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Chevy S10/GMC S15-Sonoma: Problems & Solutions

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Comments

  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Okay - I will try and answer this to the best of my Memory (I did this on my '01 S-10 almost a year ago. The handle is a cheap piece of plastic. Once you get it apart you can immediatly tell why it snapped.) Anyway, replacment is simple. If you don't have a new door handle the best way to get one is off E-bay. You can go to the dealer but you will probably pay several times what it is worth. I bought mine from an E-bay store called S-10 Wharehouse or something like that. I think I paid like 20-30 bucks. I can't remember, but it was brand new. You might also try a salavage yard but I wouldn't trust this particular part because it is already so flimsy that a used one is pretty prone to being snapped. For that matter a new one is pretty prone to being snapped the first time it is used :).

    Anyway, now on to replacement. You have to undo the bolts bolting it to the door and you also have to take off the panel on the door. If it weren't the middle of the night I would go out and make sure I was looking at the right things, but the bolts are all torx bolts. T-50 or T-45. The panel snaps off, but you have to undo the seat belt anchors. Once you get those off if you are fairly mechanically inclined you should be able to pull the old handle off the latch mechanism and put the new handle in in it's place. It was pretty straight forward for me and I didn't have any real problems. I had never done it before nor did I know what I was really doing, but I just jumped in a started removing bolts that were around the door handle and looked to see what might need to come off to get to where I needed to be. (not the most recomended way, but as long as you remember what came off where and put it back the way it came off you should be fine :))...

    If you don't want to go through all that you can just leave the handle broken and pretend that you don't have a third door, since the new handle will probably break again right away. Luckily mine hasn't and it has been probably a year since I replaced it but I will not be surprised if it breaks again. I know people you have replaced the 3rd door handle 3-4 times.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I have a question that maybe some one can point me in a direction of where to start. I have an 01' S-10 Extended Cab LS 4.3 Vortec motor 2WD. I have an electrical issue with the right rear turn signal/brake light. The tail light works, but the turn signal/brake light do not. The hazard light also does not work on that side. The front turn signal works but it blinks rapidly. Before someone says to change the bulb and the reason it blinks rapidly is to alert the driver that there is a problem, that is the first thing that I checked. I have changed the bulb to no avail. I bought new bulbs, swapped out the bulbs and nadda. I then pulled apart the other side thinking that per chance I purchased the wrong kind or possibly a bad set and pulled the working bulb from the driver's side and still nadda.

    My first thought is a bad connection at the tail light assembly it self, but then why does the tail light work? I am think that it might have something to do with the turn signal switch housed in the steering column? But there again, why would that affect the brake light? Is it possible that is could be located there? I hope not because changing that particular switch is a pain because I dont have the reverse torx bits to pull apart the steering column.

    I am thinking that there is a short some where else because I do not have a hazard, brake or turn signal. All three are affected. I would think that if it were just a signal or hazard light problem, it would be located in the turn signal switch, or if were isolated to only the brake light, it would be a brake sensor switch, but since it is all 3 I am stuck... Please help if anyone has any ideas. Thx.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Okay - I feel like a moron but maybe my experience will help others not be so dumb. :) I fixed my problem. It was a 2 minute fix as long as you look for the right thing. It turns out it was a blown fuse in the fuse relay center under the hood. But did bother to check that before diving in with a test light and crawling under my truck and caking my self in dried mud and dirt while fiddling with the wiring? NO!!! At least I checked the fuses under the dash first, but finding no blown fuses under the dash I proceeded to crawl under the rear of my truck which consequently the wire housing and connectors are covered in dried mud which flake off and rain down upon me everytime I touch them.

    I had wired in a trailer connector a couple of years previously and so that is where I thought my problem might lay so I disconnected the harness and put all the factory wiring connectors back in and tried that but to no avail. Then I tried test lighting everything to figure out which wires ran where (I did have a Chilton in the house but didn't bother to consult it until after I had no luck with the test light). It was after consulting the ever reliable Chilton and crawling back under the truck to trace the wires back to the front of the truck (I was looking for any connectors that may have a wire that broke loose or came undone. I figured it was a long shot that a wire had frayed since they are all wound up together in electrical tape and encased inside plastic wire protectors, that I figured the only place for a wire to go bad was where it connected to other wires :) ).

