What year Envoy or Trailblazer would you buy if you had to replace yours?

c good

Active Member
Original poster
Dec 8, 2011
416
I' hoping to keep my 02 for a very long time. If it eventually gives up the ghost, what Year/Model would be a good replacement? I need 4x4 for my camping trips.

IIRC the 02-05's were the same engines. Are the later model engines that much better? If so, which year would be the best option? Thanks for any and all input. (apologies if this is in the wrong forum)
 

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
22,548
Ottawa, ON
08-09 would be the most desirable as all the improvements over the years were rolled up into those two. Power output, thermal fan clutch, regular end links, more tunable PCMs, new exhaust manifold. One caveat is that those engines stand alone if you need a replacement. Nothing from prior years will work in those year trucks because of the 58x reluctor wheel as opposed to the 24x on prior years. Otherwise, they are pretty much all the same.

Those are relatively minor changes and just the fact they'd be the least old. Even the 09 is now 12 years old. Finding any good GMT360 as time goes on will become difficult.
 

northcreek

Guru
Jan 15, 2012
2,933
WNY
Even the 09 is now 12 years old.
Yeah, you are heading into classic car territory at that point. One good thing is that getting parts shouldn't be a problem for a long time. Finding one with a V8 would also make life easier..:twocents:
 

Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
22,548
Ottawa, ON
Look at it this way, the 02's will be 20 years old next year! How many of the others can say that they still have a lot of 20 year old vehicles still on the road?
 

chris68369

Registered Member
Nov 18, 2018
12
Michigan
I have a 2002 trailblazer ltz with 4wd, sunroof and rain sensor option. You don't realize how spoiled you are with a rain sensor until you go through a car wash place. Also love the pcm tune from Jeremy and installed the transgo shift kit. Love it!
 

TollKeeper

Guru
Dec 3, 2011
6,886
Brighton, CO
Look at it this way, the 02's will be 20 years old next year! How many of the others can say that they still have a lot of 20 year old vehicles still on the road?
02's ARE 20 years old (we are in the 2022 model year).

For me, it would depend on the vehicle..

2004 Buick Rainier V8
or
2008 Saab 9-7x Aero

Both for the big main reason, no DOD/AFM
But the 2004 because its still an external fuel filter

Im a V8 guy, what can I say?
 
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Matt

Guru
Dec 2, 2011
3,896
I wouldn't TBH. It just doesn't fulfill my needs any more.
 

joeredspecial

Registered Member
Mar 23, 2012
68
I just did exactly this. My 02 has been falling apart for years now (and has been solely a winter/second vehicle since 2013). Michigan is not kind to cars as many of you know. An EVAP related stalling issue was the last straw for me. I love 360s and needed a replacement. The way the used car market is right now I decided to grab another Trailblazer to hold me over for a few years. I was searching for a 2008-2009. If the market was better I likely would have grabbed a SS or Aero, but I found a 2008 I6 in good shape with an exhaust manifold crack. I got a great deal and am fixing it up/adding missing things from my 02 as we speak. The only negative is that it has 3.42s instead of the 3.73s that I'm used to but the added HP should help with that.

With all that being said if I wasn't an enthusiast for this specific platform I don't think I'd buy another one. If you're one of us my vote is the newest V8 (6.0 or 5.3) you can find and if not that, a 08 or 09 I6.

more tunable PCMs

How so? And who is everyone using these days? I have a PCM4Less tune on my 2002 but I'm somewhat concerned about tuning anything on my new 08 given the age and mileage.
 
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Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
22,548
Ottawa, ON
As opposed to the earlier PCMs, 06 and later are more tunable in the sense that the odometer can be adjusted and are more common to other platforms so more options in the tune are available. @limequat would be able to fill you in on this.

As for who to use, I always recommend @limequat at lime-swap.com. For mail order tunes, he can't be beat on price for basically the same thing as PCMofNC. He can also customize stuff as needed.

As far as mileage is concerned, it won't affect anything that would shorten its life, only improve driveability. We're not talking about adding 100 hp here :smile:
 
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joeredspecial

Registered Member
Mar 23, 2012
68
As opposed to the earlier PCMs, 06 and later are more tunable in the sense that the odometer can be adjusted and are more common to other platforms so more options in the tune are available. @limequat would be able to fill you in on this.

As for who to use, I always recommend @limequat at lime-swap.com. For mail order tunes, he can't be beat on price for basically the same thing as PCMofNC. He can also customize stuff as needed.

As far as mileage is concerned, it won't affect anything that would shorten its life, only improve driveability. We're not talking about adding 100 hp here :smile:
Ah I do remember reading threads on that years ago regarding the odometer. I saw limequat's name come up when searching so I will send him a message when the time comes.
 

PProph

Registered Member
Dec 7, 2011
216
I just did exactly this. I found a 2008 I6 in good shape with an exhaust manifold crack. I got a great deal and am fixing it up/adding missing things from my 02 as we speak.

With all that being said if I wasn't an enthusiast for this specific platform I don't think I'd buy another one. If you're one of us my vote is the newest V8 (6.0 or 5.3) you can find and if not that, a 08 or 09 I6.
These are the points as to why this thread is relevant. This platform is so very fixable imo, and the knowledgebase online for keeping them on the road is stellar.
 
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Chemman

Registered Member
Jul 13, 2013
33
Maryland
I would try and find another 2004 TrailBlazer LT since I am so "comfortable" with working on it. Also, I would try and find one from a non-rust belt state only driven on Sunday's by the proverbial little old lady...
 
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Mooseman

Master Blaster
Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
22,548
Ottawa, ON
I went from an 02 to an 06 to an 07 so all years and engines are good for me but, it in all reality, these will be getting harder to find in acceptable condition, at least anywhere in the rust belt. I have a feeling this will be my last one.
 
Jul 6, 2014
9,237
Aside from the clear starting to fail on my 04, it is still mostly rust free... I have the bubbles in the rear two doors inside but otherwise its all mostly surface. Hell the oem brake shields are still there.

Edit: the rust in the doors has been there since 10 when I bought it.
 

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