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Buick Rainier, Chevy TrailBlazer, GMC Envoy



  • For the TB LS owners who want the factory fog lights, search the internet for salvaged (totaled) 2002 TB's and get the factory fog lights. I got only the salvaged factory fog lights without the wiring or switch (already gone) and had them installed for only $100. The fog lights were $140 for a total price of $240. The dealer wanted $300 for the fogs, $600 for the wiring and $50 for the switch which totals to almost $1000!!! You don't need the factory wiring or switch. The accessories shop that installed my fogs did have to create brackets after they cut out the grills. The brackets have a screw in them to adjust the up/down angle of the lights. I'm very please with the look (exactly same as LT or LTZ). I can also use the fogs with my brights on. Just a on/off togle switch that looks exactly the same as the factory switch in the same place.

    I did get lucky because the dealer replaced the entire warping bumper under warranty. When the new bumper came in I had the grills cut out before the bumper was painted pewter. I also had the dealer find the TSB for fixing the loose bumper. 5 of 6 new '03 TB's on the dealer's lot also had the warping bumper.

    The factory fog lights are not the brightest but it does help to adjust them up (but not too high).

    Has anyone found hood bug guards that are clear or painted to match the colors of the TB's?
  • tblazedtblazed Posts: 945
    Sounds like we '02 owners got a deal. I went to and "built" my exact TB (2wd LS w/1SC) - was about $800 higher than my '02, but I did not take into account missing standard features. They got rid of the rear air on the 03's?? Also have to ask, what is "the SAB"?

    cmack4, as I recall from the description of the way those sleeves are put into the block, the cast-iron sleeves are super-cooled to make them shrink, then pressed into the block, then afterwards the sleeves (piston bores) are machined to spec. to a 1.5 mm thickness. The sleeve itself is not serviceable from that description. You'd have to replace the whole block or engine [non-permissible content removed]'y.
  • Looks like the honeymoon is over...
    Got home the other day from a 1/2 hr. trip (approx. 20 miles) and pulled into the driveway as usual. A short time later, I came back to the truck and noticed a puddle forming underneath, approximately even with the front passenger door.
    I bent down to see what was dripping, and from where, and noticed what appeared to be water slowly dripping from the frame.

    Since the car was parked at a mild up angle, the source of the drip must have clearly been from somewhere else, but where?

    All gauges read normal, ride and handling are fine.

    I am wondering if this is somehow coming from the A/C, and what the concern level needs to be.

    Any input appreciated.
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    You'll be happy to know what you experienced is perfectly normal! It's the A/C water condensation overflow. The only problem I would look for is to check if it drips on the hot exhaust pipe and makes a hissing noise. Over time that could make the pipe brittle due to the rapid cooling. It's close on all of the triplets, but normally doesn't hit. If it does, you'll want to adjust the water diverter.
  • Thanks for taking the time to read this. I learned after calling GMC that the 03 envoy does not have an outside dimming mirror as an option. I was told that this decision to drop the option was based on customer feedback, not problems with the dimming.
    My dealer said they would be happy to get a 02 mirror and install it so the dimming feature would work. I need some feedback on your thoughts on having this done, any disadvantage or advantage. Is it worth the time to have the dealer work on this at no charge to me ??
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    I would definitely have the auto dimming mirror installed... Jeez, the more I read, the more I see that GM really cheaped out on the 2003 models!

    You got me curious, so I just priced out my fully loaded 2002 Bravada as a 2003 model year... MSRP is up about $1500 do the option packages being broken up. Heck, even TMV has it pegged at $36,081... I paid $32,800, OUCH!

    It looks like the only thing they added were power folding mirrors to the Bravada. Did the other triplets get these? I'll have to stop by the dealer to figure out what all they lost.
  • zonkzonk Posts: 208
    Why are so many messages being repeated?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    The most common cause of repeated messages is doing a refresh on the page immediately after you hav posted your message. It's an "undocumented feature" in our software! ;-)

    To avoid this, navigate to another location in the Town Hall and back before doing a page refresh.

