I have a 1997 K1500 with a 5.7, and 73,000 miles. I must say that after reading the other comments and also talking to other owners of these trucks I'm glad I am not alone.
I had to so far replace the oil cooler lines at 30k miles because of a leak, shortly thereafter I had to replace the valve body on the transmission because it was slipping. I too have the coolant leak from the hose going into the intake manifold. I have had constant problems with the brake light switch where the lights don't work or the transmission won't come out of park because the switch had a bad connection. I had to cut out the factory plug and solder new connections to the switch. Works fine now!
Somewhere around 64k the ABS sensor for the back wheels went, so no more ABS brakes in the back... actually that's a good thing! I just now noticed that the water pump is going too, but it's time I guess. I am sure I am forgetting a few problems, the ones I had are not good especially when the majority of them happened before 40,000 miles. Yes the truck does get worked hard sometimes, but it's a truck!! Don't know what I want to do when it comes time for another. I'll have to think pretty hard about another Chevy. Hope this one makes it well past 100,000 miles!!
I have a '97 half-ton Sierra. I bought it used with 10K on the clock in late 1998. This truck has been nothing but trouble. So many things have been replaced and repaired on this truck; most of which didn't fail until the warranty had elapsed. The transmission troubles, coolant leaks, master cylinder replacements, etc., have plagued me for years. I had a 1992 GMC Sierra, 350 manual trans, and it was the best truck I ever owned. Owning this one, however, has been a horrible experience. I'll never own another.
After trying to trade and being offered a mere pittance for it, I've decided to drive it until the wheels fall off. I've decided to take every problem as it comes and repair it with the best quality parts I can afford. In fact I was shopping for an intake manifold (heater hose quick connect corrosion), timing chain, camshaft, and tappets when I stumbled on your site.
That antifreeze you smell might be the intake manifold gasket leaking, mine did that for a while and slowly got worse, it corrodes between the heads and the intake. You might want to get it pressure tested before it gets worse. Just FYI.
I just found your site while looking for parts and manuals for replacing the intake on the 1997 Z71.
I to have the intake leak problem at 78,000 and will tackle it this week. Any tips or pit falls to watch out for from those with personal experience would be appreciated.
Is there any truth to the Dex-Cool corrosion problem? I saw many comments only one seemed logical. help with a recommendation would be great in deciding green or orange!
This is the first major problem with the truck, I guess I have been lucky, so far she has been pretty good to me especially when neglected due to finances.
I did the replacement of the intake gasket on my 1997 Z71 a few weeks ago. Total spent for the repair was $110 including a large pizza and a twelve pack for a helper. Dealer quoted $1,100.
All parts used were new intake gaskets, new valve cover gaskets, fluids and a new cruise control cable that was broken during removal $20.50, watch out for the plastic connector.
It took a total of 10 hours. Four hours prep and tear down by my self and six with help to put it back together.
The repair was labor intensive and slow due to the amount of electrical and bracketry that must be removed. Over all not a bad project. I saved myself approximatley $1,000.
If any one needs a few tips before starting replacement feel free to ask, there are a few tricky spots and a complete set of tools is a requirement.
When changing the intake gasket, be very careful to mark the exact location of the distributer relative to the intake and the rotor to the distributer. If this is slightly off, you will have electrical problems which require dealership electronics to repair.
Also, the job is much easier if you remove the fan shroud. This makes access to the a/c bracket bolts easier. They must be loosened to get to the front right intake bolts. Be careful not to put any stress on the upper radiator hose. You will crack the plastic radiator tank.
Does anyone know why after removing all upper intake manifold bolts, the manifold still won't lift off. there is a 1/16 gap, yet it seems something internal is holding it.
The intake manifold in my 1997 Z71 started leaking last week so I'm in the process of replacing the gaskets and various other hoses. Most all the other comments I have read are the same. Fuel pump at 85,000. Steering pulling to the right at 40-45 mph. Heater hose leading into the manifold leaking at 100,100. Inside door handle on driver side broken. Passenger inside door handle works sometimes. Anyway, all in all I enjoy my truck. Thanks.
I guess I feel blessed. I have a 98 Z71 with 93000 miles and about as flawless as it gets for going on 7 years. Only problems so far were a steering sensor and an E.G.R. I have only put breaks and Rancho 5000s on her. Albeit a jackass stripped my oil drain plug, now I do all my own maintenance. But it still doesn't leak.
Its nice to know that I'm not the only person with all of these same problems. I have a 96 4.3L C-1500 Silverado Pickup 85K miles. Just had the transmission rebuilt to the tune of 2K. And I'm now experiencing the infamous "coolant leak" from the manifold gasket. ($400). In light of everyone elses comments, it looks like I will not be purchasing a Chevy in the future. Which is unfortunate because I really liked that pickup.
If you have no tranny problems / Leaks after 80,000 (consider yourself very lucky).
May you all have better fortune in the future.
I saw a Chevy Silverado 1993 for sale. It had 314 000 miles on it. The owner said he never had any major work done on it. Could that be possible?
314,000 miles, and no major work? In my opinion, I don't believe it. That's a lot of miles on that block, tranny, and rear, and not to mention the suspension parts. Unless that body was cherry inside and out and mighty cheap, I would stay away from that truck.
Got my 1997 Chevrolet 5.7 brand new, ordered 3 door, waited 6 weeks. Have had same conditions occur that everyone else experienced, starters, manifold leaks, water pump replaced, and electric fuel pump. No transmission problems yet, probably due to regular interval transmission fluid replacement. So far have had to replace 2ea of 4, O-2 sensors. driver outside door handled cracked and was replaced. At 106,000 miles now having repeated check engine light occurrences. Different plugs misfiring and getting white stuff on tips. Had the major 100,000 tuneup with new plugs, wires, rotor replaced before check engine light occurences. Last visit to shop asked them to pull gas tank and check for water, also did fuel injection soak. They changed out bad plug also. Running like champ again, trying to get 10 years out of it. Last Chevy PU was 70 model, bought when 15 yrs. old, got 12 yrs. out of it, paid lots to keep it in good running condition, but brought $3000.00 when sold.
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