    Any way, I traced the bunch of wires up to the front of the truck and then I realized after seeing where the wire bunch was heading what I had forgotten to do... :) DOH!! I crawled out front under my truck, and pulled the cover off the fuse relay center and viola! There is is labels plain as day a fuse for RT TRN SGNL. A 10 amp fuse that when I pulled it out had blown. Lucky for me I had a spare 10 amp fuse and 10 seconds later I plugged it in and WOW. My turn signal, brake light and hazard light all worked!!! I felt (and still feel like a moron), but at least I didnt take it into the shop for them to charge me an hours worth of labor to change the fuse! :)
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I don't think you will have a problem bolting it in - I believe all the mounting bolts and such are the same from an S-10 bumper to the GMC Envoy (you are talking about the GMC Jimmy Envoy I assume and not the much larger Trailblazer/Envoy sisters?). If so than the bumber will bolt up - at least it should. But you are going to run into a problem with it matching up with the S-10 grill. The front ends from the GMC to the Chevy are drastically different. The GMC (especially the Envoy has a wide mouthed open grill that cuts down in to the bumper and a single headlight/turn signal combo. You know what the Chevy looks like :)...
    Anyway, the best way to tell what I am talking about is try to get both the Envoy and the S-10 side by side and you will immediatly tell that the bumper will not directly fit. You said that customizing is cool soooo.... if the ends of the bumper match up under the turn signals of your truck and all you have is a gap under the middle of the grill where the bumper dips down, than you might be able to mold a filler piece attatch it to the gap and fill it in. That of course depends on your customizing ability and how good you are. Your best bet might be to transfer the whole front end over (I have seen this done). You might need to change radiator mounts for the headlights not sure as I have never done it myself....
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Okay - this might be a no-brainer question, but I have a 4.3 2001 Ext Cab 2wd S-10. The truck is paid off and I would like to keep driving it until the wheels fall off. I have very few problems with it. About the only thing I have done to it is replace the 3rd door handle and the A/C compressor. (The new compressor still rattles like mad, but it works so oh well). I bought the truck used with 26K miles on it in 2003. I now have just over 70K miles on it. Regular 2500-3000 mile oil changes with Valvoline oil and Fram filters. Tranny fluid changed at 40K. Still need to change the Diff fluid. Coolant being changed before summer. Fuel filter changed every 25k miles.

    I have been doing some investigation of different types of oil and I have always believed that you are not supposed to put synthetic oil into a motor once it passed the 50K mark as it has been conditioned to run on regular motor oil. I have been faithful about the oil changes and the type of oil used. Would I see any benefit to switching to synthetic oil at 70k miles and would it extend my engine life, or would I be best to stay with my Valvoline 3k oil change regime? I have also used high milage Valvoline in the past with my 95 4.3 and I switched to that because I was losing about 1 quart every oil change. (Whether this was due to the front main leaking or whether it was burning the oil I don't know since once I my oil loss stopped after I switched. The front of the motor and the oil pan remained covered in gunk, as I was afraid that the gunk was creating a partial seal and if I cleaned it off I would create an oil leak. Since I was no longer losing oil and I wasn't dripping on my driveway, I didn't bother with it. The truck was well abused before I bought it so I don't know what kind of history it had.) Anyway, I switched oil types in that vehicle to see if it would help my oil loss problem and it did. But I have been told that if I do not have any problems and I don't, than it was not neccesary to switch. I might lose 1/4 of a quart between oil changes which is normal. The fact that I didn't lose any oil after switching to high milage on my 95 4.3 with 100k on it is amazing.

