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Chevy C/K Pickups (1996 - 1999)



  • mrmilkytoumrmilkytou Posts: 27
    is grinding or clicking or..... ????????

    The GM's use a standard axle gear oil and a little tiny bottle of limited slip additive. If you can take the cover bolts off the rear end and drain out the fluid the gear oil change is no harder than an engine oil change.

    It fills thru the side of the rear end case thru a small plug, fill it till the fluid runs out the plug and it's to the right level ( if your truck is level ).

    Do yourself a favor and buy a pump style container to fill the rear with, it will take all of a minute with that pump and it shouln't set you back more than $15.00 - $20.00 if you do it yourself.
  • 97ltz7197ltz71 Posts: 9
    thanks for the advice on the rear end oil change mrmilkytou.
    the noise is a "clunk" while going under 20 MPH usually while coasting then as soon as i step on the gas there is a defined clunk. I have not been able to simulate it while i was outside the truck with someone else driving so i could isolate where the noise is coming from. I've been told that with the 5.7L engine and limited slip with no weight, it's the limited slip kicking in due to the "massive amount of torque." I don't quite believe that. And I just crossed 36,000 miles so Chevy doesn't care a bit. There's a topic on it, but it's for the '00 anyone had problems or advice??

    thanks, David

    PS The manuals from Helm arrived. 2- 2 inch GM manuals and a A/C update of about 15 pages. The manuals have trouble shooting advice about a clunk, but it's for the front loose or bad CV joints.
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    Sorry, wrong. I've pulled with both. The 5.3 easily outpulls the 350. I have a 350, I've pulled with a friends 2000 5.3. The 5.3 has VERY noticeably, more low end torque. And on the highway, in a passing situation the 5.3 blows away the 350 and Dodges and Fords.

    As far as pulling a trailer, when you put the new GM transmissions in Tow/Haul, it is only lets it shift into O/D when going downhill. It keeps it in 3rd more often than not, holds 2nd gear longer when accelerating, and shifts much much firmer...really a great (and easy) towing mode.

    Driving empty, i never noticed the 5.3 shifting out of OD anymore often than the 350.

    I'm comparing 350 with a 3.42 and a 5.3 with a 3.42, so apples to apples...
  • fordtough1fordtough1 Posts: 14
    Maybe all of the people I talked too were partial to their older truck, I don't know just telling it like I hear it. I still haven't figure out why the guy traded a new 99 for a used 98.

    Which one tows better in overdrive? Or when you are going down the road pulling a load (in drive) and you come to a hill, which one requires more throttle to go up the hill.

    The people I talk to say that the 99- will get the trailer moving but just doesn't want to keep it moving.

    I do not have first had experience in towing with the 96-00 chevies. I have been around some TBIs though.

    Did you know ford has a swith for tow/haul mode?
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    I thought Ford just had a button that locked out O/D. That's not tow/haul. Thats different from GMs. Tow/haul changes the entire transmission shift pattern and pressure points.

    Here's the deal: the older Chevy half tons have a sticker that says not to tow in OD. I don't know if the new GMs have the same sticker or not, never looked. I pulled a little in O/D, not much though. Trucks really can't pull 5000+ lbs with 3.42 rear ends. The 2000 will shift out sooner than the pre '99s, but it doesn't lose any speed. The older Vortecs would lose a couple mph before they would upshift.

    My 'feel' is it takes less throttle with the 5.3 to get up the same hill. The low end torque curves of the 5.3 is better than the 350. The 350 has a higher peak, but only over a couple of 100 rpm range. Drive a 5.3, and you won't doubt its power.

    One theory about your friend: If he had a 350 with a 4.10 rear end, he didn't have a 1/2 ton--only the 2000's offer a 4.10 in the 1/2 ton. I have the vortec 350 with 4.10 in my truck (one ton), and its a pulling beast. i also have a lower geared tranny, not a fair comparison to the half tons.

