2003 Sierra Engine noise

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Thread: 2003 Sierra Engine noise

  1. #1
    Walking mrparadox's Avatar
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    2003 Sierra Engine noise

    I've got 2003 GMC Sierra Z71 with 5.3 L (82000 km). I just returned from a long trek with my family visiting friends and some family members. The trip was about 8500 km and everything was great until I reached Nova Scotia. We stopped for an overnight break and next morning when I started the truck, it started making loud slapping/tapping noise. I shut off the engine and checked the engine oil level. The oil level was OK. I restarted the truck and the noise continued for about three-four minutes and then it disappeared. I did have a truck a while back with a noisy lifters and eventually would disappear as the oil worked its way through but this noise was much louder and would continue for a lot longer. I am begining to think that this is a piston slap and do not understand the cause for this event to occur. The noise continues every morning for a couple of minutes and then it disappears. On the short on/off startups, everything seems to be ok. Any input would greatly be appreciated.

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    Re: 2003 Sierra Engine noise

    not too often ya see problems with these engines but i have seen one that sounds like it has a similar noise you have and it was a cracked piston.. it would make the noise all the time im pretty sure. our formen thought for sure it was the lifters after putting two sets of lifters in they finally took the heads or something and the piston was cracked.. made quite the mess.
    make sure its not the catylitic convertor also.

    the problem is that you visited nove scotia .. greasy crappy weather :p (its where i live)

    if its due for an oil change take a look at the oil that comes out and if theres any metal shavings you can bet its a cracked piston
    Last edited by Ryan066; 08-20-2007 at 07:42 PM.

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Ed753's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Sierra Engine noise

    Pistonslap it is, GM said to have fixed the problem in 2003, but I think it was late/mid-year fix (Teflon pads on the piston skirts to take-up the slop of ill-fitting pistons) You see GM went away from "select build" about the same time they redesigned the small-block, which had very short piston skirts. The short skirt and extra tolerance, caused some engines to have a cylinder on the larger side of acceptable matched up with a piston on the smaller side of acceptable and once you get a little wear - BINGO knock, knock, knock mine did stop after it warmed up, as the piston expands (you could always hear if you stuck your head in the wheel-well) not bad, but then it still burnt way too much oil.

    Its said by some that the "carbon build-up" on the top of the pistons was the cause of the knock, but the carbon was the actually the result, from the sloppy piston passing oil.

    I had a 1999 4.8L started at about 20K, thought I got a bad one, sold it quick, then my 2001 5.3L did it sooner, 16K and way worse and drinking oil, 1qt per thousand. GM dealer said "its normal, they all do it" sold the truck that same week, sadly I haven't owned a GM truck since.

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    Re: 2003 Sierra Engine noise

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed753
    sadly I haven't owned a GM truck since.

    please do me and yourself a favor and look at the all new 2007 silverado, you don't thave to buy it, if your in the market, don't rule it out. The general woke up, and is coming out swining...

    sorry i coudln't offer help to the main topic, but i couldn't resist this opportunity to say what I have.
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    Walking mrparadox's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Sierra Engine noise

    Quote Originally Posted by ChevroletTough
    please do me and yourself a favor and look at the all new 2007 silverado, you don't thave to buy it, if your in the market, don't rule it out. The general woke up, and is coming out swining...

    sorry i coudln't offer help to the main topic, but i couldn't resist this opportunity to say what I have.
    thanks for all the replies. I will probably take the truch to a dealer(s) to get their opinion. If it is a piston slap, i will consider selling the truck and will never buy another GM product again. I also had a very bad experience with Ford. Dodge was never my cup of tea and therefore I would probably consider a Nissan Titan or a Toyota product but never again a domestic product. Period.

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    Re: 2003 Sierra Engine noise

    Quote Originally Posted by mrparadox
    thanks for all the replies. I will probably take the truck to a dealer(s) to get their opinion. If it is a piston slap, i will consider selling the truck and will never buy another GM product again. I also had a very bad experience with Ford. Dodge was never my cup of tea and therefore I would probably consider a Nissan Titan or a Toyota product but never again a domestic product. Period.

    Dissatisfied owners ......... one by one .......... defecting among us.

    By-the-by, I love my Dodge, with the exception of a little too much plastic on the door panels, but a Lariat would fix that.

    I did recently "try again" bought my wife a Rendezvous, so far so good ......

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    GMI Staff Member Premium Member shadams's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Sierra Engine noise

    Give me a break.

    "If its a "known problem" that isnt going to hurt anything, I will throw a fit, but if its a bad part that needs replacing I'll get it fixed".

    So if a problem to you is a noise that has no effect on the vehicle, what the hell went wrong with the Ford? And what kind of other problems have you had in your 5 yrs and 82k of ownership? Anything at all?

    I have quite a bit more experience then anyone in here with this "problem". Had about 10 guys trying to throw their weight around and get GM to buy back trucks with this noise, yet have never once even cracked a gen III engine open due to it.

