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Chevy Suburban

steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
The Granddaddy of SUVS deserves its own unique discussion!

Steve, Host
«13456720

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    mbreenmbreen Member Posts: 1
    I'm thinking about buying a '96 Suburban with a Diesel engine. i've heard that Chevy put a low quality diesel in the 80's era suburbans and that the duramax is quite good. Do any of you know about who made the diesel they used in '96? Was it reliable? How about the transmission? I've heard that there were some problems on the transmissions used in '96- can anyone confirm that?
    mbreen
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    hammerheadhammerhead Member Posts: 907
    Steve: Good thinking!
    My fave hill got 14 inches the past 24 hrs... time to GO!!

    Cheers!
    Paul
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Bogus opens tomorrow with 32" at the base (so far). I may let it settle down a day :-)

    Steve, Host
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    hammerheadhammerhead Member Posts: 907
    Scheduling is the problem here... I may get to escape for a day next weekend - hopefully our discount coupons will be here by then, or we'll sneak up & take advantage of our midweek passes. I owe the kiddo a trip for his birthday too... owing him a ski day is a good problem to have!
    (obligatory on-topic: I'll take a couple of his friends too, which means the Suburban :) which means I gotta get the coffin box mounted too)

    Cheers!
    Paul
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    new_daddynew_daddy Member Posts: 12
    I know the low quality diesel of the 80's. It was the 5.7L (350ci) V8 converted diesel, as in converted from a gasoline engine. Pure junk! My family got to experience that in a 1980 Caddy. Then we got a 1983 GMC van with the 6.2L (379ci) V8 diesel, which was a diesel from the drawing board. Much better engine. However, the transmission they mated to it couldn't do the job. This 4-speed auto with O/D was meant for a gas engine in passenger cars and couldn't handle the low end torque of a diesel, nor could it withstand the low end vibration of the diesel. The 6.2L diesel lasted 220,000 miles before we sold it. The transmissions (plural) lasted 60,000 miles, 15,000 miles, and another 15,000 miles before we finally threw in an older 3-speed tranny from a 1979 1-ton pickup which was still going strong when we sold it.

    As for the '96, Duramax is the company that makes the engine. I think GM learned their lessons about crappy trasmissions and have been going with Allison trannies. Unfortunately, my diesel experience has only been with the 80s models. If I come across anyone with a 90s Duramax diesel (I assume it's 6.5L), I'll be sure to ask and relay their response here.
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    jimvetajimveta Member Posts: 96
    Hi folks, I'm wondering if anyone can help out with a pretty serious flaw when experienced. Our 2003 Suburban can't track straight at all unless it's riding on a perfectly flat, smooth road with absolutely no wind. If there are some winds, uneven roads or groves, or simply being passed by, or passing a large truck for example, the Suburban will veer off by itself where any steering input does little to no good.

     

    It's as if any "external forces", whether from uneven roads, wind or turbulence, can severly influence the steering.. feels like some unseen hands are pushing the truck around.

     

    We've gone to the dealer of course with receiving the usual BS and nothing solved. The closest I've come though to a possible solution is from a mechanic telling me he's experienced the same problems with his late model Silverado, on the same stretch of freeway in fact, and that simply changing from the stock Firestone tires solves it!!??

     

    Alignment and balancing shows no problems btw.

     

    thanks for any info!
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    jimvetajimveta Member Posts: 96
    Just thought I'd add a bit more info on the symptoms: in my non-expert opinion, it doesn't seem like bumpsteer because going over speedbumps at non-perpendicular angles for example, doesn't result in any steering action as one arm cycles relative to the other.

     

    But what I do notice is something almost the opposite--at high speeds, going over bumps *straight on* so that both sides of the suspension cycle together, there's always a side to side shift. The degree of sideways movement depends on the speed and sharpness of the bump.

