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Posted: 8/21/2013 6:32:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2013 6:24:44 AM EDT by PA22-400]
I got a request a while back about doing a post on Suburbans

I'm going to go over Suburbans, Tahoes, K5 Blasers, and a bit about GM pickups.  Back to about 1967

For all the time I am talking about a Suburban has been the same length as a 2 door pickup with an 8 foot bed

The body styles
2007 to now.  Called GMT900 or NNBS on other sites. Tahoe 4 door shorter.  Suburban 4 door not short.
2000 to 2006. Called GMT800 or NBS on other sites.  Tahoe 4 door shorter.  Suburban 4 door not short.
1992 to 1999.  Called GMT400 or OBS on other sites.  Tahoe 2 door real short discontinued and 4 door started shorter than Suburban .  Suburban 4 door.
1973 to 1991.  K5 Blazer 2 door real short.  Suburban 4 door not short.
1967 to 1972.  K5 Blazer 2 door real short bagan in 1969 IIRC.  Siburban 3 door not short.

The engines
2007 to now.  Gas 1/2 ton gets 5.3L V8.  3/4 ton gets 6.0L V8
2000 to 2007. Gas 1/2 ton gets 5.3L V8.  3/4 ton gets 6.0L or 8.1L V8
1992 to 1999.  Gas 1/2 ton 5.7L V8.  3/4 ton 5.7L or 7.4L V8  Diesel 6.5L turbo diesel
1973 to 1991. Lots of different engines but the big three that SFers will want to know of are the 350ci V8 gas, 454ci V8 gas, and 6.2L diesel.
1967 to 1972. The 350ci V8 gas was available and IThere was a big block gas  V8 but I do not recall the displacement.

The transmissions
2007 to now.  6 speed auto and possibly 4 speed auto with overdrive
2000 to 2006  4 speed auto with overdrive
1992 to 1999.  4 speed auto with overdrive.
1973 to1991 Manuals, 3 speed auto, and 4 speed auto with overdirve.
1967 to 1972 Manual  and 3 speed auto.

The front 4x4
1992 to now is IFS
1967 to 1991 is solid front axle

The rear suspension
2000 to now.  1/2 ton are 5 link coil spring.  3/4 ton are leaf spring IIRC.
1967 to1999 are leaf spring as far as I know

Brakes
Power brakes are very common for all the years I am talking about
Front disk brakes began in 1971 IIRC.
For 1/2 ton 2007 to now front brakes are bigger than 2000 to 2006 are bigger than 1992 to 1999
Rear disk brakes began in 2000

Seating
2 door Blazers and Tahoes most ofted are ste up to seat 5 with two front bucket seats and a rather narrow bench in back.
4 door Tahoes got an available third row seat after the 2000 model year
Tahoes 1999 and older seat 5
Tahoes 2000 and newer seat 5, or 7, or 8
Suburbans can seat 2 to 9 depending on the combination of bucket and bench seats and number of rows installed and folded.

Nominal Fuel capacity
Blazers 30 gallon
1999 and older Tahoe 30 gallon
1999 and older Suburban 40 gallon
2000 and newer Tahoe 26 gallon
2000 and newer suburban 31 gallon for 1/2 ton 3/4 ton may have 39 gallon as an option

HVAC
2000 to 2002 GMT800 body trucks have a filtered HVAC system.

Other
GMC sold an equivalant vehicle also
Suburban is Suburban through 2000 then YukonXL
Tahoe is Yukon
Blazer is Jimmy
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 6:33:00 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2013 6:44:38 AM EDT by PA22-400]
This thread is to help anyone that may be interested in getting a full sze GM SUV

I know that some of you like other brands and other vehicles and I am ok with that.  I am just starting this thread to get some info posted  so people can have the info.  No need for a brand, Pickup vs SUV, or AR vs AK, or 9 vs 45 pissing match.

If you guys want to post info about other brands, then please do and I will edit the thread title
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 6:33:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2013 7:19:03 PM EDT by PA22-400]
Issues and trouble spots

Transmissions:  
The 4 speed auto overdrive transmission in the 1/2 ton is just about maxed out as far as what it can handle.  Do not let the fluid get low.  Do not over fill with fluid.  Do not allow the fluid to get old, so change the fluid regularly.  

Engines:
Late 1990s 5.7L Vortec SFI; Intake manifold gasket failures cause coolant leak.
Early 2000s 4.8L and 5.3L; There was a batch of bad head castings that made some head replacements necessary.

