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The Grocery Getter

Discussion in '4wd Suburban, Blazer and Jimmy' started by Crispy, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    Truck Year:
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    Truck Model:
    Suburban V1500
    Engine Size:
    5.7
    Ive put together enough progress that I feel I can feel you rabid picture lovers.

    This all started two years ago when I bought an 89 Suburban 2500 that was ready to back to the dirt from which it came. Long story short I sold it to a kid who wanted a woods truck. Fast forward a year and a wedding and Im back in the hunt for a Suburban. The Mrs. really liked it and was on board for another one but this one had to be in better shape.

    So craigslst searching I go, starting far away from the rust because as George W said, “Fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again.” No more rusty vehicles!!!

    I found this shining gem in Maryland, sealed the deal and got her shipped over. The body is very good shape with only a couple of cancer spots in the passenger rocker and passenger quarter panel. Frame, mounts, floors, wheels wheels, etc are all in good shape. Most of the frame still has factory paint and a few assembly line markings are still visible.

    Its not all sunshine and unicorns though, the previous owner mentioned the head gasket was blown as there was a loss of coolant and milky brown oil. Well, I can handle that!

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    Derick C. likes this.
  2. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    Engine Size:
    5.7
    I started the tear down for the head gasket job and very shortly the diagnosis was confirmed.

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    If it was in a cup and served at a sweet shop Im sure Id feel differently. Looks like felpro valve cover gaskets were installed at some point.

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    After removing the intake I saw more felpro gaskets keeping the manifold sealed. Was the head gasket replaced already and failed again

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    There was water in the #8 cylinder. Identifying the break in the gasket should be no issue lol.

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    I didnt get many pictures during the head cleaning but I used a razor and wire brush attachment on the drill. The head and block showed true after checking with a straight edge and some feelers.

    Reassembly has started

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    and this is how it currently sits
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    MrMarty51 likes this.
  3. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    A few other things needed to get done on the Burb before it was ready for weekend duty.

    I had a bunch of LEDs laying around from previous vehicles I demodded before I sold them so I figured Id see what fit in the Suburban.

    I was able to swap out the dome lights and rear cargo light out for LEDs
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    The previous owner had installed a new headliner but didnt install the grab handles. Maybe he didnt want them or maybe he didnt want to cut into a fresh headliner. Maybe he just didnt get a chance to do it. You can see them installed in the previous pic and the Mrs. snapped one of me getting the suckers in.

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    Staying with LEDs, I apparently have a small army of 194 leds ready for action. In went a fresh dose of modern color to the old instrument cluster.

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    The pics are a little washed but the numbers are very clear and easy to read at night.

    So the Suburban came with no radio and stock speakers. Thats a no no. The name of the game is cheap, I was just looking to get the stock stuff replaced and figured even the cheapest stuff on the market today is better than whatever GM churned out in 1989 so I went to Soniceelectronix and spent like $50 on cheapie sound. On to the install.

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    Speakers went in without a hitch. Now on to the head unit which I got from ebay for cheap as a refurb unit. I got the kit and harness from ebay as well. Im in the whole stereo system under $200 and it sounds good for what I need at the moment.

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    The radio kit causes the dash bezel to no longer sit flush against the dash. Not a huge fan of it but I can deal with it.

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  4. Honky Kong jr

    Honky Kong jr Super Sarcastic Man

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    Lil BB 407
    what the hell man why ain't it running yet? lol that's one ate up gasket.
     
  5. 1987 GMC Jimmy

    1987 GMC Jimmy Automobile Hoarder

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    "They have this saying in Texas; I'm sure they have it in Tennessee, too."
     
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  6. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    Engine Size:
    5.7
    A few more interior details like installing the glove box went by easily thanks to the local junkyard having 2 square burbs with a bunch of good parts left. I picked up the screws that connect the hinge to the dash and was on my way.

    The passenger door lock wasnt working and the bezel around the switch was cracked so I got one off of one the burbs at the wrecker. I know you can clean the switches and get em back to work but I didnt want the crack showing.

