1989 GMC S-15 Reviews

1989 GMC S-15 Jimmy SLE 4x4 4.3 V6 from North America

Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2009
Engine and transmission 4.3 V6 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.8 / 10
Distance when acquired80000 miles
Most recent distance198000 miles
Previous carChevrolet Astro

Summary:

Tough as nails!

Faults:

CV axles (front 4WD axles).

G-80 Gov-Lock govern failed, unlocked. Replaced with Auburn posi unit from another Chevrolet.

Ball joints.

Idler arm.

Shocks.

Door weather strips.

Motor mounts.

Drivers seat has to be replaced.

Tow hooks, on 3rd set.

Radiator.

Water pump (3rd).

A/C compressor.

Starter.

General Comments:

I bought this S-15 Jimmy 4x4 totaled in 1998. Replaced the damaged sheet metal. Used it until 2008 totally stock. Then I put a mild lift and 32x11.50xR15 tires in place of the stock 234/75/R15's.

It has been my daily driver for years, as well as used to go off road, and pull stuck vehicles out. I never have been easy on it, and most of the parts used to fix it are from a salvage yard. It has out-lasted other trucks bought to replace it.

Most of the repairs & parts failures are due to type of usage, or parts past their service life. Others are due to age (IE: drivers seat).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th January, 2009

1989 GMC S-15 S15 Sierra classic 4.3 TBI V6 from North America

Model year1989
Year of manufacture1989
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2007
Engine and transmission 4.3 TBI V6 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired130000 miles
Most recent distance152000 miles
Previous carOldsmobile 98

Summary:

One heck of a truck "GMC we are professional grade"

Faults:

It needed brake work done to it when I bought it.

It looked like every brake and fuel line under the truck was replaced at one point or another for rust issues before I bought it.

The rocker covers and the oil dip-stick tube rusted through before I bought the truck. This caused oil to leak onto the exhaust manifold. Replaced rocker covers with some from the local pick-n-pull for under $20.

Another oil leak at about 130,000 miles. This time it was the oil line from the filter (the oil filter in this truck is on the driver's side fender well, not on the engine block) I never fixed this leak because I was too cheap to get the part.

Front CV shaft on the right side of the truck started to go at about 150,000 because the rubber boot was damaged allowing dirt and other contamination to damage the CV joint. And once again I didn't fix this issue because I was too cheap.

This is the big one... The frame rusted through in one spot behind the driver’s front wheel kind of where the door hinge is. This was not the fault of GM, the truck was crashed at some point in its life. RUST killed my truck. There is no fixing New York state rust.

General Comments:

I loved my GMC. I'm well over 6ft tall and the extended cab was small, but it worked. The truck blew heat within 5 to 10 min at idle even at -10F. It was a good truck for the short time I owned it. The 4X4 worked great on the trail and in the Syracuse, NY snow. By the way our average snow fall is over 100 inches per year. We broke snowfall records this past winter (’06-’07) so thank God for my 4X4.

Don't think I used this truck just to get around in the snow and to play in the dirt. This truck was my work truck to. I used it to haul scrap a few times a month during the summer and fall. One load weighed in at 1,300lbs, the truck had the handling and the power to handle the load.

The 4.3 TBI (throttle body injection) is a GREAT motor. The 4.3 is based off of the classic Chevy 350 that we all love. If you need to fix something on this truck you will be able to find what you need for cheap. If you want to make this thing fast, that’s easy to, any part you can get for a 350 V8 you can get for the 4.3 V6.

4X4...

The old GMC trucks and SUVs had great 4X4. My S15 may have been small, but no one ever told her that. I used the truck off road a few times on some fairly nasty trails and logging roads. Deep mud is the only real down fall with an S15, as with any stock pick-up. Being a young country guy I pushed that small truck all the time, weather it was hauling a small block V8 and tranny for my friends '76 Oldsmobile at 80mph up I81, or crawling up a steep rocky slope in 4L in the state lands.

I picked this truck up because it looked good, it was a 4X4 and I wanted something to go camping in. It met all of my needs for the 20,000+ miles I drove it. Never once did it leave me stranded, not even when parts failed. My O2 sensor was not even plugged in the last few months I had the truck and it still ran OK, just smoked some when I got on it.

I ended up driving that truck over the scale at the junk yard because the body mounts were completely rusted away, there was no original floor and the frame rusted through and cracked in one spot. The whole way to the junk yard I was trying to kill the truck. I did some burnouts and just beat the tar out of the poor truck and it actually started to run better... go figure. Any way I got $230 for the truck at the same junk yard that I got all of my parts from. Looks like they get to sell some parts twice...

ALL in all...

I want another one of these trucks. They look good, last long and work hard!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd November, 2007

22nd Nov 2007, 15:08

OK let me get this right? The truck is a 1989 model and you just took it to a junk yard for scrap and you think it LASTED a long time??? WTF are you thinking??

I have a 59 GMC and it has lasted a LONG TIME and is still in great shape... the reason??? I take care of it! Nothing is going to last long if you treat it the way you treated that truck.

Average review marks: 7.9 / 10, based on 7 reviews