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leik oh em jeez!

Maybe buying this Suburban...

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leik oh em jeez!

This is now a build thread for my 1997 GMC Suburban K2500 SLT. What started out as a family hauling daily driver with candy and soda spilled about the floor, will now get a slightly redneck trail-rig/work horse exterior and drive train, and receive a more luxurious interior treatment than GMC could have imagined in 1997. THIS is how it begins.

 

Purchase price: $1800

Current total: $2545

 

Repairs done:

-Battery

-Belt Tensioner

-Grill/Corner lenses

-Starter

 

Upgrades done:

-06 Escalade center console

-06 Escalade 6-disc in-dash CD changer

-00 Escalade door conversion

-00 Escalade seats front & rear

-Keyless entry

-Cab lights

 

Other modifications:

-Cranked torsion keys for 7/8" front lift

-Painted wheels black

-CD changer housing swap

 

As I bought it:

user posted imageuser posted image

user posted imageuser posted image

 

Replaced grill/corner lenses with new '93 style, painted wheels black, removed running boards:

user posted imageuser posted image

 

Custom fitted '06 Escalade center console. Pictures left to right: Interior before, wiring done for CD changer, interior after.

user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image

 

 

 

 

 

Original post:

 

Okay, so I've been looking for a while for a cheap 90's Suburban K2500 to hopefully eventually swap a 12-valve Cummins into.

I recently found this one on Craigslist for $2500.

1997 K2500 (4x4 3/4 ton) with 176,000 on the odometer.

 

So I called him up, found out it's got a 350 (was kind of hoping for a 454) explained to him my money situation, and he said he could take $2000.

While I think this a reasonable deal, my father is completely against the idea and is under the impression that for $2000 I'd better be getting a 2000+ with under 100k miles and in perfect condition. I then of course explained that would never happen.

 

So if you were in my position, would you consider this a good deal?

Considering the cheapest 2wd 1/2 tons are $1500-2000, all of them older and with more miles, I'd say it's not that bad. But everyone around me seems to disagree.

Edited by leik oh em jeez!

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Garfield 2

That's a pretty good deal. Needs some TLC, but overall $2k is not bad for such a truck.

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Lurch

Could probably get a pickup with a better stock drivetrain in it (like already with an NV4500 in it) for around the same price.

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leik oh em jeez!

Not so sure about that, trucks are expensive around here. Most K2500s are $3000-4000, while F-250s and Ram 2500s older than 2000 are all but extinct.

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Original Light

With a new paint job that would look sweet. Just get some of the rust off and clean it up, otherwise, that's a great deal.

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Lurch

Something to keep in mine is a lot of the suspension is going to have to be replaced. A cummins weighs roughly 1200 lbs. complete. An SBC is only 500 lbs. Most Suburban/chevy truck cummins swaps I see have them SAS the front with a Dana 60. I've seen someone successfully swap a Cummins into a 3/4 ton Burb like that and keep the IFS, but it was a 6.5 truck with the HD tow package so it had the heaviest duty torsion bars, springs, ball joints, and steering parts of any Suburban made. I think he still had to switch to some stiffer aftermarket springs for the additional 300 lbs. of the Cummins over the 6.5.

 

I've found a few older straight axle square body 3/4 ton burbs in your price range in NC. Might should check them out. Then a d60 would at least be basically bolt-in.

Edited by Lurch

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leik oh em jeez!

Well, I got it for $1800.

user posted image

user posted imageuser posted imageuser posted imageuser posted image

 

Edited by leik oh em jeez!

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*MURDOC*

Yeah, no sh*t, you've posted it in 3 different places! tounge.gif

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leik oh em jeez!

lol. I'm quite happy about finally getting one after. I'm 20 and just now getting my first vehicle, so you can imagine my excitement.

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Illousion

Nice car! Looks great white on beighe.

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*MURDOC*
lol. I'm quite happy about finally getting one after. I'm 20 and just now getting my first vehicle, so you can imagine my excitement.

I can understand, I got a '79 Suburban when I was 16.

 

Financial troubles meant I didn't have it for too long, but it was fun while it lasted.

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Lurch

My automechanic in highschool had one just like that but red and black. Had a big steel bumper with a built in brush guard too. Still 3/4 ton, 4x4 with a 350/4L80E combo. 4L80 took a sh*t on him. Still was a fun truck to mess around in.

 

Is the rear end in it the 9.5 SF 14 bolt or 10.5 FF 14 bolt? Hard to tell with the centercaps on.

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leik oh em jeez!

Appears to be the 9.5 SF.

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Lurch

Yeah, if you plan to cummins swap it, that's not going to hold up. Kaboom. Needs at least a FF 14 bolt or a d70 or d80.

 

 

Most everything will need to be swapped.

 

Here's a thread to a 3/4 ton Suburban with a Cummins swap. It was originally a 454 truck with the 8800 GVW package on it so it had the biggiest heaviest duty parts on it. Everything on your truck won't be enough for the Cummins.

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leik oh em jeez!

hmm. Looks like it'll be that much more of a project. Maybe I can find a parts truck with the higher GVWR.

 

Think I could get anything useful off of this truck?

Edited by leik oh em jeez!

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Lurch

Yes. The rear end, but that's it. FF 10.5 might be bolt in and are cheap. Not sure if 1 ton spring perches are the same. A 3/4 ton with a 454 or a 6.5 will have the full float axle in it too. They're like 100 bucks or less at the junkyard. That guy might want more.

