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5.3 Chevy Pick’em up Truck needs some maintenance

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I know this will eventually be moved to the truck section but I know I have some smart friends in Town Square.

My 2005 Chevy 5.3 WT pickup w/119,000 miles has an oil seep I’m pretty sure in the valve cover gaskets. I bought the truck new and it’s been seeping for quite a while but I never need to add oil between my 5,000 mile oil and filter changes w/Rotella 10W-30 synthetic blend.  The next oil change is at 120,000.  For a while, I was doing the oil at XX3,333, XX6,667, & XX0,000. 

I changed the tranny fluid and filter around 60,000, disconnecting the lines, and pumping fresh fluid through the system.  

I also want to change the original spark plugs and coolant.  Will the plugs be difficult to get out of the aluminum head?  I’m thinking I should fully warm it up then loosen all the plugs while engine is hot.  I should have installed anti-sieze early on.  

On the coolant, there’s no drain on the radiator.  Do I just loosen the lower hose to fully drain the original coolant?  I have new coolant and distilled water ready to go.  What about flushing?

I’ve never cleaned the outside of the motor, so this is the first thing I will do and plan to use Zep citrus degreaser.

Thank you in advance for any pro tips considering the mileage of this truck.

I got over twelve years out of the original battery running a small solar panel in the rear window.

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Edited by Baja Rambler

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The plugs should come out nice, I've never had any trouble with them. The lower rad hose is the best way to drain coolant. Valve cover gaskets are easy. Maybe look into intake gaskets as they are probably close to needing replacement. While you're under the intake if your engine still has the knock sensors located in the valley pan you should replace them and the short harness for them. 

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The plugs in my 98 Yukon 5.3 are fine at 129K. Last tank driving 50/50 town and highway was 20mpg. We are on our third 5.3 now with zero issues. '01 Tahoe at 160k+ now owned by a niece, the ''08 I still drive and my wife's '17 Tahoe. I will be changing the coolant, hoses, belts, struts snd shocks  in the '08 pretty soon. All are original.

Edited by Piney Woods
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4 hours ago, gedakbx said:

at what mileage should the plugs be changed in a 5.3

 

 

Check your owners manual.

 

But it probably says 100k miles.  Personally I'd change them at 75k, it's cheap and easy and plugs at 100k miles probably have lost some performance.  If you haul and tow regularly I'd definitely not let them get to 100k.

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They are a 100k mile plug replacement engine. You will need wires if you change them as the original ones will come apart when you start pulling on them. It will make a difference in how it runs. It's such a slow decline in run quality over a very long period that most don't notice.

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When/if changing hoses be dad burn sure you use the OEM type clamps, never ever never try using traditional screw type hose clamps. Might be an expensive mistake.

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2 hours ago, Piney Woods said:

When/if changing hoses be dad burn sure you use the OEM type clamps, never ever never try using traditional screw type hose clamps. Might be an expensive mistake.

Why ?

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50 minutes ago, Piney Woods said:

The radiator clamping area is plastic and it is very easy to over tighten and break.

Makes sense.

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The radiator clamping area is plastic and it is very easy to over tighten and break.




I guess, I’ve never in my life had that issue

If it does break the plastic end tank was old and brittle and was likely due for replacement

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15 hours ago, Piney Woods said:

Radiators are a lifetime item. Have no idea what a "plastic end tank" is.

???  The end tank is the plastic part the spigot the hose clamps to is molded as part of... I had to replace the rad in my 99 Savana last year because it started leaking at the crimp. Rads haven't been a "lifetime item" in decades.

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OK, never heard it called that. Thought maybe you meant the overflow catch tank. I normally keep my vehicles 8-16 years and have never replaced a radiator. Just sold our 01 Tahoe to a niece last year and it is still original except for the hoses. Current Yukon is an 08 and everything on it was installed at the factory when they built it. Guess we have been lucky. 

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OK, never heard it called that. Thought maybe you meant the overflow catch tank. I normally keep my vehicles 8-16 years and have never replaced a radiator. Just sold our 01 Tahoe to a niece last year and it is still original except for the hoses. Current Yukon is an 08 and everything on it was installed at the factory when they built it. Guess we have been lucky. 



You’ve been lucky, coolant systems I don’t normally see make it to 16 years. Especially not with radiators that have plastic on them. Had one just full on pop on a Saab one time. Whole plastic top of the radiator broke into like 3-4 pieces and threw itself all over my driveway.


Went through 3-4 radiators in my last civic. But that stock, then an aluminum half radiator, then a big aluminum integra radiator, eventually back to a half radiator when I modified the car and needed the space

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I finally cleaned the motor by just spraying some zep citrus degreaser on it then hosing it off with some fresh cool water.  I like that citrus cuz it doesn’t damage anything or degloss paint like their purple garbage.    

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