    I don't want to do any undue damage to my vehicle, but would like to be able to run to at least 200k. If I can do that with regular motor oil I would much prefer that as it is less expensive, but if switching to high milage or even synthetic is okay and will help it make it there better, than I am all for the switch. Any thoughts on this would be helpful. THX! :)
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Another question for everyone out there. I have an '01 4.3 auto trans. ext cab 2wd. The gas mileage seems to be suffering - I am only getting 14-15 mpg. The truck has about 70k on it. I have read reports that there are people getting an upwards of 24 mpg with the 4.3 in the crew cabs, but I find this a little hard to believe - especially in the 4wd heavier truck. However, I do know that 14-15 in this motor is too low and it should be getting close to 19 hwy and about 16 city if not 17. I had a '95 4.3 and it had the older TBI fuel system. It was 2nd generation Vortec. (I think the '01 uses the 3rd generation Vortec?) Anyway it was a "Z" coded motor mated to the Getrag 5 speed manual and I could get about 18 city almost 19 if I was really nice and 22 sometimes 23 on the hwy. Would an automatic tranny drop my mileage all the way down to 14 mpg?? There has got to be something that I can do pretty simply to cure the problem? I would think that even with an automatic tranny, the newer fuel system should be able to at least achieve the same or better than the older one even with an automatic. At the very least come close to being the same. I have changed air filters, run proper air pressure in the tires, run fuel injector cleaner through the injectors frequently, but it still seems like I am getting less than I should. Any tips?? I expect to get about 16-17 in city and about 20 hwy.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    What size motor do you have? And do you have 4 wheel drive? Obviously if you have 4x4 you have the 4.3 and getting the starter out is not a fun chore. I can help you on the 4.3 but if you have the 2.2 I'm not sure how to pull that one as I have never done it. I changed the starter on my '95 4.3 2wd. I would assume then that the '97 is basically the same even though they updated the motor in that year. I am assuming a lot here as I don't know what motor you have and the fact that my experience is based on a truck 2 years and different motors but since the motors still are basically the same, the starter location and removal process should not have changed. Also it has been several years since I changed the starter so my memory my be a bit fuzzy. So all in all I may not be much help but you can take what I have to say for what it's worth. For the 2wd, I had to use swivels to get around the motor mounts to get the bolts out. Then I had to undo both of them and drop the starter to get one of the bolts to drop past the mount. You do not have to remove the oil pan to get it out however it is a very tight fit to fanangle the starter past the transmission and frame. I had to disconnect the wires while holding it up with one hand and then drop it down to get it out. Installation was easier. This was for the 2wd. For the 4wd I believe you have to undo the motor mounts and then lift the engine slightly to get the starter to drop out. And then for the 2.2 I really have no idea. My best suggestion is to get a Chilton or a Haynes manual. The Chilton is by far the better one. It has saved my life many a time both on my '95 and my '01 S-10.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I just did a test on my truck to see what could be causing my mileage problem. I am currently testing it further as well. I drove over 400 miles in the past two days and averaged 21 mpg. Before I did that I didn't change the oil. I did however change the air filter. The old one wasn't horrible, but it still didn't hurt to change it. I have a K&N for it but stopped using it because I was told the oils in the filter can get into the combustion chamber and cause damage. If anyone can disprove this let me know. I didn't really experience a change with the K&N anyway so I went back to regular paper filters. I use FRAM filters and this time I used a Tough Gaurd one. We'll see if it helps. It was only a couple dollars more than the standard so I am not out much if it doesn't make a difference.

    Anyway, the driving I did was mountainous driving and I averaged 18.5 MPG on my first tank driving the up hills and I kept the truck at around 70 MPH. Sometimes 65 sometimes 85 depending on the road. Since I was climbing hills, I was usually in either my passing gear (I wish I could get the truck to stay in this gear while climbing hills), or I was in 3rd, so my RPM's were high. On my way home I filled up before I left and most of the way was downhill and flat ground. I kept to about 75-80 mph and averaged about 23.5 mpg. Those 2 figures come out to around 21 mpg and I will call it hwy since that is where I was when I did most of my driving.

    Before my next trip I am going to change the fuel filter and see if that does any good as well. I would like to see if I can get the mileage as high as 23 all the time. I might have to slow down to 60-70 mph though to do that instead of the 75-80 mph I was driving. To be honest I was surprised my truck did as well as it did as I had never been able to attain anywhere close to that mileage before. But then most of driving up to that point had been in town and I have a pretty heavy foot. I accelerate quite hard and that could have a major impact on my mileage. I will keep testing and see what I can come up with...

    If you have 185K on the motor that is impressive!! I would expect the mileage to go down some with so many miles on the engine, but at the same time, what is keeping it from attaining the mileage it used to get?? Sensors, and maybe even spark plugs and wires. Maybe switching to a slightly hotter burning plug and thicker wires and getting a heavy duty ignition coil might help the enging burn the fuel it recieves better?
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    $1000??? For a CLUTCH?? Yikes!!! RUN RUN RUN AWAY!! It shouldn't cost that much to replace just a clutch. Before I knew better I had the clutch replaced in my '95 S-10 which had the 4.3 for around $600. That was still a little high I think, but I was young and dumb then plus I didn't have a whole lot of tools to work with so I had it done by a shop. But... in your case, I would take it for a second opinion at another shop and have the guy drive it and then see what he thinks. Fill it with fluid and see if you can spot a leak anywhere. Was the clutch out of fluid or the tranny? If the tranny was out than you might have a bigger problem, but if not it might just be that the clutch needed a little fluid and you still might be okay.

