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Old 11-14-2016, 11:19 PM
Electronic M's Avatar
Electronic M Electronic M is offline
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Bought my second car this week!

Now that I'm commuting daily to work and winter is closing in having a winter car to rust in place of my Mark V, and hopefully not slip on wet and or snowy/icy pavement is paramount. I also want to save for an older classic so low price point has merit.

Here it is!



This 1979 Bill Blass Edition can rust in place of my 1978 and the smaller 400CID motor and rusted away metal will make for less mass to cause skidding.







Okay every darn thing you've just read except for the first paragraph is basically a big joke.............Although I did briefly consider getting a much rougher Mark V as a winter car (I love how a 460CID-V8 can start to heat the car within i residential block's drive). I technically bought it late last week and it is more of a truck than a car.

I've been wanting something that can pull a HEAVY classic on a trailer without modifications (my lincoln could with gusto, but do I really want to add a hitch and change the suspension?), handle well in winter (and not make me feel bad exposing to salt), and be able to hold a large TV console inside without exposing it to the elements. I considered a number of platforms and options...As someone that has spent a lot of time sitting in Hondas (god help my poor back) I was disappointed that most can't even tow something half their weight and tend to resell out of my budget, I was strongly leaning towards a Chevy Suburban (or another GM on that chassis), but the folks hate most of those and I could not seem to find a decent one that was not in some VERY bad neighborhood. GM's variously labled S-10 based SUVs were high on my list (since a friend swears by them), but most are on the edge of major maintenance mileage points, beat to heck, or snapped up instantly from the overwhelming sea of lesser examples.

What I finally went with was a $2800 110k 2002 GMC Envoy. With the same inline 6 engine that my friend swears by in the S-10s, and the optimum axle ratio for towing she should be able to handle up to 6200lbs of TVs, and or towing home a 40's or 50's car to add to my fleet...Not to mention select-able 4WD for winter driving. I lucked out in responding to the add in the 1st half hour and getting off work a bit early to see it.



There is the predictable wear of a cheap used domestic car: some bad body work both noticeable (tail gate), and hard to notice (correct factory color repaint, and drywall screw attachment of body panels hidden under said panels near the passenger headlamp), cigarette burns in the drivers seat, a lighter and ashtray yet no recognizable smell (I can fix that! ), undercariage spare tire mount not correctly set up, check engine light, and some small odds and ends I'll have fixed soon or manage to ignore till spring. But all in all it is a good truck. I'll admit I was gambling on the check engine light (which owner said just came on) being something minor, and almost passed on it because of that light, but that turned out to be a good gamble...It got the price down, and changing the $36 single connector single bolt timing sensor fixed it. One nice thing about this car was the guy that sold it was well to do and had sunk a good chunk of change into getting it safe to replace his wife's car (she did not want it though), suspension, steering, exhaust, brakes, etc had been gone over and I saw many shiny new parts bolted to the somewhat rusty undercarriage. It's got it's warts, but none seem to be in the parts needed to go down the road. One thing I really like is the fold flat rear seats....Soo much better for sliding consoles in and out!


So what do you think?

I now have Ford and GM products so I think once I have more dough again (it will be a while) I'm going to hunt down some "Forward Look" Mopar to help round out my menagerie of large American automobiles.
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:21 AM
jstout66 jstout66 is offline
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Congrats on the Envoy.
Man.. when I was in 7th grade, the Ford lot was right by school. I remember those 79 Bill Blass Lincolns being unloaded off the truck. I thought they were the most beautiful cars I had ever seen.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jstout66 View Post
Congrats on the Envoy.
Man.. when I was in 7th grade, the Ford lot was right by school. I remember those 79 Bill Blass Lincolns being unloaded off the truck. I thought they were the most beautiful cars I had ever seen.
Thanks.
I have to agree on the BB Mark Vs. Probably the best paint scheme you could put on those cars...Only thing I don't like about the BBs is that the canvas roof deleted the opera windows. I don't like anything that hampers the great 360 visibility driving a base model. I've seen some BBs that were ordered with a sun roof where they used a white vinyl half roof to accommodate the sun roof...If I ever get a BB MKV I'll probably look for one with a sun roof.
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Old 11-15-2016, 01:11 PM
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We had an early 2004 Envoy - lots of electrical problems. Two unique ones, both fixed with a swap out of the ignition switch...odd scheme, with high resistance across the contacts of the switch would cause a CEL and popping a code for solenoids in the tranny. The tranny would go into limp mode (no higher than 2nd gear). The Trailblazer forum gave up the solution that worked. NAPA is the only aftermarket store I found that sells the switch.

