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If this was your truck what would you do ?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by amboy49, Jan 3, 2011.

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  1. amboy49

    amboy49 Well-Known Member

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    I have a 1997 Chevrolet C1500 Z71 4X4 pick up truck. With 85,000 mostly highway miles ( that I put on it going on hunting trips from Idaho to northern Quebec ) I plan on keeping this truck for quite awhile. What forms of preventive care should I be doing ?

    I've had it rustproofed and change the engine oil every 3,000 miles and rotate the tires on a regulare 5,000 mile interval. Am considering :

    Changing the front and rear differential fluid

    Changing the automatic tranmission fluid and filter

    Flushing and refilling the engine coolant

    Belts or hoses

    . . . . and or ?

    The truck runs well and the only maintenance besides oil changes and tires have been a new battery about once every 5 years or so and an alernator recently replaced.

    What about the engine additives like Lucas or other ?

    Would love to hear from folks that have gotten a couple hundred thousand miles out of their favorite vehicle - especially the four wheel drive kind.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Allen-MX8

    Allen-MX8 Member

    Joined:
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    I have the same year, make and model that your truck is and mine has 302,000+ miles on it!

    All I have done, on a regular basis, is change the oil (I use Conoco oil) every 2,500-3,000 miles, rotate the tires about every 6,000-7,000 miles, new tires when needed.

    Of course, I have had various repairs from time to time to keep it going--like replace batteries, replace a/c compressor, and some other items.

    My interior is like new and the exterior is very good as well. Right or wrong I still think for me it is less expensive to have the repairs rather than pay the price of a new one and the sales tax on one.

    Good luck.

    Allen
     
  3. neofight

    neofight TS Member

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    Sounds to me like you are on the right track to a long life with your truck. Personally, i would change the oil at 5K intervals or longer if you are doing mostly highway driving, unless you are towing. I don't see any merit in additives, just stay with quality oil that meets or exceeds manufacturers recommendations.

    When you get your tranny flushed, ask about the torque converter and if it gets emptied as well. Timing belt/chain, along with a water pump at this time might be good. Finding quality replacement parts is a bear nowadays, so you might want to take your starter and alternator to a quality rebuilder and have them both gone through, rather than trying to find the parts when you are halfway between Boise and Butte Meadows.

    Take a look at all your vacuum hoses, hose clamps, freeze plugs, cracked or frayed insulation on wiring/harnesses.
     
  4. himark

    himark Well-Known Member

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    Going through and refreshing ALL the fluids in the truck and updating belt, check u-joints etc. I a start to a long life. As for Lucas it is one of the WORST oil additives on the market. I have seen the tests. As stated get a good oil in all of if (synthetic). As for what kind you can decide but keep in mind Amsoil pioneered this oil and is still miles in front of all the rest of the sheep.
     
  5. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    I would do everything on your list.

    Schaeffer makes the very best oil and other additives in the world, their stuff is amazing. I've also had good luck with Lucas. Don't forget your cooling system, at least change out the coolant every year and replace the Tstat if not flush and pressure test.

    It wouldn't hurt to change out the u joints including the front rather than wait until they fail. Also have your front hub bearings checked. And your steering parts and ball joints while your at it.

    Spark plugs seem to last forever with modern cars but if you leave them in too long they can be very difficult to remove when they finally do need to be replaced. Ruined threads and carbon knocked loose from around them is fairly common if you wait too long.

    Take care of your truck and it will take care of you. I've gotten a lot of miles out of my vehicles threw preventative maintance rather than waiting till soemthing goes wrong.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Well-Known Member

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    I'm still driving my 1994 3\4 ton Chevy with the 4.3 v6--200,000 plus miles, regular oil changes & grease job @ 3000 miles-- normal maintenance-tires-batteries-brakes-etc. Radiator & heater core @ about 140,000-plugs-wires-dist.cap-etc. @ 190,000. still starts & runs well, but she's beginning to feel her age. Probably my last truck I'm 69 will be 70 in a couple months. Don't have the need for a truck like I did before I retired (carpenter). Sounds like you are doing things right, many good suggestions posted already. You take care of it & it will take care of you. Ross Puls
     
  7. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    Tranny renew, yes. Big bucks when the clutches go out. put a K & N air filter on. put magic crap in your gas occasionally to help the fuel punp. You can't just replace with a regular electric, the ECM will go berserko.

