The Chevrolet Silverado--Part I

SilveradoLS 1999-2 II

By Gary Witzenburg

(Editor's note: In honor of the fact that GM will be coming to market with an all-new light-duty pickup truck next year, we thought we'd take a look back at the two most recent versions of the Chevrolet Silverado model: the GMT800 and GMT900.) 

In 1996, Chevy’s C and K  pickups — aka GMT400s — remained GM’s best-selling vehicles. That same year, they got a new family of Vortec engines: a 4.3-liter V-6, 5.0- and 5.7-liter small-block V-8s, and a hulking 290-horsepower, 7.4-liter big block. All of them were more sophisticated and more powerful than the aging workhorses they replaced.

The GMT400s boasted better electronic controls, extended maintenance intervals and second-generation onboard diagnostics (OBD II), and they were smoother and quieter thanks to redesigned accessory-drive systems and other noise-reducing measures.

The next year came a front-passenger airbag, Electronic Variable Orifice power steering and a tighter-turning radius for K1500s. In their last year before bowing to the all-new GMT800 pickups, the 1998 C/Ks were further upgraded with a Passlock security system, a new electronically controlled torque converter clutch and lower rolling-resistance tires.

All-New Silverados
Then came arguably the most substantial upgrade of Chevy’s full-size pickup line since World War II. To reflect their newness, the C/K’s long-running top-trim-level Silverado badge was applied across the board. “The launch of Chevy’s new 1999 Silverado full-size pickup – the single highest-volume product GM offers – can be summed up in four words: bigger, faster, stronger and smarter,” crowed the press release.

“Silverado is the epitome of the Chevy Truck brand image,” Chevrolet Marketing General Manager Kurt Ritter said. “It takes quality, dependability, performance and comfort to a whole new level.” These new trucks were designed to build on the reputation of the C/Ks as “the most dependable, longest lasting” full-size pickups on the road, with “the highest resale value, the best long-term quality and the most satisfied owners,” Ritter said.

Frame and Suspension
The 1999 Silverado’s new three-section hydroformed frame was lighter, stiffer and easier to build, and it allowed each section – front, middle and rear – to be engineered and manufactured to maximize performance. That enabled improvements in almost every component attached to it -- from suspension to body to powertrain -- for better ride quality, handling, body fits, crash performance and noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).

The front suspension and steering were upgraded for a smoother ride, enhanced stability, better on-center steering feel, improved durability and increased payload capacity. The rear suspension got a wider track. The optional Adjustable Electronic Ride Control — the first selectable damping system on a pickup truck — offered a choice of smooth-road or increased-control/trailering settings via a dash-mounted switch. Standard four-wheel-disc antilock brakes were an industry first for full-size pickups, and power rack-and-pinion steering became standard on rear-wheel-drive 1500 models. 

Powertrain and Electrics
The three available Vortec V-8s – 4.8-liter 4800, 5.3-liter 5300 and 6.0-liter 6000 – got a new valvetrain, redesigned pistons, a more rigid cast-iron block and improved lubrication, cooling and sealing. Each delivered more power and a flatter torque curve, along with reduced emissions and better NVH.Both five-speed manual and four-speed automatic transmissions were upgraded, and a Tow/Haul mode for the automatic allowed the driver to change shift patterns while towing or hauling to keep the transmission cooler and reduce shift “busyness” on hills. Also new was Autotrac four-wheel drive (standard on the top LT trim and available on midrange LS models), which automatically transferred torque to the front axle whenever rear-wheel slip was detected.

The new electrical system was a greatly simplified Class II architecture that reduced wiring to a minimum through a Bussed Electrical Center that centralized connections, protected them from corrosion and made them easier to service. New exterior lighting provided daytime running lamps with automatic lamp control, and a Z82 Trailering Special Equipment Package added plug-in connectors for trailer lighting and electric trailer brakes.

Refined Interior
Not only was the ’99 Silverado’s cabin larger than the C/K’s for more room and comfort, it was also quieter and more refined. “Back in the 400 days, our lineup was largely regular cabs,” says Jeff Luke, who worked on C/K production at GM’s Oshawa plant in Ontario and became the Silverado’s chief engineer by 2004. “Then people started looking at pickup trucks, especially with extended cabs, as lifestyle vehicles, and the 800 changed the game.

