General Motors - GM 4.3 Liter Vortec - I am so disappointed with the quality of this engine I will never buy another General Motors Product again

Posted on Monday, May 17th, 2004 at 12:00am CDT by Jake P.

Product: 4.3 Liter Vortec

Company: General Motors

Category: Cars, Motorcycles, Boats, Vehicles

GM 4.3 Liter Vortec Is a piece of JUNK!

I am a 15 year ASC, and state of Michigan Master tech. I have been teaching dealer tech's for the last 8 of those 10 years.

I have been driving S Series Pick ups's and Blazers sense I received my drivers license back in 1983. I recently bought my first non TBI or carburetor equipped 4.3 equipped vehicle. It is a 2003 Chevy S-10 4 door pickup. You know, the latest, greatest Vin W Vortec pushrod engine. I am so disappointed with the quality of this engine I will never buy another General Motors Product again. Far less because of the inherent design flaws right out of the box that have been able to stay with a design that is near 10 years, but because of how stupid General Motors thinks it's costumers really are!

My engine has the same problems that 80% of V6 and V8 Vortec engines have. Its noisy and idles terribly! GM has been promising a fix for years with no resolution. Carboned pistons causing clacking, improperly metered lifters are noisy and to top it all off, a balance shaft torsion problem that completes the engine noise cycle and vibration throughout ALL operating ranges and engine speeds and conditions.

With as many millions of these ticking time bombs on the road, with no resolution in sight, GM just shrugs its shoulders and says: "Hey, its a pushrod motor, its supposed to be noisy." $27,000 for a vehicle with an engine that sounds like it has 150,000 miles on it at 15,000 miles and on. I guess they think that them telling us Vortec owners that "it poses no longevity or performance issue" should appease our sense of concern. Problem is IT DOESN'T! Of 5 dealerships, none could give me the time of day, and GM costumer service? Lets just say, banging my head against the wall would have been a more productive use of my time.

I pulled the motor out of my NEW TRUCK myself and found:

6 of 12 lifters defective. Improper valve preload on all 6 resulting in a noisy valve train. Checked bleed down rate of all lifters, none of which met GM's own Minimum Bleed down rate specification for this application.

8 valve guides with at least .005" of movement.

7 valve springs out of square and ALL 12 with less than 50 lbs of installed seat pressure.

Valve stem heights in variance of over .020" on a non adjustable valve train.

.023" back lash on the balance shaft gears. OH MY GOD! No wonder it's so noisy! After trying to match 16 sets of new shafts and gears, best I could do was .008" and had to lap them in as well. Lucky for me ONE local GM dealer let me strip old gears and shafts from old warranty engines. They had exploded carcasses on hand. Where did those all come from?

Left bank of the engine had a minimum of .006" piston to wall clearance and 2 collapsed piston skirts, right bank had 1 collapsed skirt with .005" on one cylinder. THATS 3 collapsed piston skirts total in a 6 cylinder engine.

If I didn't know it was an almost new engine, I'd swear it had at least 100,000 miles on it!

After an investment of $675.00 and a week and a half with the engine on a stand, my engine sounds like it should after 16,000 miles. Its QUIET!

Question is, why couldn't GM do this in production? How many years have they been having this problem? For as long as a balance shaft has been inside the Vortec! What is the moral of the story?

GM has no regard for costumer care, or satisfaction. GM has no regard for the faithful costumer and Joe lunchpail who is paying a note on a truck that sounds like a piece of junk! I just wanted to share my engine autopsy with your readers.

Any one want to join me in a class action law suit?

Victor G

Dearborn Michigan (home of Henry Ford and the Mustang)


Post a Comment

a6959e04, 2007-09-27, 12:33PM CDT

I totally agree with what u said about the 4.3 gm disaster. You didn't even go into the defective fuel injection POPPET design, a problem I we have with three 99-00 jimmy/envoy trucks in our lot. I am seriously interested in a class action lawsuit. Two other mechanics that are my good friends also are interested.The huge amount of defects from new are scary!!!!! please email me back [email protected]

c7156ce6, 2007-11-12, 09:54PM CST

I totaly agree. i have one problem after another with my s-10 pickup.I payed 13.000 grand for it in 1995 and it has cost me 20.000 just to keep it running. It didnt run right sense the day i pick it up in detroit. And as you know, trying to deal with gm is a dead end. If you need my help to file a lawsuit just let me know. Mike

6fecc4ef, 2008-01-01, 05:02PM CST

I believe all engines are good (not great)just good. It's how they are taken care of by their owners...Some turn out to be great because of their longevity and performance.

Case in point: I bought a USED 1992 GMC Sierra 4x4 short bed in 1994 second owner. the first thing i done was purchased an extended warranty that lasted 4 yrs. from that point on I did all the work myself. I owned that truck for 12 yrs. In that time that engine went over 5 Colorado summits ranging from 10k feet to 14k feet all dirt roads and very steep and rocky in 4 low 4x4. never once did that engine ever give my grief. It ran great stayed cool. Was a very dependable engine. Kudos to GMC

0fe0c34d, 2008-01-04, 12:41PM CST

I own a 2004 2500hd pickup with the 8100 engine with what sounds like a lifter knock,and the engine consumes 1qt. of oil for every 100gal.of gas. The noise is there on a cold start-up and now continues for some time. I bought the truck new and I have had this problem since the first four thousand miles. I have called G.M. many times about this problem. I have had the vehicle in the service garage on several occations for the lifter noise. They say it is within their spc. They also say 1qt of oil per 100 gallons of gas is normal for that engine. The noise is getting worse. There is no oil leak that I can find. If there is anyone that is having similar problems I would like to hear for you.

e0546dd7, 2008-01-31, 08:25AM CST

did you ever check the trottle body they do need to be cleaned every now and than

cb704c12, 2008-02-13, 09:02AM CST

well maybe you should just go buy you a fix or repair daily and stop complaining about your chevy!!! most likely there wasnt anything wrong with the chevy 4.3 expect a lead foot.

if you hot rod any motor of course its gonna give you trouble.too many people complain about there motor being bad when the truth is it wouldnt be bad if it wasnt abused.any motor is like a persons heart..if you dont take care of it..sooner or later its gonna give you trouble. i have a chevy 4.3 with well over 150,000 miles and its a 1991 and i have not had any trouble with it at all. but if i act like its a race car and think i have to do 0-60 is 5 seconds then it will .

4c7f9828, 2008-03-12, 12:50PM CDT

its called piston slap

4535da11, 2008-03-20, 09:54PM CDT

I disagree, the 4.3 vortec is a well designed engine. i have one with a stroker crank, rods, je pistons,and aftermarket heads. currently it is pushing 506 hp, and 387lb-ft tq... RELIABLY. when you buy a pushrod motor you should always expect some clatter. Regular maintenence and not driving your stock vehichle like a race car should prevent you from doing excessive damage such as you have previously mentioned. there is always going to be lemons out there, (with every car manufacturer.) People need to understand that there is no such thing as a perfect machine, so buy something you like and run with it.

And to the guy who spent 20.000 on keeping his car running over 12 years, How? you could have had 3 rebuilt motors and 2 new transmissions for that cost. thats stupidity not a bad product from G.M.

84aafd6d, 2008-04-07, 01:43AM CDT

The problem is not with the 4.3 but the operator. Some idiot not taking care of his engine is asking for trouble. Run the right fuel (some newer engines require 91 octain or better), change the oil every 2500-3000 miles with the right oil weight, and don't hot rod from light to light and you will be fine.

My truck is a 1990 c1500 standard cab long bed with (you guessed it) a 4.3 v6 and a 3 speed th400 trans. on the back. It came from the local electric company 6 years ago. No telling how many drivers it has had in it. I bought it with 165,000 miles on it, and i got a copi of their records that said the engine has never been rebuilt. It now has 230,000 miles on it and it still pulls a horse trailer with no problem. There is some mild ticking when the engine gets hot and it pufs a little smoke on start up from flooding, other than that it is a wonderful engine. After I bought the truck I built a 350 to put in it after the engine gives out. I sold the 350 after 2 years because the v6 still runs so good. I chang my oil every 2500 miles with full synthetic and a k&n oil filter. this is my daily driver (34 miles to and from work across dow town oklahoma city 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year). My next truck wil be a chevy with a 4.3 v6. one of my friends at work bought a truck in 06 that tis a 4.3 and he loves it. we both are getting about 20 mpg and mine is 19 years old. Like they say, "Chevy's are built rock solid".

271831d3, 2008-04-21, 10:08PM CDT

Alright who ever gave gm the kudos you are dumd i have owned 3 Gmc trucks all 4.3 and there stupid engunes have grenaded on me i now have a an 07 seirra i have a knocking noise somewhere in my valve train that gm techs say is normal but the truth is there just to goddamn lazy to actually fix it there dumb i will never purchase another GMC gunna take my hand at a ford or maybe even a dodge. i will die before i buy another gm they suck

e49a7f9b, 2008-04-24, 07:10PM CDT

I have a 1992 S-10 with a 4.3 liter V-6. I have owned it 16.5 years and put 184,000 miles on it. It is one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. I have never, repeat, never had to add oil between oil & filter changes. It does not burn oil. Starts every time and runs exceptionally well.

a2a06cde, 2008-04-24, 07:13PM CDT

I have a 1992 S-10 with a 4.3 liter V-6. I have owned it 16.5 years and put 184,000 miles on it. It is one of the best vehicles I have ever owned. I have never, repeat, never had to add oil between oil & filter changes. It does not burn oil. Starts every time and runs exceptionally well.

7f105391, 2008-04-24, 08:07PM CDT

I am not surpised about your problems with this engine and I wholeheartedly disagree with the poster who wrote that all engines are good and none are great. No, some engines are absolute crap while some are indeed great and it doesn't always have to do with how you maintain or use them. There is an old saying, "You can't polish a turd".

Luckliy, I never had to deal with one of these 4.3's but a friend of mine had a 1994 Sonoma with one and had the fuel pump replaced 3 times and at 85k the oil pump quit causing it to seize. One of the times he had the fuel pump replaced at the dealer there was a mechanic there who did nothing but replace defective fuel pumps on Vortecs.

GM cannot seem to part with the pushrod which is a prime reason why they cannot compete with more advanced engine designs. Pushrod engines, while compact, are dated and inherently noisy and sloppy.

I have a 2002 S10 with a 2.2 Vortec and have had only a starter problem but it has only 36k miles on it. It is a piss poor excuse for a 4-cyl. engine and pales miserably in comparison to Japanese 4-cylinders.

I have had lots of experience with Toyota and Honda engines which are vastly superior to any crap GM, Ford or Chrysler builds. I religiously maintain them but also run the snot out of them because they can take it.

Toyota's and Honda's use all forged parts in critical areas like crankshafts, rods, pistons, etc. and have beafy bottom ends. I had a 22R in my old Toyota truck that I could take up to 80 mph in third gear all the while turning smoothly with no vibration and at 200k miles on it.

Those of you who have had nothing go wrong with Vortecs are lucky. The 3.0 liter V-6 in my Camry is a superbly smooth and quiet engine because it is designed right with DOHC valve train and because it's a Toyota. It doesn't even sound like a V-6 but almost like a V-8 under hard acceleration with a nice throaty roar. Once I sell my disappointing S10 I will get another Toyota truck.

9f3cffcf, 2008-05-07, 04:32PM CDT

I ahve a 2001 vortec 4.3 with just shy of 100,000 on it and it purrs like a kitten.. NEVER had a major problem. Its quiet, Sounds like it hads 10 miles on it instad of 100,000. idles silky smooth. It has none of the problems you talked about.. this little sweetheart powers my 2001 ZR2 S10 pick up

3fb58c10, 2008-05-16, 02:44PM CDT

I have a 4.3 litre and cant get it to pass e test failed co%by .2 my reading are 63 for hc ppm passed

my co% is .59and i need .43 to pass

and my no ppm is 1087 and passed

d73fae2e, 2008-05-20, 12:05AM CDT

If you have had a problem with so many different GM's why would u buy them time and time again?

19fe4247, 2008-05-25, 10:36PM CDT

My Experience with the V6 Vortec Engine

Repairs To Date

Blown Head Gaskets (2), Valve Guides, Crank, Mass Airflow Sensor, Injector Spider, Oil Pumps

Money Spent:

On 97 Bravada $3000

On Repairs $5000

$8000 for a truck with 123,000 miles

I barely get by between my wife and my income with 2 kids, rent, GAS ($4 Gallon which fortunately the V6 Vortec sucks that down like its dying of thirst). This truck has also caused me to have a nervous breakdown, a trip to the hospital, left me and my kids stuck in the heat stranded, multiple days of missed work, constantly relying on people for rides, and just a genuine feeling of being ripped off.



e9135cd6, 2008-06-01, 12:43AM CDT

i have owned 3 diffrent s series one blazer and 2 s-10's and never had any problems with the vortecs and ran them all into the ground over 300,000 thousand miles and beat them all the timeand still sold them running and never had any problems with them

55d54724, 2008-06-01, 11:35AM CDT

buy a ford i'm sure you deserve some real trouble

87d72a84, 2008-06-18, 09:12PM CDT

I realize you have more expirience in automotive issues than I will ever have but I would think you would know that no two engine are the same I got an 06 GMC with 30000 miles on it. I love the performance of this engine I believe that it is way better than that of the 3800 series buick motor. So before you start dissin gm think they had some great engines in history and still do you just have to know what to look for.

ba04f79f, 2008-06-26, 01:40PM CDT

It's not just GM, every car company has its junk. What would you rather drive, a Ford Exploder?? Yes, I said Exploder. I mean, what the hell do you want from a dime-a-dozen production motor? If you want a perfect motor, spend a heap of money and go buy a Ferrari, and stop whining.

Steve A

d111ce39, 2008-06-27, 08:37PM CDT

I own 2 GM vehicles with the 4.3 litre engine and i would absolutely swear by them...never left me stranded plenty of power for a V6 and both have more than 200,000 miles on the ORIGINAL MOTOR AND TRANNY!!!!!!!!!!!! TRY THAT 1 WITH A FORD PRODUCT!!

b469fcad, 2008-07-13, 03:16PM CDT

i have a 4.3 with 221,543 miles on it and it still give 5.0 mustangs a run for their money. i have currently outrun 3 5.0's and i give the truck hell everywhere i go. it hasnt broken down yet. i will keep posting my mileage and prove that a 4.3 can run forever

a3940752, 2008-07-14, 09:09PM CDT

I have a 1997 sonoma with the 4.3 in it and it is a great truck it just turned over 100,000 and it still runs and idles fine. The motor uses no oil. Probably cause i take care of it. If you just take the time to change your oil every 3000 miles and grease it and check all other fluids, the engine and truck will last far longer than everyone thinks. The 4.3 vortec is a dime a dozen motor that GM has been manufacturing for years. They are a strong motor and they fit perfectly in s-10's and sonomas. They are just the right amount of power for them. and everyone who thinks they are doing good things by sueing GM is wasting there time. They will always have more good things said about the 4.3 than bad.

cbe1183c, 2008-08-24, 09:06PM CDT

i totally agree with you, 4.3's suck. have a 2006 1500 W/T w/ 4.3 has 48,000 miles on it 5,000 miles ago i went to change the oil and noticed i was missing 3 oil pan bolts. (all in line driver's side) i thought they might have been stolen. then i thought who in their right mind would have stole them. :-) it's sad gm can't double check this stuff at the factory. also noticed the compresser was under stress when running, and it was over charged 10 psi. All issues came stright from the factory. B/c i bought the truck brand new with 1 mile on it. Since you seem well educated about 4.3's could you tell me what size bolts do i need to get, to replace the one's that were mysterly lost. Love GM and will be with untill the day I die, but no more 4.3's for me. Got to find a motor as good as the 3.8. since all great things must come to a end.

45679380, 2008-08-27, 05:06AM CDT

I have a 99' Silverado 149k miles. At 70k miles I took it in for the lifter tick, they would only warranty the 2 collapsed lifters, I said F-u put it back together and give me my truck back.

So my truck still runs great, I tow cars with it and cruise 70 mph no problem. After 3k miles, the oil is still transparent brown.

Stop yo whining, Ford/Chrysler would treat you the same in a rodents heart beat.

e557176f, 2008-09-13, 08:26PM CDT

I have a 1998 GMC with a 4.3 L in it and its the best truck i have ever drivin. it has over 125,000 miles on it and has all its origianal parts. i'm not very nice to it either. i push that truck to its limits and i know that if the 4.3 wasn't a good engine it would have craped out on me by now. it runs like its brand new, and i will bet anything it will continue to run like new. if its taken care of it will last a long time. there is nothing wronge with Cehy's 4.3 L engine, so quit whining.

d4700b2f, 2008-09-22, 03:10PM CDT

Any car has problems but its funny when i get more people buying ford parts than Gm, or dodge. I work at O'Reilly and 4.3 motors are great the last but you will never get anything perfect from the factory they do that to make money. Amd for the toyota and honda guy yes i have a civic with 200k on it i need a O2 sesor it runs ok but with a studer when i checked the price $450 at regular price. Also why do you want a rubber timing belt do you like bent valves i love honda but ill stick with american made thats why are economy sucks right now.

