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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Alright guys, so I've been doing a multitude of repairs to my truck lately. As of last week, I developed a massive coolant leak, after checking all the hoses and replacing the water pump, it turns out it is the intake manifold gasket.

I was low on time, so I took it to a local repair shop, 4 days later I received a call letting me know they repaired the leak, but the truck has a terminal knock. After some threatening to call a lawyer, the shop is sending it to a local company and having the engine rebuilt.

It is a 98 Chevrolet Silverado Ext Cab, 350 5.7L V8 Vortec.

So after my truck comes back to me in a few weeks, here are some random concerns, and repairs that I need some feedback on. I really want to know what needs to be my primary concern and in what order I should work on them.

I'm only 17, and with graduation and 18th birthday approaching in about a month, I'm a little low on cash. I do have a job, and manage to put back anywhere from 300-500 a month for repairs, sometimes more if it is needed.

Here are my current list of concerns:
1. About a year ago, had the fuel pump replaced (drop in), hasn't retained fuel pressure since.
2. Shocks and struts highly worn.
3. Idler Arm and Pitman Arm highly worn.
4. Rear bumper is dented
5. Third break light cover is busted and rotting, also white side lights wont come on.
6. Only 1 tag light is present, other is missing completely including the harness itself.
7. Radiator cooling fins beginning to crack.
8. Oil present around the spout on the top of engine.
9. Not sure if this is a problem or not, but the ac compressor randomly shuts on and off about every minute or so without the ac being on.

I'm sure I'll remember more soon.

What I've already replaced
1. Water Pump
2. Tensioner pulley and belt
3. Breaks all around.
4. Driver side caliper and break hose.
5. Intake Quick Connect

So of the list above, what should be my first concerns and what order should I really start working on everything?

 

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So it went to the shop for intake gasket and now the shop has agreed to have it rebuilt because of a knock?! I want you on my side of any disputes. Assuming the engine is no longer a problem I would start with ability to steer, then shocks, radiator, brake light,side marker lights, plate light, A/C may or may not be an issue and worry about the dent last.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So it went to the shop for intake gasket and now the shop has agreed to have it rebuilt because of a knock?! I want you on my side of any disputes. Assuming the engine is no longer a problem I would start with ability to steer, then shocks, radiator, brake light,side marker lights, plate light, A/C may or may not be an issue and worry about the dent last.
The business was pretty shady, but I have an ex-coworker that works there, and they quoted me the best price. They told me $406 to repair. Next day they called and said it would be $550. Four days after dropping the car off (I called twice daily to get updates, every single day they said they'd call by the end of the day with a status update.), they finally called that morning saying that they heard a knocking in the engine. Then after they took it apart said it was terminal. So after school we went up there, pretty much listed all the issues aforementioned. We were going to drive it home and started complaining further. They said "Oh we'll get it taken care of," then we continued to raise hell. After about 20 minutes they agreed to send it to a local engine rebuild shop called Southwestern just south of us in Tulsa. They are also footing the bill.

So I'm hoping they actually fix the issue, if not, it is time to hire an attorney, we got their written statement on it.

As for my truck itself, I'm simply trying to pull a combination of performance and elegance as well as just keep it running. I am wanting some suggestions on everything really.
 

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Just curious- how many original miles were on the engine?

I'm also surprised they would pay for the rebuild on a 13 year old motor that was leaking coolant( maybe into the oil).
The coolant leak might have caused the "knock" since coolant/oil isn't a great lubricant.

Did they do it because they "promised" that for $550 the "problem" would be fixed, and no point in fixing a manifold gasket on a POS motor?
They should have heard the knock and told you about it- instead they did a pointless repair and charged you $550?

Sometimes- it is smarter to buy a new $2300 GM goodwrench motor than to piecemeal rebuild a worn out one.
In your case- since they were paying for it-the rebuild was free-can't beat that if the shop does it right. A good full rebuild should cost-retail- pretty close to $1500-$2000- lotta machine work, pistons rings, springs valves- easily $500 just for a parts kit.

GMs motors are the exception because GM sells them so cheap.