     

    Lastly, none of this happened with the previous generation 98 Sub this one replaced (despite the older one having a soggier suspension, more body roll, etc).
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    beach15beach15 Member Posts: 1,305
    ...this does seem to be more of a design flaw in the newer trucks/SUV's than anything else. The only issue I've ever really noticed is how the front end does seem to blow around pretty bad if you're driving on a really windy day--it takes a very firm grip and correcting. But this is excusable, at least to me, because the trucks sit so high up and are pretty much like tall flat boxes getting hit with the wind.

     

    On the other hand, yes, the steering is kind of odd. It never really bothered me, but my father hates that one part of my mother's trucks (had an Avalanche and now a Suburban), as the front end just seems to wander around despite your input...like there's slack somewhere in system. Really noticeable I guess, if you get on a bouncy roadway at higher speeds and are trying to keep it straight.

     

    As far as the tires, I'm really not sure, but the Goodyear Wrangler HP's that were on our Av did seem stiffer and made the truck handle more crisply than the Firestones on the Suburban, which, while not horrible, are clearly not the greatest when it comes to tires. They probably do make some difference though.
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    jimvetajimveta Member Posts: 96
    Thanks for the input. So this seems to confirm that it is as you mentioned, more inherent of the design as my mom also complained of the same characterstics in another 04 Suburban she borrowed once..

     

    .. I'm considering changing the tires.. and I wonder if some kind of aftermarket steering stabilizer would help..
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    rand01rand01 Member Posts: 75
    Jimmy, I would ditch those Firestones for starters. I didn't have this problem with either my 2000 or 2004 Suburban (both 4WD), but both the stock Firestones and Bridgestones were changed shortly after purchase for Michelins. I have monster 305/50-20s on my 2004 now, so you would think that any inherent problems with the suspension would be exaggerated with these tires, but it tracks just fine.

     

    Might not hurt to have a reputable, independent alignment shop double check your settings.

     

    Randy
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    beach15beach15 Member Posts: 1,305
    Another thing I just remembered from what a lot of people in an Avalanche owners club did to fix the annoying steering slack was to replace the rubber bushings in the front end with new polyurethane ones.

     

    Not sure of the exact brand and part #'s right now, but I know of a lot of people who did this mod and noticed significantly sharper tracking and steering response over the old rubber parts.
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    jbtb1104jbtb1104 Member Posts: 3
    Does anyone know a place that can repair/correct my odometer on a yukon xl in the atlanta/ se tennessee area?

     

    RW
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    rand01rand01 Member Posts: 75
    Do you need it corrected because of a tire size change? Of course, your GMC dealer can adjust it for you or you can pick up one of the aftermarket computer programmers (Hypertech, Superchips, etc.) and do it yourself, plus tune in some more horsepower, adjust shift points, etc.
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    jbtb1104jbtb1104 Member Posts: 3
    I think I had a short which messed up the reading on the odometer. It is showing I have about one million miles on it when I really have 100,000 miles on it. So I need that corrected
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    czar58czar58 Member Posts: 6
    I need input please. I have a 04 LT 1500 2WD with autoride currently 27,000. At 10,000 miles dealer replaced front tires due to abnormal wear - inside tread cupped and worn almost to nothing. Alignement checks within specks. At 15000 sends me to firestone dealer who replaces the other two tires now on the front for same wear and confirms alignment is dead on specs. Problem continues even rotating at 7500 or so. Dealer says Chevy techline fix is to rotate at 3000. I say bull. anyone out there with the same issue or any ideas please send me a post. Thanks a ton
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    rand01rand01 Member Posts: 75
    I wonder if somebody is making some money off those Firestones? You are not paying for the replacements, are you?

