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Author Topic: What did you do to your Avalanche today?  (Read 1036879 times)

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Z66Modder

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5150 on: December 23, 2019, 19:41:00 PM »

I found a leaky transmission oil cooler line... Problem seems to be pretty common right where the rubber line meets the hard line near the radiator, might cut off the OEM fitting then flare the line and use a hose clamp instead of buying new.. 

Mod it! Mod it! Mod it!
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EXT4ME

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5151 on: December 24, 2019, 08:47:24 AM »

I just picked up my truck from the shop from having all of the exhaust manifold bolts and exhaust gasket replaced on the right side of the engine.

Several weeks ago, I had that shop replace the bolts and gasket on the left side.

I obviously had a broken bolt that you could clearly see on the left side and I was having the typical cold start tapping that went away in short order as the engine warmed up.

While doing the first repair, a couple of other bolts broke on the left side and had to be extracted.

All of these bolts are getting old.

After picking the truck up from the first repair, I was still having random tapping that would once again go away in short order as the engine warmed up.

Sometimes, there would be no tapping at all for days on end.

Then, out of the blue, a cold start would produce the hard tapping.

I felt I had narrowed down the latest tapping to the right side of the engine, but all of the bolt heads appeared to be in place.

I could see what I felt was a sooty scorch mark on the gasket above the rearmost right hand exhaust port.

The tapping sound seemed to be coming from that general area, until it slowly quieted down and quit as the engine began to warm up.

Each time I took the truck in, the owner of the shop thought I was wrong and was convinced the sound was from a leaked down lifter.

They acted as though they had never heard of an exhaust leak tap situation and said a leaking down lifter would often cause the random tapping noises I was hearing.

I thought that was strange but the shop has been around for over 30 years and has a good reputation in the community.

But, what do I know.

He could be right.

I told them that may be the case, but I wanted to have all of the bolts and the gaskets replaced before we started talking about removing heads and digging into changing lifters and all that comes with that type of repair.

I figured if we have to start removing heads, then the bolt extractions would still have to be done.

Might as well get the old 15 year old bolts and gaskets taken care of now and see if that helps.

When they performed this current repair on the right side, they did find a broken bolt and it had to be extracted.

I have my fingers crossed that this was the source of my tapping and I can put this annoyance behind me without having to dive deeper into the engine.

Even with the tapping at it's worst, the engine ran smoothly all the way up to when the tapping stopped and beyond.

I would think a leaked down lifter would cause it's own set of problems with engine runnability.

The engine appears to care less that it is making a tapping noise.

But if the tapping returns, I will have to revisit the shop and set up a time to investigate further and possibly get the other repairs done.

With my recent surgery, I will be on a driving restriction for a few weeks, but I plan to go out and start the truck and hopefully not hear any tapping.

I could really use a little good luck here.

Time will tell.

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2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Z-66 1500, Victory Red, Dark Charcoal leather, cladded. Carpet matched 60/40 Mid-Deck Mod. Firestone Destination A/T ROWL.

Calicak89

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5152 on: December 24, 2019, 08:58:43 AM »

Watched as my 08 puked fuel out onto the ground from on top of the tank somewhere. I think it might be time to cut myself an "access panel". :E:
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roadrunner777

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5153 on: December 24, 2019, 09:16:23 AM »

I was just thinking about posting today...  I guess I'll join in.

A few days ago, a minor misfire showed up on cold idle.  Later it became a check-engine light.  Scanned codes, no surprises, 'Random Misfire'.  No biggie, we have to drive it to the next town for Christmas, it'll be fine, right?

I get up early this morning to fuel up, and there's a low coolant message.  Ok, I haven't topped it off in a year, I can live with that.  I fill the tank, add a gallon of antifreeze, jump in and it won't start.  And I know exactly what it is... hydrolock.  Cracked head, bad head gasket, who knows.  I had it towed to the shop, I'm in no position to do major engine work.