Engine had 206K on it when we traded it in, and never used a drop of oil, and had plenty of power...All other functions worked fine too.
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Old 11-15-2016, 03:19 PM
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There is a laundry list of things I should get to. Rear defroster metal tab broke (I'm going to try soldering it), pulley squeak in the engine, passenger inside manual lock switch broken (power still works on it though) the RPM, half the radio and passenger high beam bulbs are bad, I should try to fix the undercarriage spare mounts so I can get the spare out of the back, sounds like there is an air leak on the body or door seals up around 60-80MPH, needs a full in and out clean.

I'm going to try and pass state emissions on my way home from work tonight (the check engine light has stayed off since changing the sensor so fingers are crossed).

The oil is looking a bit old...The change oil light is always the last to go out after starting so I wonder if that is it's indication to change oil soon? I may just change it later this week before the cold front hits.

I need to look up whether the valves are interference type on this engine and the replacement interval on the timing chain...If it is reaching change time and I can't confirm it's been done already then I may just launch a preemptive strike (I'll take it to a dealer service center) on it in a month or so (when I again have enough discretionary funds)....It would royally suck for the chain to break and the valves to get bent.

One thing that is odd is that the electronics occasionally mildly interfere with upper AM stations....Certain faint tones are heard when applying turn signals or breaking.

Come spring I may look for another red one in a wrecking yard and see if I can get a better (less rust and bondo) tail gate...It ain't horrible, but I know I can find a noticeably better one.
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Old 11-15-2016, 04:44 PM
WISCOJIM WISCOJIM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electronic M View Post
I'm going to try and pass state emissions on my way home from work tonight (the check engine light has stayed off since changing the sensor so fingers are crossed).
I never knew until reading your post and then Googling that there were any state emission requirements in Wisconsin.

And I've been living here for the last 60+ years...

Glad I don't live in the polluted SE counties like you do.

Congrats on the new car. Now rent a trailer and bring a few thou$and$ up here and help empty my storage bins!

.
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Old 11-15-2016, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by WISCOJIM View Post
I never knew until reading your post and then Googling that there were any state emission requirements in Wisconsin.

And I've been living here for the last 60+ years...

Glad I don't live in the polluted SE counties like you do.

Congrats on the new car. Now rent a trailer and bring a few thou$and$ up here and help empty my storage bins!

.
Pollution really ain't noticeable here (unless you try to swim in lake Pewaukee ). If I was just a bit further in the boonies I would not have to worry about emissions, and heck this is the first car I've owned that even is subject to emissions testing so I'm learning about it too.


It will be a bit before I can afford to spend more than a C-note. That car left just enough cash in my account to cover license, operating/food costs and a TINY bit of hobby cash....I'm essentially having to delay rent (read my parent's annoyance fee ) till a paycheck or two in the future after I pay insurance.
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Old 11-16-2016, 05:59 PM
quaddriver quaddriver is offline
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be careful looking for parts...you should have the 4.2L STRAIGHT 6 engine, the S10's of old had the 4.3L VEE-6. slightly different arrangement. ;-)

check for excessive rust underneath and towards the back, and the side sills.

as for the pullys, they dont squeak, they howl when ready to go (you have least the tensioner, possibly also an idler) and they are a cheap easy fix, BUT, the alt and water pump can make squeaks just before they leave the scene.

you should have the 4L60E tranny...fairly good and reliable BUT, they have the hydroformed lip on the sun shell that breaks off if you ever go from F-R or R->F without coming to a COMPLETE and utter stop.

So come to complete and utter stops.

This summer I ran across a nest of decent shape lincolns in PA and thought about mentioning it, but you dont need that distraction!
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Old 11-16-2016, 11:09 PM
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Electronic M Electronic M is offline
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Originally Posted by quaddriver View Post
be careful looking for parts...you should have the 4.2L STRAIGHT 6 engine, the S10's of old had the 4.3L VEE-6. slightly different arrangement. ;-)

check for excessive rust underneath and towards the back, and the side sills.

as for the pullys, they dont squeak, they howl when ready to go (you have least the tensioner, possibly also an idler) and they are a cheap easy fix, BUT, the alt and water pump can make squeaks just before they leave the scene.

you should have the 4L60E tranny...fairly good and reliable BUT, they have the hydroformed lip on the sun shell that breaks off if you ever go from F-R or R->F without coming to a COMPLETE and utter stop.

So come to complete and utter stops.

This summer I ran across a nest of decent shape lincolns in PA and thought about mentioning it, but you dont need that distraction!
Thanks for the info.

It did pass emissions.
Tonight I dealt with three issues. Bad pass high beam bulb, oil and filter* , and the rear window defogger tab. *This thing is rated for 7 quarts and still has room for more (maybe 8.5-10)....There are sheiks that have less oil! I was going to try and solder the connection back on to the window half but the window half unsoldered its self (I was not expecting it to be factory soldered to the window) so I made a crude functional new tab.