     

    I think I would go to another reputable alignment shop and double check your settings. After I lowered my 2004 (4WD with autoride and stabiltrac), I had to have the front end aligned. The shop gave me a certificate that showed the allowable range, and my before and after settings. I have had no problems with excessive tire wear with either my 2000 or 2004 Suburban, both 4WD though, which, if anything, should be worse as far as tire wear goes.
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    explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 19,421
    could be the 'autoride' causing this. do you notice anything unusual? it wouldn't show up in a static situation.
    2023 Ford Explorer ST, 91 Mustang GT vert
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    czar58czar58 Member Posts: 6
    Thanks to all for the posts. I've been to three separate shops - all agree with dealer that alignment is in spec and the tire wear is classic toe misalignment in appearance. Dealer and Firestone paid for the replacements so far. I have about 12000 miles on the replacements now and at present wear rate I'll be lucky to get 20,000. Not acceptable in my opinion. I've asked the dealer( as well as two others)about the autoride and none indicate it could be the problem. Any ideas/info appreciated. I will replace the firestones with Michelins when the time comes though.
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    sslandysslandy Member Posts: 5
    I didn't get a reply about the mirror. For now, I have a zip tie holding it on. If I ever get a chance to leave it at the dealer, I'm going to try to get them to replace it under the bumper-to-bumper extended warranty. It shouldn't have broke, it is supposed to fold in, not snap off. When I called the parts department just to see, they quoted me over the phone $183 for the mirror and $105 to put it on. I didn't mention a warranty or anything.. Please post if you get a way to fix it. It is a pain - can't go through the car wash and the pollen is killing me.
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    detroit irondetroit iron Member Posts: 1
    there is a place in richmond virgina that does radio and speedo repair

     

    www.carradio.com/
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    preamppreamp Member Posts: 1
    My 82 suburban is starting to vibrate and has oil on the differential and the underside of the body above the diffential. I am pretty handy with a wrench, but have never worked on a rear-end. Does this sound like something major or is it a routine problem?

     

    454cid, 2wd, 3/4 ton, 3.73 ratio.

     

    Thanks
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    dmiller2005dmiller2005 Member Posts: 2
    I just bought a 2005 suburban, and the tailgate seems to be askew. It looks like the right side, as you are looking at the back of the truck, is about 1/2 inch lower than the left side. Has anyone else seen something like this? I try to checkout other Suburbans on the road and many of them appear to have the same thing....
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    rand01rand01 Member Posts: 75
    I had a 2000 and currently have a 2004, both with lift gates and neither had/have such variances with the alignment of the rear hatch. In fact, all my panels all over the truck have nice alignment.

     

    I'd take it to the dealer when possible and have them align that thing.
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    gogolf1972gogolf1972 Member Posts: 4
    I own a 2002 LT w/Autoride. My digital odometer display suddenly disappeared. All other functions are working properly including the speedometer. Is there a fuse I can check? Has anyone ever experienced this problem?
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    chuminthewaterchuminthewater Member Posts: 91
    LS 4wd, leather, 52K miles, great shape in and out - normal wear only. Has most of the bells and whistles, liftgate.

     

    What real world price might I get for it?

     

    Thanks!

     

    Or, anyone in No. VA interested? ;-)
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Check the True Market Value and then cross-check that number over in Real-World Trade-In Values.

     

    And please, no buying and selling on the boards. Try the Sell Your Car link on the main Edmunds.com page.

     

    Steve, Host
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    chuminthewaterchuminthewater Member Posts: 91
    That comment was just a joke.

    Thanks for the links.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Sorry. Ads are like spyware around here. If you turn your back for a day, the boards fill up with them.

    Used Suburban are a lot like used pickups. There always seems to be a market for them.

    Steve, Host
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    msl1msl1 Member Posts: 2
    Any thoughts or other complaints on the maintenance record of 03 and nearby years Suburban? I have an 03 with 44k miles and have had significant repairs in and out of warranty - Any other experience out there? Appreciate and info.
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    msl1msl1 Member Posts: 2
    I would be very interested in anything you have learned about this. I have an 03 and the steering pops and makes noise at low speeds/moderately bumpy situations. Handling at full speed is very loosy goosy and bouncy in the front it - very affected by winds, etc... Not very happy for a $45k vehicle - Certainly did NOT have these problems with 99 land cruiser. Overall repair record and costs of 03 Suburban have been disappointing and predictably chevy - I can't believe I fell for it again. We LOVE the form and function of the vehicle but the nickel and dime - and $DOLLARs of the repair and maintenance should embarrass Chevy. Let me know what you find/found out.
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    rand01rand01 Member Posts: 75
    There is an archived read only forum,

    meredith, "GMC Yukon XL / Yukon XL Denali" #1, 24 Oct 2000 10:17 am

    that you may want to search thru for more info. It was created when the new body style came out in 2000.