Silverado LT int 2003 II
“We said we can make a truck a desirable product for peoples’ lifestyles, a family vehicle that offers all kinds of versatility along with capability and performance. There was a big focus on refinement, along with reducing mass and upping capabilities, and we went to the fully boxed, hydroformed frame, a breakthrough technology that increased stiffness, took out a lot of mass and improved ride, handling, steering and NVH,” Luke said.

The 800’s all-new cab architecture improved structural integrity for better NVH. Extended-cab models got more rear-seat legroom and a more comfortable seatback angle. New seat-mounted safety belts improved rear-seat access, and a standard third door offered the widest opening of any half-ton pickup with convenient one-hand operation. Also new was a faster and more efficient HVAC system and a Driver Message Center that monitored and reported on vital vehicle functions.

Chevy touted the 800’s design, development and manufacturing processes as the most thorough and most computerized in GM history. Build combinations and parts counts were reduced, the latter between 170 and 300 per truck (depending on model) despite higher content, and all assembly plants used identical tools and processes for improved quality.

Continuous Improvement
The outgoing C/Ks remained in production for fleet sales during the 1999 and 2000 model years, and the GMT800s continued the tradition of annual improvements. For 2000, the small-block V-8s delivered more power and torque, and an optional driver-side fourth door was offered on extended cabs. For 2001, traction control for two-wheel-drive models and a composite box for four-wheel-drive 1500 extended cabs were offered, and GM’s OnStar service became standard on top-line LT models. The 6000 V-8 was boosted to 300 hp and 360 pounds-feet of torque. The next year brought a new 1500 HD model, multiport fuel injection (for California emissions) on 4300 V-8s, standard automatic transmission on extended-cab models and, on some models, optional Quadrasteer, which turned the rear wheels opposite the fronts for a tighter turning circle at parking speeds and in the same direction for added stability at higher speeds.

“We were very proud of that Quadrasteer,” Luke says. “It was a great technology that reduced the turning radius fairly dramatically, a great thing for a large vehicle. It was fairly costly, and consumers at the time didn't gravitate to it, but everyone who bought it loved it.”

Midcycle Refresh
Still GM’s best-selling vehicle, the 2003 Silverado got substantial upgrades. Beyond a new front-end design were more than 40 new features and enhancements. Among them were electronic throttle control for small-block V-8s, a more advanced electrical architecture, dual-zone climate control, dual-level airbags, new entertainment systems -- including XM Satellite Radio, Bose stereo and a rear DVD player for crew cabs – and expanded Quadrasteer availability.

That year also saw the introduction of a high-performance Silverado SS, a monotone-painted extended-cab short-bed 1500 powered by a high-output LQ9 version of the 6000 V-8 that pumped 345 galloping horses and 380 pounds-feet of pavement-wrinkling torque through a full-time viscous all-wheel-drive transfer case. Available in black, red or metallic blue, the Silverado SS rode on 20-inch wheels and tires on a lowered and stiffened Z60 high-performance chassis package.

Silveado 2004 Quadrasteer II
New for 2004 were 1500 and 2500 HD crew-cab models, expanded Quadrasteer availability and standard cruise control, power door locks, AM/FM/CD stereo, upgraded wheels, chrome bumpers and black bodyside moldings. The following year brought the industry’s first (for retail sales) gas-electric “mild hybrid” pickup, a 1500 extended cab powered by a Vortec 5300 V-8 coupled to an electric motor through a four-speed automatic transmission.

The hybrid powertrain boosted fuel economy up to 10 percent. “That was the first execution anywhere of that type of technology,” Luke said. “It shut off the engine when you were stopped and provided AC outlets in the cab and in the box, very useful for contractors and other folks that wanted to use the truck for that kind of thing.”

Even in its final year, the GMT800 produced some pleasant surprises, including a new grille design and a power-dome hood. To enhance the towing capability of four-wheel-drive 1500 extended- and crew-cab models, a new VortecMAX Performance Package combined a high-output 345-hp 6000 V-8 with a heavy-duty trailering package. An all-new Duramax 6600 turbo-diesel V-8 (good for 360 hp and a breathtaking 650 pounds-feet of torque) driving through an equally new Allison six-speed automatic debuted in HD Silverados. Availability of the hybrid expanded to nationwide, and the SS package became available on two-wheel-drive trucks. A special Intimidator SS version was also offered to honor the late NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt.

Thus was the stage is set for the next-generation Silverado, the GMT900. Stay tuned for Part II.

