Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Posted: 5/23/2007 6:30:11 AM EDT
My '94 S10 Blazer is getting a little long in the tooth so I've decided its time to upgrade. The 02-03 Suburbans are within my price range ($20k or less) and offer the size that I'd like.

Main uses I see for it are driving to/from work (10mi round-trip) and hauling construction materials for renovating my house, total driving right now is about 10k/yr, so this would probably be split with the '94. No kids, but I'll end up DDing friends to the bar & back about twice a month.

Options I'm looking for:
1500 series
4x4
5.3L
LT package
Leather buckets in front, leather bench middle/rear seats.
Power windows, locks, mirrors
Heated seats & mirrors
Barn doors (are they available on the '02-03 1500s?)
Onstar (would these years have the digital or the analog on-star? Do I need an Onstar plan for the emergency features to still work?)

Anything I should look for or run away from?

Kharn
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 3:56:22 PM EDT
Burb forum is the arfcom of 'burbs...you would be welcome.

I have a '98, wife has a '91. I can give you anything you need about those body styles, but I'm not gonna' help you much with a NBS (new body style) truck. Link above to the 'burb forum, you'll get all you need.

Corporte 9-bolt rear axles tend to smoke if you do a lot of towing and ignore changing the axle oil. Keep your maximum tow weight to 2/3-3/4 of what GM claims, replace fluid with synthetic and change once a year, & the issue disappears.

I've owned an '86, as well as the other two. No other car/truck lets you take a crapload of people and their stuff a roadtrip as well as a 'burb. Not to mention hauling a full sheet of plywood or rock with the back doors closed

You'll enjoy it.

-hanko
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 5:48:58 PM EDT
What are you getting into? Huge fucking gas bills.
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 6:02:07 PM EDT
alternator will crap out a lot. but thats not a hard fix


dont add aftermarket audio unless you invest in a good alarm, installed well. newer GM's are ridiculously easy to rip off

factory premium audio is pretty nice actually

fabtech is not yoru friend. they make hte shittiest lifts and can fuck themselves. buy a CST if you intend to lift

its easier to see out of hte one piece lift up door rather than the barn doors. dont worry about it beign too high for short people and our women to reach, it comes with a lanyard (my 5'2 chick reaches it just fine)


Link Posted: 5/23/2007 6:19:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2007 6:21:42 PM EDT by Kharn]

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
What are you getting into? Huge fucking gas bills.
I only get about 17mpg highway right now with my Blazer, big fill-ups arent a problem. This isnt going to be a 50mi/day commuter.


Originally Posted By Infamous:
alternator will crap out a lot. but thats not a hard fix
dont add aftermarket audio unless you invest in a good alarm, installed well. newer GM's are ridiculously easy to rip off
factory premium audio is pretty nice actually
fabtech is not yoru friend. they make hte shittiest lifts and can fuck themselves. buy a CST if you intend to lift
its easier to see out of hte one piece lift up door rather than the barn doors. dont worry about it beign too high for short people and our women to reach, it comes with a lanyard (my 5'2 chick reaches it just fine)
Alternators arent a problem, I've changed them before on the Blazer by myself.

Does the premium audio have an aux-in jack, or any way I could wire one up (in place of a CD changer or something)? I use an MP3 player almost exclusively for my music, but it seems that there arent any aftermarket radios that fill up the entire space of the stock one, so I'd lose a lot of button size/spacing if I changed it.

Is it a concern about easy entry into the vehicle or are they easy to hotwire as well? I just outside the Baltimore County lines (so the city's about 10mi away), should I just spring for an alarm right off the bat even if I dont upgrade anything?

I'm not really thinking about a lift kit at this time, but good info in case I decide I want to see over the UPS truck in rush-hour traffic.

Kharn
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 6:25:01 PM EDT
Kharn,
I believe the Onstar is analog, but don't quote me on that.

A quick check at what Ebay offers is that a lot of Subs don't have barn doors but there are some that do.
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 6:33:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kharn:

Originally Posted By Matthew_Q:
What are you getting into? Huge fucking gas bills.
I only get about 17mpg highway right now with my Blazer, big fill-ups arent a problem. This isnt going to be a 50mi/day commuter.