    I would say that my truck cruises the highway better, but I pull in O/D at 2300 rpms. but my friends half ton is faster from dead stop, and in the passing lane, will blow me off the road. My vortec starts running out of breath between 4000-4500 rpms: his truck has the same torque all the way up to 5000--so if he floors it, it goes until you let off, mine is praying to upshift. unfortunately, i have to pull my loads thru maniacal Austin traffic, so I find myself in that situation fairly regularly.
  • fordtough1fordtough1 Posts: 14
    The ignition switch is tow/haul mode on a ford.

    Actually my computer compensates for a trailer. When pulling a heavy load, while barely touching the gas it will hold the rpms to 3,000.

    When chevy came out with the tow/haul mode, ford starting putting in their brochures something to the effect of (it doesn't need any buttons to push the computer automatically senses when you have a load and adjusts accordinally).

    So have you towed with a similarly equiped 350 and 5.3? The one ton is no comparison.
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    I'm not sure how a self sensing tow/haul mode could be nearly as effective. The GM mode is VERY VERY Noticeable performance difference. Seems that a self sensing could theoretically lock in when not needed, or not lock in when needed, in certain situations. The fact that we have never heard this from any Ford advertising probably means they are just referring to the same pressure sensing scheme ALL auto trans have. looks like they don't want to market it side by side w/ GM.

    I thought the ignition switch on a Ford was like slot machine, sometimes you win, most times you don't! ;) just kiddin.

    yes, i guess i never mentioned the other truck I compared to, '98 1/2 ton ex cab w/3.42 rear end. low end torque is about the same, maybe a slight edge to the 5.3. High end passing power, hands down, the 5.3. cruising down the highway, pulling in 3rd gear both trucks, the 5.3 is probably a hair stronger. But it will downshift to second quicker than the 350, cuz like I said, the new GM's refuse to lose speed (in cruise control), while the older 350's will lose 3 mph before they shift.
  • hdchevhdchev Posts: 2
    I have 96 3/4 ton, HD, with 5.7 in it. At about 58,000, the head gasket let go and flooded the engine. A rebuild was about 3 grand, and they can't seem to figure out why it keeps breaking rocker arms. I've heard from some engine places that this engine has been known to give up before 80,000. I only had the truck for a few months before any of this happened. Anyone ever heard of this happening? Is the 5.7 Vortec a good motor?
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    The Vortec generally is a good motor, mine went at 90K because the factory installed undersize rod bearings, currently "negotiating" with GM on reinbursement.
    I opted for a remanufactured engine by Jasper, it came with a far better warranty then GM's new engine and what I can hear they stand by their product. Installation of the engine with a tuneup, new water pump and all new fluids, hoses and changing all the fluids underneath was $3,500.
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    never heard of any probs with the 5.7 other than the 2 previously mentioned. I did notice the TSB SteveK was talking of.

    Steve, what was the symptoms of your yours? I have an occaisional knock with my 5.7, but it never really bothered me. usually at start up, normal for GM, every once in a while, i'll think i hear a hot knock, but its pretty random in occurence. Whats your take?
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    Mine started with a slight knocking noise and for the longest time everyone said it was a rocker needing adjustment. Then suddenly the oil preassure started to be eratic and the noise got real bad real quick, the rod bearing spun. I still had plenty of power and it ran ok, but I decided to replace the engine. So far I have 6K on the new motor and it runs just fine. The Jasper engine came with 3 yr 75K mile warranty.
  • BowtieZ71 again,
    AOL p----- me off! Anyways, the Ford was a P.O.S.. Now I'm wondering if my "new" Chevy is going to give up the ghost and break the bank. The Ford was not a work truck and neither is the Chevy. It's never been a tow vehicle. Are you guys with the engine problems putting the trucks through their paces, or is this just under normal conditions? Are there any other pitfalls in the Chevy I need to be aware of? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. BowtieZ71
  • Back to the future,
    I forgot that AOL's disconnect did not allow my earlier post. I recently purchased a 96 ext. Z71
    and postings on this site are giving me concern over its reliability. I owned an 88 F-150 that ate me alive financially and will never buy ford again. My summer driver is a '74 Nova with a stroker and 9in. rear. Building it made me a Chevy fan, but reading horror stories under 60,000mi. on these trucks is making me doubt the wisdom of my purchase.
  • jlflemmonsjlflemmons Posts: 2,242
    This was the best truck I had ever owned right up until the differential came apart at 51K. Truck had maybe 1500 miles total towing of a 7K trailer. Gmc says differential was abused. Repair shop says no way, pinion and ring were set up way too loose and the pinion bearing was over-torqued. Dealer replace pinion seal 15K before failure. It cost over $1500.00 to complete repair as the entire "pumpkin" had to be replaced. But as far as the concerns on the engine go, mine ran great right up to tradein, and has given the new owner no problems.