    If you don't do river crossings or other underwater/mud foolishness you can just check the gearlube in the punkins. Change if nasty.

    If you have time, put the kit in your alternator or stow a rebuilt on board someplace. We ran out of sparks on the prairie in SD and had to go back to the motel with no headlights. (put rebuilt in next day) This was on a 90 thou mile vehicle. Since your alternator is recent, maybe not so priority.

    Change the serpentine belt if it is old. Use your best powers of observation on coolant hoses. (keep duct tape in truck)

    Pay close attention to your tranny cooler lines especially up front just behind the radiator. (don't ask me how I know this) A couple pieces of braided fuel hose and some wee clamps are nice to have and they don't take up much room.

    I have a Trailblazer now but my 87 with the small block was a good horse.

    HM
     
  8. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    Pay attention to the front axle hubs as already mentioned. Change out hoses and belts regularly. Some of the commercial silicone hoses are great if you can find them, since they don't deteriorate as quickly. Get rid of that DexCool crap if it's still there and flush the cooling system throughly. I use OEM filters and oil and have had vehicles go over 300K. Regular inspection and maintainance is the key. Also replacing the brake fluid every few years isn't a bad idea. It absorbs moisture, and besides rust, it also reduces the boiling point. I also pull down and evacuate my AC system every three years or so. Fill with new quality refrigerant. Change the dryer and orfice tube and check it for debris. Looking for compressor failure before it happens. Also, fix any leaks you find, coolant, oil, or other wise.
     
  9. Conn. Man

    Conn. Man Member

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    amboy 49,


    You have a personal message.



    Sandy Holehouse.
     
  10. Bill Hom

    Bill Hom TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Besides all of the great suggestions listed above, don't forget to drive it once in a while and make sure that you drive it far enough to get the engine heat up to standard operating temp. Bill
     
  11. skeeljc

    skeeljc Supporting Vendor Supporting Vendor

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    I have a 2004 GMC Sierra with 77000 miles. I change oil (Mobil 1) every 7500 miles. I just replaced the battery. I had the dealer change the coolant and the transmission fluid at 75000 miles. I plan on changing the plugs and the axle(s) lube at 100,000. I probably change the air filter every 15,000 miles. The only repair work it has needed was an actuator and fan control in the heating system.

    If your GM has disc rear brakes keep a sharp eye on the rear pads. They can wear unevenly because the caliper may hang up on the pins. The caliper is supposed to float and wear the inner and outer pads evenly.

    This truck has served me well. I used it to move my entire household from Fargo North Dakota to central Indiana (850 miles). It took seven trips pulling a 7x16 cargo trailer.

    I plan on keeping my 2004 at least 10 more years unless we run out of gas first!

    Jim Skeel
     
  12. Borderland

    Borderland Member

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    Use synthetic ATF(any brand will do)in your transfer case. If your rear differential is limited slip use the additive from GM (replacement gear lube only has enough for a top-off)Keep the DEXKOOL in your cooling system it prevents corrosion from the combination of aluminum, steel and copper in your cooling system. Run a bottle of Chevron injector cleaner thru the fuel system about every sixth tank. Dont run your fuel tank under 1/4 if you can help it as the fuel is also the coolant and lubricant for the high pressure pump in the tank.
     
  13. blkcloud

    blkcloud Active Member

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    I sold my last dodge diesel (1998 model)when it had 240k miles on it, changed the oil every 10k miles, fuel filter twice a year air filter once a year.. other than that..rotated the tires when it would start wanting to drive off the side of the road..
     
  14. eightbore

    eightbore Well-Known Member

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    Changing the oil on a gas truck every 3000 miles is one royal waste of time and money. Warm it up every time you drive it.
     
