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4.8 or 5.3 Silverado 1500 trucks?

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Old 06-18-2017, 02:58 PM   #1
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Question 4.8 or 5.3 Silverado 1500 trucks?

So I'm planning on trading in my old '98 S10 pickup and buying a used 1500 4X4 ,something in the 2000's with a 4.8 or 5.3 V-8 most likely. Any years to avoid and thoughts on the 4.8 vs. the 5.3 engines? Not looking to do anything other than keep it stock for a daily driver, I have a big old lifted 3/4T square body for heavy hauling and off roading. Just looking for a reliable driver and trying to find something without too many miles for $10K or less.
Must be a 4X4 only because I live up in the mountains on a steep hill and we get snow and ice in the winter. Not totally ruling out a V-6 if the price was right but from what I've gleaned they don't do much better on fuel mileage and have less power.
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Old 06-19-2017, 06:41 AM   #2
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10 grand could get you something fairly newer.

Try to avoid DoD/AFM engines unless you're deeply worried about a few extra mpg. The lifters in those are almost always the first failure point.

If you are able to get something with the 6L80e, that would be better than getting a truck with the 4L60e, but the year they made the switch might be just a bit out of your price range.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:35 AM   #3
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I have a 2000 5.3. Drove it stone stock - no tires, gears - for many year and it was always very reliable, but down on power. My truck had 4.10's from the factory and I would stay in third gear most of the time on the highway because unless I was going 70 plus the thing could not accelerate or keep speed up a hill in OD. So I would DEF stay away from a 4.8.

The early 2000 trucks are pretty tough. Motor still going at 315K miles. Tranny went at a little over 300K. I made it to 200K and change and the only thing replaced was the fuel pump - stranded so that sucked - and a couple of alternators for some reason.

I don't know how much they go for, but if you could find a clean one with low 100K miles for the right price I'd go for it.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:49 AM   #4
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Thanks guys,I don't know much about these LX engine based rigs so this helps a lot.Most of my wrenching days when I was younger were old school 283/327/350 SBC or 396/427/454 BBC so I'm a little lost on the newer stuff.
I'd like to find one with a stick but most are autos so that will likely be what I end up with short of some luck on the right truck.
Wish gas would go back down to 35cts a gallon like when I was in high school, I'd just drive my old '78 square body with the 454 ha ha.
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Old 06-19-2017, 07:56 AM   #5
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Pretty rare to find one with a stick, at least in my neck of the woods.

Gas mileage - I dunno how the newer trucks are pulling down such great mileage but I've never gotten better than 13mpg in mine. My commute changed a few months ago and now I'm doing 35 miles on a hilly highway - getting about 11.5mpg.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:26 PM   #6
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I drove a 2003 and a 2004 Silverado for a couple of years. The 2004 was my girlfriend's truck and she had the 4.8L V8 while I had the 5.3L LM7. The 2003 was the first year of that body style. Avoid that **** like the plague. The engine and transmission were fine but the rest of the truck was junk. It's best to with the 2004 or a newer truck than that.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:30 PM   #7
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I have an '08 Silverado with: 5.3, extended cab, standard bed, tow package, off-road package, 4wd, leather interior, .... Its only used on the street and I haven't towed anything yet (its very gently used).

I HATE and LOVE this truck. But I have to say that I would never buy another Chevy truck again after owning this one (I also have two Corvettes).

The good:

- Contrary to most people I don't have any issue with AFM other than I wish it wouldn't turn off so easily. It really helps the mileage.
- Ride is like a Cadillac.
- Motor has plenty of power
- Factory (option) bed tie-down rail system is great

The bad:
- OMG, the frame / underbody rust is unreal!
- My 4wd is toast. I used to exercise it about every month and only really used it about twice a year in the winter. This year is crapped out.
- At a steady cruise with light throttle, the transmission seems like its hunting for the right gear (rpm cycles up / down).
- Had to replace one of the vapor vent valves, front hubs, and both front CV boots (back in 2012).
- Truck started throwing codes for the fuel pump controller, and a code indicating the ECM/PCM has an internal fault. It still seems to run ok but of course it won't pass emissions with those codes.
- Front speakers break on these trucks (lots of threads about it on the truck forums). All the chimes / warnings use the front speakers so you won't hear them with dead speakers. I carefully disassembled the spider and can easily see the voice coil lead-in wire was creased on both speakers. They probably had an issue with the coil winding machine.
- Factory transmission cooler lines leak at the crimp (another common problem). Fixed it by cutting off the crimp and using hose clamps.
- Weak tool design to lower the spare tire (easily stretches out of shape rendering it useless).
- There is a recall on its airbag but GM is fighting it and dragging their feet.

