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Chevy C/K Pickups (1996 - 1999)



  • Thanks for the help. I've noticed the high level of common sense, technical savvy and courtesy of the contributors to this and some other crew cab related discussions. Reading through the last several months of the contributions has really helped me in getting ready for this next buy.

    Although I guessed wrong buying the 6.5L turbodiesel in 1994, I am still pleased with the 25'1989 HILO trailer, which essentially has no wind drag. It is reduced so much that I miss not having some on the downhills!

    Thanks again.
  • My father has a 96 chevy 3/4 ton ext. cab pickup. He bought it used about 10 Months ago, has very low miles under 40000. Well about a week after he bought it , the transmission went on it. It has a automatic with overdrive. Dealer replaced it at no cost. Well come to find out the truck blew the original transmission, and the one that went was a rebuilt one. Well any way truck was running good until last month when he was towing is camper, a 24 footer @ about 5500 lbs. He went up a long hill fine no problems. He said that it was the best truck he ever had towing up this will, until about 2 miles after the hill he went up a slight hill in the road, and it tried to down shift into 2nd. Well there went transmission #3 with only 8000 miles on it. I was wondering if there is some known problems with these transmissions?? He has towed the same camper, and bigger ones with a '90 GMC 1/2 ton before with no problems, so he thought this one would be no problems. What gives here??
  • amoraamora Posts: 204

    That was unfortunate regarding your Pop's tranny problems. My Pop still has his '74 Cheyenne. He
    experienced tranny problems early on. He changes
    tranny fluid every 20,000 mi. now. On 2nd engine.
    477,000 mi later still running great.

    I just bought a '00 C2500 5/7L 3:73 with auto/overdrive. Truck has 8600 GVW, HD Tranny and tranny cooler, HD everything. Hope I got a good one. have heard horror stories from both camps,
    F series, Dodges, GM, imports and great service
    from same. Had a lemon '80 GMC Heavy half with
    horrendous tranny problems. had two F150's, an
    '83 5.0 and a '94 5.0. Both were flawless. Am
    loyal to none. If I like a certain truck, I will
    buy it. Never owned a Dodge, don't like the
    wimpy 318 and 360 engines. If Dodge ever returns
    to 440 magnum, maybe, just maybe I will consider
    purhcase. V10 sounds formidable and awesome.

    Perhaps a letter to Chevy zone manager or a visit
    to your lawyer may get your Dad some satisfaction...

    good luck

  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    Your engine has 255 hp and 325 ft lbs of torque.
  • I am looking for a good, dependable 4WD for flat-land ranch work (sand, mud, water, no hills) and to pull a 2,000 lb trailer. Am looking at a '97 K 1500 Cheyenne 5.0 liter with 46,000 miles on it. Asking price is $16K. Good year/model/engine/price? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
  • tidashtidash Posts: 1
    I have a 96 chevy with 350 v8. The transmission failed completely at 73000 miles. The truck has been totally babied for the whole time i've had it and after talking with numerous transmission shops around town i've found that its more typical than odd that the transmission on this truck would fail before 100,000 miles. The drive shell is what failed on the transmission and I looked at it after the repair and I'm convinced that it is an inferior part. If anyone has similar problems I would really like to hear from you at I realize mechanical parts wear out but I believe with the service i've used this truck for it should have lasted a lot longer than it did.
  • We have a '98 Chev Silverado Z-71 shortbox ext cab. At about 74,000kms we noticed that both headlights on low beam sides were spider cracked in the same spots - We have only owned the truck for 2 1/2 years and over on kms for warranty. The truck is in showroom condition and can't be blamed on chips because the paint is not even chipped. We showed the truck to the district service rep for GM and they said they have never heard of it before and won't cover it - I think it's a factory defect and am very disappointed on their decision - PLEASE ANYONE OUT THERE WITH A GM OR CHEV TRUCK WITH THIS SAME PROBLEM LET ME KNOW - THANKS.
  • 4x4man4x4man Posts: 222
    Well, it has been quite a few months since I last posted, but lost my cheat sheet that had all the fixes on it... Anyway I bought a 1997 Chevy Silverado Ext cab, 5.7L, Auto, 4x4, Z71..blah, blah in Feb and have loved it, but it has the is probably in the archives somewhere, but what was the grease number for the clunk noise and does it go on the drive shaft itself?? I assume so, but you know what they say about that... I am finally tired of hearing it when slowing down to about 5-10 mph giving it gas and hearing that clunk....
    I have another question, but lets not push it yet!!!
    Thanks all!!

