RacetruckRon Dork
7/12/21 4:38 p.m.

Cliff notes:  My wife wanted a bigger car because we are planning on adopting or fostering.  We sold her 3 year old barely driven Grand Cherokee to the dealership for a profit and bought a 10 year old Escalade.

Full Story: Wall of text warning

Used car prices are out of control right now. That's a fact just about everyone on this forum is aware of.

The wife and I had been looking at 3 row SUVs for her, mostly 15-19 Yukon XL and Suburbans, big money even for well used ones.  The only problem we were having was the Suburbans/Yukons in our price range had +80k miles on them.   That's a big hike in miles going from her 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee which was paid off and had only 25k miles on it and then also adding a car payment on.  

The Chevy dealer in town offered us a ridiculous amount for trade in on the wife's Jeep, roughly $1000 less than what it was driven off the lot in 2018 for.  We asked "what would buy this car from us for?" -same price.  So we called their bluff and left with no Jeep and a check with an absurd figure printed on it.  We figured it would take us a month or so to find the right car and then we changed up our search criteria.

Good Bye grey Jeep.

Mrs. Racetruck wanted 3 rows, DVD players, heated/cooled seats and roughly 100k miles on the clock.  So instead of spending $40k on a 15-19 Suburban with 90k miles on it why not look at 07-14 Escalades or Yukon Denalis?  Slightly older, bluetooth and carplay might not be equipped but significantly lower price. 

We found a 2011 Escalade, on Autotrader of all places, just south of Charlotte with 130k miles on it priced very reasonably, almost too reasonable.  So I cut out of work early we drove up and looked at it, the owner had the original craigslist ad from when she bought the Escalade 4 years ago, every maintenance record through her ownership including $3k in dealer service for airshocks and steering position sensors in the last month.  It has scuffs and small dents on most of the panels, window tint that's a little too dark for my taste and a small valve cover leak.  All of which made that almost too reasonable price seem more realistic.  It's also a 2011 so it has displacement on demand which is about the only gripe I have with the truck.  But it checks the boxes and has a 6.2/6L80e drivetrain which I have a spare shortblock for in the garage if catastrophe strikes. 

First round of maintenance will include trans filter/fluid change, oil change and a thorough cleaning since the truck has sat outside for the last 4 years of ownership.  We also discovered on the ride home that the cruise control doesn't work. Quick searching yielded that the brake pedal switch is a known failure point and is only an $11 part.  I would also like to upgrade the head unit to something from this decade.  Bluetooth and carplay would be nice to have for cross country road trips but we don't want to lose the rear DVD or steering wheel button functions.

Obligatory first gas station pic.

These rigs take a little getting used to.

Most egregious of the bruises.

Brown Dog approves of the new chariot.

cdowd (Forum Supporter)
cdowd (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/12/21 6:41 p.m.

I like these.  I had a friend with  2015 Tahoe that was going to give it to me for trade in. Unfortunately trade in was 28k with 100k miles on it.  Nope i think you found the better option.

RacetruckRon Dork
7/12/21 6:52 p.m.

In reply to cdowd (Forum Supporter) :

Agreed, older but less complex than the newer DI engines.  We looked at a 16' Tahoe that was 37k.  We sold the Jeep for 30k and bought the Escalade for $18.5k.

84FSP UltraDork
7/12/21 7:01 p.m.

Awesome ride.  Welcome to the Foster/adoption world.  We've been doing it for a number of years now and happy to help with any thoughts or questions you may have.  Reddit has a couple great forums https://www.reddit.com/r/fosterit/ and https://www.reddit.com/r/Fosterparents/.  We're out of Ohio but have also fostered in Texas and it is mostly national despite state/county differences.

glueguy (Forum Supporter)
glueguy (Forum Supporter) Dork
7/13/21 5:59 a.m.

Nice truck!  We have a 2009 version with 163k.  It's great, cooled seats are awesome.  The bluetooth is actually better than most of our cars.  We keep XM in this one so we don't try to stream but the mic and speaker are very good.  I replaced the air struts/shocks and a trans rebuild.  Fighting a fuel venting issue now that only lets the tank fill a little before clicking off.  That's next weekend's project.

RacetruckRon Dork
7/31/21 9:58 p.m.

Today I learned that the 6L80e does not have a drain bolt on the transmission pan.  You also can't pull the pan off without disconnecting the exhaust crossover which is very hard to do if you get the truck up to temp like you are supposed to. So I fished the filter and gasket off and transfer pumped the remainder of the fluid out of the pan.

Anger. GM you fill me with anger.

Mndsm MegaDork
7/31/21 10:00 p.m.

