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View Poll Results: Which Is Better For Daily Driver/Winter Beater?
1994-1998 Silverado Z71 27 90.00%
1994-1998 S10 ZR2 3 10.00%
Voters: 30. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-26-2011, 08:55 AM   #1
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Default S10 Zr2 vs Silverado Z71

Which do you prefer?

Pros of S10 Zr2 - Cheaper, Better Fuel Mileage, Easier to Park/Maneuver if you live somewhere with lots of traffic(I do).

Cons - Less space than Full size, less power with the 4.3 then with the 5.7, less hauling/towing capacity.

Pros of Z71 - Power, tow/haul capacity, cabin space.

Cons of Z71 - Bad Fuel Mileage!, can be hard to park in some cities, higher price tag.


Overall I am pretty sure a zr2 would do everything I need of a truck, but the silverado actually has that true truck image...and the s10 is a bit of a poser.

Also i've seen that zr2's are phenomenal off road...I know z71's are good, but aren't the zr2's better?
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:26 AM   #2
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My dad had a s10 Blazer with a 4.3 in it the fuel economy was no better than my 89 4wd Silverado when I had it.... They suck fuel so I would drop that from the equation....
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:12 AM   #3
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+1, the 4.3s are not known for good mpg, and in ZR2 outfit, they would be about the worst I would think. So your basically down to cost, though the Z71 is a much more capable, and I would say reliable machine (I have a 98 Z71, bought it with 120 000miles on it, still going strong, completely stock, lol).

One thing about the vortex v8s you need to watch for is head gasket issues. I would make sure the one you buy has the upgraded aftermarket head gaskets (factory replacements will fail over and over). This job can be done at home (I did mine), but it is a pain in the a$$ to do, and if you don't get your distributer back in, exactly the way it came out, you will throw a check engine light.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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I currently own a 97 ZR2. Its a great truck, but would rather have a Z71. The fuel mileage between the two is practically the same (I average 14-15 with the ZR2). Also, if you get a regular cab Silverado I bet its just as easy to park/manuever- the Zr2 is an extended cab, id be willing to bet that wheelbase is almost the same. I think the Silverado is a better 'do it all' truck.

With that said, my ZR2 does everything I need it to, winter truck/haul my dirtbike. But when this thing dies (if it ever dies- 160K and going strong) im going to get a 99-02 Silverado.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:36 AM   #5
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If it has the spider fuel injection stay away. I know they used it on all 4.3 not sure of the years.
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Old 10-26-2011, 11:55 AM   #6
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Yeah 4.3 do not get great gas mileage. You could easily get better mileage out of a 5 speed z71. I would stick with the z71. Great trucks. Cheap maintenance. Lots of aftermarket. And a full size truck is no harder to drive than a passenger car in traffic. Hell if I can manage my 86 k5 blazer through midtown Memphis traffic, I could handle a z71 anywhere. Haha.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Z284U2TRY View Post
If it has the spider fuel injection stay away. I know they used it on all 4.3 not sure of the years.
Yeah I have a 93 blazer with a 4.3 now and I hate it...i've driven the newer s10's and they feel totally different.

I have the feeling you guys are right...I just want to avoid a 5.7tbi silverado cause those get horrible mileage(my dad has a 94).

I know the 5.3 is much better than the 5.7 vortec, but the 5.3's are still alot more expensive.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:24 PM   #8
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Get the fullsize.

Chicks aren't into minitrucks. Ask me how I know.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:29 PM   #9
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I'm bias since I have a 97' Z71 ECSB. honestly the gas mileage isnt too bad, I thought it would be worse. I'm getting about 300 miles to a tank, so its on par with my TA when you break it down to gallons of gas/MPG. I enjoy the extra room too, its nice to not feel cramped.

You'll be limited on mods to the vortec as I have been finding but if your not gonna mod it past a muffler then your golden.

I'm just gonna so some minor bolt-ons & exhaust to mine & call it a day. Might order a BlackBear tune is I get bored with it to wake it up some.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:10 PM   #10
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One thing thats sucks is I like the look of the older ones with the vortec 5.7, but the 5.3 is a much better engine, and the as far as I have heard the 99+ trucks are overall much better.(correct me if I am wrong) Just sucks they got less aggressive looking
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:34 PM   #11
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Honestly I'm not sure how much better they are if any. I have seen tons of truck guys complain about 5.3 engine issues. I know my old 5.7 Vortec has 214k miles & doesnt leak a drop & starts every time. To me thats a solid motor. I feel in love with the OBS body style long ago & always wanted one. So for me it was a easy choice as if I ever want a LS swap later its not that big a deal, at least I'll have the look I love.
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:42 PM   #12
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I'd go with the full size. The front ends on the 4wd S10/Blazers are garbage. I wouldn't give one to my worst enemy, they're death traps....
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Old 10-26-2011, 02:54 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW-99SS View Post
+1, the 4.3s are not known for good mpg, and in ZR2 outfit, they would be about the worst I would think. So your basically down to cost, though the Z71 is a much more capable, and I would say reliable machine (I have a 98 Z71, bought it with 120 000miles on it, still going strong, completely stock, lol).

