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2003 gmc envoy_sle
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I really can't help much but I am curious as to how you used the term crate motor. A crate motor is one that comes, brand new, from the factory, through the parts dept. of a dealer. You can also get rebuilds that way from some national brand engine re-builders.
More than it's worth, is a difficult situation. That refers to resale, the what it's worth part. If he were to drive it until it permanently dies, then resale value means nothing. You have to decide if he likes it enough to stick with it to the bitter end. If that's the case, I would lean toward fixing it. Or is he is so disillusioned with it that even the thought about keeping washing back it the rest of it's life, is against him?
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Thanks for replies. You are correct, a lot depends on how my son TREATS and drives it. Up till this point he didn't treat it very well, but now I think it is dawning on him that he can't use it the same way one would use a ATV to go offroading. I think he is ready to put some money into it if he can drive it again.

If we get a 2006 or 2007 engine how much different is the engine or why is it different? I'm just seeing lots of used engines but very few 2008 engines. And I didn't know there was too many 2009 models out there at all? Did they make it part of a year in 2009?

Crate motor means remanufactured but that is usually about $3000! I meant a used motor prepped for install that is sold by a used parts dealer or junk yard and usually is picked up on a pallet ready to be installed. There is a big variation in price so there must be a variation on how badly they hack it up when they get it out of the donor vehicle?

I'm seeing prices of about $1200-$1450 depending on mileage.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_lt
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If we get a 2006 or 2007 engine how much different is the engine or why is it different? I'm just seeing lots of used engines but very few 2008 engines
Different crankshaft , different computer(s), I think also different camshaft phaser, and so on...

 

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2007 chevy trailblazer_ls
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Hello, I'm new here and I have found this forum to be so helpful already. I need advice badly so I signed up for an account. My wife and I feel like we have had 9 months of TrailblazerTorture and now we face another dilemma.

Background: Our 16 year old needed a solid framed, reliable, 4 wheel drive, sturdy, but yet affordable first vehicle. Was hoping the solid frame, good handling, good towing capacity, and thousands of available TB on the road would provide a good solution. Felt that we could find plenty in his price range and tons of available parts. Normal wear parts like brakes, suspension parts, fenders, bumpers, interior items all easy to get in a junkyard or from aftermarket suppliers. We found one in his price range that looked like it may have had some side door damage which was recently repainted, but was 2008, 125,000 miles, solid body, frame, smooth transmission, smooth 4x4, etc. Tried to teach him to wrench on his own, take care of his truck, be responsible.

air bag light was on and A/c system not working. Used car dealer fixed A/C (plugged canister) and we drove it home. After lots of study/trial error got the air bad light off by figuring out the repainted door was actually from a 2006 and the sensor didn't match what the computer in the 2008 was expecting. Fairly simple fix once we could figure that out.

Since then it has been one thing after another. We doggedly fixed them all:
-winter time slide outs by inexperienced 16 year old driver took out front bumper, fog light, headlight and front fender. Found local place that ordered aftermarket parts and painted for us and we did remove/replace. Replaced headlight from junkyard.
-noise at the front end (oh no, not the dreaded water pump!! but water pump/fan tight) Lucky, it was only the idler pulley and an easy first mechanic job for my teen-age aspiring mechanic.
-manifold developed exhaust leak, my son learned how to change this (even how to extract snapped off manifold bolts)
-soon after engine coolant temp light came on. Can't get to the sensor as it is buried under manifold shields, evap system. Son got to take this all back off and then couldn't get wrench on the sensor. He hacked a open ended wrench in half with grinder and got through that one. Put new EGR valve/body on
-Cold start exhaust fan on bottom side failed. Lines full of water (from bad valve on EGR). Installed used fan, replaced relay, checked wires, replaced EGR valve. Engine light fixed
-Needed brakes and rotors all the way around (expected)
-inner tie rod, upper ball joints (had shop do this). Dust boots are missing on lower ball joint, future project. Alignment done (of course my son had to take out the front wheel well protection so his bigger tires will fit...) Did I mention wheel spacers?
-fix loose exterior door handle (bracket rusted). Trim around inside door handles needed replacing (they keep popping off as fast as we replace them) Inside door handle from replacement driver door was chrome, rest are not so put a matching chrome inside handle on passenger side. Son learned how to get doors apart and back together several times...
-This winter, in a blizzard, driving in heavy snow, in 4HI front wheels locked (yep, forgot to check fluid in front differential and gears went dry/welded to intermediate shaft) Shop could not get CV axle out despite cutting it in half. Second shop struggled but got did get carrier/activator out. Activator cracked, was able to put junkyard carrier/activator in, plus while they were there put in new CV axles both sides up front.