Overall I like the ride and power but am very unhappy with the rust, computer, and 4wd issues on a gently used vehicle. I drive the hell out of the two corvettes and they have been great vehicles.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:34 PM   #8
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^^^^Wow, that's a lot of problems. My truck is pretty rock solid, even more so given the age and mileage. Father has an 04 or 05. No problems except it likes to eat knock sensors. What a PIA thing to have to fix multiple times. My uncle and cousin have duramaxes. One is probably a 2010, the other 2017. No one ever has problems.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:35 PM   #9
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They should almost put a timer on the GM trucks that works the 4wd system once a week. The actuator on the front axles needs regularly cycled or it dries out and doesn't move. Long standing problem, same with the transfer case actuators, they need worked to keep working..
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:45 PM   #10
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I had a 2001 Silverado 4.8L V8 for a five days as a loaner when my TA was waiting on a new gage cluster back in ~2001 or 2002 and I absolutely hated the 4.8L. It lacked power and often the transmission had to down shift in normal driving. The gas mileage was 17.7 mpg in my normal diving which was pretty good for an extended cab truck. With the 5.3L I would have liked the truck much better.

A close friend has a 99 5.3L extended cab Silverado 4x4 Z71. When I barrow it the 5.3 typically gets 16.5 mpg. His truck has held up well mechanically, probably because the cooling system, differentials, transfer case, engine, etc fluids changed according to the GM schedule.

Mechanical issues with 235,000 miles & 19 years per my friend have been:
Alternator failed @ ~125,000 miles
Fuel pump failed @ ~150,000 miles
AC Compressor failed @ ~175,000 miles

I would favor the 5.3L, I would avoid the 4.8L if possible.
You might find a 6.0 and I would pick that over the 5.3L or the 4.8L but don't listen to me I bought a Tundra that gets horrible gas mileage
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Old 06-19-2017, 05:58 PM   #11
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Well, that's because it's a Tundra! lol
Those and Nissan Titans couldn't get good mileage coasting downhill....
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Old 06-19-2017, 08:55 PM   #12
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Thanks again guys, very informative.
I'm leaning towards finding an early 2000's with low miles and a 5.3 after reading all this. My work commute isn't bad, 16 miles of country roads to work with only one stop light before I get there so it's pretty easy on rigs and on gas. Won't be off roading or pulling a trailer or hauling heavy loads so it will lead a pretty easy life. Primarily just a daily driver with a trip to the dump once in a while and that sort of thing. As soon as my Camaro is paid off I'll start looking in earnest and look at selling or trading in my S10.
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Old 06-20-2017, 09:33 AM   #13
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Like I said, the early 5.3L trucks are hit and miss. My 2003 was awful. It never left me stranded but I experienced a lot of issues with it.
  • Steering column issues. I can't explain it well, but there was an issue where it felt like it was going to break and I'd lose control of the vehicle. To my knowledge that never broke on any trucks, but there was a TSB and a recall for it. Between the recalls and the issues I had, my truck was in the shop a lot.
  • My instrument cluster went out on my at around 12k miles.
  • Radio failure, GM actually tried to repair it. Failed again a short time later.
  • Radio button's began flaking and the back light bled through in all kinds of places. My 31k truck (at the time) looked pretty trashy after that.
  • Premature tire wear on the passenger side.
  • Squeeks and rattles at less than 10k miles. GM never could resolve these.
  • Tailgate strap recall.
  • I also had all kinds of transmission shift issues, hunting for gears and that sort of thing.
As for manual transmissions in trucks, don't count on finding too many. It's been the better part of a decade since GM put manual transmissions in trucks.
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:15 AM   #14
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The 2005-2007 5.3 engines are probably the best from 99-07 in my opinion. They have the highest power output, Gen4 Style rods, as well as the L33 can be found those years.

I have had a 99, 00, 2003, 2006 and my current 2007.5 NNBS Silverado all with 5.3's. My Current NNBS has been one of the best trucks I have owned next to my 06. I have never had any major engine issues between all the trucks.

My 2006 was an Extended Cab Z71 4x4 with the infamous L33. I bought the truck used in 2008 with 20,000 miles on her and traded her off with 189,000 miles. Never had any mechanical issues at all, just minor issues such as power seat stop working, tailgate handle rod clips breaking and things such as that.

My 2007.5 NNBS 5.3 is my current truck, which I bought used in 2009. I have had 2 issues with the truck, which has 120k miles on her now, and that is the famous Dash Cracking in 2 spots, and the window regulator failing on the back door. No other issues, no oil leaks. I even had AFM/DOD turned on until it hit 100k miles, which was still working. As for the rust issue said above, mine has the factory coating, almost like a grease sprayed on it and no issues at all. Tho, I do live in a place that does not really ever get snow.

The other trucks never had any major issues either, honestly never had them more than a year or two so can not really say how great they were. I do remember the 2000 having an issue with the ABS Actuator and the driver cat failing at 110k miles. Almost all were 4x4 and I never had any issues with the 4x4 system. I did use it about twice a year if that mattered.

