ZR2 Owner
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About nateszr2

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  • Name:
    Nathan James
  • Country
    United States
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  • ZR2 Year:
  • ZR2 Color:
    Victory Red
  • ZR2 Model:
    Chevy BlaZeR2
  1. So. . . . .I've done my research, and looked through most of the threads on exhaust options and upgrades. I think that I've settled on the JBA shorty headers (1842S), the Magnaflow y-pipe and cat (23139), and the Gibson stainless steel single exhaust (614520). I believe that all of these ought to be direct fit, and that I could exchange them one-at-a-time if needed, swapping in new parts for old until the entire system is replaced. The question that I have for you guys is, 'WHERE'S THE BEST PRICING ON EXHAUST SYSTEMS?" I've looked fairly extensively, and it seems that almost everyone is pricing these fairly competitively, with a few that are a little cheaper than others, but I haven't found any 'blockbuster' deals out there. I don't mind purchasing different components from different retailers, as I'm not in desperate need to replace the entire system all at once. . . . Any advice or suggestions on internet retailers, or even brick-and-mortar shops in N. Virginia that have the best pricing?? Thanks!!
  2. Also, upon closer inspection, I believe that not only were the lower ball joints shot, but I think that I may have had an improper alignment previously. Looks like the toe in is WAAAAAY off. That's likely the cause of my severe tire ware on the inside of the tire.
  3. Great thread -- very helpful in getting this job done this evening. Since my UCA bushings were shot, I went ahead and replaced the entire UCA's, which had new upper ball joints already installed. I went with MOOG, and the quality seems great to me. I also replaced the lower ball joints - they were totally shot; with 195k miles, I'm not surprised!! Once removed, I found them to be super loose -- easily moved and turned by hand. Not good. The only issues I ran across were two bolts -- I sheared one bolt off of when trying to remove the nut that holds the bump stop on the underside of the UCA. Fairly easy fix -- I just drilled and tapped threads for a 1/4 x 20 bolt, since there's nothing really structural about it -- just needed to hold the bump stop in place. I also managed to shear one of the upper ball joint bolts when torqueing them down. Replaced with a grade 8 nut and bolt with a little blue Loctite and all is well. I found that removing the hubs made getting to the lower ball joints significantly easier. That way you lighten the load on the steering knuckle, and it's a lot easier to get the splined end of the axle out of the way to tighten all the associated bolts and also the upper ball joint castle nut. I went the drill route on the rivets from the top side -- I had to do all the rivets on the lower (obviously) and one of the rivets on the upper to get off the bracket that holds the brake line. Good Dewalt drill bits made short work of it -- the rivets were out in about 15 minutes. The key is to start with a smallish pilot bit (about 1/8") in the center of the rivet, and then step up about two more times to get the head off the rivets. A few smacks with the BFH and a punch, and the suckers were out!! No cold chisel required. Up next are the steering upgrades -- 1-ton idler arm bracket and pivot, and new damper. Then will come the radiator (new all aluminum version from Silla -- model 1826AA if anyone is interested), new fan clutch, and new water pump, which coincidentally happened to take a shit on me on the way home earlier this week. They recommend doing the fan clutch at the same time as the water pump since everything is already apart anyway, and it's fairly inexpensive at about $30. Also going to put in new spark plugs, plug wires, new serpentine belt, fix my ABS controller by opening it up and checking all the soldered connections (which are known to fail), and do a few other maintenance tasks while I'm at it. She's going to feel like a new truck after an alignment!!
  4. BTW - I went with everything MOOG with the exception of the steering damper and the cam bolts. Seems that the MOOG cam bolts don't have as wide of a range in terms of adjustability. Those two parts are AC Delco.
  5. Just ordered everything from Rock Auto -- new UCA's, new lower ball joints, the 1-ton MOOG idler arm and idler arm pivots, new cam bolts, and a new steering damper. Should make for a fun weekend once all the parts arrive. I noticed yesterday that I was getting some pretty severe tire wear on the inside quarter of both front tires -- sure sign that the ball joints and potentially the control arm bushings are shot. I'm hoping that I can get away with not replacing the LCA bushings. . . .guess we will see after everything is installed, aligned, and the tires are rotated. Looking forward to better steering performance and getting rid of the tire shake and noise at any speed over about 40 MPH. I'll let you guys know how it goes. . . .
  6. Nope -- no difference between 4wd and 2wd. Not sure but it sure seems to be tire noise related which is just transferring into the frame and giving me the noise and vibration. . . .