This forum has been so great in helping research all of this. I had a huge problem finding correct seals for the carrier. The names for 'inner/outer' are confusing and the parts stores online do not always specify. When I get time I'm going to start a thread with pictures and proper part numbers. NAPA just got a new line of seals (FAG brand) and they now should be able to get the seals you need if you know what you are asking for. stay tuned...

-Engine started running funny and stalling as if not getting enough juice or battery dead. Alternator tests showed overcharging. Battery tested good. Was able to put in a new alternator and that problem solved.

by this time hoping we have all the bugs out and we can get some reliable driving. Keep remembering all the people who said these engines are bullet proof and go 200,000+. Used trailblazers commonly selling with 180K miles or higher... Come on, come on!!

-Son decided to do a little off roading and hit a puddle. Engine died. He was a ways from home, didn't want to admit he may have wrecked his car. Him and buddies opened air system, dried things out. Got it to turn over slightly and then got it to run. Pretty loud knocking at first. Oh no... Engine light on. Knocking fades a bit, no loss of oil pressure or power. Was able to drive home.

changed oil, no water or shavings. Engine code was misfire cylinder 4 and multiple random misfire. Cleared codes, they did not come back. Knock is more of a metallic clatter, follows rpm exactly (slow at idle going up and down exactly with rpms) No change in character of sound with engine load or not. Present equally with cold or hot engine. Does not get louder or softer with different rpms, just slower and faster matching slow/fast rpms.

Listened to lots of similar clatter on youtube and can rule out water pump/loose fan, anything attached to the front belt. Sound is louder behind passenger wheel, but heard also in front and behind driver wheel. Clearer from bottom of engine not top. Closest sound on youtube is a spun bearing. I can't find a recording of a trailblazer with wrist pin clatter on youtube.

This youtube is the closest sound (sharp metallic click click) I'll try to embed this youtube link next:

oops, first time posters can't share links. I'll do it in my next post :)

I'm new and can't figure out how to attach a mp3 file of the sound recorded through my cell phone.

Question Time:
If this is spun bearing does a puddle with water intake through wheel well into air intake set up for wrecking the bearing? Does wrist pin or bent connecting rod or piston slap sound similar to spun bearing?
My son can't afford to pay a shop to tear it all down to prove which item is making the noise and it sounds like all the bad piston/rod/connector/bearing related clatters are going to lead to a engine overhaul or a donor engine going in. I think either of these are off the table as it will be a big bill, more than car is worth. I'd love to see him learn how to do a motor transplant but he doesn't have tools or experience yet.

Yet, he has put so much into it, new rims and tires, etc etc. Do we sell as is for a big loss, try to part it out (to give more experience in disassembly and teach him not to abuse his car if he can't afford to fix it?)

My only hope is rarely someone has found a clatter is flywheel noise or bent or broken flexplate which isn't as disastrous or expensive to fix. Can I diagnose that myself or tranny has to be loosened?

Sorry for the lengthy post, it has been 9 months of constant learning and battling to try to keep this rig going.

He says, I should have got an old rusty truck, at least all of this would not have gone wrong and the repairs would not be so unsual (who ever heard of the intermediate shaft going THROUGH the oil pan???) He has a point...

