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


If you're sick of these 'we had Chevy and now only buy fords' posts, give me a hec yeah!!!!!!!!!

Bob - Hec yeah!!!!!!!

Hec yeah!

@Hemi V8 you said Ford has a problem with the Raptors bending frames, well if you jump and hit a ditch@100plus mph yes there may be a problem and it is usually with the dumb a#$ss behind the wheel. I get so tired of hearing about bending frames on these Raptors when stupid people do the crazy things they do to them. My God man, an IDIOT could see that.

I have a 2006 Sierra crew cab I bought new that people can't believe it's six years old. A truck's appearance is all about how you up keep them. I live in the KY coalfields and it's a big job to keep a vehicle looking good but you can do it.

Anyways, my truck has had the typical quibbles with this bodystyle. I had the steering shaft replaced at about 20k, had a sensor on gas tank replaced around 40k, an actuator that controls the power door lock on driver side at about 40k, and an actuator that contols temperature for the driver side a/c contols at about 48k and all was done under warranty by my selling dealer even though the electrical stuff the truck was out of
warranty. My only out of pocket expense for repairs on the truck were for 2 a/c clutches (one at about 52k and one at about 67k) and one steering wheel radio control button because the light went out.

I have almost 79k on truck now and everything works as it did when it was new and aside from six years worth of minor scratches and what not the truck still looks brand new but I do put in more time and effort on takong care of a vehicle than most do.

I am happy with it. I actually prefer the looks of the current trucks but I'm still atleast a year away before I can buy a new truck so I plan on waiting for the new ones anyway.

But my truck has the flex fuel 5.3 (L59) and a 3.73 gear and is 4wd and average 17.3 mpg driving to work on a roughly 28 mile round trip on these crooked roads in southeast Kentucky. I can get between 13-15 pulling my racecar too. That's hard to beat IMO.

You might know all the Bobs could give a Heck Yeah and couldn't even spell it right. How STUPID!!!!!

To Start off I had:

99 Silverado z71 ECSB 5.3 new to 95k no problems at all.
01 Silverado z71 ECSB( 5.3 17k to 55k miles front and steerining problems(it was salvaged title and i jumped it in the desert all the time)
04 Silverado z71 ECSB 5.3 New to 74k. G80 went out and battery. Most comfortable seats I ever sat in.
04 Silverado SS new to 85k Great truck no issues at all
07 Silverado LTZ 6.0 new to 74k miles no issues at all.

I traded in my 07 for a C63 Mercedes Benz not for another truck. My wife drives a 2006 Tahoe new to 85k miles no issues and wont let me get here a new one. All trucks I spent no money on except gas, tires and oil change except the couple little issues I stated. I have multiple friends with 99-2012 trucks on the farm and they outlast every Ford or Dodge. Lets not get into the power strokes or the F-150 transmissions that wont last more the 55k miles. The trucks at the time were touted for their interiors but I will admit in the later years they looked dated and cheap but were still very comfortable and drove amazing with no issues.

I love GM engineers; when the company tells them to do something, they really deliver. The recent case of Chevy whipping Honda in Indy cars is a great example. Unfortunately sometimes GM management makes cost the top priority.

I owned a 2000 Ford 2001 Ford 2002 Ford so on and so on

Also owned Rams and Toyota 2000- 2012 but all give up the dust two blocks from the dealer so switched to GM. Never looked back.

@ kw If your so sick of hearing about how weak the frame is on those RAPTORS then go to HONDA Not pick up trucks com.


Actually KW is right...There have only been a few incidents of Raptors with bent frames and they have been related to morons that take 10+ feet of air at a 100mph. If you replicated that event in a Dodge Powerwagon you would have alot more issues with it than a bent frame, assuming you survived.

Anyway, I agree with everyone else about the GM-800 series trucks. Awful awful trucks. The Vortec engines were ok...They were generally competitve and seemed to last pretty good despite their piston slap issues. The bodys as already stated many times though were HORRIBLE.