Silverado SS 2004 II

Silverado 3500 II

Comments

Unfortunately, the trucks were junk from end to end. Electrical nightmares, cheap interior literally falling apart, paint peeling from the bodies, body mounts corroding and letting the truck have a "sagged" appearance at the center of the frame, gas-charged front differential actuators that wouldn't work in cold weather (i.e., snow), just on and on and on.. typical GM trash.

I had a '88 model "new C/K" truck and it stranded me on the highway 3 times in 3 years. I also leased a 2006 Silverado LT1 with the L33 V8 brand new and it was in the shop 10 times in the first 12 months. Just utter garbage.

What's really sad is that sales of GM trucks are so high...proving that there is actually more than just one sucker born every minute.

Those slant eye front end trucks are horrendous unless you got the 2006 classic or 2500, both of which had the domed hood. The 99-02's look better but still not as good as the truck they replaced. They almost became car like. They sat too low to the ground and the look became very 'soft'. I remember when these came out I was not impressed. Fast forward several years... These trucks have the worst reputation up North of any truck ever produced by any manufacturer for corrosion issues. Rusty frames are the norm. Rusty brake lines that rupture. Cheap metal used for the brake rotors that wear terribly. And the biggest gripe of course being the rocker panels rot out very fast. Followed by the cab corners going and the beds over the rear wheels. GM must have got a huge discount on cheap steel from somewhere. The interior materials were also subpar. I remember the first time sitting in one on the dealer lot and it was like stepping into a sea of terrible cheap plastic. The leather is also very cheap and cracked awfully fast. This was also the truck that introduced Piston Slap to the masses that continues to this very day.

As far as I'm concerned, this truck was the beginning of the end for Chevy trucks multi decade long reign. Both Ford and Dodge were starting to get their act together around this time. Chevrolet was going downhill in a hurry.

Alot of my family members had Chevy trucks way back in the day my first truck when i was 17 was 1980 custom deluxe with 3 on the tree. This is why we all switched to Ford most my parents silverados all had rust issues like on the doors and the box panles where really bad for that the fuel pumps always went every 3 to 6 months we got left on the side of the road more than once! Motor tranny issues etc etc etc last Chevy i owned was a 2006 Colorado crew cab i got it brand new and it was aweful made 250 km per tank always over heated it had wireing problems alot of the time in winter the heat would cut off and i traded it in for a 2008 Harley f150 best move i ever did. Now my parents have 2 Ford trucks ones a 2011 xlt 4x4 supercab and the other one is a 2012 fx4 my sister and her husband has a 2008 foose f150 and a 2011 fx4 ecoboost and i have a 2011 Harley f150 . We all work in the oil patch in Alberta and buy new trucks every 3 to 4 years so look what Chevy lost in this family they sold us junk and Ford been so good to us we love our Ford trucks and will never go back!!!

I have a 2000, 5.3 Ext. Cab, Long Bed 4WD and this truck has been perfect for me. I bought it in 2005 with 104K on the odo, now I'm at 235K and still going strong, use it for my contracting business and easily haul 1.25 Ton in the bed or tow a 10,000lbs trailer with no problem, pretty much bone stock! Original engine, tranny, water pump, alternator, starter etc. Only replaced wear and tear parts like brakes, plugs, filters etc, it even has the original fuel injectors and catalytic converters! I will drive this until it will go no more! Yes, the interior might look cheap but hey, it's a work truck for me. I also have a 2005 F150 Lariat which we keep for nice! I don't come on here bashing other brands that's just childish!

I own an 05 1500 crew cab and it's been absolutley great. No major problems and it's still kicking along with 160,000 miles and I couldn't be happier with it.

These trucks are pure garbage. This was the last Chevy truck I ever bought and I refused to buy another Chevy again. My 2001 had such poor build quality it was unreal. First and foremost the trucks are absolute Rustbuckets. Every bodyshop in town thinks these trucks were built with subpar steel. Resale value on any of the models from 99-06 is abysmal because everybody knows they have severe rust issues now. I had Two brake lines blow out within 2 years time. I had the rotors replaced twice within the 5 years I owned it. My tailgate handle busted twice as did my drivers door handle. You'll rarely find one that even still has a tailgate handle or plastic trim ring on it. My interior was full of squeaks and rattles within a years time. I had many broken interior plastic parts. The seats were no only uncomfortable but I got a letter from GM stating not to use my heated seats for too long as it may cause a fire. It wouldn't surprise me as the leather was junk anyway. It probably did light up easily.