:(
I used to love my trailblazer I got an 07 4 by 4 LS biggest piece of garbage I've ever owned in my life I've dumped more money into this crap truck and now I've got so much in it I can't get out of it ...run run run I've been a Chevy driver all my life my dad worked at Chevy when I was a kid when I grow up in Detroit, I'll never buy another Chevy again, first motor let out of the hundred six thousand miles second motor let out a reman brand new and the crate let out at 30,000 miles now I got 19000 miles on my third motor another crate motor that they put in under warranty that Atlas motor is a POS! That's why they stopped making it this truck ruined me for Chevrolet and possibly GM for life. I've never found a foreign car in my life 54 years old but I'll be damned if I'm giving General motors another dollar,then after I thought about it and started calling up all my old buddies I grew up with that work for GM that all told me it was a POS and they would never buy that truck.
There's my opinion,so to recap I have $14,500 in a truck that has a hundred sixty-five thousand miles on it not including the original purchase price... That I'd be lucky to get three 3000. For I'm going to drive it till the wheels fall off light it on fire and scrap it and film It all.
 

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So, it is still setting in the driveway... What to do. Can someone tell me the possible pros and cons of finding someone to put a new motor in? I'm aware that you can buy a 'crate motor' but does this mean all the accessories, wiring harnesses, hoses, belts etc are stripped off? If I get a motor from a local junkyard is that worse or better? What year trailblazer or envoy can I get a donor motor from if my truck is a 2008? Finally, there are local back yard mechanics who will offer to take my old one out and put a new one in but I'm worried about their experience and ability to do it correctly. A engine shop is quoting north of $1500 for labor and then it appears that a crate motor with similar miles to what we have now (about 140k-145k) is another $1400 to $1500. Hard pressed to decide if that is worth it or not. Anyone have advice? Do we give up since we don't know for sure conditon of tranny either or do you put a used tranny in at the same time the engine is out because you are that far already?

Hoping someone has been through this already with their 16 y.o. and can advise...
My reman crate motor from Jasper cost me a total of about 6,500. installedoil pump failed at 30,000 miles while I was going down the highway at 80 miles an hour destroyed,Jasper warrantied it but of course I was at the end of my two year warranty so a month after I had the motor change I had no warranty.
 

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2003 gmc envoy_sle
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Thanks for replies. You are correct, a lot depends on how my son TREATS and drives it. Up till this point he didn't treat it very well, but now I think it is dawning on him that he can't use it the same way one would use a ATV to go offroading. I think he is ready to put some money into it if he can drive it again.

If we get a 2006 or 2007 engine how much different is the engine or why is it different? I'm just seeing lots of used engines but very few 2008 engines. And I didn't know there was too many 2009 models out there at all? Did they make it part of a year in 2009?

Crate motor means remanufactured but that is usually about $3000! I meant a used motor prepped for install that is sold by a used parts dealer or junk yard and usually is picked up on a pallet ready to be installed. There is a big variation in price so there must be a variation on how badly they hack it up when they get it out of the donor vehicle?

I'm seeing prices of about $1200-$1450 depending on mileage.
Oh ok. In my experience, a crate engine is a new engine of higher HP than stock, up to, and including racing engines. All of the big 3 have them.
 

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I wasn't trying to start anything. I was just pointing out that for me, hearing the phrase 'crate engine' was used in a way to control costs in racing, by having sealed engines, in about the late 1990's, and for using a new, factory built, high performance engine for replacement or custom uses.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Probably not the best use of the word 'crate' For me crate meant rebuilt engine since there are no new ones anymore. I was not interested in a upsized or bored out engine. I meant more a donor engine removed from another vehicle but then was concerned about how hacked up the donor motor might be and how many other accessories, hoses, belts, wires, gaskets etc would need to be repaired or replaced before being put into our truck. But now that I have learned that it will have to be a 2008 or 2009 engine that limits the options.

How long or how many 2009 models were actually made? I have never come across a used one in my neck of the woods and one would think the newest model would be in better supply as less of them have failed yet?
 

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Probably not the best use of the word 'crate' For me crate meant rebuilt engine since there are no new ones anymore. I was not interested in a upsized or bored out engine. I meant more a donor engine removed from another vehicle but then was concerned about how hacked up the donor motor might be and how many other accessories, hoses, belts, wires, gaskets etc would need to be repaired or replaced before being put into our truck. But now that I have learned that it will have to be a 2008 or 2009 engine that limits the options.