Thing is, our other car is already at the shop with a different problem.  So, a few calls, Christmas is going to come to us instead.  I have an old '94 Explorer which is basically rusted beyond recognition, but it runs, and after some fiddling, I got the 4x4 working.  So, we have something for the short drive to work until we get our better cars back.  Actually, pondering where to draw the line on the AV repair vs junkyard.  Hate this, it's a nice looking truck and it's great when it runs, but I have put over $2.5k in repairs into it already this year... third time in the shop this year. 
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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5154 on: December 24, 2019, 09:32:47 AM »

Dang, 'tis the season.

EXT4ME - I hope the exhaust bolts solve all your needs.  I know mine need replacing, along with my Cats most likely, but I just don't want to go there now.

Calicak89 - will you be able to replace the nylon lines with the access panel?  I don't see how I could have done mine with a panel which makes me glad I dropped the tank.  It wasn't that bad really.  Also, check the fuel lines on frame rail.  Mine burst after I replaced my fuel pump and nylon lines this summer.

roadrunner777 - I feel your pain.  We have four cars for three drivers and we had to carpool this summer.  Hopefully it's nothing too major with the Av.  If it is a head and it's in otherwise good shape, could you get a new Jasper engine for not too much $$$?
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Vaeagleav

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5155 on: December 24, 2019, 09:40:38 AM »

I know how you feel roadrunner777,
Knowing when to let a vehicle go is a hard thing that only you can decide based on your budget and reasons for holding on to the vehicle (monetary common sense v. emotional attachment) etc.
The custom car/ hot rod market is full of people that have spent $100,000 or more on a vehicle that may only fetch $50,000 or less at auction.
I look at it as when a vehicle is new it costs very little to run on a daily basis, then as mileage increases or time goes buy things start to wear out and it needs replacing yet it still is cheaper to replace parts then to buy a new vehicle. Once you replace the major things then it doesn't cost much to run for awhile unless you fail to do preventative maintenance on things like body/frame rust. Then you could have a relatively new drive-train with the body or frame falling down around it.
Trick is to take care of things while they are a small problem then to let it get bigger. Think of it this way even if you spend $5,000 on rust removal and restoration it is still cheaper then a new truck and you have a long family history with it that you can pass on to the kids.......If on the other hand you don't have a love for the vehicle and it's family history then it can be a hassle especially as a daily driver.
Good luck with your decision.
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BainMan

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5156 on: December 27, 2019, 08:33:34 AM »

Installed a brass gear and motor in the passenger side view folding-mirror yesterday, hopefully I don't have to mess with that side ever again!
https://www.gruvenparts.com/gm-power-folding-mirror-gear-replacement-repair-instructions/

I've been backing out of the garage, putting it in park, rolling down the passenger window and stretching way over to push the mirror back into position every time I'd arrive home or leave, it was awesome this morning just pushing a button!
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Z66Modder

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5157 on: December 27, 2019, 10:09:52 AM »


I get up early this morning to fuel up, and there's a low coolant message.  Ok, I haven't topped it off in a year, I can live with that.  I fill the tank, add a gallon of antifreeze, jump in and it won't start.  And I know exactly what it is... hydrolock.  Cracked head, bad head gasket, who knows. 

Being how you have a 2002 Avy, you may have the dreaded Castech cracked head. From 2002-2003 there were some hair line cracked heads made that didn't show up until a lot of heat up cool down cycles caused the crack to spread. One symptom is mysterious coolant disappearing. Another is milky white oil when looking in the valve cover oil fill port.  There was an extended warranty but I'm sure we are way past that time frame.
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roadrunner777

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5158 on: December 28, 2019, 06:04:16 AM »

Yeah, I was talking to a car parts manager with a lot of experience on this.  He does this kind of work on the side and he told me to absolutely expect cracked heads, between the valve seats.

