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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought an '04 Colorado 3.5L I5 4x4 at a local auction last month for $2800. High mileage at exactly 200k but I decided to take a chance and make a hobby repair vehicle out of it. When I drove it, the first thing I noticed was a very rough idle, wanting to cut out at lights (particularly when air was running), shaking/missing, and absolutely NO decent power to pass or drive on our very hilly Missouri interstates. It would go into passing gear even to make it up small hills. Started reading up and this forum was very helpful.

First thing I did was take the throttle body apart and completely clean it with CNC throttle body cleaner, which sorely needed to be done. It was a sticky gooey mess, but now it shines like new.

Then I went on to replace the plugs to new Denso Iridium plugs. The old plugs were very fouled and I'd be surprised if this thing was hitting three cylinders. But even after the plug change it still would completely turn off when idling and was pretty rough. I also replaced the air filter and cleaned the MAF sensor with air flow sensor cleaner.

Next, replaced the fuel filter this past weekend. Wow, this looked like it still had an original filter on it. Totally rusted ... it was tough to pry loose and I had to use a ton of penetrating oil and elbow grease. This helped immensely. The old one was basically full of black tar. Whoever had this truck sadly did not maintain it. It made a HUGE difference and stopped the engine from cutting out when stopped, but it still wasn't perfect.

Then tonight I replaced the cam actuator solenoid. This also looked like it was the original OEM part and there was the telltale oil in the wiring harness connection indicating it had probably gone bad. The screens were all still on it, though, which is good. But WOW, now this pickup is downright PERFECT. It hums like it's brand new, drives amazing, has full power, and everything just seems to work better. The air is working awesome, and the exhaust even sounds better. No more missing. All codes are clear and the check engine light is OFF.

I have a feeling most people steered clear of this beautiful little truck (a bit of hail damage but hardly any rust on it) at auction because they thought it had some really serious issues, but it turns out that it doesn't use a drop of oil, and just needed a bit of TLC. It was already getting decent mileage even with all the crazy issues, but now I bet it will just sip gas now and then. I could turn around and almost double my investment in it if I wanted ... but I won't because I like this truck so much now. Thanks for all the suggestions reading the posts around here.
 

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Another thing to do is clean the ground electrical connections real good.

I would also replace all the fluids and fluid filters if you haven't already
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Another thing to do is clean the ground electrical connections real good.

I would also replace all the fluids and fluid filters if you haven't already
Yeah, all fluids/filters are being changed. Just doing a couple each weekend as I can. Flushing the radiator, flushing brakes, changing out differential and transfer case, flushing transmission and power steering. It'll be rockin'.

Appreciate the thought about ground electrical connections - will add that to the list.

Thanks, madcratebuilder ... I'm enjoying it. Working on it is going to be fun.
 

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Yeah, all fluids/filters are being changed. Just doing a couple each weekend as I can. Flushing the radiator, flushing brakes, changing out differential and transfer case, flushing transmission and power steering. It'll be rockin'.

Appreciate the thought about ground electrical connections - will add that to the list.

Thanks, madcratebuilder ... I'm enjoying it. Working on it is going to be fun.
Yes .. . great job in resurrecting a nice '04 Colorado ! I had both an '05 and 2010 Colorado and in a 2017 now. The '05 and '10 are still in the family and runnning fine.

One other thing with +200,000 mile is you may want to check/replace the front wheel bearing hubs. They are available complete with ABS sensors. And you can do rotors and pads at the same time. The bearings have a habit of failing just when you least expect . . . in cold snowy weather. :serious:

After this many years, be prepared to pre soak the the hub mounting nuts with something like PB Blaster. There are videos on youtube and write ups on how best to remove the hubs that usually get rust-welded on. Hint: Buy some sacrificial nuts to mount onto the hub bolt studs on order to remove the rusted on hubs.
 
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I'm driving a 15 Colorado now, but miss my 05 I5 crew cab, best truck I ever owned - had nearly 400k on the original motor when I sold it, the guy that bought it is still driving it with no issues, I think it's at 425k now.
Agree. . . my little '05 I4 is a nice reliable truck.

And the 2010 3.7L I5 I had with "only" 242HP got even better MPG than the '05 I had. The 3.7L I5 Atlas engine is a sleeper I think. That engine has amazing passing power even when cruising at 65MPH. If you aren't afraid to kick it down that engine comes alive. At least my 2010 did.
 

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I bought an '04 Colorado 3.5L I5 4x4 at a local auction last month for $2800. High mileage at exactly 200k but I decided to take a chance and make a hobby repair vehicle out of it. When I drove it, the first thing I noticed was a very rough idle, wanting to cut out at lights (particularly when air was running), shaking/missing, and absolutely NO decent power to pass or drive on our very hilly Missouri interstates. It would go into passing gear even to make it up small hills. Started reading up and this forum was very helpful.

First thing I did was take the throttle body apart and completely clean it with CNC throttle body cleaner, which sorely needed to be done. It was a sticky gooey mess, but now it shines like new.

Then I went on to replace the plugs to new Denso Iridium plugs. The old plugs were very fouled and I'd be surprised if this thing was hitting three cylinders. But even after the plug change it still would completely turn off when idling and was pretty rough. I also replaced the air filter and cleaned the MAF sensor with air flow sensor cleaner.

Next, replaced the fuel filter this past weekend. Wow, this looked like it still had an original filter on it. Totally rusted ... it was tough to pry loose and I had to use a ton of penetrating oil and elbow grease. This helped immensely. The old one was basically full of black tar. Whoever had this truck sadly did not maintain it. It made a HUGE difference and stopped the engine from cutting out when stopped, but it still wasn't perfect.

Then tonight I replaced the cam actuator solenoid. This also looked like it was the original OEM part and there was the telltale oil in the wiring harness connection indicating it had probably gone bad. The screens were all still on it, though, which is good. But WOW, now this pickup is downright PERFECT. It hums like it's brand new, drives amazing, has full power, and everything just seems to work better. The air is working awesome, and the exhaust even sounds better. No more missing. All codes are clear and the check engine light is OFF.

I have a feeling most people steered clear of this beautiful little truck (a bit of hail damage but hardly any rust on it) at auction because they thought it had some really serious issues, but it turns out that it doesn't use a drop of oil, and just needed a bit of TLC. It was already getting decent mileage even with all the crazy issues, but now I bet it will just sip gas now and then. I could turn around and almost double my investment in it if I wanted ... but I won't because I like this truck so much now. Thanks for all the suggestions reading the posts around here.
Just scored a similar truck same history awesome little 4x4 good luck
 
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