Link Posted: 8/21/2013 6:34:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2013 6:28:53 AM EDT by PA22-400]
Trivia

There was a Blazer/Jimmy camper sold in 1976 and 1977 called the Blazer Chalet or Jimmy Casa Grande

See http://blazerchalet.com/


Link Posted: 8/21/2013 7:07:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/26/2013 6:43:48 AM EDT by PA22-400]
Cadillac Escalade
1999 and 2000 Same as 1999 Tahoe 4 door. Special trim and 16 inch wheels
2001 to 2006 Same body as 2000 to 2006 Suburban/Tahoe/Avalanche.  2wd or AWD.  AWD got a 6.0L engine.  17 inch wheels
2007 to now Same body as 2007 to now Suburban/Tahoe/Avalanche.  Awd gets a 6.2L engine

GMC Denali
1999 and 2000 Same as 1999 Tahoe 4 door. Special trim and 16 inch wheels
2001 to 2006 Same body as 2000 to 2006 Suburban/Tahoe/Pickup.  2wd or AWD.  AWD got a 6.0L engine.  17 inch wheels.  Some Denali pickups had 4 wheel steering.
2007 to now Same body as 2007 to now Suburban/Tahoe.  Awd gets a 6.2L engine

Chevy Z71
1999 and 2000 Same as 1999 Tahoe 4 door. Special trim and 16 inch wheels
2001 to 2006 Same as 2000 to 2006 Suburban/Tahoe. Special trim and 17 inch wheels
2007 to now  Same as 2007 to now Suburban/Tahoe. Special trim and 18 inch wheels

Link Posted: 8/21/2013 7:07:40 AM EDT
The older chevy big blocks were generally 454cid.  
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 7:14:50 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Doppleganger871:
The older chevy big blocks were generally 454cid.  
View Quote


Yes back to about 1973

Before that there were some others
The 427.  The 427 was stroked to become the 454
The 427 was made from a 396 IIRC by borring or stroking

I recall seeing a 1969 os so Suburban with a 396 badge on it


Link Posted: 8/21/2013 7:32:12 AM EDT
My 2000 Tahoe has 214,000 miles. It has been solid. Water pump, fuel pump, AC, battery, so far. My 1985 K5 was solid after I replaced and beefed up the drive line. Overall Suburban/Tahoe from 2000 up with the 5.3 are pretty reliable.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 8:28:55 AM EDT
My 2008 with 130K miles has been pretty solid with exception of the inflatable rear shocks.  They spring a leak and you get to burn out the air compressor.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 9:22:17 AM EDT
ColoradoK5

It's the Arfcom of GM trucks with a focus on the 67-91model years. Good folks over there.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 9:30:06 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By zoe17:
My 2000 Tahoe has 214,000 miles. It has been solid. Water pump, fuel pump, AC, battery, so far. My 1985 K5 was solid after I replaced and beefed up the drive line. Overall Suburban/Tahoe from 2000 up with the 5.3 are pretty reliable.
View Quote


zoe17 when did your fuel pump go out?.... Did you replace it, or did you have it done?

2005 Tahoe here with 96K.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 10:04:41 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PA22-400:


Yes back to about 1973

Before that there were some others
The 427.  The 427 was stroked to become the 454
The 427 was made from a 396 IIRC by borring or stroking

I recall seeing a 1969 os so Suburban with a 396 badge on it


View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PA22-400:
Originally Posted By Doppleganger871:
The older chevy big blocks were generally 454cid.  


Yes back to about 1973

Before that there were some others
The 427.  The 427 was stroked to become the 454
The 427 was made from a 396 IIRC by borring or stroking

I recall seeing a 1969 os so Suburban with a 396 badge on it




don't forget the rebadged 396 aka the 402
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 10:15:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2013 10:36:56 AM EDT by K1rodeoboater]
4.8L engine was available in the GMT800's (previous generation) and also on this generations for the tahoe at least.  Reportidly just as good as the 5.3 in terms o longevity just not as much power.  not recommended if you tow a lot
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 10:23:22 AM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Badlatitude:
don't forget the rebadged 396 aka the 402
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Badlatitude:



Originally Posted By PA22-400:


Originally Posted By Doppleganger871:

The older chevy big blocks were generally 454cid.  




Yes back to about 1973



Before that there were some others

The 427.  The 427 was stroked to become the 454

The 427 was made from a 396 IIRC by borring or stroking



I recall seeing a 1969 os so Suburban with a 396 badge on it









don't forget the rebadged 396 aka the 402




 
The badge should read 400 on those trucks.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 11:34:01 AM EDT
Originally Posted By PA22-400:
1999 and older Suburban 40 gallon
View Quote


Our 1994 GMC K2500 Suburban had a 42 gallon tank, to be exact.

And every last little bit helped with the 454/7.4 and 4.10 gears.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 11:40:49 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fundummy:


zoe17 when did your fuel pump go out?.... Did you replace it, or did you have it done?