 

I think the 8800 package includes the 9.25 front end from a 1 ton. So if you find a 4wd 1 ton, I guess you could nab it. You've got the weaker 8.25 shared with the half ton. You'll need at least that if you stay IFS or a D60 (if you solid axled the front).

 

Or get a whole wrecked dodge with the cummins/nv4500/nv271/d60 front and d70 or d80 rear already in it. Then all you have to deal with is fab work to get it all in.

Edited by Lurch

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leik oh em jeez!

Now is as good a time as any for some "before" pictures. So I got some with an actual camera after a quick wash. (cell phone cameras suck.)

user posted image

user posted image

user posted image

 

^Step brother's sh*tty little Del-Sol beside it.

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leik oh em jeez!

New grill installed, corner lenses should be here soon.

user posted image

user posted image

 

And I removed the running boards.

user posted image

Losing the front valance too when I get a new bumper.

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Lurch

Touch up the paint on the hood and that would be a very good looking truck. Craigslist the running boards and front valance. Could probably get a little bit out of them. The valance looks to be solid and doesn't have the normal cracks you see on them from trucks that gen.

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leik oh em jeez!

Waiting on my dad to pay me back $1800 he borrowed from me, which will hopefully be enough for a cheap front leveling kit and paint. I wanted to do the older style two tone in a dark forest green with a white or off white stripe down the sides.

 

While I'm at it, I really like the look of the sealed beam lights with this grill, but from what I've read the sealed beams suck major ass and you'd be better off taping flash lights to the hood than using them. You know of any kits or anything that use decent bulbs but maintain the look of the quad sealed beams? I've read the Holden Suburbans have great lights and still have the same look, but I'm unable to find any parts anywhere online.

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leik oh em jeez!

Double posting up in this bitch.

Corner lenses installed.

user posted image

 

Next up: Belt tensioner and registration. Then dinner for some nice ladies, and then back to upgrades. Bumper will probably be the first one.

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Killer.Khan

Question,

 

How do you manage to pay for gas?

 

It probably get's like 3 MPG tounge.gif

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*MURDOC*
Question,

 

How do you manage to pay for gas?

 

It probably get's like 3 MPG tounge.gif

I know it's a big time difference, but my old 350 Suburban got more than twice that.

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Guns N R0se

I have a friend who is obsessed with Suburbans. When I asked him what car he could have if he could have any car his immediate answer was "Suburban".

 

anyway, very nice ride.

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leik oh em jeez!
I have a friend who is obsessed with Suburbans. When I asked him what car he could have if he could have any car his immediate answer was "Suburban".

 

anyway, very nice ride.

lol, I'm the same way. It's supposed to get 14mpg, but I've only driven it about three miles so far. Hopefully I've got the money now so hopefully I'll be getting all the legalities worked out this week so I can drive it.

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leik oh em jeez!

wooo! Escalade center console semi-installed.

user posted image

 

Definitely going to need some help with wiring though. I don't even know where to start.

I've got a clock, a CD changer, a sub woofer, and rear audio controls to custom wire. turn.gif

Help me God.

 

Edit: Daytime now. And I got the CD changer wired up. Too bad my head unit won't switch to the auxiliary input. confused.gif

user posted image

user posted image

Edited by leik oh em jeez!

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leik oh em jeez!

Been a while since I updated this. Since the last post, I've:

-painted wheels black

-painted the faded lug nut covers black, it makes a big difference.

-replaced head unit with another factory unit in much better condidtion

-replaced front bumper

-sanded and polished the faded and yellowed headlights, now they look new.

-cleaned up the center console, finished installing hardware for all of the compartments to open/close correctly

-installed green LEDs in gauge cluster, AC cluster, headlight switch, and clock.

-hooked up the clock

-wired the clock so the lights come on with the rest of the dash lights

-replaced the missing switch on the rear AC controls

-replaced a bad bulb in the turn signal that was blowing fuses and killing my brake lights

-replaced starter

 

I also narrowed down my audio problems to the cable connecting the CD Changer to the head unit. I'll be picking up another one next time I'm at the scrap yard.

 

Plans for this month:

-keyless entry kit (on the way)

-cab lights

-get the CD changer working

 

Plans for next month:

-rear running lights

-intake mod and paint, OR find donor motor/transmission. I'll be looking for a Duramax, or a 6bt Cummins.

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Outcast

 

Plans for this month:

-keyless entry kit (on the way)

that. sounds. f*cking. awesome.

 

i didnt know keyless entry aftermarket kits existed! i'd love to see pics when you get it

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leik oh em jeez!

 

i didnt know keyless entry aftermarket kits existed! i'd love to see pics when you get it

I'm unsure as to whether or not my Suburban had keyless entry from the factory. If it did, then the remote was lost long ago.

One of the previous owners had installed an aftermarket remote starter/keyless entry kit, which the remote for it was lost, and I took it out since it wasn't doing any good. But yes, they do make after market keyless entry kits. I paid $38 shipped and that's without bothering to shop around.

 

Edit: Also, it might be worth mentioning that if I find a Duramax, I'll be doing a NBS dash swap with it. And whenever I get around to it, I'd like to get a set of Ultra Baja Champs and some BFG All Terrains.

 

And the console as it sits now. Because it looks so much nicer than it did before. Still need to sand the top and peel the rest of the paint off.

user posted image

Edited by leik oh em jeez!

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Illousion

It's coming along nicely man. The console looks great.

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