    SUVs; Aftermarket & Accessories
  • Well, I have the 1SC LS 4x4. For the backround information, SAB is "Side Air Bags" which are now optional for $300 not standard like in '02. My 1SC came with rear air, and it looks like now you have to get the LT 1SE package... upgrade with leather, DIC, Digital climate control.. blah... you have to spend about 4g more just to get the rear air I got. As for the power folding mirrors... not sure what you mean. I have power mirrors on my Trailblazer LS and they fold in(manually) is that what you are looking for? I havent figured out why anyone would put solid mirrors on something this wide.. =oP For all you other TB owners.. should try pricing yours out... hopefully this will help our resell value down the line since the price went up ~1500, and it seems that some of us have some nice (now)optional features... hehe
  • My other car is a 1996 monte carlo LS with the 3.1L V6 engine. From day one, it has been making a noise that is very similar to what you all are describing as "piston slap" - fortunately my Envoy XL hasn't started this "feature" yet. I even had the dealer offer to replace the pistons in my monte carlo at one point, to try to relieve the noise, after I had been complaining about it for over two years. This was after 35,000 miles. I have no detectable oil consumption between changes, and I now have over 80,000 miles on the car - 85% of which are highway. I religiously change the oil every 3,000 miles. The car rides like a dream, but every morning, during the cold startup, I am treated to the "piston slap" noise. After the engine warms up, it goes away. The noise is deafening every morning. However, as predicted by my dealer during my warranty period, there have been no adverse engine issues other than the noise. Could I have a mild case of this problem, with a very loud noise? I also use only 89 octane fuel, and run one tank of super 93 octane for every 4 tanks of 89. Could that be the secret? The higher octane burns warmer, and may be cleaning the deposits away from the cylinders? I used a similar fuel octane pattern with my wife's 95 blazer, and had no internal engine issues with it, either.
  • It's very common with the 3.1L. My wife has this engine in her '96 Lumina. My mom has it in her '96 Lumina as well. Both cars run fine and do not burn any oil. I'm wondering if in these (3.1L)engines it's not really piston slap at all. Could it be a noisy timing chain for instance?
  • TSB 02-08-62-001
    02 triplets prior to vin 22375120 (last 8 of vin)
    T/B - R/S 15184431 L/S 15184430
    Envoy - R/S 15184433 L/S 15184432
    Bravada - R/S 15184435 L/S 15184434
  • beach15beach15 Posts: 1,305
    Take a look at this dealer-made (maybe?) "Redskins Edition" Trailblazer EXT for (only!) $2,495! A little much I think for what appears to be no more than a fnacy pinstripe and a billet grille, but it does look nice regardless.

    Take a look:

    Oops, just took another look! They have 19 Majestic Red "Redskins Edition" EXT's. Is this a new limited option or something?
  • I want to get the auto-dimming,turn signal door mirrors that come standard on a SLT Envoy put on my SLE. Junk yards seem to have them for about $270/pr but is all the wiring there if I get them? If not what did you have to do to make them operational? TIA
  • tblazedtblazed Posts: 945
    Not sure about your theory. 87 burns faster and hotter than 89 or 93. Reason to use higher octane is if the engine can take advantage of it. According to a GM Techlink article I read engines set up for 87 will not automatically advance the timing past the preset point for 87. The higher octane gas resists pre-ignition or detonation under heat and compression and burns slower and cooler. Also allows more factory timing advance in "premimum-only" engines, and if someone puts 87 or 89 in one of these, it will detect knock and retard the timing to detune the engine for lower octane but regular gas vehicles won't go the other way. All gasolines sold regardless of octane or brand are required by the EPA to have certain additives to prevent injector clogging and intake valve deposits. Also have read that using 93 in an engine not set up for it can actually increase combustion chamber deposits. My 2¢ worth.
  • tblazedtblazed Posts: 945
    Yep I see what you mean about the SAB being (actually) a $350 option now as per went in and built the same '03 as my '02 and with the $350 for the SABs there's $1087 difference between '02 and '03 AND you don't get the other missing stuff either. When I bought mine was during the $2002 cach back campaign last January, now they have $1000 cash back so basically the same vehicle sans those deleted items would cost $2089 more! If they keep doing that ours WILL retain more resale value! I will not be in any hurry to trade up to another, newer TrailBlazer any time soon.

