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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I’ve been the happy owner of an 06 AWD for almost 12 yrs now. I’ve maintained my truck and have kept it as clean as possible. But unfortunately I live in upstate NY and they salt the roads heavy up here. This as some may know causes excessive rust and corrosion in the winter months. I bought this truck with the full intention on keeping it forever. It has been an awesome truck and I’ve driven it all over the country to multiple states. It’s been to Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, Ohio, and im sure I missed a couple. Never left me and the family stranded and always brought us home safe. I’ve now got about 157K on the clock now and over the last couple years the truck has been needing more love. Which im completely ok with since it’s been so great and is expected owning any vehicle for this long. It started with a trans flare a couple years ago which I didnt hesitate to fix. The wife said “do we get a new truck?” I said f-that and put a factory Re manufactured trans in it with a 3 yr warranty. Problem solved! After getting that squared away about 6 months later I ran into the issue with the AWD carrier housing and input shaft getting stripped out. No worries. I ordered new housing and shaft and fixed it. (Btw I’ve been a mechanic for about 20yrs now. Geez I’m getting old. Haha) Well a few months later that was followed by the front diff falling victim to failure. Bearings were wasted and the ring gear was rubbing on the case while turning I caught it before a catastrophic failure. Ordered a rebuild kit for the front diff and pull it out myself and rebuilt it. Put the truck back together and while breaking in the new front diff parts the rear air suspension took a dump. No pun intended. Ordered new Arnoff bags online and new air lines from gm followed by a lightly used compressor from one of our forum members here and poof I’m in the air again. Throw in a new set of toyo tires and then new control arms and ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, sway bar bushing and links, wheel bearings, front brakes pads while I was there and an alignment later and I’m happy I’m in the SS driving again!

But this long story isn’t over yet. After all of that and driving the truck just about 500 miles after rebuilding the front diff (just about broken in)… I started smelling gas while I was waiting in line at the car wash. Hmmm. Must be the guy in the Honda in front of me. I washed the truck and towel dry it as always. And there it is. I see it! I now have a gas leak. WTF!🤬 I drove it home and put it up on some ramps and I see fuel dripping off the bottom of the tank. DAMN RUST!! I hate the salt up here. I’m sure the sending unit is leaking just have to drop the tank to confirm it.

So that what leads me to the fork in the road. I don’t know If I should just sell it at this point or just keep fixing it. I will be fixing the fuel leak in the next couple weeks. I want to drive it the thing owes me now! Hahaha. The rust is starting to get to the body now creeping out from under the bottom of the doors and on the rear quarter wheel arch on the passenger side. I’m just looking for insight from some other owners, OG owners and new owners too. What should I do? Should I trade it in or sell it? Drive it until I just can’t drive it no more? Should I have sold it when it needed a trans over 2 yrs ago? I love this truck and I still get compliments on it. Thanks for reading let me know what you think.

A little info on the truck: 06 AWD 156k mild mods. Belltech suspension from tony, stock ride height. Cold air inductions intake, XS power long tube headers with high flow cats, and a pcm mail order tune.
 

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TrailblazerSS
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Awesome story!

Honestly, the vibe I’m getting from you is that you’ve enjoyed the truck but you’re not sure about wanting to keep going through the truck and replacing everything. That being said, might be worth looking into selling….before another thing goes wrong.

Is everything replaceable? Absolutely! Is it cheap? Nope! But after having it 12 years, sounds like it owes you nothing. So any money you put into it would be similar to the payment on whatever “new” ride you get.

Is wrenching on it better than the smell of a new car? That’s probably the one question to help steer your decision.
 

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06'TrailblazerSS, 07'Z06,71'Stingray
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(y) I am the original owner of my 2006. I have 132,000 miles on her. She's my daily driver. I live in Michigan and am quite familiar with the salt and rust issue. I recently replaced the passenger rear right panel. My frame is great. I wash it constantly(especially in the winter). I have done many of the repairs you mentioned. I haven't had a car payment since 2011. I love the truck. It's transported my family all over the U.S.A. It's just sounds like you have run into a bad streak. I would look around for what you would have to pay for comparable suv. You will be shocked and won't have a V8. Fix and keep it.
:)
 

