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Expedition vs. Tahoe


protiller

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I'm looking at purchasing an newer vehicle "98-00". I'm trying to weigh the pro's and con's of a Ford Expedition 5.4L and the Chevy Tahoe 5.7L. Here is what I've heard thus far. The trannies in the Fords are pretty good but the head gasket seems to go in the 5.4L. The engine in the Chevy is strong but the trannies seems to go prematurely. At what mileage do the headgaskets or trannies seem to go and if/once fixed is the problem fixed? I'm not looking to get into a ford chevy debate just looking for some advice and info on what everyone's experience has been with these vehicles.

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I have a 1996 Chevy Silverado 4X4 I just replaced the tranny at 109,000 but it looks the like the previous owner didnt take care of it, my dad has a 1996 GMC Serra with 150,000+ on it and not a problem, I have pretty much hauled everything with my truck even my parents 32ft travel trailor and no problems so I would stick with the Chevys I could say alot about fords but I wont go there smile.gif

Big Fish Hunter247

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I had a 98 sliverado 5.7L. Very nice engine. Tranny dropped 68K miles. Second one at 102K miles. I now drive an F150 with the 5.4L. It has less take off power but I have had no problem with the tranny yet. Seems to have more power pulling at high speeds 55+ for passing too.

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I would go with the Chevy.

The chevy 700r4 (auto 4 speed overdrive) transmissions were weak on the early models of that tranny (87ish - 91').. after that (91') the transmissions were beefed up greatly, and have steadily improved from there. We have a 96' suburban (4x4) in the family with nearly 160,000 on it with the origional tranny still working flawlessly.

I will not go into a Ford-Chevy debate.. but I personally have had more tranny problems with Ford than Chevy.. amongst many other problems.. and the 5.7 litre is a very strong, dependable motor and an awesome choice for towing anything smaller than a trailer home.

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I'm still pulling stumps with an 88 Silverado (4.3 L V-6) extended cab with 140,000. Replaced clutch at about 130,000. It has always been underpowered but the five-speed tranny makes the difference.

98 Suburban 4WD (5.3 L V-8) has 113,000 and going strong.

I pull boat and 3,000-pound camper with both.

I change the oil at 3,000 or four months and before and after long trips.

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Fisher dave is right on about the 700 r4 tranny's in the older chevs. They were bad news. The new ones are much better.

Keep in mind that the chevy vortecs prior to the new body style were better towing engines.That would be pre '99 in the truck body and pre 2000 in the suburban/tahoe. The new 5.3 has more horsepower supposedly but doesn't tow as well. Just not enough torque.

I went a step further and went from a '92 suburban with the bad tranny to a '99 3/4 ton suburban with the 7.4 liter engine. Believe me, no worries about power or transmission problems with this rig and the mileage isn't as bad as you might think. I get 14 on the highway and 11.5 pulling my ranger.

Consider a 3/4 ton or HD 1/2 ton if you plan to pull a lot.

The newer chev 3/4 tons have the 6 liter which is also a good alternative to the 1/2 ton 5.3 liter.

ccarlson

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Never owed a Ford so I'm not sure what to think of them really. Some people love them and some people hate them.

Now with Chevy's though I can tell you that if you do go with a Tahoe, try to find one with a 4L80 tranny , which is similar Turbo400, but with Overdrive,electronic shift and lower planetary gear.

Most Tahoe's however come's with a 4L60, which is a 700R4 tranny accept it has electronic shift. As most Chevy guys already knows is the 700R4 weren't the strongest tranny's in the chevy line.
but as with everything if you plan on towing alot and have a bigger boat, het is the major killer of tranny's. I would recommend an external tranny oil cooler and annually changing your tranny fluid.

You can figure out which tranny the Vehicle has by looking in the glove box.

4L60 will have a M30 code

4L80 will have a MP1 code

Good luck hope this help

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I own a 99 Tahoe and love it. Sometimes I wished I bought the 'Burban though for a little extra room. But for overall driving I am very satisfied. I did put some coin into it last year on a few major things but it was a lease return so that sometimes speaks for itself there. Some people just lease them and beat the heck out of them and bring 'em back for a new one. Take care of it and you'll be happy. Go for the Tahoe.... it's a CHEVY!!!

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My experience has been similar, yet different than duckbill's. I also have a 98 Burb w/5.7L. It has 140K on it - bought it with 50K on it. The previous owner pulled a 24 ft car trailer with it regulary and traded it to buy a 1 ton Ford diesel, so I know he used this thing HARD before I got it. I've never had a shimmy or any problems with this rig, but I have had problems with some of my other Fords that I've had (89 F150, 2000 F150), and one small problem with my '96 Chev 1/2 ton too.

I definately prefer the takeoff and the towing ability of the Chevy's in the year range that protiller's looking at (98-00).

[This message has been edited by Blaze (edited 03-25-2004).]

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Interesting topic on the GM tranny issue. I became aware of the tranny problem after I bought my "98" Tahoe last summer for pulling my fish house.

The transmission thing worries me as mine is at 95,000 but I've also heard since buying it about "fuel pumps" that puke out at or before 100,000 as well combined with the manifold issue. Runs great and I flushed all fluid at purchase but sounds like I'm on borrowed time.

