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I am thinking about buying an SSR. Can anyone tell me what common issues if any these trucks have.
I am a retired mechanic / collision repair tech so I know what to look for in that regard. Is a 6.0 significantly better that a 5.3? Any year better? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!
 

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Hoo-Boy... You'll likely get a boat load of comments here. Crusty old blue haired know-it-alls love to spout off about their favorite toys.

If the extra 90 hp and bragging rights are important to you, then yes, an '05 or '06 (6.0) is the way to go. That said, an '03 or '04 (5.3) can easily be made to perform quite well.

'05's and '06's seem to have more "gremlins" to deal with.

Bottom line... SSR's are like sex. It's all good, some is just better than others.

Enjoy your search and welcome to the fold.
 

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I am thinking about buying an SSR. Can anyone tell me what common issues if any these trucks have.
I am a retired mechanic / collision repair tech so I know what to look for in that regard. Is a 6.0 significantly better that a 5.3? Any year better? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You!
Best advise would be to buy one of several that are advertised here on this website.99% time of the upgrades are already installed.
 

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Ret. Air Force
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LS2 6.0 (~400 hp)
- Only way to have a factory installed Manual 6 Speed Transmission.
- Only way to get a factory painted Aqua Blur, Pac Blue or factory Two Tone

Vortec 5.3 (~300 hp)
- Only Automatic Trans (4 Speed)
- Only way to get a factory painted Ultra Violet

Welcome to the forum...hopefully we will soon be saying...
Welcome to the family!!!
 

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Daily Driver
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:agree Better chance of wrinkles being ironed out here.

If you want a stick then that rules out '03 and '04, automatic any year.
The smaller engine in the '03 and '04 is 100 hp less than the later LS-2 but it still has 300 hp and probably 30 0r 40 more with a good tune and a couple tweeks. So unless you're street racing or hot dogging, it has plenty of git-up-'n-went for merging and passing.
Generally most anything that might go wrong, the smart guys here have figured out a fix. Mike in AZ started Simple Engineering to provide parts specifically tailored to any shortcomings.
The elephant in the room is body parts. They can be had from some places like Cleveland... I think their name is Speed & Performance now, but the problem is insurance companies don't want anything but new parts. Liability I guess. Of course that's not a problem if you don't bend it.
 

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If your looking at the cost between the 03-04 and 05-06 you will end up paying more for the 05-06 because of the bigger engine and availability of the 6 speed stick other wise they are all the same and unless you know what to look for you can't tell them a part. I bought mine before I knew about the Fanatic's if I had known I might have tried to get one that's for sale here as most pf the upgrades and "bling"has been done to them. Happy hunting anyway you go you should be happy.
 

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Some good advice ☝ The only thing I might want to add is if there is some kind of warranty u can buy that would cover electrical for just 1 year that might be smart money. If the car has some of the common issues a year is long enough to experience them and get it taken care of. Of course u have to weigh out cost versus peace of mind.
 

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Whatever you choose, you'll likely not go wrong as long as you use common sense car buying. In my short experience with ours the SSR is really no different than any other vehicle GM built at the time. It has its quirks and oddities, but so do lots of other cars out there.

That said, here's a video RetroCarGuy did on his 2004. Some of it is specific to '03/'04 models, but I'd say most of it covers SSRs in general. (He has a ton of other SSR DIY videos as well).

Agree with SWT RYD... most that you would find listed on this site are probably the best-of-the-best. No guarantees of course.

Hope that helps and let us know how it goes!

 

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From my take the SSRs are a fun vehicle but if you are wanting a true truck to do truck stuff with, that's not what an SSR is for. If you like driving, would rather have the rumble of a V8 over worrying about mpg. Then they fit that.
I own both an 04 with the 5.3 and a 05 with the 6.0 in it. The nice thing about the 5.3 is it runs on regular with no issues. The 6.0 they recommend you run it on premium and I do. I am not even sure what the difference on fill ups is right now because I don't pay attention to it. The 05 of course runs better but you aren't going to be out racing these things for the most part. They handle well, stop well and are fun to drive. The biggest draw back is if they are wrecked finding parts can be a challenge.

Being an SSR caretaker you will get a lot of questions, looks and fingers pointed at you. But that is part of the enjoyment of owning one.
 

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Tabloma, All the above is good advise, and---Welcome from Forney Texas!!! You will discover that you have found the BEST FORUM ever!----Consider going to "Tools" in the red banner, click on "User CP" go to "Your Profile" then click "Edit Your Details". Then, whenever you "post" something, it will show in the left column under your name, like the rest of us, and we will know where you are and what you drive when you get one. Then if you have a problem, someone close by might be able to help out.