5d6320ab, 2008-09-25, 07:33PM CDT

well i have a 94 wt 1500 4x4 with 245000 on it and the engine runs great so i dont know what your bitchin about but everyone thats agreeing with u all has a newer one so mabey just the new ones suck idk but i love mine it tears

64da7ccc, 2008-10-05, 10:17AM CDT

I Have a 1994 s10 blazer with a 4.3 that has a 173000 on it thats almost twohunderd k i paid 800 for this blazer 60k ago and it is the best old rust bucket i have owned the only problem i have had is with rust and the abs thats it

25b5046a, 2008-10-13, 07:05PM CDT

Hello, have you filed this law suit yet? I own a 2002 s-10 ZR2 "off road" package. The day i bought it it had 34,000 miles on it and noticed a small miss at idle. I took it back and they replaced the intake gasket but that never rid the idle problem, then i was told "its the nature of the beast" well i have installed a k&n air filter, plugs, wires, trottle body spacer, and a flow master muffler the problem i have is trottle responce its sluggish. Its like the RPM's are high but the truck kinda boggs down then if you let off the gas itll pick up. This truck should perform better than this i talked to other people with a 4.3 vortec and they say its a great engine. I think i might had got the "LEMON" off the line. I am ready to take it have it dyno tested to see whats going on with it. I did notice alittle difference in performance when i added the flow master muffler but not much. I think my truck weighs around 4200 not sure but this engine should move this truck down the road with no problem. I drove a 3.8 in a pontiac and had hell of alot more power than the 4.3. Im with you on this 17,000 for a truck thats going to need engine replacement or rebuild? Plus it only get 14 mpg thats sad.

Jeff Gilmore

28532203, 2008-10-29, 11:01PM CDT

I have to disagree with this whole gripe I have been driving a 1996 blazer and havent had a single problem and for those folks who buy used vehicles and think that you should not have to put in some time and money to keep it running well I guess you got what you had coming so quit crying and grab a wrench

f342a6fa, 2008-10-30, 10:53AM CDT

I have a 94 S-10 SS pickup with this engine at 170K miles now. Pulls hard and is a good work horse engine. It's a peppy little engine in this small pickup but I've noticed the Blazer with the same engine acts rather sluggish with it's added weight. The only problem I'm having with it is keeping the fuel injectors clean and this is from taking too many short trips. Th S-10 has nice lines and is a great rig to customize the exterior.

e3a7f755, 2008-11-01, 07:02PM CDT

i have a 2002 exterme and i have rebuilt the whole engine twice it keeps eating the distributer gear on one side it shears it all the way off i have replaced the distributer and the cam and balance shaft twice and still having problems i have over 9,000 dollars in rebuilds and parts anyone know what might be causeing this problem ??? if so email me at [email protected]

16a37f56, 2008-11-05, 08:30PM CST

I have a 95 s-10 withe a 4.3 it has 199000 on it. I bought it new and it will still spin the tires in the first three gears. I change the oil every 10000 miles with mobile one, and in those miles it will use about half a qt. between changes. It idles smooth does not hesitate any during any type of driving. never had a problem withe it i guess i am lucky with it. I think it is the best truck i ever had.

09f9c9ff, 2008-11-11, 04:17AM CST

If these 4.3 engines are a dime a dozen.Send me a dozen ( 12 )These engines are Doggs from the start. Ran Mobil 1 and at 110,000 miles the big Mighty Dogg could not handle anymore and threw a rod.

Never again will GM screw me over. They can go belly up. paying their workers 47.00 an hour. Now they want the Gov't to bail them out. The hell with the Crooks!!

d110f193, 2008-11-20, 01:40AM CST

Lifter, lifter, lifter!

I have a 2000 Silverado with the 4.3 and I bought it used with 114,000 and did not have any problems for 1 1/2 yrs. and 6000 miles! Well, that came to an end when I started it one night after having Starbucks with my girlfriend and bam-I heard a clacking not clicking! I looked at the oil pressure gauge and it was hovering around 25 lbs. @ idle! I shut the damn thing down and let it sit to check the oil (which had been changed about 700 miles earlier)! Oil was 1/2 quart or so low (it still pretty hot) so topped it off just in case with a 1/2 quart and started it up-no change in pressure or noise. So I decided, f--k it , I will just drive it home and when I was half way home the noise just stopped at a stop light and the pressure leveled out to 40 lbs.-simple right-not! So, the next day I took it to a business friends shop and they could not find anything wrong-so I had him do a complete oil system flush and brought it home with 40-60 lbs. oil pressure and quiet! However, two days later the clicking started during driving with 60 lbs. of oil pressure @1500 rpm but not the clacking but stopped when I got home! So, I took it back immediately and left it with him for an entire week letting him drive and run it as much as he wanted but it never happened for him! Then a week later the clicking started again while driving with good oil pressure but it stopped by the time I got to his shop across town! Well, now it has been 1000 miles later from first time taking it to him and the clicking comes and goes but tonight it started at the store and all the way home and did not change with repeated restarts in my driveway so I am hoping it stays that way in the morning and I am again taking it to his shop! Simply, I know it is a combination of a faulty lifter or lifters on the right bank and an oil pump issue but I need to know which is causing which as I do not have much money right now,live in an apt. and no shop to do my own work (though I have my own tools) plus it is my only truck right now!! So, there is my spew and whine and cry but it is really frustrating and I am waiting for it to blow up sometime if it cannot be diagnosed pretty soon!!

edfb2b62, 2008-11-22, 01:43AM CST

I have an 2001 blazer with 117 k. It ran great until about a month ago when I got a coolant leak. I only noticed it because my engine overtempt on the highway I pulld over and my radiator was dry. what started as a small leak that I assumed was a cracked hose was my intake gasket. I have the top of my engine torn down and am replacing everything I cand without pulling the engine out. anyone have some suggestions to help thins engine 4.3 vortec run better while I am tearing things apart?


Kent Ohio

7a47d2cb, 2008-11-23, 08:32PM CST

I have a 1997 Sonoma 4.3 and its a geat little truck. Beats just about anything on the road of its size. I have over 220K on it for thous that use miles its well over 100,000. Pulls a 5000 pound trailer with no problems and when not pulling my travel trailer gets great gas milage. What is all the fuss about its junk. I am getting a Jimmy with the 4.3 and I happy for that.

57e90442, 2008-11-27, 01:38AM CST

I have a '99 silverado with the 4.3 L Vortec V6. I bought the truck new in 99 and here we are at the end of 2008 and my truck has 208,000 miles and it is still pulling hard. You ask how does one put 200,000 miles on a truck in 9 years. I basically lived in it for the first 6 using it as a work truck. Now in its later years it is alittle noisy and has a few minor wear and tear issues, but I can go out and start it right now and it will get me to where I am going and back home with no problems. The only thing I can say is remember to maintain your vehicle.

9690ebb6, 2008-11-27, 04:46PM CST

I 've owed two 4.3 liter engines, an 89 and 1 2004 Blazer. I purchased approx 27 cars and trucks in my life and my experience with 4.3s was excellent. My 89 Blazer was the best vehicles I've owed with the possible exception of a 69 Mercury Montego with 302 That car had 335,000 miles with no (0) , nada one problem and the air conditioner and auto trans was smooth at 335 k as they were at 1000 miles. The 4.3 blazer was as good as I accumalated about 197,000 miles with again no problems! I bought it at 67,000 for 1,000 dollars and sold it for the same 5 years later in 2007. It's November 2008 now and I found out it's still on the road now with 265,000 miles.

My current 2004 blazer ZR-2 has 84,000 miles on it and runs like a sewing machine. Plenty of power, smooth , quiet and powerful. I agree with others in the posting that changing the oil regularly and or using a synthetic oil ( I prefer Redline which is a polyoil ester lubricant)en. Anyway, the 4.3 is a great engine! .

I wish the guy my best, but please don't condem all of GM on one vehicle. Poop Happens!

2e1ec957, 2008-12-25, 06:06AM CST

My '96 Astro AWD 4.3 Vortec has now 273k on it. Bought it used five years ago, at 190k. I have all the service records on the car since it was new, it has been serviced very well. Only major overhaul has been transmission, at 230k. Engine has been working flawlessly except an intake manifold gasket leak. Lately I have exprienced some lifter noise on cold startups.

My Astro has been in quite heavy use; towing 5300 lbs wakeboat + trailer, making long skiing trips with seven people + gear on board, sometimes in reasonably cold climate. I guess I've got a 'cherry', and probably the good service has also helped, with regular oil changes.

This lifter noise problem is a bit mysterious, wonder if anyone else had similar experiences, or knows the cause. It started out last wintertime, one lifter made a ticking noise for 5 to 120 secs when cold starting the engine. Oil change usually helps, and during summertime the problem does not excist. The oil pressure gauge needle vibrates 'in sync' with the ticking noise. Somehow I get the feeling that oil drains back for some reason and when starting the engine (after it has been sitting for at least 6 hours) one or two of the lifters tick until they are filled with oil. Oil pressure reading is very good, 45-80 psi on cold engine, depending on oil viscosity and rpm. Have tried chemicals to clean up the oiling system, they helped only for some time. Since replacing the lifters is quite a job on these cars I wonder if anyone had an easier cure for this ?

Simo P, Helsinki, Finland

36c5e37c, 2008-12-28, 05:17AM CST

Your a fucking idiot. Im driving a 15 year old gmc sonoma with a 4.3 liter v6. Saying that the 4.3 is junk is the same as saying a 350sbc is junk. ITS THE SAME DAMN THING. only two cylinders cut off. Just because you got one defect out of how many trucks built?? doesnt mean act like a dick and say you will never buy a gm product again. Go buy a ranger or something similar and at about 150000 miles talk to me and tell me how its shit. the 5.7L v8 and the 4.3L v6 are in my opinion some of the best motors and investments that GM has ever made. my truck has 180000 miles on it and still runs perfectly fine. Havent had a single problem out of it at all. 50,000 of those miles have been ran very very hard as well. I predict another 70,000 miles out of it before i see a sign of any kind of motor swap. I do notice how you use all this wonderful lingo and i know your a certified tech and what not but hey you should also know that it is mechanical things will go wrong. There are going to be some bad apples in the pot there bud. I must have got the best and ripest one of the bunch cause after 15 years and 180000 miles shes still kicking and tearing little civics up around town in races. Sorry your truck sucks but buy a ford and your going downhill from there

23b44399, 2009-01-11, 10:08AM CST

I have a 1996 s10 zr2 with the 4.3 vortec.. and have you ever heard power.. i have flow master exhaust, k&n cold air intake, and boost chip.. this truck will flat out make shit happen.. i can pull any of the trailers that i own or i can make little highschool kids feel bad at stop lights.. for one to say its the worst engine ever.. you are a complete dumbass.. i would put my s10 against any ford ranger or for that matter any truck within relative size and put my pay check on it winning 9-10 times..

a05cb4c4, 2009-01-16, 09:50AM CST

I just bought a 2001 s-10 4x4 with 209,503 miles on it. It still runs(a bit rough and needs some TLC), the truck just needs a new fuel pressure regulator and some poppets re-worked and I am good to go. I think I will get another 50-100k out of it for sure. This engine runs strong as heck being over fueled and running rich for its current problem. Not bad for $1000.00. The Body is good and the 4 wheel drive works with a like new interior. I think I found a winner for my budget and it's a sweet winter project.

e7f5727c, 2009-01-23, 04:36PM CST

I know how you feel. I have a 98 sonoma with 4.3 vortec. It has 155000 miles on it. I've had to replace the o2s and catalic convertor every two years because it runs to rich and will not pass smog. I have put two fuel pumps, going on the third motor and three transmissions.

62a5e5d1, 2009-01-28, 08:15PM CST

Maybe you are not as good a mechanic as you fantasize yourself to be. My 4.3 Vortec screams.

5b8750eb, 2009-02-01, 09:36PM CST

4.3 290k no major repairs

get a life

we have 5 astros 94-97 in service none with under 200k no Major repairs on engine all 4.3

gm hates all thats why there best rated fleet and hd trucks

go back to masterbatein over hondas

32fb6190, 2009-02-19, 05:36PM CST

I agree with Victor G. Read his experience. He is a ASC mechanic and he is a Michigan Master Tech. If you look at the front cover of the engine if it looks like a regular small block Chevy you should be ok. But if the front cover has an odd shape at the top you have a Vortec engine. Not only is the engine junk but the Central Port Injection is garbage. Who in their right mind would have one injector feed six of these stupid poppet valves. In 1996 they came out with sequential central port injection. This engine had one fuel injector/poppet valve per cylinder. They had so many problems they reworked the SCPI unit that got rid of the poppet valves all together. I have a vortec block in the cellar and the cam bearings were not lined up right. I have no idea why GM went this way. Probably the stupid bean counters. They could have done a lot better with multiport fuel injection the Syclone and Typhone had in it. They could have had it with or without a turbo. But no they had to switch to the vortec engine. Just go to the junk yard and see all the vortec engines there.

6f3c7ad3, 2009-06-13, 03:01PM CDT

Of course this thread is a little old, but I seen the comment and I had to reply. I would first like to state that I have seen comments like this before. A gentleman once told me that his GM made vehicle was a piece of junk. So I asked him what kind of maintenance he had done to his piece of junk. He was quick to mention that his service only involved the local quick lube. Now the last time I checked, the local quick lube only does a fairly minor inspection of the vehicle. I guess you could call filling up the windshield wiper res. normal maintenance. That should fix all of your problems. However, as I recall there are a host of items that need to be attended to, transmission, coolant...the list is so long where should I start. I always find it funny when people don't properly service an automobile and then suddenly it's now a clunker.

Anonymous, 2009-06-18, 03:02AM CDT

I have a Chevy S-10 I purchased in 1997 right off the dealers lot with only 4 miles on it. Have replaced minor parts over the years such as water pump idler pulley and belt. I have changed the oil every 5000 miles. This 4.3 liter vortec is one of the best engines ever made. I think you just got a lemon. Cause this one has carried me 287000 miles. And it still runs strong as ever and idles quiet as a sewing machine. Maybe I just got lucky. Give GM and the 4.3 vortec another chance.

2227babd, 2009-06-18, 10:39PM CDT

4.3 vortec, two door two wheel drive extended cab, 246k, one ecu (computer)

bcd5e458, 2009-07-03, 07:01PM CDT

theres no reason to sue gm cause you cant properly maintain your vehicle. the 4.3 is a very reliable engine. and anyway if you bought a ford or dodge, dodge trannies arnt that good and theres a reason the say that ford stands for FOUND ON ROAD DEAD.

5cefbc0d, 2009-07-06, 08:31PM CDT

The 4.3 is a great engine and is a 5.7 minus two cylinders just like someone else commented. This is the most widely produced and respected engine in the world-even more respected than many high tech engines that cost twice as much. But GM has the same issues as Ford and Chrysler- the UAW. Many of the problems noted are worker attitude issues such as the missing pan bolts, excessive clearances,wrong settings, etc.

8eeac53b, 2009-07-14, 06:36PM CDT

ur a douche!!! the 4.3 is a fuckin monster!! go buy a ford of ur chice and ill hook up to it any day of the week! all ive ever owned is a chevy with a 4.3 and have got me and all my buddies convinced that they are bad ass reliable motors. im not saying GM is the best thing u can buy but u just cant go wrong with a 4.3!!!

Anonymous, 2009-07-24, 01:26AM CDT


21ef2e14, 2009-07-30, 10:24AM CDT

I've had 3 4.3s, all new, in 86 Astro & 2000 & 2008 Silverados. Got just shy of 250,000 mi out of the first two with NO engine repairs. Trans did go out on the 2000 at 245,000. I swear by the 4.3 and keep on buying them. Thanks.

a852373c, 2009-07-31, 11:50AM CDT

The 4.3 is the best vortec headed engine made. When I've got an engine that runs without one problem for over 50,000 miles, all while on a 50 shot of nitrous from time to time, and being able to beat silverado SS's then you've got something good.

Everyone knows the engine wears in the first 20,000 miles or longer. It's not suppossed to have perfect clearances

If you wanted a high class 4.3 you shulda bought an LG3 instead of LU3. If you get a lawsuit against GM for this one then I want one against FORD users for being idiots (sarcasm)

d5fe55b6, 2009-08-10, 02:16PM CDT

Hahahaha you are such a fuckin' idiot! I have been a licensed automotive mechanic for 20 years and have mechanic experience before that, the 4.3 litre has been the most bullet proof engine GM has ever built. Tough as nails, never had such a dissapointed owner. Like the last comment, you are most likely not the "God of all mechanics" like you said you are! Good luck with your next purchase of a ford of Dodge or toyota... Let me know how THAT goes!! haha

c820a2f1, 2009-08-11, 11:39PM CDT

I just found that my 2002 s-10 after changing my oil plus or minus every 3000 miles, at 90,000 it needs minimun replacement of at least one faulty lifter (of course they want to replace all of them because the rest are a ticking time bomb),and a camshaft. We are talking 2500.00. I am so pissed. My friend has gotten 200,000 miles out of each of his toyota tacoma pick ups. He would buy one , 200,000 miles get a new one, 200,000 miles later gets a new one. This has gone on for 20 years. I could not afford to fix my truck so I bought a new tacoma and it just sits. Ironically, the chevy dealership can not give me a straight answer as to why I should buy a colorado when I wont get crap for my high quality s-10 with a bad engine. In all of the bail out money GM wanted, I never once heard mention anything about how GM is going to improve the QUALITY OF THEIR VEHICLES SO THAT I CAN LOOK AT A CHEVY MALIBU AND FEEL 100% THAT ITS QUALITY WOULD BE EQUAL TO OR (HA HA) greater than a Camry. My luck the clunker program came out after my purchase. I should get the credit anyway since I truly own a clunker.