I had 3 cluster guages in my truck in 5 years. The speedo would just quit working and my gas guage needle would go on the fritz. Twice it was replaced under warranty. The third time 900 dollars came out of my pocket for a new cluster plus the mileage reprogramming fee! I had the now famous GM piston knock after about 40k miles. I will never own one of these trucks again. GM got so Cheap I could not believe what I was experiencing. For over 30 years I bought Chevrolet trucks and had Never had these kind of issues. I traded it in on a new F-150 in 2006 and never looked back. The difference in build quality was literally the difference between Heaven and Hell. It's pretty obvious to pinpoint the exact moment in time Ford trucks started to gain a serious foothold in the marketplace. It was Chevy's market to lose and they just gave it all away with this truck. A total POS.

i had a 2000 Sierra for 10 years and spent a total of @ $700 (brake pads/rotors & a left front wheel bearing) at 80,000 miles. that's it. i drove that thing for 117,000 miles before i traded it for a crew cab. my 2010 silverado has 25,000 with no probs at all. i owned 5 Fords that never went 3 months without breaking down. i had my 90 Bronco for 10 years and i pretty much replaced every part on the whole truck.

About the only good thing I can say about these trucks is they run a long long time. They may have piston slap but they keep running and running. The truck will literally fall apart around the engine though. The trucks themselves are disposables. Good for 5, maybe 10 years tops. They aren't built to last like the old Chevy's were. I ran a 2003 until last year. Yanked the motor-trans to put in a Noiva I'm restoring and had the rest hauled off to the salvage yard. I got 50 bucks for it. Chevy's really went downhill in quality with this truck.

These trucks are notorious for rust and electrical problems. I've replaced more electrical parts and guage clusters than I care to remember. Our body shop makes a fortune in rust repairs on these. We keep patch panels and rockers in stock by the dozens upstairs. The interiors are pretty cheaply constructed as well. It wasn't one of Chevy's better moments to be sure. The new ones aren't as bad though. I haven't seen much rust yet except for the bumpers. The interior quality seems to be a little better. Not so many electrical problems either. After being around many of these I'd probably be hesitant to own one. It's not that they aren't good running because they are. I've seen many with 200k on them. It's just that the trucks themselves leave alot to be desired. The biggest sellers at our dealer are the trucks that came before this. As soon as we get one in it's gone. We actaully charge More money for them now.

I must be the only one who sees a ton of these chevys still on the road. Rusted and falling apart? hardly. I live in the salt belt too.

The ONLY problems we've had with these trucks were 99 and prior, they had terrible transmissions. Other than that, they are really stout trucks.

I have an 05. She's starting to get pretty rusty on the bottom. I've had the speedometer fixed under warranty. Replaced the water pump and did the brakes last year. Outside of that it's a good runner. It only has the piston noise when it's cold outside. My dealer said this is normal though and nothing to fret over so I just keep the oil changed every 3k. I dunno, it's been a good truck I'd say. It's not the nicest truck inside but it works I suppose. I'm at 92k on the odometer and haven't had to do any major engine or transmission work so I think I'm doing alright. I'll probably get the rust fixed, drive it for a couple more years and trade it off on a new one. I was kind of letdown a little on the quality for awhile but after finding out GM was broke at the time I'm probably a little more forgiving than some others. I can kind of see why Ford's the big seller now. It's a really attractive truck and they are really nice inside. It's just that it's still a Ford. I've always been a Chevy guy so..

I never cared for the looks of these trucks. Until the new one came along that is. The current Silverado makes these things look like a 1972. I'll stick with ol Red until the new Silverado comes out. My 1997 Silverado has over 230 thousand miles on her. I've only replaced the intake gaskets, fuel and water pump. Of course brakes and tires. No rust but for a few small spots on the cab corners. If Chevy builds em like this again they'll have a winner. I even got the classic red interior. This was back when you could get red, blue and browns. My seats are durable as the day is long. The new ones just look cheap to me. I'll most likely keep my "Like A Rock" era Chevy until I'm dead and just park her next to my 76 I restored as two fine monuments to Chevrolet! I'm really looking forward to the new Silverado though. If I was forced to buy a new truck I'd probably have to buy one of those nicer Ford's. I guess I'm too brand loyal though so I'll stick it out another year and see.

