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Last Post 15 Feb 2010 05:07 PM by  pknowles
Lehman needs advice 165,000 mile Denali.....
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David Lehman
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20 Sep 2009 06:25 PM

    Ok, I have 165,000 miles on my 03 Sierra Denali--Quadrasteer. I love this truck, but I just bought a new set of tires (due to blowout on the way to Lincoln), and rebuilt the front differential on the way back from Lincoln (4 days in Paducah, KY...fun...fun).

    Truck needs, I think are a throttle position sensor, and the usual coolant flush, and transmission fluid change.....running pretty quiet since diff has been fixed---since it was making some noise for about the last 100,000 miles or so.

    Since Quadrasteer is no longer an option----should I just keep the truck, and keep fixing things that break. Only has a $ 6,000 trade in value. Really only use the truck to tow the car for autocrosses. If I got a new truck I would maybe lean to a 2500 Silverado with the diesel, which would probably be overkill as I tow a 5,000 lbs total including car+trailer---open trailer. 2500 would have all bells and whistles---bluetooth, xm....back up camera----BUT it's a monster, and not as manuverable as the Quadrasteer Denali.....not to mention that I make no payments on my 7 year old truck, and that to get the new one I would have to give up my Mustang.

    As I would be using the truck to make sales calls during the week....could I cope with a monster truck ?

    How many miles do you have on your tow vehicle ?

    Should I go 200,000 miles + ?

    Thanks for any advice.

    Lehman

    snaponbob
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    20 Sep 2009 06:46 PM
    Drive it 'till it breaks in half !!!!!!!!! At this point you don't owe IT anything and vice versa. Buying a replacement would be a $30-40K venture and that can keep the old sled going for a long time. If something really terrible happened to it on a trip, you can afford to simply walk away from it !!!!!! Not so much with a new truck.
    David Lehman
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    20 Sep 2009 06:55 PM

    snaponbob wrote:
    Drive it 'till it breaks in half !!!!!!!!! At this point you don't owe IT anything and vice versa. Buying a replacement would be a $30-40K venture and that can keep the old sled going for a long time. If something really terrible happened to it on a trip, you can afford to simply walk away from it !!!!!! Not so much with a new truck.

    I think you're right Bobster.....I don't think I can part with my Sierra......(kinda like my left testicle, it's more wrinkly than the right one, but I still love it all the same)

    mwood
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    20 Sep 2009 07:55 PM

    I plan on putting at least 200-250,000 miles on my 2003 Suburban Z71...and these vehicles should be good for even more. They're simple and the parts proven. I just went over 100,000 last month, which inspired me to do a transmission fluid/filter change (some don't recommend, but I've had zero problems afterwards...although on the 4wd getting the pan off was no fun), replace a seal on the driver's side cylinder head coolant crossover block off (total pia, had to pull the manifold, did all the heads' coolant seals at the same time), change the plugs, change the serpentine belts, stick on a new set of Bilsteins (rides like a frickin' limo), and a new set of Firestones...less than $1000 in parts plus my labor and the truck feels like new again. They're great vehicles, worth more as a nice beater than any low ball trade in value...keep that Denali and just fix stuff when it breaks...

    Lynn
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    20 Sep 2009 08:01 PM

    David, you answered you own question.  It's paid for and you'd have to give up your daily driver.  


    And we didn't really need the information about your anatomy.


    My tow vehicle is also my daily driver with 142,000 miles.  I'll get rid of it when it quits, I quit or I win the lottery.  I don't play the lottery.  So I guess I'll keep it.

    bmwguy325is
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    20 Sep 2009 09:32 PM

    I mentioned this eleswhere

    Watch the last cop car scene in super bad. Then do that and have fun.

    course then you wont be able to tow much

    I hear if you sell a testicle you can get a pretty good wad of cash. Then you can get an F430 and a new tow rig.

    Or maybe that is kidneys???