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06'TrailblazerSS, 07'Z06,71'Stingray
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Well I’ve been the happy owner of an 06 AWD for almost 12 yrs now. I’ve maintained my truck and have kept it as clean as possible. But unfortunately I live in upstate NY and they salt the roads heavy up here. This as some may know causes excessive rust and corrosion in the winter months. I bought this truck with the full intention on keeping it forever. It has been an awesome truck and I’ve driven it all over the country to multiple states. It’s been to Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, Ohio, and im sure I missed a couple. Never left me and the family stranded and always brought us home safe. I’ve now got about 157K on the clock now and over the last couple years the truck has been needing more love. Which im completely ok with since it’s been so great and is expected owning any vehicle for this long. It started with a trans flare a couple years ago which I didnt hesitate to fix. The wife said “do we get a new truck?” I said f-that and put a factory Re manufactured trans in it with a 3 yr warranty. Problem solved! After getting that squared away about 6 months later I ran into the issue with the AWD carrier housing and input shaft getting stripped out. No worries. I ordered new housing and shaft and fixed it. (Btw I’ve been a mechanic for about 20yrs now. Geez I’m getting old. Haha) Well a few months later that was followed by the front diff falling victim to failure. Bearings were wasted and the ring gear was rubbing on the case while turning I caught it before a catastrophic failure. Ordered a rebuild kit for the front diff and pull it out myself and rebuilt it. Put the truck back together and while breaking in the new front diff parts the rear air suspension took a dump. No pun intended. Ordered new Arnoff bags online and new air lines from gm followed by a lightly used compressor from one of our forum members here and poof I’m in the air again. Throw in a new set of toyo tires and then new control arms and ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, sway bar bushing and links, wheel bearings, front brakes pads while I was there and an alignment later and I’m happy I’m in the SS driving again!

But this long story isn’t over yet. After all of that and driving the truck just about 500 miles after rebuilding the front diff (just about broken in)… I started smelling gas while I was waiting in line at the car wash. Hmmm. Must be the guy in the Honda in front of me. I washed the truck and towel dry it as always. And there it is. I see it! I now have a gas leak. WTF!🤬 I drove it home and put it up on some ramps and I see fuel dripping off the bottom of the tank. DAMN RUST!! I hate the salt up here. I’m sure the sending unit is leaking just have to drop the tank to confirm it.

So that what leads me to the fork in the road. I don’t know If I should just sell it at this point or just keep fixing it. I will be fixing the fuel leak in the next couple weeks. I want to drive it the thing owes me now! Hahaha. The rust is starting to get to the body now creeping out from under the bottom of the doors and on the rear quarter wheel arch on the passenger side. I’m just looking for insight from some other owners, OG owners and new owners too. What should I do? Should I trade it in or sell it? Drive it until I just can’t drive it no more? Should I have sold it when it needed a trans over 2 yrs ago? I love this truck and I still get compliments on it. Thanks for reading let me know what you think.

A little info on the truck: 06 AWD 156k mild mods. Belltech suspension from tony, stock ride height. Cold air inductions intake, XS power long tube headers with high flow cats, and a pcm mail order tune.
103060

Well I’ve been the happy owner of an 06 AWD for almost 12 yrs now. I’ve maintained my truck and have kept it as clean as possible. But unfortunately I live in upstate NY and they salt the roads heavy up here. This as some may know causes excessive rust and corrosion in the winter months. I bought this truck with the full intention on keeping it forever. It has been an awesome truck and I’ve driven it all over the country to multiple states. It’s been to Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, Ohio, and im sure I missed a couple. Never left me and the family stranded and always brought us home safe. I’ve now got about 157K on the clock now and over the last couple years the truck has been needing more love. Which im completely ok with since it’s been so great and is expected owning any vehicle for this long. It started with a trans flare a couple years ago which I didnt hesitate to fix. The wife said “do we get a new truck?” I said f-that and put a factory Re manufactured trans in it with a 3 yr warranty. Problem solved! After getting that squared away about 6 months later I ran into the issue with the AWD carrier housing and input shaft getting stripped out. No worries. I ordered new housing and shaft and fixed it. (Btw I’ve been a mechanic for about 20yrs now. Geez I’m getting old. Haha) Well a few months later that was followed by the front diff falling victim to failure. Bearings were wasted and the ring gear was rubbing on the case while turning I caught it before a catastrophic failure. Ordered a rebuild kit for the front diff and pull it out myself and rebuilt it. Put the truck back together and while breaking in the new front diff parts the rear air suspension took a dump. No pun intended. Ordered new Arnoff bags online and new air lines from gm followed by a lightly used compressor from one of our forum members here and poof I’m in the air again. Throw in a new set of toyo tires and then new control arms and ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, sway bar bushing and links, wheel bearings, front brakes pads while I was there and an alignment later and I’m happy I’m in the SS driving again!

