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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Look, I know enough to be ashamed, :(

I am going to lay all my cards on the table:
-2003 TB
-150K Miles
-Stock suspension (never been touched, not even serviced)
-Thing is starting to creak and sway when taking a corner 10+MPH
-Want to replace everything needed (not sure what that is)
-Need to have a shop do the work (Midas, local shop, etc.)

How should I proceed. What should I replace (shock, bushings, etc.?) I am looking for general use with some towing included want things to last an additional 50-100k or so. I have read many individual threads about specific pieces, but a single response summarizing the whole-shebang would be very much appreciated.

I am new to the automotive world and would very much appreciate some ammo before going into a shop and saying "im naive, take advantage of me, sell me everything ...":suicide:

Thanks in advance,
Yunky
 

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2006 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Here would be my list. Others may have a slightly different view.

1. Rear shocks.

2. Rear sway bar end links.

3. Front sway bar end links.

4. Front sway bar bushings.

5. Front shocks

6. Front shock top plate (sorry, don't know the proper name for it)

7. Lower ball joints

8. Tie rod ends

9. Alignment

While under there I would have the boots of the CV joints checked for leaks. Probably best to replace if bad.

I would also have the front differential seals checked for leaks. Replace seals if bad. Driver's side is a dealer only item. If passenger side is bad, remember that the bearing inside is greased, not lubricated with differential oil.

I would drain and refill the front differential (if you have it).

I would drain and refill the rear differential.

And for sure I would drain and refill the transfer case (if you have a 4x4)

Since you are having the work done, I would also consider replacing both front hub bearings, since everything will be apart.

That's a lot of work, and a lot of parts, but there should be some substantial labor savings because some things are easy to do when everything else is apart. Also, don't pay list price for the parts. Demand a discount off the list price of the parts.

I would shop this job very hard. Beware, however, that auto repair shops are not suffering in this economy in crisis, so they may not be willing to be aggressive in bidding all this work, but I'm sure if you are flexible in when you get it done, you can save some serious dollars.

Just my thoughts, based on the work I had to do on my 03 at 150k, and what others have reported.

One last thought, if you have a friend or neighbor who is a mechanic, or have a friend or neighbor who knows a mechanic, who does "side jobs", this will be your most economical option.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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you dont say if you live in the rustbelt- or California, Az, Nev... desert like conditions...
if youre in the warm climate and relatively smooth roads- chances are your suspension is doing good... except for possibly the shocks and endlinks.

I say this because Im in So Cal- and I replaced my endlinks at about 134,000.
Replaced the shocks at about 103,000. (The rears are EASY!!! can be done with vehicle on ground). fronts are a little more involved.
Im at 141,000 and am an 03-- so were similar.
But other than that--- I dont have issues with the suspension.
if youre in the rustbelt- that may involve a little more work from rusted parts... and wear from potholed roads...

So let us know- where youre at..
 

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Hey Yunky,

Let me know what you end up doin. I'm just over 153K and have been noticing some squeeks n' creaks for a few thousand miles now. A little reluctant to drop some more coin since I just got her outta the trans shop. But I need to get in soon. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks to "markarock" for a list of items to start with.


QUESTIONS:
*Are my stock shocks "Air" or "Coil Spring" for 2003 I6 2WD?

*Should I think about Boot/BumpStops while Im at it?


Summary:
=======================================
1. Rear shocks.
*HD Bilstein (ShockWarehouse.com)

2. Rear sway bar end links.
*Right, Part#: 45G0254 $72 (ACDelco.com)
*Left, Part#: 45G0255 $72 (ACDelco.com

3. Front sway bar end links.
*Right, Part#: 45G0252 $56 (ACDelco.com)
*Left, Part#: 45G0253 $56 (ACDelco.com)

4. Front sway bar bushings.
???(Suggestions)

5. Front shocks
*HD Bilstein (ShockWarehouse.com)

6. Front shock top plate (sorry, don't know the proper name for it)
*Monroe UpperMount, Part# 904968 2x$27 (ShockWarehouse.com)

7. Lower ball joints
???(Suggestions)

8. Tie rod ends
???(Suggestions)

9. Alignment
($50-$100 Estimate?)

10. Front Hub Bearings

What I am planning on having done:
=================================
- check boots of the CV joints for leaks, replace if bad
- check front differential seals for leaks
- drain and refill the rear differential



What I am planning on doing myself:
=================================
-Replace Rear shocks
-Replace Front endlinks (Thanks to "rbarrios" for detailed instructions)


!!!Shop around for labor costs!!!
 

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:iagree:That sounds good. If you would like to save some money you could try and do some things yourself.Search the threads on the above mentioned service and find one you feel you can do. Rear shocks..easy really only one tool used.
 

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youre in so cal.. so sounds like you prob wont need too much work done.
But the shocks for rear-- You can really do that... I did it without lifting the vehicle. just did it on my back. took about 20 min to do the rear.
the fronts- I had a shop do my fronts... a truck shop did it for about $36 per side (install)... which is cheap.- also had them do the aligment while they were at it...
But your rear endlinks may not need replacement.... Mine arent making any noise yet.