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Go with the Ford. Chevys are junk!! Tranny will go out on ya at 100,000 miles. But if you want to support your local auto shop go with the chevy

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Protiller: Just to let you know that I have an earlier 90s F250 HD with a 460 gas engine. The tranny is a E4OD electronic 4 speed auto. It chews up a tranny every 33333 miles.
I ordered the truck new and put on the whole towing package right from the factory, tranny cooler included. I changed fluid regulary,had all recomended adjustments done every year. I just put in the 3rd genuine FoMoCo rebuilt now with a 3yr or 36000 mile warranty and will be dumping this just before warranty expires.
Go with the 3/4 ton big block chevy. I was a lifetime Ford man but a $2500.00 a copy I am changing my thinking.

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Put me down in the Tahoe column! I've had a 99 (5.7) for two years now and just love it. Just passed 107k miles with only minor repairs except for a fuel pump a couple thousand miles ago. Handles my Lund 1675 just fine and gets decent mileage. Before that I had a Silverado for 12 years - best truck I ever owned!

Daze Off

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Wow! You guys sure know your sh**. Or does it mean that everyone is full of it. Ha ha. I think I learned something new in each post. Thanks to everyone who posted a reply and I welcome anymore info others may add.

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Don't forget the leaking intake manifold gasket problem some of the 5.7's from Chevy have. I'm still a chevy guy, wouldn't trade it but I've had the problem and so has one of my close friends.

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I'm not to sure about the old 700R4 problem. I have an 91 s10 blazer with that tranny (same as the full size) and it has 280,000 miles on it and it hasn't been replaced (the motor is original and not rebuilt as well). Well anyway I have to say go with the chevy being a chevy guy. The tranny will last if you take care of it (change the fluid regularly, put a cooler in it if you tow a boat).
><>deadeye

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So what are ya gonna go with? The Chevy or the FERD? Just curious after you read what everyone had to say.

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Watch out for the cheep tranny flush deals at many quick lube places. They change the fluids for ~$70, but many don't change the filter in the tranny as well. Stirring things up without changing A filter is a bad idea. I just replaced my orig. tranny in my 95 s10 blazer and the mechanis asked me if I had just gotten the tranny flushed. I had. I'm not a mechanic, but this makes sense.

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Pre '99 Chev's, best ever built.
Post '99 Chev's, keep us in business...intake manifolds and gaskets, fuel pumps, fuel regulators, idler arms, transfer cases, etc.

New Fords, hell of a truck.
Pre '97ish, not my favorite.

...and I'm a Chevy guy.

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Yeah, what MonsterMechanic said! My dad's '97 Tahoe with 115K has had all that work done to it, and he's the only owner. The truck still looks/smells new and babied!

I don't have any complaints on my '97 F150 5.4L. Great truck and the towing is excellent. I think the '99 and 2000 5.4L had the seal problems.

Type in "F150 online" under google and get ready for a lot of reading....

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As a guy that has owned them both and being an ex chevy mechanic here are my thoughts, and I am sure this will ruffle some feathers from the die hards. Both are quality vehicles, the Ford will get a little fewer MPG's empty but both tow very well. As far as longevity goes they should both last about the same. Now here is where the feathers get ruffed up.

If you start out with a quality used vehicle that has not had the tranny or motor abused you should get an easy 150K from the tranny and 200+k from the motor before replacement. The key is to drive and tow intelligently. Use the biggest tranny cooler you can fit and change the tranny fluid and filter (yes the filter) anually and the engine oil and filter at 3000 miles. Keep the radiator clean so it runs cool. If you overheat either one you will see trouble in the future.

In my opinion it's more of a luck of the draw (the odds are in your favor) as to wheather you get a good one or a bad one. I feel that both GM and Ford put out a very good product and if you get a good one it's going to be a good one for a long time and if you get a bad one it's going to go bad long before it hits 100K.

Buy the one that you are most comfortable in and the one you will be able to see your trailor the best with.

I sold my Tahoe and drive my girlfriends Expidition. Both good vehicles, I just like the Ford better.

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Someone will probably want to smack me for this but i have to say it anyway. What about the dodge durango? plenty of power to pull boats, good engines, and trannys. and as a bonus they are very comfortable to ride in and do well offroad.
wink.gif deadeye

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I'm right with mnfishinguy. Todays vehicles are VERY maintinance prone. For example; I have seen many Saturns with 90k on them and they are junk. Now, I'll see that same year Saturn with 215k on it and it's like new. It's all in the maintinance. Follow the manufactures maintinance schedule and any vehicle will run well over 200k.

This is important! When buying a used truck, remember we live in Minnesota and we have snow. Ford and Chevy are years ahead of the competition and no one can touch their products. They also make good plow trucks. Last year I started paying close attention to the trucks I service. I bet 90% of the Ford and Chevys with engine or tranny failures at or around 110k were prior plow trucks. Plow trucks have the snot beat out of them, and they take it for a while, but when that magical 100k rolls around, they give up.

My best advice on Ford and Chevy trucks... they are both outstanding...DON'T buy a used plow truck. You'll be happy.

Oh yeah, as far as the Dodge thing. When I wrote earlier that new Chevys keep us in business, I was comparing Ford and Chevy. Chrysler products make up about 50% of our business. Hopefully the merge of DaimlerChrysler will improve the product.

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I was just stirring the pot when I was talking about dodge. I have to say that I am impressed with some of their new products. Since they merged I think the old tranny problem has been pretty much eleminated and the engines are better than ever. And I also agree that the whole thing with new cars is maintenece. I would be willing to bet that most of the problems are maintenece caused. People have to remeber that changing the fluids is extremely important especially with how close the tolerances are with the new vehicles. Im sure you will be happy with whichever choice you make, but remember if you take care of your car it will take care of you.

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