Seriously though, I got family and friends with cancer, chronic illnesses, things where they have to fight their own bodies to function and even live in some cases. Something as small as getting dishes done, taking a shower, cooking dinner... simple things can take a lot out of them and make them feel like nothing gets done. Your quip can serve as a reminder to focus on the victories. Thank you for that, really.
Drained and refilled the transfer case tonight. There's supposed to be about 2 quarts in it but maybe 1 quart came out. Black with a reddish tinge, but no metal. Since I have the automatic 4wd it's supposed to have the Auto Trak fluid in it. The electronic automatic 4wd has clutch packs that activate when it is in auto mode. In auto 4wd, it stays in RWD until the rears start to spin, then the front wheels are brought in. Dexron is used in the manual 4wd, but a friction modifier is needed for the clutch pack in the electric. Auto Track is blue, Dexron is red. So it looks like at some point someone drained and filled it, but with the wrong stuff. The auto 4wd feature is probably not working, but it never really interested me anyway, so oh well.
$30 for the replacement crank sensor earlier and $24 for 2 qts of Auto Trak, so up to $2090.
Did the front dif fluid change last night. My dumbass thought it was going to have a cover, like the rear dif. Wrong. Just a drain plug, no gasket surface to clean up. Guess I made that $5 sandblaster for nothing. Oh well, I'll find other uses for it.
The gear oil was very thick and glittery, and leaks at the axle seals meant the level was low. Nothing bigger than the fine glitter came out though, and believe me I was watching for it. Filling it involved a long, thin funnel with a wrench wedged under it to keep it at an angle down to the dif, and pouring the fluid from the fender well. Crude, but the stupid little squeeze bulb hand pump I had was completely useless. After 20 minutes it had only pumped maybe 1/8th of a bottle.
Now that both difs and the transfer case have been done, there is a noticeable reduction in noise, vibration at highway speeds, and rolling resistance. It's really cool feeling this old beast coming back to life step by step. This stuff may not be flashy, but it's increasing the comfort and day to day usefulness. I'm good with that for now.
Yesterday I did the first drive more than 20 or 30 minutes since replacing the fluids, more than an hour 1 way. There is a BIG difference in overall comfort and driver fatigue. Less noticeable but still there is a small increase in performance, it just feels a hair livelier when I mash the gas. Pretty sure gas mileage is up slightly as well, given that I can feel the drop in resistance in the drivetrain. Keni and I may be road tripping to Kentucky in it in a couple months, and all of these changes plus a few more in the works will be greatly appreciated during a 10 hour drive. No work on it this week, had to put a battery in Keni's Subaru, so there went $160 of the overall parts budget. Plus quite a bit of overtime at work so not a whole lot of time for little stuff. Will be back at it really soon though.
Sooooo... The world kind of went insane, money got tight , and I had to hold back working on Tatanka unless absolutely necessary. Finally got going again recently.
I was getting a squeak coming from the belt drive, I couldn't pinpoint it but it was either the idler pulley or the alternator pulley. While trying to locate the source of the noise, I noticed that the tensioner arm was jumping quite a bit more than it should, so the spring was going. That means I'm asking for a seized bearing or a thrown belt in the not too distant future. Hoses are feeling kinda squishy as well, but they're holding up for the moment.
Belt is ok, so I don't really need to replace it but there is a kit with tensioner, idler, and belt for not a whole lot more than tensioner and idler pulleys, $85. Now I have a spare belt in the glovebox.
Pulling everything off and looking it over, both the idler and the tensioner had some grind to them when I spun them, nothing terrible but they were definitely on the way out. No spray pattern from the center of the bearings so they still had lube in them. I probably could have nursed them a bit more, but not worth it. It was time.
Pulley diameters and widths all matched no problems. The design of the idler pulley is slightly different, but it's visual only, not functionally different. An easy way to check if the 2 will sit in the same spot is to set them on sockets, say a 12mm and 13mm, doesn't matter as long as the sockets are the same height and the pulleys rest on the bearings. If they match up all is well. Might sound confusing, but I'll see if I can take some pics to illustrate what I'm talking about later.
Squeak is gone, but there was a tiny bit of grind in the alternator pulley. Might have to do something about that soon. Until then, all is well. Add $85 to the total bringing it to $2121.
How in the world have I missed this ?????!!!! Glad to have another suburban owner here . Take my advice and don't put a lift kit on the front .....un-ending problems will ensue ! I replace hubs every 6 months. It does look cool and is fun to drive with the 6 inch lift and the 35-12.50s on it though . So far in the year and a half I've replaced 6 hubs 2 axles and 2 rotors 2 calipers , all the front brake lines , and all 4 ball joints , one spindle that got broken putting it on a roll back after having a complete hub failure , two transmissions, and onetransfer case. I'm going to put a ford super duty axle in it some day and probably a nv4500 manual 5 speed . My engine has 325,000 on it and it runs great . Truck is slow . When the motor goes ill be looking for a 454 that all my friends hear talked me out of getting because of mileage. I get 10mpg . The 7 that the big block gets I really don't think I will feel since work is 12 miles away . I wish you well
Thanks for the story on the fix for the hiccup . I fought that battle on a Tahoe that one of my girls had . Thing ran great for a week then that . Never figured it out and she sold it .