--Also if you haven't yet, go to "FORUMS", "SSRFanatics News & Polls", click "New Member section", click "Post New Thread" and introduce Yourself!!

And, if you decide on a "Lifetime or Premium" Membership, you will get more benefits and no ads!? and show appreciation for tips and help. Click "Get Premium" under the Red Banner, read and compare the Advantages!!

Nick & Kathy
 

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I went through a lot of research and test drives before buying an SSR in early April of this year from @tennesseecozydog

My notes are:
1. Join the ssrfanatics and read the technical section, this will give you a good view into what can and will break and how to fix it.
2. realize that these are fairly reliable trucks with parts still available
3. test drive 03-04 and test drive 05-06, see if you notice a difference, that will tell you if you need to look for a specific year.
4. visit for sale section and pick the truck you like, make a deal!
5. enjoy the permagrin

feel free to PM if you have any specific questions.
 

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I am a retired mechanic / collision repair tech so I know what to look for in that regard.
I've noticed that there haven't been many "specific issues" mentioned yet, and that's mostly because issues are generally fairly uncommon or even rare.
There are certain things that are chronic among various trucks, (such as ignition switches, window regulators or smaller things like the wire adapter leading to the bed of the truck.)

Don't get me wrong, having something wrong with the truck is never good, but if you get one, even one that has a few problems, the family here will stop at nothing to get you back up to 100%, to the best of their ability. If you're retired from piecing vehicles back together, you already have a one up on a good portion of the family.

There are a few places on the truck that could use upgrades or stabilization, but there are Fanatics who produce and sell the upgrades, (higher quality than other off brands) and other Fanatics who helped build a thorough library of anything and everything about the construction and common problems of our trucks.

If you buy a truck and it has an issue, it is more than likely combed through and has repair instructions step by step on the forum, courtesy of Dicktator.

Buy the truck and make your life better.
I dare you.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone!!! Already drove a 6.0 Aqua Blur , it was very nice! I have a 5.3 to drive next with very low miles but the condition of the Aqua Blur one will be hard to beat. The 5.3 one the guy said he would run it through an automatic car wash before I come to see it😮 I didn’t think it would fit with 295’s??? Thanks again to all, btw is there a place to connect an IPod to the factory stereo?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
One other thing, the one I test drove today, the battery charge gauge showed almost 15 volts, is that normal how the gauge responds, should be 13.9 to 14.3 usually. Thanks!
 

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BAD BOW TIE
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Thanks everyone!!! Already drove a 6.0 Aqua Blur , it was very nice! I have a 5.3 to drive next with very low miles but the condition of the Aqua Blur one will be hard to beat. The 5.3 one the guy said he would run it through an automatic car wash before I come to see it�� I didn’t think it would fit with 295’s??? Thanks again to all, btw is there a place to connect an IPod to the factory stereo?
I have been told a regular car wash that has a track will not work as the SSR track and tires are too wide. It is also too low and you don't want any of those swirling brushes rubbing on it. I do my own but I did some checking around town and found a new state of the art touchless car wash that I have used.
1. You pull up to the garage door and pay with credit card in teller type machine outside the bay.
2. A garage door opens.
3. You drive in and a red light tells you when to stop. No track for tires. You stay in the vehicle.
4. There are no brushes or anything that touches the vehicle.
5. There is a series of washes from foam, to undercarriage , to tires and wheels, to rinse, wax, clear coat, spot free rinse etc. about 10 different stages on a framework that goes around your vehicle.
6. When everything is rinsed the blower comes on and it goes until dry.
7. Then the garage door ahead of you automatically opens and you drive out and it looks awesome.

Takes just a few minutes for $10.00. They have vacuums in the parking lot if you want to do the inside. Just look around in your town they may have one.
 

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The Susan Lucci of ROTM
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Thanks everyone!!! Already drove a 6.0 Aqua Blur , it was very nice! I have a 5.3 to drive next with very low miles but the condition of the Aqua Blur one will be hard to beat. The 5.3 one the guy said he would run it through an automatic car wash before I come to see it😮 I didn’t think it would fit with 295’s??? Thanks again to all, btw is there a place to connect an IPod to the factory stereo?
Two questions, two answers: mine fits in the tracks at our local chain of high end car washes and a stock stereo has no such connection without an fm transmitter/Bluetooth adapter. (Though many have upgraded stereos so very doable but I use the Bluetooth setup)
 

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One other thing, the one I test drove today, the battery charge gauge showed almost 15 volts, is that normal how the gauge responds, should be 13.9 to 14.3 usually. Thanks!
The center console gauges are not very accurate. Put a voltmeter at the battery jump port under the hood and again at the rear directly on the battery, then compare to gauges and what normal is and you will see what I am saying.
 
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