    The emblem on the passenger side of the dash was missing and that proved to be much harder to find. The ones that came around on ebay had either broken mounting tabs, scratches or were off a GMC. I found a site selling one but it seemed kind of sketchy so I kept waiting. Eventually a mint condition emblem popped up on ebay and i snagged it for $20 shipped to my door.

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    The tailgate cables were holding on by a prayer and needed to be changed. I went cheap and got the pair from 1aauto.

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    I took the liberty to lube all the window tracks and motors. I dont need relays on the windows as they all move quickly but Ill still be adding them next spring.

    Still to come are an alarm and remote start with an express down module for the tailgate glass at the request of the Mrs. Drivers side door pin needs to go in. Im debating on whether or not to get a full weatherstrip kit or just the tailgate for now as thats my biggest worry since they are in the worst shape. Id like to get them on before the cold really sets in and its just wet any nasty for a few months.

    This is her today after I finished cleaning up a bit.

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    I hope to have her all buttoned up and hopefully running by this weekend!
     
  7. 74 Shortbed

    74 Shortbed Full Access Member

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    It's looking good.
     
  8. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    Yea that gasket was BEAT, I also just yanked it off so I tore it a little more. I only get to work on it on the weekends so progress is slow with the honey do and other things I have going on but Im enjoying the ride and the only rush is to beat the cold.
     
  9. Honky Kong jr

    Honky Kong jr Super Sarcastic Man

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    Won't be long up there in the hills for cold weather. Progress is progress no matter how small.
     
  10. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    Yes sir, you got that right. I cant wait to drive and see what else i want to change haha.
     
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  11. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    5.7
    This past weekend I set out to button her up and take a spin. I thought I was real careful about storing the valve train but apparently one little rocker arm ball got away! Needless to say I was pretty angry. I packed it up and called it day then went in to place an order at rock auto. $0.44 plus shipping is holding me up lol.
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    Later that day I decided I would put in a little accessory the wife requested:
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    80's style steering wheel cover! I love these things and apparently she does as well. I made a good choice in marrying that one.

    Thats all for now, I hope to have her running this upcoming weekend because if I don't it wont be until October since I'm headin to Dover for the races in two weeks.
     
  12. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    I forgot I started a build thread!

    Well the Burbs been up and running for a few months now. Got in inspected as required here in PA and its now on weekend duty. A couple of issues have come up that I'm ironing out.

    One is the wonky wiper situation which with the help of the forum I'm tracking down and eliminating possible culprits.
    Replaced EGR valve due to stumbling under load. Drives great now.
    TV Cable wasnt hooked up at the tranny side so my shifts were all off. Got a new TV cable in and its fine now. Just have a much harder pedal now.
    My coolant temp sensor went bad so I replaced that and the code went away.
    The other is a hard start when cold. Fuel pump is priming, and I tried different relays to no avail. Have to do further trouble shooting on this as that long start is a pet peeve of mine.

    Next on the to do list is installing the rear add a leaf and poly bushings. Burb is saggin like a granny. While I'm at it I'll put in the poly sway bar bushings I have as well.


    Since its parked out on the street now I can work on it without having to get all muddy and the weathers been nice lately so I hope to have that squared away soon.

    Might have a line on a wrecked 03 Tahoe so I'm in the planning stages of an LS swap. The Mrs. drove the burb the other day and thought it was too slow so she's all in for a swap. Cant let her lapse in judgment go unpunished.

    Pics on progress coming soon!
     
  13. Country705

    Country705 Full Access Member

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    Thanks for the update! Post pictures as soon as you can
     
  14. Rusty Nail

    Rusty Nail Whatever!

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    I think it's curious that you didn't buy the rocker ball with oiling grooves.
     
  15. Honky Kong jr

    Honky Kong jr Super Sarcastic Man

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    Wow missed that one I go to both Dover races. Spring we take our grandson fall is for adults lol
     

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