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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2008, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Car/Truck guys

Ok so my mom went back to school, and I don't have a vehicle yet (i'm 16) and Ive been working my ass off all summer getting money for a nice car/truck I made $2,000 dollars this year and I put about 600 dollars into my guitar getting that sustainer installed by that quack tech. And some other money spent on odds and ends. So Now I have EXACTLY $1,000 dollars locked into my savings account. My mom mentioned when she gets a job after her schooling that she feels safe at she will buy a new truck and give me her old one.. now that truck is this..

1997 Chevy Silverado Ext. Cab 1500 HD 4x4 Z71

It JUST rolled over 200,000 miles :O

It has dual straight pipe 3" magnaflow exhausts

Tinted glass, toneau cover, cab lights, tail light covers.

Its a really nice truck, perfect condition inside and almost on the outside.

Now heres what I wanna know, when I do eventually get it, I want to put all the money I earned this year and next year into a BRAND new 5.7L 350 Vortec engine. does anyone know the cost of one or if there is a better engine to put in (not a 572 big block or anything).

Heres one like it but ours is white.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2008, 07:49 PM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

Is there something wrong with the engine that is currently in it. Remember the cost of gas my friend. You would be better off with more fuel effecient car.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-08-2008, 09:01 PM
 
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 04:36 AM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

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Originally Posted by CosmicDebris View Post
Is there something wrong with the engine that is currently in it. Remember the cost of gas my friend. You would be better off with more fuel effecient car.
If it's not broke, don't fix it!
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 05:08 AM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

or if it ain't broke, break it to give yourself/your wife an excuse to get a better one! I think thats a man law actually

Last edited by Lefty Robb; 09-09-2008 at 05:38 AM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 08:41 AM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

Large investments in old vehicles = slippery slope.

This is oversimplification, but a bigger engine is going to be more wear/tear on everything. Pretty soon (whether it's from the engine or just age of vehicle) you need a new transmission, suspension components, etc, etc. Before you know it you're dropping well over the value of a vehicle on parts and labor.

Sorry to be the ever so boring voice of reason... I've had a few used cars that I put more money that I should've into. It's better to just run them into the ground, sell it for whatever you can, get something newer/different with the money you would've spent on upgrades or repairs. Especially the way fuel prices are going and looking to stay, used trucks are going to become a steal. Right now most dealerships are trying to get whatever they can out of them, but the more they depreciate, the more desperate they'll start to become. That's good for you.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 09:57 AM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

I tend to agree with the others on this one. I just don't think that it would be worth it. Plus, as Lefty Robb pointed out, $1000 won't buy a new engine. The required shop supplies for the swap (fluids, gaskets etc.) would probably knock a decent chunk out of that $1000 that's in your account now.

Another thing to consider would be other expenses that might pop up with the truck. Trucks with lift kits tend to go through suspension parts more quickly (ball joints, bushings, pitman arms etc.). A lot of the oem parts just weren't engineered to operated at the changed geometries. If you do dump all your money into an engine and have an expensive suspension failure, your truck will be sitting while you scrape together the money fix it. A good set of ball joints would probably run around $300 for parts alone plus the alignment that would be required.

Those later 90's chev/gmc's were solid trucks with engines that lasted a long time. While you may have to replace some of the components (starter, alternator etc.) the engine in these were fairly bulletproof. I would personally leave it and maintain it well to get all the miles out of it that you can.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 10:09 AM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

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Originally Posted by jay ratkowski View Post
Large investments in old vehicles = slippery slope.

This is oversimplification, but a bigger engine is going to be more wear/tear on everything. Pretty soon (whether it's from the engine or just age of vehicle) you need a new transmission, suspension components, etc, etc. Before you know it you're dropping well over the value of a vehicle on parts and labor.

