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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #1
So far, it's a verbal agreement. It will be my only vehicle with any towing capacity. I'd like to tow a small camper. Don't have the camper. It's RWD, I6, SWB, 177k miles. It has a 7 wire trailer connector but no brake controller. Just going over the RPO codes and it's got the 3.42 axle, no posi-traction, and a couple codes for California emissions. Apparently it was a California car in it's early life. The price is right. The rust is less than most here in Indiana. It's gonna need some work on a power steering leak and some front suspension parts.
Runs good, sounds good except for PS whine, shifts good. Trans dip stick is missing. Seller seems like a good guy.
We have to get an emissions test in this Indiana county. Is the California emissions stuff something to worry about? Does it effect the performance or towing ability?
Supposed to pick it up Friday.
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I got a free dipstick from a junk yard. I hope the ATF looks okay.
I watched several youtube videos on front suspension work.
Driver side mirror fold away is loose. Maybe easy fix.
The radio is missing. I don't know it the connectors have been cut. A factory radio is good enough.
Just found out, has 2 keys but no key fobs for the remote door lock. Fobs are on eBay. Doesn't look like you need an original to program one.
I wish it had adjustable lumbar support on the drivers seat.
Supposed to get it tomorrow.
I'm gonna have too many vehicles.
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #4
Got it, $1250. I fixed something already. The rear wiper wasn't sitting on the rest properly. Turned out the wiper arm hinge point was stiff. A little lubricant and exercise fixed it. There are some small dents not apparent in the picture. There's a plastic cover over the rocker panels so I don't know if there's any rust hiding there.
There's a little button & LED that appears to be added on the dash and a little box with wires going into it, in the space where the radio goes. I need to figure out what it is. Maybe some alarm thing. Is there any kind of interface needed if the radio is not there.
2004TB.jpg
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #6
Was looking at suspension parts at Rock auto. Now sure what I need yet but I ordered some shocks that were closeout priced. The rears were for air suspension, which is wrong for my car, but I found information that says the only difference is 1/2" less travel. They were only $9.05 each. If I get into towing, I'll probably get some load assist rear shocks.

I'm finding more alarm stuff, a sounder in the radio slot just held down by a gob of putty, and another siren module under the hood.
There are (2) #6 AWG, I think, power cables that end loose under the back seat. The red one goes direct to the battery through a fuse holder, near the battery, with a 60 amp fuse. I haven't found where the negative cable terminates. For best power it should have also went to the battery terminal. It does not come through the firewall at the same place as the red one. There is also a small coax cable end loose under the seat. Must have been for an antenna. I have a 750 watt inverter that may find a home under that seat. I think I can put a 80 amp fuse. I have some small kitchen appliances that are 300, 600, or 750 watts that will run off that inverter.
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #7
A new/used, factory correct, AM/FM, CD, tape, radio is coming, $46.
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #8
That bracket over the rubber block, that holds the power steering lines over the strut tower, that everybody bends up because they can't get the 10mm bolt out. I got the bolt out. The leak is a slow drip. If it's the low pressure side maybe I can cut it and splice it with a piece of hose
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Trust me, if it's the low pressure line, the high pressure hose is on it's way out too. I tried to do a band aid fix of the high side line using Gates high pressure power steering hose and several hose clamps. It worked for about 6 miles and then blew as I was pulling into a parking space. What a mess! Anyway, order a full set of Gates or ACDelco hoses, set a weekend aside and replace all the power steering lines at one time.
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #10
I may be doing shocks, struts, control arms a trans fluid/filter change, & brakes. I don't want to add to my work load. A splice is easy enough to try before I get into all that other stuff. But it occurs to me that with some of that stuff removed, access to replace the steering hoses might be easier. I have not yet found an angle from which I can even see where the lines connect to the rack.
I've not been under the car yet to fully assess the condition or find rust I don't know about. The rocker panels are completely covered in plastic.
The $7 eBay keyfob remote works.
 

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2003 gmc envoy_sle
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Replacing the power steering lines WILL be a challenge. Watch some YouTube videos to familiarize yourself. Suggest you wrap two or three winds of electrical tape around the hose at the hold down clamps on the core support. Water, salt (if applicable), or mud gets trapped in there, and holds moisture. You want to keep a gap between the lines and any metal they run along.
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #12
I've spliced the PS tube with a piece of hose. On to other things. I have new shocks all around to install. There's too much brake pedal travel. I can see the pads are thin just looking through the wheels. I'm gonna replace the transmission pan with one with a drain. I'm not going to do a fluid flush but I'll replace the fluid & filter and than drain & refill a couple times to get most of the old fluid out. The seller said it needs control arms. I've not verified that but I've found a bad outer tie rod end. Ordered new inners & outer tie rods & brake pads.
So, I'm gonna be all over it and I'll be looking for access points to the PS lines & connections. Looking down in front of the radiator the PS fluid cooler looks rusty. The serpentine belt squeaks a little.
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #13
Finally found a tire date code. They're about 4 1/2 years old. There's good tread. So, I'm good on tires.

I put new a new shock & brake pads on one rear wheel. The shock I removed was a Bilstein. It didn't feel like it was bad but it looked like it's been on the car a long time. I'll do the other side tomorrow.

There is some run out or end play in the rear bearing or axle. You can't wobble the wheel but you can push-pull it in and out enough to feel. Some forum search results say it might be normal.