The shop I don't really trust gave me estimates as follows, time and labor:
Head Gaskets: $2,400
Used engine < 150,000 miles: $3,400

Assuming I need heads, the head gasket job goes up to about $3,200

This reminds me of a girlfriend I once had... just beautiful!  Smart!  But, in the nicest way I can say it, high maintenance.  (No, I never had a girlfriend like that, kidding).  But, with a few days gone by, the mental pluses and minuses for this truck have settled, and the math doesn't work to repair and keep the Avalanche.  I'm off to look at a newer Trailblazer at around $2k.... the AV will get some money for trade-in.  So, unless you hear from me otherwise, farewell dear and too new friends.  I was really hoping this would work.  ~Phil
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old skool

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5159 on: December 28, 2019, 15:06:41 PM »

Watched as my 08 puked fuel out onto the ground from on top of the tank somewhere. I think it might be time to cut myself an "access panel". :E:

Is it throwing a code?
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EXT4ME

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5160 on: January 18, 2020, 16:00:26 PM »

A while back I had purchased a tool to cut open oil filters.

I had not had an opportunity to use it until today.

I changed the oil in the EXT earlier this past week and I set the filter aside.

I changed the oil in the Acadia today and I had a chance to cut open both filters.

I was absolutely shocked to see the amount of stuff that was settled in the bottom of the NAPA Platinum filter that came off of the EXT.

The Acadia filter, also a NAPA Platinum, had no such deposits.

Both vehicles use Mobil 1 5W-30.

The EXT had right at 5K miles on it since the last oil change.

The Acadia was at 35% left on the oil monitor and I am not certain of the miles.

I changed both of these earlier than what I normally do, mostly because I had the time and the weather is currently nice.

Both filter elements were intact, but obviously black and dirty.

The oil that came out of each engine was black, but I did not notice anything that appeared to be unusual.

The area in the bottom of the EXT's filter can was completely full of .... stuff.

With the internal parts of the filter removed, this stuff would not simply pour out of the filter can.

I used a flat blade screwdriver to dig the stuff out of the filter can.

The top layer was a thick, black goo.

Almost like a tar.

The bottom most part of the stuff almost seemed dryer and almost looked like having a consistency of a thick fudge brownie.

Damnest thing I have ever seen in an oil filter.

I plan to change my oil again at around 50% for the next time or two and I will be cutting open all of my filters from now on.

If the stuff continues, I may look at a different oil to see if that makes any difference.

For anyone interested, here is the Engine Motor Oil Filter Cutter Tool I bought and used to cut open the oil filters.

I really don't know what to make of all of this.

 ???
« Last Edit: January 19, 2020, 22:53:06 PM by EXT4ME »
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2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Z-66 1500, Victory Red, Dark Charcoal leather, cladded. Carpet matched 60/40 Mid-Deck Mod. Firestone Destination A/T ROWL.

Z66Modder

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5161 on: January 19, 2020, 20:41:50 PM »

Interesting, I will start doing the same and slice them open.
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roadrunner777

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5162 on: January 20, 2020, 03:15:12 AM »

Fine black deposits - carbon silt from combustion, worn piston rings.  If you really wanted to pursue this, you could do a compression test on all the cylinders in both engines.  A stuck PCV valve could cause a vacuum condition in the crankcase and cause/aggravate the problem.  And if you were really obsessed with this... hate to say, that silt is probably collecting in the oil pan too. 

I mean, this is normal for a high mileage engine.  The oil is transporting the silt to the filter by design, and the silt is being trapped at the filter by design, at least the oil that is well circulated.

But, these are all just guesses from a distance.  If you really want a definite analysis, you can get that.  Send a sample of the old oil to a lab, cost about $20.

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EXT4ME

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5163 on: January 20, 2020, 05:47:05 AM »

Fine black deposits - carbon silt from combustion, worn piston rings.  If you really wanted to pursue this, you could do a compression test on all the cylinders in both engines.  A stuck PCV valve could cause a vacuum condition in the crankcase and cause/aggravate the problem.  And if you were really obsessed with this... hate to say, that silt is probably collecting in the oil pan too. 