As a diehard Chevy guy I'd just assume these trucks never existed. I'm not a fan. I'm not fond of the current truck either. Any Chevrolet truck from the first 1918 all the way to 1998 was Perfect.. They had a SOLID 80 year reign. No other truck manufacturer can claim that as far as I'm concerned. Ford's had pitfalls along the way and so did Dodge. Not so with Chevrolet. They were the Gold Standard. They just need to get back to that. I know many Chevy guys who have either left for Ford or are simply waiting for the next generation Silverado. I'm waiting. We need another Gold Standard 80 year run for Chevrolet trucks this new century...

Wow, look at all the haters come out. Lots of these trucks still out there running great and doing work. Never comment on here because 90% of the people just bash any brand but what they own. If you are going to talk trash, go upstairs and tell it to your mom! If you have something constructive to write, then by all my contribute!

I could go on and on about friends with Fords and Rams that have had nothing but problems. But what's the point?

I had a 2001 Silverado and a 2003 with almost 200,000 on it. It looked like new when I traded. All I did was a fuel pump, water pump and some little control unit for the 4x4 and two front axle seals.

Some people just really beat the crap out of cars and trucks.

I dented my bumper and bought a used one from a guy with a 2008 Silverado and that thing looked very, very used.

I do treat my pickup like a high $$ sports car, would never haul gravel or anything like that in it.

I had those days growing up on a farm. And we drove GMC's, because we liked them.

Never comment on here because 90% of the people just bash any brand but what they own.

@Trevor, it looks to me like most of these guys either were or still are Chevy guys. Just because your brand makes a bad model run doesn't mean you hate the brand forver. Chevrolet just needs to get it's act back together. I agree with Mike, Chevy had a dominant 80 year run. I'm a Ford guy who used to be a Chevy guy long ago so I know exactly what people are saying. Heck, look at Ford. On the Mustang forums Ford Still hears about that pile of junk Mustang 2 they built. That doesn't mean the Mustang isn't great today because IMO it's better than it's ever been. Chevrolet just needs one world class Silverado next round and put this whole saga of the last decade behind them.

I have a 2001 2500HD 4x4. I have 110K miles the truck. I has a 4" lift, 33" tires. I use it for hunting, camping, towing, hauling etc. I take care of it but do not baby it. The only problems I have had as the window motor went out in the diver side at about 70K and I had to replace the ball joints on the front end at about 80K, most likely due to the lift. I have had not problems with the transmission, motor, electrical, 4x actuator (yes it has been in the snow) and it definitely is not rusting. It has been a very good and reliable vehicle.
As for everyone who bashes, no truck (or car for that matter) is perfect. We could easily point out problems with Fords, Dodges, Toyota's, etc.

AMEN Noel. I drive the truck that I like...not because everyone else likes it. I'm personally glad that no one truck is perfect. It gives the manufacturers something to improve on year after year. And only the consumer can win with that.

I got an 06 with the good hood. It's a good truck. Starting to get the rocker rot but that's typical of these. Interior could be better but it works. I got the letter from GM about the heated seats as well. I also got a letter about the guage cluster as well but mine is still working ok. No piston slap yet at 60k but I have heard some that have it real bad. GM could have done better here but oh well. It still gets me from point a to point b. I'm kind of like the rest. If I was going to get a new truck today it would be an F-150. I still have some life left in this one though. Maybe by the time I get ready for a new one the next Silverado will blow me away and they'll have the bugs worked out of the first model year.

Had an 03 Duramax that I just loved. Pretty minor issues over the years and the thing just worked great- lots of offroad driving a trailer pulling. I bought a 11 Duramax to go to a shorter bed and am even more impressed. Sure there are nitpicks but the thing does everything I want it to do.

These are always good articles from a comments standpoint. I have one of these 2000 2500 with the 6.0l its got a shade over 160k miles and to be honest has only ever had minor mechanical issues. All the flaws with the body and interior are user inflicted. Still on its original brakes, original clutch, original everything pretty much except tires and shocks.
Other than requisit wear and tear from a truck thats 12 years and 160k miles young, there isnt a lot to complain about, and the real kicker was about 2 years ago when gas briefly dropped I appraised it on NADA and KBB and it was still valued at over 10k.
Funny thing is, the only other vehicle I have owed that lasted this long and problem free was a 1993 ford explorer, 13yrs old and 154k miles when I bought my truck.
I think durability has a whole lot to do with the operator and less about the emblem on the grill.

