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OT: GM 5.3 motor in a Sierra 1500 - any experiences?

Old 12-12-2002, 11:14 AM
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I have a 02 Chevy 1500 ext cab 4x4 5.3 3.73, and I tow my 5000 lb boat/trailer with no problems. In the Tow/haul mode I have no problem at all with hunting for the right gear. With 4.10 gears it would be even better. I don't have any piston slap or ticking, I guess I am lucky. I average 17-19 MPG, 12 towing. Like you I was deciding between a Ford or Chevy and the engine/transmission of the GM made my decision. I have had 4 other trucks with the 5.7 reg cab , and the 5.3 ext cab will blow the doors off any of them.
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Old 12-12-2002, 11:16 AM
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mine was lifted 4 in, with 35's on it, for the average run around truck with minor engine mods it rocks
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Old 12-12-2002, 11:26 AM
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Mccolister and Deltoid have both pretty much described my experience with my 00 5.3 sierra 1500slt z71. I have 78,000 on it and have never done anything except change fluids. I have towed my 32 active thunder all over with it (7000 on the boat alone) I have also towed Tbones 02 38 top gun my only dissapointment was braking (with the top gun in tow, but 700 bucks on the trailer would fix that) I have 373's in the truck

Mine does have the "GM power tick" but as mentioned it does go away @ temp. I have had the following gmc's

96 x-cab 4x4 Z71 5.7l
98 Yukon 5.7L
99 1 ton Dually Low rider Crew Cab long bed 7.4L 2wd
99 3/4 ton 4x4 Suburban with 7.4L
00 1 ton Dually 2wd crew cab short box 7.4L
00 Sierra 1500 slt 4x4 Z71 x-cab 5.3L

I can honestly say empty this truck will hide from the rest of them (and my dad's 02 f-150 with the 5.4 or what ever it is)

From the stop light the big block trucks would have beat it to about 50 mph and then it could hold its own while towing my 32 thuinder.

just my experiences.

If I was ordering one now i would pony up for the Denali so i could have the 6.0 and the bigger brakes.
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Old 12-12-2002, 11:35 AM
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I had a '99 1500 with the 5.3 and 3.73's. I towed my 29 Outlaw all the way down to Kentucky with it and had no problems. (I think that it was about 800 miles) It had plenty of power. As far as the constant shifting, the cure is to put it in tow-haul mode AND drive 3, not overdrive.

I even towed my 35 Sonic with it the first season I had it. I don't tow very much normally and the farthest I took was about 90 miles. I've got a 2500 HD now with the 6.0.
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Old 12-12-2002, 12:20 PM
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i've had 3 z71 w/ the 5.3. good engine. a bit better than the last 350. now i run the 6.0 and like it too. gm has done a great job with the new engines.
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Old 12-12-2002, 12:52 PM
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If you tow in OD you're gonna have alot more than the motor to worry about. Cruisin' at 65 pulling your pud maybe but anything more and you can kiss your motor and tranny good buy.
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Old 12-12-2002, 12:53 PM
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The 5.3 is a great engine for everyday use, good mileage and quiet.

I do not have a problem with it hunting for gears, the tow/haul mode really works to calm that down.

I do find it burns oil though, about a quart ev. 2000 miles- but I use Mobil 1 and synthetics aggravate this condition.

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Old 12-12-2002, 01:32 PM
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Daily driver and grocery getter with the occaisional 2000 lbs of towing; not a problem.
Get a toneau cover for a little better mileage.
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Old 12-12-2002, 01:38 PM
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I have a 2000 Z71 with 410 gears and I have had no problems what so ever. I pull a 25' baja and it does a good job hauling it.
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Old 12-13-2002, 09:42 PM
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I tow with a 2002 Tahoe with the 5.3. The motor is perfect for a daily driver in a heavy truck. Towing is not bad. I only tow 3500 lbs and have no problems what so ever. No tranny hunting. Nothing. I do have the knock on start-up. My brother is the GM at a Chevy dealer and tells me it is piston slap (???). He said it is perfectly normal and every one he has driven does it. Mine has been doing it since 3000 miles.

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