Author Topic: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread  (Read 4053 times)

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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« on: May 19, 2016, 12:29:23 PM »
A little while back I posted about getting a 1995 Chevrolet k1500 and thought it would be fun to post some updates as I go through it.  All work I've done myself as that was the intent on the older vehicle is that I could do darn near all labor and everything myself.  I thought this could be a fun discussion thread.  I am not a mechanic.  Only a fearless "do-it-yourselfer"  LOL!  I do have a close friend that is my knowledge expert to some degree.  Though he would not call himself one.  haha.  Anyways, on to the work and specs:

Engine - 350(5.7L) TBI   miles = 147k
Automatic Transmission - 4L60e
4WD - manual lever transfer

Here is the list of what I've done so far over about 4 months:

Oil/Filter change
Replaced Spark Plugs, SP Wires, Distributor Cap, Rotor
Coolant Flush
New Air Filter
New Rancho Shocks installed
New Fuel filter
New Fuel Pump
New Ignition Control Module
New Blower Motor
New Battery
Cleaned EGR valve
New Fuel Pump Relay
New Oil Pressure Switch/Sensor
New PCV Valve and hose
Set Timing on Distributor
New IAC Valve and Connector
New Alternator
Cleaned Grounds
New Engine Coolant Temp Sensor

Here's some pics.  Will post more from now on.

The alternator looked so dang good it was picture worthy



Getting dirty for fun




Still more projects on this but it runs good.  Just need to gradually work my way through it as any 20 year plus vehicle would need.

« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 03:59:07 PM by OutdoorEnvy »
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2016, 12:49:19 PM »
Congrats! Looks like a fun truck.

What's next on your list of upgrades/refurbishing?

For me, the worst things to fix in an older vehicle are the seats. We had an older F150 from the 80's that ran ok and wanted to replace the bench seat, or at least get it reupholstered. A shop in town wanted more than the truck was worth to reupholster the seat! You can put a seat cover on, but that's not the same.

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2016, 01:32:46 PM »
Find a Pick-a-Part junk yard and tell them what you want.  I have found a lot of nearly new parts for very little cash like that.
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Offline xj35s

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2016, 02:03:06 PM »
Very nice. I Love Chevy's. Like to see some action pics too. Thinking of building a small D.I.Y. Camper for the box?
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2016, 02:34:25 PM »
Future projects on my list are to replace:

Oxygen Sensor
MAP Sensor
TPS Sensor
Catalytic Converter
Transmission fluid/filter change
Starter
Rear Main Seal - Will put this one off as long as possible.  Right now it has a small drip. Small enough I haven't had to add oil in 5 months and it's not burning oil.  But still a drip that will only get worse.  I did try ATP 205-reseal.  no luck.
Differential oil
Transfer case oil
Transmission cooler hose line replacement - Currently has a small leak as well.
Rebuild the front end suspension

Sensors and Catalytic converter will be the next ones on the list. 

I'll for sure try junkyards.  Especially on the small stuff.  The interior on mine is okay.  It's leather and the front seats were cracking.  No tears.  I did put saddle blanket seat covers on them for now.  The back seat is fine.  The dash had no cracks but I went ahead and put a dashcover on to keep it that way.  I'll take some interior pics sometime too. 

I haven't thought of building a camper box.  I thought about being on the lookout for a topper shell for cheap.  They are handy when you need them. 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 06:01:33 PM by OutdoorEnvy »
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Offline zammer