I used to work for a monument company and one of our work trucks a 2005 Chevy Silverado 1500 RCLB. That truck was litterally falling apart around itself, Peice's of the interior were litterally falling off of it...I once closed the door on it and the entire interior door panal just feel off into the floor board. Had the typical rust issue's...Mostly on the frame, and I don't even live in the rust belt. The 5.3L it had did suffer from piston slap but generally always ran well. Transmission had to be replaced at 60,000 miles, Radio went out at 42,000 miles, replaced the tach at 63,000 miles. And the tailgate latch broke 3 times during my employment with the monument company.

Eventually they swapped it out for a 2006 Ford F-150 RCLB and the last I heard that 06 F-150 is still working for them with well over 150,000 HARD WORKED miles on it.

Don't take this as a hate post...Its not intented to be so...Yes I am a Ford guy threw and threw, but I do honestly like the pre 98 Chevy's just fine...I like the pre 88 models even better. But Chevy really just doesn't make a decent truck anymore. I always felt like Fords were better IMO...But I never thought I would be saying Dodge made a superior truck to GM...But here I am eating those words.

@ Nate Thankyou for the truth. Now HemiV8 go back to your Honda site as you should fit right in!

It's been a long time
Since I've been gone
I've been alone here
My '92 Silvy has grown old
It falls to pieces, I'm falling
Fell to pieces and my truck's still falling
Every time I'm falling down
All alone it falls to pieces
Everytime I turn around, it's falling to pieces!!!!!!

"bigger, faster, stronger and smarter"

...and RUSTIER! :)

I've been a GM service tech for 18 years. As previously noted. Common problems on this truck are mostly body and interior related. They do have cluster guage issues and steering shaft clunk but that's an easy fix. Rust is the biggest problem I've noticed on this particular truck. Severe frame rust and rust on the rockers-cab bottoms and beds is very common within a few years time. I will say though, I've noticed this to be a common character trait among all of GM's vehicles of the particular era. Cars, mini vans, trucks.. The interior quality was also a poor GM trait across the board. A look in the new Cruze or Malibu shows a much improved use of material quality. Most of the used car dealers here just go south to auctions and get these trucks and bring them up north to sell. The ones that started out up north don't last very long. Piston slap is common after about 50k or so but I've yet to see an engine let go because of it. They'll do it for a minute when cold but once warm they're quiet as a mouse. Very reliable drivetrains. We've pulled several drivetrains out of these for hotrods and other racecars and just scrapped the trucks. The 5.3's are becoming a very popular stockcar engine. The 6.0's are becoming very popular in hotrods- 1/4 mile cars.

@ Nate M."I once closed the door on it and the entire interior door panal just feel off into the floor board. "

See this is the BS I'm talking about. This is completely made up and anyone who has ever taken the door panel off a is vintage GM truck knows that the statement above is impossible. The door panel has three or four screws holding it to the door and a number of hooked plastic anchors and well as the top of the panel haging on the window seal.

Abysmal interiors, abysmal body quality. After owning the first one in 99 it was starting to feel and look like a 15 year old truck within 5. It had the piston knock, steering clunk and tachometer-speedometer failures everyone else is complaining about. I had 2 sets of rotors put on in the 6 years I had it. Same busted tailgate handle too. At the time I thought I just got a lemon. Bought a new one in 06 with the nice hood and it felt much tighter to drive. Then it too had the same rusty frame issue by the time the winter of 07 was over though. It's pretty ridiculous IMO. I had tons of body rust on my 99 when I traded it in and I keep my vehicles washed and waxed regularly. My 07 never did develop piston slap so many they fixed that problem? The dash did not creak near as bad as my 99 either. It did have yet another broken tailgate handle though. Geez GM.. I thought these were trucks?

