Trailblazer vs Explorer?

Discussion in 'General Chit Chat' started by platoribs, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. platoribs

    platoribs Live to Drive

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    My Son is shopping for an SUV or small truck, wants safety for transporting his daughter around Chicagoland, needs reliability cause he hasen't got much money. He's been looking at Trailblazers with the I6 engine which is supposed to be a very good reliable designed engine and at Explorers... I suspect the engines available for the Ford aren't as good and that the repair bills for the Ford will trend higher than the Cheby.

    Would appreciate hearing pros/cons/reconendations from those with experience.

    Thanks in advance,
    Chris:wave:
     
  2. ShadetreeSHOguy

    ShadetreeSHOguy Postwhore

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    Trailblazer 100% They tow great too. Biggest issue i know of is the ignition coils like to fry, and the water pumps will also go. That's the only thing really. other than that they're great.
     
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  3. SHOspazz92

    SHOspazz92 Banned

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    I wouldn't be looking at either of them. Instead, I would be looking at a Tahoe/Yukon with a 5.3 in it. Not much bigger then both of those but capable of a lot more. Not to mention, that 5.3 Vortec is damn near bullet proof and cheap to maintain. That Inline 6 in the Trailblazer also gets pretty miserable gas mileage.

    -Sam
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014
  4. TimboSHO

    TimboSHO Novice

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    Trailblazers have front end problems galore. Plan on replacing all 4 stabalizer links, all 4 ball joints, and a bearing or 2 on the front.

    Explorers from 02-09 have terrible reliability and is one of the worst rated trucks out there (and God help you if you have to press in a rear wheel bearing!).

    I agree with Sam and would move up to a Tahoe/Yukon, as gas mileage will be very similar, and much more reliable truck in the long run! Just try not to get one too rusted underneath, because the big bunch of brake lines going to the centrally mounted ABS module are a nightmare!
     
  5. SHOtime2511

    SHOtime2511 CGP

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    That I6 in the trailblazer has some issues also.
    Would also be looking at a 4.8/5.3 Tahoe/Yukon or a Expedition.

    For a small truck either a Tacoma or Ranger would be my choice.
     
  6. notbange

    notbange Love fiST

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    Yes they're both crap. I third the move up to a fullsize gm suv. Denali/escalade with the 6.0/6.2 depending on the year is surprisingly fast too.
     
  7. rubydist

    rubydist SHO Master Staff Member Super Moderators

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    the Explorers with the V6 have bad reliability because the tranny doesn't hold up. The Explorers with the V8 will run 200k+ with only minor repairs. I have a 98 Mountaineer V8 with 180k now that is still running just fine, except for a blend door issue I need to fix, one of my daughters has been driving it for several years.

    And by all means, stay away from Durangos. Not only are they broken a lot, they need to stop at every gas station.
     
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  8. SHOtime2511

    SHOtime2511 CGP

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    +1 for the Durango being terrible.
     
  9. SHOclass

    SHOclass Conan has one

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    I see a lot of Trailblazer and Explorer trade ins and I agree with most of what people have said about them. They both drink about the same (6cyl to 6cyl), both have similar rust issues (Explorer is generally worse here), about every single Trailblazer that has been traded have all had loose front ends,(everything from tie rods, links, ball joints, motor mounts...) and about every Explorer traded in has had some sort of exhaust issue, sounds clunky, and that 4.0L always feels so tired. That being said they are still running after 150k plus miles...(mostly)

    Some better options for similar money (i'm assuming under 7k) IMO include :
    Anything with the 5.3L vortech...as stated above.
    Nissan Pathfinder - Xterra
    Don't be afraid of older higher mileage Toyota Sequoias (those 4.7L's are great)
    And believe it or not...Kia Sorento's 2007-2009 with the 3.3L or the 3.8L are awesome little trucks, Full frame, more than enough power, very reliable with either of those two engines in specific, can be had for super cheap and is a very underrated vehicle IMO.

    Hope this helps, good luck.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2014
  10. SoonerLS

    SoonerLS Heed.Obey.Serve

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    I have a '99 Explorer Sport that gave me no problems (aside from a cranky idle air bypass) in its first 100K miles. I changed the plugs and wires somewhere around 100K miles, but the plugs I removed were still in good condition. The only things I had to fix were a broken seat frame, that cranky IAB (I finally got tired of whacking it with a screwdriver handle), and the intake manifold gaskets.