Sorry to be the ever so boring voice of reason... I've had a few used cars that I put more money that I should've into. It's better to just run them into the ground, sell it for whatever you can, get something newer/different with the money you would've spent on upgrades or repairs. Especially the way fuel prices are going and looking to stay, used trucks are going to become a steal. Right now most dealerships are trying to get whatever they can out of them, but the more they depreciate, the more desperate they'll start to become. That's good for you.
He's right. Even if you just replace the engine, with 200,000 miles on the truck as a whole, it's just a matter of time before other things decide to break down, such as the transmission, rear axle, transfer-case, AC components, and other various things that cost $$$ to replace. If you have an emotional attachment to the truck, then what it costs to fix it won't matter. But if you don't have that, just sell it when it begins to break down. Little things like the battery, alternator and radiator are one thing, engines and transmissions are another. Fixing a vehicle with that many miles will soon cost more than it's worth, at which point you'll realize the money you put into it could have bought you a new truck with less miles.

All that said, it's cheaper to buy a re-manufactured engine. It should run you about $1500-2500, and that's NOT including installation. Swapping a bigger motor would be a great idea on a pre-EFI truck, but since this thing is fuel injected AND has OBD-II, swapping a bigger, non standard motor is going to be difficult and expensive. Not impossible, just difficult.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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I agree 100% with you guys on gas prices and fuel economy. But the thing is, this truck was bought brand new by my mom back in 1997. She put all 200k miles on it. And she puts upmost care in it.

But the winters over here in Michigan can get pretty hairy, and 4x4 is an absolute must where I live (I dont live on a crusty backwoods road or anything) but my driveway is pretty steep.

The motor im looking to put into it (5.7L 350 V8 Vortec) is exactly what it has in it now. And by the way.. The Tranny is new from last year when It did go out. and the truck has Straight pipes from 2 catalytic converters. So I will save a bundle on new pipes (because they dont have mufflers). We are also buying brand new BF Goodrich All terrain tires for it after the old ones have 80k miles on them (wow!).

So the only thing I can think that will go wrong with it (After a new engine installation is done) would have to be small body work and maybe rear end differentials.

That being said, buying a cheap car around 2500-4000 would be a blind bet (unless you read a carfax history report) which arent always Up-to-date. I would have to 100% buy a front wheel drive or an all wheel drive (like the Chevy Astro Vans) <-- which run up pretty high because they stopped making them in 2005. and anything under a 2000 will have hundreds of thousands of miles on it.

It still runs like the day it was bought even with 200,061 miles on it. The thing about 1000 dollars was just what I have in the bank now, I will most likely get this truck in 1-1.5 years (which means after next work season) I will probably have about 2.5k dollars in my bank along with whatever my parents would chip in to help buy a new engine. Oh and I probably wouldnt put a new engine in until the old one takes a big **** and I had no choice

Ooop 1 more thing, I forgot to mention that the truck doesn't have a lift kit, but it does have an aftermarket air bag suspension in the back (not for slamming it to the ground) but for towing. What it does is level the trucks rear end out, so when towing the trailer doesnt put to much stress on the rear.

Last edited by Ryan350DX; 09-09-2008 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Adding more stuff
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 11:35 AM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan350DX View Post
Ooop 1 more thing, I forgot to mention that the truck doesn't have a lift kit, but it does have an aftermarket air bag suspension in the back (not for slamming it to the ground) but for towing. What it does is level the trucks rear end out, so when towing the trailer doesnt put to much stress on the rear.
I'd check on this again. I've never seen a factory GMC, even a Z71 where the top of the 15 or 16" wheels barely come to the bottom of the bumper. Those look like 33 or 34" tires with LOTS of room in the wheel wells. Factory suspensions just wouldn't provide that additional clearance. My guess would be that there is a 3 or 4" lift in both ends.

You are right about airbags in the rear for towing. My father-in-law pulls his enclosed race car trailer with an 88 Chev 2wd. He had to airbag the rear suspension to prevent too much sagging under load.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Mark View Post
I'd check on this again. I've never seen a factory GMC, even a Z71 where the top of the 15 or 16" wheels barely come to the bottom of the bumper. Those look like 33 or 34" tires with LOTS of room in the wheel wells. Factory suspensions just wouldn't provide that additional clearance. My guess would be that there is a 3 or 4" lift in both ends.