    But anyways, here is what I would do. Like I said before, take it for a second opinion, and then a third. I would take it to a mechanic in the town where your son lives to limit how much he has to drive the vehicle. Once he gets all opinions, and if they all agree (which they won't), I would then decide to either have one of those mechanics do the work, or if you feel comfortable after have the problem throuroughly diagnosed, have him drive it home and have the work performed closer to home where you can take it to your regular trusted mechanic.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Just a quick note and correct me if I am wrong. Only 4x4 S-10's have the problem with the oil cooler lines am I not correct? I used to work in a lube shop and every single 4x4 S-10 (Blazer, Sonoma, Jimmy), the oil lines from the filter always leaked. This was on the 94-current, well now no longer produced. Yet I never saw anything leaking on a well maintained 2wd. The reason I ask is I own an '01 2wd with about 72K on it and doesn't leak a drop, but would like to take the preventative maintanence if I need to to prevent it from dripping if there are known trouble spots...
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    You probably won't be able to take the motor out of the camaro and just "drop" it into your S-10 unless it's a 305 or 350. They make kits to install those into the S-10 engine bay although it does take some cutting and redoing the radiator. But as far as taking heads off and using them on the camaro motor I don't think so. You have the 2.2 4 cylinder motor of which none of the parts are interchangalbe with any of the camaro motors. If you can find a 94-95 Cavalier (and it shouldn't be hard - they are cheap and throwaway cars), you can probably rob parts off the motor in those cars to make work with what you want provided that Cavalier also has the 2.2 motor (most of them did)
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Depending on what type of Hitch you bought it may not or it may work for you truck. There are several "types" of Class III hitch that are designed for the several different sized frames of trucks out there. You are right - you may have one too big or wide for the frame of a Sonoma. Generally the hitch will bolt on to the ends of the frame rails on the back of the truck. Sometimes as I did you have to drill a couple holes through the frame to get the holes to line up right. Then as an added precaution you can weld the hitch to the frame (only do this if you NEVER plan on removing the hitch.)
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Okay - I don't know much but here is what I do know... Anyone who has ever done this may know differently. It is a fairly simple process and it is really up to you what you want to do with the motor swap. I know that you have to modify the radiator and remove the clutch fan from the 305 or 350 and install an electric fan because of clearance reasons. I also know that you have to redo motor mounts on the frame to mount the larger motor. You can do fuel injection or carburated it's your choice. Fuel injection you have to worry about electronics and making sure you get a hold of the computer to control the electronics. Carburated is more simple in that you don't have to worry about all that except for the vacumn hook-ups. If you have the 2.5 you may have to swap the tranny and the rear end but they might hold up... The extra power going through them depending on which model it is... If its a 700R4 for instance you need not worry. It's not difficult, but you do need to know what you are doing and be willing to custom make a few parts to do it....
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I don't know if this will help, but I just did some radiator work on my '01 S-10 with a 4.3. You might have a cracked tank inside the radiator. From what my mechanic told me there are plastic tanks inside the radiator next to the core that are prone to breaking because they are plastic. I had noticed on my last road trip that I took that when I was stopped I would be leaking coolant from the front of the truck on the driver's side. I couldn't tell where is was coming from, but I didn't lose a lot of coolant - at least where I could tell, but I was able to smell the coolant burning off from somewhere and so I took it it... My mechanic told me this was common with the plastic tanks and the best way to fix it was to "retank" the radiator. He did that and I seem to have no problems... I have 76K miles on my truck and I beat it up pretty good.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    How high are you revving it and does it do it while accelerating? It could be the rev limiter cutting the motor to prevent damage... If it only does it in Park and Reverse (I assume you have an auto tranny because you said park and not neutral), than that is most likely. Also do you have a tach? IF your truck is not equipped with a Tach than the normal driver would not have anyway of knowing when the motor hits redline. It could be that if your truck is not equiped with a Tach then in park or in reverse when the motor is at high reve it has no way of relieving the stress placed on it. In Drive it would shift gears. But in Park or Reverse it can't. There is a Rev limiter in the computer program that will cut out the motor to prevent damage. I have an Impala that does the same thing. I haven't tried it in reverse, but while in Park, I cannot rev it to much more than 4 grand. (at least I think it's around there by listening to the sound of the motor) My S-10 with an auto tranny does not however it has a tach and a 4.3 motor. I would assume then that these factors change how the computer will control vehicular functions. Actually my 4.3 redlines at 5.5 grand and I have had it all the way up to 6(not on purpose) and haven't experienced the motor cut-out. I would be curious to know if there is a rev-limiter on my truck? Anyway that is not the point.

