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mzimme 04-19-2013 02:28 PM

Suburbans
 
Thinking of picking up an older suburban (99-02 ish) for a boat hauler specific vehicle. I know there's a body style change in there, I think in 01, but anyone have any experience towing with these? I'll be pulling 5k max with it, and usually much less, but I want the long wheelbase.

What motor should I avoid? Some have the 5.3, and some have the 5.7. If I can find a 2500 with the 6.0L in my price range, that'd be great, but I'm thinking the 5.7 is what I'll end up with. Also how are the trannys? My parents had a '95 and the trans went out at 180k. Is that about normal? Any other things to look out for?

Give me the rundown TTers.

02ProstarSammyD 04-19-2013 02:45 PM

Can always buy my yukon with the 6.0.

With all seriousness I love my 6.0. Have 120k on it and not a thing has had to be done besides routine maint. It pulls like there isn't a boat and when I pull with a buddies 5.3 its a big difference.

tgreenwood 04-19-2013 02:54 PM

I had a 1999 Suburban and all I have to say is be careful of the brakes. I want to say 99 was the last year with front disc and rear drum brakes and it had the older body style. I even put cross drilled performance rotors on mine and the thing did not stop. I had an accident resulting in me selling the truck. If I were in any other car I would've been able to stop but couldn't in my suburban. When you add pulling a boat to that you just have to be careful.

captain planet 04-19-2013 02:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mzimme (Post 927119)
Thinking of picking up an older suburban (99-02 ish) for a boat hauler specific vehicle. I know there's a body style change in there, I think in 01, but anyone have any experience towing with these? I'll be pulling 5k max with it, and usually much less, but I want the long wheelbase.

What motor should I avoid? Some have the 5.3, and some have the 5.7. If I can find a 2500 with the 6.0L in my price range, that'd be great, but I'm thinking the 5.7 is what I'll end up with. Also how are the trannys? My parents had a '95 and the trans went out at 180k. Is that about normal? Any other things to look out for?

Give me the rundown TTers.

http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/...ad.php?t=20006

Here is the history with mine. When I'm towing I love it. When I'm not towing I would rather drive anything else.

Body change was in 2000. 5.3L started in 2000. If you get one with the Autoride system on it, check to see if it has been changed or if the shocks have been changed. If not, it will be in your near future. You can also include u-joints in that list. None of any of that should surprise you with a vehicle of that vintage. If it is in an area where they use salt you can also plan on new brake lines and fuel lines. That little gem was $700 last year.

The other problems I have had have been minimal/low cost. Fuel pressure regulator, fan speed module, headlight wire failure, were all low cost.

I guess I can't complain...the thing is 13 years old in OHIO where salt and brine solution are used for 4 months a year and the thing is a daily driver for my wife.

I'd sell you mine.....but it has been paid off for 4 years now. Nothing better than a free vehicle. 140K and counting

Ski-me 04-19-2013 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 02ProstarSammyD (Post 927123)
Can always buy my yukon with the 6.0.

With all seriousness I love my 6.0. Have 120k on it and not a thing has had to be done besides routine maint. It pulls like there isn't a boat and when I pull with a buddies 5.3 its a big difference.

So, what's your mileage?

I also have a 3/4 ton 2004 and really haven't had too many repairs. I have the 8.1 (3.73 gears) and obviously, tows awesome! Gas is about 12 MPG though average. Towing the boat at 75MPH I get around 8-9 MPG.

Issues I've had at 105k, fuel pump replacement, both front wheel bearings, and I'm pretty sure they are now going out again. However, I do have larger tires (305's) that can contribute to the wheel bearing wear. Engine, tranny, rear end are great and very solid. Normal oil consumption is 1 quart per 2500 miles and has been that way since I bought it with 18k.

4 wheel disc came on 2000+ trucks.

mzimme 04-19-2013 03:11 PM

So should I just not look at the 5.3 at all? I'm not going to be towing across the country by any means, but I'll probably take trips up to maybe 6 to 8 hours away occasionally. Will it handle that?

captain planet 04-19-2013 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mzimme (Post 927139)
So should I just not look at the 5.3 at all? I'm not going to be towing across the country by any means, but I'll probably take trips up to maybe 6 to 8 hours away occasionally. Will it handle that?

The only issue I have with the 5.3 is it has had 'piston slap' since about 80K. Just let it warm up and it goes away. I've been told the 6.0 also has piston slap as well.

When I tow I'm nice to my truck and don't try to make it go 75 mph up hills towing my boat so I may not be the one to speak to regarding power. It has been enough for me. I was pleased with it's performance towing my boat to Columbus last year for the Buckeye Bash.

pmkkdx 04-19-2013 03:32 PM

our last one was a '94 with the 6.5L turbo diesel (no, not the POS 6.2L) 3/4 ton with 4.10. We bought it new in '94 and drove it until both kids went off to college, upgraded to a '06 4runner since we weren't towing a bunch of kids to soccer/dance/basketball/etc (wife wanted something smaller & more manuverable). Anyway, we sold it with about 230k miles, it got 18-18.5 mpg average empty & 16+ towing boat ('83 S&S) or various small trailers up to our 28' travel trailer. Had to go thru the transmission at about 180k, injection system was replaced 3 or 4 times while under warranty, it ate batteries (had at least 7 pair replaced, all within their warranty) but I think that was due to the extremely high output alternator overcharging/boiling them dry. We loved that thing and it was very reliable (once Chevy got the bugs worked out of the injection system). I am not sure when they stopped putting those in the Suburban though, but it was a heck of a vehicle for us for the 12 years we had it.

CantRepeat 04-19-2013 04:38 PM

I've towed with my 91 for a long time. It's also a great rec toy.

I put a GMPP 383 so it tows the X30 just fine.

http://www.mikesell.net/burbwoods.jpg

http://www.mikesell.net/burb/subboat.jpg

http://www.mikesell.net/burb/sub.jpg

http://www.mikesell.net/images/30.jpg

jhall0711 04-19-2013 05:20 PM

I think the 5.3 is a great motor. For pulling the skier you have you wont even feel it. My buddy has an 02 1500 Suburban with 5.3 and pulls a 30 ft. camper with it. The motor has proven to be reliable but as CP stated there is some piston slap with the pre 04 models. The problem was fixed after that. It is not a real issue, it was just a result of too short of piston skirts which made some noise at start up.

The things have a ton of room and ride like a dream in my opinion.


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