car stalling and in extreme cases, your vehicle may misfire. This is dangerous as you can lose control of the car, resulting in a possible accident.

It is important to know that the more time you take before fixing your intake manifold, the more damaged it becomes and this will increase the cost of repairs.

That is why even though you can drive with a damaged intake manifold, it is advised to immediately get your mechanic to address the issue as soon as you notice the coolant leaking.

This way you not only keep the cost down but prevent any possible mishap while driving.

What Does It Mean For An Intake Manifold To Leak?

While leaks are not common, they do certainly happen. A common misconception is that when a manifold leaks, air escapes resulting in less air flowing to the cylinder, actually the reverse is the case.

The air pressure in the manifold is at a lower level than the outside air.

This means with a leak, more air is sucked in through the position of the leak, subsequently pushing too much air to the vehicle’s cylinders, effectively reducing the amount of fuel flowing in. This will reduce its combustion.

Conclusion

If you drive your car daily, don’t be surprised if you notice that the coolant is leaking out. As well, don’t panic if you note that the engine is rough or that the engine light keeps on coming on.

In addition, extreme engine heat is a sign that your intake manifold has a problem. Still, reduced fuel economy should point to the same thing.

So, have you noticed all the above issues or one of them? If so, your intake manifold might require a replacement. And if that’s the case, you can use our comprehensive product reviews and buying guide to make the right selection.

Do not forget to ensure the manifold of your choice is a perfect fit for your vehicle. This will ensure optimal performance.

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