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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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I would have to agree with you on that one.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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It actually makes sense. I can remember in the late 1970s my dad had a 1973 Olds Toranado that needed the outer CV joints rebuilt on it. There were only 3 places in Omaha, NE that could and would rebuild them - one independent shop, the Cadillac dealership and the Oldsmobile dealership. Most mainstream shops will not spend all kinds of money on the specialty tools required to overhaul a front differential when they might only see one or two jobs like it a year. Dealers on the other hand will have all the tools needed.
Dear Old Dad needed outer boots on his '74 ElDorado. Took it to the local Sears Auto Center. Nothin' to it. Easy money.

HONDA CV joints were miserable, because they didn't put a taper into the groove for the snap-rings. Had to beat the crap out of 'em to get them apart. But even so, I did a few. According to Honda, you were supposed to buy a whole CV shaft.

When I picked it up at the shop yesterday, the mechanic said that it only needed half a quart of fluid after about 4,000 miles of driving, and as it holds about 6 quarts, not to worry about it.
Sounds like they confused the front differential with the transfer case.

One wonders if they even pulled the plug on the differential.

"I" would pull the fill plug and the DRAIN plug, measure what comes out. Then install drain plug, fill appropriately, and install the fill plug. On my vehicle, I used to pop the fill plug out with the vehicle on the ground, wheels turned to the left. 18mm swivel socket on a LONG extension, and long-handled 1/2" ratchet. Pump the new lube in. Never had to lift the vehicle, which means the vehicle was never angled giving a false impression of how full it was. I've forgotten what size the drain plug is, but maybe the same 18mm as the fill plug.
 

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'05 Chevy TB EXT
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Just always take the FILL plug out first -- 'cause if it won't come out or it's stripped and ruined so bad you can't get a purchase on it --- if you drain the fluid first ... then how are you gonna refill it?
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Well, Sears Automotive in Omaha wouldn't touch it. I know - I called them for my dad. At least your dad's ElDorado only needed boots. Based on the price we paid to the shop that did the work (we even got a referral shop discount thanks to my friend who owned a garage) it needed new balls and cages. Cost came to something like $700 when all was said and done.

Schurkey, how did you like driving the ElDorado? I loved driving that Toronado!
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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Well, Sears Automotive in Omaha wouldn't touch it. I know - I called them for my dad. At least your dad's ElDorado only needed boots. Based on the price we paid to the shop that did the work (we even got a referral shop discount thanks to my friend who owned a garage) it needed new balls and cages. Cost came to something like $700 when all was said and done.
That would make a difference.

I know a guy who sold oversize balls for rebuilding worn CV joints. Advertised nationally (for awhile) I guess it worked even if it wasn't the best-possible solution.

Schurkey, how did you like driving the ElDorado? I loved driving that Toronado!
Wallowed like a stuck pig. I hated that car. He offered to give me that car when I turned 18. I told him to keep it. My friend actually got nauseous when I did some fast lane-changes to show him how bad the suspension system was tuned. Even when new, it acted like the shock absorbers had been stolen.

More-specifically, my "usual" car had carburetor problems, I liked the immediate response of the Caddy compared to my POS '66 Biscayne. But a carb overhaul on the Chevy when I was 15 fixed that difference. The Caddy had better response than that 283/Powerglide largely because of the three-speed transmission, so that was also a plus. I enjoyed A/C (a lot) and to a lesser extent, cruise control. Had no use for the half-vinyl top, or the styling in general. Fookin' brick on wheels.

The suspension front and rear was so horrible that decades later, I started selling Polyurethane front suspension bushings for Toronado/ElDorado to reduce some of the worst of the handling characteristics. The '66--'78 FWD "E-body" had FAR too much compliance with the huge, too-soft rubber control-arm bushings they came with. Poly bushings make a marvelous improvement in handling sharpness even without stiffer springs or harsh shock absorbers.

My early years with that car involved perpetually re-setting the headlight aim. They were WAY too high. And then they were WAY too low. Took me awhile to figure out that the problem was not the headlights, it was the defective self-leveling "air shock system" at the rear.

The rear suspension could have been worse--at least it wasn't fully compressed-air-powered. The air suspension/self-leveling was not reliable. I fixed it a couple of times before Dad gave up and "donated" the car to some charity just to get it out of his driveway--but by then the thing was so neglected that "nothing" worked any more. The "air compressor" was engine-vacuum powered. Engine vacuum pulled up on a big, spring loaded piston. When the piston got to the top of it's stroke, vacuum got shut off, and the spring pushed the piston back down. The big piston was connected to a small piston that actually pumped the pressurized air to the rear shocks. There's a levelling valve at the back which died; then the compressor seized. The compressor may have seized because the air shocks leaked so the compressor never shut off. All I know was that every year I'd go out to Dad's place, and the car was dragging-ass over the curb at the end of his driveway. Dear Old Dad could not comprehend that when the bumper-hitch dragged, the car needed to be fixed. The end of his driveway had a million scrapes where the hitch was dragging on the concrete.

