Used 1997 Chevrolet C/K 2500 Series Consumer Reviews
I found it this spring in a used private deal and consider myself lucky. It is now about 11 years old with 200,000 km on odometer, with perfect body shape, and pretty good interior. I do not need a 4x4 diesel HD 3/4T (far too expensive to purchase, too large, too tall, higher operating and maintenance costs, etc.), but I do need to be able to pull my 7900# (gross) travel trailer and family safely on the highway. This has a 350 (5.7L) engine, rated to pull a 8000# hitch travel trailer, and has a payload capacity about 2200#, which suits my needs perfect. Too many people overload their 1/2 tons pulling a trailer or buy something far more than they need.
This is the most reliable truck I ever have driven, it withstands extreme abuse on a daily basis and I have only had to change a clutch and a fuel pump. It is easy to work on, I have done all repairs except the clutch changing, and it is a good truck to teach people how to drive a standard.
During the 7 years I've owned the truck, I never had a major equipment failure. The only cons were the tires (Continental General Ameri 500) wore out and cracked @ 24,000 miles. The front brake pads were toast at 27,000 miles, which inturn ate my front rotors. The rear shoes show little sign of wear at 45,000 miles. The body looks as good as the day I bought it, thanks to Zimoyl wax, but New England winters are hard on Detroit iron and I am trading it before cancer sets in (which is always terminal from the copious amounts of salt used on our highways). And yes, I am buying the same truck in a 2004 model.
I purchased my PU new and have had few problems. I have had to replace the intake manifold gasket and that is about all. As with any vehicle, owners must pop the hood once in awhile and inspect. I replace the serpentine belt every 20000 and inspect all pulleys. I have alway used synthetic oil in the engine, transmission and rear end. I grease all zerks every 5000 miles. After vehicle was purchase I installed a complete 5000 lb air lift system on it. This is a must if you are going to be hauling or towing large loads. Bottom line is perform routine preventive maintenance unless you enjoy being stranded along the highway.
Truck is a TRUCK, a workhorse will do what you want it to do. I do not like the thermal 4wd actuator it stinks when it goes out. also the intake manifold gasket leak problem these chevy's have. BUT OVERALL it is a good truck and love to drive it Flush the DEX COOL and use GREEN ANTIFREEZE it works best