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Remanufactured 5.3L V8 Engine - 2000 Silverado


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I have a 2000 Silverado that has 196K miles.  It's been a good truck and, until the inlaws got ahold of it, was in good shape body-wise.  It's still okay but I need to get the bed fixed or replaced.

 

Anyway, it does have an issue.  It has the dreaded cracked cylinder head which is putting coolant into the oil.  I could replace the head, but at 196K miles I'm thinking of just swapping out the engine.  But I don't want to do this twice, so I am looking at remanufactured engines.

 

I was looking at remanufactured engines and of course Jasper is the first one that comes to mind.  The thing is, they REALLY like their engines.  For example, their price for a reman engine is ~ $3600.  Another company called Fraser Engines and Transmissions (which I know jack-shvt about) has a price of ~$2400.  PowerTrainProducts has theirs at $2700.  Tri-Star Engines and Transmissions - $3300.

 

Jegs has ATK engines starting at around $2300.  I also saw a 450HP engine for ~$3600 I think, but that would require a little more additional work than I want to tackle.

 

Other than Jasper and Jegs (who I think is just a reseller), these all came from some Google-Fu.  I know nothing of the rest of them.

 

I am a firm believer that 'you get what you pay for' to a point but there is often a point where you're paying for a name.  And these prices are all over the place.

 

Jasper claims their engines are brought up to the latest standard (improved "barbell" plug, the pistons that are designed to eliminate 'piston slap', etc).  Not sure about the rest.

 

Does anyone have any experience with any of these brands?  Based on reputation, Jasper would be my choice.  But at ~50% higher than the cheapest option.....

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Interestingly enough unless those are swapped heads they are not the Castech heads. Those didn't show up until later. Literally the next year lol

 

Personally I would not swap the whole engine out and I would just swap that one head out. You can get another head for like $100 at the most. Gaskets for $150 or so. That is just me though

 

 

 

To answer your question, I would do the Jegs ATK option, they seem to be good as I know some people that have had success with their engines.

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2 hours ago, SC Tiger said:

I have a 2000 Silverado that has 196K miles.  It's been a good truck and, until the inlaws got ahold of it, was in good shape body-wise.  It's still okay but I need to get the bed fixed or replaced.

 

Anyway, it does have an issue.  It has the dreaded cracked cylinder head which is putting coolant into the oil.  I could replace the head, but at 196K miles I'm thinking of just swapping out the engine.  But I don't want to do this twice, so I am looking at remanufactured engines.

 

I was looking at remanufactured engines and of course Jasper is the first one that comes to mind.  The thing is, they REALLY like their engines.  For example, their price for a reman engine is ~ $3600.  Another company called Fraser Engines and Transmissions (which I know jack-shvt about) has a price of ~$2400.  PowerTrainProducts has theirs at $2700.  Tri-Star Engines and Transmissions - $3300.

 

Jegs has ATK engines starting at around $2300.  I also saw a 450HP engine for ~$3600 I think, but that would require a little more additional work than I want to tackle.

 

Other than Jasper and Jegs (who I think is just a reseller), these all came from some Google-Fu.  I know nothing of the rest of them.

 

I am a firm believer that 'you get what you pay for' to a point but there is often a point where you're paying for a name.  And these prices are all over the place.

 

Jasper claims their engines are brought up to the latest standard (improved "barbell" plug, the pistons that are designed to eliminate 'piston slap', etc).  Not sure about the rest.

 

Does anyone have any experience with any of these brands?  Based on reputation, Jasper would be my choice.  But at ~50% higher than the cheapest option.....

You didn’t say how bad the leak is. I may have a similar problem with the exception of it has yet to show up in my oil. The only hint is slow water loss and last Januarys oil change. The service person said my oil first came out like sludge. I didn’t witness it or seen any evidence yet 4K miles later. I put bars leak in and check before I drive it. I have pretty good imagination. I guess it’s possible that it leaks after driving and trickles to the bottom of the oil pan. Never reaching the pickup to mix with oil. I’ve witnessed strange things with engines. I had blown,stroke engine that used a qt every 500 miles. 15 years later is still smoking the tires. Long, short of it try a sealer first.