    It would still be on the road, but I loaned it to someone, and when he brought it back, he said the transmission was slipping a bit. Of course, what that meant was "it can no longer move under its own power." Grrr. I'm pretty sure that the transmission would still be fine if he'd talked to me about it before it was almost gone--I changed the trans filter and fluid, and, although it wasn't perfect (when I hit a certain bump, it would momentarily jump out of gear), it did work long enough to get me through the time my car had to go to the body shop to fix $2500 of body damage done by a raccoon strike at 75mph.

    ETA: It had the 4.0 SOHC mill, which worked just fine for me.
     
  11. SHOCH

    SHOCH Tommy Boy Supporting Member

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    IMHO Chicago streets are like the Baha 1000, suspension is critical.
     
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  12. dohcsable

    dohcsable Gold Calipers>*

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    Another weird issue with the TrailBlazer is the carrier bearing on the front differential will fail after awhile, and when it does, it ventilates the aluminum case 118% of the time.

    I too would be buying a expedition/tahoe over a TB/Explorer.....sport trac/avalanche are both nice though.
     
  13. sperold

    sperold Last to Know Supporting Member

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    A model you do not hear much about is the Suzuki XL-7 Premium. Not a lot of money to buy, motor and tranny are reliable (only a 2.7, so not much towing) and no real mechanical issues. My wife bought hers in 2003 with every option (sunroof, full leather, 3 row seating, cladding package, rear air conditioner.... you name it.
    So far we have done the front wheel bearings (do them yourself) and fixed the liquid line to the rear air conditioner.
    It has a full frame, 4 wheel drive, with rear 2 wheel drive, motor is longitudinal and easy to service.
    Parts are still easy to get, but it is out of production (all of Suzuki) so although they are low in price, there will be little resale value.
    Ours has 200K and I am sure it will hit another 200K in the future.
     
  14. rubydist

    rubydist SHO Master Staff Member Super Moderators

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    The problem with Suzuki, Saab, Saturn, etc. is that they are not longer supported and parts are getting hard to find, especially body parts. So, a minor fender bender can result in your vehicle being totaled because they can't get the parts. I've seen it multiple times...
     
  15. SHOtime2511

    SHOtime2511 CGP

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    Lots of issues with the GM 3.6 engine and GM Lambda SUV platform. I wouldn't touch one of those with a 10 ft pole.
     
  16. SHOmethewayhome

    SHOmethewayhome BAD ROLE MODEL

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    5.4 FX4 super crew was what I replaced my 99 explorer with.

    I know 3 different people right now who have Trailblazers parked waiting for major repair (one spun a bearing, one had the grenaded front diff described above and the third one has trans issues) all about 130-150k.

    Sam Nailed it, no point in getting the smaller hauler, step up to a full size, either expedition or Tahoe.
     
  17. rubydist

    rubydist SHO Master Staff Member Super Moderators

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    I had an Expedition that I finally sold at about 250k miles, still going strong. Gas mileage was only about 2 less than the Mountaineer V8 and about the same as what I hear of Durango.
     
  18. sperold

    sperold Last to Know Supporting Member

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    Where I live, unless it is just paint damage, they are going to write it off anyways.
    The Suzuki was hit from behind and the spare tire mangled the rear cargo door and the vehicle was pushed into the car in front where it ruined the front bumper cladding. Without as much as an inspection, the insurance company totaled it - paid out $5,700.00. This happened this last winter.
    We fixed it for less than 2K and bought everything new, except the rear door which was the same as the Grand Vatara model, which is much more common.
    If you want an SUV that gets good mileage.... this one cannot be beat.
     
  19. TimboSHO

    TimboSHO Novice

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    That's because 119% of those front diffs leak from the case halves. At least there is a trick to get them out a bit faster than the 10.5 hour book time :evilgrin:
     
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  20. SHOnUup4

    SHOnUup4 SHO Member

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    Currently own a 2005 trailblazer 4.2 with 150k....just replaced all ball joints tie rods and axle shaft last month before trip to Kentucky....know a mechanic and got all that done for 650...also replaced both hub assemblies last year....think that was 400 in parts and I installed...water pump last year too, that wasn't to costly (150 I think) as I installed that to...some general maintenance I feel for living in the pot hole capital of the world....feels like another 50-75k easy
     

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