2005 Tahoe here with 96K.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fundummy:
Originally Posted By zoe17:
My 2000 Tahoe has 214,000 miles. It has been solid. Water pump, fuel pump, AC, battery, so far. My 1985 K5 was solid after I replaced and beefed up the drive line. Overall Suburban/Tahoe from 2000 up with the 5.3 are pretty reliable.


zoe17 when did your fuel pump go out?.... Did you replace it, or did you have it done?

2005 Tahoe here with 96K.



160~K miles. Had it done IIRC it was 7-800
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 12:46:30 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By zoe17:



160~K miles. Had it done IIRC it was 7-800
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By zoe17:
Originally Posted By fundummy:
Originally Posted By zoe17:
My 2000 Tahoe has 214,000 miles. It has been solid. Water pump, fuel pump, AC, battery, so far. My 1985 K5 was solid after I replaced and beefed up the drive line. Overall Suburban/Tahoe from 2000 up with the 5.3 are pretty reliable.


zoe17 when did your fuel pump go out?.... Did you replace it, or did you have it done?

2005 Tahoe here with 96K.



160~K miles. Had it done IIRC it was 7-800


Thanks.  
I just got this vehicle.  
I replaced front wheel bearings, tie rod ends ( all 4 ), battery, tires, and did the brakes.  I also added Air Lift 1000 bags to the rear.
I was amazed the ball joints were like new... I had the front end computer aligned too.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 1:20:00 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fundummy:


Thanks.  
I just got this vehicle.  
I replaced front wheel bearings, tie rod ends ( all 4 ), battery, tires, and did the brakes.  I also added Air Lift 1000 bags to the rear.
I was amazed the ball joints were like new... I had the front end computer aligned too.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fundummy:
Originally Posted By zoe17:
Originally Posted By fundummy:
Originally Posted By zoe17:
My 2000 Tahoe has 214,000 miles. It has been solid. Water pump, fuel pump, AC, battery, so far. My 1985 K5 was solid after I replaced and beefed up the drive line. Overall Suburban/Tahoe from 2000 up with the 5.3 are pretty reliable.


zoe17 when did your fuel pump go out?.... Did you replace it, or did you have it done?

2005 Tahoe here with 96K.



160~K miles. Had it done IIRC it was 7-800


Thanks.  
I just got this vehicle.  
I replaced front wheel bearings, tie rod ends ( all 4 ), battery, tires, and did the brakes.  I also added Air Lift 1000 bags to the rear.
I was amazed the ball joints were like new... I had the front end computer aligned too.



Service the tranny and diff's now. The tranny is our weak link.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 2:00:53 PM EDT
I've had two.  First was a 89" GMC 1/2 ton 4wd.  Rear brakes were a problem.  10mpg at best.

Still driving a 2002 1500 4wd Chevy.  216,000miles on it, still going strong.  Average 17.6mpg around town, and 19mpg on the freeway at 75mph.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 2:44:10 PM EDT

I thought about getting a spare ECM / PCM and stuffing it into a Faraday cage

Has anyone done this for EMP / CME prep?

I believe the price range from about 250 - 400 bucks.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 2:57:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2013 2:57:39 PM EDT by PA22-400]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By fundummy:

I thought about getting a spare ECM / PCM and stuffing it into a Faraday cage

Has anyone done this for EMP / CME prep?

I believe the price range from about 250 - 400 bucks.
View Quote


I was told there were 8 computers on the "dumb" 1999 suburban that I posted so many threads about in 2010 and 2011

If you want to get a spare flux capacitor and stash it in a cage for just in case we are struck with an event of epic low probability, then get-r-dun.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 4:29:55 PM EDT
91 suburban had a 36 gallon tank
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 6:09:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2013 6:11:18 PM EDT by Juicebox1]
my father has a 2005 z71 suburban with 175000 miles

Has been great drivetrain wise and loves to eat up highway miles. Usually get about 16mpg higway.  Would love to have one myself

couple of gripes:

the controller for the blower motor on the HVAC goes out constantly, have replaced it 4x with 3 different variations of OEM parts
front and rear seats dont recline past 45*, this is very annoying on trips of 5 hours +
rear seat recline handles have stripped on both sides
gauges routinely go out, have replaced twice already and needs a third replacement

besides that this is a great truck, reliable as far as drivetrain goes so id say good BOV.

Link Posted: 8/21/2013 6:36:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2013 6:38:58 PM EDT by pevrs114]
3/4T up to 89 or 90? Had the TH400 heavy duty 3 speed auto from then on they had the 4L80, a heavy duty computer controlled overdrive auto.