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Just now, shakenfake said:

Interestingly enough unless those are swapped heads they are not the Castech heads. Those didn't show up until later. Literally the next year lol

 

Personally I would not swap the whole engine out and I would just swap that one head out. You can get another head for like $100 at the most. Gaskets for $150 or so. That is just me though

 

 

 

To answer your question, I would do the Jegs ATK option, they seem to be good as I know some people that have had success with their engines.

Thanks.  I thought the 2000 trucks were affected by that issue as well?  Mine is (I think) one of the later ones.

 

Still considering just doing the head but I'd probably do both of them.  Is there a high risk of broken head bolts while trying to remove them?  I don't mind replacing them but I don't want to have to try to pull out a snapped head bolt from the block.

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No, 01-06 according to the TSB somewhere. Have you confirmed that it is in fact a cracked head and a castech head? You can see this by removing the valve cover.

 

No, low risk of the head bolts breaking off in the block. Make sure you get ARP bolts when you do it though so you can reuse them. These head bolts are a one time use so every time I pull heads I just switch to ARP which are reusable.

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8 minutes ago, KARNUT said:

You didn’t say how bad the leak is. I may have a similar problem with the exception of it has yet to show up in my oil. The only hint is slow water loss and last Januarys oil change. The service person said my oil first came out like sludge. I didn’t witness it or seen any evidence yet 4K miles later. I put bars leak in and check before I drive it. I have pretty good imagination. I guess it’s possible that it leaks after driving and trickles to the bottom of the oil pan. Never reaching the pickup to mix with oil. I’ve witnessed strange things with engines. I had blown,stroke engine that used a qt every 500 miles. 15 years later is still smoking the tires. Long, short of it try a sealer first.

Mine is in the oil - comes out as some sludge and there is sludge on the drain bolt.  Not a lot of it, but there is some there.

 

The 'saving grace' with a slow coolant leak like this is that a lot of the water/coolant actually boils out of the crankcase when the oil heats up.  I haven't noticed any significant 'oil gain' which is when stuff gets really bad.

 

I had a 1986 camaro blow the intake manifold gasket, which dumped coolant into the oil.  It was the 2.8L V6 that was famous for that.  We fixed it but by the time it was caught, the damage had been done and it was only a matter of time.  It eventually started knocking.  That has stuck with me on this type of thing, but in truth that car showed SIGNIFICANT oil gain by the time we caught it.  It's also possible that it wasn't fixed properly I guess.

 

I admit - part of me just wants the truck to be 'right'.  It isn't my daily driver but I kind of want to get it back where it can be.  

 

Plus I will need a new vehicle before too long and I can't see paying $50K+ for a new truck.

 

If I get the engine straightened out, this one should be good for another 50-100K (guesstimate) before something else goes like the transmission.  I need to replace a few interior pieces (the dash is cracked in a few places) and, thanks to the inlaws, the driver's side of the bed has a big dent.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, shakenfake said:

No, 01-06 according to the TSB somewhere. Have you confirmed that it is in fact a cracked head and a castech head? You can see this by removing the valve cover.

 

No, low risk of the head bolts breaking off in the block. Make sure you get ARP bolts when you do it though so you can reuse them. These head bolts are a one time use so every time I pull heads I just switch to ARP which are reusable.

Found the TSB and you are correct, it's -01 to -06.  But I have heard of -00 having the issue as well.  The mechanic who I took it to said that they tend to have this issue.  I even have these little AC Delco pellets that are supposed to cure porosity, but I haven't tried them.

 

My brother in law (he's not the inlaw that dented up the truck) suggested I get new heads on it, and if the bottom end then goes, take those heads off and put them on a new short block! 

 

It's an idea.....

 

Good call on the ARP Head Bolts.  Do they use the same torque specs as the stock bolts, which I assume are torque-to-yield?

Edited by SC Tiger
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18 minutes ago, SC Tiger said:

Mine is in the oil - comes out as some sludge and there is sludge on the drain bolt.  Not a lot of it, but there is some there.

 

The 'saving grace' with a slow coolant leak like this is that a lot of the water/coolant actually boils out of the crankcase when the oil heats up.  I haven't noticed any significant 'oil gain' which is when stuff gets really bad.

