The Gray Swan

  • I bought this '87 GMC Suburban over a year ago for under $2000. Despite what looks like several paint layers (gray to red, then back to gray), the truck was pretty un-molested in terms of modifications. It drove well, but had a pretty worn out front suspension and interior. The stock engine and automatic transmission were also showing their ages.

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    What I want out of it:
    • Manual transmission
    • Stock-ish, but powerful engine. I'd like to keep the "platform" the same -- use TBI.
    • Comfort. Heat and AC should work, decent stereo with Bluetooth, keep cab noise down.
    • Capable on rocky roads around Colorado, and in snow. But given the exit angle of the Suburban, it can't be a serious crawler. Think of it as somewhere between an overloading truck and a fun day-trip truck.
    • Retain ability to haul 8-foot lumber and other large things.
    Now, I've already begun the project, but I will be posting some past progress over the coming days until I catch up with the current state.
  • Year:
    1987
    Make:
    GMC
    Model:
    Suburban V1500
    Trim Level:
    Sierra Classic
    Factory Options:
    AC, tilt, 5.7L, 700R4
    Engine:
    383ci rebuild with cam, roller lifters and rockers
    Transmission:
    Rebuilt 32-spline SM465
    Transfer Case:
    NP205 with 32-spline input shaft
    Steering:
    Crossover, hi-steer with PSC pump and reservoir
    Suspension:
    56" Rear springs with shackle flip, Rough Country front springs
    Axles:
    Rear 14bff with disc brakes, Front Dana 44 with ORD crossover steering arms
    Wheels:
    TBD
    Tires:
    TBD, probably 37"
    Paint:
    huh?