One thing about the vortex v8s you need to watch for is head gasket issues. I would make sure the one you buy has the upgraded aftermarket head gaskets (factory replacements will fail over and over). This job can be done at home (I did mine), but it is a pain in the a$$ to do, and if you don't get your distributer back in, exactly the way it came out, you will throw a check engine light.
Its the intake manifold gaskets, not the headgaskets. Still a big job, but use an aftermarket gasket, and its something you'll only have to do once for the life of the truck.


As for the S-10, IMO they just feel like a puny piece of junk compared to the full sizers, they just never had a quality feel to them. The main thing to watch out for is the oil cooler lines, they like to fail, thus dumping your oil, thus ruining your engine. It was a bad design from the factory, if you buy one be sure to change them out ASAP. Also keep in mind that the S-10 is one of the most PITA things to work on, no room under hood.

EDIT: Full size or S-10, make sure you buy a 4wd truck with a lever on the floor. GM hadn't figured out how to make those push button 4wd reliable back then, it was new technology.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AronZ28 View Post
Its the intake manifold gaskets, not the headgaskets. Still a big job, but use an aftermarket gasket, and its something you'll only have to do once for the life of the truck.
Yep, its the intake gasket. And the comment he made about the dist is close to correct. From everyone I have talked to it doesnt matter if you get it back in damn near on the money, the OBDII trucks still running a dist have to be reset with tuning software to get the timing back 100% correct


Quote:
Originally Posted by AronZ28 View Post
EDIT: Full size or S-10, make sure you buy a 4wd truck with a lever on the floor. GM hadn't figured out how to make those push button 4wd reliable back then, it was new technology.
So far my 14yr old push button 4wd works flawlessly. Havent had a issue with it yet.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:24 PM   #15
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I drove a 2 dr blazer from 17 to 24 (103k to 180k). I wouldn't say they're hard to work on by any means. I replaced just about everything on that car except the engine/trans, oil pump, intake mani gaskets, and a power steering pump. The rest was completely rebuilt/replaced. The oil lines do fail, but they don't dump oil, they just leak a little.
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:31 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Its the intake manifold gaskets, not the headgaskets. Still a big job, but use an aftermarket gasket, and its something you'll only have to do once for the life of the truck.
You are correct! I'm not sure why I put head gaskets - brain fart I guess
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:44 AM   #17
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Honestly I'm not sure how much better they are if any. I have seen tons of truck guys complain about 5.3 engine issues. I know my old 5.7 Vortec has 214k miles & doesnt leak a drop & starts every time. To me thats a solid motor. I feel in love with the OBS body style long ago & always wanted one. So for me it was a easy choice as if I ever want a LS swap later its not that big a deal, at least I'll have the look I love.
I'm with you on that one man. I have always liked that style too ever since my dad has had one...it's just simple and aggressive. That makes my decision a little easier too lol. Another awesome thing is how cheap those trucks are now...I was looking and damn you can get a good one for under 4k
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:56 AM   #18
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Can anyone think of anything that a zr2 can do that a z71 cant? Something that matters lol
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:56 AM   #19
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Yep, I paid $2995 for mine guy originally had it at $4995. And when I looked in the glovebox it had the original book from the dealer & the window sticker. It was a custom order truck shipped to a local dealer, so its always been a Ok truck. Final price out the door was almost $29k back in 1997.

Its got some clear coat issues & 1 minor dent in the side of the bed by the wheel well but it'll pull out easy, its not creased. It had a power steering leak but I bought both new hoses for $60 & swapped them out. Been golden every since. And good thing about these trucks is there are still a TON of them on the road so parts are easy to get & cheap.
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:54 AM   #20
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Yep, I paid $2995 for mine guy originally had it at $4995. And when I looked in the glovebox it had the original book from the dealer & the window sticker. It was a custom order truck shipped to a local dealer, so its always been a Ok truck. Final price out the door was almost $29k back in 1997.

Its got some clear coat issues & 1 minor dent in the side of the bed by the wheel well but it'll pull out easy, its not creased. It had a power steering leak but I bought both new hoses for $60 & swapped them out. Been golden every since. And good thing about these trucks is there are still a TON of them on the road so parts are easy to get & cheap.
Hell yeah man that's an amazing price!
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Old 10-27-2011, 09:54 AM
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