    I would almost bet that it is a Rev-limiter and there to safegaurd your motor. As far as the rattling goes - well that's the 2.2 for ya. It rattles like a diesel. That's just the way they all sound.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    It could be the clutch... It isn't fully releasing the tranny from the motor therfore the motor is still spinning to fast for the gear's to get into 2nd. Once you slow down enough to where you would need to shift into 2nd to accelerate it will go... I don't think it is the tranny, but I am wrong a lot so take it for what it is worth...
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I don't know if this will help, but I owned a 95 Sonoma a couple years back with a 5 speed manual. I blew it out (long story-bad mechanic put wrong shift tower gasket) and from what I remember the transmision is a New Venture Gear 3500. That is for the 4.3 Z code V6. The 2.2 motor used I believe either the Borg Warner T-5 or the New Venture Gear 1500. I think the NV Gear was used in 96 and newer...
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Here is what I will tell you about my truck - I am on my second S-10 in 5 years. Before you let that scare you let me let you know why I went with a 2nd S-10 after the first had problems? I bought a '95 with 70k on the clock and I should have shopped around more - it was beat to snot when I got it. It was not taken care of hence I had several problems right off the bat. I replace the entire front end, the clutch and the starter all before 75k. This I believe was not due to the build quality, but the maintanence issues. At 100k I traded in the truck due to a failed fuel pump and a severe ignition problem that would not allow the truck to be turned off with the ignition switch. (This was all related to faulty workmanship by the fellows who put in my clutch. To save space as this is already getting long I will leave it at that. Yes the fellows who put in my clutch managed to screw with the electrical system and one screw-up compounded and it's all downhill from there). Anyway, I bought a 2001 S-10 4.3 Ex-cab with 26k miles and have been fairly trouble free since.

    The S-10 pickup is a fairly solid truck. If you are looking at buying one make sure it has the 4.3 motor. the 2.2 is a piece of junk good only for Cavilier it was made for as it is junk too. The 4l60E Auto tranny they put in them is a fairly stout transmission. It is basically the same that is put in the full size trucks and the auto Camaros and Firebirds and even the Corvette is a varient of the 4l60E. So it is touch enough to do duty. I wouldn't be too shy about 40K but check to make sure all the fluids have been changed - inlcuding diff and tranny. Immediately change the coolant unless it was also recently changed. The Dex-Cool is a nightmare. I just had my radiator retanked (80k)(may have been coolant related). The third door is notorious for busting the latch and the seat levers also strip out fairly easily. My latch has broken twice, but my seat levers are fine. Others have also noted that the 4.3 will leak oil from the oil cooler lines around 70K but I have yet to see that on mine. I also know that the 4x4 is notorious for having bad ball joints. Since mine is 2wd I don't have that problem. The 4x4 also has a problem with the oil filter connection under the front bumper - every one that I ever serviced on the oil change line leaked.

    Other than those minor things, you really can't go wrong with an S-10. But I would really recomend that the motor be the 4.3 and also be Ex-cab as it gives more room without getting too big. Standard or Auto tranny is your preference - both trannys used were pretty stout... hopes this helps. A
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    The only thing you can do (besides changing the tire size again is have the computer reset - has to be done by the dealer or someone with the ability to access the computer program (most mechanics will have this computer, but it will cost you an hour's worth of labor). When you put your new tires on did you replace the factory size and what size was it? Was it the Extreme size which is 235/55 16 or the regular size which is 205/75 15. (I am assuming that you had one of these two tire sizes as the 4X4 uses a much taller tire and no one in their right mind would stich a 245/60 on 4X4.

    I had 245/60 16s on my truck when I swapped out the regular 205/75 15s tire and wheel and didnt change the speedo, but I racked up the miles as it said I was going faster than I was. I solved that by going to a 255/55 16 which is the same hieght as factory 205/75 15. the tire fit nicely under the truck and make it look realy sporty as well.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    this is probably beating a dead horse as much good advice has been given but I'll throw my two cents in as well... Check and or replace the simple and inexpensive stuff first -- cables first as they are relatively inexpensive and easy to check. I had a problem on my vehicle where I just installed a new alternator (it was indeed bad), but didn't bother the battery. The next day 50 miles in the middle of nowhere my truck will not turn over. (Luckily I had access to some simple hand tools and a Coke) I thought I had a bum alternator. Truck would not jump either. Checked connections and found a loose negative. Tightened that up and still no start. Still thinking bum alternator, but curious as to why no start with a jump. Battery was new within 2 years so I was fairly confident good battery, just too dead to crank over even with a jump. Pulled off positive and found corrosion all over it... had nothing to clean it with, but Coca-Cola (it honestly works!! :D ). Cleaned the cable and reconnected and whammo !! It cranked right over.

