Larry: I have to use one hand to hold the grease gun fitting securely to the zerk fitting otherwise it pops right off given the crazy angles you have to bend the hose. Removing the skid plates makes it so much easier. Only takes a couple of minutes with a 15 mm socket to remove them. I get all of the zerk fittings including the stationary part of the idler arm.
J.Williams wrote: "P.S. I also use a flexible hose on my grease gun obviating the need for a right angle fitting. "
Well, I wrote the article and I also use a flexible hose on the gun. Even with that hose, it is nearly impossible to keep the nozzle on the Zerk when greasing the stationary part of the idler arm. You may have never even noticed that fitting it's so deeply buried. You have to reach up between the core support and the front of the engine and leading edge of the skid plate. There's not quite enough room to bend the hose 90 degrees to get it onto the Zerk fitting. That was the first one I changed to a 90 degree Zerk fitting and the driver for writing the article. It would have been SO easy for GM to have used an angle fitting there.
It's funny that when I saw the title for this "Monkeys", I thought I would tell about my travails lubing my Suburban. Lo and behold, it was about MY Suburban. I have a 2002 and the easiest way to get at the pitman arm and tie rod inners, is to unbolt the plastic splash guards from the bumper to the front diff, then it is much easier. As previously mentioned, jacking up the front wheels and hard-left and hard-right makes it easier to get at the ball joints.
But yes, GM made this a tough truck to lube. I suspect many of these vehicles on the road do not get regular lubing because it is such a itchbay to do.
This story, and the associated comments, speak volumes about how much attention the automakers pay to the voice of home mechanics. If they did listen, we wouldn't be seeing this blog or many of the follow-up comments.
Indeed. The Tahoe replaced a 1995 Chev. Lumina APV with transverse engine. A lot of things were reachable on that vehicle but some were a nightmare. Changing the rear three spark plugs would lead to a back and knees which complained for days.
The neighbor had a 1994 LeSabre with the same V6 and it was even worse.
Larry, this comment was primarily about the U-Van body style and the smaller cars of a few years back, and it did not relate to the larger vehicles, since I had no experience with them. But picture how close that Taho engine compartment would be with the same engine, if the vehicle were almost 2 feet narrower, and 4 feet shorter. The open space is the first element to be used up when vehicles shrink.
William K. wrote: "In many GM products the entire front driv package is built up and then attached to the body about half way down the assembly line. I am particularly aware of that because at one time my responsibilty was the electrical testers that verified that everything was in place and connected. The electrically heated oxygen sensors were especially critical since if the ceramic cracked the test would fail, and the replacement took over an hour each, on the brand new vehicle. It seems that they were not accessible from any direction."
William, that's an interesting comment. It certainly doesn't apply to these GM truck chassis. I just replaced an electrically heated O2 sensor in the described vehicle (2006 Tahoe) and both the upstream and downstream sensors on the left side were extremely accessible. I was impressed with the working room. The change took just a minute or two. (I didn't look at the right side but cannot imagine it would be any different.
I am not sure about your numbers, but I know I have not driven a car as my primary vehicle since 1977 and have always had better luck with properly maintained trucks than I experience with the autos owned by my wife and kids. Today we all drive trucks or SUV's. Oops, I can no longer say all, as my youngest daughter recently traded her Jeep for a Mustang. As a side note, can anyone tell me why a Mustang needs a 320 hp eight cylinder engine. That is more than my Expedition.
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