I'm noticing that it looks to be riding low (especially in the rear) and good size road bumps are rough...I think the springs are going....This may be an air spring/suspension vehicle (I was not expecting that) there is a built in air compressor for tires and such, and the rear springs look like air bags (from what I saw)... I need to confirm, and see if I can troubleshoot it.
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Old 11-17-2016, 07:03 AM
quaddriver quaddriver is offline
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do you have air leveling suspension? if so, bad air bags - common problem and somewhat pricey.

the compressor does run however? it is located above where the spare tire SHOULD be. and is connected in the hatch area close to the bumper.

you can replace with conventional springs....look for strutmasters kits on amazon or rock auto. should take you about an hour. locate some rubber spring bushing to quiet it down from making grinding springy noises.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:24 AM
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The pump does not seem to be working. It seems to feed an accessory inflation hose (a sticker there says don't leave the hose connected to the port or auto leveling gets interfered with) and the button in the accessory hose bay is not lighting when pressed. I'm going to consult the owners manual and check some fuses.

I filled the gas tank up yesterday and some problems became evident. First the filler system has a problem...If I try to fill it at anything above a trickle the station pump shuts off (thus it was rather laborious filling it), and this happens even when the tank is almost totally empty...I need to look in to that. Second when full she leaks gas...I started it this morning to warm it up before work, and when I finished breakfast I noticed a 2 basket ball sized puddle near the rear drivers tire that was being fed by a slow drip, and decided to dip a finger and check what it was....There was also another baseball sized puddle near the front passenger tire of unknown fluid type (I did not wait to check it after the IDing the first)....Needless to say I took the Lincoln to work today. There was some presumably gas leakage last night too when I drove it up hill on the driveway...
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Last edited by Electronic M; 11-17-2016 at 09:28 AM.
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Old 11-17-2016, 09:58 AM
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Fuel Fill problems are covered by a TSB.
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Last edited by Findm-Keepm; 01-03-2017 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 11-17-2016, 10:04 AM
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Suspension troubleshooting TSBs

Best advice from me - never had any of the problems you have - I got rid of our Envoy - went with a Dodge Caravan with (relatively) fewer problems, but in the rust belt, they become rust buckets. Thank God for mild coastal weather with sanded, not salted roads...

EDIT: 558 TSBs for the GMC Envoy and Envoy XL for 2002.......
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Last edited by Findm-Keepm; 01-03-2017 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:46 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Thanks for the info.

It did pass emissions.
Tonight I dealt with three issues. Bad pass high beam bulb, oil and filter* , and the rear window defogger tab. *This thing is rated for 7 quarts and still has room for more (maybe 8.5-10)....There are sheiks that have less oil! I was going to try and solder the connection back on to the window half but the window half unsoldered its self (I was not expecting it to be factory soldered to the window) so I made a crude functional new tab.

I'm noticing that it looks to be riding low (especially in the rear) and good size road bumps are rough...I think the springs are going....This may be an air spring/suspension vehicle (I was not expecting that) there is a built in air compressor for tires and such, and the rear springs look like air bags (from what I saw)... I need to confirm, and see if I can troubleshoot it.
It passed emissions, that's the good part! At least, you can drive it.
I thought the price was OK, even a 14 YO SUV sells for more money.
It's a GMC, the professional grade!
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Old 11-17-2016, 11:41 PM
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Well I'm reminded why I don't normally buy parts from Autozone...The $125 filler neck assembly was missing the hose section that connects it's end to the tank, AND one of it's brackets was welded on backwards making that bracket useless... I got it off, but now have nothing to install. Getting it off was hard too. I had to drill out the stinkin bracket behind the filler door because the remaining bolt had fused to the stud....Someone had tried to replace it previously when the bracket broke off the tube, but when they could not get the nut off the bracket they merely fixed the bracket with a hose clamp. I think I'm just going to buy the filler from a dealer, or a different parts store...What I've got just ain't worth making fit.

There is light at the end of the tunnel for the air suspension, though it could be an oncoming train...Not sure yet. It does have air suspension. The pump and or it's power wiring failed sometime ago, and the chosen solution was to cut the two air lines off of it, connect the lines from the bags to a T fitting (where one leg of the fitting is a conventional tire fill nozzle/valve) and pump it till ride height was correct....I broke the fill nozzle off the fitting by accident (there was some pressure left so there is hope it will hold air decently). I don't feel like (or rather can't afford) spending $500 on the correct pump right now so if it holds decent air for over 3 hours (the longest single drive time I can foresee till spring) then I'll get a ~$25 12V compressor and top off the suspension before drives (till I can afford to fix it better). If the bags/pipes don't leak I'll probably keep it air...I may replace the OEM pump with something else, and re-engineer the system with cheaper more reliable parts....half a grand for a pump that is smaller than an AA5 radio is completely nuts!

Worst case I'll have to do springs soon....
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Last edited by Electronic M; 11-17-2016 at 11:48 PM.
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