    "guess they weren't selling enough.." I think they were selling so many they are trying cutting features along with raising prices to see how far they can go before sales are effected. TrailBlazer is #2 seller behind Ford Explorer for mid-size SUVs and that's "0 to No.2" in less than 18 months.

    I remember a few months ago GM thought they would make Anti-lock brakes an option on a lot of cars after it was standard for years. Then I think public and media pressure helped put that to rest.
  • Does anyone know of any method to force a 2002 Bravada into AWD mode? I recently tried the Bravada on sand only to have the rear end dig in before the AWD kicked in. Once the rear dug in and the AWD kicked in, only the right wheel in the front received power (it spun in the sand) while the left remained still. Eventually the ABS light turned on which the dealer claims is normal. Does this (ABS light explanation) sound right?

    Also had a problem with a complete loss of power at 30 MPH. Engine would not restart. Had to pull / reinstall fuse to PCM to get engine to restart. Dealer contacted tech assistance center and found that the ECAS pump can cause a jolt to the electrical system that some PCM's can not handle. The only way to reset the PCM if this happens is to remove power from the PCM (pull the fuse). The PCM in my Bravada was replaced to correct this problem.

    Other problems experienced so far:

    ECAS system catastrophic failure (shocks collapsed). Dealer replaced entire ECAS system.

    Passenger mirror wander. Dealer replaced actuator.

    CD player displays "CHECK CD", stops playing CD, won't eject CD anywhere from a minute to several hours. Problem has not been fixed yet. Radio has been in shop for 4 weeks. Dealer refuses to install new radio.
  • For those interested in towing, my 2002 Bravada has a 4.10 rear end and I regularly pull a two horse bumper pull trailer. With both horses onboard, the trailer has a fully loaded weight of about 5,000 lbs. I found that keeping the transmission in 3rd gear (versus drive) while towing significantly helps maintaining speed and acceleration. Overall the vehicle does pretty well with this particular job. However, there are a few exceptionally steep hills that I encounter in which I can't exceed 25-30 MPH up hill with the trailer in tow.

    I also installed an electric brake controller under the dash. This was very easy to do once I located the 4 trailer brake wires (look for 4 wires taped together with their ends taped up under the dash on the left side of the driver wheel well) and connected those to the 4 wires of the brake controller.

    The ECAS system works really well with the trailer. Once I hook up the trailer and the rear end drops, it comes right back up to the proper height. The only catch was that because the Bravada was always bringing the rear back up to the proper level, I had to get a hitch with a 5 1/2" drop (versus a typical 2" drop) to keep the trailer level.

    I would really think twice about towing much above 5,000 lbs. I once trailered a horse that weighed about 400 lbs more than the one's I normally trailer (bringing the trailer weight to probably 5400-5500 lbs) and the effect was pretty noticable.
  • tlaurotlauro Posts: 504
    what you experienced with the drivetrain of the newer Bravada's is typical and can happen to any of the 02+ triplets. remember, the drive system is no longer a true AWD. It's an Auto 4WD system.

    the rear's are driven with a locking rear...which kicked in, and thus both rears spun. The A4WD does have a slight delay and thus it was probably too late....or you may not have noticed the front kicked in thus now power is going to 3 fo the 4 wheels. The ABS is used to control slippage on that 3rd wheel. If the ABS has Stayed on it could be due to the PCM thinking there is something wrong as you were still attempting to spin the wheel or causing it to spin. Not sure. Did it stay on or did it go out? There is no locker for the front on these models...different story all together. Paisan will like this thread.