  • Hi guys, the info I've found here is great, I have a 2k Silverado as a company truck that I like (except that it's a 6 cyl). I've been looking for a good clean used Chevy 4X4 ext cab, found one, short bed, really loaded, CD/cassett, p/w,p/l,p/s, 6 way pwr seats, sliding rear window, built-in compass in the rear view mirror? with 3rd entry door, 5.7L drives out good but pulls to the right, the dealer said it might be the suspention, showing 62k, asking price is $17,900 it has Firestones "wilderness AT" tires, 16's( not sure exactly which ones yet) will drive it again Monday. I'm hearing some horror stories about transmissions going out,and "clunking" I don't do any towing, but want to do some off road camping. it has the vortek engine, should I be concerned about the transmission? what kind of fuel milage could I expect over all, town and hwy? I'm light footed on the pedal.

  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,065
    There are several things to consider:

    -A good percentage of the time, the pulling is a result of the tires. If you rotate them, the pulling may go away. Without any history on the truck, it is difficult to tell whether it is being caused by the deathstones or a bent frame. If it is the latter, don't buy it. You may want a mechanic to look it over before proceeding.

    -The C/K style has been around for many years and thus have all the bugs worked out.

    -Check the site for pricing as it relates to the model year and options installed.

    -Being that the truck is almost 5 years old, you can expect parts to start wearing out and must be prepared for additional maintenance costs.

    -I would suspect that mileage would be something like 14/16

    -On the transmission, again it depends whether the truck was abused in its history. You can check the VIN on whether it was a lemon. and are sources for available TSB's for that particular year truck.

    Good luck!!
  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    I agree with obyones experienced comments.
    I have a ’98 with very similar options. Mine has a 3.73 diff and softer BigZero P-series tires.
    I bought it with 47K on the odo and the transmission went out at 48K. The dealer paid for it. I agree that we hear a lot of instances of trans failures, however, we hear of them on the other two domestics as well. Until Dodge gets a different trans – manual is the choice there. Would I choose this vintage Chevy again? Given the same vehicles to test drive (’97 F150 with similar options vs the K1500): Yes.
    If the steering deal is tires, replace. Keep in mind that tires with lower rolling resistance will give better mileage. Like “highway” tires vs “all terrain” vs “off road” or mudders. The p-series I bought to replace the mix-match set that was already on mine (I thought I would use my truck as a grocery-getter/commuter) sounded like a good idea at the time. It’s a truck. I should have gotten truck tires. At least all terrain.
    Your pedal foot has a major factor too. If I could resist going over 75 on the highway, my mileage would be better. I average 14 to 15 in town at 4500 feet and 17 to 18 on the highway. Did get 19+ once on a two lane that provided built in speed impediments.
    I like mine.
  • ljfljf Posts: 8
    I am looking for a 1 Ton dually to pull 12000 lb fifth wheel. Want a used truck. Have looked at Dodge & Ford Diesel 1996 to 1998 only until last week. Drove a 1998 Chevy Dually Crew Cab with 6.5 L diesel and couldn't believe how comfortable it drove. I liked it better than the 1997 Dodge or old Ford. My problem is the 6.5 L Turbo Diesel. I always read how it was not in the same class as the Cummins or PS. My question is, will it still perform and is it dependable? I am not tied to any brand loyalty. Been driving too many years to know everything has it's good and bad.
  • wtdwtd Posts: 96
    I have a 98 ext-cab Z-71 pretty well loaded and it has been a very reliable truck. I bought it new and it has been taken very good care of. The pulling to the right is probably an alignment problem. My truck had bad alignment from the factory and the dealer aligned it and it no longer pulled.
  • I have a 96 c3500 crew cab with a 6.5 liter motor. It has about 90k miles on it. It started to stall intermittantly. I do not know the cause. I changed the fuel supply pump. glow plugs, glow plug heater control, a bunch of fuses and relays but it still stalls randomly. It even has the mechanics confused. I The problems seems electric. If anyone has had these symptoms with this truck please help. Do you chevy deisel owners like your truck?