    I now drive a 2000 3/4 ton with the 6.0L and 3.73 gears. I am not sure if I would say the new truck pulls better, but it is different. Seat of the pants feeling is that the 5.7 had more power at its peak, but the 6.0 has a much flatter power curve. You get x amount of acceleration and it doesn't change as you go up through the rpm band.
  • By the way, my locale is the rust belt capital of economic woe; Buffalo, NY.

    Did the sloppy differential set-up create a "clank" on 2-3 shifts or into reverse? Or is this possibly related to the 4L60-E. Shaft and U's are o.k..
  • hdchevhdchev Posts: 2
    The shop doing mine finally realized that they were using the wrong rocker arm spring. It was undersized and was causing the rocker arms to break at higher rpm's. My motor was still running strong when it flooded. I was just driving down the road when it happened, and hadn't used it yet to pull anything. I can't say what the previous owner used it for, and that's one of the reasons I just had it rebuilt.
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    My '97 had 92K miles on it when the rod bearings went. Mostly highway miles, with towing a 2500lbs pop up camper for about 4K miles. I used high test gas when towing.
  • Has anyone used a ptfe product like slick fifty or duralube in their vortechs? While building a performance 350, I primed the motor with a ptfe filter. The guy that prepped the block(Jim Oddy's shop)installed a bleeder plug in the rear of the cam galley. On start-up the oil filled the flex plate cover before I caught it (I know, my ignorance is showing) so the engine ran with next to 0 oil pressure. The point is, I tore down the block expecting to have kissed thousands in engine work goodbye and discovered that the ptfe had saved the motor. This was 5 years 15k(summer driver) ago on the same bearings with some abuse.This is not a recommendation, it's a question as to whether or not a ptfe product would help what appears to be a dry start up problem combined with a tolerance issue. Any opinions on this?
  • I occasionally tow a 5000# RV with the 6.5 Turbodiesel (3.73) in a Suburban C2500. How will the 5.7L Vortec w/4.10 in a C2500 crew cab compare re towing and mileage? Am I going to be disappointed on inclines? May buy one tomorrow, if towing is in same league. Also, does no load town driving mileage compare to the Turbodiesel? Thanks.
  • cdeancdean Posts: 1,110
    The 6.5 is going to get better mileage all around, by about 2 mpg probably. I have the 5.7 w/4.10, I pull a boat thats somewhere between 4 and 5K lbs, it pulls great. i get about 10 or 11 towing, you may get worse if your RV has a lot of wind drag.

    most of my daily driving is stop and go, and flooring it on the freeway--I get between 12 and 14.

    Highway trips at 75 mph, unloaded, get me upper 15s, low 16s mileage.

    the 350 won't pull quite as well as the 6.5, but i suspect you would be happy with it. The 4.10 gear keeps the truck in peak torque at highway speeds. i can tell my truck pulls much stronger at 70 mph than it does at 55!
  • 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: 8,054
    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!!
This discussion has been closed.