Redo heads, or crate engine.

Well, after 290k miles, my trusty well used but excellent condition 98 GMC Sierra Z-71 blew a head gasket this week. Not sure yet which side it's on, but it's blowing tons of white smoke out the exhaust
pipe.
First, some background. The truck is a 2 owner deal (I'm the second owner). The original buyer was fanatical on maintenance and upkeep. The truck looks like brand new, everything works fine and other than the high mileage, looks like a 50k miles truck. It's recently had shocks, brakes, tires, exhaust and battery replaced. Last week, it threw a code (cyl misfire #2), and when I pulled the plugs, they were badly in need of replacement (>.90 gap). But up til then, the truck ran fine and delivered 15+mpg. I replaced all the plugs, but 2 days later, the truck got a little warm (270 degrees), lost most of the antifreeze in the rad (overflow tank empty, but rad down about 3/4 gal). Filled it back up with just water, drove it home, seemed fine. Next day, started it up to white smoke everywhere. Now, every time I start it, it's blowing white smoke and sucking water.
OK, so I figure it blew a head gasket, but with 290k miles on the clock, just replacing the head gasket seems kind of silly, as surely something else is going to go wrong (cracked head, sucked valve, etc), or already has.
So I'm debating to fix it and see what happens (about $350 to have someone else do it, or a weekend for me and maybe $125 in parts, assuming the heads ain't bad), OR I have a hankering for one of the new GMPP crate engines, the HT383E. I can get one for just over $4000, but it would give the truck a new lease on life and tow a whole hell of a lot better than it did. Did I mention I do a lot of towing? Boat, bikes, enclosed car hauler.
Anyway, what's the conscientious here? Fix it for cheap and keep my fingers crossed that nothing else goes bad, or bite the bullet and crate engine it? I trust the people here, as they've been very helpful in the past.
Dan
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I think if it were me and I could afford it, I would go for the new one. Hell I would love to stuff a ZZ572 under the hood of my 99 (NBS) Silvy.
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HT383E
Budget a new tranny too....but well worth it compared to a new $40K pile of crap.
wrote:

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Could be something simple. Don't give up on it without checking.
Al
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if you blow the modulater valve on the transmission(auto) the intake will suck tranny fluid intio the intake manifold and burn as AWFUL LOT OF WHITE SMOKE. pursue this first. old john
Hello, Big! You wrote on Wed, 4 Apr 2007 23:21:43 -0700:
BA>
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98 would be electronic with a 4l60e or 4l80e, no modulator on the newer ones. (unless it's heavy duty and has a 400 but don't know if that was even an option)

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Go down the middle...Get a new set of performance heads and intake and install those on a weekend.
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wrote:

Bad idea on a engine with 290K on it. ----------------- TheSnoMan.com
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Agreed, age and mileage would warrant anyone with common sense to do a complete rebuild, but even this could be done with less expense then that of a new crate. OP I don't recall, do you have the 305 or the 350, a complete rebuild kit should be available for you through PAW (Performance Auto Warehouse) if they are still around, been years since I have looked into them. Take it 30 over, with the perfromance heads and a little more radical cam, hmmm.
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snipped-for-privacy@cox.net says...

I've decided to install the GMPP crate 383E engine. Found one online for $4100 shipped. I've also decided to have the trans completely rebuilt and upgraded, since it's probably a ticking timebomb, plus the stroker engine will have an additional 75HP and almost 100 ft lbs of torque.
I think by the time all is said and done, I'll be throwing $6k at this, but I think it's $6k well spent, as opposed to blowing $45k on a new diesel 4x4.
Thanks all.
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That was my vote...and I still agree. Just save your receipts....in case you total it or it is stolen.
skimmer
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