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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im shy of hitting 134,000 miles and will be doing some long trips pretty soon.
So I chose to replace my radiator hoses. (and my idler pulley).
(in the process most of the dexcool will be replaced since it needs to be drained).

I 1st purchased a pan- $5 at walmart.
Also bought 50/50 premixed dexcool. ($11 each). I used 2 bottles.
Dexcool is 150,000 mile coolant….
I chose NOT TO flush the engine… why?
Because at
47,000- my water pump was changed.
111,000 my thermostat was changed.
This means that over its life- my coolant has been mixed in with new coolant. So its not all the original factory coolant. Also—This is what my engine looked like at 111K….CLEAN.
So- I knew my engine was going to be very clean. If you’ve never changed pump or thermostat and have high mileage and the original coolant--- you may opt to flush the engine with distilled water,


So I bought ACDelco hoses. Actually theyre cheap about $40 for both.
I placed plastic on the ground to contain any spills.
Most trailblazers do not have a drain valve on the radiator. (I think 2002’s did).
Since I was going to replaced the old hoses.. I simply chose to drill a hole into the lowest part of the lower hose.
Once drilled- I placed the drill bit back into the hole to help drain…. This way you can control the draining of the coolant. Its slow—but it falls into the pan.
In this pic note the drill bit—and under the pan--- plastic to keep driveway clean. (Open the radiator cap to get airflow)


While the coolant drained-
I took a chance to photograph the new hoses. I also hooked up my laptop to the OBDII port to check for any pending CEL codes.
Comparing the old and new hoses for fit….



Once the coolant drained low enough- I took a picture of the radiators internal fins…….. 134,000- and no gunk or mineral buildup… this is the factory radiator.



I then proceeded to remove the upper hose. I used VISE grips to tighten the clamps. I think they also have a tool for these clamps at auto parts.
For some people- you may find that the rubber is really stuck on to the metal…I simply sliced the hose with a razor blade to help remove it. On the radiator—it came off easy- since it appears to be plastic.
On the engine side I did have to slice the hose and use a screwdriver to unstick it.
Here is the upper radiator hose connection at the engine block… Clean…(you can see the serpentine belt right below it)


Here is the upper hose cut at an angle.. very clean hose- looks to be in very good shape for 134,000.


You may have to fiddle with how to put the hoses and clamps back on. I found it easier to put the clamp on the radiator and inlet 1st- then slide the hoses on—as the hose slid on—then I put the clamp on the hose…
Putting the clamp on the hose—and then trying to slide it on--- wont work- the clamp only opens so far--- and it will not clear the small bumps on the inlet/rad connection points…

I then looked at how I would remove the lower hose.
The lower portion is easy.
The harder clamp to remove is the connection where the thermostat inlet is.
This is how I did it WITHOUT removing the alternator. (I left the clamp in a certain position from the thermostat change at 111K).
Disconnect battery.
I removed the battery hold down bar.
Remove the battery cover and battery.
Unbolt the Horn.
You can now access the 5 bolts that hold down the battery tray.
This leaves some working room.
This trick I used- was necessary because the vise grips wouldn’t fit with the handle open…..
Close the vise grips- turn the knob so that the grips claws are at their widest… you can then maneuver the claws on to the hose clamp- once in this position- use some pliers to slowly turn the knob- slowly compressing the clamp. Once compressed - slide the clamp toward the engine--- You can now try to remove the hose. (if this wont work for you- You may be able to access the clamp from the tire wheel well- or youll have to remove the alternator (all depends on how the clamp was left pointing from the factory).
In this picture im compressing the clamp--- the item that is in the way—is that big hose--- I believe its AC compressor related.(this also gets in the way when you do the Thermostat repair).


Remove the old hose- remove the sleeve around your old hose and put it on the new one. (almost like fishnet—most likely to help with rubbing againsts other items).
I chose to replace the one troublesome hose clamp with an old fashioned hose clamp--- the type that you tighten with a screwdriver or socket. Simple slide the hose on and tighten the hose clamp.
The inlet at the thermostat was also very clean(changed at 111K).

I then clamped the lower hose at both ends- and proceeded to put the tray, horn, battery, cover, bar back on.

I refilled the radiator- and started the engine- I left my laptop connected to monitor engine temps- and topped off the radiator.
I closed the radiator cap. And let the engine run for about 20 minutes. I also got under vehicle and checked for leaks. None found.
Later in the evening I went for a drive- Got on the highway and did a few full throttle accelerations to get the fluid moving and dislodge any trapped air pockets.
Went home and parked for the night.
The next morning- I checked the overflow bottle… sure enough- overnight as the engine cooled--- the cooling system sucked in coolant.
I topped off the overflow bottle to COLD LINE. Over the next few days Ill continue to check the level- and monitor for leaks.

Here is the coolant I drained. Nice bright red. Theres a few specks in there.. that’s the drilled rubber--- and some debris that fell in from me removing the upper hose.
I put the coolant into the dexcool bottles—and labeled them OLD- DO NOT USE…
I will take these to the next Hazardous waste roundup.
 