  15. Pocatello

    Pocatello Active Member

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    I have a '94 Chev Suburban 1500 4x4. It turned 263,000 yesterday returning from Portland, OR, 655 miles in ten hours. Last month we made the trip to Boulder CO with it, our third there since the end of summer (600 miles in nine hours). Obviously I consider it to be reliable transportation. I too change the oil every 3,000 miles - I will schedule it to be done this week. I had an alternator go out last summer in Vale, OR on a Saturday. It took about 90 minutes at a local shop to get it replaced. If you look at a map you'll see that Vale is sort of in the boonies, so I don't consider parts availability to be the problem that neofight does. The replacement alternator went bad a couple of months later, but the warranty covered the part, AAA covered my tow, and my mechanic didn't charge me labor since I'm a good customer and he said the replacement was trivial.

    I rely on my mechanic to keep an eye out for potential problems. I was hearing an occasional pop in the drive train so mentioned it to him this fall. He checked it and said the u-joints were going bad, and replaced them. They were original with about 260,000 miles on them. I replaced the tires this fall with about 80,000 miles on the last set. The engine and transmission are original. The exhaust system finally needed attention last year after about 245,000 miles.

    My miles, like yours, are mostly highway miles. The vehicle just keeps going like the Duracell bunny. Treat it right and yours should serve you well for many years.
     
  16. gdbabin

    gdbabin TS Member

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    1993 C/K 1500 Silverado 2WD, 5.7L, 5-speed manual, standard cab, short bed.


    280,000 miles and still going.


    The most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. All of the above recommendations will keep your Chevy running for many more years.


    Mine doesn't have the power it did when new, and leaks oil from the rear main, but doesn't burn oil. My plan is to replace the engine with a GM crate one day, and fully restore the rest to brand new. In the meantime it serves me well and still looks pretty good for an old war horse.


    I love my truck.


    Guy Babin
     
  17. shannon391

    shannon391 Active Member

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    Drive it and quit worrying about it. It's gonna go or it's gonna blow.
     
  18. Tripod

    Tripod Well-Known Member

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    Iowa man!!
    My old 87 chevy half ton that I sold 6 or 7 years ago with 238,000 is still going strong with the new owner and nothing done to the 305 engine other than replace a couple of water pumps and a starter. Rusty as hell though.
    I am certainly glad they don't make them like they used to.
    Anyone who bemoans American made cars today really isn't paying attention to how much better they are than in past years.
     
  19. woodtick2

    woodtick2 TS Member

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    Changing the oil every 3000 miles is excessive. I purchase many barrells of oil each year for my vehicles and logging equipment. I have had 3 oil salesmen tell me to stretch my oil changes to 5000 miles on gas engines and 300-500 hrs on heavy equipment. The old school of thought was 200 hrs on heavy equipment and 3000 miles on gas engines. I have put nothing but the cheapest oil I can find into my Toyota trucks and I keep them all till they have 200,000 to 275,000 miles. Not one of them has given me any engine troubles and I have been driving them since 1993 and currently have 3 of them in full time use. I also change transmission, transfer case and differential oils every 100,000 miles. Performing your own oil changes gives you the chance to look for other developing problems also. Many potential problems can be stopped before they become problems with regular maintence.

    Randy Kerr
     
  20. sliverbulletexpress

    sliverbulletexpress TS Member

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    Since when did the products of combustion quit entering the crankcase via blow by the rings? Yes modern engines do a better job but the rings cannot contain all of it. This is what contaminates your engine oil and also form the acids that hurt bearings. The new engines run cleaner and evacuate the crankcases better, they also recirculate exhaust into the intake the old engines never did. Also the oils now resist forming the acids better, but you are not over doing anything by changing your oil every 3000 miles. Check with the manufacturer of your vehicle on what standards they judge normal use, might surprise you to find that very few of us fall into that category according to industry standards.

    Many folks were surprised to learn that the coolant service recommendations put out by Jeep/Chrysler were way off when they found their radiators and heater cores rotted out.
     
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