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Chevy C/K Pickups (1996 - 1999)



  • 97ltz7197ltz71 Posts: 9
    The '97 truck has the 5.7 v8, 4sp auto and 245/75 R16's. It's extened cab not sure about the gear ratio or if it has locking differential?
  • powerisfunpowerisfun Posts: 358
    Welcome to the land of the C/K, and congrats on getting your new truck. Regarding option codes,
    did you try looking at the 2000 HD trucks options. They're still the C/K's (not the new body style, so some of the option codes may be the same). Another thing is that I still have my brochure from '98 (my truck is a GMC, but I have both the Chevy and the GMC brochures). I don't know if they'd have changed from '97 to '98, but if you list the option codes that you're curious about, I can look them up for you and see if they make sense.
    Most Z71's are ordered with the 3.73 gear ratio and the locking differential, but not all of them.
    To test if it's a locker you can raise the back end and see if both wheels turn when you put it in gear. There's probably a way to tell by looking at the differential, but I don't know it off hand.
    Keep us informed on your performance, mileage, quality, etc.
  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    Obyone.. Lost the Bilsteins… There is a difference that confirms that the Bilsteins were worn. However, the cement highway bounce is still there. I want to believe that it isn’t as hard, but I don’t know if that is actually true. Guess it’s part of the truck territory.

    I have only found one source (in LasVegas, I think) for the “Velvet ride” BFGoodrich devices that was mentioned earlier somewhere. Anyone else find a source? How much?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    What kind of shocks did you replace the Bilsteins with?

    For the record, I have a 3/00 Silverado xcab 2wd 1500 loaner for the past two weeks. On the concrete freeway with those expansion joints, I get absolutely no bounce. And this is with those damn Tenneco stock shocks and 235/75R16 Goodyears. Only thing I can figure out is that this truck is made in Canada...
  • 97ltz7197ltz71 Posts: 9
    I did the 2000 c/k truck check and if the codes are the same it has a 3.73 rear and locking rear. I also had a chance to fool around in the mud over the weekend and both rear tires spin in the mud. The 4WD seem to work really well and i did the first fill up 23 gallons for 360 miles (15.65 MPG) but i towed a jet ski about 100 miles, playrd in the mud, towed some farm equip, road hunted, and drove on a lot of hilly dirt roads. I couldn't be happier with the truck. Wondering if there is a low fuel light/indicator. The fuel guage was on E, but i didn't get anything. Aslo any word on the best service manual?
  • powerisfunpowerisfun Posts: 358
    service manuals: Chilton and Haynes. I figure, they'll complement each other. I got the Chilton's from JCWhitney for 50% off. I also ordered headers and cat-back exhaust at the same time, so it didn't cost any extra shipping.
    There IS supposed to be a low fuel indicator light according to the '98 owner's manual, but mine has never come on (it's also supposed to come on during the engine startup test and mine doesn't). I should have it fixed under warranty, but I never let my gas tank go much below a quarter anyway (otherwise the fuel-pump can become unsubmerged and burn up since the fuel is it's coolant) and I'd rather not have some lacky technician taking apart my dash to replace the bulb.

    P.S. The headers and cat-back exhaust really improved the power (especially the headers).
  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    Go to and you will find the dealer type manuals.
    The '98 C/K that I got is a four volume set, each is about two inches thick. Much more detail, and specific to your model year.
  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    Obyone. I got a pair of Gabriel Gas VST shocks that are supposed to have the self adjusting thing. At about $25 each from JCW, I figured I would find out if the Bilsteins were worn out as suggested by the Big-Zero folks.
    I don't expect them to last long, but by the time they are done, I'll have a better idea what to replace them with. Cheap is sometimes OK. A same or similar shock is sold locally for close to $50 each.
    This weekend, my wife and I will drive down to UCLA to collect our daughter and her "dorm stuff". There may be enough weight comming back home to indicate whether I should carry a couple sand bags in the back end to smooth things out.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    I picked up this link from the Silverado vibrations topic. Looks like you can dump the sandbags for these. Priced about right...think I'll probably check them out.
  • 97ltz7197ltz71 Posts: 9
    I picked up a chilton's total car care for $9.99 at Kmart (on sale).

    The link doesn't weem to work? Got another address and is it the same as the book in the back of the manual from Chevy?

    Where are you guys getting headers and cat-back exhaust? Any gas mileage changes?
  • 97ltz7197ltz71 Posts: 9
    thanks for the address.

    The manuals are $120.00. The back of the owners manual has a shop manual for $90.00 Same, Better, worse?
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    back of the owners manual. The $120 for the Helm's is worth the money. I just loaned it to my dealer to help them sort out my vibrations...BTW, the Helm's manual is a 4 volume set covering Yukons, Tahoes, GMC Sierra, and Silverados. Each volume is as thick as a phonebook. Cost me another $30 for shipping and handling.
  • mrmilkytoumrmilkytou Posts: 27
    I have owned GM trucks since 1987. I have owned Mostly GMC's , they are just prettier, front grill and so on. Anyway the codes for the truck can be found on a sticker in the glove compartment. The codes are standard on all trucks, usually across models. Some are standard codes others are option codes.


    G80 = locking differential
    Z82 = factory tow package
    V02 = HD radiator
    Z71 = off-road suspension package
    C60 = AC
    AJ1 = factory deep tint windows
    K34 = tilt/cruise control
    KC4 = oil cooler
    GT4 = standard axle ratio (usually 3:73's)
    GT5 = optional axle ratio (usually 4:10's)
    L05 = 5.7 V8

    Think back to the 1960's muscle cars
    Z28 wasn't just a name for the Camaro, it was the RPO ( regular production option ) for the performance model, just like L88 was to the Corvette 427 option and LS6 was to the 1970 Chevelle's 454 option.