I'm not sure of the exact year of the switch. 88-91 is a weird set of years for GM trucks, 1/2T pickup switched body styles, the K5, Sub, and 3/4 and 1T trucks stayed the square body until 91 but the 4L80 was put into square body trucks in some of these years.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 7:27:58 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By pevrs114:
I'm not sure of the exact year of the switch. 88-91 is a weird set of years for GM trucks, 1/2T pickup switched body styles, the K5, Sub, and 3/4 and 1T crew cab trucks stayed the square body until 91 but the 4L80 was put into square body trucks in some of these years.
View Quote


Fixed
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 7:38:26 PM EDT
Dad has a 2002 Yukon as his backup vehicle. (He used to make fun of me for having more than one... Heh)

He learned about the tranny the hard way.  He's been better about it since.  Only other issue he's had (other than cracking leather ) is a bad fuel gauge.  He's been a though a few of the pump/gauge assemblies.  The pump is fine, but it stops indicating.  

He's got a few miles on it, but he leased a 335i he's been driving for the last couple years.  But I've noticed that the Yukon has been back in the Garage the last few times I've been up there, as opposed to in the gravel next to it. I get the feeling the 335 is going back. (It's a nice car, but he's 6'4", Mom isn't small, and that car IS small)
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 7:48:30 PM EDT

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Boomer:
Fixed
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Boomer:



Originally Posted By pevrs114:

I'm not sure of the exact year of the switch. 88-91 is a weird set of years for GM trucks, 1/2T pickup switched body styles, the K5, Sub, and 1T crew cab and cab in chassis trucks stayed the square body until 91 but the 4L80 was put into 1991 3/4 ton Suburbans and 1- ton crew cabs & cab in chassis square body trucks in some of these years.




Fixed




 
Fixed it again.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 7:50:36 PM EDT
Yes there were some vehicles that could be fodder for trivial persuit questions

1976 to 1978 ish the Blazer Chateau RV.  One SFer has one but I cannot remember who.

Pickup body changed to the GMT400 for 1988 but waited until 1992 on Suburbans, Crew Cab pickup, and Blazer.

2000 model Z71 Tahoe is a GMT400 but all other Tahoes and Suburbans are GMT800

There was also a 2000 model pickup Crew Cab with 6.5 foot bed that was a GMT400 but all other pickups were GMT800

In 2007 pickups were available as "Classic" GMT800 body, and 2007 model GMT900 body.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 7:55:32 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By caduckgunner:

  Fixed it again.
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By caduckgunner:
Originally Posted By Boomer:
Originally Posted By pevrs114:
I'm not sure of the exact year of the switch. 88-91 is a weird set of years for GM trucks, 1/2T pickup switched body styles, the K5, Sub, and 1T crew cab and cab in chassis trucks stayed the square body until 91 but the 4L80 was put into 1991 3/4 ton Suburbans and 1- ton crew cabs & cab in chassis square body trucks in some of these years.


Fixed

  Fixed it again.


MmmK

I'll help
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 8:12:15 PM EDT
This is good stuff.  Thanks.  Looking to buy soon, so any info I can get my hands on is good info.

jim
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 8:32:57 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By NexQuietus:
This is good stuff.  Thanks.  Looking to buy soon, so any info I can get my hands on is good info.

jim
View Quote

I am happy that this helps

As you can tell this thread is a work in progress so more information will be posted.

What are you looking for, and at.  As you can see back to about the 1967 model year we have folks that have BTDT.  If you fo on a 1966 or older then we will draft you as our expert for that body style.
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 8:44:08 PM EDT
Where the CD storage was is my Kenwood 75w mobile, siren controller in other dash pod. LED hide always in Daytime running light, surface led lights in grill, hide always in rear reverse lamps, flasher packs in rear. Whelen dash led above/ by rear view mirror.

Replaced all door speakers and rear collumn speakers with Kenwood execlon , pushed by MB quartz 4 channel , running rear on 2 ohm load.

Pull up on the cup holders big space under it for hidden stuff. I replaced all AC stuff myself it was easy. Easy mod for all headlight on if you need it.

Keep tank full and use ethanol treatment to prolong fuel pump. Fuel filter is easy change. Fuel pressure regulator is easy.

Link Posted: 8/21/2013 9:11:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2013 9:18:06 PM EDT by K1rodeoboater]




Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PA22-400:
I am happy that this helps
As you can tell this thread is a work in progress so more information will be posted.
What are you looking for, and at.  As you can see back to about the 1967 model year we have folks that have BTDT.  If you fo on a 1966 or older then we will draft you as our expert for that body style.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PA22-400:
Originally Posted By NexQuietus:




This is good stuff.  Thanks.  Looking to buy soon, so any info I can get my hands on is good info.
jim





I am happy that this helps
As you can tell this thread is a work in progress so more information will be posted.
What are you looking for, and at.  As you can see back to about the 1967 model year we have folks that have BTDT.  If you fo on a 1966 or older then we will draft you as our expert for that body style.