How long or how many 2009 models were actually made? I have never come across a used one in my neck of the woods and one would think the newest model would be in better supply as less of them have failed yet?
The newer models, I would think would be rarer because people would want the lower miles engine.
And terminology is a weird thing sometimes. I've been involved in racing, nearly all my 64 years and I still used to run across people talking about something on a race car that I have no clue what they are referring to, until they explain to me, and realize in my area we called it something different. It happens a lot here too, about street cars.
 

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So, it is still setting in the driveway... What to do. Can someone tell me the possible pros and cons of finding someone to put a new motor in? I'm aware that you can buy a 'crate motor' but does this mean all the accessories, wiring harnesses, hoses, belts etc are stripped off? If I get a motor from a local junkyard is that worse or better? What year trailblazer or envoy can I get a donor motor from if my truck is a 2008? Finally, there are local back yard mechanics who will offer to take my old one out and put a new one in but I'm worried about their experience and ability to do it correctly. A engine shop is quoting north of $1500 for labor and then it appears that a crate motor with similar miles to what we have now (about 140k-145k) is another $1400 to $1500. Hard pressed to decide if that is worth it or not. Anyone have advice? Do we give up since we don't know for sure conditon of tranny either or do you put a used tranny in at the same time the engine is out because you are that far already?

Hoping someone has been through this already with their 16 y.o. and can advise...
You've already got a JUNKYARD ENGINE so why buy another one? You have no idea of the service any used engine might have had - or if it's been underwater or maltreated.

Oh yeah - the JY will give you another junk engine if the one they first sell you is bad - but YOU get to replace it --- again.

Used is a crapshoot. It's your time/money.

Have fun.....
 

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sorry to hear about the trouble your having.

I have a 2008 as well. been a bit better than your experience, knock on wood. should remind you to check and replace, transfer case fluid and rear diff fluid as well. not to mention the trans fluid check.

does it get better? good question. no real answer,.as they age these vehicles are and can be money pits.
^ absolutely they do age and components have finite lifespans. But TBs age a lot slower than many if not most cars out there. Average mileage when things start needing attention us around 170k, at least in my experience.
 

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Engine shop was not particularly worried, which I found strange. They did say these 4.2 straight 6 are a beast to work on. Perhaps they had plenty of work and didn't care so much about my particular situation. They expected to hear a loud rod knock but standing outside the engine it was less noticeable. I would say over the last 2 days progressively it is getting a little quieter.. How can that be? Only thing I did was to change oil and added a little oil and gas additive (mystery oil) based on recommendation on this forum.

I do have a consistent misfire code on cylinder 6 (back one). Last night I swapped coils and misfire did not follow. We put new plugs in about 4 weeks ago and I pulled plug #6 and inspected, it was very clean, gap was correct.

Engine shop did not test drive or do any tests. They revved engine to hear that the noise was consistent and followed rpms without changing character with rpms or after letoff of the revs of the engine. They recommended I go home and do a compression test. They suspected it still could be a valve noise or lifter noise or similar damage in cylinder #6 after a presumed slug of water came into cylinder 6. If water comes in the intake does it tend to take out a certain cylinder before the others? I would think all of the cylinders would get wet at once.

What compression should I look for and I assume there is a range that I will find to be 'normal' on cylinders 1-5?

If it ends up being a top end noise we may actually switch gears and try to pay someone to diagnose and fix. Engine is 140,000 miles, tranny seems to shift smoothly, fluid clean/red, I haven't dropped tranny pan to inspect health of transmission but that would be another thing to consider as it is the next big ticket item that could deep-6 this car.

Thanks to all for your help
^ while the 4.2 motor is fantastic, it does have a huge Archilles Heel. The front driveshaft goes through the oil pan and any major work requiring the front engine cover to be off requires the driveshaft to be taken off out of the way. As long as there is no work involving that 'Damocles sword through oilpan' the engine isn't too bad at all to work on.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
yeah that system was torn down when the front differential was removed and replaced. Now facing possible transplanting a used engine and the costs associated. The shop that did the front differential would charge $1400 to take out blown engine and put in a junk yard engine. They however know that the bolts related to the front differential will all be easy to remove as they were just in there working on them.
 