    Thank you.
  • 96 thru 2000 C/K trucks with composite headlamps (not the standard sealed beams found in the W/T model) may crack because.........these vehicles have daytime running lamps, the lights are always on 100% brightness. Most GM cars use a separate bulb in a nearby housing or the main headlamps burn at 80%, then go to 100% when you turn on your lights. With the lights on at full blast, this may heat up the plastic/lexan housing and cause cracks in the corners, not all housings crack of course, so the ones that crack may have molding flaws. If you ever removed the headlamp assembly, they are remarkably light and cheap feeling !! They sure aren't priced that way though, maybe well over $230 a side from the dealer. Even aftermarket lights are about $165 side !! Junkyard units are usually yellowed...........
  • My 97 K1500 Z71 (Vortec 5.7) mysteriously loses antifreeze (orange DexCool) every 2-3 weeks. The overflow tank goes dry. The truck never overheats, but sometimes you can smell it (antifreeze) after it is parked. It may be the water pump......but has anyone out there ever experienced no so durable plastic/aluminum radiators in their C/K Truck ?????????????
  • Many folks are concerned about GM truck auto trannies failing...........1991-2000 C/K trucks using the 4L60E (electronically shifted Turbo 350 w/overdrive) & 4L80E (electronically shifted Turbo 400 w/overdrive) should be quite confident that problems are no so common. Most horror stories originated with the original TH700R4 (vacuum shifted Turbo 350 w/overdrive). These were installed in C/K trucks from 1988-90.....those things failed with alarming regularity !!!! All of the above is my opinion from my own experiences, but any auto tranny can fail w/lack of maintainence or heavy duty towing !!
  • Has anyone out there ever seen chrome wheel well moldings (factory installed, not the thick chrome aftermarket stuff) on any 1988-1998 C/K truck with the Sportside (stepside) bed ???? My own truck never had them, all other trucks I have seen never had them, brochures never showed Sportside bed trucks with them !! Some people may have the dealer put some on the trucks, but I don't think they ever came from the factory with them, even with the Silverado trim level.......................
  • Gears & Lockers:
    Look in the glove compartment door, there is a decal with a bunch of 3 letter/number designations on it. They are all the options on your truck. G80 is a locking differential (Positraction), GT4 is 3.73's and GU6 is 3.42's. The best set up to have is G80 & GT4.
    The difference between a regular 4x4 & a Z71 are these 3 things: #1-The Z71 has standard skidplates on the lower radiator (plastic), front differential (aluminum) and transfer case (aluminum). #2-Bright yellow Bilstien gas shocks on all 4 corners. #3-The Z71 decals on the bed !!! That is all.......the regular 4x4 is mechanically identical !!!! The code "Z71" should also be on the glove compartment sticker. some folks "fake" a Z71, this is how to tell if it is the real deal..................
  • iusecadiusecad Posts: 287
    how much should it cost to replace an axle seal (one side, I assume)?

    I have a '95 K1500 with a 305 and when the dealer just put a new starter in it, they "noticed" a seal was leaking. But they were quick to say that is very uncommon... I have my doubts on that one... they estimated $350.

    Also, I know that this forum is '96+ but anyone here with a '95 or older 305 that gets 14 mpg on the hwy using 87 oct? (3.73 and auto) oil's changed every 3k and all other maint. has been done when the book says so; and I have the credit card debt to prove it! :)
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