But this long story isn’t over yet. After all of that and driving the truck just about 500 miles after rebuilding the front diff (just about broken in)… I started smelling gas while I was waiting in line at the car wash. Hmmm. Must be the guy in the Honda in front of me. I washed the truck and towel dry it as always. And there it is. I see it! I now have a gas leak. WTF!🤬 I drove it home and put it up on some ramps and I see fuel dripping off the bottom of the tank. DAMN RUST!! I hate the salt up here. I’m sure the sending unit is leaking just have to drop the tank to confirm it.

So that what leads me to the fork in the road. I don’t know If I should just sell it at this point or just keep fixing it. I will be fixing the fuel leak in the next couple weeks. I want to drive it the thing owes me now! Hahaha. The rust is starting to get to the body now creeping out from under the bottom of the doors and on the rear quarter wheel arch on the passenger side. I’m just looking for insight from some other owners, OG owners and new owners too. What should I do? Should I trade it in or sell it? Drive it until I just can’t drive it no more? Should I have sold it when it needed a trans over 2 yrs ago? I love this truck and I still get compliments on it. Thanks for reading let me know what you think.

A little info on the truck: 06 AWD 156k mild mods. Belltech suspension from tony, stock ride height. Cold air inductions intake, XS power long tube headers with high flow cats, and a pcm mail order tune.
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'07 3SS 2WD
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Plenty of rust free ones out there.
 

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A few thoughts. You're not gonna be selling your truck with a leaky fuel tank, at least not for decent money.

If you decide to sell, you're going to be either paying through the nose for something new (assuming you can find something), or you buy something used that will have the same issues.

Unless you're just itching to spend money, I'd fix it, and then have it under coated to prevent more rust issuesm
 

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TrailblazerSS
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I’m in ny also. I’ve replaced tons of crap but I love the fact no car payment, if I go to the store and someone hits it with shopping cart I’m not as pissed as I am if the 21 sienna gets hit. Awd in winter. I just can’t believe the new cars are the price of half our house. Yes the gas mileage and repairs sucks but I don’t have to dump 500 a month to fix it. Oh and don’t forget insurance is more on the new cars. Yes they suck on gas but it’s a lot of gas I’d have to buy to get to a new car payment. Plus when the “stock” parts go bad it’s a justification to upgrade
 

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I’m in ny also. I’ve replaced tons of crap but I love the fact no car payment, if I go to the store and someone hits it with shopping cart I’m not as pissed as I am if the 21 sienna gets hit. Awd in winter. I just can’t believe the new cars are the price of half our house. Yes the gas mileage and repairs sucks but I don’t have to dump 500 a month to fix it. Oh and don’t forget insurance is more on the new cars. Yes they suck on gas but it’s a lot of gas I’d have to buy to get to a new car payment. Plus when the “stock” parts go bad it’s a justification to upgrade
I’d be pissed driving a Sienna in general….lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Awesome story!

Honestly, the vibe I’m getting from you is that you’ve enjoyed the truck but you’re not sure about wanting to keep going through the truck and replacing everything. That being said, might be worth looking into selling….before another thing goes wrong.

Is everything replaceable? Absolutely! Is it cheap? Nope! But after having it 12 years, sounds like it owes you nothing. So any money you put into it would be similar to the payment on whatever “new” ride you get.

