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I'm planning on getting a truck this weekend, I'm looking at 2k-'04 vintage Sierra 1500/Silverado 1500/F150 all 4x4 all v8 some 5.3 & 5.4, some 4.6/4.8. For what I willing to spend they all seem to have 85-95k on the clock. What should I beware of when looking at these trucks? Any issues? It will be a daily driver as well as our tow vehicle, 8x12 Wells-Cargo flat face. We'll be buying in Denver/Front Range or Grand Junction. Live outside Aspen. Also looking for recommendatios (sp?).

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Get out of the mountains for a fair deal. Are you handy with a wrench?

I just bought an 89 F-150 with 69,000 miles, shell,4X4. Needed some tlc $2000. CraigsList. Gots lots of miles left in it. But you will never find a good deal in the resort towns.

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I'd stay away from the smaller V8's. They tend to work harder, therefore the gas milage suffers especially while towing.

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I had a 4.6 ford f-150, good motor but not very strong on the hills. The Ford 5.4 I think is a better bet, the trailer capacity is almost double by the book.

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I'm a little brand biased cause Chevy is all i've owned, but go with at least the 5.3 for them mountains. I like my 6.0 just because the little extra hp is nice to have when you need it and i've seen many guys post up very similar mpg's with the 6.0 as the 5.3. but i'm a dumb kid with a heavy foot so i get around 13 mpgs

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Thanks for the posts guys. I too am leaning the Chevy/GMC way, mainly because of the larger size of the ex-cab. Also had a Chevy with the old 350/5.7 that was very trouble free. I am looking at more 5.3/5.4s than the REAL small v8s. The BIG motors, well I just don't know how they'd be for daily driving.

KEEP the input coming! I'll let everyone know what I end up with.

THANKS

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GOT MY TRUCK!!!:) '02 GMC Sierra 1500 4x4, Ext cab (4 doors), LONG bed, 3.73 gears, locking diff., 5.3 l motor. :banghead: I'll try to get pics up soon.

Thanks to everyone that responded to my post and all my dumb questions.:banghead:

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My chevy 1500 had the 5.3L and had really noisy lifters when it was cold. After it warmed up you couldn't hear them. So if its a private owner make sure the motor isn't hot before you turn her over.

If its 4x4 check to make sure it shifts into 4 and 4lo. I ended up replacing that switch a few months after I had her.

My fuel gauge was a bit funny...from full to 7/8 of a tank the low fuel light would be on. After it was below 7/8 it would start working properly.

Other than that it was a great truck. Also check with the owner to see what oil he was using (synth or not)

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My chevy 1500 had the 5.3L and had really noisy lifters when it was cold. After it warmed up you couldn't hear them. So if its a private owner make sure the motor isn't hot before you turn her over.

If its 4x4 check to make sure it shifts into 4 and 4lo. I ended up replacing that switch a few months after I had her.

My fuel gauge was a bit funny...from full to 7/8 of a tank the low fuel light would be on. After it was below 7/8 it would start working properly.

Other than that it was a great truck. Also check with the owner to see what oil he was using (synth or not)

Are you sure it was lifter noise? Some of the early 5.3's were known for piston rattle when cold-once the engine warmed up and the pistons heated up and expanded, everything was fine, and GM swears it's not a concern.

A cousin of mine has well over 200k on his, and it's rattled since new. Still runs and performs just fine, but makes me shudder every time he starts it cold.

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Are you sure it was lifter noise? Some of the early 5.3's were known for piston rattle when cold-once the engine warmed up and the pistons heated up and expanded, everything was fine, and GM swears it's not a concern.

A cousin of mine has well over 200k on his, and it's rattled since new. Still runs and performs just fine, but makes me shudder every time he starts it cold.

Chicken is probably right on this one, CSK was very common on he Pre 03 5.3's. It was supposed to have been fixed later in 2002 but my 03 still does it a bit, it runs fine so I am not really worried about it. The 5W-20 recommended oil will keep the noise down a bit also, switch to a 10W in colder weather and you will hear it for sure.

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well its kinda late for my advice. WOuld've got a bigger motor or lower gears for pulling. Good choice of truck though:thumbsup:

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I had a 4.6 ford f-150, good motor but not very strong on the hills. The Ford 5.4 I think is a better bet, the trailer capacity is almost double by the book.

I agree with this totally, I have a 2000 f150HD with a 4.6 (dont ask me why they put the smaller motor in the Heavy Duty version) it runs great and now has over 100k on it. But.... once you put a trailer behind it you will feel guilty about torturing the truck! the only way I was able to haul my toyhauler up a decent grade was after I put a Chip in and that did give me the ability to control the shift points and the transmission shift pressure but even on economy mode it still sucks down the gas.. with the small motor it has to work to hard when taking off and you have to keep your momentum up when taking hills...

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Are you sure it was lifter noise? Some of the early 5.3's were known for piston rattle when cold-once the engine warmed up and the pistons heated up and expanded, everything was fine, and GM swears it's not a concern.

A cousin of mine has well over 200k on his, and it's rattled since new. Still runs and performs just fine, but makes me shudder every time he starts it cold.

My boss has a Chevy that has piston "slap" and has had it from day 1 as well. My noise seemed to be different...more like a tap tap tap and when you turned the truck over you could actually isolate the cylinder that was doing it. But again I've know to be wrong before.

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