It's here! now which oil & filter? and more ?'s

Finally got my new(to me) 2004 Silverado Z-71 w/5.3 home. 19,890 miles and Pop always took it to the dealer or Jiffylube(pfft!) for oil changes. I plan
to do my own _IF_ 4x4's aren't too difficult. This one has the Z-71 off- road skid plates, according to the window sticker and never having owned a 4x4 before I don't know about access-the filter looks easy from looking at it from above but I haven't been underneath yet to see where the drain plug is located. Will this be as easy to do as my '91 2wd truck?
So which oil(viscosity) and filter is recommended? Is 5w-30 semi-synthetic Castrol OK? What about 10w-30-any advantages? Also, would full synth be better? 5 quarts or 6?
I plan to use either Delco, NAPA Gold, or Purolater filters, are there any other brand(s) I should consider? Same question applies to air filters(has the hi-cap air cleaner.
As far as trans filter and fluid-too early to change the yet? Also, what about the diffs and transfer case?
Sorry for all the questions but Pop left the owners manual at their summer home and it'll be a while before I can get it.
Thanks in advance, Snuffy
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Well, Snuffy, you have a lot of questions. First, you're going to notice that the zerk on top of the idler arm has never been greased. You'll need to get a 90Ί zerk cause you can't get a grease gun on to it. Next, you'll notice about half of the grease fittings haven't been greased. This is because you have to pull the plastic skid plate to even see them. I take mine to one of those places that hire high school kids too. It costs about 20 bucks for 6 quarts of oil, the filter, and a lube job. I don't have to crawl under there or dispose of used oil. I always do the once-over to check their work, though. There is no advantage to using 10-30 over the 5-30 that it calls for. If you drive lots of miles at high speeds or if you almost never change oil, then go for the full synthetic. If you change oil regularly, and drive highway and city, there's no reason to pay the extra cost. Some people are extremely choosy about the filters they use. I follow the "meets or exceeds OEM requirement" rule.
You need to post more info for answers on the rest. Is your rear differential limited slip (G-80?) Is your transfer case the push button (auto 4wd) model? If it is, you will have to use the dealer supplied blue fluid for the transfer case. If you intend to use synthetic in the front differential, you'll have to change the plastic overflow tube.

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It will never hurt to flush the transmissions now.Actually it`s a good idea. As far as filters,I would stick with either AC,or WIX.I usually run 5-30 in the cold months,and 10-30 in the warm months.Never used Synthetic,so I can`t answer that one. Hope this helps.
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On Sat, 12 Feb 2005 18:20:18 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Bill) wrote:

I've found that on my truck (88 K2500) a Purolator works better than either the AC or the WIX. the purolator's anti drainback valve does a much better job of keeping the sideways mounted filter full of oil and greatly reduced my "cold start knock" (I'm *NOT* talking about piston slap, BTW). I run Castrol GTX 10w30 in the winter and Mobil Delvac 15W40 in the summer, the slightly heavier oil helps my old trucks hot idle oil pressure, esp if I'm towing or hauling something.
hth, Bret
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Thanks George-especially about the zerk info. As to the rest, I'm just not sure of-all I have to go on is the window sticker back from when new and it's not very informative. I recall somebody posted a link to the codes site a while back-thought I bookmarked it-but haven't found it yet. I'll keep looking.
I don't have the push-button transfer case, just a lever on the floor and was wondering if those aftermarket manual-locking hubs were something I should consider?(oh-oh, I feel more of those those pesky questions coming on again) I was also wondering if a LPD trans cooler would be a worthwhile investment? And the factory service manuals-are they worth the $120 that GM demands for a new one? (I'll stop for now)
Thanks again, Snuffy
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In the early days of non-locking hubs there were a lot of guys putting on the manual locking type. I haven't seen anyone doing it in recent times. It seems like more effort than they might be worth. Lots of guys do mods because they are full time 4 wheelers. I use mine if it snows, and I'm in Kanassss so it doesn't get used much. I'm never off road, so mine is pretty much a soccer mom 4wd. The groups resident tranny guy claims you should get the biggest cooler that will fit your truck. I agree - the tranny's worst enemy is heat so a big external cooler is a must. http://gm-trucks.com/home/content/category/4/76/0/ is the link to look up your rpo codes. Yours are on a label in the glove box. Browse the site while you're there - you might find some useful stuff. If you intend to do all the maintenance on your truck, then the service manuals are a worthwhile investment. If you're just doing light maintenance, then a cheaper version like Haynes or Chilton's will do just fine. You'll have to find out which transfer case you have and what fluid to use. Mine is the push button type and I'm kinda stuck with the blue stuff from the dealer. An earlier post said you probably should service the tranny. There are lots of opinions so, here's mine. Change the filter and fluid. This won't replace all the fluid - only about a third of it. Then 15k miles later, have it serviced at one of the tranny shops that use the flush and replace method. This won't change the filter but most people feel its adequate. Then at 15k more miles do the filter and fluid. This method will get your filter every 30k miles.
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Snuffy Smiff wrote:

On your truck, you can get to all the grease nipples quite easily.

There is no good reason to install manual locking hubs on this vehicle (if you even could, which I doubt) because the front diff already "disconnects" itself when you are in 2hi. Manual hubs were designed for the solid front axles which haven't been around in the GM vehicles for years.

As far as the manuals, it depends on what you are doing. If you want to do in-depth repair work on your vehicle, the factory service manuals are indispensable. Haynes and other of those type of manuals will give you the basics, but often you will turn the page only to be greeted with the words, "this operation needs to be done by a professional", or words to that effect. I've found them to be almost useless except for some basic wiring diagrams and torque specs.
Ian
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For a service manual, I've seen them on eBay, a CD version and about a third the price of the book. Check it out

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Go to www.mygmlink.com and register. You can download a pdf of the owner's manual which will answer some of your questions. For the most part I've stayed with the recommended viscosity for engine oil, namely 5W-30 Mobile 1. This is a personal preference and not meant to start a "discussion" on synthetic vs dyno oil. There is a good chance the differentials will use synthetic 75W-90 with a specific GM part number at about $20/qt. The transfer case uses Auto-Trak II, again a with a specific GM part. Again personal preference is to change the differential lube early in the vehicle's life and then not to worry about for the next 100K miles. If the vehicle still has warranty you'll have to consider if you have axle problems will having non-GM spec lube be a problem. To do both axles you'll 3 - 4 qts.
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My '99 Yuk had 34k miles on it when I bought it. GM manual said change the rear at 30k (G80). I did the rear dif at 40k after getting and reading the manual, the factory lube looked roasted and the truck didn't even do any towing before I got it as the paint inside the receiver was unmarked. I was really surprised how ugly that rear diff. lube looked at only 40k miles. I put M1 in the rear dif. and changed it again at 65k. The old lube came out looking great that time. Bottom line is that 1st change is very important for long life in the G80 by the looks of the factory fill lube that came out of my truck. To repeat Doc's tip, glue the new gasket to the cover and lightly grease the dif. side of the gasket and changes in the future will be a breeze reusing the gasket.
--
John
"anything you say can & will be misquoted & used against you"
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