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2016, 03:12:14 PM »
One suggestion,. those 4L60e trannys do not like heat, I had one in my old Astro van years ago ( that exact same year ) if the truck does not already have one I would suggest you add an aux tranny cooler... tru-cool or Hayden, as cooler tranny temps are crucial to tranny longevity, tho at 147 k it may not be long before tranny rebuid time comes ( of course it all depends how much you drive it and whether it has already had any work done to it. The other issue with adding new fluid to older trannys ( unless they have had routine tranny fluid changes ) is that newer fluid can actually eat away at some of the build up of varnish and gunk and end up causing leaks. But hopefully you will have many more years of care-free driven....cool truck and project  :cheers:
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2016, 03:44:17 PM »
It does have a transmission cooler and oil cooler.  Not sure what kind.  But the transmission cooler hose lines have a leak.  That's on the list too.  Forgot to put that one above.  This isn't my daily driver.  I like to think it could be but I drive a 2006 accord for work and city travel.  I bet I put around 2-3k a year on the truck.  The trans fluid looks okay.  It's much more pink than brown.  It shifts fine now so that will probably be a down the road project. 
« Last Edit: May 19, 2016, 03:53:35 PM by OutdoorEnvy »
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2016, 04:10:57 PM »
For me, the worst things to fix in an older vehicle are the seats. We had an older F150 from the 80's that ran ok and wanted to replace the bench seat, or at least get it reupholstered. A shop in town wanted more than the truck was worth to reupholster the seat! You can put a seat cover on, but that's not the same.

Yeah it's not the same for sure.  If I get to where I want to replace them I will probably first check craigslist or pullyards for some bucket seats in good condition that match the interior.  I'm thinking it shouldn't be too hard to find since there were millions of these trucks made.  I'd actually prefer the cloth seats over leather anyways.     
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2016, 04:17:49 PM »
The billet grill is kind of funny as it was from necessity.  The previous owner had an LED bar light on the bottom grill and kept it.  So it had been cut out.  Buying the billet grill insert was much cheaper so I cut out the top one and put it on.  I do like it after putting it in.  I wasn't sure what I would think but I do like the clean matching chrome look.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2016, 05:02:53 PM »
I had a couple of that series of GM trucks.  Both Z-71's which I think is just springs and shocks and a skid plate.  My first one was a 1988 with that POS 700R4 tranny.  What a joke of engineering excellence that one was.  Other than that with was a good truck.  My next one was a 1996 with the 460LE tranny and that never gave me any problems in the 100,000 miles I put on it.  I bought a 2003 GMC with the 5.3 engine and 460L trans.  It has had a lot of small to medium priced issues.  Rear axle seals (3 in 66,000 miles), a front differential bearing ($1100.00) and small things like a window falling down it the door, broken door handle, a spot of rust on one fender, and a couple of bad coils. 

Your trucks looks to be in good condition body wise.  I hate rust and lay awake at night worrying about it.  I got that way from owning a bunch of Toyota Land Cruisers.  My GM trucks have held up good body wise as long as I wash the mud out of the fender wells on a regular basis. 

My 1996 had a intake manifold gasket issue and the mechanic said they all had bad ones.  Some of the 1995's too.  This was with the 5.7 Litre motor.  Check yours for leaks.   
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Offline Uncle Sam

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2016, 05:12:54 PM »
See if you would have bought a Ford all you would have had to do is put gas in it ;) :P Seriously, that's a clean 95. Lots of performance parts fairly cheap for a 350 as well, if your inclined to go that route. I would also like to say good on you, doing it yourself and learning about your vehicle. I work in the automotive world, its nice to see someone want to know more than where the key goes in and where the gas goes in. Because honestly that's pretty much 75% of the world. Kinda frightens me. :-\

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2016, 11:13:07 AM »
  I hate rust and lay awake at night worrying about it. 

LMAO!  That is just hilarious to picture.   Too funny.  Yeah it's pretty clean everywhere.  I keep it garaged and clean so it should stay that way.

