1997 K1500 Worth throwing $ into...?

Discussion in 'Engine Performance + Maintenance' started by aleebee156, Jun 11, 2019.

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  1. aleebee156

    aleebee156 I'm Awesome

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    Hey guys, sorry if this is in the wrong thread, feel free to move it if needed.

    I'm at a point where I need to either throw money into my truck and make it solid or buy something new. Im looking for input from ya'll since I've been racking my brain on what to do. Ill leave details on my truck below and if I bought something else what I would be looking at.

    Main reason to keep my truck is to save money and I don't necessarily want a monthly payment even tho I can afford it.

    My truck: 1997 K1500 ext cab 4x4 Z71 with 240,000 miles.
    -Cooling system is new and dialed besides water pump, water pump has 80,000 miles on it
    -New direct drive starter, new plugs, new cap/rotor, new battery, fires up strong
    -Tranny was replaced 80,000 miles ago with the torque converter as well, both were HD rebuilds, essentially 4L65E parts used on the 4L60E casing. Recent tranny oil/filter change ~15,000 miles ago
    -Everything interior works besides the electric mirrors, which who cares they are set and I never need to move them.

    Needs:
    -Oil cooler lines
    -Most of the front end steering parts are wasted and need to be replaced, including hubs/wheel bearings, they are working, but I would want to replace them if I kept the truck.
    -Output shaft seal needs replacing
    -Lots of little seals I would want to replace
    -Brakes are mostly good, I would probably need to replace them next summer and I would do the rear drums as well as Im pretty sure they are original
    -Not sure if the engine burns oil or if its leaking from the oil cooler lines.... need the lines replaced to really know
    -Does have what I think is a lifter tick on cold start up, usually only in winter and is gone by 60 seconds
    -AC has a leak, would want to get that fixed as well

    I'm likely missing things but that's the basics. Id hate to put $ into the truck and have the engine go fairly soon. Has 240,000 miles, most I've had on a vehicle before so I think part of this is just new to me.

    If I keep the truck I want to do the above repairs get it solid so I feel comfortable taking it on longer trips and out in the backcountry on long dirt roads. I would also likely pull the trim and replace with new and throw a cheapish paint job on it so its decent to drive around, and just so I like it more.

    Other option is get a new truck. If I do that I would replace with a 06/07 2500 diesel. somewhere in the ballpark of $20,000 or less.

    Or I keep the truck as is and buy a car that I can use as a commuter to keep miles off the truck.

    Thoughts? I know I put a bunch of options for me on there, mostly I am interested in everyone's thoughts on putting money into my current truck with it having 240,000 miles on it.

    Thanks in advance, MUCH appreciated, as I said I've been racking my brain on what to do.
     
  2. RichLo

    RichLo E I E I O

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    If you have the ability I'm a fan of the last option, keep the truck for 'truck stuff' and get a commuter car for daily driving.

    I have a commuter car and 3 GMT400s each with their own purpose, 1 street truck for home depot type runs, 1 snow plow truck, and 1 yard truck (ie. giant wheelbarrow)
     
  3. letitsnow

    letitsnow I'm Awesome

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    Just to replace the injectors on my cummins cost more than a new gm goodwrench motor (installed) would cost for your current truck. The diesel is great for heavy towing, otherwise, a waste. I'd fix up your truck and put money in the bank for a new motor, for when that time comes.
     
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  4. big_mike

    big_mike I'm Awesome

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    Here is my point of view. You can damn near rebuild these entire trucks for less than you can buy a used truck with less 100k miles on the clock. That’s why I’m personally opting to go thru my entire truck and stick a new crate motor with 3yr 100k mile GM warranty. I can maintain this truck cheaper and have no truck payment as well as lower insurance. So the annual savings along with keeping a sexy body style truck on the road was enough for me, lol.
     
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  5. 95C1500

    95C1500 ┌П┐(◣_◢)┌П┐

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    What letitsnow said. Fix the little things, stow away some money for when the motor does go.
     
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  6. inscarguy

    inscarguy OBS Enthusiast

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    I was in the same boat as you a few years ago. After a long debate over to fix it or replace it with a newer vehicle, i did a frame off resto including another frame. I have under $10,000 in the whole job.

    Everything from the body down is new or NOS. Engine was perfect already, trans was rebuilt from GM, interior was mint so that saved alot.

    Here are a few pics. Good luck with your choice.

    20161209_112621.jpg

    20161209_112415.jpg

    20170126_111547.jpg
     
  7. aleebee156

    aleebee156 I'm Awesome

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    Thank you all! Seems simple to me now, and I feel much better about keeping my truck and fixing her up. And no car payment is really great, so Im gonna stick with what I've got.

    Save money for a new engine when needed, easy to do without a payment. I didn't think of the insurance increase with a newer vehicle so that was very helpful to remind myself of.

    I'll likely pick up a commuter vehicle at somepoint to save the truck some, but more to save me money on gas. Im putting about 75miles on the truck a day from commuting so it eats gas.


    Thank you everyone!! Im keeping the truck, putting the money into it that it needs to be solid for now. Then I think i'll rebuild the thing and make her perfect! perfect enough... don't wanna worry too much about her getting scratched when I take her hunting! Thanks again guys, simple stuff but actually really helped me out.
     
  8. 1989GMCSIERRA

    1989GMCSIERRA I'm Awesome

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    I have two diesel 7.3s. Unless you need a diesel don’t get one.

    It doesn’t sound like your truck needs a ton of stuff. If the body and interior are good fix it. I have a 89 GMC and the original engine is finally burning oil at 393,000. Motor was never rebuilt or touched. So these 350s can last a whole hell of a long time.
     
  9. Ben Burrage

    Ben Burrage Newbie

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    When you replace the oil cooler lines, replace the oil filter housing gasket. That is where the main leaks generate from. Keep the truck. The tick is normal. Mine has had the tick off and on for years. Run Mobil Full Syn 5W30. 265k on mine and running strong.
     
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  10. aleebee156

    aleebee156 I'm Awesome

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    I'm nervous to switch from conventional... that's another topic tho I suppose.

    I will for sure replace that oil filter housing gasket. I've been toying around with whether or not I should replace the actual housing... doesn't seem necessary tho.
     

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