Originally Posted By Infamous:
alternator will crap out a lot. but thats not a hard fix
dont add aftermarket audio unless you invest in a good alarm, installed well. newer GM's are ridiculously easy to rip off
factory premium audio is pretty nice actually
fabtech is not yoru friend. they make hte shittiest lifts and can fuck themselves. buy a CST if you intend to lift
its easier to see out of hte one piece lift up door rather than the barn doors. dont worry about it beign too high for short people and our women to reach, it comes with a lanyard (my 5'2 chick reaches it just fine)
Alternators arent a problem, I've changed them before on the Blazer by myself.

Does the premium audio have an aux-in jack, or any way I could wire one up (in place of a CD changer or something)? I use an MP3 player almost exclusively for my music, but it seems that there arent any aftermarket radios that fill up the entire space of the stock one, so I'd lose a lot of button size/spacing if I changed it.

Is it a concern about easy entry into the vehicle or are they easy to hotwire as well? I just outside the Baltimore County lines (so the city's about 10mi away), should I just spring for an alarm right off the bat even if I dont upgrade anything?

I'm not really thinking about a lift kit at this time, but good info in case I decide I want to see over the UPS truck in rush-hour traffic.

Kharn


none of hte factory offerings have an aux in. no aftermarket radio (of good quality) will be big enough to fill that gap unless of course it is a double din video unit. the only quality non video unit that will fill that gap is made by kenwood. i believe is rather expensive but includes a full equalizer. no word on if it comes with an aux.

buy one of the entry level pioneers from this years model line. they have aux in the front. installing them is easy, pretty much the whole front of the dash pulls off (drop your steering column to its lowest. and the dash pocket pops in. other than that its wires. they also have remote controls for lazy people like me


id get an alarm. the ghetto people love GMC platform SUV's. i am not familliar with your area though.
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 6:46:00 PM EDT
Generally a good vehicle.

General problems: passive lock, 4x4 selector switch, and fuel pump. Nothing that would scare me away from one though. Overall a good SUV.
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 7:03:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/23/2007 7:07:10 PM EDT by THOLL223]

Originally Posted By hanko:
Burb forum is the arfcom of 'burbs...you would be welcome.


I used to post on that board when I had my '95 burb. Since I got my '02 Silverado I don't have to work on it anymore. But I am looking around for a '01-'02 Burb to replace it. I need more room, kids are getting too big for the Extended cab.
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 7:05:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By THOLL223:

Originally Posted By hanko:
Burb forum is the arfcom of 'burbs...you would be welcome.


I used to post on that board when I had my '95 burb. Since I got my '02 Silverado I don't have to work on it anymore. But I am looking around for a '01-'02 Burb to replace it. I need more room, kids are getting too big for an Extended cab.
Get a crew cab. Problem solved.
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 7:08:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Deej86:

Originally Posted By THOLL223:

Originally Posted By hanko:
Burb forum is the arfcom of 'burbs...you would be welcome.


I used to post on that board when I had my '95 burb. Since I got my '02 Silverado I don't have to work on it anymore. But I am looking around for a '01-'02 Burb to replace it. I need more room, kids are getting too big for an Extended cab.
Get a crew cab. Problem solved.


Eh, I like the back half being inside. Plus all that glass to put stickers on.
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 7:11:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By THOLL223:

Originally Posted By Deej86:

Originally Posted By THOLL223:

Originally Posted By hanko:
Burb forum is the arfcom of 'burbs...you would be welcome.


I used to post on that board when I had my '95 burb. Since I got my '02 Silverado I don't have to work on it anymore. But I am looking around for a '01-'02 Burb to replace it. I need more room, kids are getting too big for an Extended cab.
Get a crew cab. Problem solved.


Eh, I like the back half being inside. Plus all that glass to put stickers on.
Cap?
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 7:41:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By toddlerp:
Generally a good vehicle.

General problems: passive lock, 4x4 selector switch, and fuel pump. Nothing that would scare me away from one though. Overall a good SUV.


