Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum banner
41 - 60 of 79 Posts

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #41 · (Edited)
For anybody that's just dropping in I've been working off & on for 9 months to rebuild the front suspension of my RWD 04 Trailblazer. New upper & lower control arms, shock/strut, outer tie rods, stabilizer links, bearing hubs & brake pads. The 2nd side is together. I just put the wheel back on. Just gotta let it down off the jacks and torque a bunch of things and than I'm gonna attempt a DIY alignment.
The tire I just put on has been low and aired up twice. i just sprayed soapy water all over it and no bubbles anywhere. I'll air it up to pressure and try again tomorrow.
 

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #42 ·
Found it. You don't see or hear bubbles form at the leak. You spray around the rim and nothing. Wait several minutes and a foam appears at several places around the rim. The foam expands so slowly you can't see it growing. Rinse it off with more soapy water spray and look away for 5 minutes, look back, and there it is.
 

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #45 ·
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.
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
Joined
·
445 Posts
When I replaced the front suspension on the wife's '06 Trailblazer in early June, I set the lower control arm brackets in their frame pockets as far to the rear (towards the tailgate) as I could and still get the bolts in easily. As regarding the side-to side placement, which will set the camber, I put them in so that at a point about 3" (I'm going from my aging memory on this distance, it may have been a bit more) from the front of the pocket the bracket was flush with the edge of the frame pocket. I used a small metal straight edge to get it flush. At a point about 3" from the rear of the pocket I set the bracket into the pocket about 1/16" deeper than the edge of the pocket, so that in effect the rear of the bracket sits about 1/16" farther inboard than the front edge does. I hope that makes sense. I just set the toe-in by eye because I just needed it to get close enough to be able to drive it to the tire shop a few miles away for a professional alignment. How close did I get it? I nailed the camber on both sides, and nailed the caster on the drivers side. They didn't even touch that bracket. On the passengers side the caster was off by just a hair. The toe was off, but I figured it would be.
I hope this helps you get it close enough to get it to the shop for an alignment!
 

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #47 ·
When I replaced the front suspension on the wife's '06 Trailblazer in early June, I set the lower control arm brackets in their frame pockets as far to the rear (towards the tailgate) as I could and still get the bolts in easily. As regarding the side-to side placement, which will set the camber, I put them in so that at a point about 3" (I'm going from my aging memory on this distance, it may have been a bit more) from the front of the pocket the bracket was flush with the edge of the frame pocket. I used a small metal straight edge to get it flush. At a point about 3" from the rear of the pocket I set the bracket into the pocket about 1/16" deeper than the edge of the pocket, so that in effect the rear of the bracket sits about 1/16" farther inboard than the front edge does. I hope that makes sense. I just set the toe-in by eye because I just needed it to get close enough to be able to drive it to the tire shop a few miles away for a professional alignment. How close did I get it? I nailed the camber on both sides, and nailed the caster on the drivers side. They didn't even touch that bracket. On the passengers side the caster was off by just a hair. The toe was off, but I figured it would be.
I hope this helps you get it close enough to get it to the shop for an alignment!
The brackets were a pretty tight fit with the bolts out. I cleaned out the slots as best I could and had to hammer the new ones in. I thought it looked like the adjustment was just in and out more than front to back. You can still change the caster if you move the front & back unequally. I can move them with a crowbar. It's almost tight enough to break a big screwdriver. I couldn't see a good way to measure the position. I just tried to make them look like the fit of the ones I took out, looking at the outside edge.
Once it's out of the garage, if I can find a level spot on the driveway, and If it's not too hard to reach under to the LCA bolts, I may make another try at it. I'm not laying under it with my crow bar but maybe I can make adjustments with a BFH.
I'll put it back on the lift for tow in. I got some ideas about using laser levels to sight from the rear wheel to establish where straight ahead is. I have a couple 1x4s I can clamp to the lift posts front and back and mark the laser spot on.

It's too hot to work outside today.
 

·
Registered
2004 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
Joined
·
445 Posts
Yea, they are a tight fit! I had to use a 3lb. sledge hammer and a pry bar to move them! To measure them, use a small metal straight edge and just put it vertically on the edge of the pocket, noting where the edge of the bracket is in relation to the straight edge. They do need to be pretty much toward the back of the vehicle as far as you can get them. Use your finger and reach up in there to make sure the bolt has a good path into the hole, though. (That doesn't sound right, somehow...)
 