You are right about airbags in the rear for towing. My father-in-law pulls his enclosed race car trailer with an 88 Chev 2wd. He had to airbag the rear suspension to prevent too much sagging under load.
I think the picture he posted isn't of the actual truck he's getting, but one like it.
So I am guessing his doesn't have the lift like the one in the picture does.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 11:50 AM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

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Originally Posted by Distantshore View Post
I think the picture he posted isn't of the actual truck he's getting, but one like it.
So I am guessing his doesn't have the lift like the one in the picture does.
If this is the case, my apologies.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan350DX View Post
I agree 100% with you guys on gas prices and fuel economy. But the thing is, this truck was bought brand new by my mom back in 1997. She put all 200k miles on it. And she puts upmost care in it.

But the winters over here in Michigan can get pretty hairy, and 4x4 is an absolute must where I live (I dont live on a crusty backwoods road or anything) but my driveway is pretty steep.

The motor im looking to put into it (5.7L 350 V8 Vortec) is exactly what it has in it now. And by the way.. The Tranny is new from last year when It did go out. and the truck has Straight pipes from 2 catalytic converters. So I will save a bundle on new pipes (because they dont have mufflers). We are also buying brand new BF Goodrich All terrain tires for it after the old ones have 80k miles on them (wow!).

So the only thing I can think that will go wrong with it (After a new engine installation is done) would have to be small body work and maybe rear end differentials.

That being said, buying a cheap car around 2500-4000 would be a blind bet (unless you read a carfax history report) which arent always Up-to-date. I would have to 100% buy a front wheel drive or an all wheel drive (like the Chevy Astro Vans) <-- which run up pretty high because they stopped making them in 2005. and anything under a 2000 will have hundreds of thousands of miles on it.

It still runs like the day it was bought even with 200,061 miles on it. The thing about 1000 dollars was just what I have in the bank now, I will most likely get this truck in 1-1.5 years (which means after next work season) I will probably have about 2.5k dollars in my bank along with whatever my parents would chip in to help buy a new engine. Oh and I probably wouldnt put a new engine in until the old one takes a big **** and I had no choice

Ooop 1 more thing, I forgot to mention that the truck doesn't have a lift kit, but it does have an aftermarket air bag suspension in the back (not for slamming it to the ground) but for towing. What it does is level the trucks rear end out, so when towing the trailer doesnt put to much stress on the rear.
Just one thing; when the engine finally calls it quits (which will be sooner then later), do some research and take it to a reputable shop/dealership to have the new engine dropped in. Most mom and pop garages and all places like Pep Boys should be avoided.

It sounds like your going to keep this truck no matter what, which is fine; I understand. My dad owned a '78 International Scout II 4x4 that I loved and had been in the family for 15 years, and I would have bought and kept it myself under any circumstances, aside from the fact that he sold it before I had a chance to buy it.

That was a few years ago, and I'm still harassing the current owner about buying it; so far he's wrecked the front axle, ripped out the gas tank out on a trail, had it stolen once and recovered it 200 miles away after it broke down, and set the engine compartment on fire. And yeah, I still want it back.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2008, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

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Originally Posted by Canadian Mark View Post
If this is the case, my apologies.
Oh no worries man, Yeah our truck doesn't have a lift. I should've posted a pic of our truck. I just don't have any on hand right now. That picture is a nice view of the truck and has similar features to mine. And I will definetly take it to the chevy dealer down the road. they are very professional (and pricey )
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-14-2008, 06:33 PM
 
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Re: Car/Truck guys

My friend has a truck with similar specs to yours and his has over 300,000 miles and still going strong. I'm not saying you can count on that out of yours, but it's something to keep in mind. Aside from the rear main seal leaking a little, it's doing pretty good. Of course he had to change the transmission at some point and has doen U-joints, ball joints, etc front end stuff, brakes. They seem to be really decent trucks, good luck whatever you decide to do.
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