Needs care and some money, but she will take care of you
1997 Blazer 2 door 4x4.
I've replaced the following items over the 7 years I've owned my Brown Betty:
Brakes 4 times front, 2 times rear
Broken emergency brake cable
Rear U joint
ECM, ICM, O2 sensors
Spark plugs + wires 2x
DEXCOOL with normal coolant
Ball Joints, Idler Arms, Pitman Arms
Temperature control knob
Serpentine belt 2x
Also done normal replacements and maintenance for wear and tear items like tires, differential fluids, oil, etc.
A/C is out will replace later (compressor leak after owning for 6+ years).
Oil cooler lines leak, replacing later.
Transmission shifts hard after driving over 55mph for a while, kicks off a service engine code, no real issue, been driving it with this problem for 6 years.
4x4 control button lights doesn't work anymore. 4x4 will occasionally blow the fuse when I try to take it back to 2wd, but never for a long time so I haven't fixed it.
IGNITION CONTROL MODULE/IGNITION WIRING HARNESS FOLKS!!!
I've got to say the biggest issue I ever had with this truck was the ignition control module and wiring harness. The black box where you stick your key in contains connection points for the wiring harness. These contact points carbonize over time.
Like several people on this site, I had the following symptoms: engine dying out, dash gauges going crazy or going out altogether, finally when it died out completely I could turn the engine over but it wouldn't start. No dash gauges, but the wipers and radio worked. Took me a long time to sort this issue out, and a lot of people misdiagnose this issue. When I discovered the problem, I could start the truck before I replaced the switch/harness by pressing hard in an upward direction right below the ignition and turning the key. Replaced this bad boy myself and worked beautifully from then on.
The engine is indestructible. I've driven it across the US several times. I've driven the hell out of this truck, hot-dogged it, driven for long periods of time on the highway with 4x4 on at 65mph (Chicago ice and snow). Absolutely love this truck even with the issues. I got a new 2006 Colorado Z71 4x4 Crew Cab LS and while nice I couldn't bear to get rid of my Brown Betty so I now let my Mom drive it. I wish my Colly had the 4.3L V6 instead of the 3.5L inline 5.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th November, 2008