·
Registered
2003 gmc envoy_sle
Joined
·
139 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #50 ·
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.
 

·
Registered
2003 gmc envoy_sle
Joined
·
139 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #52 ·
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.
Font Signage Motor vehicle Sign Magenta
 

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #53 ·
First time in the 10 months since I bought it, it's come off the lift and out of the garage. Had to charge the battery. It came with a better battery than what I usually buy. I hope it ain't ruined from sitting over the winter. Drove it 100 ft up the driveway & back. Brakes pumped up. Still gonna put new pads on the back. There were some stuck caliper pins on the front. A/C must have lost it's charge. It worked when I brought it home and for a while after but not now.
 

·
Registered
2003 gmc envoy_sle
Joined
·
139 Posts
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 . . .
 

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #55 ·
I think I'm giving up on the caster/camber thing. It's a little closer than it was but it's still off. I decided to try to get the toe close and get the wheels pointed straight ahead with the steering wheel centered.
I put 2 laser levels against the rear wheel rims, projecting two spots on a board in front of the car, on jack stands. I marked the spots. I'm using those spots as a reference point for for what is straight ahead. I moved the laser levels to the front wheels and adjusted the tie rods so the dots were about where the rear reference dots were.
Then I attached (2) about 3 ft, aluminum square rods to the front tires parallel to the ground and low enough that I could pass a tape measure under the car and measure the distance. Using the tape measure and adjusting the tie rods, while keeping an eye on the laser spots relative to the reference spots marked from the rear wheels, I've got it set close to zero toe in.
So I adjusted toe in 2 stages, One to just make the front equal compared to the spots projected off the rear wheels., and two to set the actual toe. Add up all the adjustment It was initially toed out about a full inch. I wasn't trying to set the toe exact, just closer than way off.
I'm gonna put it back on the lift to tighten the tie rod lock nuts and test drive it, If it feels okay on the road I'll get the insurance on it and take it to my good friends sons shop, about 30 miles from here.
 

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Had to recharge the a/c. It had lost it all. Had to pull a vacuum on it. It was holding the vacuum so if it's still leaking, it's leaking slow.
It was idling fine for quite a while. A can of R134 was slowly going in. The idle started surging. The compressor would not come on until the pressure came up a bit. When the idle surge started, I didn't think the compressor was cycling yet, but later as the pressure increased the surge seemed related to compressor cycling. Even if I stepped on the gas the rpms wanted to surge up and down. As the refrigerant charge increased the idle started to stabilize, but still feels not quite right.
Since I started from a vacuum I was able to put close to the specified measured amount of r134 in it. The sticker gave it in pounds but it converted ti 30 oz. I put in (2) 12 oz cans, hooked up the 3rd can and set it on a postal/kitchen scale and charged till it decreased 6 oz.
I had to turn the heat up a bit for my test drive, the car was cold.
My improvised alignment did get the steering wheel straight. It felt ok on my short country road drive. It's the only SUV I've ever driven, so it's hard for me to judge. I more a mid-sized or compact car guy. Might still be a little surge thing going on.
A search of the forums makes me think I should clean the throttle body, but it's hard for me to see how a little film on the throttle body parts could make a difference, unless the build up is so thick it's restricting movement.
 

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #58 ·
It feels like a lot of sway in the rear end. Even with a minor steering correction I can feel sway in the back. it's like there's no shocks in the back. I don't like the way it feels. It's got new shocks all around. I don't think bad camber caster could make the rear end sway. It feels like it's way top heavy in the rear.
 

·
Registered
2004 Chevy Trailblazer LS RWD
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter · #60 ·
The wipers not working on high.
Studied the schematics and watched some you tubes.
High speed wiper is a separate circuit. A ground is provided by the multifunction turn signal switch, on a wire that finds it's way to a relay on the control board in the motor, picks up the relay which then supplies power to the motor high speed wire.
I unwrapped a little bit of wiring harness coming out of the cowl area, from the wiper motor, and stuck a pin though the correct wire to test if the switch was providing the ground. It is. This was the least stuff I could take apart to test the circuit.
Some youtube videos have identified failed solder joints on the control board, but it could be the relay. All other wiper functions work. Blowing up a youtube on how to replace the control board, on my smart TV, and pausing the frame, I was able to get a part number for the relay. Searched for 102-1CH-S-U01 and found some on eBay. I'm gonna have a couple spare relay on hand before I take anything apart.
 
41 - 60 of 79 Posts
Top