Looking at a 1990' K1500 Silverado

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by Big Damo, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. Big Damo

    Big Damo New Member

    Hey guys, I'm looking at ditching my current ride and picking up a 90s Silverado, my current ride is too small to get my tools I will soon need to cart to and from work and I quite like the look of the Silverado. Though I have a few questions.

    All the Silverado's I see are automatics, are there any manuals, if so could you convert an auto to a manual without major problems?

    What are they like on fuel on the open highway

    Is a K1500 worth extra money over a C1500?

    Here is the Silverado in question:


    You're probably thinking thats a rip-off but these are extremely rare here in Australia, that is quite cheap, the new ones go for upwards of $120,000.

    Thanks much
  2. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    The K1500 is a 4X4 and the C1500 is a 2wd (so yes it is since it is 4wd..).... There are manuals. I own one.. They arent to bad to convert as long as you have a parts truck to convert from.
    Since it is LPG i dont know how it will be on fuel. I know my gasoline powered 1990 got about 14 miles per gallon highest ever was 17 mpg... And that is running about 70 miles per hour.
    that truck looks very nice.
    Some things to look at though. The front axle seals tend to leak. Make sure that the tranny is in good shape. The 5.7L motor is bullet proof however.. my 1990 had 320K miles when i got rid of it. They are great riding trucks and last a long time.. Personally i love that body style...
  3. Big Damo

    Big Damo New Member

    Thanks for the quick reply, how do they ride? Are they a soft sort of floaty ride or hard?
  4. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    A lot of the ride depends on the tires.. they ride pretty smooth just based on the suspension... but can be a little choppy on wash boards... I like the ride of my 1988 K2500 chevy more than my 2008 Ford F-150... So if that is any indication for you...
    A good set of shocks can go a very very long way...
  5. Big Damo

    Big Damo New Member

    Thanks for the advice and experiences, keep it coming man.

    Whats the 4WD system like? What would you put the Silverado's 4X4 abilities to?
  6. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    The 4wd is actually pretty reliable though the 4wd actuator is prone to wearing out and needing to be replaced.. Fairly easy to do.. The 4wd really is capable of anything you can throw at it as to work etc. it is a strong system in stock form. I live in Snow country and its a part time systm for sure but it sure helps to get around on snow covered hills or else to launch my boat in some lakes that require 4wd just to get to.
    Just be sure that you take your time and check out the 4wd before you buy it. Simply putting it into 4wd low and after the 4wd light comes on turning the wheels all the way either way should cause a binding in the front end. This will tell you that the front axle is engaged... This is a test if dirt etc isnt available...
    These are fairly simple trucks to repair as to the drive train. that is the nice thing about the manual transfer case on these trucks. There are no hubs to blow out. (like on older models)
    As i said the 350, 5.7L motor is great and will last a very very long time.. The tranny is a 700r4 auto overdrive unit that is fairly tough, as long as it is serviced regularly..
    Basically there is a reason that these trucks went for 10 years with basically no updates other than changes to the interiors, and the addition of the Vortec powertrains. And a more electically controlled tranny added in 1994.
  7. TahoeDen

    TahoeDen New Member

    I owned a new '90 Silverado. Great truck! Give some thought aboout not swapping out the auto trans if that's what you end up buying. Never had an issue with mine and I found it to be quite efficient. Like others have said, get a decent set of new shocks in it based on what your usage will be.
  8. Big Damo

    Big Damo New Member

    Usage will be primarily carting a toolbox and roll cab full of tools to work and ocasionally a 6x4 trailer and bed full of garden cuttings/weeds to the tip, occasional dirt road thrown in the mix (unfortunately it doesn't snow here in Australia). The only reason I'd consider the manual swap is because I like changing my own gears to have a little bit of fun every now and again :)

    With the extra cab, how is space in the back? I'm assuming it'd be similar to the rear seat in a small sized car (Mazda 2).

    I wouldn't really need the 4X4 ability, but the truck is only 30 minutes drive away from me and is in what looks to be good condition.

    The only other viable option is a 1998 4.3L V6 2WD for $2000 extra, 3 hours drive away situated near the beach, so its probably a rusted out heap of crap.
  9. Big Damo

    Big Damo New Member

    Whats the difference between AWH and 4 HI? Also holy crap 128km/h is 18km/h faster than the highway speed limit here in Victoria and towing a trailer, must be a pretty good truck!

    Thanks for your advice, keep it coming!
  10. wis bang

    wis bang Rockstar 100 Posts

    My 'plain jane' Work Truck' has a manual shift 4X4 while the more upscale trucks have an option of 'auto' 4x4 where you select the auto feature and it runs in 4X2 until it senses wheel slip and engauges the front axle, as needed, until it senses normal traction. My sister's trailblazer has this option and in the snow she sets it, and forgets it...

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