4bd01384, 2009-08-13, 12:01AM CDT

ok. I hav a 94 s10 blazer with a 4.3 vortec in it. the only thing that has ben done to it since my granpa bought it in 1994 was the average maintnence.. i recently put hypereatic pistons in bored .30" over with a new hydrolic cam. New heads. dual turbos. new dual port intake manifold with dual nitrous ports. im putting out a lil over 400 hp before NOS. i hav never had a motor run as hard as it does without it scewing up. ill put my 4.3 up to any other v6 and most v8s any day.

I give 4.3 vortecs three thumbs up!!!!

eb54c2c3, 2009-08-15, 04:58PM CDT

Thank you for the info on the 4.3. I plan to keep mine for the rest of my life. I can't wait for my warranty to be over, I have a 2007 silverado, and I've noticed that it shakes a little. I used to build 327's (shade Tree), we could get 10,000 rpm out of a 327 without balancing it. The bore and stroke are closer to a 350, but my feel on this engine is that with balancing and some improvements on the lifters, I could have the instant power simply by winding it out to 5000 RPM. That would allow me to leave everything stock, no emission problems. From what you are telling me, I can look forward to Blueprinting this thing. I have always loved American 6's, and I was just reading about tricking out the 4.3, Thank's for the tips. Daye Smith

fa09b2b5, 2009-09-17, 04:22PM CDT

I have a 1994 GMC C/1500 with a 4.3. The truck has 184000 miles. It runs great. The only problems I have had is the EGR valve, the cat, and the fuel hose in gas tank. I bought it with 177000 miles on it in January 2007. I drove it 7 hours to Nashville in June 2009 with no problem.

I use Royal Purple 10w30 and a K&N oil filter, K&N air filter, heavily modified SBC air cleaner, throtle body spacer, injector spacer, dual exhuast, dual Thunder Bolt cats, dual Flowmaster 40s, Jegs ram air tube, Hypertech power charger, B&M Trickshift transmission fluid, Redline Heavy Shookproof gear oil, and BFG ATs. When I am carefull I get between 18-24 mpg. If the gas is E10 it gets 16-18. The truck seems to have plenty of power and throtle response.

Are you sure you were the first guy to tear into the motor? Just because one motor was manufactured poorly dosn't mean I wouldn't buy GM vehicles. I have seen a 350 with camshaft centerline and the drilled oil galleries off by about a 3/8 inch. I still like GM. I use a 305 in my race truck. It dosn't matter who makes it, it will have some sort of problem.

48b17516, 2009-09-19, 10:10PM CDT

I have a 2000 GMC Jimmy 4.3 4x4. It is hands down one of the most reliable longest lasting truck on the road. I'm coming up to 400,000km soon and its all original. we have owned it since new and never had a problem. I do alot of towing and off-roading and truck runs like the first day we drove it off the lot. sounds like you dont no how to maintain your truck. my truck was never noisy or vibrated. remember to change your oil and lube everything up every 5000km. dont blame GM because your unable to maintain your truck. lmao

a45fc8ba, 2009-09-22, 08:25PM CDT

I have the 4.3 in a chev pickup. same noisy engine and it leaks oil into the coolant. 87,000 miles on mine: That's about all they're good for I hear.

eb6ad76b, 2009-09-25, 01:23AM CDT

your retarded you did that much work because of a little lifter noise. i got a 99 silverado 4x4 with the 4.3 and it is 23 degrees out of time because the previous owner ran it without oil and screwed the cam gear up. but it still runs and it will pull fords out of the mud all day long to. the 4.3 is near bullet proof.

dfab6d17, 2009-10-22, 04:03PM CDT

sue em all government motor bastards go toyoka you the bestest ever just remember what comes aroung goes around stop the hate

04dc52ff, 2009-10-29, 02:44PM CDT

I have a 94 1/2 ton that has 349,xxx miles on the original motor and the heads have never been off of it, it runs perfect to this day. Yall just suck at owning chevys.

2e0ed408, 2009-11-08, 01:08PM CST

I think I see the problem. Your hat no longer fits on your head! No wonder dealer techs cant fix anything!!

b134d9e1, 2009-11-09, 05:37PM CST

I agree. I purchased my 1995 GMC Jimmy with the 4.3 CPI motor in it, and have possibly had one day where the idle was not erratic and a host of problems that follow it. The random stalling was interesting.

Every sensor has been replaced, the spider injection assembly, egr, IAC, and so on. The idle is still horrible, developing random high idle issues, and so on.

The 4wd system is another story in and of itself.

Having said all that, I have about 140K miles on it at this point. It runs, but that is about it. The power loss over time has become increasingly noticeable, even with meticulous maintenace (oil changes at 2500 miles, tune-ups completed at 15K intervals, transmission services every 30K, and even a "de-carbon" service now and again, in the hopes of the idle becoming more steady/power restore), the 4wd system worked only a handful of times, and never when I really needed it (snow storms and trips to WV's mountains), and now I am told that it has developed rod knock.

As soon as this motor detonates, I am done with this truck and GM. Review the forums and you will find a huge amount of threads/issues regarding the above mentioned items.


9f375b04, 2009-11-13, 10:41AM CST

Hey fucking RETARD!!! I got an 01' blazer with the 4.3 and have had the thing hydro locked. Only 118575 miles the thing still runs like a champ. Everything checks out great. Your just shit out of luck getting a bad engine. Guarantee if it was a ford i had, i'd be looking for something else already. Don't bag on something so great just cause you got the worst of it. Better luck next time

a3a13e8f, 2009-11-14, 05:25PM CST

I have a gmc Jimmy 4.3 vortec bought it with 30000 miles now has 150000 always used mobil 1 synthetic and best filters never had a problem

79c52244, 2009-11-20, 11:06AM CST

I have a 94 s-10 tbi 189900 never any major probs ALWAYS changed oil @ 3000 w/feul filter top end tune up once a year w/02 sensor truck burns no oil and still runs very strong added cold air intake and 2 1/4 exhaust hi flow cat and muffler parts are cheap to keep maintence up.......cons......3rd water pump 3rd clutch valve cover gaskets once just changed oil pan gasket same timing chain will replace next part last forever still no truck payment i guess i just got lucky with this motor

7b7d76c3, 2009-11-24, 08:27PM CST

my 4.3 runs like raped ape but have problem dies when gets up to full operating temp. 2nd fuel pump. had flash code 34 replaced map sensor . no check engine light any more but just dies , have to wait a while then can drive againj .Always love chev.350 . 4.3 has alot of balls but frustratied can`t keep this one going . will never buy any other. any help out there . has 155+ but runs strong when it runs!!!!! just need some input for die hard chevy fan!!!!!!![email protected]

b0e67c14, 2009-11-25, 03:33PM CST

GM is the only vehicle I will drive.

Here is our family's current lineup:

'93 Chevy c/1500 4.3-186,200

'94 Saturn sl1-248,900

'00 Saturn sc1-122,000

'03 Buick Century-100,000

I owne a lawncare company and abuse my Chevy pickup all day. It has yet to fail me.

72c56c1b, 2009-12-01, 07:39PM CST

i own a 97 s10 with a 4.3 vortec vin code W. I've owned the truck for 2yrs now, when purchased it had 93k miles on it and now has just over 150k. I've never had any problems out of the engine, and the only work I have done to it is oil changes and a tune up. At an idle it is smoother than my moms brand new 2008 dodge avenger with a 2.7 V6. I myself thinks that pretty impressive for a engine with just over 150k on it.

b01c9d1b, 2009-12-16, 09:14AM CST

Victor G does not like his engine. His opinion. I,m British but living in this great country where I thought opinions could be expressed without offensive comments being made. If you dont like V.G.s comments 'shut the f+++ up!' Oops, its contagious. It must be the redneck in me.

1b87ef19, 2010-01-07, 01:54PM CST

i have 2 4.3 engines 1 a vortec the other thottle body i love them the best engines out there besides the old 350 motors i will always by a 4.3 the vortec has the giddy up &go any female would want

2a14105e, 2010-01-07, 11:18PM CST

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Thats the dumbest thing I have ever heard an inteligent person say. If you have realy driven s trucks since 83' then you would know what an outstanding engine the 4.3 is. As a mechanic, I would expect you to know how improtaint the break in period is. I am also a mechanic, and sounds like you took your new 4.3, ran the hell out of it out of the box, and then wondered why your engin ran like shit.

my ZR2 has a little less than 300,000 miles on it, and I have only had to do minor maintnense to it. I know for a fact that many GM owners also feel the same way I do about the 4.3.

The 4.3 is easily the most reliable 6 cylinder ever made. Based on your coment at the end of your post, sounds like you never liked GMS in the first place.


Detroit Michigan (the home of the S10, Camaro, Chevelle, corvette, Silverado, sierra, hummer, GTO, GXP, and everything else that's sweeter than anything ford has ever made.

5a3e2046, 2010-01-08, 04:04PM CST

I own a 94 cheyyenne single cab w/a 4.3

has over 305,000 on it original motor

w/ a few external upgrades. only been in the shop twice, once during the winter and will not take it back to the chevy dealer I took it to,..for the ripped me off(didn't return my parts)(could have gotten a refund on them).the

other was when I put on the intake gasket on backwards(I pulled motor to replace all gaskets and freeze plugs)

other than that have had no problems

b8c7a165, 2010-01-11, 06:42PM CST

I too own a 4.3 in a 2001 Silverado 4x4. Motor runs grea even with near 150,000 on it. Motor had to be worked on due to previous owner over heating it in mud. Since then great motor. Does make a wierd high pitch sound while running at first then quiets down. Not sure what it is. Not alternator like some say(just changed it 2 hours ago).

af6329ce, 2010-02-04, 12:18AM CST

Ya dude. you are a fucking moron. I have the 4.3L in my silverado and it is beast as hell. Its chipped, re-geared, throttle body spacer, intake, shift kit, true dual exhaust, 2" lift, and 33" mud tires, and 127,000 miles. It runs better and longer than any foreign POS you have. It runs 0-60 in 7 seconds. Dont talk shit about GM or any domestic make because our American cars LAST!!! You probably got a beat up truck or you just dont know how to drive. So my final words to you are,

learn your stuff, and get a life.

my truck:

af6329ce, 2010-02-04, 12:27AM CST

Ya dude. you are a fucking moron. I have the 4.3L in my silverado and it is beast as hell. Its chipped, re-geared, throttle body spacer, intake, shift kit, true dual exhaust, 2" lift, and 33" mud tires, and 127,000 miles. It runs better and longer than any foreign POS you have. It runs 0-60 in 7 seconds. Dont talk shit about GM or any domestic make because our American cars LAST!!! You probably got a beat up truck or you just dont know how to drive. So my final words to you are,

learn your stuff, and get a life.

my truck:

64f1be62, 2010-02-04, 01:01AM CST

hay got NO problems with my '93 4.3 with almost 277,000 miles runs Damm good sorry about your problems never seen a ford or chrysler with (unless its a diesel oops,I forgot ford or chrysler don't make their diesels engine) over 150,000 miles what can I say. Bill P Detroit,Michigan 48209

d3afd91c, 2010-02-04, 03:17PM CST

My truck has 90k on it and recently had to replace my rear end diff, my distrubutur for shreded gears, and now 3 cylinders have low compression. I feel GM bankrupted themselves by design to get the federal money and to make way for foreign auto. I planned on keeping vehicle for 10 to 15 years. ONly had it 7. I dont think I will get another chevy. If i do anything with this, I will take a 350 built in the 60's or 70' and convert the entire truck. So dissapointed.

eb01988e, 2010-02-05, 01:28AM CST

Dude, eat a large dick. The 4.3 is a pretty damn good engine and THAT is the reason GM continues to use it. Collapsed piston skirts? Lifters with the wrong bleed down rates? 50 pound valve spring pressures? Sounds to me that you have no idea what you are talking about or you kicked the shit out of your engine. I have owned plenty of 4.3s and they were all very good running and very long lived. Never had to rebuild one either. Don't know what you did to yours but I certainly don't think your comments are warranted.

98532b8f, 2010-02-09, 10:09AM CST

Thank you for the specifics. Awesome work. I'd be careful with any mass-produced vehicle. Like they say, "if you want anything done right, do it yourself..."

1bea0b75, 2010-02-15, 09:02PM CST

i got 1 1994 4 door jimmy i a vortec i had it 3 years now and plow snow with it im hard as hell on it and it still goes and my dads truck still runs fine with over 750,000km on it smokes when it starts but goes away and dont miss a beat

74b61969, 2010-02-21, 06:47PM CST

Victor, Someone had to abuse that vehicle in the early going, no question about it. GM has it's problems but nobody is that bad, although Kia comes close. My Vortec V-6 is in a 2001 Blazer 4X4 5-speed. Two doors, 100.5" wheelbase, nice shocks and tires, it's a friggin' modern American classic! 2000 r.p.m. @ 60 m.p.h. 20 m.p.g.! Beats the hell out of that old International Scout I used to own. 89000 miles now, paint shines like new, it occasionally generates a favorable comment from people who like this sort of vehicle. GM thrifting results in some of the electronic sensors being of lesser quality than their non-GM replacements. Thrifting is a problem across this industry which is still bedeviled by excess production capacity. Sadly, GM should have been allowed to fail because it's inevitable. Take your choice; feel pain now or more pain later. The problem is the taxpayers got roped in which was grossly unfair. The domestic auto manufacturing industry was denied an opportunity to learn their lesson. Now everyone will argue they are too big to fail. Phooey!

b5b1777d, 2010-02-24, 09:28AM CST

You should buy a 35,000 dollar car and then you won't have to listen to the noise. you of all should know that it was damaged by pore owner maintenance like not changing your oil or letting it get low on fluids the motor is built by a robot and was perfect from the factory Get real for the money that is a good motor they use it in allot of marine applications and other GM vehicles. you just think GM should let you suckle on the automotive teat

800753d6, 2010-03-10, 06:46PM CST



99846e6f, 2010-03-16, 06:12PM CDT

You are all idiots !! This is one tuff motor ! I have over 200,000 miles on mine with no problems and have towed a 3,000 lb bass boat all over the country. I would hook up bumper to bumber with any other truck of it's size !

7e83543c, 2010-03-16, 06:13PM CDT

ive owned two 4.3 vortecs imo they are the best i had a 93 4.3 stepside ran me 16 years had 265000 on it only work i did was two water pumps, fuel pump radiator,alternator and new distributor shaft. tranmission finally went out after 16 years so i bought a 2001 extended cab silverado with the 4.3. i love it my only complaint is the heavier truck only gets about 16mpg. the smaller stepside got about 19-21

7ad6f28c, 2010-03-31, 02:42AM CDT

this is for the 2003 s-series owner and those thrashing the 4.3 i bought a new 2002 gmc sonoma with a 4.3 ext. cab with automatic and every option avalabl e. i have run synthetic fluids oil, etc.since new don't give a crap about a warranty. i have modified this truck since new. very pleased with it. this truck takes alot of abuse from my foot and still keeps on ticking, has 130,000 miles on it and gets 21 mpg! by the way i would not have paid that kind of money for an s-series truck, sorry

c33c12ff, 2010-04-04, 10:47AM CDT

I have a 96 chevy blazer I bought bit used and not real sure how well it was taken care of before I bought it and it is my first 4.3 and the oinly thing I have done to it is put cold air intake on it when I bought the truck it had 139000 miles on it, since that time I've put another 40000 on it and only done routine maintenance on it; I've been very impressed with the engine, it runs very strong 60 miles an hour at 1700 rpm I can't complain any, which is more than I can say for some of the fords or mopar that I've owned. granted I run a vehicle hard, but the 4.3 has held up to it, but the truth is it doesn't matter what vehicle you have eventually there will be problems, and it may be coming out of the factory, or wear and tear, falls under the category of don't buy a vehicle built on monday or friday.

596828f3, 2010-04-09, 11:48PM CDT

I have purchased 1 used astro van containing a Chevy 4.3 liter V6 Engine. The van contain (115,000) miles on it.

This is Indeed the same engine found in Chevy cavaliers

Chevy S10

Chevy Blazer

Chevy Astro

Chevy GMC

Chevy Safari

(The List Goes On.) The engines are all the same, All though there may be some (Minor) - (External) differences between the brands such as electronic senser locations etc.

