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The Gray Swan

87 Suburban comprehensive build

Overview

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.

upload_2020-12-21_7-57-38.jpeg

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.

Specs

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?

Item information

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