 



Something good to know about 60-73 trucks/Suburbans is that in the rear almost all Chevy's will be trailing arms with coil springs, GMC's will mostly be leafs (C/K-10/20/30 as well as suburbans). Suburbans of this era will only have 3 passenger doors.











Truck tank size is 18Gal IIRC.  If you have a gas smell in the cab and you have no gas leaking from the tank under the seat, then replace the filler neck gasket and the cab to filler neck gasket.







Look for original build sheets under the bench seats in the springs.







If you want to put in a 3PT seatbelt (lap belts were standard in 66) there is a re-enforcement plate in the cabs of the trucks in the B pillar.  If you look carefully you'll see it there.









On the 60-63 trucks the windshields aren't cheap to replace.  60-62 had torsion bar front ends on 2WD trucks 63-66 had coil spring fronts.  Everything below only applies to 60-66 trucks/suburbans













Engine options













230 I6




250 I6




292 I6 (beast of a motor, but gas hog)




305 V6 (GMC only, another awesome motor)




283 V8













Trans options




2SPD powerglide




3 on the tree




3 on the tree with 1st gear syncro (rarest)




3 on the floor w/ granny gear










Trans humps in the truck cabs came in 2 flavors.  Low hump (3 on the tree and 2spd autos) and high hump (granny gear 3 on the floor).  High humps are removable for maintenance.  Low humps MAY be removable in the older trucks 60-62, but after 63 I think they started welding them into the floors.







Whatever you get make sure the hoods are in good shape, there's no aftermarket ones made worth a shit.  Fenders can be had repo, but they're not a perfect fit.  Inner fenders make sure you get good ones as well as the repos are often so badly stamped that you cannot use them.  Repo doors suck too, but the repo half door skins are pretty good.













To prevent the doors from getting dinged up by the cowl extension when the OE door stops fail (and they will) get a set out of the rear doors of a Cherokee (NOT a Grand Cherokee).













C-20/30 cab mounts are not reproduced, and it's often easier to just cut a set off of a C10 and weld in place.  C-20's and 30's often suffer from the "broken back" look due to the cab mounts failing.  













I'm 90% certain that there are no frame differences between the C-10 and the 20/30 models, just the suspensions.  I do know the ball joints for the C10 are significantly cheaper than that of the 20/30 models and C10 parts will bolt on without issue.  Cannot speak for the K series (4WD) just the C series.













Crew cab trucks are either hack jobs or the much rarer coach conversions done over the years and often command big money













Burbans had 2 options for rear doors.  Barn door and a 2 piece hatch/gate combo.  Get the one you want, it's not easy to convert.  Burbs will only have 3 doors for passengers













Patch panels are available to repair almost all the common













Rare options include the BBW (big back window) and AC, only ever seen on custom cab trims (which if that trim is in good shape count yourself lucky, especially if it's a GMC).













GMC grill had 4 headlights with GMC in the center.  Chevrolet had 4 different grills (60, 61, 62, 63, and 64-66) only the 64-66 is reproduced.













If you find a truck with the door lock on the passenger side only, that's not incorrect.  Speaking of repo door locks will not fit OE handles w/o modification



 
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 9:17:50 PM EDT
Thank you K1rodeoboater
Link Posted: 8/21/2013 9:31:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2013 2:40:18 PM EDT by K1rodeoboater]


Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PA22-400:



Thank you K1rodeoboater
View Quote
No problem.  I own a 66 C10, so I did quite a bit of research on that generation truck.  In all honesty, if you want a C/k series get a 2nd gen or 3rd gen.  The 1st gens don't have the aftermarket support and aren't as popular as the later trucks.

 






Forgot to add







Prebent brake line kits suck donkey balls, build your own.







Brakes!!!  If you get a 1st Gen C/K series you really should get rid of the single pot master and replace it with a dual pot one.  If you're sticking with 4 wheel drums use one off of a 67-70 C10.  If you're wanting to convert to disc brakes this is what i recommend.  Go to a junkyard and pull the ENTIRE front cross member assembly, with the swaybar and brackets, off of a 73-87 C10.  You'll need the wheels.  While you're at it grab the brake booster and master off the donor vehicle, you'll need that too.  You'll be able to bolt all of this up to a 1st gen truck (regardless of year 60-62's with torsion bars can be converted to coil springs this way)  







A early model blazer tank will also fit between the bed rails in the rear of the frame if you want to lose the in cab tank.  Losing the in cab tank won't get you any more leg room, but it will give you some more storage space back there.







Sweet trick to carry your spare in the bed of a fleetside truck is to take the wheel tubs from another fleetside bed 1st gen and mount them upside down in front of your wheel wells after cutting the bed wood.  Just need to fab up a bracket to bolt them into place.







If you hate having a wood bed in a fleetside truck, then you can cut the metal one out of a late model 2nd gen and weld it in place.