    Oh and my tow rig has 286000 on it but wait thats my autox car too.

    adrenalin junkie
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    21 Sep 2009 02:51 AM
    My '99 chevy C3500 dually 6.5 diesel has 202k miles. I' haven't had it long, but I went bigger than I needed so I could pull an enclosed trailer, but my open trailer is just >5K lbs with car. I say all this because having the bigger truck is nice so I can bring along everything I need and still have room to be comfortable. But I wouldn't trade just because of the high mileage.. Ed
    harts
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    21 Sep 2009 07:50 AM
    David,, now is a good time to take everything off of your truck that is still working (hose's, alternator, starter, belts, electric stuff ,ect), these are all known good parts (unlike a new part) now replace them with good new parts, (not cheap new parts) now put all of the known good parts in the truck and never take them out, change the tranny fluid and filter, make sure they drop the pan and change the filter, repack the front wheel bearings,, get a spare fuel filter, a bottle of stop leak,, also good to keep a couple gallons of water with you,,, if your front dif had went out 1,000 mile sooner you would of missed nationals, it's not cheap to get towed in from any interstate highway and it's not likely that your truck is going to give it up in your driveway, you do know how to change all of this stuff, don't you ??????
    harts
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    21 Sep 2009 08:05 AM
    now is a good time to change the fuel pump if you haven't already
    David Lehman
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    21 Sep 2009 05:09 PM

    Thanks to everybody for their advice.

    I fixed the truck.....fuel filter, coolant flush, rear brake pads, rear diff service,trasmission fluid change, clean carbon deposit causing rough idle, polished head light lenses, and DETAILED WASH (possibly waxed)-----

    It should be totally fly now.

    TedDBere
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    21 Sep 2009 05:16 PM

    Dave, I bought my Yukon Denali XL new in 2001 and now have 175,000 on it. Changed the transmission oil and filter ever 75,000 miles. Fuel pump went a long time ago and replaced the belts at 150,000. Now burns/leaks a quart of oil every 4,000 miles.

    I have a low level whirling sound coming from the front and replaced the front hub and bearing assemblies but that didn't stop it. What did your front dif sound like before it went?

    New shocks would probably be a good idea and I just ordered new brake pads.

    If it's paid for and it runs then keep it forever, IMHO.

    David Lehman
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    21 Sep 2009 05:19 PM
    My Sierra Denali is AWD all the time. Front diff made like a roaring noise for like 100,000 ----got much louder toward the end. Heard horrible banging noises on the last day (must have been the ring gear or whatever breaking teeth). Sounds quiet like a Lexus now.
    darbyfam
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    21 Sep 2009 05:27 PM

    I use a 99 F150 with 207K on the clock. New motor at 198K. It's paid for and I love that about it. Sure, I have to drop a few hundred in it each year doing maintenance (this year was axles, fan motor, brakes, and driver window motor) but it's still less than a car note.

    I did, however, just purchase a 31' Class C RV that I will use to pull the CSP car with. I got road-side assistance an an extended warranty on that one ;)

    atcovan
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    23 Sep 2009 09:15 AM
    Hi David. I'm a big fan of paid-off vehicles and I think you're definitely on the right track with keeping yours alive with good maintenance. Oh, and take that left nut, sell it to fund your retirement, and have a ball, literally.
    Joe_914
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    23 Sep 2009 09:24 AM

    Paid for is good!!!!

    BigEnos
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    23 Sep 2009 12:53 PM
    TedDBere wrote:

    Dave, I bought my Yukon Denali XL new in 2001 and now have 175,000 on it. Changed the transmission oil and filter ever 75,000 miles. Fuel pump went a long time ago and replaced the belts at 150,000. Now burns/leaks a quart of oil every 4,000 miles.

    I have a low level whirling sound coming from the front and replaced the front hub and bearing assemblies but that didn't stop it. What did your front dif sound like before it went?

    New shocks would probably be a good idea and I just ordered new brake pads.

    If it's paid for and it runs then keep it forever, IMHO.

