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  1. #1
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    31

    Question Mechanic says that I need to replace the EGR valve

    Friends, I'm having a mechanic look at our 1990 GMC Suburban, as we need to take a trip in a couple of weeks from Texas to Ohio, as my mother is not doing well physically, and we need to move her to a nursing care situation where she will get care 24/7. We will need to go in the Suburban, as we will need to pull back a trailer with her belongings, as she will not have any space for her stuff where she is going.
    To make a long story short, today the mechanic who is looking at the car told me that I need to replace the EGR valve, as I have been getting some intermittent check engine messages lately. This doesn't seem to affect engine performance, however, so I haven't been to anxious to get it diagnosed, but with us having to pull a trailer back to Texas, I wanted to get it diagnosed.
    My question to you all is this: Is this a major hassle to do myself? I was given a quote of ~$300.00 to get it replaced, and I called up the local Advanced Auto store and was told that I could purchase the part from them for ~$82.00.
    Is this something that I could simply unbolt and bolt the new one on? Any specific technique or is it located in a difficult to work on position?
    I also got an estimate of $500.00 to replace the steering gear box, as it is leaking Power Steering fluid. Is there any danger if I let this go? I figure that I can purchase a boat load of Power Steering fluid for $500.00, but with pulling a trailer and all I wouldn't want it to go out on me. I plan to just monitor the PS level and carry a couple of extra quarts with me.
    Thanks so much in advance for your help!
    Last edited by rfdillon; 11-01-2007 at 01:51 PM.
    1990 GMC Suburban 329,000 miles

  2. #2

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    As for the EGR valve, I replaced it myself a few weeks ago. It wasn't too difiicult for me, pull the air cleaner off the TBI, unbolt a couple wire holders, and I was to it. It was fairly easy to unbolt off the intake. Getting the new one on took some creative thinking, as the size of the new one is slightly larger than the old one, so you can't just plop it on straight. All in all, it may have taken an hour, if that to replace. In the process, I found a bunch of rotting and/or broken vacumm lines that needed to be replaced anyway. Once I got the EGR replaced, I didn't have any EGR check engine lights anymore...

    For the power steering gearbox, If it's just leaking the oil, I'd keep a close watch on it and don't let it get too low. Also inspect it thoroughly eveytime you stop for something. A little bit of time inspecting it can help keep a failure from occuring. Try to replace that before you leave, it shouldn't be too hard. Maybe 7 bolts and the hoses and it's home free.
    Christopher

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 265K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half



    There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who dont...

    Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down- Adam Savage

  3. #3
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    31

    Default

    Thanks so much, Crawdaddy, for your help and advice. About the steering box, though, I don't know if I'll be able to replace it. First of all, I don't have funds for it, and secondly, I'd hate to screw up something that affects the steering!
    Seriously, though, do you think I can just check the PS fluid and get by, or is it something that absolutely has to get replaced before making a trip like that?
    It has been leaking PS fluid for years, and every week I check the fluids. I usually have to add some PS fluid ~ once a month, and if at all possible, I'd rather not have to replace that steering box. I don't even know who I'd go to to purchase that part - is it a dealer only item? Would some place like AutoZone or Advanced Auto parts have one? How does it bolt on? Thanks again for your help!
    Last edited by rfdillon; 11-01-2007 at 02:40 PM.
    1990 GMC Suburban 329,000 miles

  4. #4
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    31

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    Well, folks, I picked up an EGR valve at AutoZone, but am a little concerned, because I'm supposed to match up a washer, using a number listed on the original EGR valve, then I'm supposed to stake it in place using a center punch. What is this all about? Should I take it back and get one from the dealer? Thanks again for all your help!
    1990 GMC Suburban 329,000 miles

  5. #5
    Former Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Huntsville, Alabama
    Posts
    372

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rfdillon View Post
    Thanks so much, Crawdaddy, for your help and advice. About the steering box, though, I don't know if I'll be able to replace it. First of all, I don't have funds for it, and secondly, I'd hate to screw up something that affects the steering!
    Seriously, though, do you think I can just check the PS fluid and get by, or is it something that absolutely has to get replaced before making a trip like that?
    It has been leaking PS fluid for years, and every week I check the fluids. I usually have to add some PS fluid ~ once a month, and if at all possible, I'd rather not have to replace that steering box. I don't even know who I'd go to to purchase that part - is it a dealer only item? Would some place like AutoZone or Advanced Auto parts have one? How does it bolt on? Thanks again for your help!
    You don't need to replace it right now, all you have to do is make sure you keep a CLOSE eye on all the fluids. On a trip that long, I'd check each gas stop, or every other gas stop. If you let it go dry, you just wont have power steering and you'll more than likely have to replace it sooner than later.

  6. #6
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    31

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    OK, folks, the story gets worse. Mind you, I more or less trust this mechanic who has the car right now, but now I am told that the ring gear carrier is also bad, and is very loose inside the rear end. He is going to give me an estimate, and perhaps attempt to purchase a used rear end if new parts are too much.
    Also, apparently the water pump has started to leak, as they see it trickle from the pump. I haven't added any water for ~ 3 weeks, so I haven't noticed it leaking. I remember changing it out ~ 7 years ago, so it is about time. Is this something that I could let go, and check my fluids every couple of hours, or do I need to fix this too before I leave for my trip?
    Does someone have some detailed instructions on replacing the water pump?
    Thanks so much in advance for your help and advice!
    1990 GMC Suburban 329,000 miles

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rfdillon View Post
    Well, folks, I picked up an EGR valve at AutoZone, but am a little concerned, because I'm supposed to match up a washer, using a number listed on the original EGR valve, then I'm supposed to stake it in place using a center punch. What is this all about? Should I take it back and get one from the dealer? Thanks again for all your help!
    I had the same issue. The EGR valve was the original on the truck, so I was able to read the number and use the appropriate washer. I didn't use a center punch to lock the washer in place, I just manually held it as far as I could and it seemed to stay in place correctly. However, I forgot to write the number on the new EGR valve, so the next time I have to replace it, I'm either going to have to match the washer with one in the new EGR valve, or use the original washer :| . Hopefully I should NEVER have to replace it again, but who knows... The water pump should be relatively easy to replace, take the fan and serpentine belt off, undo 4 bolts or so, and it should come off. I haven't looked too close at mine recently, but if I remember correctly, that's all there is to it, since it hangs off the front of the motor. The ring gear carrier, leave that one to the pros. That's something that I would be intimidated to do, as differentials are more complicated that you would think. I had to pull the spider gears out of mine to pull the axleshafts, and it probably took me 45 mins to get the spider gears back in. Then with the ring gear carrier, you would have to unbolt the ring gear, then to put it back in, sync the teeth, oh god, it just hurts thinking about it. I want to put an air locker in my rearend, but I think I'm leaving it to the pros...
    Christopher

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 265K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half



    There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who dont...

    Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down- Adam Savage

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