Stepside tailgates were the same from the 50's all the way up to 87.  




<eta> Other rare options include Power brakes and power steering.

 
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 8:33:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2013 8:38:25 AM EDT by DallasLooterShooter]
Formerly owned:
'87 K5 5.0L V8 4wd
'97 Yukon 5.7L 2d 4wd
'97 Tahoe 5.7L 2d 4wd

Currently own:
'05 Yukon 5.3L 2wd
'89 Jimmy 5.7L 4wd

'87/'89 K5/Jimmy notes:
pro/con: built like a brick shit house, and rides/drives like one, too
the 700R4 isn't the most bullet proof transmission, and is expensive to rebuild.  I'd go back and get a TH400 if I could do it again
stupid simple to work on and parts are cheap and usually in stock at the parts house
if you're going with anything bigger than 31" tires, the 1/2T trucks really need to be regeared to 4:10, or deeper.  they typically come from factory with 3.42 or 3.73.  3/4T trucks were commonly equipped with 4.10 gears
having to roll the rear window up and down when you need rear access kind of sucks
if/when the fuel pump goes out, they are a pain in the ass to replace because you either have to cut a hole in the bed, or drop the gas tank
mine has been beat to death and is still utterly reliable, albeit quite rudimentary

'97 Tahoe/Yukon issues:
head gasket, as stated
front axle seals seemed to develop leaks every year
I ran 285/75/16 tires (33" equivalent) with no issues, or regearing, or lift

'05 Yukon notes:
I"ve owned this since new, just over 7 years now.  105k on the truck.  the only issues i've had are the fuel pump seems to be starting to go out (however if I run E85 through the truck, the hard starting ceases), and some of the guides/components for the sunroof broke so now I leave it closed instead of paying the dealer $2,000 to replace the entire assembly.  I bought a parts kit online, but just haven't taken the time to find someone who can/will fix it (won't be the dealer).
I've been extremely happy with this one - relatively fuel efficient, very quick for such a big vehicle, four wheel discs and dual sway bars make it handle incredibly well for the size.

Link Posted: 8/22/2013 8:39:29 AM EDT
Originally Posted By PA22-400:

1999 and older Suburban 40 gallon
View Quote



My 1999 has a 44 gallon tank.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 9:22:14 AM EDT
Ex-2003 Tahoe owner.  Mechanically solid as a rock when it departed at 110K miles, but started getting electrical gremlins.  Sold and bought a used 2005 diesel excursion.  More room, and more importantly, it'll pull the camper up a hill w/o breaking a sweat.



Nice write-up PA, gracias.


Link Posted: 8/22/2013 10:42:47 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2013 6:19:42 PM EDT by NCDave]
For what they are worth, I have a few comments on my experience owning K5 Blazers, a full-size Jimmy, and a 1996 K1500 Suburban.  I had a new 1973 K5 Blazer and several used ones, the last being a 1990 Jimmy. I managed to get well over 100K from each vehicle, but blew an engine in a 78 due to a woman driving it with low oil..not the fault of the truck.
For a BOV:

Blazer/Jimmy---  My first one, the 73 K5 Chevy, had a rubber mat interior, rollup windows, was noisy, but was an overall great basic truck...it is a truck, and they ride choppy. Fiberglas tops will come off but not necessarily an advantage-- can run a canvas top, too.  Larger than stock tires and a lift may give you some of the "Blazer wander" in steering. There is probably a suspension upgrade fix for this problem. and you will need to check wheel bearings on the older models. But they are durable vehicles, and with 4wd and appropriate tires, they do fine on the beach (stay on the sand, not in it), or in river lowground mud. Once you load essential road gear, packs, guns, etc., there will be little room for passengers.  Early Blazers did not have a roll bar from the factory, but that did come later. There are plenty of aftermarket parts available for these trucks.
Roof racks on them were somwhat metal and will bend, not as strong as the ones on SUVs today. Rust was a problem on the fender wells on the 78 I had, but I admit, it did a lot of beach travel. I would not try to trailer anything larger than a small trailer or maybe 18 to 20 foot boat.

1996 Suburban K1500, 350 engine (255 hp), trailering special package, auto transmission/overdrive, AC, ---

Positives: I consider this a great vehicle for a BOV..plenty of room, drives great, adequate horsepower for the highway, for what I do. Decent mileage, as advertised or better. Plenty of cargo room if you sacrifice the third seat for space. Much more comfortable vehicle for long trips, without the choppy ride of an early Blazer. Lots of junkyard and aftermarket parts and upgrades available and DIY stuff on the internet. Most shops can repair them. Lots of Subs on the used market, many gently driven and never offroad.  I run 10 ply tires on mine, and they ride ok for the street and do well offroad in sand around here.
FYI, my 1996 Sub had 22k when bought, and I have run full synthetic oil in it since then, mostly Mobil 1. No engine issues at all, and I do regular preventative maintnc. on the truck.  The body style on this Sub was used through 1999.

