1984 3/4 Ton Suburban | The Speckled Burb Build

  1. treborjm87

    treborjm87 Workin' It Premium Member

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    treborjm87 submitted a new Build:

    1984 3/4 Ton Suburban | The Speckled Burb Build

    Found this on CL last week. I had to have it!

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    After seeing @Larry build the Polar Bear Suburban, I have been looking for a factory equipped SM465 Suburban. This is a 3/4 Ton (from the factory... (I saw the GM build (option?) sheet on the driver side front fender) with a semi floating axle out back. This isn’t nearly as nice of a start up rig as @Larry Polar a bear, but the bones are... well, they are there. Under the hood is a less than 10,000 mile Jeg’s crate 350 motor. New exhaust, new tires, new(ish) clutch. Considering that this is a Wyoming truck the rust isn’t really bad. Floors look really good. There is some rust in the normal places, like the driver side rear quarter. And, there’s some surface rust for sure! But, check out the “speckled” paint! This is literally the out of the can speckled paint that you find to make that “like rock” surface.

    Not completely sure where this will end up in the end, but if all else fails, I will have some good parts to throw at my 84 K10. I really like this thing! Started right up!

    First things to fix will be a bad throw out bearing (has a brand new clutch, but the throw out bearing didn’t last), and the driver side window is broken out. It does drive, but that throw out bearing makes a lot of noise, and makes it hard to change gears.

    I am already reaching out to @Larry for some solid advice to make this a reliable light trail rig. I’m thinking overlander style!

    More to come!

    Treb

    Read more about this build here...
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
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  2. treborjm87

    treborjm87 Workin' It Premium Member

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    Some interior pics:

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    As you can see... there’s a couple of spots on the floor on the driver side that will need some attention. Dash pad is shot. Front Seat has a couple of tears. Needs A LOT of cleaning!
     
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  3. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 #crawlabago Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    The best way to make it reliable is fix the stuff you know now. Start driving it. Address the issues as they come up from driving it. Reliability will follow.

    Put a quality throwout bearing (stock) in and go over all the fluids, brakes and tires. Shake down the steering and wheel bearings up front and all the u-joints. It may need ball joints too.

    Pretty cool to find a bench seat 4-speed burb though. Nice find.
     
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  4. treborjm87

    treborjm87 Workin' It Premium Member

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    Thanks for the post Rob!
    I’m pretty stoked about this one! I think that this Burb was meant to be the “work truck” version of the suburban.

    The plan IS to keep it reliable. So, nothing fancy, but... It may be too low geared for highway use... no overdrive!!! May need to put some larger tires on it!

    It may even get my 4 inch lift off my K10 with the 1/2 ton running gear, with the 33’s. And the 3/4 ton axles could go on the K10. I have some 4 inch drop shackles and 56 inch springs for the K10. I’d like to try the 52 inch spring swap for the front.

    I have another 6 inch (all spring) lift on another 1988 suburban with old 35’s that I could use on the K10 as well.

    Thoughts???

    Treb
     
  5. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 #crawlabago Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I drove my old K5 with a 465 and 3.73 gears all over the place with 35's as it calmed the cruise rpm down at highway speed. With 31's it was buzzing the engine for sure. It just was a dog off the line.

    Lift is wholly up to you. Maybe it's me getting older but getting into a squarebody with 6" of lift and 35" or bigger tires is a pain. They look cool but it just in the cards for me anymore. To me 4" and 35's is the sweet spot for a semi-daily driver and trail rig. Not as tippy off road and a little more stable in the highway.

    As far as swapping the burbs 8 lug axles to the K5 I'd save the effort. The front axle is the same strength just more lugs. The 14b semi floater is a stronger axle that a 10 bolt but it's still a semi floater. Find a 14b full floater for the K5. Swap on 8lug hubs and rotors to the front to match. To that point, swapping a full floater under the burb isn't a bad idea either, but not required. Leaving the axles under the burb saves time and effort that could be spent making it reliable.
     
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  6. treborjm87

    treborjm87 Workin' It Premium Member

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    Thanks Rob!

    I do have a 14 FF sitting in storage... 4:10’s, just a single leg... nothing special. But, it really needs to be gone thru before I put it into anything. I had always planned to swap it into the K10, but, five years later, it is still sitting in storage. Life happens, and the swap didn’t happen.

    I was considering swapping the axles to get the K10 on 3/4 running gear.

    For now, like you said... I’m planning on just keeping the Speckled Burb grounded... for now.

    Thanks for the reply!

    Treb (Yet another Rob)
     
  7. imiceman44

    imiceman44 Hoarder extraordinaire Premium Member

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    I don't know if it's a rule but every manual transmission 2 row suburban I have seen had a bench front. All happened to be manual locks and windows as well.
    Could be coincidence.
     
  8. treborjm87

    treborjm87 Workin' It Premium Member

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    Thanks for the reply @imiceman44 I think that you are on to something. Because, the more I look at this thing, the more I think it was originally a government vehicle of some kind... but, I can’t imagine letting some young trooper drive a manual. It is as Custom Deluxe trim as it could be.

    I drove it home from my buddies house today... busted out window and all! Wyoming winter came early, so... I also tested the heater, which does work. (I saw a small leak from one of the heater hoses, and decided to not run the heat until I could fix the leak.) Let’s just say, I made it home, nose icicles and all! Oh, and the AM only radio (which doesn’t work)... takes me WAAAAAYYYY back!

    My Buddy and I have had a little more time to find Some other things wrong... Speedo doesn’t have a needle; several rust spots that I didn’t see before; it has idiot lights, in which the coolant temp and the oil pressure lights don’t seem to be operable, as well as the clear plastic is missing over those lights (appears to have been customized... WITH A HAMMER, LOL!!!); the clutch is really bad... first and reverse are grinding (but, while moving thru the gears, seems to shift... hard to get into third and fourth); the back door is missing the button as well as the mechanism (inside the door) to open the door, and the straps to keep them from flinging out are missing (for both doors); there are no keys for locking and unlocking ANY door (but I do have two ignition keys); the Quadra-Jet is in need of some jetting, letting my eyes water (but, I’ll probably put my Summit EFI-500 on it anyway).

    But, the good stuff is that: it runs good; rides good; drives straight; the floor in the back (at least on the passenger side) has no rust... at least from the top side; the seats are in pretty good shape, aside from the rips in the cloth; all of the fluids that I can check without a wrench (oil, power steering, brake fluid, and coolant) are clean and full.

    I need to fix all of the little things, and check the trans, transfer case, and differentials.

    All in all, I am still very happy that I bought this thing. I’ll post more pics soon.

    Treb
     
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  9. max 02

    max 02 N.E.D. Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Sounds like about every square I have ever started with! lol! Cool! I wouldn’t mind have one just like it!
     
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  10. treborjm87

    treborjm87 Workin' It Premium Member

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    Well... COVID happened and things have been on hold for a bit. But, planning on getting back out there soon. The throw out bearing finally bit the big one and stranded me at work. So, it has been sitting there at work for almost three weeks. Quarantine put a serious damper on my play time. Today was my first day of work, and the suburban sat out there... mocking me. Will be trying to get it back to my buddies place to get the trans pulled so that I can figure out what actual parts it needs. Any guesses on what size clutch is in this thing? I figure that I’ll go ahead and just replace it while while I’m in there and take the unknown factors out of the equation. Supposedly, previous owner recently spent $1000 on the current clutch. Right now, it sounds like the throw out bearing is froze and just rubbing on the fingers of the clutch. Like a rattling sound when you engage the clutch pedal. The clutch will not disengage.

    Rob
     

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