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How well do 4.3 equipped fullsizes drive?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Russell, Sep 13, 2006.

  1. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Hey guys!

    I found another potential candiate as a new DD. This one is a 96 GMC Sierra K1500, 4.3 V6, NV3500, 4x4 with just over 70 000 kms on it. The guy is a youth pastor, so I tend to trust him with negotiating over long distances. Asking 7500, but is open to offers...

    My question is, while I know it is easy enough to swap it to a TBI 350 in the future, how well do those 4.3s do for DD duty? I doubt this truck would see much work being a half ton, less hauling a quad around until I swapped it to a 350...

    What do you guys think? Should I pass on this and keep looking for a 350 equipped 3/4 ton with an NV4500 right away, or would this be adequate?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I wanna buy something I'll be happy with...
     
  2. K5er4Life

    K5er4Life 1/2 ton status

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    like a dog with a big turd hanging out of its butt....but it gets good gas mileage! :thumb:

    I drive a 95 GMC sierra 4.3/manual for work and the thing wont get out of its own way but I do see around 20 mpg on the freeway. Really slow, rides good, theres a 190K on mine and it runs quite well, it makes a good daily driver. 7500 seems too high though, we are planning on selling ours (thank god cause Ill be getting a new f-250 diesel) and were selling it for cheap, like 1500 dollars cheap.
     
  3. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    they get good gas mileage. that truck would be good for light use, its better then a wheelbarrow. the price is to high. Or is that canadian dollars.
     
  4. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    I had a 96.... It was a TURD! It couldn't get out of it's own way. Around town it was tolerable if you were pretty rough on the skinny pedal, on the highway it had barely enough balls to hold it at 75 in 5th gear... the slightest headwind or hill would force a 5-4 shift.

    Mileage wasn't great either... I got 15 around town and 15 on the highway because Montana is.... well "slightly" hilly and spending an entire trip in 4th gear isn't the most efficient way to drive.
     
  5. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Ok, so I can expect it to be a similar acceleration speed as my 86 2.5L Buick Century was, but can expect good mileage...

    Am I correct in that a 87-96 TBI 350 should bolt / hook straight up without changing anything more than putting a flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate on, then getting exhaust fabbed up?

    Cause for 800 bucks and a weekend to swap engines would suddenly make this rig exactly what I have wanted all along.

    It is in Canadian dollars, but is still overpriced, thats why he hasn't sold it yet. I'll go for it if I can get it for at least 6500, though I will try and get it for 6000, and break even on selling my pathfinder, then use the 1000 from the two cars I sold as engine swap money.
     
  6. b454rat

    b454rat 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    96 will be Vortec, don't know how they are to swap. OBS-1, so probly not too friendly. With a 5-speed might not be too bad, but Im too used to a big block, so everything is underpowered to me.....
     
  7. Russell

    Russell LB7 Tahoe Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Ah, thought that 96 was the last year of TBI, and 97 was the start of Vortec... Maybe it was different for the 4.3 trucks. In that case, I'd want a Vortec 350 instead...

    I suppose a guy would need to swap the dash out for a V8 tach as well.
     
  8. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    I thought 96+ was OBD II?
     
  9. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    94 was the start of the 4.3 Vortec, with the TBI 4.3 still available until 95 or 96. 5.7 Vortecs started in 96 with TBI 5.7s disappearing after the 95 model year.
     
  10. MTMike

    MTMike 1/2 ton status

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    My 96 was a Vortec but i'm unsure if it was OBD 1 or 2
     
  11. obijuan

    obijuan 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    i towed a gooseneck for 4 years with my 94 vortec v6 1500 reg/step, i just sold it with 212K miles and regret every bit of it. it towed better than my K5 and never replaced anything ever except the battery once and had the tranny rebuilt at 202K. i drove it to the coast many times and avg 24 mpg no sheet!
     
  12. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    Oh, I was under the impression that all Vortecs were OBD II.
     

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