Negatives: Not a lot, but the in-tank fuel pump seems prone to fail after about 100 K or so...mine went at 120K, and a mechanic friend with a 99 Sub had said to expect this..he had changed several. Symptoms were long grinds to start, hard starts from initial cold start. I have had no issues with the transmission yet (137.5 K) but that seems to be a weak point from what I read, anyway; I think this K1500 with a cargo load would not be ideal for trailering, especially for hill country. Needs more power----I would go for a 2500 or larger truck if I needed that capability. Could stand a little more horsepower but the engine could be modified for that.   No issues with the head gaskets leaking, but I keep watch on that, as I also read that is a weak point.
Could use better brakes, but upgades are available.  Kepping the gas tank full is supposed to help with the fuel pump life.
Hope this is helpful.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 1:52:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By zoe17:
...
Keep tank full and use ethanol treatment to prolong fuel pump. Fuel filter is easy change. Fuel pressure regulator is easy.

View Quote


Fuel pump is hard.  In the tank, and can't get to it w/o dropping the tank.  +/-$800 to replace at the shop.
Other than that, ours (2004 Sub 4WD 5.3) has been rock solid.  Drives nice, hauls many.  Decent in ice and snow, depending on tires of course.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 2:01:15 PM EDT
im still running my 1996 2500 diesel. i still love it too. bought for $1500.00, and all i have had to replace was a pmd driver module, and last dec a injector pump. its been a really reliable truck. planning to hopefully add a winch soon, when i have the extra money.  its got a 42 gallon tank as well.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 7:58:05 PM EDT
I had a 2001 2500 8.1L 4x4 that was probably one of the best vehicles I've ever owned. It was a tank and I drove it hard.

I also had an 07 1500 2wd LTZ which was hands down the worst vehicle I've ever owned. So much so that I will probably never own another GM. In the 3 1/2 years I had it I had to replace the alternator, 3 batteries, 2 BCM's, and rear shocks. It was cheaply made, everything fell apart before it was even 3 years old. Power front seat, power mirrors, and power rear hatch all had multiple issues and were non working when I got rid of it. The dealer wanted $900 to replace the motor in the driver seat. The interior was junk, nothing close to what I would expect for a 50k dollar truck. Pieces were worn like a 20 year old vehicle and/or falling off within the first year. I traded it in for a Subaru Forester and couldn't be happier.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 8:16:35 PM EDT
Wouldn't it make more sense to use one of the older Suburbans as a BOV?
Less computer controlled things to go wrong.
There's still a billion of the old ones on the road and laying around in junkyards.
Scavenging parts would be a breeze.
Link Posted: 8/22/2013 8:26:49 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sickser66:
Wouldn't it make more sense to use one of the older Suburbans as a BOV?
Less computer controlled things to go wrong.
There's still a billion of the old ones on the road and laying around in junkyards.
Scavenging parts would be a breeze.
View Quote


Not always

Link Posted: 8/23/2013 5:42:36 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PA22-400:


Not always

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PA22-400:
Originally Posted By sickser66:
Wouldn't it make more sense to use one of the older Suburbans as a BOV?
Less computer controlled things to go wrong.
There's still a billion of the old ones on the road and laying around in junkyards.
Scavenging parts would be a breeze.


Not always



Mechanical things still go bad. Older trucks can nickel and dime you to death. But they are very simple trucks that most folks can work on with hand tools.

I've owned an 85 K5, 86 K30 (M1028), and a 92 Blazer 2 door.
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 6:11:55 AM EDT
Was talking to a buddy at work, younger kid who likes working on his own stuff and what not.



He mentioned how general motors always seemed to scavenge parts from their other vehicles so stuff could be found on all sorts of vehicles when you need a part.



Ford pickups were mentioned as being a bit hard to do the same thing with but I think he exaggerated.



I have some long winded posts about how I prefer the 3/4 ton burban over the half ton but some posters on here have shown the half ton will do a good job for what it is and return better mileage.



I still prefer the 3/4 ton but for the right price a burban in good shape is what it is and they are one of the few vehicles that will take a 4x8 sheet of plywood and let you close the doors.
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 11:21:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2013 11:22:33 AM EDT by K1rodeoboater]


Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By biere:



Was talking to a buddy at work, younger kid who likes working on his own stuff and what not.





He mentioned how general motors always seemed to scavenge parts from their other vehicles so stuff could be found on all sorts of vehicles when you need a part.





Ford pickups were mentioned as being a bit hard to do the same thing with but I think he exaggerated.





I have some long winded posts about how I prefer the 3/4 ton burban over the half ton but some posters on here have shown the half ton will do a good job for what it is and return better mileage.