In 2011 I traded the 07 off on a new F-150 Platinum with the Ecoboost. The difference in build quality is night and day. I cannot get over how there is virtually not a creak or rattle in these interiors anywhere. It's extremely solid and tight. Not even a hint of windnoise which my Silverado's always had. I did test drive the 2011 Silverado even though I'm not fond of the styling at all. I can say after the test drive that I was pretty much done. The interior on the brand new truck was just as bad as my 07 was. Horrible fit and finish and cheap feeling plastics everywhere. It even had the same windnoise. I was not impressed one bit. Oddly enough, the salesman at our Ford dealer was the same guy who sold me both of my prior Silverado's at the Chevrolet dealer. He told me after the fact when I was buying my Platinum that they used to shy away from trade ins on those body Silverado's because of these same issues. He said they were hard to sell. Chevrolet has much work to do just to even match what Ford is offering their customers now. I didn't look at the Dodge but after seeing a few new ones on the road, they look very nice. Much nicer than the Silverado right now.

@ Nate M."I once closed the door on it and the entire interior door panal just feel off into the floor board. "

See this is the BS I'm talking about. This is completely made up and anyone who has ever taken the door panel off a is vintage GM truck knows that the statement above is impossible.

@Jack, I've never had a panel fall off on a truck but I can tell you our Chevy work vans from the late 90's-early 2000's had plastic interior parts falling apart all the time. I've had many of door handles break right off in my hand when pulling the doors shut. Center consoles that literally fell off the dash when I'd set a couple of soda's in the cup holders. They were only held on with thin brittle tabs of plastic. Every one we had we epoxied with plastic weld. The door handles always had to have fabricated metal inserts put in them to keep the handle from coming off. As for the door panels themselves, you couldn't put tools in the bins or they'd fall right out because the plastics literally broke all apart from Very minor use. We couldn't find them at the salvageyards because they are all broke. GM wants over 500 bucks for a new single panel. The bins would eventually break off from the main panel body and fall on the ground. Again, we had to fabricate our own metal bins. The door panels on our vans would never last more than a years time without being broken. Every panel on every van we have to literally drill holes in and screw it to the door with sheetmetal screws so the door panel didn't fall off. The plastic clips didn't hold them on because the main body which held the round parts of the clips would break. GM went through a seriously MEGA CHEAP time period there. Our 03-06 Chevy vans have been much better but still not great. Very poor seat durability, door hinges and door handles themselves still binding and breaking. Paints coming right off the bodies especially on the hoods. The new black bumpers are rusted out within a few years time. The plastics on the interiors were slightly thicker so they last longer. The company has bought nothing but E-series vans since 07 because of these durability issues. The E-series interiors are built like tanks in comparison to the Chevy's. While I'm talking about cargo vans, this is the same old story. Our Chevy vans always ran great (and yes every one has piston slap now) but the damn van itself would fall apart. The Ford's don't fall apart like that.

When you look at that top picture, this truck almost looks like an El Camino with a higher roofline and not really a Truck. Compared to the 98 that it replaced, it's a sad sorry turd. You do a side by side comparison of the 1998 Silverado to the 1999 Silverado and it becomes almost embarassing how bad the Silverado went downhill. I'll go with the 80 year run theory. 1918-1998 Chevy trucks kicked so much ass it wasn't even funny.

1999-2012 Chevy trucks are nothing but a shell of what they once were not only in looks but in build quality. It's 100% clear cut to me as to exactly when, where and why Ford took over and now Dodge too. Chevy needs to go back to the past and find their soul.

@ Randall
"You do a side by side comparison of the 1998 Silverado to the 1999 Silverado and it becomes almost embarassing how bad the Silverado went downhill. I'll go with the 80 year run theory. 1918-1998 Chevy trucks kicked so much ass it wasn't even funny."

Are you kidding me. The 99-07 Chevys where a huge step forward over the previouse generation. It was stronger lighter more capable drove better rode better. Did you even read the article? The GM800 Chevy/GMC outsold the Ford pretty much it's entire 7 year run.

It's a 5 going on 6 year old truck up against two trucks that are much newer, go figure it will seem older with less build quality. Build quiality in the last 5 years has mad a huge turn in everything.

