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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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251 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well this is a long drawn out story that is worth writing and I thought I'd take a few minutes to share some experiences worth hearing about.
All started a week ago, I was towing my RV back from Indiana and the TB started overheating, Check engine light was on and it turned out to be a bad fan clutch, no suprises there by what I read.

I decided to tackle the fan clutch myself and while I was at it and ambitious I decided to do the water pump. New fan clutch from Chevy with a buddies discount was $325 PN 25790869. This is the most current clutch. If you have time $200 on Ebay!
I got a new water pump from AZ for $60 and a 1 7/16" wrench from Tractor Supply for $12. I tried that useless fan clutch wrench and gave up and bought a real wrench.

I had the truck back on the road in a few hours, more running around time than actual labor time. Well that lasted for 5 days! Here is a valuable lesson!
DO TORQUE the water pump bolts according to GM Specs. DO NOT just tighten them. I fixed cars and have been around cars for the better part of my lifetime. Never used a torque wrench on a water pump! HUGE mistake fellas! That very large and very strong fan clutch vibrated the water pump loose and left me with a tow bill for $100 and a damaged water pump and serp belt!

The spec for the water pump torque is 96 inch lbs. in two stages. I did the second time in 4 stages to make absolutely sure that the pump was equally torqued without question. I also used blue lock tite on the wp bolts the second time. This was a costly mistake that I have been trying to get to you folks but was just to damn busy.

So the story goes on... I drove the truck to Nashville TN this week to tow a U-Haul trailer back to Cleveland. Truck drove down beautiful, no issues I thought life was good! WRONG answer!

I Picked up my 6X12 U-Haul trailer and headed back to Cleveland, I was just getting into Bowling Green KY and the truck started to spit and sputter and the check engine light was flashing! I pulled off, I have my own scan tool and saw codes P0300 and P0304. The missfire didn't concern me by itself however the tapping noise from the valvetrain had me concerned. It was late in the day, I was in a strange city with a heavy trailer and I decided the best thing to do was trade the U-Haul trailer back to the nearest dealer and get a U-Haul truck and car trailer. and continue home.

After several exhausting hours transferring the load and loading the TB on the trailer I decided it was best to spend the night and head home early the next morning. Since I had some down time in a nice air conditioned hotel room on a 96 degree day I decided to search my favorite TB forum TRAILVOY for answers to my mystery. I found all sorts of comments about codes P0300 and P0304 and lots of info about bad, water damaged ignition coils and camshaft actuators and I had a glimmer of optimism that maybe, just maybe it wasn't as bad as I thought!

Headed home from Bowling Green I get through Louisville Ky and guess what... You'll never guess.... Thats right... U-Haul truck let me down on the side of I71 at a major exchange... TWO left rear flat tires. NOT one TWO!
I called U-Haul furious! Both of those rear tires were wore down through the steel belts! HOW COULD THEY LET A TRUCK GO LIKE THAT???
The tire service guy shows up 4 hours later with one tire. I said i need TWO!
He was a great guy, made it right with the second tire, got me on the road asap! Honest mistake he didn't realize I had two tires down when he was dispatched. He said every scrap tire in his truck was from U-Haul, and he had a bunch! He said 1-2 calls everyday for the same stuff i just experienced! How could they put life and property in danger??? Who's the boss??? I assure you I will be taking this right up the pecking order!

I got home late last night and had errands to run all morning. So I decided to be pro active and get a coil, a set of plugs (110k miles) and a cam shaft actuator while I was out, and maybe just maybe the truck would run today???

FYI The ignition coil at the dealer with a discount is $146. A ignition coil from AZ with a 2 year warranty is $62. Guess which one I bought??? And FYI again the AZ part had the OEM Delphi label on it. So heads up on that, save some $$$!!. The actuator from GM was $68 with a discount.

Anyway I headed home full of optimism! I thought for sure this truck would run tonight! I could just feel it... After all everyone said these motors run forever! 110K ain't nothin on a TB... A buddy at the dealership said, "We haven't had any engine swaps to speak of, they run great". He also suggested the cam shaft actuator. So I was pumped! I figured in a hour or two I'd have my truck running and in the clear.... NOT!