    So anyway, check the connections first and make sure they are all clean - replace any cables too corroded. While you are cleaning the cables, have the battery charging or take it to the local auto parts store to have it charged and or tested (most can do this for you and may or may not charge you - most won't). This way you can verify that all the cables are good, and then try again. If no go, make sure the battery is indeed good - if you had it charged at the auto parts store they should have been able to tell if it was a good battery (also making sure the water levels are good too). If battery is bad, replace it. Then if there is a no go, then you might have a starter/soleniod problem. Only then would I pull the starter out to have it tested. I know it sounds like a lot of work to go throug to have it diagnosed, but doing so might end up saving you a lot of money.

    From reading your statement, I would tend to lead towards a bad battery, or cable connection somewhere. You make it sound like you have a manual transmission and tried to start it by popping the clutch. It sounds like the battery was so dead that there was not even enough juice to get going - you need to have some power (even the slightest is enough) even with a clutch start with these newer vehicles and the electronic spark and computers. I experienced this with my last manual S-10 when I left dome light on all night and I couldn't even get it to clutch start. It had to be jumped.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    This may or may not be the same - but my Grandpa had a 1990 Sierra where the seats would fold forward without levers - in fact there were not any levers to speak of if I remember. I do know that if you pulled hard or suddenly the seats would lock (similar to a seatbelt locking), but normally they wouldn't. It could be the way your seats are designed as well... not a design "flaw", but the way it is actually designed ??
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    No Lemon for you -- AC Delco shocks are horrid -- never should have been placed on the vehicle. This has been true for all GM trucks from what I have noticed, although I pushed mine to 60K miles, I should have replaced them long before that. 3rd door handle - Same thing has happened to me - it is because the handle uses one tiny plastic knocker to push open both the top and bottom latch on the the 3rd door and usually if the door is adjusted properly, it will not break - but that requires making sure the door is properly adjusted and even then that is not a guarantee. I have also replaced mine once and now that one has broken. The handle is sitting on a shelf still as I have yet to put it in. I guess when the flimsy seat lever wears out I'll break down and replace the 3rd door handle so at least I can get behind the seat :D. (This is also a common S-10 problem) I have also replaced my A/C compressor. This was on a 4.3 motor so not sure if the same type, but could be possible that failures for this component are common? Also had to have my radiator retanked as well. Problem? The factory used plastic side tanks that are prone to cracking and breaking. My shop re-tanked with a more sturdy unbreakable kind (not made out of plastic). The water pump leaking out of the weep hole I can't help you with as I do not know much about the 2.2 motor. This could just be an isolated problem. The other problems are more common with this vehicle. I have come to call them quirks and while they have not been convenient, over all my experience with the truck has been great.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Hey Hey! Just went to the site you mentioned... It looks like the guy has a resolution to GM's junk plastic handle... I just ordered one and I'll see how it goes. I am on my 3rd handle now and his only cost as much as I have been paying for my plastic ones!! How can I go wrong. Better quality, same price, never breaks, I could have saved 90 bucks!! Well... 60 since I didn't have to pay for the factory one, but still....
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Just want to make a quick comment on my truck and see how often this has happened before... the rear the drive shaft on my truck came apart (U-joint I beleive from what my mechanic said). The truck has 88K on it. It's a 2001 EX-Cab with V6....
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Just replaced my 3rd door handle ! This time with an aluminum that replaced the plastic that keeps breaking! So far so good... This link http://www.3rddoorhandle.com/ will take you to a site where you can get one. It costs the same as a factory one and it should be the last one you buy. This is for anyone who has had problems with the 3rd door handle breaking.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Okay - I am about to break 100K on my '01 2WD ex-cab. 4.3 motor. So far no major problems. Here is the rundown of what has been replaced in 100K and 5 years. A/C compressor at 30K, radiator tanks at 70K, alternator at 70K and rear U-joint at 90K. I would say in that this is pretty good. It gets oil changed every 3K and all fluids were recently changed (except Tranny, but it's on the list).

    I am about to do the plugs, wires, cap and rotor and would like to know if what would be the best way to go... I have heard a lot hype about the Bosch Platinum 4-tip plugs or even Split-fire, but wondering if I would really see anything signifigant. Or if it would just be best to replace them with AC Delco Platinums. Also what wires should I use??