  7. Help me out here guys. . . .
  8. So, thinking that the whirring noise that I was getting from the front end would go away after I replaced the passenger side HBA, I went ahead and did that last weekend. Still have exactly the same noise and feeling. Is it possible / likely that the noise is due to the fact that I essentially have metal on metal where the UCA's join the frame? I'm thinking that the fact that the bushings are pretty much rotted away would transfer much more of the tire noise and vibrating into the frame. Anyone else have this experience?
  9. Quick question -- in replacing JUST the UCA's, do the HBA's have to be removed?? Seems to me that just separating the ball joint and then removing the upper bolts would work. . . . .not sure why you would have to mess with the knuckle and HBA. . . .
  10. Yea, I should have assumed that you guys would say all of the above!! I have been thinking about adding a little lift for a while now anyway. My leaf springs are getting tired in the rear anyway, and are probably sagging 2-3". The stock shackles are also rusted pretty heavily, and could stand to be replaced. I think that it's time for a pretty significant upgrade. I'll look into the rough country lift kit and see if that covers most of what I need anyway. I am thinking new springs for the rear as the stockers are just too tired for an aal to do me much good over the long run. I use the Blazer for towing, and also some pretty significant hauling of construction materials in the back, so i need a little upgrade in the 'heavy duty' department anyway. The ONLY thing that I'm regretting now is that I already installed one of the HBA's. . . .looks like it will have to come back off to replace the control arm on the driver's side anyway!!
  11. I already know. . . .photos will really tell the story. I'll post some up within a few days. But here's the long version where you actually have to read. . . . My 2001 BlaZR2 has been my 'work' vehicle for about two years now. She was only being driven sparingly, and has had transmission and other issues in the past. Recently, I decided that she was going to become my daily driver again, so off to the trans shop for a rebuild ($3k). Everything has been going pretty well, with the exception of some ABS light issues (I believe that I have a couple of loose solder joints on the control board, which I will be addressing shortly) as well as some bearing noise that seemed to be coming from the front end. I ordered new Timkens HBA's and installed the driver's side last weekend. When performing the work, I quickly noticed after removing the front wheel that over the years, I've accumulated some significant rust on the UCA's. The brake lines also appear to have some rust, as well as the frame itself. For the sake of brevity, let's start with just discussing the UCA's. Any thoughts or recommendations on what to do here?? The bushings look to be completely shot, so at a minimum, they need to be replaced. The ball joints have never been replaced either, so I'm considering doing those as well. If I am going to go to all that trouble, I was thinking that I should remove the UCA's completely, sandblast them, and then repaint before reinstalling everything. That way, once sandblasted, I can perform a good inspection to see if there are any cracks in the steel or any other potential points of failure. Is it worth all that trouble, or would it be a wiser choice to replace the UCA's with either stock units or aftermarket? They do have 16 years and 195,XXX miles of wear and tear on them. Would appreciate any feedback and/or sugestions.
  12. I'm having the same issue. Was looking for their bushing kits -- upper control arms, leaf spring bushings, etc.
  13. Go for it, just remember to take your time and do it right. I think that cleaning the surfaces of the intake and of the head was one of the most time consuming (and boring) parts of teh job. . . .but. . . .if done in a haste, it will leak for sure!!
  14. Forgot to mention. . . .she's running like a champ, and no leaks!!!
  15. Hey guys, thanks for all the input. Ended up buying the parts to do the intake manifold gaskets, spark plug wires, spark plugs, rotor, distributor cap, coil, and PCV valve. I got everything from my dealership, but luckily the parts manager was a really nice guy and gave me everything at wholesale prices (almost as cheap as, and no shipping or waiting for parts to arrive!!). I didn't need any other gaskets because I pulled the entire intake as one piece after removing all of the sensitive bits. The entire job took me a solid day and a half (worked from noon on Saturday to midnight, and then from 9am on Sunday until just after noon). I changed the oil, but that probably was not really necessary as there was no coolant in my oil. The old intake gaskets were obviously leaking and were in pretty bad shape, so I was glad that I was able to get the job done. Spark plugs were a little worn, but not too bad. Boy, the ones on the driver's side are a real pain!!! Plug wires were a bit soft, but not destroyed. Coil was getting old, and with 99,000 miles on her I went ahead and replaced everything in the ignition system. It was a big job, and my back and knees are just recovering today, but I enjoyed the learning experience and it always feels good to save a few $$$. BTW, FWIW, I checked with another dealership and they wanted $900 to do the job. Maybe it's the fact that I live in a suburb of Washington DC . . .everything around here is expensive!!