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Author Topic: Safety inspection prep  (Read 392 times)
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buickwagon
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« on: 12/22/17 09:58 AM »

Now that I have been here long enough to post pictures, this is what I bought this past summer:









The vendor's mechanic said it needed a lower ball joint, rear brake backing plates, parking brake shoes and both rear parking brake cables to pass a safety inspection. So I bought the vehicle and bought the parts. I installed the 2-piece Doorman backing plates without too much hassle. I found an upper ball joint also needed replacement. I installed the rear brake cables, and was trying to adjust them when things started going south, starting with the front brake cable breaking.

Ok, no problem, bought a new one. While installing that, I noticed a rust hole through the driver's footwell, pulled up the carpet and discovered this mess of lace:






I ordered a new DS floorpan. The next day, when heading off to pick it up, my brake foot went to what was left of the floor! Ok, blew a brake line somewhere above the frame under the driver's seat, let's get it up on the ramps and see what I'm dealing with. Put the ramps in place, go to start it and...

Starter motor died. Instead of a bus bar, there was a stranded cable between the starter and solenoid. It was nothing more than green corrosion at this point.

So, new starter and order an upgraded ACDelco brake line kit. (that I read about here). In the meantime, back to the floor:







In the process, I separated the shifter cable, and the poodle clip broke. I checked every parts source in the area to no avail. Not even the dealer could get them! The only source I could find was McMaster-Carr (https://www.mcmaster.com/#94751A754) and they won't ship to individuals in Canada. Ok, I set up a paper company and ordered a package of clips...

By now, the brake line kit was in.


A nice thick coating to protect the lines, pre-bent, with fittings already flared on. What's not to love?

Well, the fact that the lines are run between the frame and body, for one thing. As others here have attested, it is necessary to remove the DS body mounts and loosen the passenger side ones before jacking the DS body off the frame a few inches. This is more complicated on the Avalanche than a pickup truck since the Avy body is all one piece.

Lots of cribbing , hydraulic rams, wedges and some custom jack extensions came into play:











There were a couple of minor cracks to the rear bumper cladding. It obviously bumped into something in it's past life. So out came the plastic welding equipment:





I was getting a periodic SES light. Using my Tech2 and some helpful posts here I tracked it down to two problems: the EVAP purge solenoid and the rear knock sensor.  Whichever epsilon-minus semi-moron engineer who decided the knock sensor should be located under the manifold needs to be taken out back and shot. Not wanting to go in there twice, I replaced both sensors and the harness and added the RTV recommended in the GM bulletin about this problem.









The DS seat was well worn and literally bursting at the seams. A friend of mine who has a side business making boat tops and upholstery volunteered to make up new covers, using the old ones as templates:







So now, just when I almost have things back up to spec, some dingus in the Home Depot parking lot, something hanging out the back of his or her vehicle, backed into my nice mint sheet metal!



ARRRGGGHHH!

New tail light and Z71 decal has been ordered, but it'll probably have to wait until spring now...
« Last Edit: 12/22/17 04:24 PM by buickwagon » Logged
Vaeagleav
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« Reply #1 on: 12/22/17 10:56 AM »

Looks like you have things well in hand. I'm sure you are frustrated over the new damage.
Are you planning to treat and undercoat your AV to prevent further rust?
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redheadedrod
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« Reply #2 on: 12/22/17 12:05 PM »

It isn't necessary to jack the body up to do the brake lines but would have been easier to do before you replaced the floor pan on the drivers side. I did this job this summer and the only issue I had with my brakes is it can be difficult to get the brake lines lined up properly where they go over the frame to the ABS unit. Not sure it is worth jacking up the frame though.

I was scared of breaking some of the mounts and causing other issues. But then again I plan on doing a frame off restore on my truck in a few years and making it into an off road vehicle. So I will be going back in and redoing the brake lines and putting them where they belong.

Looks good so far though.

Rodney
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buickwagon
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« Reply #3 on: 12/22/17 12:54 PM »

Yes, I had it sprayed with an annual dripless undercoating after the safety inspection.

New rules in Ontario require the brake lines and mounting points are "OEM equivalent" which is being interpreted to mean they must follow the OEM routing and utilize the original mounting points. The days of running new lines tie-wrapped to the frame in more convenient locations are over.
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« Reply #4 on: 12/22/17 06:54 PM »

Nice work...

Glad to see someone keeping an old Avalanche on the road..
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« Reply #5 on: 12/22/17 09:36 PM »

X2 Good job so far.
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buickwagon
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« Reply #6 on: 12/23/17 07:42 PM »

Santa came early this year:



With shipping and taxes, it came to just under $60, which I thought was not too bad. It even came with bulbs installed and a wiring harness!

Speaking of bulbs, I'm going to update the reverse lights to LED projector bulbs. This truck has dark tint all round and I can't see bugger all backing up at night unless I open the windows. Not much fun when it was -28 out the other night.

I should have the decal Tuesday morning. But the body and paint work is definitely going to have to wait until spring.
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« Reply #7 on: 12/24/17 03:50 AM »

If you don't want to mess with changing the backup lights to LED you might want to consider installing a backup camera system which would be good in daylight as well as nightime etc. to increase safety.
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« Reply #8 on: 12/24/17 06:59 AM »

you might want to consider installing a backup camera system which would be good in daylight as well as nightime etc. to increase safety.

I've considered that -- and still haven't ruled it out as an additional measure, if I find the right solution. There is a big blind spot behind that tailgate even if the windows are open and the rear glass removed. However, around here winter driving means the entire rear of the truck is usually coated in frozen brown slush or snow, rendering the traditional camera locations useless. Additionally, while a rear counted camera would undoubtedly aid in hooking up a trailer, I think it is of limited value when towing a trailer. Both those points would be better addressed by locating the camera in the area of the 3rd brake light, but then we're back to the blind spot behind the tailgate.