    One more question - I have noticed that in the last couple air filter changes I have had to change them every 6K miles. I do a lot of extreme driving so that is not that unusual, but what has been different than before is that they are black when I have changed them and not the usual brown dirty. It's not oily black, but still it's black crud... what would cause this and is it something that needs to be replaced like a PCV valve that is causeing this? Or is it normal?
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    LOTS of DRIVING - sometimes 5K a month. Usually around 4K. A lot of highway miles, but also several dirt road miles. Sometimes 20-30 miles one way and then I have to trek that back. In one road trip that will be 1500 miles, about 500 of that will end up on dirt. That could cause the air filter clog up I am experiencing. I've had my 2wd places a 4x4 shouldn't have been :D

    Anyway, I'll keep an eye on the ball joints. It could be related but the last S-10 I had I ended up replacing the entire front end at 70K from the tie-rods to the idler arm and pittman arm. I don't think I did the ball joints though.

    I have replaced the control arm bushing however and when my mechanic did so, he told me everything else looked fine - but that was 20K ago and several rough dirt roads ago as well so I am cognisent of those going bad...

    I think I'll try the Bosch 2 prong plug and see what it does... Can't be any worse than what I've got right?
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Been there done that.. :D Did it on a 95 S-10 several years ago... It's a pain in the [non-permissible content removed] and when I did it I used a short extension on a swivel attached to a longer extension with the wheel removed. I was real close to undoing the motor mount and jacking the motor up slightly.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Ha - that's a good idea... Maybe I'll take a blowtorch and make an access panel :D :D :D. If the fuel pump ever goes I think that is how I'll go about replacing it... I was underneath looking for a mystery squeak the other day (turned out it was the U-joint that I replaced at 90K) and noticed there are only about 6 bolts that hold it on and disconnecting the electrical. Having a buddy help me lift off the bed sure beats the heck out of trying to drop a half full (or full as my luck always happens to be) tank if gas.

    I used to change oil for living at a Wal-mart and would curse everytime a poorly engineered vehicle would make its way through the line (Toyota was famous, also Ford. GM had a few as well, but for the most part fairly simple process - meaning you didn't have to remove half the skid plates "Toyota Tundra", or cram your arm next to a hot exhaust "Toyota V-6 Camry", or turn the front wheel partially "Ford Crown Vic".) You would think that someone could design a vehicle that you could change the oil on with out making a mess all over the engine compartment (Skid plates, front diffs, exhaust manifolds etc etc.) Anyway, this forum ain't about oil changing gripes - it just came out while I was thinking aloud :D
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    But see... it's a double edged sword. It's a pain for us DIY's, but for the dealer they can charge even more for labor. They can tack on labor hours and charge more when things like that break because "it takes longer". So no matter what we lose - either pay the price to have a dealer do it (or a mechanic because they also charge by the job hour even though it may not take them the "specified" number of hours, or we can do it ourselves in our driveway and stand on our head to do it all the while cursing the engineer.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    awww ... the 5 minute Honda. You are correct. Honda's are probably the easiest. The others that I like were of course the S-10 with the 4.3 2wd, GM cars with the 3.1/3.4, Ford Powerstrokes 7.3 (not the 6.0), GM full size 2wd trucks (even with grease fittings). Several others were not bad and not too time consuming but......

    I hated hated Nissan trucks, Volkswagon Beetles, Toyota Tundra, Ford full size, Toyota Camry V6 (especially in the summer), Old Nissan Maximas with the 3.0 motor, Toyota Tacoma (especially 4 cyl 4x4), newer Toyota Celicas, Ford Vans, Chevy Cavaliers.... and there were more, but I'll stop there. (actually I should see if there is an oil change forum huh??? :D)
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    It means that you have Theftloc. Somewhere along the way, someone locked it using a 4 or 3 digit code. This Theftloc serves to prevent theft by disabling the radio should it lose power - i.e. in the event it is taken from the dash. Did you just recently replace the battery? Or have the battery go dead? Or disconnect the battery?

    If you know the 3 digit (it might be 4 digit - I can't remember) code than you can enter it in. Your owners manual should tell you. I can't remember how to do it since I never locked mine and I removed the factory radio several years ago.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    With a 3" lift you might be able to use the stock wheels but jump up to a 31x10.50 15. You might even be able to do 33's but I would recomend a wider rim (at least 8"). If you want a beefier look you need to get different rims with a different offset that will push the tires out a little from the fender wells. If you want to jump up in rim size you can go to a 16 inch rim with a 265/75 r 16 rim or even a 285/75 16. (This is a really meaty tire. I hope you have the V6 and not the 2.2. If you only have the 2.2 I wouldn't recomend anything larger than the 31x10.5. Actually if you have the 2.2 I would recomend you drop it back down a put the stock size back on. That little motor will just be wheezing to pull anything larger than a 205/75r15. - that just my opinion though :D Even the 4.3 V6, while it is stout motor, might have a fun time turning 33's or a 286/75r16.)

