Cracked Leaking Oil in 1998 Chevy Silverdao 5.7L


Asked by Feb 19, 2014 at 09:25 AM about the 1998 Chevrolet C/K 1500 Cheyenne Extended Cab SB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1998 Chevy Silverado Ext. Cab Z71 with the 350 Vortec 5.7L V8 with 203k miles on it. The truck has been running just fine until I went to the store the other morning, when I got out I could smell s slight sent of burning oil. When I got back in 10 minutes later and began driving home the truck completely died on me. After pulling off to the side of the road I could see it was leaking oil from above the transfer case and around that area. It will not turn over; I believe the engine is seized. The pressure did not drop or temperature rise. The shop says I need a new engine and was hoping I could get some feedback on what the best solution would be to go new, used, scrap, or what. I love this truck and do not want to get rid of it but worried about throwing money away. Any suggestions advice or personal past experiences would be great.

Thank you

5 Answers


Depends entirely on your budget. Used is a gamble, I will not buy a used motor unless I can hear it running. With a complete rebuilt motor make sure the company offers a warranty. New is the least risky but the most money. Just remember that if your block is cracked they won't give you a core return on your motor.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

If you got a "low oil level" message the truck may be refusing to start because the computer has shut it down to prevent engine damage. Some newer vehicles will do that. What exactly happens when you try to start it? Has the shop removed all the spark plugs and tried to turn the engine over by hand? They should. If it won't turn over by hand then it's seized. If the engine is seized my advice would be to try and trade it in, sell it as a parts truck or scrap it. Unless, of course, the truck has sentimental value. The money you'd put into your 16 year old truck on another engine could be better spent on something newer. There's a lot involved in changing an engine. Many components, that haven't been touched since the truck was new, will need to be disturbed, disconnected, and moved out of the way. These parts are now old, brittle, and will most likely break when the engine is pulled. Then comes the question of will everything get hooked back up correctly? I doubt it. If you buy a used engine exactly what are you getting? To me it's too much of a gamble. Then there's the question of the 16 year old transmission, rear, transfer cases, etc., etc., etc. that are sitting behind the engine. How much more life are left in those components? A week, a month, a year, 10 years? Who knows? Again, a big gamble. You're truck has had a good long life. My opinion is let it rest in peace, if it needs an engine, and treat yourself to something newer. HTH. -Jim

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Jim you got me on the '04 but the pre LS style GM engines do not have the safety feature. Most likely a rod bearing failed, broke, hole punched the block, blew the oil out and siezed the mains.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Ok, yet, just a thought. Didn't know exactly what year they started doing that. Thanks for letting us know. -Jim


Just a confirmation of these two replies! If engine needs replaced the remanufactured warranties our out there but at a premium price! The transmission and transfer case would be items of concern as well! Then the rear/ front end differentials. Getting these all remanufactured or rebuilt would put you well over $15and closer to $ 20k !! Unless you absolutely "need" the truck I would look into another truck! Go on Craigslist and put in the word project and see how many guys/ gals have invested thousands of dollars trying to rebuild old Betsy and finally gave up due to the cash involved!! Ive been there personally if you sink a ton of money into it now you will never get it back out of the truck in the future!

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