Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

What to do with an '04 Envoy after transmission fails?

Trailblazer and Envoy related, but not off-road related...

by DSinOR » Mon Jul 15, 2019 3:06 pm

'04 Envoy XL 2WD SLT with I6 engine, 195000 miles. Mostly hwy miles. We are original owner.
Strong engine, excellent paint and interior, garage kept. I did all the service, including tranny flush and filter change every 60K.

Tranny started acting just a tiny bit strange the last few days. It's been 15K miles and over a year since my last tranny flush.

Then tranny failed on hwy. In cruise control, it shifted down to 3rd on a slight rise, then over-revved and slipped completely when it shifted back up to OD.

10 miles later, 3rd gear failed exactly the same way: downshifted to 2nd in some climbing curves, 3rd gear slipped completely when it shifted back up.

I drove the remining 35 miles home in 2nd. Reverse did not work when I got home, but it did work the next morning.

Tranny fluid level is correct for cold on dipstick, but plenty dark.

It's a nice-looking, good running vehicle. Sitting in my driveway.

What do I do with it?

It's 15 years old, 195K miles, max blue book = $3800 if everything works. The tags just expired, and the insurance renews at the end of the month.

Cost of tags + insurance renewal + tranny shop = $2850 to drive it again.

I live in a small town, only 1 local tranny shop. It's a big shop, well-equipped, well-known, well-liked. He doesn't want me to bring him just the tranny. Said he wants to do the whole job because of decades of past issues with people doing the removal and reinstall themselves. He quoted $2500. He said he is just like every other tranny shop in America: he has done a ton of 4L60's. :-)

I can drop it myself and cart it 3 hours to a rebuilder in Boise, but I'm not excited about doing the removal and reinstall myself. I don't have a lift, only jackstands. I do have a tranny jack and tools. I've only done old Ford manuals, never a modern auto like the 4L60.

What else can I do with this car? What are my options?

Does it have any meaningful salvage value if I drive it to a salvage yard?

Are there any parts that people are desperate to find? Maybe I could part out a few pieces and sell the shell to a scrap yard?

Looking for ideas...

Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:33 am
Name: Dave
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: GMC Envoy XL
DriveTrain: 2WD

by Diacom » Mon Jul 15, 2019 4:48 pm

Sorry to hear about your Trans failure Dave.

Part of the reason he wants you to bring the whole vehicle in is so he can flush the trans cooler lines and such. If those don't get done you're just reintroducing material back into the rebuilt trans that will cause premature wear. Many shops will not honor their warranty if this hasn't been done.

Your trans made it 195k miles. That's not bad at all actually. The clutches are probably just worn out. Depending on how much heat was generated when you drove further it may require more hard parts to repair.

I'm willing to be you'll get more selling it as is as a mechanics special than if you take it in for salvage. For most junk yards, all it is for them is weight to send for recycling. If there are any sellable parts on it they can sell before crushing it's more profit for them.

You are in a good position to just walk away from this if you don't want to put anymore money into the vehicle. This assumes of course you have another to drive that is reliable and you don't need this as a back-up.

If you need another vehicle, weigh the cost of this rebuild and putting it back on the road vs getting a replacement in unknown condition and starting maintenance work all over and hoping for the best. Or look at getting a rebuilt trans from an auto parts store.

Me, if I have another reliable vehicle to drive would remove the trans myself and consider an attempt at rebuilding myself. Flush the trans cooling system and go from there. You're only out the rebuild if it doesn't work and if it does, you have your vehicle back on the road ready for tags and insurance when it's ready to roll again. No need to worry about those until you've decided it's road worthy again.

But that's just my thoughts.
Posts: 855
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:08 pm
Location: Mt, Great Falls
Name: Noel
Vehicle Year: 2003
Vehicle: Chevrolet TrailBlazer
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ Aftermarket Locker

by DSinOR » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:26 pm

Hey wow, thanks! Great reply!

I appreciate your thoughts and time.

I will look into the "mechanic's special" idea.

You helped confirm some of my thoughts.

This is a first for me. You look out the window, you see your car, it looks good, and it's dead. It's a head-scratcher to figure what to do with it.
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:33 am
Name: Dave
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: GMC Envoy XL
DriveTrain: 2WD

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