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Stans 02 Avalanche maintenance


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Update on the Avalanche. January 21 oil change and inspection uneventful only put 7K miles on it. December 21 oil change was a little different. Had a disagreement over my headlight bulb replacement. I went to my GMC dealer for that and oil change. I’ve been adding water periodically since I bought the Avalanche. Found where it was going. My gas station oil checks failed to show a milky condition. So oil change was done and I later added some bars leak. Just goes to show these pre cylinder deactivation engines are pretty tough. I’m going to drive like usual check the oil at home and probably change the oil more often. This going to be a fun experiment for me. All the talk of change your oil often. I’m even going get  the Avalanche in the rotation more to get the in town use up. My 92 Chevy went 12 years using 1qt every 500 miles and is still going with its new owner. I’m going for my morning walk and taking the Avalanche. If she blows you’ll be the first to know.

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  • 4 months later...

I haven’t been driving the Avalanche much with gas now over 4$. Took it out Wednesday to the car wash today to the walking park. I’m going to always have a truck. I’ve had one since I was 19. Don’t need one really but I know I’d be depressed with out a full size V-8 truck. Well the light came on this morning, low coolant. So after my walk I check the oil. Like in the past it’s so clean you can hardly see it. This isn’t my first weird truck. My last oil change the tec said there was sludge starting out. No ticking and good oil pressure. My last oil burning performance truck is still going with the new owner. 14 years after I bought it. Until there’s noticeable milky oil I’m going with it. Even then I may just increase the oil changes. I enjoy pushing the envelope.

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Stan, I know you already know this, but just a friendly reminder, you do risk the bearings, even the camshaft bearings if you're getting coolant in the oil. And that sludge the tech noticed, it's going to get even into the lifters. Very frequent oil and filter changes may help stall the inevitable, but unless the Bar's Leak has stopped all of the coolant getting into the oil, IMO you're courting engine failure without a proper fix whether it be an intake manifold gasket or a head gasket.

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43 minutes ago, garagerog said:

Stan, I know you already know this, but just a friendly reminder, you do risk the bearings, even the camshaft bearings if you're getting coolant in the oil. And that sludge the tech noticed, it's going to get even into the lifters. Very frequent oil and filter changes may help stall the inevitable, but unless the Bar's Leak has stopped all of the coolant getting into the oil, IMO you're courting engine failure without a proper fix whether it be an intake manifold gasket or a head gasket.

This model year has a head cracking problem. My speculation is possibly the leak happens after shut off. Oil floats on water so far not reaching the pick up. The oil is clean, amazingly. Oil pressure is good. If, when it fails at 178k I’d rather rebuild with mods. Not knowing how long this has been going on putting performance parts on this engine is a crap shoot. I’ll never do a stock rebuild, not in my DNA. 

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If you pull the valve covers off you can find out if you have the Castech heads or not. Depending on the casting number you can tell without even doing that.

 

My low coolant light came on a while ago as well. Did it on my way to my girl's house after working. Driving home from hers to mine it was gone and back to work it was gone as well. Dumped in a water bottle to be safe. Last time I filled it up from a coolant leak I just did the minimum fill.

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  • 4 months later...

Update on the supposed water in oil. I’ve driven the Avalanche a lot more since the last oil change. No sign of water in the oil, I never saw any. Oil is still very clean. Maybe the bars leak worked. I’ll do the next oil change just to be sure. Otherwise it’s just been a great truck. If the market loosens up I may start looking for something different. I’m thinking smaller. It’ll have to be special to replace this one. 

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When i had my 2002 Silverado, I ran the GM coolant tabs.  From what I have read online, this was something GM put in their Northstar engines due to head gasket problems.  I never had a leak in all the UOA's I did and the coolant was changed out only once in the 200k miles I had it.

 

image.jpeg.100267be324a20ca83fbd07571bcada9.jpeg

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Well hell. I had a brake hanging rear driver’s side. Thought I fixed it with lubricant. Nope metal noise. So I called to make an appointment, then decided idiot do it yourself. It’s amazing how many different brakes could be on that truck. The auto zone guy had some snap gave me the right one. My make do attitude was fine in my younger days. When you’re older it bites you in the a$$. First off the little floor jack was a pain. Took an hour on that. Should have bought a big one. The next I’m saving big bucks doing it myself so buy the caliper it was sticking you stupid…….. what genius at GM decided that bolts instead of Allen heads that went all the through the calipers? They were a nightmare to loosen. Finally got them on. It appears it’s sticking just a little. I have no one to blame but me. I’ll give it a bit. If I do it again. I’ll spring for a better jack.

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Got and installed the caliper. You can get with or without brackets. It was easer with the brackets. I even lubed the sliders a first for me. A little over 100$ after returning the old caliber. They probably would have charged me 500$ or more at the dealer. And yes I only did the one side. It was premature wear because of a faulty caliber. Plenty of meat on the other with a resent brake job. 

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On 9/26/2022 at 11:41 AM, KARNUT said:

First off the little floor jack was a pain. Took an hour on that. Should have bought a big one. The next I’m saving big bucks doing it myself so buy the caliper it was sticking you stupid…….. what genius at GM decided that bolts instead of Allen heads that went all the through the calipers? They were a nightmare to loosen. Finally got them on. It appears it’s sticking just a little. I have no one to blame but me. I’ll give it a bit. If I do it again. I’ll spring for a better jack.

At least you GOT a jack with your truck.  The used one I got was lifted, and didn't even have a jack in it, though it had the rods to use with it.  One of those things you don't think to check for when you're buying a used truck, but you SHOULD!  I had to buy a big one, so looked around, and found a 48" on eBay, brand new, for only $65, which I thought was a steal, since I saw them anywhere from $80-300, and the stock jacks were going for at least $50 anyway!  Haven't gotten to try it yet, and hope I don't have to.  That sucker is HEAVY!!!  It probably weighs like 25-50 POUNDS!!!  I spent an extra $11 and got a stand to set the jack on for when your out in the boonies, too.  You may think about getting both, too.

Edited by ABQ-Jammer
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11 minutes ago, ABQ-Jammer said:

At least you GOT a jack with your truck.  The used one I got was lifted, and didn't even have a jack in it, though it had the rods to use with it.  One of those things you don't think to check for when you're buying a used truck, but you SHOULD!  I had to buy a big one, so looked around, and found a 48" on eBay, brand new, for only $65, which I thought was a steal, since I saw them anywhere from $80-300, and the stock jacks were going for at least $50 anyway!  Haven't gotten to try it yet, and hope I don't have to.  That sucker is HEAVY!!!  It probably weighs like 25-50 POUNDS!!!  I spent an extra $11 and got a stand to set the jack on for when your out in the boonies, too.  You may think about getting both, too.

The jack I was referring to is a little two ton floor jack. And I have regular jack stands. I have ramps too that I usually use. I use to work on my hobby vehicles at home. I haven’t used that jack since my 64 elcamino about 15 years ago. I was a little more flexible then. I realized that I needed to jack close to the wheel instead of the frame. It worked fine for that. The difference was my flexibility. I would need a 4 ton jack for the frame. Or to go under the rear end. It got done. I’m in recovery mode now. 🥵 A new concept now I’m older.😳

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