I still prefer the 3/4 ton but for the right price a burban in good shape is what it is and they are one of the few vehicles that will take a 4x8 sheet of plywood and let you close the doors.
View Quote





 

the whole 1/2 ton vs 3/4 ton thing is ultimately an unanswerable question as it's really dependent on the individual.  Not towing often, or only when needed, and a DD with longer commutes the 1/2 ton will cost them less in the long run.  Towing often with heavy weights long distances the 3/4 ton shines, of if you have shorter commutes or use it as a secondary or tertiary vehicle so the MPG hit will be negligible.  




Regardless you're right.  Chevy did damn good with the trans an engine combos in the Subruban over the years and they're long standing and well proven vehicles.  

 
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 11:55:42 AM EDT
+1 for Suburbans as BOVs.



My Suburban approves of this thread.
2006 Suburban 2500 w/ 6 liter

Link Posted: 8/23/2013 12:24:09 PM EDT
Still have an '04 Yukon, 5.3L, only 90K miles and running strong. Not towing anything and I travel very light so it will get me where I need to go.
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 12:27:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2013 12:44:55 PM EDT by buck19delta]
at the moment, i am very glad i have a older scratched up truck. ( because building, and getting my place set up, its going to take a beating), last weekend i went back to my land, and decided to go in the way i will be cutting the first 100 yards of driveway. it was many, many years ago a old logging road, and after 100 yards or so, connects up to the new logging road, past the soft muddy spots im avoiding. . ( i want to go this way, because its on top of the ridge, and dry, where the new first 100 yards of the new logging road that is 100 yards downhill,  is wet, and stays wet in one large muddy spot that i do not want to mess with, so i am bypassing it in a few weeks when i cut the new driveway.

anyway, it got some new scratches in the old paint, and i almost put a few dents in it, but went slow and came out fine. when i say tight, i mean i had to fold the mirrors back, or lose them tight.!  i also drove over several logs, and small trees i have cut recently. it was muddy, from recent rains, but in 4x4 it didnt even spin a tire. rattled and rumbled thru like a tank ! i love it, expecially for the crappy, and rough treatment it will get dragging logs, and such, until i get a tractor in a year or so.

i want a newer truck, and was looking at a 2011 f250 4 door diesel, 20,000 miles, for $40,000 bucks.  part of my wants a nice shiny truck, but i hate to spend that money. although once i get the house done, i will probably buy something like that. i only average around $10,000 miles a year driving, so a truck like that would last a lifetime for me.

i do have a enormous urge to set up a couple of tough assed work trucks/ bov trucks. very tough, very simple emp/ shtf resistant things. the cheapest things i keep coming back to, are the military pick up trucks, and blazers. m1008, and m1009. they are diesels, ( probably mechanical mostly), and have pretty tough systems, and can be bought pretty cheap. they use mostly stock chevy running geat, axles, rims, etc. i have a lot of experience driving them. they are of course not made for fuel mileage, but i mostly want them for around the house.  a 1 ton surplus 4x4 diesel truck, would be perfect for me hauling firewood, gravel, etc, and most likely work thru anything.

i am planning to keep my suburban for a long time, but i would eventually like to add some upgrades to it, winch,  roof rack etc. next month im going to start upgrading the service on it. flushing the transmission, and the radiator, and putting new fluids in. and have the bearings checked, things like that iv been skipping. probably also replace the alt, water pump, and a few other things that im not sure of their age. im more worried about pully bearings going bad and burning the belt off, as happened when i first got it, and the ac compressor seized up.


i really like simple vehicles, that are easy to work on. i am no fan of all the luxury crap they add on now, like heated seats, mirrors, etc. everytime i see something like that, i think the same thing.

hey ! this is nice.............. it will also prpbably break first, and cost a pile of $$ to fix.

i guess im a 1970's kind of guy. id love a simple bronco 1, with manual everything, and a simple assed engine with a distrubutor cap, and points, and no damn electronics.
Link Posted: 8/23/2013 1:36:53 PM EDT
Just some thought on these.   I drove 1000 miles with some buddies that all have various Suburban's for a camping trip from MO to Colorado.  The 8.1 engine is a beast and can tow a lot.  Same with the 6.0.   The trade off is you look for a gas pump a lot more then I was with my 5.3.   The 1/2 ton rides nicer then the 3/4.  However I did tow a side by side atv on a trailer and felt like I didn't want to tow anymore with my 1/2 ton.    

The GMC due tend to have nice options on them as the trim lines go higher and more plush, not to say you can not get a very plush Chevy.   Also the newer GMC  Yukon  Denali comes with a 6.2 engine.
If you are not going to tow get a 1/2 ton.  If you are get a 3/4.    

I wish they would make a diesel again.    
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