Other stuff-
1) Ebay fuel pump- $100 or so- replace it again- several hours to drop tank etc
2) You can get Bilstein shocks- struts for $250 on ebay.DIY- takes maybe 3 hours
3) Steering stuff- not sure- borrow Autozone tools- maybe $150 in parts. Almost certainly need special tools- so you have to use autozone etc.
4) Radiator- EBAY- $150-$200- make sure you get one with correct fittings and correct radiator( some have built in oil cooler and trans cooler).
5) AC problem- not sure- but usually expensive- will it cool at all??
Luck
CHARLIE
PS- On older GMs it frequently makes sense to just replace the motor- with a new one- then slowly replace everything with new parts. Plan to have the trans rebuilt sometime soon if it hasn't been done-$1500-$2500 depending where you are- unless it has already been done.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It has roughly 165,000 miles on it, so quite a few, but not too terribly bad. As for the shocks, the local o'reillies has them for $80 per pair. Radator I've found for $200-$300. Steering looks to cost about $60 fer each arm and about $50 in parts. Fuel pump I'm a little wary of buying through ebay, don't want to get ripped or get a crappy pump.

I don't think the tranny has ever been rebuilt, but how difficult would it be to do it myself, I've got an uncle who's ace certified, and more than willing to lend tools and advice.

---------- Post added at 05:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:49 PM ----------

Ok going through the previous owners repair receipts, all the repairs that have been done are:

Previous Owners:
Dacco B29 Torque Converter
OD Band
L & R Spring wheel?
Sun Shell
Set Plugwire
Dist. Cap
Rotor
Fuel Filter
Spark Plugs
Module
Flowmasters (replaced later by me)
Pos Cable
Neg Cable
New Windshield
PM149 Blower Motor
Ru866 Resistor

New repairs
Front and Back Brakes
Front Left Caliper and line
Rear break springs (breaks still unadjusted)
Dist Cap
Rotor
Fuel Pump
Flowmaster 40s (hit a mailbox in the ice and destroyed the exhaust.)
Blinker Computer


Planned Immediate Repairs:
Fuel line issue
Fuel Filter
Steering
 

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I would get a new radiator first. If they are paying for a rebuild and it is done right you don't want to overheat it. Than move to the steering. That way you can keep that new motor between the lines. Than the shocks.
As far as the a/c compressor goes I know late 90's honda's would turn the compressor even when the heat was on. It was explained to me once why but I don't remember why. You may ask your uncle about that. it might not be an issue.
 

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FYI - there is a fuel pump harness ground at the chassis above the fuel tank. It likes to corrode and become worthless. Might be good to check.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Its been almost 2 weeks without my truck, they keep saying it'll be done the next day, but supposedly it has low oil pressure and they are putting in a new pump today, free of charge ofcouse, should be done today, I hope...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now, I've talked to the shop again, they are now replacing the entire motor, without the truck for another week, I'm slowly getting angrier and angrier, if everything turns out ok, I'll be happy, but the longer this takes, the more gloomy the outcome appears.
 

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Ya I would be getting pretty angry if they had my truck for 2 weeks. Did they give a reason for the replacement?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ya I would be getting pretty angry if they had my truck for 2 weeks. Did they give a reason for the replacement?
They said low oil pressure, they replaced the oil pump and that didn't fix it.
 

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The a/c pump is supposed to come on when the heat is on as well. It comes on to keep everything moving and lubricated in the a/c system. As long as you have cool air coming out in the summer your a/c system should be good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Wont much matter now, as they are replacing my entire engine, I'm more irritated now on the fact that the engine that is in it now, has some minor mods done by the previous owners to add some extra HP. I'm hoping they put in an engine as powerful if not more so.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
They replaced the engine, honestly, most of the parts look much more worn than what mine did, I'll definitely have to keep an eye on it. Throttle response is slow, acceleration is slightly slower, and it seems much quieter.
 

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Did they give you any paperwork with the motor? Anything to prove it was new or a remanufactured one like from Jasper. I would think if it was from a company like that it would show some hp numbers or at least give you a close estimate.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Did they give you any paperwork with the motor? Anything to prove it was new or a remanufactured one like from Jasper. I would think if it was from a company like that it would show some hp numbers or at least give you a close estimate.
Nope, nothing, not even a shop receipt, looks like it was taken out of a salvage and slapped into my truck.
 
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