As a Master Tech, My skills goes beyound most of the guys running the game, I can pinpoint a problem with no prior knowledge to the cause.

Such as, The 4.3 V6 engine in this 95 AWD astro van was complete junk, Let me explain.

cylinders 2,4 & 6 was (Fried) - Completely Burnt! You could wiggle the pistons back and forth against the walls (Play) and then you could (Twist) the pistins back and forth, all 3 of them!!!

Then I noticed 115k miles, what gives?

The cylinder head was then removed from the top of cylinders 1,5 & 3.

Cylinders 1,5 & 3 had (Terrific) rings. They where not burnt or worn. There was no play in the piston neither up and down or left to right. So the van did indeed have 115k miles on it.


Starting in 1994 came a CHEAP way of fuel injection. The 6 cylinders used 1 (One) injecter to control 6 cylinders. WOW, listen at how inefficient!!!! !

94-95 injects (Petrol) on all cylinders at the same time, This wast gas! (But 1 Injecter is cheaper than 6.)

95-UP Injects 1 at a time, via using only 1 injecter. This time during the injection off time the system (Clogs.) Resulting in replacing a $750.00 Part!!! This part on both the 94 and UP is called a (Spider.) Or, Fuel regulator.

This part is Located inside the Intake on all Chevy 4.3 V6 Engines.

There are 2 metal gas lines from the gas tank, a return and supply. On the Intake there are 2 threaded Ports to connect those 2 metal lines, Those ports can be removed. On the other side of the ports, Inside the intake is a Spider. From the Ports to the spider there is 2 Rubber lines, one return and one for the supply. These lines Crack!!! Then Leak!!!!

The lines run $65.00 - They measure 6" a piece. I bought mine fore 65 cents, And replaced them because they where pouring gas.

The Intake is designed with 2 drain holes, The intake comes in 2 sections. A left and a right.

(This is how you tell which side the spider is leaking from.) If the left side of the internal intake is clean, the leaks on the supply lines. If the right side is clean the leak is on the fuel pressure regulator. Then there are some NUTS on the computer claiming the POPPET valves will leak, or "Stick open." Which wouldn't cause a leak inside the intake, that would result in a leak inside the Head!

If the Spider is leaking from either side, The left side leak will dump gas on the number 3 cylinder VIA a port threw the Intake. Its almost as they wanted the engine to smoke when there was a leak present inside the intake. If the right side is leaking, Cylinder 4 will become Flooded.

In My case, the leak was on the right side, (Pressure regulator.) This (((Caused cylinder 2 Valve to overheat and BREAK.)))

Cylinder 2 overheated cylinder 4!!!!!

Cylinder 4 overheated Cylinder 6!!!!!

Cylinder 2,4 & 6 (((((((FRIEEEEEEED))))))

This Explains why 2,4 & 6 was fried! So I pulled the engine and replaced it!

After replacing the engine I then Painted the van, and professionaly cleaned the carpets. The engine that whent in the astro van was taken out of a (BLAZER.)

Once the engine was installed it ran great! It's when you whent to start the engine (From waling out of the store) it would Viberate very badly for a few seconds. Well, That viberation was a sign that one of the designed drain ports in the Intake was fluding either cylinder 3, or 4!!!


If this leak is not fixed, it will crack a valve and cause cylinders 1,3,5 to overheat, or 2,4,6 to overheat, (It has to be fixed.) So off comes the (Intake.) and the problem was in the (Supply) lines to the spider, (1,3,5.)


Now the intake is back in tact, with new lines! I think all that gas killed my (Brand New Plugs) because now it lost power. I will replace the plugs to try and get power back, and delete the MISS or unsmooth run she's giving me. If it is not the plugs causing the miss it will need a complete spider!

I also wanted to mention, If 1 spider poppet hangs (OPEN) the other 5 will Loose PRESSURE. 1 faulty Poppet can cause the entire system to fail!!!!!

These motors are complete JUNK. DO NOT BUY A CHEVY 4.3 V6 are you are digging yourself a hole!!!!

I am a Professional Well minded person, I am a jack of all trades. I currently own 2 companys, a heating and cooling company and used car company. I've been doing this work all my life, and i'm telling you this is a bad design. The injection system drives these engines right down into the dirt.





NOW CHEVY; Thank you very much for taking my life away from me, I would have rather been doing something else than working on your stupid (Poorly Built) engine. Perhaps next time,,,,,,, I can spend MORE TIME DRIVING IT, and less time working on it!!!!!

0d30adc7, 2010-04-24, 11:30AM CDT

I dont know if this guy works for another car company or what but I have a 2000 chevy astrovan I bought in 2003 with 47,000 miles. Where now in 2010 & it has 173,303 miles. Ive never had any repairs other than tires, brakes & replaced the radiator. I only replace my oil every 5000 miles like clockwork & It's still running strong. Alot of power. Maybe he should change his oil more often. No lazy persons car lasts. Thanks.

5da81804, 2010-04-24, 03:39PM CDT

You are soo stupid. the 4.3 vortec engine is one of the longest lasting v6 engines you can buy. maybe yours had a problem, but it sounds like it wasnt even a major problem at all. i drive a 1989 gmc s-15 sierra classic with a 4.3 vortec v6 and i dont think it will ever quit running. yea, mine is 21 years old and runs and looks like new, as do most 4.3's. that 4.3 is essentially the same exact engine as a 350 chevy. if you took a 350 and took off 2 cylinders, then you have a 4.3 vortec. every thing else is basically the same. so if you dont like the 4.3 vortec, then you must also not like 350 chevy's, which would probably be the stupidest thing i have ever heard an intellegent person say. do your research, take care of your 4.3 and it will take care of you for a shit load more years.

7b8fb629, 2010-04-25, 08:10PM CDT

let me tell u this. vortec engines are very reliable. we have a 2000 s10 with 120,000 miles and no problems. the only thing we replace was wheel bearings at 90k. we have a 2005 silverado with 34k no problems. a 2003 gmc sonoma with 55k no problems yet. you got to take care of your shit not ripped it up. general motors has served us well. i say this stupid story is fraud!!!!!

22cec7c2, 2010-04-26, 06:15PM CDT

This guy must work for Ford motor company, I have a 2000 S-10 pu and Ive logged 153,000 miles on it, this engine is still running as good as the day I bought it new, yes it's a 4.3L I'm proud to say. I have had to do nothing I repeat nothing to this engine,with exeption to regular oil changes! It still has the original spark plugs that Chevrolet installed at the factory, unbelievable! but believe cuz it's true! I experience no problems this man describes. It doesn't use oil,

doesn't leak any fluids, and is quiet as a mouse! I'm a man who loves performance and I dont baby this engine! I have roasted the rear tires on more than one occasion, my truck has a limited slip rear diff, so when I say it'll roast the tires, it roasts both rear tires! However my girlfriend purchased a 96 Ford Mustang recently, and I've never taken sides between Ford and Chevy in the Past, but this Mustang

was a low milage car, and we thought it would last her a long time,boy were we wrong! the day after she bought it, the head gasket blew! And discovered a cracked intake manifold, I'm not suprised for they made it out of PLASTIC!!!! I was told the 4.6L was a good engine, but after furter investigation we found out ford had a bulletin for this problem, we also found there was a recall for the 3.8L

V6, they blow head gaskets! We know this because we just hauled her Lincoln Continental to the Junkyard for that same problem,,,,well that and the air ride susp. thats whole other story! Like I said I've never taken sides before but from What Ive seen lately Ford Quality Sucks! I am also a Corvette Owner and I know for a Fact that the only car ford makes that can run with my Vette is the GT so you can beat a Vette with a Ford, Maybe!? If your willing to spend $200,000 clams! So my message to Victor is,,,,,If your going to Bungee jump off a bridge with the Cord around your neck! I'm not going to follow you! But that doesn't mean you shouldn't (Have you driven a FORD lately?,,,,Victor!)Oh by the way Victor, The 4.3L doesn't have a Balance Shaft It's internally balanced! do you Know What That means.....VICTOR!

3bd48178, 2010-04-27, 02:53PM CDT

I have a 4.3 liter S10 2000 which I have owned for 10 years and had nothing but troubles the first 100 thousand miles. While under warranty it blew both head gaskets and has had both heads replaced. Also the reversing balancing shaft that you mention that sits under the intake manifold was so loud in my truck that it was what lead gm to completely replace my engine all together. There is recalls on both the Reversing balancing shaft and the pistons. The Balancing shaft on the recall has a plastic guide add on that pushes against the chaine that drives the gear set. GM went to a short skirt piston to reduce rotational mass but it in herently cuases a ton of problems. Jasper engine remanfactures the engines with additional coating on the skirts of the pistons with longer skirts. Oh dont even let me get into the retarded plastic fuel spider injection system that is on the 98 and up 4.3. I truly believe that tere is people going out of there way to lower the american quality of products for last 20 years but lucky for us there is simple v8 engine swaps for gm pos engines.

I have a question for gm they made 2.8, 3.1, 3.4, 3.8 and 4.3 at the same time and all suck. Why not just make one v6 that actualy works?

Also the fuel pressure regulator for this truck is insaine to get to it should be standerd for all cars to be externally mounted on the engine. If we want our engines to stay fuel efficent and less polluting a simple requirment like this would make it easy for average joe to even replace it. Also they should standerdise all fuel injectors to be externally mounted also and out law spider injection systems. While im ranting we should also get rid of all rubber bushings on the front end supensions systems and MOOG is the worlds leader in pos supension parts.

Another question.

Why does our wheels run on bearing every single day and take full abuse of the road yet almost never wear out. But when it comes to things that keep our alignment of our vehicle we yes 1200 century rubber bushings. I have control arms that are chromoly tubbed and bearing in pace of rubber bushings. Note this makes the truck handel better than any new car out there the supension articulats so freaken fluid you actualy look for things to run over .

Conclusion: We need more regulation and standerds on autmotive quality.

one- No more rubber bushings espicaly when it comes to alignment parts.

two- Coil over supensions for front end should be standerd not a option.

Three- Fuel system shouldnt be internal to where averag public can not work on them.

Four- Make all trouble codes for every make and model standerd and make each manufacture post them on there web sites. Along with trouble code tell what is cuasing the code and how to fix it.

Five- Make it mandatory that all manfactures of cars sell directly to the consumer and not through dealers ships that price galge and dont allow people to drive what they really can afford.

Six- Make ECM plugs standerd for anyone to use with simple lab top computer and soft ware to read ECM should be provided by all dealer ships via web sites run by the gov.

Seven- Out law open diffrentials, this will solve alot of safety issues with cars espically rwd cars.

Eight- Make a it a Federal law for the LEMON laws and make it a higher set of standerds for the dealer ships.

Part of my problem Is that I bought a car for a truck from Bill heard dealer ship but I hate to say it the Senator that owns it now it eight times more shady that that old fart was.

5bb8a555, 2010-04-27, 07:43PM CDT

WOW, I have a 1998 Chevrolet Blazer LS with the original 4.3L vortec V6 and it has NEVER been rebuilt and NEVER gave me any problems any other car wouldn't give. 164,xxx miles and runs better than most cars with 80,xxx miles, minor leaks, vacuum hoses rotted through finally after 12 years, easy fix, cost less than $5, gets 16-20mpg, wasn't noisy until my muffler started going out, even now at 164,xxx miles it runs great, drives great, and if you really were a master tech you wouldn't screw up so many explainations, valve stem? we're talking engines not tires dude, they would be called pushrods anybody with any experience with engines would know that, oh, and i abuse the hell out of my poor blazer; don't let it warm up, rev it cold, play around, used to do burnouts, it sees 4k-5k rpms every day, gets oil changed between 3-5k miles on conventional oil, regular unleaded gas, hell that poor truck has been through hell, yet it still never lets me down, i can say proudly that my truck has NEVER left me stranded. Hell, even the 3.8L was a good engine, my ex had a 94 acura 3.2L and a 94 buick lesabre 3.8L and teh buick never had any problems, the acura was toast, the whole engine and transmission needed replaced and it wouldnt run even half decent @ 100,xxx miles, the buick 140,xxx miles ran great.

65569ef8, 2010-05-02, 03:25PM CDT


596828f3, 2010-05-02, 03:36PM CDT


ba0a744a, 2010-05-06, 03:51PM CDT

Whoever said this "Oh by the way Victor, The 4.3L doesn't have a Balance Shaft It's internally balanced! " should look inside my 1992 GMC 4.3 90 degree V6,that was the first year they used a balance shaft. It's in the lifter valley.

And did someone say valve stems are pushrods? Not! The pushrods operate the rockers, which operate the valves by bearing on the valve stems.

e4413db9, 2010-05-11, 09:17AM CDT

will i dont know what to tell u guys i have a 94blazer with a 4.3 vortec that has over 210.000 miles on it and it run great

c67ed223, 2010-06-02, 07:59PM CDT

i think Victor G knows what he is talking about.

i'm going to use the info he gave here to un?uck the 2000 jimmy slt i'm stuck with.

i thought i'd do a quick head gasket job.

i got fire, fuel, air just not at the right time.

now it won't start.

i've replace head gaskets and other gaskets

distributor housing and sensor

cap, rotor

plugs and wires

oil pressure sensor


new updated spider

now going back in

next timing chain and gears


from his post maybe valve springs

and need to inspect camshaft gear for wear. still have sloppy distributor rotor movement.

i'm no mechanic but i can make a rice burner run.

c67ed223, 2010-06-02, 08:02PM CDT

i think Victor G knows what he is talking about.

i'm going to use the info he gave here to un?uck the 2000 jimmy slt i'm stuck with.

i thought i'd do a quick head gasket job.

i got fire, fuel, air just not at the right time.

now it won't start.

i've replace head gaskets and other gaskets

distributor housing and sensor

cap, rotor

plugs and wires

oil pressure sensor


new updated spider

now going back in

next timing chain and gears


from his post maybe valve springs

and need to inspect camshaft gear for wear. still have sloppy distributor rotor movement.

i'm no mechanic but i can make a rice burner run.

65f7817d, 2010-06-09, 05:11PM CDT

I feel the same as you, I have a 95 GMC 4.3 and with 250,000 miles just had to redo the top end due to me not taking care of the radiator. Now I have the check engine soon light coming on for the first time and the engine is given code 43 & 16 which I don't even have a ESC moduale. Someone told me that the catylic converter is partially stopped up would also cause the computer to go crazy, either way it is running rich and not advancing like it suppose to under certain conditions do you have any ideas thanks.

dc58bc8a, 2010-06-12, 01:57AM CDT

i have a 1995 blazer with the 4.3 in it and it has 230,000 miles on it no knocks pings or problems at all me personally i think GM'S 4.3 is one of the best damn motors ever make you just cant kill them

d4ecd7ff, 2010-06-18, 11:12AM CDT

I have a 2003 S-10 4X4 crew cab. From day one it has low power and over heats

i have replaced every part in the cooling system and it still over heats. If ther is anyone that knows how to fix it let me know.

[email protected]

c8cd810c, 2010-06-18, 09:48PM CDT

buy a ford if it wasnt for ford there would be no such thing as a chevy or mopar

2f9e7fa3, 2010-06-18, 11:53PM CDT

2000 Astro, it isn't noisey, runs fine, has only 115,000 miles, I WOULD BUY IT AGAIN.

d48da395, 2010-06-26, 07:59PM CDT

What make these engines worst is the lower intake manifold gaskets. GM claims they have a fix for this, revised gasket. BURN IT.

56ab3445, 2010-06-29, 10:03PM CDT

my s10 4wd 00 4.3 vortec, at 170000 km purrs like my 3 year old cat.hardly noticeable<7 swedp

ff5c1949, 2010-07-03, 09:15AM CDT

I have had five 4.3 engines in s10 pickups and blazers and not an engine problem with any of them. Right now I have a 99 s10 pu with a 5 speed manual transmission that will smoke tire off the line as well as get tire in 1st, 2nd,3rd and sometimes 4th gear if you hit it just right and this is a stock engine. I am a little hard on my engines but the 4.3 has been flawless. I always enjoy driving my 4.3's thru the Smokey mountain interstates and laughing at all the foreign cars trying to pull away from me going up hill. The 4.3 is a tough, torquey little sob. I keep looking at newer Silverados but just can't part with my s10, unless perhaps it has a 4.3.