Thanks Sam,  it's been neat going through it.  I've learned a lot for sure.  I work on my accord too but haven't had to replace anything really other than maintenance stuff.  I really like this engine and design.  It's very easy to work on. I can see why people like them.  Parts are still easy to find and even the ACDelco parts are relatively low cost or reasonable so I've been using those. 
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Offline SIXFOOTER

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2016, 12:25:48 PM »
Those are good old trucks, I just sold me 2000 Z71 because it was just sitting here. Was a good truck, got me 350k miles, no leaks, no oil burning. I had it painted 3 years ago and then it just sat here. Went to a good home
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2016, 07:50:05 AM »
Last night I replaced the left(driver side) exhaust manifold.  Old one had a nice crack.  This was a pretty straight forward project.  Only unforeseen pain in the butt part was a bracket that holds the power steering pump in place was held in place by the two front manifold bolts.  So to take it off I had to get a pulley puller kit and take the tension held pulley off to be able to unbolt the bracket so I could move it out of the way.  Added about 2 hours to the project.  So total time on this was about 4 hours.  But I'm a knuckle head and was doing this for the first time so it can be done much faster. 

Here is the old in place with the crack on the first left elbow on the manifold



Here it is pulled out



here is old and the new one



installed...finally .  you can see that black metal bracket on the left two bolts that traveled along the back of the power steering pump. 





a couple engine pics.  the air filter housing was painted red when I got it. I didn't like it at first but I am getting used to it and feel it's growing on me.







well I did get some of my power back that the leak was robbing me of.  Also it is much quieter so it solved my vacuum leak issue up front.  So I think we can call this one a success. 
« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 06:20:01 PM by OutdoorEnvy »
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Offline hunter63

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2016, 08:37:28 AM »
Nice thing about older ...You can see the motor.....
Bad part about older trucks....you have to look and work on it more...LOL

Anyway...Congrats.. ..It's good to know your machine.
Thanks for posting.
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Offline upthecreek

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2016, 01:42:17 PM »
Nice job! Power steering brackets are almost always a pain in the butt regardless of the application. Great truck.

Creek
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2016, 09:10:53 AM »
Thanks guys.  I've been pretty pleased with it.  It's running much stronger now. 
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 12:15:59 PM by OutdoorEnvy »
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2016, 03:02:11 PM »
I bet it sounds better without that exhaust leak too. Nice job!

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2016, 02:57:21 PM »
Thanks PW and it sounds great.  Just how you would want a 350 to hum.  I still need to get up some interior pics too. They will come I promise!
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2016, 10:03:09 AM »
Replaced the TPS(Throttle Position Sensor) over the weekend.  Pretty easy really.  There is one little trick I saw somewhere that is handy.   You can see in the first picture there is a plate blocking a straight-line access to the screws that hold it on.  Instead of taking the plate off to get at them with screwdriver(which is not very simple) you can use vise-grip plyers to hold the torx bit to break them free.  This worked great!

I replaced this sensor as the truck seemed just a little jumpy at low rpms while driving slow and taking off.  Basically backing up, etc at very low speed.  It is much smoother now in response and the transmission shifts smoother as well.  It didn't shift hard before but there is a noticeable difference to it with the new TPS in.

Old one after getting the screws started out



vise grip plyers,  picture wasn't focused good but you can see it enough for the idea



new on top, old on bottom



Installed



   

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Offline wolfy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2016, 10:19:09 AM »
Vise-Grips save the day......AGAIN! :hail:
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2016, 10:40:35 AM »
I have used them on bits and it does work pretty well.  I finally bought a set of Torx, Hex,  Allen, and philips/flat screwdrivers that fit a 1/4" or 3/8"  socket wrench.  They work great.

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Offline Uncle Sam

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2016, 06:00:39 PM »
I have used them on bits and it does work pretty well.  I finally bought a set of Torx, Hex,  Allen, and philips/flat screwdrivers that fit a 1/4" or 3/8"  socket wrench.  They work great.

Yeah putting bits in a socket and using a ratchet is a better solution if it can fit. But I've been there with the vise grips too. :) Erratic idle can also be caused by an idle air control valve. So keep an eye on it. More so in older (90-mid 2000's) fords but happens in chevys too. But it sounds like you may have it licked.