    FYI, I've had a 2000 and currently have a 2004 Suburban, both 4WD and hardly a problem worth mentioning with either.
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    steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    The XL board has been reopened for your posting pleasure.

    Steve, Host
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    skippy4skippy4 Member Posts: 1
    I was wondering if any one could help me. I have a 99 Suburban and I can't get the A/C to blow through the face vent once in a great while it will work but for the most part when I switch to face vent nothing blows out. All the others seem to work fine Defrost and floor. Any Ideas? Is it a vacume system or Electric? or may just a stuck door?
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    dieselonedieselone Member Posts: 5,729
    I have an 01 Nissan Pathfinder which the lease will be up in August. Since I only have 2000 miles left on the lease and I wanted a larger vehicle for traveling and towing our boat, I purchased a 2000 Suburban LS w/ 46K miles. Going this route will allow me not to have any car payments when the PF is turned in.

    So far I like the functionality of the Sub, but the rattles and overall feel of cheapness are a constant reminder of why I generally avoid GM vehicles. I've put about 2000 miles on the burb and nothing has gone wrong yet. Hopefully it will be fairly reliable, but reading about some of these posts has me genuinely concerned.
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    4wdless4wdless Member Posts: 2
    I made a big mistake in 2001 when I bought a Suburban w/o 4WD. The truck is just terrible in slick/snowy conditions. Is there anything I can do? Is a 4WD conversion possible? A good idea? Expensive? All suggestions appreciated.
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    rand01rand01 Member Posts: 75
    I would imagine that it would be very expensive to convert that thing over to 4WD. But of course, anything can be done with enough money and time! Unless you plan on keeping it for a very long time, it probably will not be worth the bucks.

    If you don't have a locking rear end, this would be a much less expensive option and will help tremendously in those slippery conditions.
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    89burban35089burban350 Member Posts: 2
    I have an '89 Suburban and the steering wheel just came up wobbly acouple days ago.
    Anybody know the problem and how to fix it?
    Is this a fault that has something to do with the tilt mechanism?
    Is my steering wheel going to get even more wobbly?

    Thanks
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    89burban35089burban350 Member Posts: 2
    I have another question. On my '89 Suburban the front brakes seem to apply uneven amounts of pressure at times with the left side pulling sometimes and the right side pulling sometimes. It happens more on the left side.
    Sometimes it doesn't happen at all.

    Thanks
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    argonoughtargonought Member Posts: 2
    Is there any way to work on these things yourself or do you have to take it in and let Chevy fix itlike the driver's manual says? My compass still works but the temp just shows 2 letters now.
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    asolorio01asolorio01 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1994 Chevy Suburban that I'm installing a brake controller,but I stop when I was going to connect the wire that goes to the brake switch pedal instead of having one wire that becomes hot when you press the brake pedal this one have a brake switch with five wires. Which is the one I suppose to use?
    Thanks for any help.
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    4wdless4wdless Member Posts: 2
    Forgive my ignorance--what's a locking rear end?
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    rand01rand01 Member Posts: 75
    Sometimes called a rear locker, limited slip, traction lock, etc., a device in the rear differential that locks or limits the slippage of the two rear axle shafts. Without some sort of locking device in the differential (known as an "open" differential), when one wheel spins, the other wheel will do nothing. With a rear locker, when a tire loses traction and starts spinning, the other axle will lock up and provide power to the opposite wheel, which hopefully will have more traction available.

    Even with 4WD, without some sort of rear locker or traction control system, you will have "no wheel drive" if one front and one rear wheel starts spinning.