I'm gonna have to get some kind of tire lift to lift these wheels.
 

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I got a free dipstick from a junk yard. I hope the ATF looks okay.
I watched several youtube videos on front suspension work.
Driver side mirror fold away is loose. Maybe easy fix.
The radio is missing. I don't know it the connectors have been cut. A factory radio is good enough.
Just found out, has 2 keys but no key fobs for the remote door lock. Fobs are on eBay. Doesn't look like you need an original to program one.
I wish it had adjustable lumbar support on the drivers seat.
Supposed to get it tomorrow.
I'm gonna have too many vehicles.
So long as you have a key, you can program up to 4 fobs at the same time. Make sure you get the right fobs, I accidentally ordered for a Suburban, they look exactly the same. The fobs are easy to program. RemotRemote.com has the instructions. When you have to reset the “change oil” Light after you change the oil ( make sure you do!) it’s On with the key, press gas 2times, light blinks and goes out. I am just waiting for when I have to reprogram something and the instructions are turn to on, stomp on the brake 2 times while clucking like a chicken!!
 

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Finally found a tire date code. They're about 4 1/2 years old. There's good tread. So, I'm good on tires.

I put new a new shock & brake pads on one rear wheel. The shock I removed was a Bilstein. It didn't feel like it was bad but it looked like it's been on the car a long time. I'll do the other side tomorrow.

There is some run out or end play in the rear bearing or axle. You can't wobble the wheel but you can push-pull it in and out enough to feel. Some forum search results say it might be normal.

I'm gonna have to get some kind of tire lift to lift these wheels.
My 04 has struts in the front, I’m thinking yours probably does too. I got mine for $500 and I had to replace a lot under the hood. Control arms,,struts, brakes and rotors Major Tuneup to name a couple of things. You read like you know how to do a lot of the expensive stuff. I watch a lot of the YouTube videos, like ChrisFix‘S for making her Look good, fairly cheap and very quickly.,Otherwise I would be smashing my head against the steering wheel! Good luck to you and, welcome to the family!!!
 

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Well, I should have said congratulations on your newest project, family member!!! With my girls grown and gone and BrokenMan gone too, BABYs my new guilt free $$ project too.!!
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #17
I'm going slow. I have a 4 post lift and I finally moved all the junk off of it and put the TB on the lift. With cars with jacking points under the rockers it's easy to put a jack on the ramps, if you wanna lift a wheel up. With the TB, the frame rails are too close to the edge of the ramps for a jack. I was able to lift a front wheel with a small bottle jack near the lower ball joint. I can feel some play up & down that might be the upper ball joint or a wheel bearing. I wasn't able to shake the wheel and look behind it at the same time. Front shocks are Bilsteins. Could Bilsteins be the originals? There is a jack tray for jacking between the ramps, that I haven't needed to use before.
I can see easier access to the power steering line to rack attachment point from below. The lift is great but some of this stuff might be easier on the driveway, as long as it doesn't involve getting under the car.
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #18
Both front wheel bearing hubs have play. I'm hung up on the idea of making sure I can get the lower control arm bolts loose before I order more parts. I put a breaker bar with a 2 ft pipe extension on one bolt, and put enough force to flex the wrench to where I thought it would break, and nothing moved. I found forum discussion where some broke the bolts trying to get them out. I really really don't want that to happen. I don't think a broken bolt there is something I could deal with. Next time I go out there I'm gonna see if I can find access to spray some penetrating oil on to the captive nuts on those LCA bolts. I know that repeated penetrating oil over several days can help.
I probably should be driving it more before putting all this money & effort into it, but I though I'd fix everything before insuring it.
 

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2003 gmc envoy_sle
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Both front wheel bearing hubs have play. I'm hung up on the idea of making sure I can get the lower control arm bolts loose before I order more parts. I put a breaker bar with a 2 ft pipe extension on one bolt, and put enough force to flex the wrench to where I thought it would break, and nothing moved. I found forum discussion where some broke the bolts trying to get them out. I really really don't want that to happen. I don't think a broken bolt there is something I could deal with. Next time I go out there I'm gonna see if I can find access to spray some penetrating oil on to the captive nuts on those LCA bolts. I know that repeated penetrating oil over several days can help.
I probably should be driving it more before putting all this money & effort into it, but I though I'd fix everything before insuring it.
Make sure it's real penetrating oil. Not just WD-40. It's good for what it's intended for, but only mediocre at best as a penetrating oil.
 

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2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
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Discussion Starter #20
I have some penetrating oil from Ace Hardware and some PB Blaster. The captive nuts for those LCA bolts are not as inaccessible as I thought.
I got two of those big bolts to move. A 13/16 6 point impact socket is a tight fit on the 21mm bolt head. I marked the 3 Ft point on a 4 ft pipe, that I put on the breaker bar, and I have a digital luggage scale with which I can measure the force at that 3 ft point. Lbs/3 should give me the FT pounds of torque. These bolts are supposed to be torqued to 192 and 170 ft/lbs. If I don't exceed that by too much I shouldn't break anything. The bolts that moved had been soaked in Power Steering Fluid
I ordered control arms, ball joints, & wheel bearing hubs. I'm up to $570 in parts & supplies, I get 5% back from my credit cards.
 
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