Is my 87 C10 okay?

Discussion in 'Chevy C/K Truck Forum' started by cyberpine, Oct 11, 2009.

  1. cyberpine

    cyberpine Rockstar

    I'm not a mechanic. I'm looking for somebody to tell me what I'm seeing is typical and and not a big issue with old 87 C10. I'd like to invest some money on rims/tires and exhaust ($1600) and like to know if I'm might be looking at rebuilds of the engine, tranny and brake systems before I do that.

    I purchased this 87 C10 about 4 months ago.. test drove the truck .. From what I could tell, it drove great and the body appeared to be in great shape. The truck does not smoke or leak any oil and always starts. The engine is original with 97k miles and a Edelbrok performance intake. It drives stong but I have 3 questions/concerns.

    - When I push the engine hard sometimes it pings a little bit, not much, but a little bit? Is this normal and generally what does this mean?
    - I took the carpet out and now I can hear a light grinding noise in the engine. With exception of one single time when I felt the transmission slip, the transmission has always been solid.
    - Sometimes after a long drive, the brakes stiffen up for a few minutes really bad, but then goes back to normal. It's kinda scary what does this mean?

    here's a video (Listen to the pinging at first, then the transmission sound, followed by the truck seeming like it will stall)
    [ame=""]YouTube - Is my 1987 Chevy c10 Silverado 1500 Engine and Transmission in good shape?[/ame]

    Thanks for any help or infomation.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2009
  2. unplugged

    unplugged Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Personally, I like to keep a $1000 in my car repair emergency fund. Keeps me from being a pedestrian. I'd hold off on mods untill you can save up the funds for them. Hold onto your cash right now, sounds like the truck can use some tlc.

    Pinging is not good for an engine. A couple of suggestions. Easy on the throttle. Use higher octane gas. Back the timing off. Try some combustion chamber cleaner to clean up the carbon deposits. Any or all of the above will work. Timing and keeping your foot out of it would be the cheapest and most effective.

    Can't tell from the sound what is going on in or near the transmission, so I'm no help to you there.

    The stalling can be many things. You'll have to dig a little deeper to get to the bottom of that. Could be fuel pressure, vacuum leak, timing etc.
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Try running Sea Foam through the engine to clean out the carbon build-up then check the timing. This along with a higher grade fuel should clear up the pinging.
    If you havent done a tune-up now would be a good time for new wires, plugs, fuel filter, etc.
    The stall and brake issue could be tied together, check for vacuum leaks on the vacuum hoses, at the brake booster, around the intake/manifold, and at the vacuum canister, make sure the vacuum canister itself isnt leaking.
    Automatic transmissions with internal noises are hard to diagnose, if you havent changed the trans fluid yet I'd do that, look in the pan to see if you have metalic or plastic debris, grinding plastic can make noise a lot like grinding metal and automatic transmissions have quite a few plastic pieces.
    If the trans noise is fatal a rebuilt/reconditioned 700R4 can be bought for around $500, it's one of the easiest transmissions to replace and can be done in an afternoon easily with common hand tools and jackstands.
  4. cyberpine

    cyberpine Rockstar

    the fuel filter was recetly changed. Im planning my first oil change and a transmission flush. I will try new plugs and lines for sure.

    If that don't help, I'll look into the seafoam,likely as a last resort, ive seen this on youtube and it's scary looking.

    just an FYI, what the guys in another forum suggested.. they are saying the brake issue is vacuum issue I can fix. Also, that the sound might be my fuel pump. It does not appear to be affecting anything.


  5. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Dont let the Sea Foam treatment scare ya, it makes a lot of smoke but I've never heard of anyone that's had problems after doing Sea Foam.
  6. maxpower_454

    maxpower_454 Member

    Looks like a nice old shortbox! Why'd you take the carpet out?!?!

    Anyway, that is definitely pinging or 'detonation' as some will call it. I agree with what was posted above and on the other forum. it could be your timing though. Make sure you check that before doing anythign else. It could be pinging because the have the initial advance too far advanced and then when you get on the gas, the vacuum advance takes it even further. You should never have more than 36deg total advance. If you don't know what I'm talking about, take it to a garage. They will probably check/adjust your timing for about $5 if it's a small shop. Most guys like working on the older stuff!
  7. cyberpine

    cyberpine Rockstar

    Thanks. I think The floor looks awesome painted .. it's not as quite, but it's clean and easy to maintain. I'll drop in some chevy floor mats. The old rug and insulation smelled of old dog piss soup.


    I'll have somebody check the timing for sure, likely a full tune up after I hang somen headers and change out the exhaust.

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  8. maxpower_454

    maxpower_454 Member

    You should get your priorities straight. you need to get rid of that ping soon or you'll be replacing pistons. That will really put your exhaust/header plans on hold.

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