My buddies 04 FX4 is a field of grey hard plastic and rattles. It is the circle of life, the 07 LTZ was class leading until the 09 F-150's came out, it was class leading until the new rams came out. Ram made a shitty product back in the 90's and 00's and look where they are at now. I have no doubt GM engineers know what they are up against and will do what they need to, especially since they are making good amounts money again. Some one earlier said it right that he for gave them for their interiors when he found out they were hurting for money, but atleast they didn't skimp on the drivetrain durability. Guess that explains my buddies truck and the previous F-150's.

Some of you need to stop comparing a 3k mile new Platinum pick up with the new age interior quality to your old 100k mile truck they designed when they were hurting for money Don...

PS, GM has been known for bullet proof drivetrains, I would rather have a motor that lasts and a few "Minor" interior rattles then better interior and other "Major" problems that plagued that other trucks (Dodge, Toyota & Ford).

When you look at that top picture, this truck almost looks like an El Camino with a higher roofline and not really a Truck. Compared to the 98 that it replaced, it's a sad sorry turd. You do a side by side comparison of the 1998 Silverado to the 1999 Silverado and it becomes almost embarassing how bad the Silverado went downhill. I'll go with the 80 year run theory. 1918-1998 Chevy trucks kicked so much ass it wasn't even funny.

1999-2012 Chevy trucks are nothing but a shell of what they once were not only in looks but in build quality

@Randall - YEP.

Are you kidding me. The 99-07 Chevys where a huge step forward over the previouse generation. It was stronger lighter more capable drove better rode better.

@Jack, they were not stronger in any way at all. The sheetmetal got way thinner which is precisely Why it was lighter. They got flimsy as hell and the new ones are even worse! That's not a truck, that's a car. I'm inclined to agree that even the looks of these things started to look more like a soft car with a bed. The 2wd version of this truck looked like a lowrider from the factory. They may have rode better (like a car) but they were an awful truck save for the new engines. The last great Truck Chevy ever had was the GMT-400. Stick a 6.2 and a 4l80e in a 98 Chevy and you'd have the perfect 1500. Maybe update the interior with King Ranch quality and options.

Chevy trucks died once the GMT-400 was done. The new HD chassis is stout but it still suffers from torsion bar rigidity ride issues. I'd take an 87 Chevy frame with the SFA, give it swing arms with progressive rate coils, box the frame and put it up against a new HD any day of the week.

the 07 LTZ was class leading until the 09 F-150's came out

@Tyler, no way. The 2004 F-150 Lariat (not even the King Ranch) was worlds better than what GM introduced 3 years after the fact. They had 3 years to come up with something better and didn't. The plastic quality, leather quality and design were nowhere near as good. The 2009 F-150 is the same truck as the 2004 albeit freshened up. I'll be a Chevrolet man till the day I die but there's no denying we have been at the bottom of the truck barrell for a solid 12 year run. There's a good reason why Dodge and GM are both using the same company as Ford to build their truck interiors now. Dodge has already begun. GM's will be with the new model launch.

Okay...Just went through and read most of the comments...there's a lot of hate in here!
My own personal experience with my 99 Silverado (linked above) in the I owned it (I bought it used with 155,000 miles):

Heater core plugged (I was able to pull the hoses and blow it out and it heats fine now)
Fixed the 3rd door latch (these are JUNK)
Replaced the passenger side mirror
Replaced the turn signal/multiswitch
Replaced the windshield wiper motor (also: JUNK)
Replaced the mirror positioning switch
Replaced the swaybar bushings
Replaced the entire rear axle assembly because the G80 exploded and took the R&P with it (again: JUNK)
Replaced the fuel pump twice (the second time was my fault as I tried to get away with a cheap chinese pump and it only lasted 3 months...I can't blame Chevy for that. Second time I used a Bosch.)

Now that probably sounds like a lot, but I bought it knowing full well that it was going to have issues and the price I paid reflected that.