70d43fb1, 2010-07-07, 12:05AM CDT

well bud im not shur why i keep seeing all of these people dogin on chevy because i have an 89 s10 with a 4 banger with 70,000 ,89 silverado with the 7.2 with 269,000 ,95 s10 with a lil 4 banger 200,00,97 s10 with the 4.3 75,0000, 2000 silverado with the 4.3 100,000 and a 05 silverado65,000 plus a 06 titan and 03 bmw and all of my chevys have no problems yet the nissan does and i drive mine like a bat out of hell they get used to hall hay go muddin, back roadin u name it they do it i even run them at the local race way and have from day one, i run the cheapest gas and oil money can buy yet every time i turn the key they fire right up ,they are not noise or ruff runnig at all i can pop the hood and set a beer on the top of the plenum and it wont fall off so i say u people who have problems with the all mighty bowtie should really set back and think if u even know anything about them plus all of mine are all original

d4b77806, 2010-07-09, 12:32AM CDT

Thats crazy i have a 96 chevy 1500 with a 262 4.3 it has 311,760 miles on it havent really had to change much except the dam fuel pump is a piece of s**t i have replaced that four times. my engine still will start up no problem it doesnt smoke and has a hell of a lot of power for a v-6. thing is you must of just got a lemon. i drive this engine hard and i am the second owner. i got the truck off my dad when it had 62,000 miles on it. i think it is a great engine. will stick to the 4.3 for sure

deb3e1cd, 2010-07-10, 10:19PM CDT

Sorry I can't complain. I have an Astro Van 1999 model with a 4.3 liter engine and It has 306,000 and is finally parked because of a head gasket. The only thing that I have had done to the engine is a spring to some internal part broke. Maybe a rocker arm or something, I am not that mechanical. I did replace the transmission at 120,000 and it has done fine since. Pulled a 1,800LB boat on many trips to VA from NC at about 225 miles. Sorry can't complain.

e8e3eb17, 2010-07-11, 08:29PM CDT

the engine in my 2000 chevy blazer is a decent one so far...if a bit noisy. great power and torq but my main problem with this vehicle is the transmission.....WEAK TO THE MAX. this is the second transmission in this blazer. and its already basically destroyed my overdrive band. first second and third work great....but after 20 min or so of driving the overdrive magically quits working. just like the first one i had did. fluid lvls and pressure are good but the band is fried. ive been extremely easy on this transmission and it is having the same problem as the first that i beat the hell out of. so my grade for a GM is extremely low now....used to love chevy to death till the newer vehicles failed me miserably.

bbb0c88b, 2010-07-15, 12:47PM CDT

That sucks,I had a 96 GMC Sonoma, with the 4.3l VIN code W, It ran 230,000 miles, I beat the hell out of that truck. I paid 500 dollars for when it had 80,000. The truck ran like shit, i put a new fuel filter on it, and it was golden. At 230,000 miles, the fuel pump went, and I replaced the truck. Never a problom with the motor in mine.And like I said, they were not easy miles, as I always had my foot on the floor.

8f9d791c, 2010-07-21, 05:19PM CDT

any 4.3 i've ever owned has started in any weather(michigan), has nice torque. i'm more than sure lemons exist on the road, all brands have their troubles. i bought one 4.3 truck with 200,000 sold it at 230,000, made $500 on it. it ran and drove awesome.

3290f621, 2010-07-24, 12:14AM CDT

What an idiot my 94 Sierra with a 4.3 has 340,000 miles on the original engine and I dog the hell out of it, don't change the oil when I should, I let it overheat many many times, I mean pegged out until I replaced the leaky radiator, and hit high rpms (no tach) daily. The beat up truck has never left me stranded, and i'd drive it cross country today if I had the need. Of course I've changed the typical fuel pump and a few other accesories damaged in a wreck, and that's it.

Also my buddy has a 90 silverado with the 4.3 and he has 310,000 and another buddy has a 93 Sierra 4.3 with 325,000.

Even though it ain't a 4.3, my uncle just sold a 93 Chevy 2500 with a 350 that had 405,000 miles, still running with the original engine.

Ford who??

10e68831, 2010-07-30, 05:54PM CDT

I bought my first 4.3 in a new Silverado half ton the year they came out mainly because I knew they are the same as a 350 with the two back cylinders missing. All pistons, rings, bearings etc. were interchangable. That first one was awesome. Through the mountains loaded beyond its load limit it performed beautifully. Since then I've had three more 4.3 engines. The next two were in a Blazer, and a GMC half ton. No problems with those either. My current half ton Chevy has a 4.3 with 192,500 miles. I have had to replace the spark plugs already. I suppose by listening to some of these others whiners I should swear away from GM now that I had to replace the plugs.

083345f4, 2010-08-09, 10:25PM CDT

I own a 1989 S-10 Blazer with the 4.3L V6 that has 170k mi. on it. I would have no second thoughts about taking it from Topeka to Dodge City, or even cross-country, because it runs great.

However, my Blazer is not the one to brag about. My friend has a 1992 GMC Sonoma with the 4.3L. His has 425k+ miles on it. The thing doesn't miss, ping, click or rattle. It only burns 1/2 a quart of oil between changes.

I also know a man with a 1981 Checker Marathon (which were built using GM engines and drivetrain), that was a former taxi-cab in NYC. It has 750k+ miles on a 4.3L rebuilt in 1995. This thing runs like it only has 200k!

You don[t have any room to complain about this motor, though it's nothing compared to the old 250ci. inline 6, the 4.3L is probably one of the better engines being put into vehicles built today. You may have just purchased a lemon, as I have not heard about these mass problems.

472c9d71, 2010-08-17, 02:02AM CDT

Its funny how all the pepole commenting who hate this motor or "chevy" all have had more than one.There for you all have liked or loved chevy at one time...its a good motor.. you should give all your cars, trucks, any thing with a motor a little T.L.C. and it will be kind to you.(good luck with that law suit).

fc19f731, 2010-08-17, 12:01PM CDT

I have a 03 s 10 with the 288 4.3 v6 and it is the best v6 on the road even today no other motor gets 26 highway and puts out 250 lbs of torque stock and the quality is unmatched. I recently supercharged it and put a programmer in i can now get 285 lbs of torque and 260 hp and still get 30 highway with the economy selection the 4.3 is quite possibly the best motor ever made that is why you see so many old s 10s on the road EVEN THE NEW 1500S OFFER THE 4.3 v6 no other company has had the success and longevity of a motor ever

50c49b30, 2010-08-24, 10:28PM CDT

dude who had the 96 mustang that was the first year they introduced the 4.6l v8 it had a single overhead cam they like many engines that are new in a vehical always have problems ford later switched to a duel overhead cam which was a way better engine i have a 95 with a 5.0 runs great and i recently bought an 03 sonoma zr2 no problems so far but that first year 4.6l was a piece of junk remember never buy a vehical module the first year it comes out unless it has a power train that company has been making for years

2cccdd03, 2010-08-27, 08:32PM CDT

I have the 4.3 Vortec / W , in my 92 Astro van. It has been the best I've ever had in a van. They did a great job on this one. But lightning struck within 100 ft now my whole elect system is down comp n all????

391bba2c, 2010-08-28, 05:04PM CDT

It's been said, "Oil is the life [blood] of the engine." What brand/type/grade oils are the successful and not-so successful, 4.3Liter owners using? That could REALLY make the diff.

05e3bcb6, 2010-09-01, 06:41PM CDT


253bc3be, 2010-09-06, 07:21PM CDT

I am going to be objective here. I first owned a 1994 S-10 with a five speed manual tranny and the 4.3 V6 with the single port injection system. I was very apprehensive about that since I had owned a 1987 full sized pick up fitted with that system on a 350 V8 that was big trouble, quit intermittently and GM could not solve the problem. I sold that thing. As to the 94, I got great highway mileage and had a few problems. I put 176,000 miles on the truck and I think that the AC, heater, water pump and a starter were the only major problems. I had the starter replaced by the dealer and they left the primary cable lug loose which almost burned the whole truck up! I replaced the spark plug wires at 75K with Magna-core-the factory wires were real rubbish-wonder if GM has ever looked at a set of Toyota spark plug wires-probably not-they should be embarrassed! I think that GM dealers went way, way downhill with the company-Roger Smith and his successors are the biggest crooks in the industry (well forgetting Chysler)and their factory service resolution staff are worthless. I had lots of misery with the cheap crap R4 AC compressor, and the heater core went rotten. I had a local garage work on these-much superior to the dealer-wow; I mean really superior. I traded the truck in at 176K when the ECU went dead. The dealer was not interested in trading (go figure)! I put a rebuilt computer in the truck and drove it to the GMC dealer with instructions from my wife to either come home with an automatic tranny or a Toyota. I did look at the Tundra and the Tacoma, but the Tundra was much more truck than I need and the Tacoma just didn't bang my shutters. I purchased the GMC Sonoma with the 4.3 V6 Vortec in November of '02 (got a good price/good trade on the '02 since the '03 models were out). I now have 126,000 miles and I have only had to replace battery, alternator, fuel pump and starter. Cheap, junk starter, and I replaced it myself, no more dealer work-never. I replaced the spark plugs and wires at 100k just in case. I had the alternator rebuilt at the local shop for $50. The fuel pump was an irritating failure; the local shop was overbooked so my son and I lifted the bed off and replaced the Singapore item with a US made unit. Mileage has dropped significantly. The wiring is raunchy cheap crap reminds me of the trash that is on my daughter's VW Jetta. The manufacturers are heading for fiber optics tattle tale computers and throw away vehicles. The 4.3 has a loping idle and it chugs like a steam engine at mid range. Strangely on occasion when I have floored it the thing will perform like a rocket, just don't expect that every time; maybe the computer is schizophrenic. I don't trust the throttle position switch. In any case GM has lost another customer. There is just not a good level of quality vs value in their line. The RAM Dakota looks good on paper, but I know better-I've been exposed to that trash, too. My hatred of Ford goes back to the 1950's ('60's 70's 80's-their trucks are better than their cars but I have been bitten once too many times) so I won't be visiting Ford. I'm going to run the Sonoma until it literally falls to pieces or someone (not me, of course) totals it. I feel sorry for all the hard working GM stiffs, not their pathetic management, but GM should have been allowed to die.

d76cf04f, 2010-09-07, 12:31AM CDT

I have a 97 full-size 2WD ext-cab. I bought it 4 years ago form the original owner for $3,000 with 180,000 miles. The truck now has 236,000 miles. It doesn't rattle, miss, shake, shimmy or anything. The engine is as smooth and dependable as the day it was new. Had the radiator flushed 2yrs ago for good measure while changing belt, hoses and such. At 225,000 I changed out the original distributor cap, rotor and wires. I wasted money as they didnt improve anything, but I dont have to worry about those ever again. This truck still looks and drives like a new truck. This is my second one, the frist being a 93 Silverado with a TBI 350. I sold that truck with 225,000 and it also ran and looked like a new truck. I still see it running around town and have talked to the owner, she loves it and hasn't had any probs with the truck. Yeah GM has some problems but I will not go overseas, wont do Ford and no way will I drive a Chrysler product.

6e691cf2, 2010-09-17, 06:35PM CDT

I have a 94 chevy 4.3 blazer. it's 100% rebuilt by a chevy mechanic that is reputable for doing quality work. i have been driving it for about a year and have had it completely kick the bucket die on me on four seperate occasions. All new parts and sensors are ac delco parts and i've had to replace each one at least twice. i was hoping that when i rebuilt the vehicle replacing everything factory oem. that the vehicle would hold up for at least two years and it's nothing more than a lemon. i'm never buying a chevy again either. p.o.s. is all i can say

03349750, 2010-10-15, 07:24AM CDT

Well buddy, hate to tell you but I've got a 93 S10 Blazer 4x4 with a 4.3 in it and I can tell you it's the best motor I've ever had. Runs like a champ, starts every time, no matter what the weather. Will admit it needs new valve seals, which will be fixed soon. 245,000 miles and still runs like a top. Every, and I do mean every Ford motor I've ever owned ran like a dogged out piece of junk after 75 to 100,000 miles. Ford who? I'll drive a Chevy til the day I die! Ford sucks!

d3c34133, 2010-11-28, 07:33AM CST

Ihave a fleet of chevy astro and express 1500 8 of the 9 vans have the 4.3 one with 510000 miles on it the rest all have over 250000 miles I will never buy anything but chevy

ff2be0f7, 2010-12-06, 10:40AM CST

I will admit, Chevy has went downhill in quality. I ran the roads for 12 years in a 1990 GMC Jimmy with the 4.3L in it and faced the normal wear and tear issues. However, I bought my first 4.3L Vortec in 2003 and its been a nightmare for 7 years. I only got 70,000 miles on the vechicle, since I baby my vechicles. I've had to get the cheap hard plastic timing chain cover replaced 4 times because of leaks and now I'm having to spend over $300 for a fuel pump assembly because they are a piece of crap also. Moreover, GM doesn't think amount the DYI owner of a vechicle who can do small thing like changing plugs in a vechicle because 4 out of 6 plugs is gravy with going through the fender wells, but the back two on the drivers side was a nightmare. My Jimmy took me 20 minutes to do wire and plugs, my 2003 S10 almost two hours because of the cluster#$%* that was in the way. I'm done with Chevy and will go Toyota for my next vechicle. I know a lot of people with a Toyota with high miles that never has changed their oil, plugs, heck nothing and runs like a champ. Now you have to remeber, everything GM is made across seas and is assembled here in the USA. Toyota Tacoma is made here now because (DUH) you see them racing NASCAR Truck Series.

06836dfe, 2010-12-14, 10:52PM CST

Right on LOL :) Heavy Chevy

aa9f990b, 2010-12-29, 04:17PM CST

Well So Much For Your Bad Luck I Have A 2001 Chevy S10 And Now I Have 42000 Miles And NO Problems No Noice At All And The Pick Up Runs Like A Champ ! It Dos Have A Elertronic Automatic Transmission And It Have Made 3 Trips From Wheatland,Wyoming To LA,California.And Back Also Had A Uhaul Trail 12 Feet Long And Was Geting 18.8 Miles To The Gallen So I Do Not Have No Complants About My Exsperance With My 4.3 Vortec !

22b9c679, 2011-01-12, 11:23PM CST

Sorry you have had so much trouble I am 48 and have owned GM products since I was 15, and have loved them all. I just bought a 94 Astro Van for $300 with 175,463 and a blown head gasket but still runs pretty good. I bought it to use the motor in my Suzuki Samurai the seller was the original owner and I asked how it performed for him all those year his reply was one water pump and that was it. I asked if he changed the oil on a regular basis his reply was if he had time and remembered to do so (We all know the true answer NO) I would not hesitate in the least to by a GM

2aedcaf8, 2011-01-17, 07:38AM CST

thanks for your comment what is a good replacment engine manufactor/distributor

for a 2004 chevy cargo express 4.3 vortec engine number four head not firing and no compression i would like a performance engine at least better specs and quality please help me

ac3506b5, 2011-01-19, 03:55PM CST

I have a 97 s-10 blazer, with 350,000 miles on it and never done anything to it but tune ups and oil changes and 2 water pumps and it STILL RUNS FINE just as quiet as the day I bought it brand new. I have owned 15 Chevys and never had any problems on any of them other than normal, fluids, oil, gas and pumps. I do have an 03 Silverado with 200,000 miles on it and I also purchased it new but I did notice the engine ticked a lot from new but it has run fine. The tech at the dealer said the gm motors are notorious for walking but its not a problem and 199k miles later the truck sounds the same but has always run fine. I also have a 2002 ford that has caught on fire 3 times and the dealer had to paint and fix for free each time and my windows don't roll down anymore and the stereo quit working and my headliner is falling down and the door panels are peeling and this truck only has 40,000 miles. this truck has left me everywhere and almost killed me and my family on several occasions. FORD is what I will never buy again.

0d19c14c, 2011-02-04, 12:47PM CST

I have had 3 4.3 L motors and never had a problem with them.

6119c6e0, 2011-02-12, 12:30AM CST

well i have a 99 blazer with the 4.3 vortec, and it has 123000 very very hard miles on it. because i drive the piss out of this suv. not once has it ever broke down. the only thing that has ever been done to it was oil changes plugs and a rediator. still has the stock never changed spark plug wires. oil pump. fuel pump. and all the stock senors. and i havent had any lose of power or performance from this motor. it will still roast the tires of the rims like it did when i bought it brand new. but everyone has there own thoughts.

9ec7f34a, 2011-02-21, 07:05AM CST

poor victor, all those "close" tolerances you talk about are bothering you so.

must be you!

I race these 4.3 on a local Dirt track,

run contantly 8500 RPM. I run against V8 and V6 buicks and have less breakdowns than they do.

Too bad for you the Mustang does not compete with the Corvette.

keep looking under your microscope pal you will "find" more problems than even a "mastertech" like you can repair.

c0dd7609, 2011-03-15, 12:16PM CDT

Yea I recently just purchased a 1995 chevy s10 blazer nighmare v tech the engine light is on and flashing code says its a multi mech. misfire It is running like crap it idles real ruff and sounds horrible has no power up hill and acts like it wants to stall when sitting in drive I recently did a full tune up replaced both knock sensors the trottle body sensor the spider injector had the fuel pump checked which was fine but there is a bad smell of gas and had the timing done on it and still no change it runs and sounds like crap and the shop I took it to ran a compression,vacum, and pressure tests on it and everything was fine they said they cant figure out the problem and I should get a new engine? Im so disappointed in this truck the body is beautiful still and she looks new like the day she rolled off the assembley line but this has been a nightmare engine and fuel assembley problem truck......smh:(

90458505, 2011-03-24, 11:32PM CDT

I have owned 11 astro/safaris. My main complaint in the terrible fuel mileage. Otherwise I am very happy with all of them. 10 were/are awd and 1 rwd.

