What would you do? Silverado at 210,000 miles.

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by PantheraUncia, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts


    My wonderful Silverado has the 5.3L Vortec and the 4L60E transmission and is sitting at 210,000 miles.

    What has been done (realted to major expenses):
    • The transmission was rebuilt 12 months ago ($3k) and still has 2 years left of a 3 year warrenty.
    What is happening:

    • I am putting about 1 quart of oil in it each week to top it off.
    • The knock sensors need to be replaced (Throwing the check engine light)

    Options I am considering:

    • (Cheap) Keep putting a quart of oil in a week to top it off and run it into the ground at some point in the future till the engine officially dies.
    • (Next more expensive) have the valve cover gaskets, header gaskets, and the oil pan gaskets replaced, and have the knock sensors replaced at the same time (Approx $1000 investment).
    • (Next more expensive) Get a stock crate 5.3L and have it installed ($2500-$3000), but this will be an engine with no miles and a full warrenty.
    • (Next more expensive) Have my 5.3 torn down, bored out to a 5.7 and rebuilt replacing all the parts and upgrading the cam, and some other parts to push an extra 200HP and have a full warrenty. ($5500) and rent a car for 1-2 weeks.
    • (Next more expensive) Buy a new or slightly used (1-3 year old) "New" Silverado.
      • Take my current truck, pull the tags, and insurance and garage it till I can actually work on it while driving the new truck and upgrade the **** out of the old one.
    Other issues:

    The truck is 12 years old, its got a good bit of body work that needs to be done, inside, the carpet needs to be replaced, etc (Its not a "new" truck)

    Worst case, I would get into a truck payment that I don't want on a truck that is either new, or a few years old.

    Other than the oil leak and the milage, the engine cranks and sounds like the day it was purchased.

    What would you do?
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  2. AMac

    AMac Rockstar 3 Years GMTC Chick 500 Posts ROTM Winner

    I would look around for a good deal on a used truck within your price range. If you fix the motor issues you still have a 12 year old truck that could have other issues that older vehicles tend to have.
    Although I'm not sure if other trucks will have the accessories you have on your current truck...such as artwork on the hood. :lol:
    Good luck with making the decision.
  3. Red Z71 Max

    Red Z71 Max Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    You could put a brand new Chevy crate motor in for about $4000 installed which is a lot cheaper than a new truck but that depends if you want to keep your truck or get a new one.
  4. Coach24

    Coach24 Rockstar 3 Years 5000 Posts

    Nak and I discussed this on chat the other night and it looks like most have the same idea.

    If you spend a grand for now warranty why not boost it a bit to say 3500 or 4000 to get a solid 2 year investment on the power train..

    While driving it save for a new truck then you still have the old one to jazz up when you want to
  5. The Heater

    The Heater Rockstar 100 Posts

    Hello, Nakranji:

    If the cosmetic condition of the interior is excellent, near excellent, or with a few steps and not a huge amount of money could be near excellent or excellent, I would have a heart to heart talk with myself about how much I like this truck. If this truck has been a good friend to you, and you don't have major interior issues, I would keep it and try the following:

    Take it to a very good shop that does custom engine work on muscle cars, collectable cars and regular vehicles like yours. Have them do a few tests on the motor. There are a few simple tests that can give them a lot of information about the condition of the engine. What if the only thing you need is new valve seals? If it is a good shop, they have the equipment to replace the valve seals without taking the heads off the engine. I know, I have had it done. But this is just an example, I don't know what is going on with your motor. But getting an opinion from a knowledgeable and trustworthy source is a good place to start your evaluation process. They may just recommend rebuilding the heads.

    Or maybe there is more worn out and you can think about a couple of options there. I like the crate motor idea. However, if you were willing to maybe spend some money on some accessories, you could build a nice motor with perhaps some aluminum heads with custom built roller rockers, and rebuild your motor with a new roller cam and forged pistons, shot peened or forged rods, etc. Or, make it simple and buy a crate short block and put your own aftermarket heads on it, or buy a long block with heads included.

    I have a truck that is 18 years old. I put over $6,000 into the motor (a 454) in modifications at a very special shop here where I live (they design and build proprietary engines for an exotic car manufacturer here in the states), and I have not even touched the bottom end of the motor. I have a Pre-Luber on the motor, have had it there since new. It pressurizes the motor before it starts, then washes the cylinders and heads down with oil when it shuts off. It will likely double the life of the engine. Plus, I only have 86,000 miles on the truck.

    I also recently repainted the truck at a customs and restoration shop. They took the whole thing apart, soda blasted the sheet metal (not the cab, that was machine sanded), even removed the doors, and those have hinges welded on so you have to take out the pins and put in new ones with new bushings to put the doors back on.

    I love my truck. It has Recaro heated leather electric seats and they are the most comfortable seats I have sat in. I put those in about 5 years ago. I don't drive it as regular transportation, but it drives like a car and it is fun to drive. Yes, it is old, but parts are available except some interior cosmetic panels, and if something goes out, I can fix it or have it fixed. And it is paid for! To get a new truck like mine, it would probably cost me $60 grand. No thanks.

    Correction: I did do some work on the bottom end of my engine. We changed the camshaft and lifters.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  6. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Former Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    How you handle this depends on whether you truly want a new(er) truck or not. If you are just at the point where you want something new(er) ... and you're willing to pay for it ... then admit it to yourself and trade up for it or buy something new(er). If you trade up your hassle disappears but so does a truck you seem to like. If you buy something new(er) then you shell out more but you can keep your current truck and either do the work to fix it, yourself (taking your own time) if you are mechanically inclined enough.

    If trading up or buying new(er) isn't where your heart is, then you should probably get your baby fixed. This route is cheaper in the long run, but it won't make you happy if your heart isn't truly into fixing & keeping your current truck.

    Ultimately this isn't just a cost/math equation ... it's also a happiness/satisfaction equation. Only you know what the right path is on this...

  7. aloxdaddy99

    aloxdaddy99 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Nak the other issue is say you buy a used truck. Now you have a vehicle you know nothing about as far as the maint. goes. With the truck you have know you what has/needs to be done. And like what has been mentioned before you will have a payment. Others have stated that a new motor can be installed for about $4k. Once you have payed for the motor and work you no longer have a payment.
  8. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I suppose that at the end of the day it depends on your level of attachment to your truck. You have to remember that a new engine foes not equal a new truck - it is a 12 year old truck with a new engine. You will still have to address other old truck issues as they come up.

    You need to think about fuel pump, wiring and electrical, and thousands of other things that will start to fail as a result of age/mileage.

    I am one to talk about that. I just bought a 95 model, but I am only into it for 3200 dollars. On the other hand, I assume that yours is paid for so it really comes down to what you really want.
  9. PantheraUncia

    PantheraUncia Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Dare I say Tundra..... I would like a 2500 Duramax.... but every Toyota my family and relatives have ever owned never needed transmission work before 400,000 miles with normal maintenance......... and the engines never had oil leaks either at that milage.... I know trucks are mechanical :) but if a silverado is designed to "fall apart" around 200,000 miles and a tundra can go 400,000 before it falls apart, then GM is misleading in their advertising about how "good" their trucks are( Considering the owner follows the maintenance schedule and does not skip anything)
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  10. Red Z71 Max

    Red Z71 Max Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Do you really want to drive around in a Tundra??? One of the most unattractive trucks on the road today in my opinion!!!:neutral:

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