I replaced my endlinks with AC delco's--- and they were easy to put on...
note the top of the blue endlink... it has a nut at the base of the screw... this is great to use a wrench to hold and tighten the nut that will hold it in place.. it also means you dont have to use the allen key to put on the nut...

other brands dont have this- and they have trouble putting on and taking off since the bolt begins to spin as you try to remove the nut....(make sense?)



taking off the old one..
some report that the nut is on so tight/rusted... that the allen key eventually strips the inside of the bolt and the allen key is all but useless... they then resort to grinding off the nut
the allen key holds the bolt in place while you loosen the nut...
 

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The squeeks and creeks are most likely from you lower and/or upper control arm bushings. Lower ball joints, maybe, if it squeels when turning.

If you wanna keep the truck for another 100K I would do (as markarock said)

front
struts and upper mounts, sway bar links and upper and lower balljoints

rear
shocks and sway bar links

You may get a labor discount doing it all at once since you need to remove the front knuckles to do ball joints and the shocks would be another like 2 minutes to get out of there. If you decide to do it later then you have to pay again for them to rip it apart, again.


At my work it's normally half more to do the opposite side of whatever.

2 hours to do one ball joint (just a guess can't remember) and it would be 3 hours for both. Then you add an extra 30 minutes per upper ball joint (again just a guess) So total like 4 instead of 3 hours lower today and 3 hours upper later down the road.
 

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Replies inline in all caps for ease/clarity. I'm not shouting.

Mark

Thanks to "markarock" for a list of items to start with. YOU'RE WELCOME.


QUESTIONS:
*Are my stock shocks "Air" or "Coil Spring" for 2003 I6 2WD? I'M BETTING YOU HAVE THE COIL SPRING SETUP. JUST LOOK INSIDE THE REAR SPRINGS. IF THERE IS NO "BAG" IN THERE, YOU DON'T HAVE THE AIR SUSPENSION.

*Should I think about Boot/BumpStops while Im at it? NO.


Summary:
=======================================
1. Rear shocks.
*HD Bilstein (ShockWarehouse.com)

2. Rear sway bar end links. MOOG ARE ALSO GOOD. I SEEM TO REMEMBER SPENDING $30+ FOR ONE REAR ENDLINK. THIS $72 PRICE IS WAY TOO HIGH IMHO. TRY ROCKAUTO.COM OR YOUR LOCAL NAPA STORE.
*Right, Part#: 45G0254 $72 (ACDelco.com)
*Left, Part#: 45G0255 $72 (ACDelco.com

3. Front sway bar end links. MOOG ARE ALSO GOOD. PRICE SEEMS WAY TOO HIGH HERE TOO.
*Right, Part#: 45G0252 $56 (ACDelco.com)
*Left, Part#: 45G0253 $56 (ACDelco.com)

4. Front sway bar bushings. DEALER ONLY ITEM.
???(Suggestions)

5. Front shocks I STILL RECOMMEND THE TBSS SHOCKS FOR THE FRONT
*HD Bilstein (ShockWarehouse.com)

6. Front shock top plate (sorry, don't know the proper name for it)
*Monroe UpperMount, Part# 904968 2x$27 (ShockWarehouse.com)
SOUNDS CORRECT
7. Lower ball joints
???(Suggestions) MOOG ARE GOOD--JUST CHECK THE BOOTS CAREFULLY TO MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO SLITS OR HOLES IN THEM.

8. Tie rod ends MOOG ARE GOOD.
???(Suggestions)

9. Alignment YES. LOOK FOR SPECIALS.
($50-$100 Estimate?)

10. Front Hub Bearings TIMKEN ARE AMERICAN MADE AND REASONABLY PRICED. OTHERS HAVE USED THEM WITH SUCCESS. BUY AT ROCKAUTO.COM

What I am planning on having done:
=================================
- check boots of the CV joints for leaks, replace if bad GOOD
- check front differential seals for leaks GOOD
- drain and refill the rear differential GOOD. CHECK WHETHER IT IS THE G80 UNIT OR NOT. IF IT IS (LIMITED SLIP), THEN YOU WILL NEED THE SPECIAL FLUID FOR IT.



What I am planning on doing myself:
=================================
-Replace Rear shocks EASY. GOOD DECISION
-Replace Front endlinks (Thanks to "rbarrios" for detailed instructions) IF THEY COME OFF EASILY, THIS IS OK TOO. BUT YOU MAY RUN INTO ONE THAT WILL BE A BEAR, AND POSSIBLY BEYOND YOUR ABILITY/CAPABILITY


!!!Shop around for labor costs!!! YES

YOU CAN ALSO DO THE SWAY BAR BUSHINGS YOURSELF.

YOU CAN CHANGE THE DIFFERENTIAL FLUID YOURSELF.

ON A 2WD, YOU MIGHT EVEN BE ABLE TO DO THE FRONT HUB BEARINGS, BUT UNLESS YOU HAVE DONE FRONT BRAKE JOBS IN THE PAST, IT WILL PROBABLY BE A BIT BEYOND YOUR REACH AT THIS POINT, UNLESS YOU CAN DRAFT A KNOWLEDGEABLE FRIEND TO ASSIST AND TEACH YOU.
 

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Are these pretty much the only things that go wrong on suspensions? In "normal" wear and tear, at least? Because my suspension has been pretty much beat to pieces for its 103k miles, and whenever I get around to replacing it (i.e. get money), I want to know what to replace. Pretty much just do the same things Yunky's looking at?
 
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