Last edited by Dan Barlow; July 12, 2020, 01:56 PM.
Brakes have never really been the big girls strong point. Actually, they could accurately be described as terrifying when you really need them. An elephant on roller skates has more stopping power, and braking distances are comparable to what you'd see in the Navy fleet. I've gotten very good at anticipating stops. Brakes are one area I don't skimp on, and I want to be able to cash in on the lifetime warranty without hassle so mail order is nixed. It's one thing if my car doesn't run, it's a whole other world of trouble if it's running and won't stop.
Good brakes it is.
My plan was to replace everything after the ABS pump - hard lines, hoses, rotors, pads, calipers, shoes, drums, wheel cylinders, spring kit... the whole shebang. But then 2020 happened and I gotta do what I can when I can. Front brakes are definitely crap, it pulls to the right at the slightest touch of the pedal and full on dives that direction when you need to stop NOW. I don't have the cash to do the full rip out and replace but something had to be done. I toyed with the idea of overhauling the calipers myself, but realized the pistons and or guide pins were probably seized up and rusted beyond redemption, so I caved to convenience and got new calipers, pads, and rotors.
Being from Memphis, Autozones are everywhere there and I've just kind of kept going with it so my lifetime warranty stuff is mostly in one place. Working there for 3 years helped me learn what to get there and what to avoid. Brakes are actually one of their strong points, the pads tend to hold up really well. I ended up going with the Gold ceramic pads (less noise and brake dust than semi metallics, $42), 3 year warranty rotors (higher carbon steel so longer lasting, coated to help keep rust at bay, $50 each) and calipers ($25 each including guide pins). So add $192 to the total bringing it to $2313.
My garage has gotten a little cluttered as project creep has piled up, combined with my arm throwing a fit and refusing to function properly for awhile. I dug out enough room to pull Tatanka most of the way in, jacked it up, threw some stands under it, and pulled off the front wheels. My itty bitty jack barely lifted this thing, I need a better jack.
It was at that moment I remembered there were 3" wheel spacers all the way around. How am I going to get these things off? The ass end is sticking out in the driveway so I can't close the garage door. Great.
I tried wedging a prybar between the studs to catch on the floor and stop it spinning. No bueno.
Wait, I got a freebie little air compressor I've never tried. Plugged it in and fired it up, Success!!! It runs! I got the hose and everything for it, but no impact. Made a call to my brother to borrow his, just have to get the time to drive an hour out there when he's home, snag the impact, then drive an hour back. Had to wait a couple days for our schedules to line up, but got it done. Aaaaaaaaaaand the free air compressor is worth every penny I paid for it. Leaks like a sieve and won't power the impact for more than a few chugs per second.
Fine. I'll put the wheels back on and take it up to work. Should have done that to begin with I guess. Yup, I'm a dork.
Finally got the wheel spacers off the fronts, I'm just going to leave them off. It looks tough, but they wear out the wheel bearings too quickly. I don't want to be swapping them out every year. Time to dissect the brakes and find out what's going on. First up, passenger side. Outside face of the rotor has some gouges and a decent ridge on the edge. Worn, needs to be swapped, but not excessive damage.
Inside face of the rotor, completely gouged up, a very noticeable lip on the edge... significant damage and pointing to the caliper piston being stuck with the pad in constant contact with the rotor.
Inside pad tells the same story, look at all the heat cracks. Constant contact caused excessive heat which was breaking down the friction material of the pad. This was probably also cooking the brake fluid in the caliper. The hose looked ok, but replacing it just moved up higher on the list, as did a fluid flush.
The pad had also been hitting the rotor at an angle, as evidenced by one side being noticeably thicker than the other. Putting both pads together I could see this was the whole caliper moving at an angle, not just a pad. Normally that would mean worn out caliper mounts, but these mount directly to the spindle. I think it was just everything was so gummed up and stuck the calipers were only able to move different amounts at different points. Going to have to keep an eye on this. You can also see the inside friction material is significantly more worn than the outside. Again, points to caliper failure, the piston sticking and guide pins seizing up.
After seeing the heat cracks on the passenger side pads, I decided to just go ahead and flush the front brakes. No way I was going to try and break the rear bleeders loose once I looked at them. They were either going to round off or break. I had only gotten parts for the front, so not going to risk it. Seems stupid to only bleed half the brakes, but it needed done, and I can do a complete flush when doing the rears later. Pulled the hose from the caliper one side at a time and just gravity bled them while swapping out the calipers. I ended up running one of the big 32oz bottles of fluid through the fronts. Took hours, but it's done.
While they were gravity bleeding, I looked over the new front calipers. The piston seals were intact and no twisting, good start. Boots are all there. Guide pins were dry as a bone though. That would have caused big problems very quickly. Greased them up, made sure they moved smooth. All is now well.