 

I had a 1986 camaro blow the intake manifold gasket, which dumped coolant into the oil.  It was the 2.8L V6 that was famous for that.  We fixed it but by the time it was caught, the damage had been done and it was only a matter of time.  It eventually started knocking.  That has stuck with me on this type of thing, but in truth that car showed SIGNIFICANT oil gain by the time we caught it.  It's also possible that it wasn't fixed properly I guess.

 

I admit - part of me just wants the truck to be 'right'.  It isn't my daily driver but I kind of want to get it back where it can be.  

 

Plus I will need a new vehicle before too long and I can't see paying $50K+ for a new truck.

 

If I get the engine straightened out, this one should be good for another 50-100K (guesstimate) before something else goes like the transmission.  I need to replace a few interior pieces (the dash is cracked in a few places) and, thanks to the inlaws, the driver's side of the bed has a big dent.

My Avalanche has 178K on it and is cherry. Runs like a top. When it cools off I will change the oil to see if there’s sludge. Oil pressure is good no visible water in oil. It never leaves town so if it’s starts knocking it would get me home. I’m older even though I’m a little ocd I’m past worrying about perfection. My high oil usage 92 Chevy cured me of that. If the right reg cab comes along I may give it to one of my grandkids anyway. If she blows it will get modified. 

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coolant will destroy the bearings if mixed with the oil and where it's heavier than oil is sure to get sucked up by the oilpump. I did MANY 2.8 intake gaskets and told the customers that they would need bearings as well but nobody listened until they saw the oilpressure light on. so it may be wise to go with the rebuilt if it's been ingesting coolant for a while

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, richard wysong said:

coolant will destroy the bearings if mixed with the oil and where it's heavier than oil is sure to get sucked up by the oilpump. I did MANY 2.8 intake gaskets and told the customers that they would need bearings as well but nobody listened until they saw the oilpressure light on. so it may be wise to go with the rebuilt if it's been ingesting coolant for a while

I don't think bearings were even mentioned on the camaro.  But I was basically a kid and my dad got it fixed.  So I can't say for sure what was suggested, etc.

 

But the intake could be done with the engine in the car.  I assume that the bearings would be an engine out job, and the price probably went up 2x at least.

 

I also got another quote from Gearhead Remanufactured Engines (I know nothing about them) for ~ $2500 + core deposit of $335. 

 

Part of me feels silly investing this much in a ~22 year old truck but two things keep coming up:

 

1) At current prices, a gently used truck would be ~$450 a month.  So if I take the 'safe', lazy and easy route and have a Jasper put in at ~$5000 (guesstimate based on the engine being $3600) I'd need to make 10 months to make it pay for itself.  That shouldn't be hard to top.  I need to get some trim pieces to replace stuff damaged by the tornado, but those are cheap.

 

2)  Most places I've seen report that, other than rust issues (and I live in South Carolina so that's not a big deal) and the engine (this specific issue), these are pretty damn solid trucks. Many say they are even better than the generation that replaced them.

Edited by SC Tiger
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Agreed! Here in the Northeast rust  is a big issue as well as front end parts due to the bad roads are the biggest detractors for having an older truck. if the trucks solid and has no other issues I would fix it. The prices they are getting for used trucks is absolutely rediculous now

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the problem with the 2.8 was that the intake gaskets were under the valve covers so the first indication most ppl had that there was a problem is when it overheated. By then the oil looked like chocolate milk and the bearings were gone but it had great oil pressure until you changed the oil. then the op light would be on as soon as it warmed up

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, richard wysong said:

Agreed! Here in the Northeast rust  is a big issue as well as front end parts due to the bad roads are the biggest detractors for having an older truck. if the trucks solid and has no other issues I would fix it. The prices they are getting for used trucks is absolutely rediculous now

It's solid.  It needs some general maintenance (shocks, etc) and the aformentioned dent in the rear fender.  But that doesn't affect the drivability.

 

I do need a few more parts (RHS headlight mounting bracket, etc) but with the age of this thing, I can probably find that at a junkyard fairly cheap!  The dashboard could use replacement but I may just throw a dash mat over it, since any dash that fits it is going to be 20+ years old and brittle as heck.  I will probably try to repair the crack with some epoxy and fiberglass (or whatever you call that stuff they use on boats), do the two-sided-tape trick on the end near the firewall, and throw a mat over it.

Edited by SC Tiger
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