Intake manifold gaskets. Something about the coolant messing them up.

www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/gm_dexcool.html

I am spending $500 to get mine fixed right now....dammit.....Swap it to the green stuff if it has the red/orange crap in it.
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 7:52:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By yekimak:
quote]

Hmm. Haven't had or heard of that issue. The only service I have done at a dealer is the coolant and tranny fluids.
Link Posted: 5/23/2007 8:30:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Kharn:
I only get about 17mpg highway right now with my Blazer, big fill-ups arent a problem. This isnt going to be a 50mi/day commuter.


Dont expect beyond 10-13mpg combined. 800 series suburbans (2001-2006) build quality is alot better than the 400 series (93-2000). The 800's (and the new 900's) really arent much more than yuppie mobiles (IMO). Werent meant to carry dirty cargo in teh rear like the older 400's could. They couldnt handle moderate offroading since GM sacrificed the heavy duty from IFS that the 400's had so the 800's could have a car like ride. We used to put Edelbrock IAS shocks on suburbans as an upgrade to our conversion suburbans.


Personally if I had to choose, I'd take the older 400 series suburban. More utility than luxury.
Link Posted: 5/25/2007 2:58:05 AM EDT
If you can find 2500 for similar price, you may consider it.
Link Posted: 5/25/2007 5:07:57 AM EDT
I am selling my truck. It has everything you stated and more, including flex-fuel (e85) compatibility, DVD, leather, quad captians, and about $6000 in aftermarket stuff. No barn doors, it has a lift gate, which is much better for loading anyway. I aslo have EVERY receipt for everything ever done to it including maintenance.
Let me know if you're interested. I'm asking $22,000.
Oh yeah, it has a new GM certified tranny that was installed this week by JKoons GMC with a 3 yr 50k mile warranty. The tranny as of today has 0 miles on it. I haven't even picked it up from the dealer yet. But I will be picking it up tonight.

Link Posted: 5/26/2007 3:00:29 AM EDT
What seperates the quad captains chairs? I'm probably going to be hauling as much plywood/sheetrock as I am people, so a complete flat rear area is critical.

Kharn
Link Posted: 5/26/2007 4:20:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2007 4:22:40 AM EDT by 1badf350]
There is nothing between the captains chairs in the rear. It's a walk-through of sorts so passengers can access the third row seat in the back. I have the 3rd row seat removed because I never use it. Whne the 2nd row captains chairs are folded down, you have an entirely flat surface from behind the drivers seat to the rear hatch door.

Edit: This is a Tahoe Z-71, not a Suburban.
Link Posted: 5/26/2007 4:39:02 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/26/2007 4:44:55 AM EDT by chainshaw]
I deal with new and used Suburbans on a daily basis.

A 5.3L Suburban will get 15-16 in town and 18-20 on the interstate, and that's 4WD. 2WD will do about 1 mpg better. They are great vehicles with very minor issues. The 5.3L engine is rock solid and dependable. I would take a full size GM SUV over ANY other manufaturers full size SUV. If you don't need the extra length, the Z71 Tahoe is hard to beat.

Oh yeah, I have a 2500 Yukon XL 4X4 with 39k on it. It has a 40/20/40 split front and benches in the back. You could easily put leather in it. Gas mileage probably won't be good, since it has an 8.1L big-ass V-8 under the hood. $21,995 is on the window.

Link Posted: 5/26/2007 5:28:30 AM EDT
I have the '01 w/ 5.3L

had it for 8 months, made three seroius road trips so far, 3000+ mile .

What are you getting you self into, fun, comfort, and more fun.

Milage isn't that bad, real nice ride, I drove once 27 hours stright and wasn't uncomfortable. Lots of room for the kids and stuff.

The 5.3 will tow a 15 foot bass boat thru the center of the Rocky Mountians all day long. Maybe not at 75 mph up the big hills, 55 a couple times, but the milage held at 15mpg towing a boat.

Great camping truck too.