    My 2003 2500HD ate its transfer case at 79,000 miles (on the way to Nebraska for the Pro in May of this year, actually). It started as a low whirring/scraping sound and seemed OK for about 300 miles until it gave up loudly around Iowa City. Eight hours and $2500 later I was on my way . . . Try changing your front diff fluid and transfer case fluid and see if metal comes out.

    I was ready to replace this truck after that, but I figure that's only about 5-7 months of payments on a new one so why not get a few more years out of it now that I've popped for a big repair. Hopefully no more big issues for a while. BTW the technician gave no reason as to why this one failed. He said there was no apparent problem.

    TedDBere
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    23 Sep 2009 01:02 PM
    BigEnos wrote:
    TedDBere wrote:

    Dave, I bought my Yukon Denali XL new in 2001 and now have 175,000 on it. Changed the transmission oil and filter ever 75,000 miles. Fuel pump went a long time ago and replaced the belts at 150,000. Now burns/leaks a quart of oil every 4,000 miles.

    I have a low level whirling sound coming from the front and replaced the front hub and bearing assemblies but that didn't stop it. What did your front dif sound like before it went?

    New shocks would probably be a good idea and I just ordered new brake pads.

    If it's paid for and it runs then keep it forever, IMHO.

    My 2003 2500HD ate its transfer case at 79,000 miles (on the way to Nebraska for the Pro in May of this year, actually). It started as a low whirring/scraping sound and seemed OK for about 300 miles until it gave up loudly around Iowa City. Eight hours and $2500 later I was on my way . . . Try changing your front diff fluid and transfer case fluid and see if metal comes out.

    Mine's been doing it for 20,000 miles. Used to only come on upon decelleration and now does it durring acceleration and decelleration but goes away if you are maintaining speed. I'm thinking it's a worn bearing related to the front drive shafts, but your dif and transfer case issues have me more concerned. With the dif and the transfer case failures was the sound intermittant and not related to truck speed?

    BigEnos
    Advanced Member
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    Posts:570


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    23 Sep 2009 01:46 PM
    TedDBere wrote:
    BigEnos wrote:
    TedDBere wrote:

    Dave, I bought my Yukon Denali XL new in 2001 and now have 175,000 on it. Changed the transmission oil and filter ever 75,000 miles. Fuel pump went a long time ago and replaced the belts at 150,000. Now burns/leaks a quart of oil every 4,000 miles.

    I have a low level whirling sound coming from the front and replaced the front hub and bearing assemblies but that didn't stop it. What did your front dif sound like before it went?

    New shocks would probably be a good idea and I just ordered new brake pads.

    If it's paid for and it runs then keep it forever, IMHO.

    My 2003 2500HD ate its transfer case at 79,000 miles (on the way to Nebraska for the Pro in May of this year, actually). It started as a low whirring/scraping sound and seemed OK for about 300 miles until it gave up loudly around Iowa City. Eight hours and $2500 later I was on my way . . . Try changing your front diff fluid and transfer case fluid and see if metal comes out.

    Mine's been doing it for 20,000 miles. Used to only come on upon decelleration and now does it durring acceleration and decelleration but goes away if you are maintaining speed. I'm thinking it's a worn bearing related to the front drive shafts, but your dif and transfer case issues have me more concerned. With the dif and the transfer case failures was the sound intermittant and not related to truck speed?

    Related to truck speed, but it was unaffected by load, throttle, gear position, or really anything. Makes sense looking back at my situation because the transfer case is just freewheeling when in 2wd. Denalis are AWD though, so I think that stuff engaged more than it is on an HD model like mine.

    Racin Time
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    23 Sep 2009 06:50 PM

    David Lehman wrote:
    Heard horrible banging noises on the last day (must have been the ring gear or whatever breaking teeth).

    You sure that wasn't from eating Mexican food?

    ratt_finkel
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    23 Sep 2009 07:51 PM
    As another option, you could always find a newer, lower mileage version of what you have now.
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