Since going through it when I first bought it, It's been solid so far. Starts great (I live in N. MN where the temp gets to -40F in the winters). Runs great. Mileage is normal for a truck (14-17 depending on variables)

What you DON'T see in the list above is the part Chevy got right: the engine, transmission, and transfer case. That goes a long way with me. Mine doesn't even have the piston slap that's supposed to be pretty common on this vintage. I mean, yeah, the thing's a bucket of rust, but it still functions more or less as it did when it was new...I can still tow my skidsteer or my boat, haul a bunch of stuff in the bed, drive it to work through a foot of snow...

Plus, it's quite liberating to drive something when you don't really care at all how it looks. I can toss firewood into the bed or take it brush beating to find new places to hunt and not really give a damn. If I had a nice, new truck I'd have to worry about how it looks and keep it clean (NOT TO MENTION make insane payments on it).

Mine's paid for.


I really hate to break it to you but the GMT-400 trucks are crap compared to the new GM trucks in every measurable catagory. It's honestly like comparing an Apple 2E to a new desktop.

@HEMI V8 - I did some more research on those bent Raptor frames. It all focus's on 10 of 14 Raptors on the same run. I posted all of my findings with links on the "2012 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Off-Road Trail Test Posted by Mark Williams | November 15, 2011 thread. The link is also on the homepage.
As far as I can tell - the only reports of bent frames are with these 10 trucks. 10 trucks out of 30,000 doesn't sound like a huge epidemic. BTW all 10 trucks had aftermarket Deaver springs and IIRC tuner kits.


2007 Silverado Comments...

Car and driver:
feels as rigid as a supreme-court decision, so squeaks and groans are rare. American-luxo interior styling

Inside line:
The Chevy's interior is a big step forward for GM trucks, and it drew praise for its legible instrumentation, excellent materials and general quietness. Materials quality was one of the previous Silverado's biggest flaws and Chevrolet has woken up on this front, too. We wouldn't call the dash plastics the best stuff we've ever seen, but they're as good, or better, than any other full-size truck

Truck trend:
The LTZ Silverado garnered high praise for its clean, simple, almost elegant dash. the Chevy comes far closer to replicating a luxury sedan or coach.

The interior design is even more impressive than the sheetmetal, with Chevy's fake wood earning higher marks than the Cadillac's timber. All the sheens, textures, and colors suggest that GM's benchmark may have been Audi sedans, rather than Ford, Dodge, Nissan, and Toyota pickups. Even the entry-level dash fitted to our Sierra looks classy. And our appreciation of this cabin only deepened while blasting down the highway or bouncing along the orchard trail. The seats (front and back) offer great support, and the interior's hush is never disturbed by a squeak or a rattle.

Do I need to keep going? That is all 2007 Silverado comments by the way.

I will say it again and this holds true fore each of the big three trucks, every year an all new one comes out it is class leading. In 2009 both the F-150 and Ram were new, each one took comparison tests. This is how it will always go. In 2004 the F-150 was the class leader. In 2002 the Ram was, in 99 the Silverado.

I sure do think Ford makes a better product at this point in time, but that changes every few years. I am a GM guy and will stay so, but I sure appreciate what Ford does and has done and ditto with dodge recently. Competition makes anything better, this is a good case in point!

Not to mention I think too much emphasis is being put on interiors and looks and not enough on the truck it self. Kind of going off what Jack said, The 800's were a better all around truck then the 400's, the 900's were better then the 800's in terms of capability, drivetrains, performance, ect... Styling doesn't make or break a truck and is in the eye of the beholder, what looks good to some won't to others. Look at those weirdos that dress in skinny jeans all tatted up with piercings, some one prefers that over the GQ models...

One final note, those 2007 trucks won most of the comparison tests during its introduction over the competition because it was the best full size truck at that time!

I really hate to break it to you but the GMT-400 trucks are crap compared to the new GM trucks in every measurable catagory. It's honestly like comparing an Apple 2E to a new desktop.

@Jack, not even close. I'm post 34 on this link.