I also own a Chevvy venture FWD ( 201k miles ). It gets 2x the mileage of the astro on the highway. My main beef is to who put the termostat where it is. The exhaust comes right over the t housing. I suspect this was so you take it to the dealer for repair. Not likely though it will make me think twice about buying another GM

495e6c97, 2011-03-30, 09:36PM CDT


9050e897, 2011-03-31, 09:20PM CDT

I have a 01 silverado with 160,000 miles ,4.3 . The only thing I,ve replaced was batteries,still have the original brakes and fan belt.(knock on wood) Very pleased , truck owes me nothing..

89da3da7, 2011-05-15, 03:54PM CDT

I have a 1994 gmc sonoma, it has the dreaded 4.3 vortec..guess what? it has 240,000 miles on it. i love this truck, i'm 52 years old and have driven many diff vehicles and this is by far my favorite.

04b37124, 2011-05-24, 07:25PM CDT

I am an airplane mechanic, and while I am noy at all certified or as competent as the automobile mechanics that have also responded to this..I have been told by Chevy/Gmc dealers and their mechanics that the obvious noise (mostly the lifters ) was something the Vortec engines all had and there wasn't a fix...I had that gut feeling I was just being "placated" by a lazy man and company..Good truck just too much noise. Captain R.Thurman, USA

332b4e14, 2011-06-02, 09:47AM CDT

In 2002, I bought a 1998 GMC Sierra, extended cab, with 142K miles on it. I paid about $9500 for it. I needed a functional work truck for around the farm. The truck, sporting a 4.3L Vortec V-6, looked and ran new.

Nine years later, I can't find an excuse to get rid of it. All I've done to this truck over nine years is:

1. Replaced plugs and wires, once at 150K.

2. Replaced belt at 156K

3. Flushed radiator at 170K

4. Finally replaced brake pads at 256K

5. Replaced fuel pump at 180K and 225K.

6. Replaced alternator at 192K miles.

7. Replaced AC/Heater fan at 262K.

8. Refilled refrigerant at 250K.

Oh, and replaced muffler at 252K.

Other than routine maintenance - replacing the occasional light bulbs - plus routine SYNTHETIC oil changes every 10,000 miles - and keeping the truck clean under the hood - I've done very little to keep my bright red baby running like a champ. I routinely drive 370 miles between my homes in Mobile and Valley Head, Alabama.

My truck is comfortable, quiet, and you want to know something else? I get awesome gas mileage! Typically, 23.7 MPG on the highway and about 19 - 20 in town. Granted, my truck would NOT pass a stringent vehicle inspection because a certain part in the exhaust system has been purposely removed (which results in the check engine light remaining on due to an O2 sensor). But, the engine light has been "ON" for 130K miles now - don't think it's a problem!

As for the interior? The dash and upholstery is maintained/cleaned about once every three months and I wash and wax the exterior about once a month. I get lots of compliments on my 14 year old truck - that always makes me feel good.

About the great mileage? Other than the absence of an exhaust part, I don't do anything "special" - oh, I put a bottle of fuel system cleaner in about every three months, but I haven't replaced my computer chip or improved the exhaust. I do use K&N air and oil filters and keep an eye on my tire pressure, but I'm not obsessive about anything. On my road trips, I do run with my tailgate down and I've found this improves my mileage about 1 to 2 MPG. And, I don't EVER run over 75 and typically set the cruise at 68 MPH. 68 MPH seems to be its optimum speed and RPMs for great mileage.

Given that I bought this truck used with 142K miles on it, I took a risk. But, I researched the truck and actually talked to the company who owned it new. The company had a fleet of "executive" trucks used for trips between Pensacola, FL and Texas. The trucks were rigidly maintained and in order for the user to get his/her highway expenses compensated, they had to produce maintenance receipts every 3,000 miles. THAT, was the key to giving this engine a great start toward what I hope will end up being a HALF-MILLION miles before I'm done with it.

I might add that I haven't had a truck note since 2005, my insurance costs are low, and I get great mileage for a full sized truck. It would be hard to replace this truck based on hopes of getting better mileage and quite frankly, I don't need the prestige of riding in the newest version of super trucks with all their bells and whistles.

To the fellow who originally complained about the Vortec engine, all I can say is: EAT MY DUST! I can't say whether I'll ever buy another GMC or not - I might not outlive the one I'm driving NOW! :^)


f68069bf, 2011-07-22, 01:59PM CDT

I have a 1995 K 1500 4WD with the 4.3 Vortec engine. The truck was 3 years old when I bought it with 74,000 miles on it.

13 years later I have 225,000 miles on it and hauling way more weight than it should be with tools, ladder rack with heavy fiberglass extension ladders, truck box and side boxes loaded to max.

I have worked this truck hard and it has been ready to go every time I climb in it. I will admit it isn't perfect and has some issues but as far as putting me down or making me walk, it never has.

I have owned seven different trucks in my 51 years. Three Fords, Two Dodges and Two Chevy's.

Two of the Fords were junk and the other had an 8.2 Liter Detroit Diesel which served me well.

The two Dodge's were fair vehicles but a fair amount of problems too.

The two Chevy's have been the best of all of them. One had a 327 engine that would pull the house down if you could get the traction and this truck now so I can't complain.

I have worked both Chevy trucks hard and both were always there and ready for the next job.

8d9541c3, 2011-08-04, 09:22PM CDT

I am a shade tree mechanic who's done his own repair on all my vehicles starting, after discovering my Dad's good ol' boy buddy mechanics were ripping him off, with repairs long on price and short on problem solving, with my red and white'57 Bel Air 250 straight 6, that my dad bought me used as a HS graduation present. I have no mechanics credentials, but after 50 years of repairing them can turn a wrench with the best of em. Ive owned nearly every make of American car over the years, hate Fords,think Dodges are ok, and love Chevys and Pontiacs. they are a bit noisy, and leak oil like theres no tomorrow, but you just cant kill em. My '57 that i sold like the unseasoned kid i was for $35 in 1971 cause i was broke and movin accross the country and it needed work I didnt have money for, is probably still runnin like a top somewhere. my '86 TA still keeps tickin away with well over 350k miles. My '84 Chrysler Lebaron ("Mister Bitchy) was a piece o' S**t from the word go and lasted only 2 years with major engine overhaul, head replacement, and many major repairs, started just killin grass in the back yard in 1990, when i completely gave up on it. Never had a Ford last over 4 years.

I will never lose my loyalty to GM car. Generally they're the best on the market that the working man can afford. But those complaining about the 4.3 L, that Chevy now seems to love, have a point. From what Ive seen, they seem to have maybe 1,000 fantastic ones that will last forever, for every 1 total piece o' S**t, basket of bolts that should have never made it out the front door of the plant, but when you buy one of those complete lemons, and pay good hard earned money for it, and its disocovered and verified by a mechanic, that its useful only as a large paper weight, I agree GM should back the product and stop saying "It's the nature of the beast." Yes its true the nature of this beast is that every 1001 or so is junk, but what any responsible Manufacturer like GM should do is own up to that fact, and send out a brand new one to replace it, on the spot, rather than just accept all the negative publicity the minor number of lemons that come off the line precipitate. With all the fantastic ones they have made millions on, the cost of replacing .1% of them for turning out to be Dogs would be just good public relations for a car company that has a well deserved good reputation, that they're apparently willing to risk letting go down the toilet just to save a few bucks on the very few glitches in the system, that produce one of these aberrant anomalies every thousand or so fantastic engines. My daughters considering driving 400 miles back home in one of the afore mentioned lemons from '93 this weekend, and i plan to stand at the ready to go save her in my 25 year old TA, or my sons 2L Mister Bitchy rice burner with a Dodge emblem, either of which, would run rings around that GMC pickup with a 4.3L paper weight that could easily be replaced with a loosely wound rubber band, and produce more power.

4d6196ce, 2011-08-04, 09:24PM CDT

I am a shade tree mechanic who's done his own repair on all my vehicles starting, after discovering my Dad's good ol' boy buddy mechanics were ripping him off, with repairs long on price and short on problem solving, with my red and white'57 Bel Air 250 straight 6, that my dad bought me used as a HS graduation present. I have no mechanics credentials, but after 50 years of repairing them can turn a wrench with the best of em. Ive owned nearly every make of American car over the years, hate Fords,think Dodges are ok, and love Chevys and Pontiacs. they are a bit noisy, and leak oil like theres no tomorrow, but you just cant kill em. My '57 that i sold like the unseasoned kid i was for $35 in 1971 cause i was broke and movin accross the country and it needed work I didnt have money for, is probably still runnin like a top somewhere. my '86 TA still keeps tickin away with well over 350k miles. My '84 Chrysler Lebaron ("Mister Bitchy) was a piece o' S**t from the word go and lasted only 2 years with major engine overhaul, head replacement, and many major repairs, started just killin grass in the back yard in 1990, when i completely gave up on it. Never had a Ford last over 4 years.

I will never lose my loyalty to GM car. Generally they're the best on the market that the working man can afford. But those complaining about the 4.3 L, that Chevy now seems to love, have a point. From what Ive seen, they seem to have maybe 1,000 fantastic ones that will last forever, for every 1 total piece o' S**t, basket of bolts that should have never made it out the front door of the plant, but when you buy one of those complete lemons, and pay good hard earned money for it, and its disocovered and verified by a mechanic, that its useful only as a large paper weight, I agree GM should back the product and stop saying "It's the nature of the beast." Yes its true the nature of this beast is that every 1001 or so is junk, but what any responsible Manufacturer like GM should do is own up to that fact, and send out a brand new one to replace it, on the spot, rather than just accept all the negative publicity the minor number of lemons that come off the line precipitate. With all the fantastic ones they have made millions on, the cost of replacing .1% of them for turning out to be Dogs would be just good public relations for a car company that has a well deserved good reputation, that they're apparently willing to risk letting go down the toilet just to save a few bucks on the very few glitches in the system, that produce one of these aberrant anomalies every thousand or so fantastic engines. My daughters considering driving 400 miles back home in one of the afore mentioned lemons from '93 this weekend, and i plan to stand at the ready to go save her in my 25 year old TA, or my sons 2L Mister Bitchy rice burner with a Dodge emblem, either of which, would run rings around that GMC pickup with a 4.3L paper weight that could easily be replaced with a loosely wound rubber band, and produce more power.

4d6196ce, 2011-08-04, 09:52PM CDT

I am a shade tree mechanic who's done his own repair on all my vehicles starting, after discovering my Dad's good ol' boy buddy mechanics were ripping him off, with repairs long on price and short on problem solving, with my red and white'57 Bel Air 250 straight 6, that my dad bought me used as a HS graduation present. I have no mechanics credentials, but after 50 years of repairing them can turn a wrench with the best of em. Ive owned nearly every make of American car over the years, hate Fords,think Dodges are ok, and love Chevys and Pontiacs. they are a bit noisy, and leak oil like theres no tomorrow, but you just cant kill em. My '57 that i sold like the unseasoned kid i was for $35 in 1971 cause i was broke and movin accross the country and it needed work I didnt have money for, is probably still runnin like a top somewhere. my '86 TA still keeps tickin away with well over 350k miles. My '84 Chrysler Lebaron ("Mister Bitchy) was a piece o' S**t from the word go and lasted only 2 years with major engine overhaul, head replacement, and many major repairs, started just killin grass in the back yard in 1990, when i completely gave up on it. Never had a Ford last over 4 years.

I will never lose my loyalty to GM car. Generally they're the best on the market that the working man can afford. But those complaining about the 4.3 L, that Chevy now seems to love, have a point. From what Ive seen, they seem to have maybe 1,000 fantastic ones that will last forever, for every 1 total piece o' S**t, basket of bolts that should have never made it out the front door of the plant, but when you buy one of those complete lemons, and pay good hard earned money for it, and its disocovered and verified by a mechanic, that its useful only as a large paper weight, I agree GM should back the product and stop saying "It's the nature of the beast." Yes its true the nature of this beast is that every 1001 or so is junk, but what any responsible Manufacturer like GM should do is own up to that fact, and send out a brand new one to replace it, on the spot, rather than just accept all the negative publicity the minor number of lemons that come off the line precipitate. With all the fantastic ones they have made millions on, the cost of replacing .1% of them for turning out to be Dogs would be just good public relations for a car company that has a well deserved good reputation, that they're apparently willing to risk letting go down the toilet just to save a few bucks on the very few glitches in the system, that produce one of these aberrant anomalies every thousand or so fantastic engines. My daughters considering driving 400 miles back home in one of the afore mentioned lemons from '93 this weekend, and i plan to stand at the ready to go save her in my 25 year old TA, or my sons 2L Mister Bitchy rice burner with a Dodge emblem, either of which, would run rings around that GMC pickup with a 4.3L paper weight that could easily be replaced with a loosely wound rubber band, and produce more power.

2eeac46c, 2011-08-18, 02:17PM CDT

Sorry to read this. I service, tune and repair gm for years. Love the brand! Your right about the balance shaft, the rest is i think your own fight against gm! Idel settings are for specialist only i think. Good luck. Bert, holland

ff96806f, 2011-08-30, 07:15AM CDT

I had four s10 pick up trucks with the 4.3 engine and all had prolem after problems. Like head cracking,fuel pump,fuel injector, oil leaks,slipping transmission. poor performance and mileage. The 4.3 is notorious for having problems. Chevys vehicles has the most problems. They are poorly built with many design faults. They should be suit for building automobile.

lucky for me the sold my chevy and bought a Toyota.

a0ed407d, 2011-09-13, 01:40AM CDT

i have my dad's 1998 S10 Blazer with the 4.3l and its a good solid vehicle with 145,000 mi, not fast not a sports car, not quiet but solid, it had a misfire that was mis diagnosed as a sticky valve on cylinder 5 we dealt with it for another 50k mi and it got too bad to ignore so it went in and after 2 weeks of investigative work the intake was pulled and cylinder 5 and 3 ports were super clean, gas was leaking from the spider injector regulator and starving the injectors on 3 and 5 causing the misfire, regulator and injector assembly was replaced and it runs like new, and has power! people think its 2 or 3 years old, .... great vehicle

b4be09ef, 2011-09-26, 12:43PM CDT

Sounds like the truck in question isnt as new or didnt have as low of miles as you were told. we run airboats with 4.3's.... they spin 5500-6500 for hours on end spinning 72" props, day in, day out without so much as a whimper. Still havent seen a ford or chrysler engine hold up for more than one season in these applications. I mean come on... its a 350 minus two cylinders... nuff said!!!

93dcb5c7, 2011-10-17, 06:39PM CDT

yall are all idiots u dont know shit about cars if your setting there baseing all general motors off on truck the 4.3 gets great gas and almost has power of a v8 or double the power of a ford v8

e11e4f3e, 2011-10-18, 01:13AM CDT

I have a Cyclone with a stock turbo and An AWD trans. Ive owned it since 01 when it had 28k orig miles on it. I have now pulled the odo up to 185k and only had to replace the turbo 2 times. The 4.3 is one of the best motors ever built. Its nearly bullet proof.

73e6bd35, 2011-10-27, 04:21PM CDT

I disagree with the 4.3 being a piece of junk. I've had 2 with over 300k on them and never had any problems wit the actual motor. It was everything around the motor that gave me problems. One of them I know still runs wit 462 thousand miles. I just put an icm in it this mornin for the buddy I sold it to. I also pu a new set of main and rod bearings in it cause when he changed the oil he installed the new filter with the old gasket still on the motor and he ran it outta oil. That was 40k ago didn't even turn the crank cause my buudy is cheap and I did it for a 12 pack. That thing still purrs like a kitten. Every other chevy I've had other than 2 2.8s 1 in an 85 s10 and one in a 88 beretta gt have been complete junk. I'm talkin 95 sierra 350 62000 miles had to replace motor 02 silverado 4.8 new motor at 90k. I could keep naming them but I don't have that much time. There's at least a dozen more I could list, and I'm only talking about motors, don't even get me started on the rest of the vehicles. I now only run fords in my fleet and I with a combined mileage of 2.2 million miles I've spent less keeping my all my fords on the road than just the best 1 gm vehicle I've used. My personal vehicles are a retired 2000 explorer xlt with a 4.0 ohv auto with 464k on the clock and never had the motor trans or rearend in the shop. I also have a 99 explorer EB that has 239k on it and I replaced the t case cause I wanted 4wd instead of awd. It literally has had nothing but belts battery fluids plugs wires and brakes put on it, oh and its a 5.0. I also have a few hondas with over 300k on them one has 82xk and it cranks up every time. I have a couple of toyotas and while their motors are dependable their wiring is junk. And the 22re is an interfierence engine and I've had to rebuild the head when somehow part of the slides for the timing chain broke and got hung in crank gear and it jumped time. I have said it before yet for some reason I keep giving them a chance and always regret it but I will never buy another gm again.