    The locking rear end was a $295 option on the Suburban. Expect to pay more than that to purchase one and have it installed in your rear end.
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    argonoughtargonought Member Posts: 2
    My thermometer shows started showing two letters instead of the temperature. It would work off and on for a couple of days then would just show the letters. Is there anyway I can fix it myself? I have found nothing about this in the repair manuals at the library.
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    moonlightermoonlighter Member Posts: 2
    I Own a 99' 1500 4X4 Burban w/100,000 miles. The problem that I have is that when going up a steep incline or towing my utility trailer or 2500lb boat the motor starts bucking and the check engine light comes on. I thought I could pull a house with this truck.

    I have gone thru 2 sets of cats one under warranty. Have had a major tune up done by the dealer and new cap and wires to no avail. The problem still exists and the dealer now tells me it is in the valve train and I will need to have the heads reworked????????

    Anyone with any insight as to what the problem might be please respond before I drive the truck into the water!!!
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    beatfarmerbeatfarmer Member Posts: 244
    Have a shop check for any codes that may be stored on the computer. Under load it could be a tranny problem. When was the last time you had the tranny serviced. Towing generates a lot of heat, and that can fry your fluid and cause all sorts of problems.
    I've heard of a misfire causing this too. But you said you had a major tune up (plugs, wires and the rest I'll assume) so a mis wouldn't be the problem. Unless the didn't replace everything. Did the shop say why they are sure it's in the valve train. I would think that would show up all the time and not just under load.

    Depending on your rear end gears, your house would have to weigh 5-6K to pull it within limits ; )

    I pull a 5500lb camper with my 99.
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    beatfarmerbeatfarmer Member Posts: 244
    The 6.5 diesel found in the 96 sub was made by the Detroit Diesel divison of GM. Problems are well documented and can be corrected, if not done so already. Trannys are rock solid 4L80 units that are still used today with both 6.0 and 8.1 gas Subs.
    Duramax is a different beast. It is a joint venture between Gm and Isuzu. Little in common with the earlier 6.5 except for they both burn diesel.

    Check out the links:
    http://www.62-65-dieselpage.com/
    http://www.dieselsuburbans.com/DieselSuburbanFacts.htm
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    mahalo1mahalo1 Member Posts: 4
    Hi everyone
    hopefully someone can help me out. I have a 99 2500 suburban with a electronic transfer case. My problem is that my transfer case has developed a leak from the side of the rear housing of the transfer case. Its not a crack but appears that the case is porous. There is a small hole that my mechanic tried to seal with epoxy, but the leak is still there. Any recommendations.
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    peabody2peabody2 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Chev. Suburban. Both front doors need to be adjusted. The drivers door is the worst. It seems to sag at the latch end. Meaning when it is closed, you can visibly see the door move upward on that end. It is bad enough that there is starting to be a lot of wind noise and even some water dripping through when it rains. The passenger door is not as bad. How can I adjust these?

    Also, I have a cooling system leak. There are two hoses that run back towards the firewll ad have a junction. Then they continue to the firewall. Can anyone tell me what the connector is called and the approximate cost?

    Thank you, Peabody2
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    dieselonedieselone Member Posts: 5,729
    Seems to be lacking. My 2000 Suburban has 48k miles on it and my drivers door sags too. Worse yet my transmission died this week w/o warning so it is being rebuilt and I should get it back tomorrow. Trans shop says these things are dying left and right, just unacceptable. I won't even get to all the rattles, but I still like it. I just wish GM didn't build everything so damn cheap.
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    moonlightermoonlighter Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the reply. The dealer has checked all the codes and what keeps coming up in misfire in 5&6 cylinders. GM teck bullitin # 1539013 addresses this issue with a fix by doing a valve job $$$$$$$$$. Needless to say I am not in the position to do a valve job at this time. I am planning a trip to NC in the next week and will try it out in the mountains of PA again. I will also take a look at the trany......
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