The only time I would look into the 4.8 was if it was a Single Cab Short Bed that you were gonna use as a daily. Other than that, they can be underpowered.

Last edited by 07NBSChevy; 06-24-2017 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07NBSChevy View Post
The 2005-2007 5.3 engines are probably the best from 99-07 in my opinion .
Thanks man, good stuff. we get snow and a lot of rain but they don't use salt here so rust probably not a big issue. Make me think to check a used rig for it though as one never knows for sure where it came from without some research unless you buy from original owner and it's a local.
I'll have to look up L33,not really up on these engines at all.


Edit: Ahh I see, pretty much a baby LS1.

Last edited by y2keglide; 06-24-2017 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 06-24-2017, 10:49 AM   #16
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Check any vehicle over the best you can, check for rust, check all fluids, check for leaks and so on. Also, try and get a carfax report.

The L33 is an all aluminum block high compression engine, somewhat like a smaller displacement LS1 as you said, and made great power (Pretty much the same as the newer 5.3's) and had all the good parts such as 799/243 heads, Gen4 Style rods/pistons, better crank and so on. As you probably already know by now, it was only available from 2005-2007 in an Extended Cab Z71 4x4 and then had to be ordered with the High Output L33. So you can say it is somewhat rare but can still be found in areas where 4x4's are high demand.
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Old 06-24-2017, 11:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07NBSChevy View Post
Check any vehicle over the best you can, check for rust, check all fluids, check for leaks and so on. Also, try and get a carfax report.

The L33 is an all aluminum block high compression engine, somewhat like a smaller displacement LS1 as you said, and made great power (Pretty much the same as the newer 5.3's) and had all the good parts such as 799/243 heads, Gen4 Style rods/pistons, better crank and so on. As you probably already know by now, it was only available from 2005-2007 in an Extended Cab Z71 4x4 and then had to be ordered with the High Output L33. So you can say it is somewhat rare but can still be found in areas where 4x4's are high demand.
Absolutely will check them out thoroughly ,took me a year to find an LS1 Camaro I was happy with.
I am in a high demand 4X4 area here in the PAC NW, lots of Z71s around here. Of course that high demand also means higher prices on clean used trucks. Appreciate the good info here guys, a clean low mileage 2005-2007 Extended Cab Z71 4x4 with the L33 would be perfect.
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:04 PM   #18
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Actually, any of the LH6 or LH8 engines would be good, as they are very similar to the L33, but came out a bit later(I THINK....). They have all the good Gen IV parts in them, like better rods and pistons and the 799(later-day 243) heads.
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Old 06-24-2017, 12:43 PM   #19
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The LH8 was the 5.3 used in the Hummer and Colorado.

Some Gen4 5.3 knowledge for the OP incase you were looking at a NNBS Body Style truck.

The LC9, LH6, LMG, and LY5 were the Gen4 5.3 Truck Engines, 2007.5-2013.
LC9 - - 2007.5-2013 AFM/DOD Aluminum Block FlexFuel
LH6 - 2007.5-2009 AFM/DOD Aluminum Block Non-FlexFuel (Same as LC9 except FlexFuel)
LMG - 2007.5-2013 AFM/DOD Iron Block and FlexFuel
LY5 - 2007.5-2013 AFM/DOD Iron Block Non-FlexFuel (Same as LMG except FlexFuel)

LH6 was dropped in 2009. The LMG, LC9 and LY5 5.3 truck engines continued to 2013.
VVT was added to all 5.3 truck engines for the 2010 model year
All Gen4 5.3's used flat top pistons, identical to the L33 and 4.8 engines, 2010 saw valve reliefs for VVT.
All Gen4 5.3's had 9.9:1 Compression Ratio.
All engines produced 315 Hp/338 Tq in the Trucks (320 Hp/340 Tq in the SUV's).
The 6-Speed Transmission was added in 2009 for the Crew Cab 5.3's only, and became standard in 2010 for all 5.3's in any cab configuration.

I am pretty sure all 4 engines were mostly identical, including 243/799 heads, except block material, flex fuel capable. I think the 8x AFM/DOD lifters were different between the Iron and Aluminum Blocked motors until 2010 for some reason.

Last edited by 07NBSChevy; 06-24-2017 at 01:16 PM.
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Old 06-24-2017, 01:18 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07NBSChevy View Post
The LH8 was the 5.3 used in the Hummer and Colorado.

Some Gen4 5.3 knowledge for the OP incase you were looking at a NNBS Body Style truck.




Here we go again,I hate getting old.
Had to look up NNBS lol
I also didn't know they made a V-8 Colorado,did they come in 4X4 with a V-8?
I'm not looking for NNBS, just a reliable and somewhat low mile 4X4 that gets fair mileage for hopefully less than $10K.
I haven't really looked at the Colorados,might be interesting.
Also haven't looked at 1/2 tons with the 5.7 figuring probably poor fuel mileage compared to the smaller V-8's.
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