It is tough when you get stuck with a lemon. That sticks with you, in some cases forever. The Dodge Grand Caravan my wife and I owned was crap and it took me a long time to even remotely consider another Dodge product. I would seriously consider a Ram truck but I still wouldn't get another Dodge mini-van. The problem with these last few generations of Chevy trucks center around body and interior quality, durability and longevity. The drivetrains do hold out well but the rest of the truck doesn't (In my neck of the woods they don't).
Every brand has had bad product runs and weak designs. Ford and Dodge has improved but most feel that Chevy hasn't . I do hope that the next generation of GM/Chev trucks are great. Competition is good for the consumer and selling internet bandwidth.

You guys are right. All trucks have their faults whether it be electrical, drivetrain, or body, something will pop up sooner or later. You have to maintain the vehicle, prevention is the best way to keep it runnin. Nothing lasts forever but with maintenance it can prolong the life.

Wow, lots of GM hate on here today.. thought I would share my GM experiance. 2000 silverado new to 151k, fuel pump and 4wd switch. 2007 sierra Max, new to 139k, bad body mount and rear pinion seal. 2007 silverado classic work truck, new to 113k, blown door speaker and a cracked oil filler tube probibly from some stupid kid at the dealership. Im planning on driving this one to 150k also. The gm 800s have been some of the best most reliable trucks I have ever owned..

Admittidly I will more than likely buy an f150 next but that's only because don't like the look of the current GM trucks. Looks aside I would not hesitate to buy another GM truck.

The problem with these last few generations of Chevy trucks center around body and interior quality, durability and longevity. The drivetrains do hold out well but the rest of the truck doesn't (In my neck of the woods they don't).

@Lou, same here. The Chevy's run forever but the bodies and interiors are shot within a few years time. For every person I've ever known who dumped Chevy for Ford it has been the same thing. Body durability and Interior quality. Every single time. Many don't like the looks of this current Silverado either but I'm sure some could get past it if the other two things were fixed. I'm not sure what happened to Chevrolet but they really went down the tubes here.

@Kemo: is this what you call stout? I'd hate to see a weak truck, in your opinion!

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/Reliability.aspx?year=2000&make=Chevrolet&model=Silverado%201500

Looks like they had a few issues!

I think the piston slap would do it for me.Not to mention the rear drum brakes and ugly looks.I guess I just don't have the kinda money some of you all have.I drive a die hard dodge.Love it.
When the time comes to replace my 03 I will do my homework just like I did when I bought my dodge.If I had 55,000 right now to spend it would be a new power wagon.Fits all my needs.Assuming these folks above me are not haters I really appreciate their comments.Is this not a perfect forum for that.I know right now ford has a problem with the raptor bending frames.

Yep, the body durability went into the toilet with this truck. Chevy threw decades of stout history down the drain. This current Silverado has such poor body durability that Chevy flushed it completely into the sewer for good as far as I'm concerned.. You can bend the rear bumpers by hand and put a dent in the sheetmetal with your fingers. The interiors have been complete crap since this truck was introduced as well. The interior in my old 95 Chevy was better quality than what came in 99. Hell, I think the new one is even chintzier. Chevy's turned into absolute junk starting with this truck.

I am curious if that one individual who posts under multiple names claiming to have "always" owned GM product until now has ever actually owned a GM product?

On a separate note, Quadrasteer is the best product to have ever come from General Motors. It's a shame it died.

@ toycrusher84.Sorry, I know two family members who were die hard G.M. fans switch to dodge.

I had a 2006 Ext cab 4x4, 310 HP 5.3 Aluminum block. 3.42:1 gear. The interior was sorry from the get go. You could open the back doors and see the side of the headliner, poor fit & finish. Go through an uneven parking lot, or non perfect road, and hear the plastic in the back make a bunch of noise as it flexs. I never took it offroading (not like it would go far with the street tires from Good Year) but yet I took it 2000 mile round trip to Colorado Springs from northwest Arkansas. On that trip, it developed a popping that was because the cab to frame mount went bad, I heard it on right turns. The tach made a very light gringing noise I coulda put up with, but I wanted it noted I had complained about it before it got out of hand. The plastic in the back of the cab also had alot of white areas, where it looked like somebody forced it together incorrectly. Possibly from them changing the headliner, that never looked better then the original. I looked at my friends 2003 Chevy, same way, same day. I heard a bit of wind noise in both trucks from where the doors come together. And if you want to crawl in the back and zonk out at a truckstop, or at the local dirt track, as my wife did cause it was late and the races weren't over yet: try shutting the front door from the back seat when you do that! The Chevy crew has almost the weakest side impact intgrety, I would hate to see an ext cab vs. all the other trucks with proper doors! The driver seat was comfortable, but looked like after the 25K I had it that it wouldn't be long til it was worn out. The thing sat uneven after putting two Dodge 360 bocks with craks in the bed, about 440 pounds. The paint was messed up where it was two tone (blue and grey) and they left a sharp spot on the inside bed rail that cut my finger. Other then that, it was a pretty good truck, lol! It did get 19.6 mpg @ 75 mph, on said base Good Year tires that was a very street oriented tire. Now I have a 2010 Ram 1500 quad, and my friend traded his in for a 2010 Tundra 5.7 double cab, 4x4, trailer tow package. We both get a laugh thinking about trying to get up these Ozark Mountains ? Hills with our 5.3s.......screaming!