The Caddy "big block" engine has some serious problems. The TH425 transmission is a total sweetheart. And the suspension front and rear COULD have been fantastic except it was tuned to float instead of respond.
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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YIKES! Quite the opposite from the experience I had. Once the front CV joints were fixed, it was a dream to drive. I know that it did not have the rear air suspension, but it rode and handled like a dream compared to my 73 Impala with a small block 400 ci engine with a 2 barrel Rochester. The Impala would move - but the Toronado moved faster. Also the Toronado had an Oldsmobile 455 engine in it rather than the Caddy engine. I have seen Caddy's with that 500 ci engine and it filled up the engine compartment. At least the Olds 455 left a little more room.

I know I tuned it up every year (new air filter, plugs, points, condenser, cap & rotor) much to my dad's chagrin (but he did enjoy that it always made the engine start quicker and get a little better gas mileage), and I think I put on 2 sets of brake pads/shoes (one set in 1978 and the other set 4 or 5 years later). I did have to replace the fuel pump and that was interesting because it was the first time I ever saw a fuel pump with what appeared to be a 2 foot long pump lever. It actually was not very hard to remove - I just hated that dinky little carb mounted fuel filter!

I am so glad that my dad drove it into the ground because it would have cost me a fortune in time and money to repair it, patch up all the rusted out areas, and pay for gas while I was in graduate school in Wyoming. I did however manage to put somewhere between 250,000 - 300,000 miles on the Impala (mostly interstate driving on I-80) before it started using one quart of oil every 100 or so miles and fouling the #6 spark plug. I finally turned the Impala over to a junk yard in August 1990 for a whopping $20.00. Not bad for a rusted out hunk of iron that actually still ran fairly well around town (despite the mosquito fogger) and the AC was still functional and cold!

My only dislike of the Toronado was the green paint job. Not my favorite color!

Too the "good old days" of points, condensers, carburetors and annual tune ups!
 

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2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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The axle will come out, you just need another person with a BFH (big effing hammer) and long chisel to apply the impact in the correct direction. Just make sure the snap ring comes out with it...
 

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2004 gmc envoy_slt_xuv
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Paul, I had a hell of a time getting my axle out. Was running out of time and had to put it all back together. The next weekend gave it another go after making a tool similar to the one shown . Slide hammer, after taking most of the movement prying with a crow bar, then wacked it .out it came . Changed the seal and it’s been good since.
do you have any lights on the 4wd panel? if no, check fuse. I have pulled the fuse and reinstall to reset the 4wd system. Good luck
 

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'05 Chevy TB EXT
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Do either of youse guys remember the GM Motorhome with either the Olds 455 or the Cad 500 --- both had the THM-425 transmission and they were built on a tray that you could slide out to service any part of the whole engine-drivetrain ...... huh?

Wheel Automotive parking light Tire Cloud Sky


These were exceptional motorhomes with tremendous space inside because the whole power assembly was under the driver's feet and the rear wheels were just load bearing and had brakes.

I loved working on them for minor or major problems because everything was out in the open with maybe 30 small bolts and 8 large ones and a couple of clamps ...

But really either the Cad 500ci or the Olds 455 were dominating good engines that could NOT handle any oils that start with the letter "P" or that come from the state that starts with the same letter.

Instant trash! Sludge and clumps in the pan and collecting in the head and cam galley would kill these engines fast.

I have a neighbor with the GMC version and the Cad 500 and it has over 400,000 miles on it and nothing but hoses, belts and fluids on a decent timetable and it still runs great.
The thing is like it came off the showroom floor yesterday too.​
Honestly -- I never had any bad things happen to any of my customers who owned those big Cad engines -- they were the biggest production engines in their day --- even after their day!

The Olds 455 would occasionally punch a pushrod through a rocker --- but that's about as bad as they got .. and I still never one have a failed lifter or cam bearing if the "P" oils weren't used.

There were caveats however ...
.... if you got a California CARB/CalEPA Certified engine, the cam was 12 degrees retarded from TDC ....​
.... and the Federal/CONUS version were 4 degrees retarded ....​
.... but the Canadian versions were at ZERO and they made the most horses, highest torque and lowest heat of them all.​
The Cal versions had nothing but heartaches from burned exhaust valve seats and punched rockers. and flat cams ... but I STILL blame a lot of their troubles on Pennzoil (there! I said it!)[/QUOTE]
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Rav - thanks for the information. I never knew about the motorhomes. Sounds like someone who was a design engineer also liked to work on vehicles so they did right by the design!
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Update. I was referred to another mechanic who was able to get it off. He works on race cars and seemed to be pretty confident he could fix it, and sure enough, he did. My 6 week odyssey of trying to deal with this axle seal leak is over. I lost a lot of fishing time not being able to tow my boat, but now I found a great mechanic.
 

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2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Update. I was referred to another mechanic who was able to get it off. He works on race cars and seemed to be pretty confident he could fix it, and sure enough, he did. My 6 week odyssey of trying to deal with this axle seal leak is over. I lost a lot of fishing time not being able to tow my boat, but now I found a great mechanic.
Finally, someone who knows how to use a Big Effing Hammer!
😂
 
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