1999-2007 Silverado / Sierra Buyers Guide (GMT800 Common Problems Specs Engines)
Chevy Silverado / GMC Sierra Buyers Guide! Everything you need to know before buying a used Silverado / Sierra.
When developing the new GMT 800 series pickup trucks GM have to be really careful. How could they modernize the Chevy/Gmc pickup without alienating the huge C/K truck fan base?
They made disc brakes standard on all models, provided buyer's with a new generation of powerful Vortec engines, introduced a stiff new frame with hydroformed rails, and appealed to customers by offering a wide variety of convenience and luxury features.
Since this is a new generation of pickup truck that GM completely reengineered and redesigned they changed the CK name to the Silverado for Chevrolet and Sierra for GMC. GM wanted buyers to know that their new generation of pickup truck Road better handled better stop quicker and was more powerful and comfortable than ever before.
In terms of the exterior design, the gmt800 series trucks were an evolution of the styling found on the CK 1500. The Exterior styling of the GMC and the Chevrolet we're much more conservative and low key when compared to the semi truck aesthetic of the Dodge Ram or the aerodynamically styled F150 of the day. According to GM, their truck buyers were really loyal to the brand and wanted styling that resembled the look of the C K 1500 trucks. Compared to the Chevrolet version, the GMCs get specific body work for the hood, front fenders, bumpers, Grill, and finally uniquelooking composite headlamps.
For 2003, the Silverado version received a mildly aggressive redesign of its front end. There's new headlights that are positioned at an angle, a revised grille with prominent Chevy bowtie, and a new aerodynamically styled Hood. The front fenders and rear tail lights were also redesigned to give a more powerful look. For the 2006 model year, the hood was redesigned and now Sports a power Dome look. This new hood combined with the aggressive front fascia created a more aggressive look for the Silverado.
The Sierra and Silverado were available as a regular cab, extended cab with three doors in 99 and 4 doors from 2000 on, and a crew cab starting in 2001 on the HD models and becoming available on the 1500 non HD in 2004.
In terms of bed lengths buyers could specify a fleetside 6 1/2ft short box or long box at 8 ft and 6 1/2ft sportside short box.
If you're looking to buy one of these trucks, there are some common issues that you should be mindful of when looking at the exterior of the vehicle. First and foremost, is rust. Rust can eat away at the vehicle's Body Work frame and bed. The most common areas for rot is the rear Fender arches, the cab corners, and finally the rocker panels. This is especially true if you live in an area where it's cold and they use salt or other chemicals on the roads.
When inspecting a truck, it's really important to get down low and look closely at the areas mentioned to ensure that rust has not taken over the vehicle.
In addition to the Bodywork, it's critical that you look at the frame to ensure it structurally sound. After being exposed to the elements, the frames can rust and sometimes even crack, making the vehicle on safe to drive. Take a close look at the brake lines and fuel lines as well. You'll want to ensure that these have been rusted through and are in good shape.
The interior of the GMT 800 series trucks we're also very conservatively designed and styled. Compared to the C K 1500 the interior was all new that included a large speedometer and tachometer as well as other smaller gauges for pertinent vehicle information. The sound system sits above the HVAC system and the controls are logically laid out and easy to use.
Some of the problems may run across with the interior of the vehicle include broken door handles and grab handles on the door panels, torn bottom seat bolsters, flaking or peeling paint on the dashboard and other materials, gauges that don't work (this can be repaired but good to watch out for), and faulty dimmer switches causing no dash or headlights and other electric issues.
The GMT 800 series trucks are powered by a series of vortec engines. The entrylevel engine, is a 4.3 L Vortec V6. From 1998 to 2003 the engine made 200 horsepower and 260 lbft of torque. For the 2004 to 2006 model year it got a slight decrease in a horsepower to 195 but remained at 260 pound feet of torque.
The next engine is a 4.8 L Vortec 4800 series V8. From 98 through 99 this engine made 255 horsepower and 285 pound feet of torque at 4000 RPM. In mm, it got a bump to 270 horsepower and torque remain the same, and in 2004 it got another increase 285 horsepower and 295 poundfeet of torque.