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2003 isuzu ascender
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Outstanding write up and pics. Anybody who reads this and follows directions can't goof it up. :D:hail::hail: GREAT JOB!!
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
people find this useful?
Im already at 75% capacity for the month (Feb 16)...
when I reach 100% images dissapear till the 1st...
Im guessing the thermostat how to is more popular.
Used to be I never got the message- then got the message in the last few days of the month...
now I get it halfway thru the month.
Last month the images were down for a few days...
Ill remove some of these pics if they arent useful. (to save bandwidth)
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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post the pictures on Trailvoy in your gallery. That's what I've been doing.

And yeah, great write-ups, I need to change my tstat soon so I read that one too.
 

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Sorry, Don't mean to hijack this thread, but I have a question. Can anyone tell me what these two hoses (metal) are for?



Reason I ask is a few days ago one of the hoses burst and sprayed oil everywhere. Just wondering why there is oil going to what I assumed to be the radiator?
 

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they are the trans fluid cooler lines
...ok. Thanks for the quick reply. I guess the next question is, should I be confusing that with oil? Sorry, I'm a newb. :bonk: I mean, does trans fluid look and have the consistency of oil, or is something seriously wrong here?
 

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...ok. Thanks for the quick reply. I guess the next question is, should I be confusing that with oil? Sorry, I'm a newb. :bonk: I mean, does trans fluid look and have the consistency of oil, or is something seriously wrong here?
it should be red but yes it is a oil lubricant...
 

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over time the trans fluid can lose its red tint, making it appear to be engine oil.....wipe some on a rag and give it a whiff....it should not smell like engine oil:no:
Just wiped it off the bottom of the truck in a few places, def brown. As for smell, I can't tell the difference.

The hose let go a few days ago...Sunday I think, on the highway. I noticed it burning off and pulled over. I cut the split part of the hose and reattached. It doesn't seem to be leaking anymore, but whatever was leaking is all over the under body. I mean everywhere. Is it still normal to be leaving puddles under the car or is maybe something else wrong?

Anyway, assuming worst case scenario, is there anyway for oil to get in there? By the way, I checked the dipstick with a cloth, too. Brown, not red.

The TB does have 100K miles on it, not sure if the fluid was ever changed.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
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Did you check the transmission dipstick, or the engine? You should check the tranny fluid with the engine idling and at operating temperature. You do not want to keep driving it if you've lost tranny fluid and are leaving puddles where you park. I suggest you get to a trusted mechanic, transmission shop or dealer before more serious damage is done.

Joe
 

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I checked the tranny dipstick. The one that locks. Anyway, when this happened it lost a lot of fluid. I mean, a lot. I have not added any tranny fluid, yet the dipstick shows full. When this happened, I immediately checked the oil dipstick which showed low, and had to add three quarts. Are you guys sure that both those hoses carry transmission fluid?

As for the puddles, I believe it is still just the fluid that was sprayed everywhere under the car still dripping off, the puddles are getting smaller everyday.
 

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how did u re attach a steel pipe to another steel pipe on the road? got a pic of it.. would make it alot easier to help...
 

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how did u re attach a steel pipe to another steel pipe on the road? got a pic of it.. would make it alot easier to help...
Sorry, don't have a camera...

To answer the question: the metal hose goes on a little bit (about 1.5 feet) then a rubber hose connects it to another metal hose. The rubber hose is roughly a foot, and the rubber is where the split happened.
 

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:bonk:I suggest warming vehicle to opperating temp and re-check Transmission fluid, if you lost any at all it should read low and driving could cost you a re-build! Make sure you are sitting LEVEL to check! Good luck as I went thru this with wifes car once and learned the hard (expensive) way.
 

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I Warmed the engine (drove for 10 minutes) before checking the fluid. The fluid reads right at the full (warm) line, and the car was level. The amount of fluid it lost, nothing should register at all on the dipstick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Did you buy the Trailblazer used?
It sounds like someone cut those lines to do some sort of work.
Engine/Tranny work?
Especially if the metal line had a chunk cut off and rubber hose replaced it...
maybe someone damaged it while doing engine work and just cut it and put rubber hose.
I went down and took pics of my lines-
they appear to be all metal from here- and up inside the engine bay.
 

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Did you buy the Trailblazer used?
It sounds like someone cut those lines to do some sort of work.
Engine/Tranny work?
Especially if the metal line had a chunk cut off and rubber hose replaced it...
maybe someone damaged it while doing engine work and just cut it and put rubber hose.
I went down and took pics of my lines-
they appear to be all metal from here- and up inside the engine bay.
Yes, I bought it used. Maybe someone did cut and replace it, I don't know. Either way, is it detrimental to have a rubber hose on there?

By the way, I appreciate you looking (and taking a picture) of yours. The place where the rubber can be seen is looking straight down on the left side of the engine.
 

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Maybe someone had the tranny overfull? If you lost a lot and it shows full, then maybe thats the case. Anyway please keep us informed .
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
HMMM. I dont know if its detrimental.
One side may be under pressure...Im not sure.
 
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