I wish I had bought one sooner.
Link Posted: 5/26/2007 9:26:26 AM EDT
Now that gas is up, burbs' sould be a buyers market. You will save more off the price than you will spend in gas (at 10K mi a year)

A burb or Tahoe is on my list, but not for another year or three
Link Posted: 5/29/2007 7:46:12 AM EDT
Ended up getting a 2003 Tahoe that is loaded to the gills. Didn't need all the extras, but it is nice. Leather, Bose Stereo, DVD player in the roof, Autoride. I am liking it so far.

Still have to figure out all the controls, there are a million different things on this.
Link Posted: 5/30/2007 7:22:45 AM EDT
How common are on-the-wheel stereo controls for those years? I've got a rental this week with that feature and would definitely love it on the 'burban.

I also found a website that details how to hack into the OnStar's GPS module so you can feed the data into a computer or whatever, so even though the cellular portion doesnt work after '08, the GPS will still be useable.

Kharn
Link Posted: 5/30/2007 10:08:56 AM EDT
Mine has the on wheel controls, it is nice. Probably just depends on the model of stereo ordered.

Where did you find the info on the GPS stuff, I would like to know.

Link Posted: 6/3/2007 5:36:40 PM EDT
Has anyone had any experience adding an aftermarket reverse sensor to a 'burban? I've found kits for about $150-200, and they seem rather straight forward to install.

I'm going to hit the local truck dealer tomorrow after work to see the one they've got on the lot and ask about getting one with more features that I want.

Kharn
Link Posted: 6/4/2007 9:04:47 AM EDT
I'll also be in the market for a used 03/04 Suburban.

I was wondering how you guys felt abut the higher milage used Suburbans? Specifically those with btween 60-120K on them.

Do you guys think I should avoid the higher mailage ones and stick the ones below 60k miles on them?

My main concern is things starting go bad on the higher milage vehicles. I just don't want to have spend a lot money on repairs and maintenance after only owning it for few months.

How is the reliability of the 03/04 Suburbans in general? If the maintenance is kept up is it unreasonable to get 250K miles out of them without major repairs?
Link Posted: 6/4/2007 5:07:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/4/2007 5:08:20 PM EDT by Kharn]
I went to the local truck dealer today, checked out an 02 1500 Suburban, I liked the fit and feel of the vehicle, but I think I'll hold out for the 2500. I told the sales guy to call me if he gets any 01-03 2500s with the 6.0L. I'm in no rush to purchase, I figure I can wait until around late July to see what pops up.

And here's how to Tap into Onstar's GPS

Kharn
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 8:43:39 AM EDT
12/16 for the 6.0L (2500, or GMC Yukon XL Denali package, but that only has AWD, no selectable 4x4) vs 13/17 for the 5.3L (1500). All bets are off if you get the 8.1L, it'll slurp the gas faster than you can pump it.

Thinking about climbing all over the vehicle yesterday, I'm definitely going for the bench seat in the middle, I like the fold-down armrest in the bench and the at-hand cupholders it provides.

Kharn
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 9:15:34 AM EDT
Kharn,

Thanks for the MPG info.

I will also be geting a bench seat in the middlle need the extra seating for the kids!

The onces I like the bestare the 03/04 Burbs with the Z71 package. These are the 1500 but I don't foresee much towing if any being done with this vehicle.

What are your thoughts on the Z71 package?
Link Posted: 6/5/2007 12:39:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/5/2007 12:40:59 PM EDT by Yojimbo]
Link Posted: 6/7/2007 7:39:07 AM EDT
Looks like my 2003, except for mine is shorter (Tahoe) and no fender flares.
Link Posted: 6/7/2007 8:50:58 AM EDT
Any comments on the GMC Yukon XL (not the Denali, I want switchable 4x4, not AWD) vs the Suburban? Someone IM'ed me suggesting I look into them, but I've only had Chevy's, never a GMC.

Are they a slightly more polished Chevy, like Mercury is to Ford?

Kharn
Link Posted: 6/7/2007 11:11:29 AM EDT
We just bought an '01 2500 4x4 a few months ago.

It has the monster 8.1 in it, and I don't mind a bit. The extra horsepower and torque are well worth it in such a big heavy vehicle.

Here's what it looked like the day we got it, and after window tint & larger tires...

Link Posted: 6/7/2007 11:25:00 AM EDT
I looked at them around here a month ago. Boat loads of them on the lots. BUYERS MARKET!

