1988-98 Chevrolet/GMC Truck Vehicle History

1988-98 Chevy/GMC Trucks


Totally redesigned trucks were lower, longer, more aerodynamic and were engineered for driving comfort while providing all the latest convenience features. The exterior was 3-1⁄2" narrower but featured more leg and shoulder room. Larger, lush mounted glass provided a 33% increase in viewing area than previous pickups. Stepside models were only offered on 1⁄2 ton standard cab shortbed conigurations with rear fenders made of iberglass panels with functional steps on the front and rear of the fender. Extended cab was optional for the irst time on Fleetside models. Bed was a one-piece welded unit. Three trim levels were offered for Chevrolet: Cheyenne, Scottsdale and Silverado. GMC trim levels were base, SLX and SLE. 4WD trucks had independent front suspension with torsion bar springs. Insta-Trac 4WD system shift-on-thely allowed shifting from 2WD to 4WD high at any speed. Standard engine was a 4.3L V6. All gas engines featured throttle body fuel injection.


Fleetside Sport appearance package included body color grille and bumpers, chrome plated wheels, fog lights and sport graphics. GMC Sport model was named the Sierra GT. Z71 off-road package featured engine, front differential and transmission skid plates with Bilstein shocks.


454SS 2WD 1/2 ton standard cab, shortbed debuted in Onyx Black with Silverado trim. This limited edition truck was equipped with 230 horsepower and 385 lb.-ft of torque, Turbo 400 transmission, performance handling package and a 3.73 rear axle ratio. Work Truck (W/T) also introduced as a low option regular cab longbed in standard Cheyenne trim with a new grille and black bumpers. 2WD and 4WD versions were offered.


7.4L engine was revised to increase its reliability and fuel economy. The 4L80E, a new 4-speed automatic electronic overdrive transmission, was available on heavy-duty models. Other options included a tachometer, high back reclining bucket seats and a bedliner.


Stepside models were available with extended cabs. New exterior colors for the 454SS model were red and white. 4-speed manual transmission was dropped. 6.5L Diesel engine available with turbocharger.


Sportside Sport included body color grille, side mirrors, front and rear bumpers, and cast aluminum wheels. Scottsdale trim level dropped. All models featured an anti-chip coating applied to the leading edges of the hood, roof and A-pillars. 4.3L engine received a new balance shaft and revised cylinder heads with improved flow. Hydra-Matic 4L60E 4-speed electronic overdrive automatic transmission available for trucks under 8,500 lb. GVW. Last year for the 454SS.


Chevy and GMC grilles received updates. Guard beams added to both front doors for safety. Third brake light added to cargo light on roof. Air conditioning system switched to R134A. Base model GMC renamed SL and upgraded SLT trim was added. 6.2L Diesel engine dropped.


4-wheel ABS and driver side airbag were standard. Interior was restyled and the audio system was improved. Remote keyless entry was optional.


All engines were reengineered; Vortec designation was extended to all gas engines. 4.3L, 5.0L and 5.7L engines were equipped with central sequential fuel injection. 7.4L featured multi-point fuel injection. Highflow cylinder heads, higher compression ratio, roller valve lifters and new camshafts contributed to 30% more horsepower and 10% more torque improvement. Diesel engine only available with turbocharger. OBDII debuted. NP1 electric shift transfer case was available, eliminating the floor-mounted shifter. Daytime running lamps standard. Third door on passenger side was optional.


Passenger side airbag standard on all models under 8,600 lb. GVW. Electronic speed sensitive power steering system introduced. 4L60E and 4L80E transmissions were tweaked for smoother operation and greater efficiency.


OnStar system became a dealer-installed option. Passlock theft-deterrent system added.

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