I mean, this is normal for a high mileage engine.  The oil is transporting the silt to the filter by design, and the silt is being trapped at the filter by design, at least the oil that is well circulated.

But, these are all just guesses from a distance.  If you really want a definite analysis, you can get that.  Send a sample of the old oil to a lab, cost about $20.

Thanks.

All good points.

I had considered having a sample of one of the next couple of oil changes sent in for testing.

With 235K on the engine, I have no doubt there is going to be appropriate wear for it's age.

I think I am more curious as to how much stuff I will see during a shorter oil change interval.

I'm thinking a much shorter oil change interval may become standard procedure from now on.

Which wouldn't be a bad thing anyway.

At the moment, I am not too interested in going nutz over having the engine rebuilt to address this issue.

I have the tools to perform a compression test and it may be a good time to install new spark plugs anyway.

The engine runs really well right now, but if it was running poorly, then I would certainly be considering my options.

I think I may have a look at the PVC valve.

If I remember the last time I had a look, the PVC valves are now a orifice type device, as opposed to the old style with the movable internal valving.

I seem to remember just giving the old one a through cleaning the last time I looked at it, but it's been years.

Maybe it's time to toss in a new one for good measure.

I had already considered the blow by issue as most likely being the source of the deposits, given the age of the engine.

There is already a story I haven't yet told about finding a huge amount of gunk in the bottom of my oil pan some time ago when I had my oil pan dropped for a different repair.

Perhaps, someday I will gather my notes and create a thread describing that.

There are some pictures in my gallery showing what we discovered in my oil pan back then and having gone back and reviewed those pictures, I believe what I found in my last oil filter is simply more of the same.

There have been several oil changes since that time.

We ran an endoscope up into the oil pan during one of those oil changes to see if any more mystery deposits had formed.

None had and I did not feel the need to use the endoscope on this oil change.

I will on the next.

This is the first oil filter I cut open.

I will be cutting all of them open from now on.

We shall see.
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spidey

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5164 on: January 20, 2020, 08:35:55 AM »

Replaced my blower fan, decided to officially die when it was -35 out.  So had to drive around a few days so the part could get in.

Easy enough to do at least.  The other one would work and then didnt.  Was a dead spot on it, and an low speeds with it out of the housing you could see it.
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EXT4ME

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5165 on: January 26, 2020, 02:20:27 AM »

Busted out the bucket and soapy water.

 :thumbsup:
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2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Z-66 1500, Victory Red, Dark Charcoal leather, cladded. Carpet matched 60/40 Mid-Deck Mod. Firestone Destination A/T ROWL.

EXT4ME

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5166 on: January 28, 2020, 14:38:19 PM »

Spent the afternoon installing a new oil catch can.

I was curious if I could get a sense of the engine oil blow by after finding the oil filter clogged up with goo.

I figured the catch can couldn't hurt and I am already planning on installing one on our GMC Acadia, primarily because that truck's engine is direct injection and gunk build up on the back side of the intake valves is a real issue with those.

Back to the EXT.

Man, was I glad I decided to install the oil catch can.

When I got all of the plastic engine beauty covers uninstalled (The Cadillac's have three. The one over the center of the engine and two more over each of the valve covers), I located the PCV tube on the driver's side valve cover.

That PCV line is a plastic tube with 3/8" rubber tubing at either end.

One end attaches to a tube sticking out of the rear of the driver's side valve cover and the other end attaches to a port on the top of the intake manifold, sort of toward the middle rear of the intake manifold.

I found both of the rubber end pieces to be cracked and leaking.

The rubber piece at the rear of the valve cover was the worst and it was leaking oil down the back of the engine.

On the passenger side of the engine, there is another PCV hose.

This one goes from a port on the upper center of the valve cover and it enters the intake manifold right behind the throttle body.

I'm thinking this may be where most of the crud that accumulates on the back side of the throttle body comes from.