I'm similarly undecided about the display and how to best integrate it. I've seen units that replace the factory rear-view mirror. I can live without the compass, but prefer not to lose the exterior temperature display. Another option replaces the factory radio, but I don't know if there are any such units that are also compatible with the steering wheel controls and rear seat entertainment system.

All in all, changing 2 bulbs seems less complicated for now.
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« Reply #9 on: 12/24/17 04:03 PM »

....

I'm similarly undecided about the display and how to best integrate it. I.....

Search Cubby Cam.
Old member made these systems and may still have some for first gen trucks 2003-2006.

http://www.chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php/topic,91419.0.html
http://www.chevyavalanchefanclub.com/cafcna/index.php/topic,107812.0.html
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« Reply #10 on: 12/24/17 06:36 PM »

There are many options available for backup cameras and monitors. In my 2004 AV I used a small cubby cam dash monitor with the camera mounted in the area above the hitch receiver. I looked straight back and worked well for backing up to my bass boat trailer in all conditions but hard to determine distance to trailer at times (no distance marks).
On my 2008 I have the factory head unit with navigation in dash that is hooked up to the factory camera in the tailgate bezel. The larger screen and slightly down angle of monitor seems to make it easier to determine distance to a trailer and so far no problems with vision. I assume you could wipe the lens if covered in grime when you are walking around cleaning the windows before you drive off?
I prefer the larger screen of a GPS screen vs. the small rear view mirror monitor or even a cubby cam monitor.
Some members with first generation AVs swapped out the factory head unit for a unit with a flip out screen and liked that setup. Only thing to check out with that is to see if you can disable the automatic flip out function so you don't hit the shift lever when in park. Otherwise you may have to shorten the shift lever so the screen can clear or only turn system on when in gear.
A site like www.crutchfield.com has great customer service and can set you up with the right head unit/monitor and camera for your aplication, just give them a call...
If you don't want to go through all that you could consider a dash mounted GPS with many functions such as backup camera with adding optional camera in a system like this one from Garmin:
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/552032

camera link:
https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/501486
« Last Edit: 12/24/17 06:40 PM by Vaeagleav » Logged

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CarMech1969
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« Reply #11 on: 12/26/17 10:42 AM »


New rules in Ontario require the brake lines and mounting points are "OEM equivalent" which is being interpreted to mean they must follow the OEM routing and utilize the original mounting points. The days of running new lines tie-wrapped to the frame in more convenient locations are over.


First, all the grief you went through to fix all the problems you had, and then ^THIS^.
Things are getting way too political in this province.
I think I'm glad that I no longer wrench for a living here.
My ticket hangs on the wall and gathers dust.
I'll be damned if some overbloated bureaucracy dictates to me how the job is to be done.  Beating
They can go sit on a cactus for all I care!!

That all being said -

Congrats to you for getting it done and making it happen, despite the nonsense.
Merry Christmas, and happy holidays!!  Thumbs up!

CarMech1969
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buickwagon
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« Reply #12 on: 12/26/17 01:16 PM »

If you don't want to go through all that you could consider a dash mounted GPS with many functions such as backup camera

An intriguing suggestion. A quick google search suggests the image quality (or perception thereof) is borderline, but the idea is to see if an object is hiding back there, not read the best before date on said object.

Wiping snow off the camera lens before departing is not a problem or issue. But at this time of year, any vehicle around here is grey again a block after leaving the car wash. I'm thinking any camera lens mounted near a license plate will be of limited use by the end of the trip. But I'm guessing, and don't really know. How do any actual owners that live in the rust belt find it works out?

First, all the grief you went through to fix all the problems you had, and then ^THIS^.

I can see where some of the new regulations are reasonable, but the pendulum swung too far for sure, especially the restrictions and limitations regarding sheet metal repair. I think there will be unintended consequences, especially in less prosperous regions of the province.

However, what really p!$$ed me off was the tires: there was lots of tread life left (6 or 7 32nds), but some tiny checking in the root of the treads. After I jumped though all the hoops above, the mechanic said the tires wouldn't pass.

I bought my snow tires early and kept the old tires. Just need to find a set of rims for this spring... 
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buickwagon
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« Reply #13 on: 01/10/18 05:24 AM »

Speaking of bulbs, I'm going to update the reverse lights to LED projector bulbs. This truck has dark tint all round and I can't see bugger all backing up at night unless I open the windows. Not much fun when it was -28 out the other night.

These projector bulbs arrived yesterday. Definitely a whiter, brighter light. But even so they don't fully overcome the dark window tint between me and my mirrors.

I prefer the larger screen of a GPS screen vs. the small rear view mirror monitor or even a cubby cam monitor.

I've discovered that the 7" Magellan GPS that came with the truck has an AV input jack, intended to accept their backup camera. Unfortunately Magellan has discontinued their wireless backup camera system, but any camera should work, right?

I'm still debating mounting location. The license plate or tailgate area would be the best coverage, with no blind spots; but that area is consistently coated by the end of almost any winter weather journey. On the other hand, the area of the 3rd brakelight above the rear window is always showing black plastic and potentially could be more useful for backing a trailer -- but would have a blind spot behind the tailgate and I'm not sure what all is involved in getting reverse lights power to that area. I read somewhere that it might already be brought up to the rear view mirror on the Avalanche, so maybe it's a simple matter of running a couple of wires above the headliner?
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