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Old 09-23-2003, 02:06 PM   #1
67 C-10 LWB
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Question Reliability of new Vortec V-8's (4.8,5.3,6.0)

Hi all, I'm going to be in the market for a new used truck soon, like probably within a month or less. Going for a 99/00/01 Chevy/GMC 1/2 or possibly 3/4 ton 4x4 ext cab shortbox.

I was just wondering if anyone knows of any major issues w/ the new V-8 engines that come in these. I know I've heard of lifter noise and oil consumption problem I think, but don't know of anything else. My parents used to have a 00 1/2 ton w/ the 5.3 and the motor blew up w/ less then 30K on it. I don't know what exactly happened, all I know is they were told it dropped 3 cylinders, they were in New Mexico when this happened and had it repaired under warranty.

So any help on this would be great. Also how is the 8.1L big block in the 3/4 tons? like gas mileage as compared to the small blocks and reliability as well. Thanks

Ean
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Old 09-23-2003, 02:43 PM   #2
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I had an 01 1500HD crew cab. It had the 6.0. It had the dreaded "piston slap" and sounded like a deisel for the first five minutes when you cranked on a cool morning. The best I ever got out of it was 11 mpg in the city, though 8-9 was more likely if your foot got heavy. It would get 17 mpg on the highway empty, but would go to 8 mpg on the highway pulling a large enclosed trailer...8 x 8 x 20. I was never too impressed with it...I bought a motor home to pull the trailer and it gets almost as good [?] mpg.
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Old 09-23-2003, 03:16 PM   #3
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My boss has a '99 with a 5.3 in it. It is a 2wd ex. cab shortbed truck. He likes it alot...has 55xxx miles on it and no problems. Has alot of power too....puts you back in the seat impressively for a 5 thousand pound truck. He says it gets about 15-17 mpg.

I have heard of the piston slap over the internet, but everyone i know with a newer Chevy is pretty happy with it.....
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Old 09-23-2003, 03:39 PM   #4
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I forget where I read it, but GM says the piston slap wont cause extra wear or damage the engine.
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Old 09-23-2003, 04:24 PM   #5
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Who cares? A leaking exaust wont do damage but it still sounds like crap, so do these motors with the piston slap.

The problems so far have been piston slap, oil consumption, and you CANNOT get 100% throttle with the 8.1L unless the computer thinks its towing somthing. Unloaded it just will not happen.
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Old 09-23-2003, 05:09 PM   #6
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Talking

I have a 02 silverado 1500 lt extended cab ( you can ride back there not like the ford)with the 5.3 and automatic. 35k and no problems at all(no piston slap). I really like this truck it has a lot of power 285 horse at 4000 rpms( 3.72 rearend). most trucks and cars i have bought i got tired of right away . i have owned this truck for 2 years and still like it. I get a honest 18 m.p.g. jay
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:13 PM   #7
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I'm also considering getting a new 5.3 Vortec Chevy truck...They seem pretty nice for the price.
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:18 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info guys, the general consensus seems to be they are pretty decent. I'm gonna get one just wanted to check and see what I am getting into.

Tom what is this about not getting full throttle? is that the way it was designed, or was it a boo boo by GM?

Thanks again

Ean
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Old 09-23-2003, 06:29 PM   #9
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Its the throttle by wire system GM used. Other then that I have no idea what the deal is, I just remember a 12+page thread on chevytalk talking about it and some guy trying to find a way around it....
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Old 09-23-2003, 10:26 PM   #10
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All,

As my signature indicates I have a 2001 Burb with the 496/8.1. They are drive by wire....computer controlled. Yes I have the piston slap noise AND I go through 1qt of oil every 1000 miles or so.
GM says this is acceptable (not sure to who though).
First off, do some research on the web and make sure you can live with the possibility of owning a truck with these two traits. Second, GM says it won't hurt anything.....maybe not, but I don't like it.


Does it perform? You bet. My Burb moves for a 7000lb rig.....plus a supercharger is available too.

PM me if you have any questions.
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Old 09-24-2003, 10:20 AM   #11
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Piston slap is okay??????
I have heard it all now.
All they need to do offset the darn rod or better yet..........make the piston FIT the bore.
I drove a 2002 truck with a 5.3 and the thing had NO power.
That engine would just wind and wind and sound like it was coming apart but it wasn't pulling that truck worth a crap.
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Old 09-24-2003, 02:11 PM   #12
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wow

First off i think that you would be wise to invest in a truck like that. But first off milage is a pretty iffy thing depending on the truck. I used to work at a dealership and drove just about everything under the sun. The 496 is totally unbelieveable as far as stock power and the ability to get more. I drove one that just had a supercharger on it and i dont know if it had 100% while empty, but i can tell you you dont need it. It will SMOKE them with 40%. I pulled a trailer with my derby car, a lincoln town car, and tried to pass someone and i was goin about 40. It broke losse quite easy. But economy, maybe 12. The 5.3 is a good 1.2 ton engine that ive seen. THe 6.0 is garbage. It looses the economy and compared to the 8.1 i would much rather have the 8.1. But if you want a run around truck with maybe towing get the 5.3, if your not towing i would look at a 4.8. if you get a short bed. I have a diesel, it gets 22+ really, and i can pull too. However, when i hook onto a heavy trailer im about 10-13.
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Old 09-26-2003, 01:55 PM   #13
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In my experience vortec engines have a problem with leaking intake manifold gaskets. They leak coolant at the corners both internally and externally. I've probably seen a dozen of them. Especially with that newer orange coolant. The problem seems to be with the stock plastic gasket.
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Old 09-26-2003, 02:37 PM   #14
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I agree the gaskets on the intake are a problem. Usually they creep up quite fast, so if you got good ones you know. But if they are take them in and they have some that are much better replacements.
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Old 09-27-2003, 05:03 AM   #15
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I just love it how everyone including GM said "there is no problem" with losing those 4 center intake bolts.
Now GM has had to develop a "special" gasket at a cost of several thousand $$ to fix the leaks.
If anyone out there is (or has been) offended by my advice to send the vOrtecs back across the border..........GO POUR A GALLON OF ANTIFREEZE IN YOUR CRANKCASE and get it over with.
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Old 09-27-2003, 10:12 AM   #16
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Mike76251,

I am over it....nothing I personally can do about it....hopefully GM fixes it at some point.

67C10:

You may want to visit this forum just to read about the feedback on the GM trucks....you might even find one for sale if you are still looking...

http://www.gm-trucks.com/forums/index.php?showforum=3
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Old 09-28-2003, 01:27 AM   #17
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miket,
I doubt those bean counters up there will let them fix it as it takes 15 seconds more on the assembly line and 40 cents more in bolts to fix it.
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Old 09-29-2003, 07:45 AM   #18
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We have a question for those bean counters here at GM..... "IF WE DONT HAVE TIME TO DO IT RIGHT, WHEN WILL WE HAVE TIME TO DO IT OVER?????"
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Old 09-30-2003, 09:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beefcake
We have a question for those bean counters here at GM..... "IF WE DONT HAVE TIME TO DO IT RIGHT, WHEN WILL WE HAVE TIME TO DO IT OVER?????"
I wonder if you might know of the guy that specified the internal parts for the 1982 700R4?
If he is a drinking buddy or something don't answer.
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