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I think I just bought a 2004 trailblazer

9672 Views 162 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  tomcat709
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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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.
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.
Go with the PB Blaster. A little tapping, a little heat (carefully), a little time to soak, repeat. They'll eventually give way.
This alignnment stuff is just too difficult. It requires measuring, lifting the wheel off the ground and adjusting. Setting if back down and measuring again. The lifting part is a ordeal each time. Bottle jacks won't lift high enough. The scissors jack is hard work to use and is too close to it's limit to trust by itself. I can get the scissors jack and a jack stand under it. Repeated raising and lowering the crank scissors jack it too much work for my aging body.

So I've studied this alignment stuff. I've got a couple different vintage bubble level caster/camber gauges, that don't mount properly on modern wheels and a new cheap magnet mount camber gauge. All if it needs some adaptor fabrication to make a measurement. Turns out it's not all that hard to measure camber with a plain bubble level. Just use the tangent trig function on a calculator to figure the angle.
Get 4 pieces of sheet metal, same size, big enough that the whole tire sits on with a little extra, liberally smear grease on to a piece of sheet metal, place another piece on top, do it again with the other two pieces. Place one "grease sandwich" under each front wheel. Now you don't have to keep raising and lowering a jack, then rolling the car back and forth to relieve any bind you may have put the steering in.
Three things to remember on a DIY alignment. Rolling the car back and forth in order to make sure it's not bound up after EACH adjustment. Your alignment is only going to be as good as the level of the surface the car is on. Go off the rim, and not the tire for your measurements. Inconsistent run out on the tires.
You have to take the weight off the suspension to make a camber/caster adjustment. Otherwise when you try to move the LCA bracket, your lifting the weight of the vehicle.
My lift is pretty close to level.
Just eyeballing it I'm gonna have to shim the car level on the driveway. My turntables are about 1 1/2" thick and might be about the amount that's needed. I couldn't raise it enough to get the turntables under in on the lift.

Here's a link to someones page with a picture turn plates like mine. Mine are as ugly as these but they still move.
Didn't realize you had turning plates. This is what we used at the track, which meant we also didn't have to bring anything to set the back wheels on. We had to save space and weight any way we could. Didn't have a 53' semi hauler.
I have 2 of these. The bubble level is more sensitive than other gadgets & ways I have for caster/camber. The bubble moves further for 1 degree. I stole the image off the web. Still have to improvise the mounting. The angles on the tool represent the amount the wheel is turned in and out for caster measurement.
The Weaver gauges are more difficult to mount, heavier and the bubble has less resolution. Hopefully if I get this car set up right I'll be able to verify the angles 3 ways.
The air conditioner is on in the garage so I can go get the car ready to pull out without falling over. I should live somewhere in the cool mountains. It's more fun if it's comfortable.
View attachment 57423
Yeah, we had something similar . . .
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