Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Is Vortec Bad news?

Discussion in '1936-Present Suburban' started by dang, May 26, 2003.

  1. dang

    dang Newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2003
    Posts:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    My wife wants a Suburban or Yukon XLT but my mechanic says he sees tons of them with trouble around throttle body and it takes hours to take apart. Any advice-what engine to buy? Will go for newer 2000-2002'. Also said brakes cost a fortune to replace. Is it true and just typical for a big truck?
     
  2. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Posts:
    3,270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Delafield, Wisconsin
    I haven't heard of any troubles with the throttle bodies. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif What I have heard of is the early year (96-98) vortecs leak out of the back of the intake manifold. It's a time-consuming process to fix and just cost my Dad $600 to have a shop do it to his '97 burb...and, it's STILL losing coolant /forums/images/graemlins/mad.gif. Anyway, I think that problem was solved and is no longer an issue in the newer trucks.
    The half-tons are only available with the 5.3L vortec I believe. And I'm pretty sure the 3/4 tons have the options of 6.0L or 8.1L. If it were me, and I wasn't scared of the already $38,000 price, I would option for a 3/4 ton and get the 6L engine. A little more grunt if you ever need to tow. If you don't, a 1/2 ton would be more than sufficient.
    About the brakes; I'm not sure if they've changed the front brake style since the '97 year that my dad has, but it's really simple. You can do the brake job yourself. It consists of; buy new rotors and pads, and then remove wheel, unbolt caliper, and pull off (that's right, just pull off) rotors. (The new rotors and doing it yourself adds up to FAR less $$$ than taking it in to get it done) My Dad's 'burb has drums in the back, and they've changed that to 4 wheel discs in the newer years...I'm not sure how they're set up though.

    Hope that helps. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  3. zcarczar

    zcarczar 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2002
    Posts:
    2,495
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Apple Valley California
    If you have seen the brakes on the new trucks you know why they are expensive to replace. They are HUGE and they can last 80k miles depending on how you drive.
     
  4. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    May 9, 2001
    Posts:
    2,217
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    BC Canada
    Go for a 2000 model since they're still the older body style. Get it with the diesel and you won't have any Vortec worries /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Brake cost may be related to rear discs they added for 2001. Still fairly new, so the jobber market for brakes hasn't yet proliferated. The 2000 (and older) model uses drums. The 3/4-ton has massive 13x3.5" shoes that have remained the same for the last 20+ years.
     
  5. mosesburb

    mosesburb For Rent Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2003
    Posts:
    2,175
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    We've replaced a couple throttle bodies on the late model Vortecs (don't recall what the issues are with them though). The earlier ones, 5.7L style, are good power makers (especially on the rev-limiters /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif), but they go through intake gaskets and injectors like they are free /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif. We have had some good luck extending the service interval of the intake gaskets by changing them over to green coolant, instead of the factory installed rust. Man, if that red stuff is 100K coolant, the old green stuff is 200K coolant. May just be what we experience here in hell (Phoenix), but, that red coolant is awful.
     
  6. RockyRider13

    RockyRider13 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2001
    Posts:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kansas
    Just some quick hyjacking questions:

    What was the last year for the Gen 1+ vortec small block?

    What were the major design changes?

    does anyone have any experience with the MPI marine vortec engine?

    TIA /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  7. heavy4x4

    heavy4x4 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2002
    Posts:
    3,270
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Delafield, Wisconsin
    Not sure what you mean by Gen 1+, but "vortec" as we know it, started in the '96 model year trucks and I believe was unchanged until 2000.

    Design changes: plenty. Everything from the valvetrain up is different from the '95 (tbi) model year. Roller cam, vortec heads (different intake bolt pattern - 4 vertical bolts per side versus the previous 6 slanted per side, better flowing), different intake manifold and throttle body, exhaust gasses no longer pass through intake manifold - they come from the left hand exhaust manifold, and of course more sensors for the even more controlling OBD II computer.

    Sorry, don't know about the MPI marine engines.
     
  8. RockyRider13

    RockyRider13 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2001
    Posts:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kansas
    Sorry, what I meant were running changes in the vortec model.

    Vortec is kinda a broad term, as the newer Gen3 small blocks are vortec also. It is called Gen1+ because it is a gen1 block, but with the special intake pattern, setting it apart from the other gen1 blocks.
     

Share This Page