There's nothing remarkable about a first-generation Chevy Tahoe. It's a fine automobile built on General Motors' stout GMT400 platform, and it was offered with a list of engines ranging from the 4.1-liter inline-6 up to a large 6.5-liter turbocharged V-8 diesel.
One engine it was not offered with, however, was the LS9. This is a shame. But it's a shame that's been rectified by a brilliant person up in Washington.
One very clean 1998 Chevy Tahoe has been paired with an LS9 crate engine, and the result is magic. Further, this is magic that's for sale.
Posted on Bring-A-Trailer, the LS9-powered Tahoe currently has a high bid of $21,000 with five days remaining on the auction (at the time of this writing). That's a great deal considering the engine alone will cost you just over $21,000 if you purchased it directly from GM Performance Parts. The LS9 is the same engine you'd find if you lifted the hood on a C6 Corvette ZR1. Well, you didn't really need to lift the hood since Chevy cut a hole in it so the top of the engine would poke through.
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Now, if you lift the hood on this '98 Tahoe, you'll find the same powerplant.
The current owner purchased the Tahoe in 2012. At that time it had just 33,0000 miles on its odometer and now the truck shows just 34,886 miles. Essentially, that's enough to get the LS9 safely past its break-in mileage requirements and on to a bit of fun before the truck moves on to a new home. From the factory, the LS9 is rated to produce 638 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque.
A fabrication shop in Washington readied the Tahoe for the engine swap and then tuned the truck once it was installed. This Tahoe retains its four-speed automatic gearbox but its internals have been beefed up for the added power. Even with the 3.73 gearing in the rear axle, that four-speed will likely have you talking over the engine as it rides hot in the rev range while cruising down the highway.
Stop light to stop light though, you're the king of the full-size SUV crowd. This is a very clean example of a first-gen Tahoe, and thanks to that LS9 under the hood it's probably the most entertaining first-gen Tahoe on the planet.