Offline upthecreek

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2016, 07:23:02 PM »
You probably ought to take that throttle body off and check the gasket under it. They are famous for sucking in and creating a vacuum leak that can be puzzling. Eratic idle, funny trans shifting. All kinds of stuff that's easy to fix with a 5$ gasket. Being able to read the data stream is a big help too.

Creek

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Offline wsdstan

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2016, 08:00:07 PM »
You probably ought to take that throttle body off and check the gasket under it. They are famous for sucking in and creating a vacuum leak that can be puzzling. Eratic idle, funny trans shifting. All kinds of stuff that's easy to fix with a 5$ gasket. Being able to read the data stream is a big help too.

Creek

Creek

That is a good idea.  Both of mine (a 1990 and 1996) had that issue as well as a coolant leak in the intake manifold area. 
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2016, 06:37:06 AM »
Thanks for the tips guys!  I will have to check out the throttle body gasket sometime.  It has a Holley aftermarket throttle body so I'm assuming it's not original so hopefully it's not 21 years old.  Won't know till I check it though.  As for the idle air control valve I have replaced that and the connector for it as well.  That's actually it in the pics just to the left of the TPS with the 4 wires.  The truck is running really good at present.  I'm starting to be about done with little stuff.  An oxygen sensor and MAP sensor is all I need to replace for it to have all new sensors.  Big things on the list I need to get to at some point is the rear main seal and head gasket replacements.  Also I'm pretty sure the exhaust system needs replacing.  The pipes are okay but the catalytic converter and muffler look awfully old and rusted.  No holes though but it's only a matter of time...
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Offline Uncle Sam

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2016, 05:24:28 PM »
Rear main can fall on the back burner as long as you keep an eye on it, and check your oil regularly. But if you need head gaskets, do them as soon as possible and try not to drive it til then. If coolant is getting into the engine in the wrong places. It will wash out, and kill bearings quick. Other bad things can happen too. It's a big job, but super important.

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2016, 10:18:35 AM »
Well there's been an unfortunate turn of events with the truck.  I got hit from behind, from an un-insured driver, and the damage has of course totaled it out.  This happened a couple weekends ago.  I was holding out hope to fix it but that isn't going to happen.  So I will be taking care of finalizing the insurance on my end and then will be on the hunt for another truck of similar age.  But for now it's farewell to this one.  It's a shame.  I really liked it and had it running very good.  I'll start a new thread with the next one. 


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Offline upthecreek

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #28 on: August 30, 2016, 10:21:13 AM »
I'd buy that back and put a bed on it...as long as the $$ numbers work.

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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2016, 10:25:05 AM »
I'd buy that back and put a bed on it...as long as the $$ numbers work.

Creek

I would if it didn't need frame work.  You can't tell from that pic but the bed punched the cab pretty good too and the interior has rattling now in the back since it isn't flush anymore.  Just an annoyance really but something I don't want to deal with.  It may take time but I think I can get another old one in good shape. 
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2016, 11:35:20 AM »
That is a shame.  I hope you can get some $$$ out of the no insurance azzhat who hit you.  It was a very nice truck.
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Offline crashdive123

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2016, 06:51:50 PM »
Sorry for your loss. 

Offline wolfy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2016, 07:06:45 PM »
Well, CRAP! :pissed:
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Offline Dano

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #33 on: August 31, 2016, 05:21:25 PM »
Damn OE, that flat out SUCKS!!  I'd be so pissed, I couldn't see straight!   No/under insured drivers piss me off more than I can say.  They cost the rest of us so much money in losses, and they just seem to come off scott free.   Sucks!

Offline zammer

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #34 on: September 04, 2016, 07:38:46 AM »
Awe sheeeeet! that was a cool truck and project. Sorry to hear about this ODE

How'd you folks make out with the quake?
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #35 on: September 04, 2016, 04:38:12 PM »
Awe sheeeeet! that was a cool truck and project. Sorry to hear about this ODE

How'd you folks make out with the quake?

