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Looking at a 'Burban...need some help

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Tiffster, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. Tiffster

    Tiffster Newbie

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    Hey guys, newbie here and in need of some help fairly quickly.

    I am looking at a potential purchase of an 89 'Burban with 179K on the ticker. Its got a 350 in it, has a conversion package, 4" of lift...

    Basically I need to know what I am getting into with an engine with that many miles. I know Jeeps so outside of the I6 I am pretty much lost.

    I know its a pretty open questions, but any and all input is appreciated.

    This truck looks amazing, better than some newer vehicles I have checked out. I have a failry good gauge of the history of it and think it has been pretty well taken care of.

    But again, are there any major things I should be looking at when i go test drive it? Anything to listen for, look for...possible problems at that range of mileage?

    Thanks a ton guys....

    Tiffany
     
  2. fwdjunky

    fwdjunky 1/2 ton status

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    First, let me qualify this whole post with the fact that I'm familiar with the 'burb you're looking at and the guy who owns it. He's a friend of mine and as a matter of fact I was planning on buying it this fall if it were still available. The thing is in amazingly good shape for it's age and I know it has been very well taken care of. Things to look for: When you go to test drive, lift the hood and feel the engine to be sure it isn't warm so you know it hasn't been started and warmed up prior to your arrival. When you first start it, have someone watch the exhaust or better have someone start it while you watch. A blue puff of smoke indicates leaking valve guides (if you want a demonstration, stop by the house and I'll fire up the torquemonster 305 in my blazer....PERFECT example of what badly leaking valve guides look like :blush: ). Listen for rod knocks, noisy valves etc. Pull the dipstick on the tranny, check the fluid is clean, clear red and doesn't have a burnt smell . That's the best general guidlines I can think of off the top of my head. The good side of the deal is that tbi 350's are plentiful (I have 2 plus a tbi 454 sitting around) and fairly inexpensive to replace, so if 185K turns out to be this one's limit you can spend less than a grand to replace it. Hope this helps your decision a little. Rich.
     
  3. mudslinger99

    mudslinger99 1/2 ton status

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    Well i guess the key factor is price...As far as the motor goes that all depends on if it was serviced regulary like oil changes and such....To give you an idea I have a 88 with 220 thousand miles on it and it still runs and drives like new...But keep in mind I have serviced it every 3000 miles... The only major thing that has been repaired is the tranny at about 100 thousand, but it has served as a fishing,hunting,towing,work,anything type truck so I cant complain...

    You say it is in excellent condition and you know the background so that is a plus...I would ask if the tranny has been replaced or rebuilt if not factor that in your decision... Other then that you should check ball joints,leaks,fluids,odd noises,vibrations and anything else that you would do on any vehicle purchase...If you like the truck and the price is right go for it....Good luck
     
  4. gone huntin

    gone huntin 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    My '90 Sub has 194k on the original TBI 350 and the 700r4 lasted to 178k. The engine doesn't smoke at all and uses less than a half of a quart of oil between changes. If the price is right and it's what you're looking for then the mileage shouldn't scare you.
     
  5. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    Any abnormal noises, look for leaks of oil underneath the truck. My transmission went at 190,000 miles and the engine got replaced because the previous owner sold it with cracked heads. Of course, the tranny was $800 and the engine was $700, but $1,500 later it's been running nonstop for 32,000 miles without problems.
     
  6. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    BTW, when and if you buy it, install the LARGEST transmission cooler you can find
     
  7. firefighter184

    firefighter184 1/2 ton status

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    I've seen that Burb, and it's a nice truck. Don't let mileage scare you on a Chevy 350. They run forever, and when they go, they are the cheapest, most aftermarket supported motor out there. The 700R4 tranny, especially when babied like that one has been, is a good tranny, and not too expensive to replace. Check the things mentioned by other posters, and the back seat. The seller is a dirty pervert.
     
  8. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks to all with the kinda words!! THIS is the vehcile she is referring to. It has had regular maintenance on it & the only leak is the water pump, which needs replacing. $25 for a new one. I just haven't had the time to get er done. Those who have seen this will testify to the fact that it is in great shape. Any other comments, rather general or specific will be greatly appreciated. I'm quite certain of this vehicles condition, so please continue to recommend things to check/verify as it will only help me :grin:
     
  9. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    Okay, you can ignore this statement. PLEASE!!
     
  10. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    '89 Burb, with 350tbi/700r4 and 226,000 some odd miles.

    It smokes alittle at start-up,,,typical Chevy heads, but still runs and drives real nice, replaced the trans at 216k and change the oil when it starts to get dark in color,,,it does use about 1qt between oil changes as well.

    As for noises? just anything out of the ordinary that a vehicle really shouldn't be doing.

    Keep the fluids clean, don't beat the crap out of it, (as i told a friend of mine who had a Burb and it died, it's not a Corvette, quit driving it like one.)
    and it should last you quite awhile. :waytogo:
     
  11. Tiffster

    Tiffster Newbie

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    WAIT A MINUTE....I can't drive it like a 'Vette? Screw that!!!!

    LOL!!!

    Seriously, thanks for all the comments and stuff guys, really appreciate it.

    Mark and I will be talking this week and hopefully I can get the boyfriend out to take a look at it this weekend so I can make a decision.
     

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