I found the ends of this 3/8" rubber hose were also badly worn and leaking.

I installed the oil catch can on the driver's side using new ACDelco 3/8" PCV/Fuel line hose and attached to the ports on the driver's side valve cover and the top of the intake manifold.

A new section of the hose was installed on the passenger side.

After seeing what I found today, I am considering also installing another oil catch can on the passenger side.

I can confirm that there is a strong suction at these locations at engine idle.

I suppose that is a good thing. 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2020, 14:41:38 PM by EXT4ME »
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2004 Cadillac Escalade EXT, White Diamond, New Shale front seat leather from The Seat Shop. WeatherTech FloorLiner DigitalFit. Powerflow Pro-Fit Splash Guards. Carpet matched 60/40 Mid-Deck Mod. Arnott/Bilstein front shocks and rear air shocks with Arnott air compressor kit. Continental Gatorback belts.  BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport LT.
2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Z-66 1500, Victory Red, Dark Charcoal leather, cladded. Carpet matched 60/40 Mid-Deck Mod. Firestone Destination A/T ROWL.

BainMan

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5167 on: January 28, 2020, 14:57:42 PM »

Nice work EXT4ME, let us know what accumulates in that can.. I know what you mean about direct injection on that Acadia, I spent hours scraping the intake valves clean on our Traverse with ~180k on the clock while I was changing the intake manifold gasket plugs & coils... I guess I should consider the catch can on it too.
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frito

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5168 on: January 28, 2020, 19:21:22 PM »

Spent the afternoon installing a new oil catch can.

I was curious if I could get a sense of the engine oil blow by after finding the oil filter clogged up with goo.

I figured the catch can couldn't hurt and I am already planning on installing one on our GMC Acadia, primarily because that truck's engine is direct injection and gunk build up on the back side of the intake valves is a real issue with those.

Back to the EXT.

Man, was I glad I decided to install the oil catch can.

When I got all of the plastic engine beauty covers uninstalled (The Cadillac's have three. The one over the center of the engine and two more over each of the valve covers), I located the PCV tube on the driver's side valve cover.

That PCV line is a plastic tube with 3/8" rubber tubing at either end.

One end attaches to a tube sticking out of the rear of the driver's side valve cover and the other end attaches to a port on the top of the intake manifold, sort of toward the middle rear of the intake manifold.

I found both of the rubber end pieces to be cracked and leaking.

The rubber piece at the rear of the valve cover was the worst and it was leaking oil down the back of the engine.

On the passenger side of the engine, there is another PCV hose.

This one goes from a port on the upper center of the valve cover and it enters the intake manifold right behind the throttle body.

I'm thinking this may be where most of the crud that accumulates on the back side of the throttle body comes from.

I found the ends of this 3/8" rubber hose were also badly worn and leaking.

I installed the oil catch can on the driver's side using new ACDelco 3/8" PCV/Fuel line hose and attached to the ports on the driver's side valve cover and the top of the intake manifold.

A new section of the hose was installed on the passenger side.

After seeing what I found today, I am considering also installing another oil catch can on the passenger side.

I can confirm that there is a strong suction at these locations at engine idle.

I suppose that is a good thing
OK, gotta do it  :nopics:
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Bumblebee - '03 Z71, FTDRL, All On High, Sail Panel LEDs, Bumper Cup Holders.  Decisions, Decisions...

EXT4ME

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5169 on: January 29, 2020, 08:51:47 AM »

OK, gotta do it  :nopics:

Here it is.



I mounted the oil catch can on the plastic housing for the under hood fuses.

I placed a couple of large washers on the mounting screws on the inside of the plastic cover box, for added strength.

This location allows for easy checking of the oil can dipstick and also for removal of the catch can cup for emptying.

You should be able to see where I routed the hoses back under the brake booster and along the firewall.

I used black zip ties to hold them together and they are routed to the rear of the plastic engine beauty covers.

I will have to determine a good mounting location for the passenger side catch can.