Don't you guys have anything better to do then make up a bunch of "I use to own a Chevy but never will again" stories. Nobody with half a brain believes you and you sound stupid.

Here comes god by notes......

Hmmm... Nice history but almost no information about the "new" light-duty trucks. How about some current info?

@jack,Its your money.No ones telling you what to buy.Their simply stating their experience with the brand.I am glad they are taking the time to share their experience.

Pretty much the same experiences with these trucks here. Poor interior durability, poor body durability.. The electrical system and gages are junk. Rusty frames and horrible sheetmetal rust. Not to mention the infamous steering clunk. I bought one of these trucks new and two used. The trucks themselves are pure garbage. The engines however are worth their weight in gold. I have to say though, if not for the SBC, I'm not so sure I'd be so loyal. I just couldn't tow my Chevrolet racecar to the tracks with a Ford. Many guys are now though and Chevy should know that. Even Dodge has made inroads as of late. I'd say roughly 90% of all cars and trucks in the circuit used to be Chevrolet's. Over the last 10 years I'd estimate that the number of Chevrolet racecars and trucks has dropped to 50%. Ford has picked up 30% and Dodge has picked up 20%. In the NHRA circuit it's even worse. Ford dominates in cars and trucks. Dodge is second and Chevrolet is a distant third. And why the hell is Pontiac even still in NHRA? They even show up on the screen at home on tv. They're dead. This is how screwed up GM is.. I can say without a doubt that THIS truck was where Chevy trucks went downhill. And this current truck hasn't helped things one bit. It's even worse concerning body and interior quality. My last real "truck" from Chevy was my 1995.

I grew up on Chevy trucks in the 80's. Switch to Ford in the late 90's and never looked back.

The looks of the new chevy will be designed by the chinese and will look worst then they ever have.

@Bvonscott- Next time you talk about people on this site, do it on this site. If you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen!!!!!!!!!!

Bvonscott:

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Join Date:Feb 2005
Location:California
Posts:2,268Re: Spied: 2014 GMC Sierra Joins Silverado Test Fleet

Apparently I'm very popular over at that site. I knew pickuptrucks.com was full of whiners and haters that are in lala land but geez. Pretty ridiculous.

http://www.gminsidenews.com/forums/f18/spied-2014-gmc-sierra-joins-silverado-test-fleet-110597/

Bvonscott-aka SierraGS- aka Bob- aka Sierra is a GMC driving screwball. What real man in the world would want to bee seen in something with a GMC badge? I'd take nothing of what that chick says seriously.

I think the most significant feature of of the GMT-800's was the introduction of the Duramax/Allison drivetrain. I have to agree, the 800's did suffer from a poor quality interior. Seats and trim just doesn't hold up well. As for rust, they are about the same as anything else these days. The liquid de-icers in use in some parts of the country are bad news. And I have seen plenty of Super Duty and Ram trucks with significant body rot as well as GM trucks. I have a hard time understanding Ford brand loyalty after so many years of lousy diesel engines. The transmissions were junk too, but often the engines gave so much trouble the owner sold the truck before the transmission went out. Gas engines were not much better, with 'weak as tea' 2 valve Mod motors struggled under loads, the 3 valve 5.4L had much trouble with siezed spark plugs and cam phasers. 3 valve V-10's were pretty good, but you can't get them in pickups any more. The 6.7L Powerstroke seems to be better, but problems are popping up with the HPOP's. 6.2L V-8 and 6R-140 transmissions? Time will tell.......