My 2007 I bought brand new was a pile of junk compared to my GMT400. These experiences are dead on the money concerning the GMT800's and 900's. They Are rustbuckets in the North. It's common knowledge. They Do have terribly cheap interiors. And the body durability is horrible. The GMT400 was Chevy's last 'Great' truck. And no, it's not the engines, transmissions or transfer cases. Those are bulletproof.. Even with the piston slap. Every post on here I've read through confirms the same thing. Chevy has the best powertrains out there. I've yet to ever hear anyone complain about Chevy drivetrains. There's a reason that when the trucks fall apart and go to be crushed that people still pull the engines/transmissions and put them to use elsewhere. The drivetrains themselves last forever.. That's Not the problem! It's the Truck itself that carries those engines that is the problem.

@Tyler, I completely disagree with you and I couldn't care less what Car&Driver says. The 2004-current F-150 is so much better looking than the Silverado that came out in 07 it's not even funny. Ford can't build this model fast enough while Chevy can't give theirs away. I also agree with Terry on the interiors. The LTZ was decent and really should have just been the standard interior. The LT interior however is almost embarassing. I remember seeing it when they first hit the dealerships and wondering what the hell happened? If you honestly think that the standard Chevy interior that was 3 years newer was nicer than the 3 year old Ford interior I'd like to have whatever you're under the influence of. Every Chevy guy I know thought the Chevy interior blew. It looked (and still looks) like something from the 1990's. I'll give you the LTZ was ok though. It still wasn't on par with the Lariat or even the King Ranch which itself dates back to 1999. 13 years later and Chevy has nothing to touch the King Ranch... Chevy hasn't been the leader in truck interiors since the 1995 refreshed interior for the Silverado came out. At the time it was nicer than anything Ford or Dodge had IMO. I'd say they were close with the 97-03 F-150 Lariat vs. the 99-03 Silverado LT-w/leather. Nothing topped the King Ranch quality though. Once the 04 F-150 came out Chevy hasn't been able to touch it yet. I'm not saying the won't, I'm saying it has yet to happen.

@ Tom

You can think what you want to about the GM800 and 900 but you are wrong all the way down the line. GM trucks are better then they have ever been in history. The interior material are far better than enything used in the 80's just goolge ABS plastic. I don't have any problems with rust but then I live in TX so maybe it is worse in the north I don't know.

I have owned 5 vehicles with the LS engines in them (2 trucks, a Camaro, GTO and now a Corvette) and not one has had a piston slap problem. However, I would take a piston slap problem over having to pull heads to replace spark plugs which is a common problem on Fords 4.6. Well at least as common as the piston slap.

@Jack, I'm sure you don't have a piston slap problem in Texas. The engines don't do it in the summertime at all. Not that I've ever heard anyway. It's when it get's cold outside that the noise becomes more of an annoyance. Feel free to visit sometime. It is indeed real. I know nothing about Ford engines... Never owned a Ford. I still have my 94 Chevy and a 2010 Ram. I stand by my body durability statements. It's a real issue on the GM truck forums and with everyone I know who's owned these current body trucks. It is my main gripe about the 900's. My 400 was a much better built truck. I also stand by my interior quality statements. Yes, the interior plastics are better than what was available in the 90's. There's way too much hard plastic though for something so modern. It seems Very cheap by today's standards. I also had far too many creaking plastic noises in my 07. Concerning the cloth, the seat cloth in my 94 is far tougher than what I had in my 07. The cloth seats in these current Silverado's is by far the worst in the industry. The fit and finish is horrible on them.

Good grief! I just read through all 4 pages of this! What the heck was GM thinking??? I didn't buy one of these new Silverado's because I thought they were ugly. Now I'm Thrilled I didn't. Horrible.

And This.. On page 4 of the Acorn Damage GM page. This is EXACTLY what I see here in Baltimore on these GMT800's. Good grief GM! Spend some money and fix your trucks! Rust Buckets is dead on the money.

@ Tom

As I said before you can say and believe what you want but its simply not true. You could say the interiors lag behind Ford and maybe even Dodge at this point in time and I could see that and even agree to a point but to call them horrible is just a ridiculous statement. Again the intereiors of the new GM's are light years ahead of the trucks in the 80's and 90's. The new trucks are better in any measurable way you could think of.