More bad news... NO COMPRESSION in cylinder #4. Yes the coil had water marks on it but no...It didn't fix a damn thing! And yes I still have a distinct valvetrain noise and yes it still misses!

So some horror story was certainly developing. With 110k miles and a internal engine noise and no compression I decided it was replacement time. I priced a NEW GM Engine with a 100K warranty $3800. I looked up labor time 30+ hours. I figure at $80 a hour that's a killer!

And now here I sit.... I just bought a used engine from a place in Cincinnati,
4,000 miles on it with a warranty $1365 delivered to my door. I figured at 4,000 miles it's a proven engine and broken in! I was in the auto business for years so instead of me taking 30 plus hours I decided it was time to make some calls. I have a buddy that I worked with, he went on his own and willing to do the swap for $1300. I still have the U-Haul equipment and will be towing it to his shop tomorrow so it can be worked on next week.

FYI the place for low mile engines at great prices is Stricker Auto Parts in Cincinnati. Ebay ID stricker_auto Phone 800-543-2748. They sell only late model used parts, many from untitled manufacturer cars that have been damaged or in accidents.

So as the story continues to unfold I will update everyone on the final outcome. I must say I am beyond disgusted with the whole chain of events, hopefully that bad luck will turn around and I can have my truck back with a like new engine very soon!

Moral of the story: I don't have one yet but I love my TB, Its treated me good for 18 months, I can't see not giving it a chance to redeem itself.

Other items I have done in the past year include: Exhaust manifold (Broken studs), O2 sensor, Thermostat, idler puller and Oil, Tires and Brakes.

Please feel free to comment!
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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912 Posts
Well I'm sure the new engine will run strong and you will be back on the road soon. Did you find the cause for the lack of compression in Cyl #4? Could the overheating have caused the head-gasket to blow? What year was the "new" engine? Good luck and report back when you are rolling again.
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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251 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Replacement engine is also from a 2005. No I didn't get to the cause and at this point don't care! I'M DONE BANDAGING IT!!!! I QUITE!!!! :bonk:

We'll do a autopsy later! :laugh: I use my truck everyday and cant afford the down time or lacking reliability so as a judgment call I decided to just play safe and be done the best way possible and practical. No truck = No paycheck!


Here is the Ebay item number for the one I bought : 370227877656

My buddy said his book shows 21 hours. Alldata said 30 hours
 

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2006 chevy trailblazer_ls
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9 Posts
alldata shows 30 hours to r/r a complete engine? long block time? r/r and rebuiild time?
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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251 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Here is the breakdown from Alldata:
I STILL AIN'T DOIN IT MYSELF!
I can spend a week fixing it or a week working to pay to have it fixed. I prefer my job over this one. I have always done my own work, I just cannot justify this job with this many hours involved. I plan to visit regularly, I am a perfectionist and like to make sure things are the way I want.

Complete Assembly Without Transfer Of Parts B 12.6 18.8
Does Not Include: Transfer Of Any Part Of Engine Or Replacement Of Optional Equipment.
NOTE
With Tank Shield, Add B 0.4 0.5
With Full Time 4WD, Add B 0.1 0.2
Complete Assembly With Transfer Of Parts B 14.1 21.3
Includes: Transfer Of Fuel & Electrical Components. Does Not Include: Transfer Of Optional Equipment.
NOTE
With Tank Shield, Add B 0.4 0.5
With Full Time 4WD, Add B 0.1 0.2
Long Block B 0.0 25.3
Includes: R&I Engine And Transfer All Necessary Components.
NOTE
With Tank Shield, Add B 0.0 0.5
With Full Time 4WD, Add B 0.0 0.2
Short Block A 0.0 28.3
Includes: R&I Engine And Transfer All Necessary Components.
NOTE
With Tank Shield, Add A 0.0 0.5
With Full Time 4WD, Add A 0.0 0.2
To Grind Valves, Add A 0.0 1.6
Overhaul/Rebuild A 0.0 38.3
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
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57 Posts
U-Haul

This story is something. Also, a good note - NEVER rent a U-Haul truck. Get a Penske or something. I saw a Dateline thing (or something like that) where they rented U-Haul's and some 90% failed the inspection, with almost 1/2 being confiscated (the inspection shop would not let them take the truck back to U Haul).