    Dont get me wrong, it would be better if it werent there, but when the people that build them say it wont hurt it, and can back it up by the fact that we dont have issues with them, I am satisfied. But some people you can never please. And before anyone say's anything about owning one, I have had a 99, 00, 01, 03, 04, 06 and now an 07 Sierra and have never had any issues with them that required repair, and the first three did have slight piston slap.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrparadox
    I would probably consider a Nissan Titan or a Toyota product but never again a domestic product. Period.
    Please tell me you dont honestly believe either one of these trucks are perfect and dont have their own issues, if so you are kidding yourself.
    Last edited by shadams; 08-24-2007 at 10:25 PM.
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    Re: 2003 Sierra Engine noise

    I must opine .....

    Quote Originally Posted by shadams
    Give me a break.

    "If its a "known problem" that isn't going to hurt anything, I will throw a fit, but if its a bad part that needs replacing I'll get it fixed". .
    Biggest problem was, it couldn't be fixed... "good" part + bad design = problem

    Quote Originally Posted by shadams
    So if a problem to you is a noise that has no effect on the vehicle, what the hell went wrong with the Ford? And what kind of other problems have you had in your 5 yrs and 82k of ownership? Anything at all?

    I have quite a bit more experience then anyone in here with this "problem". Had about 10 guys trying to throw their weight around and get GM to buy back trucks with this noise, yet have never once even cracked a gen III engine open due to it.
    I happen to have a couple really good friends that work at GM, one worked at GM Powertrain and then transferred to Truck Engineering, he was always open to me about everything, but this he did not feel comfortable talking about at all. He told me quite a bit since I had spent almost 60-large on two of these POS, "Basically" to ensure the problem didn't occur, the pistons & cylinders would have to have extremely low production tolerances it would have been virtually impossible to mass-produce, and that also would put the engine to the point of being almost "too tight" which could then cause scuffing issues on hot/heavily worked engines.

    As I said, my 2001 started "making the "normal" noise" at 16K and have to add 3 - 4 qts. between oil changes (an acceptable amount!?).


    Quote Originally Posted by shadams
    Dont get me wrong, it would be better if it werent there, but when the people that build them say it wont hurt it, and can back it up by the fact that we dont have issues with them, I am satisfied. But some people you can never please. And before anyone say's anything about owning one, I have had a 99, 00, 01, 03, 04, 06 and now an 07 Sierra and have never had any issues with them that required repair, and the first three did have slight piston slap.

    Please tell me you dont honestly believe either one of these trucks are perfect and dont have their own issues, if so you are kidding yourself.
    If GM were to have replaced every SB V8 from 1999 to 2003 that had the problem, not that, it would have done any good, (the replacement engines were built the same way and often knocked too) It would have surely Bankrupted them, remember GM made roughly 700,000 a year.

    Figure "ball-park" true cost of $3,000 to $4,000 per engine claim replacement (700,000 x 5 years) = 3,500,000 x $3,500 (per repair) = 119 BILLION dollars

    I had two and they both did it, 100% failure, (along with my uncle and my cousins two truck) but say only 50% were really bad that is still 60 Billion.

    Instead they gave everyone that complained a 100,000 warranty and updated (increased) the oil consumption bulletins.

    Oh, almost forgot, my uncles SSR clatters like heck too, he has only 900 miles, he is not letting them touch it ......... His daily driver is now a Tundra ...

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    GMI Staff Member Premium Member shadams's Avatar
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    Re: 2003 Sierra Engine noise

    Yawn, heard it all before. Not to downplay your situation, you can be upset. I just don't think its a big deal to have a noise on start-up. But I never came across any that used that kind of oil. Thats not to say I didn't have those that said they did, but when I asked them to come in for a oil consumption test it was either "I'm done with GM, I'm just going to sell it" or they would and it would not use nearly as much oil as they said it did. So here we are again, your going to have some people go to extravagant lengths to make an issue of it, others don't care, and in my experience, there were twice as many vehicles that did not have piston slap as those that did.

    And BTW, we dont know for sure that is what his issue is, its not like thats the only thing that can make a knock noise.

    I think we are beating a dead horse here anyway, this has been covered extensively here.
    Last edited by shadams; 08-25-2007 at 02:25 PM.
    "Contrary to common belief, planning is complicated and is not run by complete idiots, so you'll just have to trust that the decisions were made on good information that's not made available to you."

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    Re: 2003 Sierra Engine noise

    Not to beat a dead horse, but I thought "piston slap" is the result of haveing pistons with very short (light) skirts. They rock a little in the bore for a few seconds at start up. Up-side is the light pistons help small block Chevys rev faster. Helps my 5400# p/u get 20mpg+ on the highway.

    and...

    anyone blowed the doors off a 5.4SHOC3or4valvespercylinderbuiltfordtoughMPFIslug Ford truck lately?

    (place big grin here)

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