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Suggestions requested

Discussion in '1936-Present Suburban' started by nevercomplete, Sep 18, 2002.

  1. nevercomplete

    nevercomplete 1/2 ton status

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    Hi folks. I've got an '83 3/4 ton Suburban. I plan on making a family vehicle/tow vehicle out of it. It is completely stock as of now. It has a 350 engine, 700r4 tranny, 4x4 ofcourse.
    I would like any suggestions on what to do to this truck. I have a few ideas already, but the more the better. I don't want anything extreme, I'm not gonna lift it high, nor do I want 800 hp. I want a good tow/family vehicle that I can also have fun in. Thanks

    Jon
     
  2. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    That's exactly what I'm doing. I curently have an 88 Burb with 5" lift up front & 7.5" in rear (to level it out). I use it to tow a 3500lb camper. I upgraded the rear to a Corp 14 with a gov lock & I put a HD Dana 44 up front. The gears are 4.10. I also purchased a TH400 to replace the 700R4 as I feel it is a better tranny for towing. I also just picked up a 396 out of a 70 Chevelle to replace the tired 350. I figure this will give me enough additional power. I would have rather gone with a 454, but I only paid $200 for the 396. I would like to lift it another 2-3" & maybe go to 4.56 gears. Anyway, that is what is working for me. By the way, I am running 36x12.50x16.5 GY RT Humvee tires. Hope this helps.
     
  3. nevercomplete

    nevercomplete 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks. I was thinking along the lines of a 454 if I can find a good one at a decent price. How does the 400 tranny do for gas mileage? I would love to have one but I'm in love with overdrive.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    I've got a 75 4x4 1/2ton Suburban that i'm gonna be converting to 3/4ton here pretty soon. Has a 350/TH350 that will eventually either get rebuild or replaced with a 400/TH400. I want to make it as flexible as I can yet still be able to tow. It has a 2" body lift right now, in a few days, i'm gonna be putting on a 4" suspension lift. If you wanna see pics, click on the link in my sig.
     
  5. muddysub

    muddysub 1 ton suburban status Staff Member Moderator GMOTM Winner

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    i like my th400 i don't know about mileage cuz i drive 36x12.50 TSLs on the road every day, but it's beefy as heck.
     
  6. nevercomplete

    nevercomplete 1/2 ton status

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    Keep em coming. I am interested to hear everyone's suggestions.
     
  7. BurbLover

    BurbLover 1/2 ton status

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    I'll let you know when I get it in. I am going campin/wheelin/fishin/wheelin this weekend & then I plan on putting my 700R4 up for sale. I'd prefer to sell it while it is in me Burb to show how well it runs.
     
  8. FLASHLIGHT76

    FLASHLIGHT76 1/2 ton status

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    Mine pretty much came from the factory built to do exactly what you want. I have the 350/th400 combo with 4:10's I averaged about 13mpg highway or just about anywhere for that matter. Alot of the guys who run the 454 say that the gas milage is that same aslong as you dont' lead foot it everywhere and just keep the power in reserve. Towing expect horrible gas milage no matter what you choose. figure between 4-8 mpg. probably more towards the 8. As for making it fun well I was impressed with the stock performance but I went ahead and lifted 6 inches front and rear. This maintained my load capacity and allowed me to comfortably clear 35 inch procomp mts. I'm still very stable at speed and around corners. You don't need a ladder to get in if you still have runner decks and your tail doesn't hang up too much. The nice part about it is that a 35 is the best bang for your buck. once you go bigger the cost climbs dramatically and you start to lose road frendly charactoristics let alone the tire wear. You have already started on the right foot by picking a Sub to start with so enjoy yourself and build, build, build, build. And show us pictures and tell us what you do. /forums/images/icons/smirk.gif
     
  9. JAXSTER

    JAXSTER 1/2 ton status

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    I purchased a GSA surplus Burb K20 350 T400 its built like a tank. Forget Gas milage.

    THE SUB
     
  10. nevercomplete

    nevercomplete 1/2 ton status

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    When you drive distance like I do and work for military pay you have to worry about fuel mileage.
     
  11. JAXSTER

    JAXSTER 1/2 ton status

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    IF fuel is the issue THE SUB is the last resort.
    This is not my Primary Driver. I understand!
     
  12. Ddragggon

    Ddragggon 1/2 ton status

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    Alot of the guys who run the 454 say that the gas milage is that same aslong as you dont' lead foot it everywhere and just keep the power in reserve. Towing expect horrible gas milage no matter what you choose. figure between 4-8 mpg. probably more towards the 8.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    in my 77 3/4 ton 2wd suburban(454/400) , I get 13 MPG regardless of speed, lead foot, towing a boat, and load of scouts, or running empty. I attribute this to the mighty power of the bigblock 454, with RV cam I put in it when I got the engine. can't wait to get the other 454 up and ready to put in my 73 K20 suburban... That'll be more then fun, that'll be hella fun. I expect my gas mileage to actually go up when I put in the 454, as opposed to going down, since it produces such a mad amount of torque, it takes very little go pedal to make it leave the stop light at a reasonable speed, as opposed to the old tired 350 thats in there now, that needs almost a complete flooring to get moving. besides, there are few things in this world that get me more excited then the sound of a rabid bigblock winding up and launching making hella lotta loud noise everywhere. if everything goes to plan, I go pull my spare engine tomorrow, and bring it back and mount it to a stand in the garage, and start working on it. hell, I might even try to locate some better heads for it while I;m at it. ( going to be putting in a better bumpstick, may as well think about the heads, )

    can't wait to get started on it now... hehe

    -Rich
     
  13. nevercomplete

    nevercomplete 1/2 ton status

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    Awesome, I would love a big block. The 350 I have now gets me about 13 mpg. It sucks! I want more power for sure.
     
  14. Ddragggon

    Ddragggon 1/2 ton status

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    if you really want a big block, and don't mind some work, I'm going ot be selling my 77 C20 suburban soon. its my old 2wd daily driver. biggest problem with the engine is its started to consume oil in cylender#6. I suspect bad valve guides ( the engine rebuilders rebuilt everything on the engine, except the heads, so the engine has 30,000 on it, and the heads have 280,000 on them) but havn't done a leakdown test to find out for sure. I'll prolly be doing one here within the next week, so I know wether its rings, or valve seats, and whatnot. the truck itself is basicaly in good condition, but needs some work (rear springs, rear drums). I've been planning on putting the 350 from the K20 into it before selling it, and then getting new heads on the other 454, and building it up to some 500HP 500 ft/lbs monster, and either putting it in the burb, or welding wheels to it, and calling it a suicidaly fast machine...


    -Rich
     
  15. nevercomplete

    nevercomplete 1/2 ton status

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    I'm really considering a big block. I have to save some money first. I want to get everything done the way I want it, even if that means taking a long time. I would like to find a 454 that needs rebuilding. I want to do everything myself. I would also like to get a new tranny and 14ff rear and d60 front axles. Not sure what kinda tranny yet, It'll have to be stout though.
     

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