Need advice - Fix or replace (long and rambling)

silverunicorn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
327
Backstory - I have a 2006 Trailblazer LS with 127K on it. The original motor threw a rod and was replaced at 103K. It was replaced with a used motor which I was told had 56K (or thereabouts) on it. Ran great for over a year, then threw an exhause valve. That's where it sits at the moment.

I was quoted 3K to fix the motor that is in the vehicle. That would be a complete rebuild, all the lalves, and not just the broken one. I am not questioning the cost of the work, just if it is worth it for the vehicle. With 127K, what else could be waiting to go? I though it might have something up with the Trans when it was in A4WD but now I am not sure if that was motor related.

I went to the auto show today, and nearly fell over at some of the prices. The Chevy Traverse, while actually very nice, was $42K.

3K for a motor fix is about 8 car payments for me. That means after 8 months, I would have no "car payments" again, barring anything unforseen happening to the Trailblazer. The truck itself is paid off.

I am just kind of venting out loud here, so please forgive me for the ramblings. I was pretty set on replacing the Trailblazer, but now I think I am once again leaning toward repairing the Trailblazer.

Any thoughts or input? If this were not the second motor failure I have had, the decision would have been much easier. THe fact that this happened before is making me kind of on the fence.

Chris
 

DDonnie

Member
Mar 26, 2012
2,631
silverunicorn said:
Backstory - I have a 2006 Trailblazer LS with 127K on it. The original motor threw a rod and was replaced at 103K. It was replaced with a used motor which I was told had 56K (or thereabouts) on it. Ran great for over a year, then threw an exhause valve. That's where it sits at the moment.

I was quoted 3K to fix the motor that is in the vehicle. That would be a complete rebuild, all the lalves, and not just the broken one. I am not questioning the cost of the work, just if it is worth it for the vehicle. With 127K, what else could be waiting to go? I though it might have something up with the Trans when it was in A4WD but now I am not sure if that was motor related.

I went to the auto show today, and nearly fell over at some of the prices. The Chevy Traverse, while actually very nice, was $42K.

3K for a motor fix is about 8 car payments for me. That means after 8 months, I would have no "car payments" again, barring anything unforseen happening to the Trailblazer. The truck itself is paid off.

I am just kind of venting out loud here, so please forgive me for the ramblings. I was pretty set on replacing the Trailblazer, but now I think I am once again leaning toward repairing the Trailblazer.

Any thoughts or input? If this were not the second motor failure I have had, the decision would have been much easier. THe fact that this happened before is making me kind of on the fence.

Chris

"The cheapest car you'll ever drive is the one you are driving now" - My finance professor. He makes a good point, even if your car starts nickel and diming you, it's still cheaper per month than buying a new car. At the same time, there is a price to pay for reliability. Personally, if you have the finances avaiable, I'd say fix it. If you have the tools, you could probably do the work yourself for even cheaper.
 

fletch09

Member
Nov 20, 2011
1,982
my thoughts:
IIRC, you have some mods to the truck, so i think you have to way the time and cost
of those mods you made.
do you spend the 3k and hopfully not have to do anything else to it,
or maybe look @ a newer TB or Envoy, 08 or 09 with less miles on it, something you could trransfer your mods to
with little expense.
sure your going to have car payments, but alot less than a new Traverse.
myself after having 2 TB's, don't think i could go to a Traverse or Enclave :twocents:
 

DDonnie

Member
Mar 26, 2012
2,631
fletch09 said:
my thoughts:
IIRC, you have some mods to the truck, so i think you have to way the time and cost
of those mods you made.
do you spend the 3k and hopfully not have to do anything else to it,
or maybe look @ a newer TB or Envoy, 08 or 09 with less miles on it, something you could trransfer your mods to
with little expense.
sure your going to have car payments, but alot less than a new Traverse.
myself after having 2 TB's, don't think i could go to a Traverse or Enclave :twocents:

This is true, if you do decide to go for a new vehicle, get another TB! This time, go with the 5.3 or the 6.0. I love my 5.3!
 

TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
Member
Dec 3, 2011
8,159
Brighton, CO
Maybe I am just thinking about my mechanical ability's, but I think 3k is quite a bit for a rebuilt motor. And considering he wont know until he gets your old motor out, and checks the honing, and head, to see if that exhaust valve dropping did more damage. You are really still in a crap shoot until he gets the motor out to inspect it.

Personally, I think this is near you, I would be looking at this...

[EBAY]230917806563[/EBAY]

Or maybe this.

[EBAY]130873567133[/EBAY]
 

signalnc

Member
Dec 28, 2012
249
you said you got a "new" motor with 56k on it" how long ago and was there any kind of warranty? If you like the vehicle then fix it. You could always find out how much it's worth in the condition it's in, then figure out if it's worth putting that towards a newer vehicle.
 

limequat

Member
Dec 8, 2011
520
Motor failures on the 4.2 are rare. To have 2 in one vehicle in such a short period of time is quite the coincidence. What parts were reused with your swap?

Is it possible that something else is causing these failures? I can't think of anything plausible...

Nonetheless, my gut says ditch it. Take your 3k and get something new. I like the idea of a used 9-7x. Same as a tb but nicer.
 

Boricua SS

Member
Nov 20, 2011
3,080
Ohio
boy is this thread near and dear to me... I think we all know why :crackup:

im going on my 4th motor in the SS... that being said... THE ONLY reason Ive kept her this long... WARRANTY... if she was out of warranty, or if I was a family man, or if I had a girlfriend, the truck would've been gone after the first motor spun its bearing and I just would've gotten a brand new, reliable, daily driver... But... since im alone, no kids, etc... the SS is my toy/wknd warrior... and I still have a love for the truck that made me buy it 4 years ago... ive always wanted to see its build through to the end...

now the only downfall to all of this, and partly why I kept it as well, is I still owe $7,000 on the loan... do I trade that in and bump up payments again for another 5 years?.. reiterating my point about being a family man.. and while the truck was/is being repaired for free... I have been paying for it to sit at a dealership for over 6 months (total time on service tickets)... so I have paid a little over $1500 without even having my truck in my garage... but its still cheaper for me to pay it off, then to trade it in and start payments again for another 5 or so years...

problems are going to happen with whatever you have... my friend (ghenny440 on here) has replaced his motor in his '03 Voy XL as well... and while that used motor has been fine, the accessories and basic wear and tear items have taken a chit... new water pump(s), fan clutch, needs an AC compressor, power steering lines rusted, and pretty much the complete front suspension repaired.. including 2 sets of hubs, all within 50k miles after the motor was installed... but, his Voy is paid off, and as mentioned earlier, paying to repair it (and he is his own mechanic), is cheaper then another car payment..

I say keep it, but the decision is yours... you know how to work on them, know the ins and outs about it, know the problems about it, plus you've kept up with the maintenance of it... as discussed in another thread, buying another used vehicle is like buying someone else's problems... do you want to, or can you afford to start off at square one with another vehicle that you know nothing about (meaning the service history, etc...)?? do you see yourself driving the TB for years to come? is gas mileage killing you? I mean jus tons of factors to think of here... so whats the best option for YOU???
 

silverunicorn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
327
Thanks for the replies.

After attending the auto show over the weekend, finding prices way higher than I expected, and really not loving ANYTHING, I will be calling the mechanic to get the TB into the shop to be fixed. 3K is alot of dough, but would be about the sales tax amount on anything new I bought, so when you put it into perspective, it does kind of make sense to fix it. plus the fact that I LOVE the Trailblazer.

If I were to buy anything used, it would also be more then 3K (for anything worthwhile) and then who knows what issues you'd get into there. I know the TB and what has and has not been done to it.

Hopefully this fix will last.

Thanks again!

Chris
 

silverunicorn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
327
Thought I would update this.

I got the Trailblazer back yesterday. Decided fixing it was the way to go.....we'll see if that was a good decision, LOL

Anyway, DAMN! It is SO smooth now!