    Any dealer can explain those codes on your vehicle. If you want post your codes and I will decipher them for you.
  • powerisfunpowerisfun Posts: 358
    Just one tidbit to add. The new Vortec 5.7L has a code of L31 (I have to wonder if it was given that name to rhyme with the LT1 of '92-'96 Corvette fame, which the Vortec 5.7L is derived from).
  • powerisfunpowerisfun Posts: 358
    By "new Vortec 5.7L" I mean from '96 to present.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    or you can click on this link and decipher the codes for yourself...
  • 97ltz7197ltz71 Posts: 9
    thanks for the address. The site works up to U35 then the links stop working. Found another site
    but it doesn't have all the codes, still missing:
    BZY, KNP, K47, K60, NG1, OSG, RSA, R9L, SLL, VXS, V73, XBX, YBX, YD3, YD6, ZBX, 1SC, 1SZ, 55L, 6GG, and 7GG.

    I've come up with 3 different colors for 43U, truck is dark green on top/ tan on thte bottom.

    And K05 is the engine block heater, but I can't find an electrical plug? Anyone know where it should be?

    I'm ordering the manuals form Helm. If dealers borrrow them I guess they're the ones to have.

    From the looks of the times of responses, are all you guys on the west coast? I'm in upstate NY.

    Thanks again to everyone.

  • powerisfunpowerisfun Posts: 358
    On my '98 (and I assume it didn't change from
    '97) the plug is on the driver side near the front
    corner. I had trouble finding it too (I think the owner's manual describes the placement too, because that's how I found mine). As I recall, it was sort of camouflaged. I had to get in there with a flashlight several times before I found it.
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    if anyone want's to check out what each number or alpha in their VIN means, go to:
  • obyoneobyone Posts: 8,054
    I'm about 2500 miles west of the west coast...
  • mrmilkytoumrmilkytou Posts: 27
    I am from the Northwestern Corner Of Connecticut, 3 miles from the NY State line, near Dover, NY.
  • akjbmwakjbmw Posts: 231
    I'm in the Reno/Sparks area of Nevada, West of LA, CA. (check your map ;-)

    David... sorry about the helm address. It was a "senior moment".
  • zee71zee71 Posts: 2
    The low fuel light on a 95-00 C/K is the "check gages" light on the dash ! It will light briefly with all the others when you start the engine. For one, the word "gages" is wrong, I guess engineers were not meant to be spelling majors in college ! We all know it is spelled "gauges" ! The light is generic like the "check engine" light, it comes on when anything is low, like washer and brake fluid levels, maybe voltage and oil pressure too. I've personally had mine come on several times (97 Z-71). I guess you're on serious fumes when this happens !!
    On the subject of gas mileage.......who cares !! At least we don't live in France where all cars and trucks are small and gas is $5/gallon !! If we wanted gas mileage, we should've bought a Honda Civic !! But that isn't as cool as a Chevy truck !!

    Like the other posts, my 97 Z-71 ext cab stepside also is plagued with spongey brakes and a wildly flexible structure !! But I love it--it is a truck cab and bed on a long ladder frame, it comes with the territory fellows !! When I get in my Honda Accord I can really appreciate great handling when copared to trucks. Think of your C/K as a big, heavy, tall smooth riding car with terrible handling and a hose out trunk !! But we love it--we're truck guys !!!!!
  • 97ltz7197ltz71 Posts: 9
    gotta tell you the proper word is "gages." I am an engineer, nobody could ever tell me why it's spelled that way but our test equipment from the great USA and abroad has it spelled gages.

    On gas milage, it's a good idication of proper operating conditions as well as the fact that i have better things to do with my money.
  • 97ltz7197ltz71 Posts: 9
    on gas milage on your '98 is there any thing else your doing, burning, etc. I have 245's and they need replacing anyway so i'll be using 265's but i'm getting about about 16.3 MPG overall. I do 75-80 highway and i seem to get better milage around town??

    Also I am getting a noise in the locking rear and a transmission guy said to have the rear differential fuild changed. I've had 3 quote ranging from $20.00 for gear oil to $150 from Chevy for the chevy fuild.

    What's the deal? Synthetic or mineral oil. And is it something i should do myself?

    Anyone got any suggestions?
  • geddes1geddes1 Posts: 8
    Hey is there anyone out there towing with their 96-98 K1500???I tow with about 5,000lbs of travel trailer and would like to up date my vehicle with the classic style. Like to know you're set-up and if you'd do it again. Thanks
  • I just went to local Chevy dealer and picked up a brochure for the 2000 C/K 2500 & 3500. They are the same as we have remembered since 1995 (except for Vortec engines) !! The 1500 is the new style though. This may all change for the 2001 model year though.....I think the 2500 & 3500 will be based on the new Silverado.
  • I looked it up in the dictionary, "gages" & "gauges" are the same thing and correct in spelling !! I guess GM used "gages" because it is shorter and uses less space in the dashboard...they saved a total of one whole alpha-numeric space on the dash !!
  • j_offroadj_offroad Posts: 2
    Just purchased a 1998 K1500 Extended Cab. I wanted a Z71 but this one was so perfect I couldn't pass it up.
    I know the Z71's had Skid Plates and Bilstein Shocks, What else was included that my Truck doesn't have??
    The ride height appears to be the same on the Z71's I looked at as my 4X4.
    I also crawled under some Z71's and they had a Stablizer on the front but not on the rear like my Truck.
    Am I missing something or was this option mostly just the plates and shocks?
    I don't care about the Shocks but would like to add the plates, How many skid plates are on a Z71 and can I get them anywhere else other that a Chevy Dealer??
    Thanks in advance for all advice and info.
This discussion has been closed.