Is wrenching on it better than the smell of a new car? That’s probably the one question to help steer your decision.
Well that is pretty much the struggle I’ve been facing. I don’t really want to get rid of my SS, I just want to be able to drive it without it breaking all the time. The smell of a new car is nice. But nothing I drive has the power or excitement that the Trailblazer delivers. I drove a new traverse 3.6 v6 underpowered boat anchor. Beautiful car but there are plenty of hills where I live and I shouldn’t have to plant my foot to get up them at a normal pace. Fuel leak will be fixed in a couple weeks when I have time to drop the tank. Thank you to all for your input. Haven’t had a car payment since 2012 and It’s been nice not to worry about it. The saga continues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
(y) I am the original owner of my 2006. I have 132,000 miles on her. She's my daily driver. I live in Michigan and am quite familiar with the salt and rust issue. I recently replaced the passenger rear right panel. My frame is great. I wash it constantly(especially in the winter). I have done many of the repairs you mentioned. I haven't had a car payment since 2011. I love the truck. It's transported my family all over the U.S.A. It's just sounds like you have run into a bad streak. I would look around for what you would have to pay for comparable suv. You will be shocked and won't have a V8. Fix and keep it.
:)
Geez does that sound like a familiar story. Hahaha.
I’m in ny also. I’ve replaced tons of crap but I love the fact no car payment, if I go to the store and someone hits it with shopping cart I’m not as pissed as I am if the 21 sienna gets hit. Awd in winter. I just can’t believe the new cars are the price of half our house. Yes the gas mileage and repairs sucks but I don’t have to dump 500 a month to fix it. Oh and don’t forget insurance is more on the new cars. Yes they suck on gas but it’s a lot of gas I’d have to buy to get to a new car payment. Plus when the “stock” parts go bad it’s a justification to upgrade
I’ve been using that mantra for replacing parts my whole life. Why put a stock replacement on when you could upgrade for about the same price. The wife just rolls her eyes and then I proceed to purchase things. Lmao. When I put the headers on and let her drive it she was impressed with how different it sounded over stock. I had to put the muffler back on though because when I would have to pass somebody on the highway with the kids sleeping in the back, it would wake them up from a sound sleep and it wasn’t a pleasant time for anybody.
 

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'06 Black AWD TBSS
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The timing of your repairs and ownership were similar to mine and I experienced a lot of the repairs and items you did. 2006 AWD mods still in my signature (most installed at 100K). I had purchased my Phoenix built trans and torque converter at about 107K miles. Then I was good till about 145K miles; That year I was hit with the same front carrier and input shaft and months later the front diff just like you. Located in Ohio mine was starting to get some rust. I even went as far as buying (3) lightly used doors having them repainted, electronics, and panels transferred and installed.

I ended up owning mine for just shy of 10 years and had put 197K miles on it. I didn't want to get rid of it for all the same reasons as you; Still to this day it was the vehicle I owned the longest because it kept me smiling and entertained the longest and was overall a great vehicle. Finding a replacement is hard; Any SUV with 400+ HP and 4WD/AWD is going to be pricey and not as easy to wrench on yourself.

I was at 177K and the trans started slipping; Paid a local transmission shop that was recommended by a friend to do a "refresh" and that ended up being not the best decision. 11K miles later at 189K miles the "refresh" transmission started slipping again. I was slightly more motivated this time to start looking for a replacement as our 3rd child was on the way and we needed something with a 3rd row. If we didn't need a larger SUV for our family I probably would have seriously considered either a 4l80 swap or rebuilding the 4l70 AGAIN at 190K and seeing if I could get 250K+ miles out of it.

I miss not having a car payment.
I miss the rarity of the TBSS.

Because of what's going on right now with the supply chain in the new car market the pricing in the used car market is nuts right now. Fix the fuel tank and at minimum get another 2 years out of it, let the automaker supply chain level out, increase availability, and normal out the pricing in the used car market again.

It sounds like you're happy with it and you've maintained it well. TBH you've already knocked out most of the major costly repairs; Transmission, front carrier housing & input shaft, and front differential. Fix the leaking fuel tank and ride it out for as close as to 200K+ as you can get! Your worst enemy moving forward will be rust starting to appear on the body panels.

Good luck with it.
 

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x10 Keep it! Cant find anything else like it for the money and new car prices are just downright stupid! The salt here in MD rusted out my "all steel, non-coated" power steering cooler at 7k #wtf. That was also when its transformation began. I stripped entire frame, entire underbody and recoated everything in por15. Now that Ive put so much work into her and my other rides, I refuse to drive out in the snow when the brilliant MD DPW is busy dumping tons of frame eating crap all over the road because people don't know how and when to drive in the winter anymore. I now use a rental for those 3 months of the year ;)
 

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07 Trailblazer SS RW
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Do what you can to keep her on the road. If the rust gets to be a concern, look for a good rust free replacement. They are still out there. I have had a tb of one kind or another since 2003. Bought my RWD 07 SS about 6 years ago. Other than the odometer at 83k, it looked new inside and out. Fortunately, we live in FL now so no rust concerns. 100k miles and $17k in mods later, she is still going strong even with the original Trans. Other than the cam and replacing some leaky seals,, the engine has had no work. I get comments on it almost every time I drive it. Wouldn't trade it for any new reasonably priced SUV.

Wife gets the new cars and I am perfectly fine with that!
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