    Check out tirerack.com as they will have lot's of variations of which you can try. You would also be able to call and talk directly to someone who would talk to you one on one about what you can do. Or take the truck down to your local Discount Tire or Big O Tires or similar store and they can physically show you what you would be looking at tire-wize.
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Oh - I forgot to mention - as far as I know only the dealer can "Unlock" a locked raido with out the code. And it's also a chargable service.....
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    I would think - and any other tire/suspension nuts out there feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but I think that with a 3" lift you should be okay. The standard size on a regular 4x4 S-10 is 235/75r15 and so a 30x9.5 15 is roughly the same size as that. A 3" lift should lift you a little bit above standard 4x4 hieght - almost to ZR2 hieght if not to the same level I would think. The S10 ZR2 uses 31's as standard size, but it also pushes the wheels out a little for a more aggressive stance. I don't know if the 31 will rub with the tires set closer to the wheel wells, but I would like to think that you should be okay. Also since the 94 and the 95 use the same supension setup your 94 lift should work with minor, if any modification. Here again though I am speaking with out truly knowing, but 94 is when they redesigned the S-10 and 95 didn't change much (actually it didn't even change much from 93. I would almost wager that you could swap suspension parts from a 93 if you really wanted to.)

    So here is how I would gauge it - if your truck ends up sitting as tall as a ZR2 - go for the 31's. Most tire shops, if you are going to buy from them anyway wouldn't mind mounting a couple 31's and checking to see if they cleared fenders. If they don't clear, drop down to a 30x9.5 r 15. If they do clear you should be all set to go with the 31x10.5 r 15's. Just remember to adjust your speedo (either a gear change in the speedo cable, or a computer reset. Judging by the year, I'd say gear change in the cable), or else your speedo will read ALOT slower than you are actually going - your speedo will read 55MPH but you're going much faster. And cops don't by the "my speedo is off" argument very much anymore.

    If you want to see pictures of a lifted S-10 check out Ebay and search the vehicle listings. I just looked and saw a couple ZR2 models listed. I think this is the closest you are going to get to what your truck may look like. I would caution though, I have seen a few lifted 2wd trucks and for some reason or another the front always seems to be higher than the rear. Every single 2wd lifted s-10 I have seen has this problem....
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    The air bag light means that there is something wrong with the air bag- either a connection or a sensor or something of that sort. I would take it to a dealer or a mechanic with experience in air bags. I would be really iffy about messing with that as I would be afraid of accidently deploying the air bag.

    To replace the hood latch cable I would assume, as I have never done it, but that you disconnect it from inside the cab, thread it through the fire wall and disconnect it at the hood. I know several people who have taken the hood latch cable and redone it so that you reach under the bumper to pop it. On my last vehicle I had it just hanging inside under the dash and I used a pair of pliers to pop it. You can rig it in several ways, but if you want to do it "right", I am not too sure about that.... You know what assume means right? - I try not to assume anything because it makes an a** out of you and me... [non-permissible content removed]-u-me :D
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    hey - no prob... Just trying to throw info out there and sometimes it looks like it was the right info! :D
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    could be the blower fan inside the fire wall??? Had that issue on a blower fan on an older s-10... had some debris stuck in the fan that was catching on the fins every time the fan was on. Also GM A/C compressors on thier trucks are pretty rattly... the one on my truck (2nd one) sounds rattly and the previous one was rattly and the one on my last s-10 was rattly. Also I have noticed on my grandpa's full size it is also pretty rattly...
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Two torx srews on the top of the light... they do both side to side and up and down.... (I think... it was a while ago that I adjusted my lights and it is currently midnight and dark so not going to go out and check under my hood.... there might be another set that is accessible on the front of the headlight assemble just past the chrome trim ??? Not sure and can't remember. Will try to remember tomorrow to take a peek and see....
  • the_big_althe_big_al Posts: 1,073
    Hmmm ... just think off the top of my head and brainstorming a little... If the code says secondary air injection system malfunction maybe it has something to do with the air cleaner housing of the PCV valve that connects the the back of the black cover that sits on top of the CMFI?? This is assuming you have a 97 or later 4.3. It could also be that PCV valve needs to be replaced and is throwing a code?

    I'm just throwing ideas out because I don't know what the codes all pertain to, but just using some logic by going what the code says...

    If the air cleaner assembly is the main air intake, than a secondary could possibly be the vented gases that the PCV valve captures and routes back to be mixed with the fresh air coming throught the air cleaner assembly??
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