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Topic Review (Newest First)
08-30-2010 05:50 AM
Originally Posted by bigdog7373
How are the 5.3 ls engines? I'm looking at buying a chevy truck with a 5.3 ls engine but it has 180,000 miles on it. I had the 6.0 and 8.1 and had no problems while i owned then for 160,00o miles. I've read that they have a metal head gasket so can the head gaskets blow on these engines or are they good for alot of miles? Any other info would be appreciated. I want to make a good purchase and the rest of the truck is in beautiful condition, i'm just a little worried about the mileage.
Any light truck w/almost 200K miles will have some issues- either already dealt with, or yet to be dealt with. I'd be less worried about the engine if I was able to test drive it and do a vacuum and compression or (preferably) a leak down test on it, along w/looking at the plugs, etc. I would be polite but firm on the tests- if he balks, there's your answer. Pass on it, there will be another one along in a minute.

Besides the engine, a bad trans would be as bad, cost-wise, as most anything else that could be wrong. But the "little" things that go- brakes, charging system (mainly battery and alternator), sensors, suspension and steering (shocks, bushings, bearings, idler, C/L, etc.) - that can nickel and dime you to death.

I'd rather see you find a lower mileage truck. But that said, if the price is right and everything passes muster you might have something. A LOT depends on how the truck was used. If it was a work truck, I'd probably pass. If it was a suburban drive to work and back deal, it might have a lot of life left in it. Check the bed for wear.
08-29-2010 04:35 PM
Originally Posted by Old Buzzard
IMO, if the seller gets pi$$ed off about all the ??, let him hold it, and find another seller.
I was thinking it, you wrote it. In any buy-sell situation, the guy holdin' the cash is the one who makes the rules in my opinion.
08-29-2010 03:50 PM
Old Buzzard
The head gaskets ..

are MLS design..[M]ulti [l]ayer [s]teel, and can take ALOT of abuse. Many 5.3, 6.0's w/ stock assemblies and turbos, blowers, making sky hi Hp. using factory mls gaskets.
When you are asking for history, maybe get the VIN # and ask a dlr to run a warranty history on it. A Carfax wouldn't hurt, either.
IMO, if the seller gets pi$$ed off about all the ??, let him hold it, and find another seller.
08-29-2010 03:37 PM
techinspector1 If you don't get the answer you're looking for here, try googling "5.3 head gasket problem" and see what comes up.
08-29-2010 03:11 PM
bigdog7373 Do you know if it's common at all on these engines?
08-29-2010 03:08 PM
turbolover Any and all head gaskets can fail, doesn't mean it will.
08-29-2010 02:58 PM
bigdog7373 The thing is that i just had the head gasket go on my car and now i want a truck, so can an engine with metal head gasket blow a head gasket?
08-28-2010 09:30 AM
carnahan thats the one
08-27-2010 09:00 PM
bigdog7373 It has the 4l60e
08-27-2010 08:40 PM
carnahan maybe it's a 4L70E. not a 60al. that was a bad guess.
08-27-2010 08:31 PM
Originally Posted by bigdog7373
Is there a simple quick way to run an oil pressure test? I don't want to piss the guy off by running a bunch of tests. I heard something about if you pull the oil cap of if oil comes out it's bad, or something like that.
As turbolover said , it should have an oil pressure gauge and if you just want to check for blow-by , you can remove the oil filler cap while it is running and there should not be any pressure blowing out. On a 'new' engine there is actually a slight vacuum at the oil filler caused by the pcv valve . That would be ideal , but no pressure is what you are looking for . Hit the throttle a time or two while you have the cap off also and watch for blow-by . I hope this helps .
08-27-2010 08:28 PM
carnahan i have a 2002 Z71 with the 5.3 in it. bought it with 58000 miles and it now has 140000. still runs great like the day i bought it. i don't know what year yours is, but if it has the same tranny as mine you might want to have someone who knows about them check it. i think it's a 60al or something like that. i had mine go out at 109000. of course it had the 100000 mile warranty. damn the bad luck. the guy at the tranny shop told me he does them all the time. pretty common. other than that my truck has been great, no other problems.
08-27-2010 08:23 PM
turbolover If there's an oil pressure gauge- there's your check (most have the gauge as I recall). Run a compression test and that's about all u can do. Those are good engines but 180000 is a lot for any gas engine. If he used good oil and changed it regularly you should be fine- but many people get the cheapest oil there is every 5000 miles... if you do get it be sure to clean the fuel system out and change the fuel filter- that's rarely done and it can cost you a pump at that mileage.
08-27-2010 07:58 PM
bigdog7373 Is there a simple quick way to run an oil pressure test? I don't want to piss the guy off by running a bunch of tests. I heard something about if you pull the oil cap of if oil comes out it's bad, or something like that.
08-27-2010 07:55 PM
adantessr Personally I would run a compression check on it and check the oil pressure with a manual gauge . If you like what you see . Buy it . I haven't heard of anybody having any problems with a 5.3 yet . But , Hey with 180,000 miles anything can happen . Then again , anything can happen with a brand spankin' new one as well . I'd check Kelly blue book to make sure the price is right for the mileage , etc.
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