53592c27, 2011-12-06, 03:19PM CST

Well I have found that if you are all ways running you car down to e the pumps will go. All so crappy gas. bad fuel filter will make that pump run harder. Most of the time it is driver abuse that caused that problems. Toy trucks are crap. Let me know how dissapointrd you are with that one. Also are you torqing it down to the right specs? it sounds like you mec. had went nuts with a ratchet and your are just getting screwed.!

8f1293c6, 2011-12-07, 11:49AM CST

I am having problems with the same year & type truck. My lifters clatter from 1 hour to overnight when i start it. I also loose trnsmission & coolant fluids but they never are found on the ground.. STRANGE !

ac90d81c, 2011-12-11, 02:02AM CST

chevy is awesome u suck!!!!!!!

4cde730d, 2011-12-26, 04:02AM CST

I had a 94 a10 blazer with the vin w 4.3 vortec and its a total piece of shit. in 4 years its burnt up 3 injector units. at 137,000 miles after replacing the entire cooling system as well as the valve cover gaskets and intake gaskets, and complete tune up, it ran great for about another 1500 miles untill it burned all the oil and melted the pistons. after tearign it all apart there turned out that the oil blew out of the rear seal of the intake manifold where chevy decided it was best to use glue instead of a gasket. in 3 years its had nothing except issue after issue. that being said, the one engine does not condemn the entire company. my 2000 silverado with the 327 vortec is absolutley amazing. i have had it since it was brand new and in 12 years and 75000 miles ive done nothing except the required maintence and a tune up. the only problem the truck has had is a hub a bearing cracking. so no i do not condemn chevy however the 4.3 vortec engine is crap.

4824dddd, 2012-01-02, 09:38PM CST

I have had a 92 4.3 that I sold with 195k. My o1 4.3 was traded at 73k. My 03 4.3 has 2002k on it. All the same, 1 quart every 3000 miles. even when new. My latest 03 4.03 has had AMS iol since 1000 miles runs like the day I bought it new. Not good on gas but a tank of a motor if taken care of

3d506df7, 2012-01-18, 08:10PM CST

my chevy 4.3 v6 vortec has nearly 200,000 mile and kicks ass! runs great! in a 99 chevy trailblazer 4x4

13a0e348, 2012-01-20, 02:14AM CST

I have a 2003 V6 Ext. Cab S10. The first vehicle I ever bought new. This sweet heart gets 30.3 MPGs and ran PERFECT for 95,000 Miles. Now I have 96,000 miles on the odometer. Cylinder #3 Miss Fires. I replaced the fuel injection, plugs, cap, rotor, wires, throttle position sensor and idle control solenoid. Cylinder #3 Miss Fires again. The OBD2 tells my smart phone (GoLink Dongle!) that the throttle position sensor is still bad. I had the dealer check everything, THEY replaced the throttle position sensor, I drove to work from the dealer and it ran great. I drove home from work and cylinder #3 Kiss Fires, the throttle position sensor is giving false voltages, (They replaced the sensor AND the harness that plugs into it!) the Idle Control Solenoid is bad. This motor has never been quiet, it makes the same, marbles on the pistons, sound it always has and NOW it pings as well. I am getting upset. I am giving the dealer one more chance to fix my baby! If they fail again, I guess I'll go back to Nissan. Do I rebuild the V6 correctly or do I put the 4BT cummins in it instead? Hey, does anyone know who rebuilds these motors and fixes all the problems with them?

a2f0f229, 2012-02-11, 03:27AM CST

fuel meter in the spider its leaking i have the same problem an i have to use starting fuild to get to star in the morning i spent 2k on the eng listening to the mech or or grease monkies at five shops this senser an that sener , muilti misfire , i bet its 5 an or 6 cylinder s , an yes a class action lawsuit , i have of the same engines in a 99 gmc p up an a blazer same year one is great runs fine no problem , but the other my god everyone i talk to they trade theres in or junk it soled it its also the computer giveing the wrong info too

991ec69e, 2012-03-11, 11:32AM CDT

That's great you have so much knowledge. But this is nothing new. The chevy 350's have the same problem. Its going to depend on when they changed out their tooling. The ones produced at the beginning of the production cycle are great. The ones at the end. Well they suck ass. You've never seen a flat camshaft???

2fcbdb0b, 2012-04-05, 02:54AM CDT

there is a reason for an open diff

drive a truck with a locker in the snow

your a dumbass learn to spell, its lap top

70b84881, 2012-07-02, 02:09AM CDT

Design was what made GM great and design is what is killing it, your only chance is to make the first Electric 20,000 dollar unlimited range car. A Chevelle If you get the kids of today to buy a electric Chevelle for 20 grand with unlimited range and the first commericial shows six kids going cross country from California to New York City, show then sleeping at a closed down gas station with their car plugged in then arriving in New York with money to spare.Id'e do it before Tesla or nissan does.

250e9f45, 2012-09-27, 06:43AM CDT

I bought a new GMC 1500 PU in 2002. It has a 4.3 vortec engine and a 36K mile warranty. In the first 3 years the check engine light came on 6 times. All alarms had stated a #3 cylinder misfire.I don't know what the dealership did but it seemed to run ok but it always lacked power which I attributed to a V6 and not a V8. They did replace a few distributor caps and rotors due to corrosion. I also had to add coolant (about a pint) every oil change. They never found a leak. After the warranty ran out I took it to a local well known shop for service because I felt that I got more personal care than the dealership. I ran synthetic Mobil 1 oil and used a 3x Fram oil filter and changed oil every 4000 miles. This is a full size plain cab 8 foot bead truck that the kids rarely drove because it had no sex appeal. Now it is 2012 and the truck has 132,416 miles and is on the third set of plugs and wires and the 6th distributor cap. The service engine light has been on for about ten years with a #3 cylinder misfire issue and reset near 70 times. I paid for people to check it and they figured it was a sensor. Plugs, wires,rotor,distributor cap,and injectors were not the problem. I was towing my 4-wheeler the other day and blew a head gasket. Compression on #3 was 0 and 1 and 5 were 40. The Chevy dealer said the engine was blown and needed replaced. I got a Jasper engine shop to put a Jasper engine in it and It runs far better that it ever has. I am a Maintenance Supervisor for a $21M facility and I work on industrial high power CO2 lasers for a living.Proper maintenance intervals and care are key to the 30,000 RPM turbines that run these machines.This engine was junk from the beginning and everybody missed that. This type of thing happens but I will never buy GM again. I gave them plenty of chances over several years. This is low mileage on the truck and it was well cared for. GM made a few mistakes and lost my business.

a3d13b9f, 2012-09-28, 11:19PM CDT

Don't buy American vehicles...they are crap.

Joe, 2013-03-12, 10:25PM CDT

I owned a 1987 astro van, it was ok. I had a 1990 astro van it had issues. I bought a 1994 S10 Blazer it was a total piece of crap. I being a GM guy my whole life figured "Hey I'm sure GM has corrected all the piss poor problems I had with the I bought my wife a 2000 S10 Blazer, and I bought a 2000 GMC Safari. All these vehicles have really been "JUST ONE BIG PAIN IN THE ASS"!!! I would describe them as very unreliable. As you all know they all had the 4.3 engine. I do not beat these vehicles at all...for all you people trying to hang your hat on the fact that anyone who has bad luck with the GM vehicle with the 4.3 must not be taking care of it, your totally crazy. What do they call that department at GM where they must pay people to make up these sucess stories about GM 4.3 vehicles. I was a small engine mechanic for years full time (I still repair for peole), but I have been a Industrial maintenance person for the last 25 years. I work on lots of hydrolic equipment...etc. I know the 4.3 engine like the back of my hand unfortunate that I had to become so familiar with these vehicles, BUT IT IS A FULL TIME JOB KEEPING THEM RUNNING!!I have put 5 or 6 caps and rotors in all these vehicles. I had a lifter go on the blazer a few months ago. The fuel injection spider went on my GMC recently. I have done these tasks on the earlier 4.3s I owned. You know...I am not even going on with what I have had to do to keep these pieces of shit running. That alone is a 10 chapter book. If any one wants to know how to do the intake off and on, unfortunatley "I can do it blind folded". I bought a FORD 2 years ago, I love it. I have 5 vehicles to date. I bought my daughter a $2500 car, my son a $2000 car 2 plus years ago, not GMs. I have not had ANY crazy dumb problems with there cars, and they are running double the miles I put on. I AM SELLING MY GMC AND THE BLAZER ASAP. I am embarresed to admit that I have been so stupid as to keeping these GM pieces of shit this long!! IT HAS BEEN A LIVING HELL!! >>>>>>>>GOOD BYE GOVERMENT MOTORS<<<<<<<<<<< PS: I bought 2500 shares of Ford stock a while back, I'm sure I won't regret it!

261900dd, 2013-05-21, 10:14PM CDT

The way your pointing out problems that dont exsist . Its pretty obvious to me that your a disgruntled Gm exemployee.I have a 1998 chevy S-10 with the Vortec enegine in it and I have'nt had any of the problems. You must have dreamed up or over exagerated your problems that you musthave made happen out of ignorance ! I am a Master Mechanic myself and I say your head is tucked firmly up you ass . I do believe that when they wanted to make a 4.3 fule efficiant engine this fail but the performance is second to none . Your just 1 peroson out of millions that have the same make and model . So save your sarcasam and talk to a wall as it has the same mentality as you my intalectual friend . In my opinion you must have maried something that will scare the hell out of anyone who laid eyes on her . I dont want to be offencive and valgure but pal you need to wake up and keep your problems to yourself . A new car has a break in period and it allso has a break in oil that should be changed at the millage thats clearly written in your owners manual . ( Thats if you can even read ) I could go on forever with an unexperianced mechanic like yourself . I dont think you could even work on a tricycle let alone a 6 cylinder Vortec engine . Well son you met your match . You have any uneducated responces my email is right on this thread . Feel free and I just might beable to teach you how to work and do preventive care to your next car . I think with your wisdom it will be a Ford product . Keep on with dogging on GMC and lets see where it gets you .

8ee16ad5, 2013-05-28, 06:47PM CDT

Over 476,000 miles on my 96 4.3 Still runs good, original engine, no rebuild yet.

Arrow Transport, 2013-05-29, 11:24AM CDT

Having to go this deep into the engine at around 15,000 miles clearly shows a defect. That said, I am neither a disgrunted employee, nor making up problems that don't exist. I have owned a 1998 GMC Safari AWD for nearly three years now, very clean at purchase and ran well at 120k. At 171k, the engine lost oil pressure, and I replaced it rather than guess at the problem.

However, my complaint is not with the original engine, it went 51k of taxi duty with a severely cracked cylinder head and an oil pan/pump full of sludge -- pretty damned tough. I also owned a 1989 S-Blazer with a 4.3 TBI that ran great at over 250k. Transmission was another story.

My complaint is with the 2000 model engine I replaced it with. And don't start up with "used engines are a gamble". I know that, but have never had problems with used ones before, and the seller was a preferred seller on eBay with a 99.9% satisfaction rating, even giving me a thirty-day warranty. Donor vehicle was well-kept with 111k at time of salvage.

From 100 miles after installation, this engine has had a knocking noise on cold start-up until head temperature is 125 degrees, and knocks on acceleration, which I am told is "piston slap", which results mainly from GM eliminating the skirts from the pistons on engines 1999 and later, causing the pistons to cock sideways on the power stroke, rattling around in the rings and contacting the cylinder wall.

For those who say I am making this noise and problem up, there are threads all over the InterNet on a great many GM truck forums complaining of the same thing, and there are plenty of YouTube videos that show similar problems with the same series engine, all 99-up. Cameras do not lie. I am also told this problem can go dormant in engines that sit long enough.

The 4.3L is not the only engine affected by this change, it is common with the LS-series V8s as well. Convenient how 261900dd, a self-professed "master mechanic", makes no mention of this. Seems pretty clear-cut to me. My 1998 engine was quiet as the grave, and the "new-design" 2000, with no piston skirts and less mileage, sounds like a Duramax. GM's PlastiCrap fuel-injection "spider" was a bad enough idea.

I have long been GM loyal, saying "F****d Over Rebuilt Dodge" ever since I can remember. After seeing an old-school Ford 302 throw two rods and continue running through 30 minutes of abuse, I am starting to change my mind. In my 500,000+ miles of taxi and delivery experience, I have found that while GM may have once built great vehicles with great engines, they have crippled their entire vehicle and engine line with hare-brained designs. I believe I am currently driving the newest GM vehicle I will ever own... IF I buy another GM vehicle, it will NOT be newer than 1998 unless the engine and transmission have BOTH been rebuilt to proper standards.

261900dd, 2013-05-29, 04:48PM CDT

I cant beleive all the cry babies .. My 4.3 has 230000 miles on it and sure you do have to replace parts that wear out . Holy shit man sell the damn thing and stop your childish crap ! The 4.3 is a damn good engine and will out last any ford out there !! If you rag on it you brought all this shit upon yourself ! Dont pass the buck on GM !!!If you have time to cry on the internet go check your damn oil or just tinker with whatever needs tlc !!!!

763876bd, 2013-05-31, 08:59PM CDT

I personally think all of you are idiots. I have a 97 s-10 4.3 Vortec "x" in the vin. It currently has 265,xxx and is still going and i drive it every day. The previous s-10 was an 80's s-10 with the same motor and was sold with 350,xxx miles in 2000 and was junked in 2005 with just under 500,000 miles. So i'm with everyone who said its the way you take care of your engines. Don't hot rod it and you'll be fine, the biggest problem is ignorant people not taking the time to learn about car maintenance and how you should drive your vehicle. I'm not even a mechanic and I can keep my vehicles better than half you people talking about all of your repairs. So in general if you drive GM, Ford, or some rice burner, any of them can last as long as you drive it right.

Arrow Transport, 2013-06-01, 05:18AM CDT

I think it is obvious that some of the later posters are not reading everyone's stories to the letter, and more obvious that some of them have no clue what they are talking about.

GM seems to have created some confusion about VIN codes for these later-model 4.3s by erroneously reusing a VIN letter assignment previously used for a different engine. While I am more familiar with the older throttle-body-injected "Z"-code engine, I have seen both "Z" and "W" engines in several different later-model trucks equipped with CSFI.

While I know that there is indeed an "X"-code 4.3, and I am not saying it is impossible, I have NEVER seen an "X" in an S-10 VIN. "X" was used long ago for the front-drive variant of the carbureted 60-degree 2.8L, a completely different engine. The rear-drive variant of the carb'd 2.8L engine for the S-10 had a "B" VIN code. How can GM possibly miss this little detail by reassigning the same "X" VIN code letter to a completely different engine within 10 years of its production? The "W" designation being assigned to another version of the 4.3 is also a faux pas, having been previously assigned to the MPFI variant of the FWD 2.8L from 1985-1989. Twenty-six letters in the alphabet, and they still managed to reuse two? Sounds like GM isn't handling things too well these days, and their products seemed to hold up much better in the late-80s to early-90s.

Personally, I think the older throttle-body-injected "Z"-code 4.3 engine was a much better version, (I owned an '89 with well over 250k) and it's becoming pretty obvious that there may be a huge difference in the design quality of the older TBI "Z" engine, compared to later CPI "Z", "X", or "W" engines.

BTW, the poster who mentioned airboats using 4.3s is comparing apples and oranges. Marine engines are completely different than truck engines, and in reality, quite a few marine engine parts (particularly intake manifolds and injector units to replace the PlastiCrap spider injection) are finding their way into street-driven GM trucks, which speaks VOLUMES. When people are swapping marine engines and parts to street-driven vehicles, it is a strong indicator of having found a solution to real problems. I certainly know I wouldn't do it just for the hell of it if a problem didn't exist. So I think some of you folks really ought to make sure you know EXACTLY what you are talking about before you post.

For the record, I don't think anyone is saying that the 4.3 is junk. I think what these folks are saying is that GM does nothing to help consumers affected by problem vehicles, and anyone who has had to replace half the lifters in a 15,000 mile engine has obviously been sold a problem vehicle. I am well aware that there are plenty of 4.3s out there that have gone the distance and then some. That does not excuse GM from standing behind the few that have problems, especially if they have a defect from the factory and make noise from day one.

However, GM seems too concerned with trying to increase profits by cutting corners, resulting in problematic factory-engineered parts that force consumers to fix the same problem again and again, as evidenced by the "PlastiCrap" Central Port Injection system. Not to mention the piston-to-cylinder clearance problems created by adopting a so-called "net build" process, assuming that all pistons and cylinders should be the same for a given engine, ignoring the typical manufacturing tolerance variations that happen in the machining process, and further exacerbating the problem with the elimination of piston skirts, causing the pistons to rattle against the cylinder walls. And many engines 1999 and later exhibit this problem.

But this is nothing new to me, or my father, who bought a brand-new S-10 in 1996 that was practically rebuilt before the warranty expired. The transmission was replaced three times because of noise, engine was torn down twice for noise that was later diagnosed as excessive piston-to-cylinder clearance, aka "piston slap". So GM knew about this issue years before it became public, but did nothing to correct it, or make it right.

GM really needs to start thinking about its customer base and start treating its consumers properly. It is clear that bean-counters speak louder than common sense, and that GM's execs care nothing about their customers.