If the GM trucks were as bad as you think they are their sales would have dropped off the cliff and they's be a distant memory. But the fact of the matter is Chevy/GMC has out sold Ford 8 of the last 10 years. You don't do that making horrible trucks.

-Yep, that's the rust issues alright. Typical of these 800's. Everyone in Michigan knows about this. Apparently everyone Everywhere knows about this... These trucks have terrible rust issues. Not just the sheetmetal but the frames too. Even the brakelines. GM got cheap as hell on this truck. Pure garbage. And the Chevy diehards might be able to deal with the piston slap but you're average Joe who isn't brand loyal to the SBC is not so forgiving. This next Gen 5 engine better not have it or there will be outrage. These 800's completely ruined Chevy's truck reputation in these parts with everyone I know. The 900 was so poorly done that Chevy has never recovered. All I can say is this new Silverado better be so over the top and oozing with quality it's sick. There's no other way they'll ever win back all of their lost customers from Ford and Dodge without it.

As I said before you can say and believe what you want but its simply not true. You could say the interiors lag behind Ford and maybe even Dodge at this point in time and I could see that and even agree to a point but to call them horrible is just a ridiculous statement. Again the intereiors of the new GM's are light years ahead of the trucks in the 80's and 90's. The new trucks are better in any measurable way you could think of.

@Jack, I'm not fond of the cloth interiors either. The rear seat in my Sierra has been re-covered twice because they were improperly done at the factory. My dealer's bodyshop tried to fix it once and screwed it up. So a professional upholstry shop was contracted through my dealer and paid by GM to fix it properly. My drivers seat has been re done 3 times in 6 years. The body shop was able to do that though. They told me they've recovered many of these seats under warranty for the 07-current models. It's like the material was cut and stitched all wrong. The material is horrible for any liquid spills and everything (and I mean Everything) sticks to it. Like lint, hair etc.. I'd say the interior plastics leave alot to be desired but I got 8 grand off so for my money I can deal with it. Mine doesn't creak yet or anything. I do have a little wind noise but nothing terrible. The truck runs great, no piston slap but I did get a bulletin on it. The body's are rather flimsy though. I wouldn't use one for work. As a daily driver they're fine though. All in all it's a good truck for the dollar I'd say. Not the best like I said, I stole the thing so..

@George, same here in Montana. I lived in Minnesota for two years and and they looked just like this there as well. It's about impossible to find one of these trucks in decent shape anymore. Oh well, maybe GM has learned. I wouldn't count on it though


Says the fanboy with Ford in his name. Your opinion is null and void. I listed 4 seperate Automobile oriented tests and you come back with that? Open your eyes a little man. My buddies 04 FX4 is dreary grey plastic and rattles a fair amount. There is no way on this earth that interior is better then the 07 LTZ even if it has lariet or king ranch stamped on it, still the same dash and materials. The leather is the only thing quality over the other ford interiors with the KR.

All that a side I am talking LTZ not standard. Yes there was a big difference in looks...

Same here guys. These things are rot buckets in Iowa. Look at picture 10. That is normal. The square wheel openings get so rotted out that they become round. Rotted rockers, cabs, beds, frames... Same crap I see every day of my life. Just a constant reminder to never buy a Chevy/GMC if you want a truck that will last. These new ones aren't rusty yet but they're smashed up everywhere. The tinfoil sheetmetal is Real. Never in history have I seen so many people within a 5 years span or so dump their Chevy trucks and run to Ford's. This whole state used to be Chevy country. Over the last 10 years it's not even close anymore. It's Ford all the way. Not just Ford trucks, people all drive Ford cars now too because of it. Chevy lost out Big Time!

Sounds like most of you are either trolls or bad luck. I owned several Fords and Chevys and rarely had a problem. Nothing major.

I currently drive a 2011 FX4 5.0 and is the best truck I ever owned! Have not owned a RAM but may change since RAM is doing some very good things in their new 2013 truck.