Not the HPOP (the 6.7L doesn't have one), the the high pressure fuel pump. My mistake.

I grew up on Chevy trucks in the 80's. Switch to Ford in the late 90's and never looked back.

-Me too. Well, I didn't switch in the 90's but I dumped my 2002 Silverado for a 2000 F-150. The body was solid and the dash plastics were thick and tough. The seats were also better built. I was so let down by the 2002 Chevy I bought I didn't know what to think about Chevrolet any longer. I just stayed with Ford. In 05 I bought a brand new F-150. Easily the best new truck I've ever owned. No piston slap, no cheap interiors, fantastic looks and a sturdy body. Chevy trucks turned to crap.

The guy from GMI is mad because he got caught posting a wish list as fact. He got so mad the other day he threatened to not post any more news. Boo hoo. Who needs your info if it is not facutal and is just biased wish lists?

I've owned both Ford and GM trucks and they both have their issues and strong points. I haven't owned a dodge but my Dad has two of them and they are more of the same, some issues and some strong points. My take is this, don't be ignorant and openly rude to other truck owners just because they drive a different brand than you prefer! They just might be the one that has to pull you out when your stuck or help you out when your broke down on the side of the road! It happens to everyone!

I come onto this site every now and then just to see what the latest info is and it's just a pathetic display. I'm convinced one guy, with various bogus names like "Ken Winters or Larry Baker" just writes continual GM bashings. He's always "had a terrible Chevy" and his Ford is always so much better. About 3 years ago this was a decent site with decent posters. Now it just sucks.

As for the topic, I have a 99 Silverado and it's been a very good truck. Different little things here and there but nothing you wouldn't expect from a 212k mile truck. The body is rust free, but I do agree rust can be a problem on these trucks sometimes. Anyway, this site sucks.

Still driving our 1999 GMC 5.3 with 220,000 miles. Easy to work on and cheap to fix. Piston slap is there on cold starts, but so far no problem. The motor is magic, starts on first spark. Truck weighs nearly 800 lbs less than the new ones, so it is quite a bite faster. Last repair was replacing the intake manifold and gaskets.
Transmission,water pump, alternator & starter are original. Mileage ranges from 17 to 19.5 mpg, Quite a bit better than our '98 Ford 5.4 Expedition that was hard to work on and broke more frequently. Our 16 year old son is taking over the GMC and have bought a new Avalanche which is quite a bite slower at nearly 6000 lbs. Truck'n magazine favorites for customizing are the 99-06 GM's.
You can do a lot to spunk up at 5.3 and they are cheap to salvage.

@DJD what are the issues?What are the strong points?I think thats what this wonderful site is all about.

I've never owned a Chevy/GMC truck, once owned a Mitsubishi/Dodge D-50 (back in '83) and now own a '90 Ford. Now, I'll admit I've seen some real crap out there from all brands, but I also have to say that the rusty ones usually come from salty environments like coastal areas and northern states where they salt the roads (repeatedly) to cut the ice. I might note that my '90 F-150 has almost no body rust, no perforations and only surface rust on the frame underneath--it's still solid. However, on looking at the service history (CarFax, whatever...) I discovered the truck lived its first 10 years in central Georgia, where it almost never snows and was far enough away from the coast not to get wave-rot. Its second decade it survived almost unused in a carport/lean-to in Pennsylvania with enough sun on it to dry-rot the tires and brake lines and fade the shift indicator--yet the body remained almost rust free and even the bed looks almost as good as new.

The point? Where you live and how you maintain your vehicle can have a huge effect on how well said vehicle survives. I've never had a car rust out from under me. On the other hand, I've seen Fords become rust buckets almost as quickly as I've seen Chevys and Dodges rust out. Will yours survive long enough to earn "Antique" tags? Mine will.

I bought an '04 Silverado brand new, and I really liked it - at first. At 2,800 miles the transmission began to act up, going into a stall in stop and go traffic when I'd least expect it. Three trips to dealer did nothing to rectify the problem. It also developed lots of squeaks and rattles that I could never figure out where they originated. Then, the speedometer broke unexpectedly, and the driver door window switch began to malfunction. After six years of ownership and dwindling confidence in its ability to hold up much longer, I traded it in on a 2010 Dodge Ram 1500 R/T, and I've never been happier.

We had Chevy trucks from 1985 to 1998. In 1998 we went to Ford and it has been Ford ever since.



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