    Nothing you can do really. The Bravada's are in A4WD drive mode at all times. The TB and Envoys are selectable.

    I've said this a few thousand times that the Viscous Clutch system, while not perfect was much nicer than our current set up. You could have still gotten stuck, but the likely hood would have been much less. SmartTrak is no longer what it was originally when the marketing dept named it.

    In sand, you'll want to deflate your tires to around 20-24lbs....again, Paisan can confirm the lbs, but deflation is key on sand.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Why doesn't GM which owns 49% of Isuzu just use the darn BorgWarner TOD system in the Triplets? In AWD mode it puts 15% power to the front axle at anything over 3-5mph! Funny thing is I saw the same thing you describe happen to a last gen Explorer over the weekend. :(

  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    In sand, you'll want to deflate your tires to around 20-24lbs....again, Paisan can confirm the lbs, but deflation is key on sand.

    Definitely. The explorer guy that I saw wasn't too badly stuck so I said why not just air down the tires and you'll be good to go. He refused though.

    On sand you want to go as low as 15psi if it's really really soft. If it's moderately soft you can go down to 20psi. Also depending on your tires. For instance when I had my stock 245-70-16 Bridgestone Dueller 680s on the Trooper I would airdown from 30psi to close to 15psi for soft sand. Once I moved to 275-70-16 Pirelli Scorpion ATs I only drop them from 30 to about 20-22psi for sand use. I also had to do this last winter when driving through 3ft of slushly snowpack over sandy/mud terrain, at the time I was running 35psi in the front and 40psi in the rear, dropped em to 28/32 and didn't have problems after that.

  • You mean you dont have a switch to force 4hi and 4lo on the bravada? I understand that it automatically runs A4wd, but I thought that it also had a selector for the 4hi and 4lo? hmm...
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    I live right next to the beach, and do a fair amount of sand driving in my 02 AWD Bravada. I've found that 18psi seems to be the sweet spot, especially in the unpacked stuff. This will have more effect than anything else. The Bravada's AWD system is quite capable, and I have yet to get stuck.
  • cmack4cmack4 Posts: 302
    Nope, the Bravada has no lo range gearing in the transfer case, because it was not intended to be a "serious off-roader". It does, however, offer better control of the torque split (better for on-road) by adding more wet pack clutch disks than the A4WD transfer case. In fact, if you look at the TB/Envoy's Transfer case versus the Bravada's, you'll see they're about the same size, despite the lack of the lo-range.

    Personally, with the departure angles and ground clearance of the triplets, I don't plan on doing anything I'd need the lo range for anyway, so I felt the Bravada's AWD system would prove more useful. Not to mention the Bravada comes standard with the rear locker, which IMO 4WD/AWD is a waste without!
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Is the locker manually controllable? IE: Can you lock it in or is it "automatic"?

  • Hello All:

    I am nearly 2 months into lease of an LTZ, and generally happy with the truck, though the sales and delivery experience (Potamkin, Manhattan) was mostly bad. The dealer nevertheless tried to persuade me to fill in 'Completely Satisfied'
    on the survey I would receive.

    I have not yet received the survey, which I do want to fill out. Calls to the Chevy customer assistance line yield different answers each time, the most recent being that the surveys are issued at random.

    This doesn't sound right - can anybody verify what the practice is ?
  • The locker is automatic.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    So it's not a true "locker" in the sense of an offroad locker :( I was hoping it was like the Toyata locking rears which you can control yourself.

  • How big of a deal is it to replace buttons in the radio? Do you have to take the whole stereo apart? My seek button has lost it's springiness and the "1" button doesn't work unless you pound on it.

    I'm going to have it fixed under warranty, but I guarantee I'll have problems later on. Historically, I'm hard on car stereo buttons, but why can't they make a button that's durable?
  • tblazedtblazed Posts: 945
    Everything you'd ever want to know (almost) about the locking differential-
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