I'm looking for Truck right now.
Always be a Ford guy.
Today (giving one more chance to Chevy) I tested drove a 2000 Silverado 2500 HD 6.0L with 128k on it.
What can I say: THIS IS A BIGGEST PIECE OF CRAP !!!!!!!!!!
Forgive me but this is true.
The quality compare to FORD is like Heaven and Earth.
With 128k miles on it it drives like a CRAP!
The quality,interior panel,locks,seats,doors is CRAP!
Thats my experience with Chevrolet Silverado.
Now looking for Ford F-150,for a real truck for my needs.
People,avoid this Chevy CRAP!
They "maybe" (I'm not sure) make a good car BUT Trucks!
Not a my cap of tea.
Very disappointed.

There is no way on this earth that interior is better then the 07 LTZ even if it has lariet or king ranch stamped on it, still the same dash and materials. The leather is the only thing quality over the other ford interiors with the KR.

@Tyler, I own a Silverado LTZ. It's far nicer than the LT and I agree with many it should have come standard. That said, the leather is Not quality leather in any sense of the word. I also have a cracked dashboard which has become a fairly common issue with the plastic on the LTZ dash. My truck is only 4 years old. The leather is on par with what's in my C6 Corvette. Decent at best. This type of leather is good for about 2-3 years before all of the cracks, tears and wear sets in. As I said, it's not quality product. I've not seen the FX4 you referenced but I have been in a Lariat and King Ranch. I have not been in the Platinum. I feel Ford does use a higher quality grade of leather even on their base Lariat leather package. The King Ranch is out of this world. It's something I would have bought but Chevrolet doesn't even have it. I will say this, if not for my loyalty to the Chevrolet Corvette and old Chevrolet cars, I'm not sure I'd own the Silverado with the Ford being out there as nice as it is now. I'd most likely own a Platinum or King Ranch F-150 instead. I've stayed loyal to Chevrolet though. They do however need to take their game to a whole new level if they want to continue to get my money. I probably would not buy this truck again.

Its funny how all the Ford people say that the Chevy's are junk while Chevy guys...who actually drive them everyday..will more often than not tell you that the interior is perfect for a work truck but not as nice as a King ranch, and that they are doing just fine... 117K on my 05 Duramax.. no issues, 211K on my 2007 GMC 2500hd 6.0l no issues (unless a tear in the seat counts), replaced throtle body @186k (for remote start) and rebuilt rear end after running into a boulder in the middle of a gravel road doing 50... and 02 sensor and brake switch...not very much for 211k oil field miles... AND STILL FACTORY FRONT END COMPNENTS to everyones disbelief... my point... Chevy trucks are just fine and the only reason that Ford guys say they are junk is becuase they are jealous... oh and as far as rust goes, if you wash under your truck it wont rust. It is just amazing to me how Ford people can have so many issues with thier Chevy's..LOL half my family drives Chevy's with no issues... You Ford guys need get off the internet and go pick up your fellow stranded Ford owners... like the 6.4L Powerstroke I just seen getting loaded on a trailer on the side of I-40.....which Ironically was being pulled by a Duramax.


Mercedes Piston Slap,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=6fbe9a111065e4e9&biw=1440&bih=780

Chevy Piston Slap,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=6fbe9a111065e4e9&biw=1440&bih=780

Toyota Piston Slap,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=6fbe9a111065e4e9&biw=1440&bih=780

Dodge Piston Slap,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=6fbe9a111065e4e9&biw=1440&bih=780

BMW piston slap,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=6fbe9a111065e4e9&biw=1440&bih=780

That's it, no vehicle is worth buying now!

What did you prove? That you know how to use Google?

@ Alex

I think we're proving the same point. That being that the "LS" piston slap isn't unique to GM.

@Jack, I see. Yes you are right.

Alen, Jack and Jason sure are funny guys. GM has a serious piston slap issue and a serious rust issue. They have a serious body durability issue and a poor interior issue. All they (or HE) can do is make excuses... Rust and piston slap can happen to any vehicle. With GM's though, it's so widespread and guaranteed it's disgusting.

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