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Old 07-05-2010, 09:04 PM   #1
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Default Oldsmobile Bravada

Not a typical GM Forum pic. A 1999 Olds Bravada with 77k miles. These are vehicles known for many problems. My last Bravada went 230k miles and I learned a lot from all the breakdowns. If the problems are fixed/ addressed prior to the failure- the Bravada is a real nice SUV. It is full frame, small front print, comes loaded to included heated leather seats (only option is sunroof), AWD instead of 4WD- which is great for my wife who would never shift into 4wd or back to 2wd and gives me peace of mind that no matter the road conditions she is a vehicle that will adjust to road/ environmental conditions.


Many of the typical Bravada issues:
Ball joints consistently failing
(likely happens because ball joints are not lubed- quickie lubs miss these and the 9 other lube points- most dealers miss these also)
Front wheel hubs consistently failing
(may be a result of ball joints failing)
Door hinges fail
(E-bay has kits that may perform better than OEM)
Water pump fail
(high failure item)
Air conditioning fail
(high failure item)
Drivetrain shutters when moving at a very slow speed and wheels turned
(result of GM using an improper transfer case fluid)
Gas gauge reads full anytime under 1/2 full
Fuel pump failure


If you stay on top of these issues- these are nice vehicles.

Here is what I have done to this Bravada:
All upper and lower factory ball joints replaced with MOOG ball joints June 2010
(lubed with Mobil 1 synthetic)
Passenger factory outer tie rod replaced June 2010
(lubed with Mobil 1)
Valvoline synthetic oil w/ AC delco filter June 2010
Front and rear differential changed to Mobile 1 synthetic 75w/90w GL5
(new rear differential cover, gasket and bolts)
New brake hoses front and rear June 2010
(Raybestos brand- do not buy these, poorly made in China, I will buy Wagner next time)
Raybestos ceramic front disc brake pads and rotors (June 2010)
Raybestos ceramic rear brake pads and rotors (Feb 2009)
Autozone rear calipers
(note that Bravadas rear calipers are known to seize after pads are replaced- consider replacing calipers whenever pads are replaced)
Nickel- copper brake lines replaced in rear- from master cylinder to brake hoses
(note a high failure area is brake line corrosion above the gas tank as salt/ dirt get lodged above the gas tank where the lines are- but there is no way for the salt to leave without a major effort)
Left and right OEM wheel hubs replaced with Timken hubs June 2010
Right and left CV axles replaced with Cardone rebuilt axles May 2010
Transfer case fluid replaced with new generation Autotrac II fluid July 2010
Brake lines flushed and replaced with Prestone DOT 4 July 2010
Coolant flushed and replaced with Preston DEX July 2010
Trans filter and fluid replaced March 2009
(will upgrade to Dextron VI in next 30 days)
Michelin LT tires installed Jun 2010
(on last Bravada these same tires went over 100k miles, also had this same style tire on my K2500 for over 10 years- expensive but awesome tires)
Air conditioner compressor replaced by dealer 2007
Water pump replaced by dealer 2007
Monroe front and rear shocks installed May 2010

What needs to get done:
complete detail of vehicle
hard wire the Sirius radio power source
replace door hinges
replace fuel pump
(is working but gauge is not)
replace fuel lines
(will replace when fuel pump is replaced)
Rear bumper needs to get removed and repainted- heavily rusted only 70k miles
Trailer hitch needs to be removed and repainted- heavily rusted
Attached Thumbnails
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Oldsmobile Bravada-img_0664.jpg   Oldsmobile Bravada-img_0666.jpg   Oldsmobile Bravada-img_0667.jpg   Oldsmobile Bravada-img_0668.jpg  
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:30 PM   #2
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I had a 98 Bravada, I liked it a lot when I bought it brand new. I should have known it was going to be trouble when the SES light came on as I left the dealership. I found the smaller Bravada pulled my 27 foot travel trailer better then my ford Expedition. They are nice riding trucks though.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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New from the dealer- you paid a pretty penny for it. The Bravadas' along with most GM SUVs were pricey in the 1990s. They are no longer pricey today. The 4.3l v6 is a nice engine- I am told is is an exact replica of a GM 350 less 2 cylinders.

Forgot to mention in May I also replaced all the plugs with AC/Delco plugs, Bosch plug wires (left over from old Bravada- I quit using Bosch auto parts), rotor and front passenger suspension bumper (made by Dorman and sold by RockAuto, nobody stocks these locally and the upper control arm has to be separated from the knuckle to replace- was an easy replacement when I did the upper ball joint). No idea how the bumper failed, possibly a defective bumper out of the factory as the vehicle has never been off road or driven hard.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:00 PM   #4
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I've heard a few people mention they are high maintenance trucks..
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:56 PM   #5
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That'* a nice looking Bravada
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:37 AM   #6
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my grand Mother has a 2003ish Trailblazer style Bravada. Its ok but she has constant ball joint and wheel bearing problems (as mentioned). She also says that when it is snowy or icy that when the power kicks on and off it is a real handful. and i hate AWD. My girlfriends 2000 blazer is 4wd with 2wd, AWD, 4hi, 4lo, settings and the AWD works correctly but still interferes with steering effort, gas milage and tire wear.
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:39 AM   #7
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Wow thats a lot of work to keep it up and running. Must be a nice truck
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Old 07-06-2010, 12:39 AM   #8
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when i say power kicking in i mean, the awd sending power to the front wheels
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:20 AM   #9
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nice truck. ive also replaced the gas tanks in them too many times. if your planning on replacin the fuel pump it might not be the worst idea to do a new tank n straps too. unless they are the plastic tanks. i cant remember what years them were. other than that the front end and rear brake lines by the rea frame'gas tank thay are pretty good to go. i wouldnt mind having one to put more sounds than what i need in it lol
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danthurs View Post
I've heard a few people mention they are high maintenance trucks..
Got that right!!

$300 for a new fuel pump! Which these trucks eat like candy.
Ignition switches are a **** poor design.

Door hinge bushings need to be replaced after 50 opens. And you can't just remove a few nuts and the door drops, the hinges are glued to the body.
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