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Have you looked around for a wrecked donor truck? I have a neighbor/friend that owns a wrecker shop and i bought a wrecked one from him that the previous owner gave him (including the title) because he didn't want to pay the $150.00 +/- towing bill. As you know, your replacement engine can come out of a two wheel drive truck...since ALL 4.2's have the
hole in the oil pan" for the 4WD option and they all use the same front suspension.
 

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GM decided to set the engine lower in the frame than they do in most of their other vehicles to combat the "top-heaviness" of the body in these models, and in order to have 4WD options available, the oil pan hole was necessary. My 2002 2WD EXT has the same hole in the oil pan as the 4WD model, and other than a few issues it's doing pretty well for bumping 190,000 miles. I'm sure as she gets older, I'll have to deal with some issues, but that is why I bought the complete donor truck that runs OK. In fact, I'm contemplating getting another EXT with a locked engine "on the cheap" and loading the wrecked one's engine/tranny combo into. That is...IF I can get a great body for around $700 here in Louisiana!
 

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Discussion Starter #38
This is a great idea and one I'm working on. The junk yard will sell me a 2008 matching engine from a wrecked car with only front end/frame damage for about $1300-$1400 (120K miles on the donor truck if I recall). I'm looking for a running car that someone is selling due to rusty body or bad tranny. The limiting issue is that we can only use a 2008 or 2009 donor. I found one about 60 miles away with bad tranny but still drives, engine has about 170k miles, ours has 150k.
 

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This is a great idea and one I'm working on. The junk yard will sell me a 2008 matching engine from a wrecked car with only front end/frame damage for about $1300-$1400 (120K miles on the donor truck if I recall). I'm looking for a running car that someone is selling due to rusty body or bad tranny. The limiting issue is that we can only use a 2008 or 2009 donor. I found one about 60 miles away with bad tranny but still drives, engine has about 170k miles, ours has 150k.
Please don't blame the engine for it's demise. After all, the reason it "grenaded" was directly caused by it ingesting water because your son got "smart" and took the inner fenders out to put larger tires on it. In hindsight, he should have installed a body lift if he wanted to put taller than the largest factory 17's (that came on my EXT).

In hindsight, I did some foolish things with my first ride many moons ago, so I won't be too hard on him. And to be honest, the 2008 motor was the one that GM finally got the "stupids" out of! Look at the ignorant hybrid fan clutch (half electric, half hydraulic) that GM put in the earlier models (and thanks to it's computer programming) won't allow us to convert to the 2008 model without an expensive computer hack!

To be honest, if you have the room in the garage/shed, having HIIM change the engine himself (with your help) would be a great learning experiance! My dad and I worked on all our family cars when I was in my teens, and that knowledge has been very valuable ever since!
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Yes sir, CERTAINLY it was the water intake that did this and not the engine's fault. In fact, that is what makes it hard for me. So many used trailblazers with 250K or more makes me think the motors with good care can go a long way. If I get a junk yard engine at 120k miles and it could go another 100,000 then that would be worth it, especially if my son decides he now likes his trailblazer and would like to take better care of it. I would feel a bit better if I knew how the motor was cared for before the car was crashed and ended up in the junk yard but no way to get a history on that motor. I wish in a way they could repair the hole in this current block as we know a lot about the recent upkeep and repairs of this motor and we bought it due to having low miles. We would then keep using this motor.

I like the improvements of the 2008 model year and most 2008 cars would have a better chance of having less miles whether we buy a used one and have a parts vehicle on hand or we use the motor for the existing TB.

My son definitely has some growing up to do. I was thinking of having him do the work himself as he says he likes hands on things and is in a high school skills program learning diesel technology. But I can't help him and I don't have a spare barn or stall in the garage to leave it in for months. Also he unfortunately a few months after this incident suffered a work injury and amputated part of a finger. We have been dealing with that setback in his life more acutely than any loss of his car. It is hard to tell a teen ager to stop using his finger, or to care for it properly, or to keep it clean, or to not be allowed to swim or do water sports. He is starting to learn the lessons that life can give often with hard knocks. In his case it started with a loud knock in the car. He sees his trailblazer parked for weeks in the driveway and now says he kind of misses that car. I think pride of ownership is starting to come back and now he wishes he hadn't done the stupid thing of trying to get through the puddle, or rev it so much when it was cold, etc.
 
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