Good luck with the engine swap...you should have upgraded to a V8!:yes:
 

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2002 gmc envoy_slt
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3,203 Posts
Damn shame, the only issues the 4.2s have seen was a liner issue in models made in '01 ('02 model year). At 110k, no way it was the gasket.
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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251 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I was stuck on the UHaul truck. Normally I rent from Penske unless I just need a trailer. Uhaul trailers are pretty decently maintained and I havent had any issue. Not to mention its the only company to get one way trailers from. I normally wouldn't think of a Uhaul truck but when your stuck you do what you got to do. I'm not at all surprised about the news investigation. I saw it with my own eyes. And to top it all off there was a 4th week of August inspection/maintenance sticker on it. U-Haul SUCKS!
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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422 Posts
Well look at the bright side.. when you go to sell your truck it won't have a ton of miles on it haha

But I feel your pain, that sounds like a story that would happen to me... I have some pretty horrible luck these days :weird:
 

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2002 gmc envoy_slt
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Rough luck, when it rains it pores for you doesn't it!

I am anxious to hear what the problem was after you tear it all down.
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
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Well look at the bright side.. when you go to sell your truck it won't have a ton of miles on it haha

But I feel your pain, that sounds like a story that would happen to me... I have some pretty horrible luck these days :weird:
Sell it?! They'll pry the keys from my cold dead hands...
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls
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251 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Replacement engine showed up today! All i can say is WOW! WOW! WOW!
Its sparkling clean, not even the paint is worn from the pulleys. Complete motor with Intake, Exhaust all sensors, coils, waterpump, tensioner and idler pulley, heater lines.
Since it is like brand new I dont intend to swap any parts. I'm going to have it installed as is and fill it with fluids.

Hopefully it will run just as good as it looks. 4.10 Differentials should be here tomorrow and I'm sending the PCM out for a tune to PCMforless today.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Stopped by the shop today to check the progress. Engine is set up and ready to drop in with the new front differential attached. 4.10 gears!! WOO HOO!

Rear diff is bolted in and ready complete. It is new zero miles from end to end including pads, calipers and rotors.

A few little mishaps along the way. On the front differential when they were trying to transfer the axle carrier assembly it was cracked upon removal. Not that big of a deal except it costs $288. It is a sealed wearable part so I guess no time like the present.

Progress pics below.

Empty Engine Compartment

New Engine and front differential

Lonely transmission

New rear differential bolted up, new shocks and rear stabilizer links too

Old differential ... For Sale???
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Truck is all done and running! Cause of failure... Broken intake valve spring and dropped intake valve in cylinder #4. Rear diff turned out to have the G80 option so that was a pleasant surprise! Couple of hang ups that had to work out... The engine only having 4k miles and being a 2005 model year apparently sat for a number of years before being sold. It would not start with the new fuel injectors. They were completely plugged up with bad fuel and varnish. Beware on low mile motors! We swapped the fuel rail from the old and all is good! The fuel injectors not working ran us in circles for several hours until we got a Tech2 and got a accurate datastream.

Since I did the differential gear change and sent the PCM out to PCMforless It seems that the PCM speed displayed on the Tech2 is correct within 2mph compared to a GPS however the Speedemoter is 9-10 mph faster on the display??? I thought the PCM sent the signals to control the speedometer.

Lastly the cruise control wouldn't work over 35 until I did a tire size calibration in the ABS module. The front and rear speed sensors had a variation if greater than 2mph not allowing the cruise to work. I actually had to fudge the tire size to a 33" tire to get the synch correct. Seemed strange since all four tires are the same and both differentials are the same. 32" tires 4.10 gears.

All three speed sensors and the pcm display the same speed now and they are within 2mph of actual. The speedometer is still off by 9-10 faster.

Any advice? Suggestions?
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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912 Posts
wow, 4x4 with 4.10's and a g80 is the perfect off road set up. That swap was quick and I'm glad your on the road again.
 

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2002 chevy
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2,582 Posts
Nice! You should have gotten an 06+ = more power and torque. I have pic if you want to see it.
 
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