A breakdown of everything they did:

  • Removed cylinder head
  • Performed full valve job
  • Replaced all valve springs
  • Planed head flat
  • Cleaned blocked EGR passages in the head
  • Replaced intake side Camshaft
  • new spark plugs
  • New water pump (old one was leaking a bit)
  • New thermostat
  • drain and replaced trans fluid
  • replace Transfer case oil

Most of the charges were labor related. For everything to be done it was $3920, and has a 1 year, 12,000 mile warranty. Took then a total of 5 labor days (at 8 hours a day). Labor rate was $75 per hour, but they gave me a $100 discount.

Thanks for all the advise you had, it was appreciated, even if I did not go in the direction you advised :smile:

Chris
 

TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
Member
Dec 3, 2011
8,159
Brighton, CO
:blinkhuh::eek::jawdrop2:

Glad you got it back and all... But WOW!

4000? That's a NEW transmission from the GM dealer, and a used engine, INSTALLED.
 

silverunicorn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
327
TollKeeper said:
:blinkhuh::eek::jawdrop2:

Glad you got it back and all... But WOW!

4000? That's a NEW transmission from the GM dealer, and a used engine, INSTALLED.

With all due respect, I doubt it. At least not for a 2006. When I had to replace the motor the first time, I was hard pressed to get a quote under 3K. That's just the USED motor, installed, re-using many of the original motor parts.

Went that route and learned the motor they used was ridden hard and put away wet. Which lead to the fixes I just did. I don't know where you get your work done, but maybe I should move there. It would be 3K for a trans here easy, and I doubt it would be new at that. Trans and motor would push north of 6K pretty quickly I would imagine.

It is what it is at this point.

Chris
 

TollKeeper

Supporting Donor
Member
Dec 3, 2011
8,159
Brighton, CO
I meant no disrespect man, just that price seems high since I worked at the GM dealer years ago. Maybe they have changed their rate system, I don't know. It just seems high.

On a footnote, I just had a tranny put in on my GMT, GM Reman, installed, 1700 with a 3/36 warranty.
 

signalnc

Member
Dec 28, 2012
249
I hope it works out for you and it gives you no more problems.

just wondering if you used the same shop that installed the motor the last time.
 

silverunicorn

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
327
TollKeeper said:
I meant no disrespect man, just that price seems high since I worked at the GM dealer years ago. Maybe they have changed their rate system, I don't know. It just seems high.

On a footnote, I just had a tranny put in on my GMT, GM Reman, installed, 1700 with a 3/36 warranty.

Yeah, not sure., All I know is that if I had a 2002-2005 it would have been a nuch cheaper motor swap. The shop that did the original swap had a hard time finding a 2006 motor at the time. I did not mean to imply your numbers were wrong, just that in my real world experience, that was not the case. :smile:

MAY03LT said:
Just remember man, cheaper then a long term monthly payment.:yes:

And this was the deciding factor. If I were to buy something used for $3500, you would not get much. I know my truck, I love my truck (other than this), so it made sense. Hope it was the right decision. We'll see :smile:

Menthol said:
I wish you well and hope this is the mother of all fixes lol.

Thanks :smile: I hope so too!

signalnc said:
I hope it works out for you and it gives you no more problems.

just wondering if you used the same shop that installed the motor the last time.

Thanks,. I used a different shop for this rebuild. I know the owners of both places very well (and do trust them both). This shop seemed to be much more into American vehicles (the other shop is more of a race / performance shop for Volkswagen vehicles) but did service on everything.

Chris
 

signalnc

Member
Dec 28, 2012
249
i was looking up the labor times on alldatadiy...the man hours they charged you seem honest for the work performed. if I read alldata right, they list the complete valve job at 22.5 hours, plus all the other work they did. It does almost seem like it would have beeen more efficient to just get a new motor, but from what I saw on a brief google search , the 4200 motor would cost about $3500 shipped , and that's just the motor. I was surprised that it was that much. Also after living in the Northeast most of my life, everything costs more there. Unfortunately you are going to pay more in Bucks County for most everything than in other parts of the country.
 

Forum Statistics

Threads
23,397
Posts
638,827
Members
18,611
Latest member
DirtEater73

Members Online

No members online now.