Back to the lecture at hand, the low-mileage 2000 model 4.3 that my 98 Safari's original engine was replaced with is already experiencing oil pressure issues as well as piston slap noise, just 12k miles since installation. Whenever it finally blows, I have a nice low-mileage HD 6.2L diesel V8 waiting to replace it. The only reason I will do so is because I REALLY like this van. But they just don't build 'em like they used to, folks, and I refuse to take another chance on any later-model factory GM engines.

As for the "piston slap" issue I have cited and am currently experiencing, if you think I am making up a problem that doesn't exist... go to and see for yourself - It is clear that GM threw common sense out the window in 1999 when they eliminated skirts from the piston design, and adopted the so-called "net build process" outlined on the site.

The site shows that piston slap is a VERY common problem with 99-up 4.3s and LS-series V8s, and GM is doing nothing to either make things right with the consumer or fix the problem in later models, making empty promises of a coming "fix" for the problem, that was promised several years ago but never came.

I have one thing to say to those who are poo-poo'ing "all the crybabies", as you so nonchalantly say. You really need to put yourselves in someone else's shoes and realize that not every vehicle that rolls off the assembly line is perfect from day one. Just because you didn't have a problem, doesn't mean those of us who did are lying. Problems do happen, otherwise the Pontiac Fiero would never have gotten the reputation it has. It all boils down to how GM chooses to deal with those problems, and they have dealt with them quite poorly in these situations.

BTW, this is certainly not my first rodeo with GM's quality-control problems. A former girlfriend bought a six-month-old Geo Tracker with 9,000 miles. She immediately received a recall notice regarding a potential problem with the rear axle. She was not mechanically inclined and didn't really know what it meant, so she had me take it in, which was resolved well enough. But within another 4,000 miles it began having clutch disengagement and shifting problems. Eight trips to the local dealer yielded no satisfaction and several "could not duplicate customer concern" notes on the paperwork.

I then made an appointment with a dealer in the next city, who diagnosed a stretched clutch cable in 15 minutes. No vehicle should have worn out such a key part of the drivetrain in 13,000 miles, folks! This is one situation that actually was resolved without a great deal of fuss and muss, but the service manager at the first dealership was quite embarrassed, to say the least. Granted, the Tracker was not BUILT by GM, but if they market it under their moniker, they had damned well better stand behind it. And I have noted an intense lack of desire to do so for what they DO build themselves, in recent years.

I might also note that ANY manufacturer who accepts bailouts with taxpayer money, thereby forcing the citizens to invest in them, then after repaying the bailout, and then chooses to invest in sending jobs outside of the country, should be ashamed of themselves. If you'd rather employ the Mexicans and Chinese, then sell your vehicles there, GM. You can't expect the American people to invest in you, if you don't want to invest in them.

a5022708, 2013-06-20, 04:11AM CDT

Does it really matter what kind of car we drive anymore? Even American cars have several components from China, Mexico etc. I say at this point buy whatever you have the best luck with because your the one paying to get it repaired when it breaks down. I would never buy anything but GM products. After the Dexcool issue I had finally had enough. You will only see a Toyota in my driveway now and wow talk about reliable vehicles. I do have a 4.3 in my boat and so far so good and its a 1994.

89aeb869, 2013-08-08, 12:48AM CDT

I have a 1997 s10 with the 4.3 5speed, i bought it off a friend of mine, the only major issues i have had with the truck is done by my own stupidity. A.K.A. sliding into a curb and snapping a 8.5 in rear end axle, and a driveshaft u-joint i replaced, minus the usual stuff, fuel filter, plugs wires cap and rotor, i bout it with 312,000km on it, and i have 337,xxx on it now, it leaks oil and coolant, but i know water pumps and hoses go bad, and i drive the piss out of my truck. 5500 rpm shifts, 3 grand clutch drops the odd time, but still all in all a sound little truck. i live in canada too btw. so shove that in your juice box and suck it

True Tech, 2013-09-23, 01:52AM CDT

Alright I'm so glad I have found a site as such as this one awesome..Well I came here to get some pointers tips hints something here and to come out great with a response..Alright this is a 2005 Chevy blazer 4.3l V6 Vortec engine I seem to have a problem with coolant loss seriously its not tremendously major just the fact of its disappearing and there is no leaks at all I work on cars myself and do tons of work on them but this one has me stumped thermostat and temp coolant sensor have been replaced I've done a flush already and added back Dex-cool as recommended alright well it seems to me it has a blown head gasket doesn't make since no smoke out of the tail pipe not overheating and runs excellent...Alright Y do I suspect a blown head gasket is b/c it has like brown kinda sticky residue on the radiator cap and inside the radiator after I already done the flush about couple months after well there is no coolant in reservoir and it was there before I'm kinda stumped here and for say this def post I'm putting up is also b/c I seen smoke like say so steam out of the tailpipe tonight when pulling into the driveway...So please please if anybody can give me advice or anything be greatly appreciated!Car has 148,700 miles on it.The rear end is messed up but will be changed out soon.No codes are showing I keep up with the car to keep it running excellent..So please like I said help me out and I might help u out with some of problems I know a good bit about cars!

justin m., 2014-01-21, 11:23AM CST

i im rebuilding a tbi 4.3 i got out of junk yard my oil pump went out in my sonoma and it had 318,000 miles on it my father inlaw owened it before me the only problems he had with the truck was routine maitnance and a trans redo i have only put a waterpump and alt on it. we both are very hard on it i had a dodge dakota 318 it was nice after 240,000 and 3 transmissions later got rid of it i had a 1996 ford f150 163,000 on it the 5.8 liter thru rod, so i think i will stick with my gm.

Doctor Bob, 2014-01-25, 07:51PM CST

I have a 2000 Chevy S10 V6 4.3 L Vortec.

My mechanic said my Cat was bad and would be best taking if off and putting a straight pipe there.

Now it back fires and runs like crap right after it warms up.

I think I need one of those O2 sensors ( simulator ) that fools the puter into thinking that the cat is still there.

Would any of you know where I can find 1 ?

cd518676, 2014-02-12, 10:23PM CST

Im stuck with a 1991 Gmc Jimmie. With a terrible vibration problem. Its super super annoying in stop and go traffic. It vibrates upon acceleration as if something were out of balance. Never was able to sell it because who would want this junk driving down the road. Ive taken it to different dealers early on. But they just shrugg it off and call the shaking a truck thing. How intelligent is that..

Ronald E., 2014-04-01, 02:21PM CDT

RE 2014-4-1, 02:48

I have a 1997 Chevy 1500 W/T 4.3L 5 Speed short wheel base truck. I bought it with 67,000 miles on it. I now have 320,000 miles on it. Here is the kicker. I have been using Mobil 1 Synthetic since the late 1970s. I never change my oil and filter under 15,000 miles usually closer to 20,000 in any of my vehicles. I have trailered a lawn business for about 8 years with it. The trailer was a 14 footer at at least 3800lbs. Still runs very strong and no smoke. What did I replace? 3 fuel pumps, 2 rebuilt transmission, oil pump(only because leaking front seal), 02 sensors, crankshaft sensor, ac components, belts, tune-up parts,water pump, radiator. It runs just as smooth and strong as almost day one. The engine is still clean as a whistle inside. Let me add that I have drive 2 other chevys vehicles to over 550,000 miles plus. 1984 2.8L chevy Eurosport and a 1981 250 straight six in a short wheel based van. I am also a mechanic and robotics tech. I am totally impressed with this motor at 21 mpg+. Either it is a well made engine or I'm just lucky.

Mike B., 2014-06-06, 12:26PM CDT

I have the 4.3 in a 1998 s10.. Regardless what ANYONE SAYS.... I put in Mobil 1 Synthetic and PREMIUM GAS... Never had a problem... Truck is a BEAST!!!,

Fabiola M., 2014-06-07, 02:49PM CDT

ok i have a 4.3 1995 blazer i bought off a guy who knows less about cars than i do and im a girl. :) it is on its second motor no idea how many miles but body and transmission is over 200k almost 250k and the only problem i have had with it is the fuel pump going out and a intake hose that was ripped on the bottom so it was taking in air without running through the filter. plus they had never changed the oil in two years that he owned it its missing the abs system the suspension is a little rough needs changing just aint got to it yet. I changed the oil i only use Penzoil synthetic oil with k&n Filter and NGK spark plugs. i havent changed the spark plug wires yet but i have them plus it has a K&N cold air intake. the guy before replaced an injector but apart from that no problems what so ever. i only payed 1000 bucks for it and i think i really got a steal for it being treated the way it was and as far as im concerned cars are meant to be driven like they are race cars. they are big kid toys my blazer is my baby it beats my '04 expedition by a lot my expedition has 160k and i done messed up the transmission in it but cant really expect mush from a ford plus it wastes a quart of oil every 3 weeks which is pitiful. i think im going to stick with my blazer maybe put a 350 in it when this motor goes out but i dont know yet. id love a diesel but not sure if the frame would be able to handle it. any advice?

d3c41fb1, 2014-06-11, 03:00PM CDT

I have a 2003 chevy silverado ls, 4.3 ltr. The engine and transmission are very good.

The only complaint I have about chevy. Is the evap system. I changed the knock sensors,purge valve, fuel filter, gas cap, canister update kit. I don't know what else to do. Other than the evap system. Chevy is a good truck.

be61e141, 2014-07-14, 10:04PM CDT

I have heard alot of people bitching and complaining about their vortec motor .

Ironically I own a 2002 Chevy express 1500 1/2 ton cargo van with a 4.3 vortec motor under the hood . It has a bit over 184,000 miles on it and has been one of the most liable engines I've had in any of the cars I have owned .

I do agree with the person above me d3c41fb1 . The only issue is with my evap system but thats even that bad . A kick back on the gas pump from time to time .

So you guys can complain all ya want and I'll just keep driving my van worry free .

Connnor L., 2014-08-13, 11:50PM CDT

I disagree with this. I have a 2002 Silverado 1500 with a 4.3. I bought it from Davey Tree after it caught fire and they retired it. I rebuilt the engine and have had barely any more trouble besides a new knox sensor and starter. At 196,000 miles and still has the original transmission. The only thing i don't like about it is that it smells like cigarettes on the inside. I have used it to haul logs and gravel and it still runs like new. And for those of ypu who are going to point out it caught fire, it was determined something or someone stuffed pine straw in the engine. Can't wait to see how far this reliable truck gets me.

Brian L., 2014-09-03, 12:53AM CDT

Wow, I'm more than a little shocked at the bashing of the GM Vortec 4.3L V6! It's a little sad that you all have had these terrible, ill manufactured, and retardedly designed GM Engines...Hmm...Let's Examine this for a minute. While I'd prefer not to cheap shot anyone here, so I won't single anyone out here. However, the GM Small Block Chevy Engine is without a doubt, the world's most highly produced engine and has to have the highest as well as the most varied amount of differing applications for a single engine assembly and/or block ever! Seriously, it is amazing from ecnoboxes to vettes, to S10's and K15/25/3500 and onto medium duty dump trucks plus diesel and propane versions and everything in between! My point is the Vortec 4.3 V6 is almost an exact duplicate of the SBC. My experience has been building many SBC's into little 327 monsters as a teenager in my 1980 Chevy K15 4X4 ShortBox and building many of them for friends then as well as during and after my Enlistment in the U.S.Air Force. I also worked on my time off when not in the field, helping to rebuild All Different makes and models of engines. I really believe that many folks here are crying over spilt milk that they spilt by non having any or very little maintenance done to their Vortec Engines or by driving them like they were a Corvette Engine quite regularly! I remember guys would be crying the same type of blues about what "Garbage" GM as well as Harley Davidson were building back then, early to late 1990's! A few times in particular I remember disassembling Vortec V6 4.3L Engines that had "been carefully maintained",ETC that literally had the Entire Valvecovers completely filled with carbon and were nearly completely welded by carbon deposits onto the engine and valvetrain! I never asked these folks what their idea of "regular routine maintenance" was but it was night and day different from my interpretation of it! Going to the GM Dealership 1 or twice a year and getting the $39.99 "Special" doesn't qualify as having your car "Dealership" maintained! Many Folks nowadays mistakenly that "Special" maintenance deal is going to protect their investment and make her last...Not a CHANCE! It's Your RESPONSIBILITY TO READ THE MANUAL and Either Preform the maintenance as required or needed or your car, minivan,truck, Harley, or snowmobile is not going to last, be reliable, hold it's value, or be dependable! For Instance, I've had several BMW and Range Rovers with BMW Straight 6 and Monster V8 Engines. Folks will try and rely on their BMW or Range Rover's Engine Oil Change Indicator to monitor when to change their oil. It works great it your Insane and Always Going to PAY for the Dealer to Complete All the Service Campaigns at roughly $ 5,000 a year plus tires and wear items. The problem is when these vehicles get older and normal income folks buy them and are not willing to fork over 5 grand yearly for "special" dealership treatment. Then relying on the oil change monitor and getting Jiffy Lube Services their $10-$15K BMW Engine is now ticking and making racket with only 65K miles on the clock...The issue is the Oil Change Monitor is designed to estimate for Synthetic Oil changes at 15K mile intervals with a solvent type Oil Cleaner Service that is included with the BMW $500+? Oil Service, etc...So since Old Jiffy Lube was a little hesitant about the customer's demands to use conventional oil but did so anyways because the customer tells the guy the computer knows just exactly when to change the oil...BMW AND RANGE ROVERS w/BMW Straight 6 and 4.4V8's are Garbage, poorly designed, and the absolutely worst engines/cars ever made! This same thing happens with several other BMW/RR Subsystems such as EAS (Electronic Air Suspension) and Body Control Modules for other water intrusion issues. Ya, The Finest Manufacturer of Luxurious Ultimate Driving Machines Builds Junk...EXACTLY AS GM's Vortec 4.3 V6 is Garbage, An Artifact, and on and on...Change your oil at 3K Miles and Quit Beating Them to DEATH!

One more thing...I bought a 1994 Chevy K1500 4X4 with a Vortec 4.3 V6 Brand New Work Truck Model in May of 94 and it has never made any racket (startup or otherwise), doesn't have any deposits in the oil filler when you look in it (ie:none in valve covers or engine oil pan), and had never been apart until 173k miles when a throw out bearing went out. At that time, I replaced the bearing with a GM part and Discovered the pilot bearing was long gone. I figured I'd throw an oil pump in it since I had it all apart. The oil pan had almost no carbon deposits and the funny thing was my clutch disc with nearly 200K Miles was actually about .090" thicker then the brand new lifetime warranty A.Z. Part. That was in the summer of 2004, and It is just a secondary vehicle since gas went over $2.20 or so I went to a Saturn 4 cyl and then onto BMW 318 with a 1.8l 4cyl. I always greased my entire truck myself and changed the oil, filter, and every 20k miles the fuel filter. I used Castrol 5W-30 with Fram Filters Exclusively and couldn't be happier with it. It hasn't been run a whole lotta miles since gas went up but is just under 200k miles and still has all the original front end parts is is still tight! The Front brakes at 160k miles because I slammed on the brakes for a deer and stuck a caliper. The rear brakes at 180k miles because they were cracking and I did the rear u joints a few years ago preemptively but did have the fuel filter go out one morning around 180k miles. She's still a pretty shiny paint code Victory Red and doesn't use but maybe a 1/4 of a quart over 3k miles! Even after a few months of minimal use, she fires right up every time! I've hauled 15k lbs corn wagons and hauled 2,300 lbs all the way across the country in the 8ft. Bed...actually had to tap the brakes on bumps to bring the front end back down so there'd be enough weight on the front end to steer! Yep, Bessie has been on Hell of a Great Chevy Truck Especially with Her Vortec 4.3 V6! Thanks and I hope this gives a few of you a little more perspective on the true durability of this phenomenal lille engine with huge balls! Lol

James M., 2014-09-08, 09:54PM CDT

Now you all know why GM went bankrupt oh yeah the unions helped to. Even the old Chevy engines were built cheap here is a few examples, Cast damper wheels on the crankshaft which exploded this caused NHRA to mandate steel dampers for all. Cast flywheels same thing exploded with the same result. There are many other things to list but whats the sense in it.

BUT they did make a great cooling system and very good smallblock heads you see AMC had a great idea but did not do it right. Use GM designed heads and use Mopars bulletproof steel rods and steel crank bottom end in everything which includes the steel flywheel and damper.

Also Mopars had 5% sometimes 10% more nickel in the cylinders than all the rest which helps in all kinds of ways.

Last but not least use Fords 9 inch rear end I like their C6 trans as well but in reality they all were pretty good when toughened up a bit. I guess they are all junk and all good Im a Mopar guy but my brother had a few mean 327s dam good engine beat the hell out of it and it would want more.

Reason why I'm here I bought a 2004 Blazer with a 4.3 no problems with the engine yet 94.000 miles on it but boy does this thing like sensors! And the ABS SUCKS what junk!

ab30b578, 2014-10-11, 12:57PM CDT

They arent bad motors all motors have.there issues pretty much all they are is a 350 minus 2 cylinders great motors never had issues with them

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