Thanks Zam.  My family and I are fine.  Nothing much happened to me other than a shaking that made the morning a little more exciting than usual.  I don't know of anyone in particular that had any major damage or anything.  Could have been worse for sure.  The only long term bummer is these quakes have been getting a little bigger every couple years...I hope it stops.   
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Offline upthecreek

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #36 on: September 04, 2016, 05:23:01 PM »
pumping that oil!

Creek
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Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #37 on: October 06, 2016, 08:26:38 AM »
Well I ended up with a newer truck than I was initially looking for, 2004 Silverado.  The deal was right so I pulled the trigger on it.  It doesn't have the appeal of an old truck project so I don't think a thread on it would be as fun.  But I am back to having an outdoor vehicle so that is a good thing.  Anyways.  Just wanted to post the update on OE's woods wagon. 

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Offline hunter63

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2016, 10:50:12 AM »
Sorry for your loss.....all that work and money....gone.
New one looks good.....but yeah, not near as much fun.

My 1999 F-150 4 X 4 extended cab still driving low miles,  mechanical great, paid for...showing rust.....Trying to make up my mind if I want to invest some buck in repairing that....or just drive it.
Geezer Squad, Evoking the 50 year old rule..First 50 years, worried about the small stuff, second 50 years....Not so much

Offline OutdoorEnvy

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #39 on: October 06, 2016, 11:45:49 AM »
Sorry for your loss.....all that work and money....gone.
New one looks good.....but yeah, not near as much fun.

My 1999 F-150 4 X 4 extended cab still driving low miles,  mechanical great, paid for...showing rust.....Trying to make up my mind if I want to invest some buck in repairing that....or just drive it.

Thanks hunter!  As for your truck I'd repair it.  It will only get worse and cost more down the road.  Plus it will really hurt the resale value if that day ever came. 
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Offline hunter63

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #40 on: October 06, 2016, 12:34:03 PM »
Sorry for your loss.....all that work and money....gone.
New one looks good.....but yeah, not near as much fun.

My 1999 F-150 4 X 4 extended cab still driving low miles,  mechanical great, paid for...showing rust.....Trying to make up my mind if I want to invest some buck in repairing that....or just drive it.

Thanks hunter!  As for your truck I'd repair it.  It will only get worse and cost more down the road.  Plus it will really hurt the resale value if that day ever came.

Yeah, maybe.....but the reason why I still even have it was lack of trade in value when I purchased the 2008 F-250.
They were gonna give me like $2000 off....LOL....sales tax was more, on the new truck.
So decided to keep it as a leve out side everyday driver....while the new truck stayed in the garage.....That is a 2008 bought it in 2009....has put 55000 most all highway miles.

The 1999 had been parked a lot in the garage for 10 years as I drove a company service truck all that time.
That has only 130K on it today.....
I mostly will not be selling it any time soon....so still am considering getting the rust fixed...so it looks good.
Geezer Squad, Evoking the 50 year old rule..First 50 years, worried about the small stuff, second 50 years....Not so much

Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2016, 12:53:49 PM »
I am sorry to see your project truck get totaled. It was fun watching it come together. It's ironic that the drivers who need insurance the most, are the ones least likely to have any. 

One thing I have learned about buying used vehicles is that there is always a great deal out there somewhere, and if there isn't, just take a break for a few weeks and begin searching again and there will be a whole different selection to choose from.

Good luck and congrats on the new truck!

Offline hunter63

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Re: 1995 Chevrolet Silverado Z-71 project thread
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2016, 05:56:33 PM »
People do projects like this as fun , a challenge, learning experience......Mos t likely never MAKE any money....that isn't the point.

Sorry to see it end as well.....kinda like getting kicked in the stomach. 
Geezer Squad, Evoking the 50 year old rule..First 50 years, worried about the small stuff, second 50 years....Not so much