Since the first gen trucks do not have a standard battery in the location the second gen trucks use, I may try to see if that area would be a good location.

Note: In case you missed it, I provided links for both the oil catch can and the PCV hose I used for this project in my post above.
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2004 Cadillac Escalade EXT, White Diamond, New Shale front seat leather from The Seat Shop. WeatherTech FloorLiner DigitalFit. Powerflow Pro-Fit Splash Guards. Carpet matched 60/40 Mid-Deck Mod. Arnott/Bilstein front shocks and rear air shocks with Arnott air compressor kit. Continental Gatorback belts.  BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport LT.
2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Z-66 1500, Victory Red, Dark Charcoal leather, cladded. Carpet matched 60/40 Mid-Deck Mod. Firestone Destination A/T ROWL.

BainMan

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5170 on: January 29, 2020, 12:30:29 PM »

EXT comes through again!
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2010 LTZ 4x4

frito

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5171 on: January 29, 2020, 13:16:52 PM »

Here it is.




Note: In case you missed it, I provided links for both the oil catch can and the PCV hose I used for this project in my post above.
:thumbsup:
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Bumblebee - '03 Z71, FTDRL, All On High, Sail Panel LEDs, Bumper Cup Holders.  Decisions, Decisions...

No Tyme

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5172 on: January 29, 2020, 16:34:19 PM »

Nice work EXT4ME. I had a catch can on my 14 Silverado and about every two tanks I had to empty out a good 1/4 cup or so. Never thought of putting one on my 13 AV, but your workmanship is nice and has given me another project.
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2013 Avalanche LTZ Black Diamond Blue Topaz Metallic W/ Summit Performance 2 1/2" lift, Hollander 5308ís wrapped with 275 65 R 20ís Coper Discoverer HTPís, DZ TailGate assist, Sound Ordinance powered sub, AVS Vent Visors, Firestone Air Springs, Husky Liners, cool white interior LEDís, JDM Alstar backup lights.

Formerly 2005 Avalanche Z71 Silver Birch

EXT4ME

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5173 on: January 29, 2020, 16:43:13 PM »

Nice work EXT4ME. I had a catch can on my 14 Silverado and about every two tanks I had to empty out a good 1/4 cup or so. Never thought of putting one on my 13 AV, but your workmanship is nice and has given me another project.

Thanks.

I appreciate the kind words.

 :thumbsup:
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2004 Cadillac Escalade EXT, White Diamond, New Shale front seat leather from The Seat Shop. WeatherTech FloorLiner DigitalFit. Powerflow Pro-Fit Splash Guards. Carpet matched 60/40 Mid-Deck Mod. Arnott/Bilstein front shocks and rear air shocks with Arnott air compressor kit. Continental Gatorback belts.  BFGoodrich Advantage T/A Sport LT.
2003 Chevrolet Avalanche Z-66 1500, Victory Red, Dark Charcoal leather, cladded. Carpet matched 60/40 Mid-Deck Mod. Firestone Destination A/T ROWL.

No Tyme

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Re: What did you do to your Avalanche today?
« Reply #5174 on: February 2, 2020, 12:27:44 PM »

Thanks.

I appreciate the kind words.

 :thumbsup:

Well I went and did it. Ordered one in Blue for my 13 LTZ. Should be here this week Tuesday. I see that you "EXT" bought extra hose for your catch can install. Why is that, did the kit not have enough?
« Last Edit: February 2, 2020, 12:36:05 PM by No Tyme »
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2013 Avalanche LTZ Black Diamond Blue Topaz Metallic W/ Summit Performance 2 1/2" lift, Hollander 5308ís wrapped with 275 65 R 20ís Coper Discoverer HTPís, DZ TailGate assist, Sound Ordinance powered sub, AVS Vent Visors, Firestone Air Springs, Husky Liners, cool white interior LEDís, JDM Alstar backup lights.

Formerly 2005 Avalanche Z71 Silver Birch
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