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4.3L V6 Using Oil...

Posted by mister_h (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 14, 06 at 11:27

I was looking for an cheap used 4x4 truck (will be using mainly around my 7 acre ranch property) and found an internet ad for 1989 GMC S-15 for $2400 with 100K miles. The ad says everything is in good condition except that the eninge is using little oil. Other than that, I saw some photos and the truck is really in good shape (interior and exterior) for the age of the vehicle.
Does the using oil typically mean worn out piston rings? Burning oil at 100K seems way too early compared to all the Japanese cars that I have had before. I've had several American made cars starting from '74 Vega to '01 Dakota but I've never kept for more than 100K miles, so I don't know if that (burning oil) is typical or not on the 4.3L. I know that GM/Chevy has been using 4.3L motor for about a couple of decades now. The 1989 4.3L is a TBI type on GMC truck, I think. Is it a reliable engine? Let me know if this would be a good purchase or not.
Thanks in advance.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 4.3L V6 Using Oil...

You can do the compression test with and without oil.
There is a risk in buying any vehicle without the full service history, and for over $2 grand the vehicle should have one...
Probably the rings are OK, I think that if one sees the smoke during de-acceleration; it is the valve seals...
If the consumption is at one quart per thousand miles, then I would not worry about it..

RE: 4.3L V6 Using Oil...

I hate to tell you this, but if a 4.3 is using oil at this low mileage, then the oil was probably not changed frequently enough. I have used theese motors for over 20 years, and still have the first one I bought with over 480K miles and it still does not use oil. this motor with the roller cam and good maintenance, will outlast the vehicle. poor maintenance, forget it. rings, lifters, etc will all start to fail. but "using a little oil" may not mean burning it, this motor is prone to PCV backup and the pressure can blow out the intake manifold gasket. LOTS of oil can leak out of here! if it does not smoke while running, and there is a pretty good cake of oil on the front or back of the motor, that is mostlikely the culprit. if it smokes when started only, the valve seals/guides are worn out, and the heads need service.

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