I thought about a '05 White Z71 Burb LOADED with every possible option and 22K miles for $23K.
Just think, somebody paid about $40 for that truck 2 years ago.

Happy motoring
Bill
Link Posted: 6/8/2007 4:53:38 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/8/2007 4:56:23 AM EDT by Yojimbo]

Originally Posted By Another-Bill:
I looked at them around here a month ago. Boat loads of them on the lots. BUYERS MARKET!

I thought about a '05 White Z71 Burb LOADED with every possible option and 22K miles for $23K.
Just think, somebody paid about $40 for that truck 2 years ago.

Happy motoring
Bill


That's a great deal! That is eactly why I've been turned off from buying new cars. In two years it may be worth less then what you owe the bank. With a used vehicle I can stay ahead of the curve even if I decide to resell a year or two down the road.

I only have about 4 more payments on the wife's van and then we will probably be getting a Z71 Suburban like the one you mentioned above.

So far all the shopping I've done is at autotrader.com. I hope I can find as good a deal as that!

Link Posted: 6/9/2007 9:56:23 AM EDT
I just got a '02 GMC Yukon XL 2500 off Ebay for $19k (didnt even have to do the bidding war, saw it, called the dealer and asked if he'd take that, $1k below his buy-it-now price, it was on the dealer's website/lot for $23k). SLT package, so full leather, memory power seat, heated power mirrors, etc, with 75k miles. No DVD, moonroof or nav system, the only one I would really even use would be the nav system, but a $400 Garmin can change that. The only option I really wanted that is missing is the steering wheel audio controls, but I'm going to have a relay put in that'll feed my MP3 player right into the stereo so I can just grab the MP3 and change tracks or volume.

I'm flying to Cleveland next Saturday to inspect it and do the paperwork, it'll be a 300mi drive home.

Kharn
Link Posted: 6/9/2007 3:45:22 PM EDT
Kharn,

Nice score!

Make sure you let us know how it drives and post some pics!
Link Posted: 6/10/2007 9:47:51 AM EDT
Nice truck!
Link Posted: 6/11/2007 3:58:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/11/2007 3:59:10 AM EDT by THOLL223]
Finally took a pic of the new ride. Just got it washed. Black seems to be the color of choice around here.

Link Posted: 6/11/2007 5:51:44 AM EDT
I wanted black as well, I settled for tan interior/exterior since I didnt like the light grey/extremely-dark grey two-tone interior a lot of the black 3/4tons seem to have.

Kharn
Link Posted: 6/16/2007 6:26:23 PM EDT
I picked it up today, only suprise at the dealer was one of the rear audio control buttons being missing (in the photo they showed on Ebay it looked like there was a lot of glare off the button, when really it was glare off the membrane switch where the button should've been), they said it was only a $4 part so I just shrugged it off rather than being a dick about it. Only after i got on the road did I put two and two together that they also owned a chevy lot a few miles away, I could've told them to either go get the part or have the chevy lot mail it to me.

The tan exterior was definitely a good choice, the small scratches from rocks, etc are pretty hard to notice.

One interesting thing, on the driver's door is a custom double throw momentary switch, cut into the trim above the power mirror controls. A quick test in the parking lot and then a little further examination when I got home did not reveal its purpose, so my friends and I will have to dig into it further sometime this week. No notation of the custom switch is made in the user manual, while the last owner recorded any funny noises or issues that were resolved at the scheduled maintenance visits, so who even knows when the switch was installed or if the item it controls is still even present. My first guess is the siren/light controls for a volunteer firefighter, with the lights/siren removed before the vehicle changed hands.

~390mi drive from Cleveland to my place, with OH/PA state line to my place (~310mi) requiring 20gal of gas for about 15mpg (the mountains in PA just killed the mileage, so I'll have to record more about how it does around here).

Kharn
Link Posted: 6/16/2007 6:27:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By THOLL223:
Finally took a pic of the new ride. Just got it washed. Black seems to be the color of choice around here.

i73.photobucket.com/albums/i239/tholl223/IMG_0147-1.jpg
Nice truck!
Top Top