These are likely my next purchase, unless I accidentally buy another jeep or something. I've yet to find a better compromise, and the prices are inexplicably reasonable, even now. 

birdmayne New Reader
7/31/21 10:10 p.m.

In the last two years, my wife has gone from '15 Jeep Cherokee --> traded in plus $3K cash for '14 Yukon Denali --> traded in for 2009 Suburban plus $6500 --> traded in plus me financing a bunch on a '17 Suburban. 


15 Cherokee was too small for 3 kids, made the move to a Yukon when somebody got her pregnant (I blame the milkman). 

14 Yukon had third row, but almost no room behind third row and captain seats for second row was tiresome with 3 car seats. 

09 Suburban had ALL of the room, second row bench, DVD, navy, the works. But it blew the transfer case a week after purchasing. Then started to misfire on #6. Low compression found, rear diff started to skip when cold. I got rid of it as fast as possible.

17 Suburban is one sweet rig. Hated signing the financing sheets, but damn is that car nice... 

Datsun310Guy MegaDork
8/1/21 8:00 a.m.
RacetruckRon said:

Anger. GM you fill me with anger.

Okay, deep breath, you have a long road of suffering ahead owning a GM product.    

The worst mental game I played was selling my 2011 Accord and replacing it with a 2016 Silverado.  Now I get to hear "that's a common problem with Silverado's"

RacetruckRon Dork
8/1/21 9:23 a.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

I should have known about the exhaust crossover, my 03 Denali is the same way but at least that pan has a drain bolt on it.

RacetruckRon Dork
9/24/21 8:23 p.m.

More maintenance on Speedboat. Power steering pump started leaking just before we drove up to Wisconsin for Labor Day, didn't have time to fix it so we just topped it off every other fuel stop. 

I also discovered the factory oil cooler lines were weeping a bit where the rubber is crimped on the aluminum so that's on the list to replace as well. 

Pop the tensioner off, disconnect the battery/alternator, 2 hose clamps and 5 bolts. Bam!  I love LS motors.

RacetruckRon Dork
10/1/21 9:09 p.m.

Looking back on the repair I got way more than I bargained for. The oil cooler lines on gen4 engines are a real pain to remove and reinstall with removing the sway bar and driver side engine mount. The knock sensors on the skirt and cam sensor wiring create extra obstacles. 

RacetruckRon Dork
8/1/22 11:51 a.m.

Just changed the oil and gave this rig a thorough wash this weekend.  It cleans up nice!

It has a power steering leak again, it looks like it is coming from the bulkhead on the steering rack. Not a huge deal but it is something I thought I fixed last fall so I need to look at that closer.  It also has a valve cover leak that is getting worse so I'll address that shortly.  It needs an alignment and an O2 sensor on Bank1.  Other than those little things it has been a great rig and has just a hair under 147k on it so we need to start looking at DOD/VVT delete and tune shortly.

OjaiM5 HalfDork
8/1/22 1:24 p.m.

Dang, that this is all sorts of fancy! Like driving Mariah to catch a private jet fancy. 

RacetruckRon Dork
10/16/22 2:05 a.m.

Still trucking along with only small stuff.  The brakes have had a little bit of a shimmy in the front for a while and the rear pads were geeting low so I ordered pads and rotors all around.  Those parts sat in the garage for a couple weeks until we had a nasty noise start in the rear whenever the brakes were touched.  The inside pad on the rear right caliper was unhappy, that is supposed to be the friction material side.

I have had a CEL on for the upstream O2 on the odd bank so I swapped that out.  I just breathed on it with a 22mm box end and it popped loose. I love Southern cars.  Fresh brakes, no check engine lights this truck is pretty well dialed for winter.

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
10/16/22 8:23 a.m.

In reply to RacetruckRon :

Did you find the source of the brake noise? 

nsogiba New Reader
10/18/22 9:32 a.m.

This thing is awesome. What's involved in the DOD/VVT delete? Tune only or a cam/lifter change too? 

RacetruckRon Dork
10/18/22 9:39 a.m.

In reply to nsogiba :

Cam, lifters, lifter trays and tune for DOD delete. VVT Delete requires a different timing gear on the cam and a tune. 

759NRNG PowerDork
10/18/22 11:31 a.m.

Your transmission gymnastics now makes me understand the coolant line flush scenario I was exposed to on my 04 Bravada.  As far as your steering leak issues....I also was a bit skeptical of these stop leak solutions in a bottle, the R&P in the Bravada was leaking pretty bad.  Lo and behold Lucas power steering stop leak worked like a champ!

Good looking Escalde vato cheeky

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