I bought this thing a year and half ago with the intention of building something that the whole family could load up in and go run some trails in mountains, the kind of stuff the Yukon Denali probably shouldn't be doing.
Up until recently it has just been sitting as I haven't had time to mess with it. I finally found some motivation and got started working on it so I thought I'd start a build to kinda document what I do and share it with the fine community here.
To start with I wanted a suburban,I love blazers but the whole family can't ride in a blazer. And I wanted fuel injection or a diesel because carbs in the mountains suck.
So after searching Craigslist for a while I found this '90 suburban 3/4 ton listed for a price I could afford and it appeared to be in great shape. Only catch was it was advertised as having a blown head gasket. I drove up and looked at and it was in great shape, no rust at all and seemed to run good. So I payed the man and set off towards home. Made it about 30 miles and it was smoking so bad I couldn't see behind me so it was time to do something different. One of my friends had a trailer nearby so I borrowed it to drag the Sub home.
Looking over last year or so apparently I am really bad about taking pictures.
I got the Sub home and ordered all the parts to do head gaskets and a full tune up. Started tearing the engine apart and didn't find evidence of coolent anywhere.
Looked closely at the intake manifold and saw a red tint inside of it. Long story short the vacuum modulator on the transmission was leaking and atf was getting sucked into the engine causing the smoke. Replaced the modulator and reinstalled the intake and the engine runs great now.
At some point last summer I got some used 33s for free and decided to mount them up. At home. By hand. That was fun.
At least it looks better
So to get caught up to current I started working on a hidden winch mount behind the factory front bumper. Winch is a Badlands 12k from Hazard Fraught.
I'm not sure how much I like the hidden winch and am leaning towards just building a whole new bumper.
Next I switched out the tow mirrors for some of the regular folding mirrors. Much handier and easier to adjust.
I also rebuilt a set of 52s for the the front.
I took them completely apart, wire wheeled all the rust off and painted them. Installed new poly bushings and center pins. Turned out pretty nice.
I have slowly been gathering suspension parts for this build. I want to to ride really well and be able to handle some big hits too. Plan currently is to run the Fox 2.0x14 shocks on the front with Fox 2.0 air bumps on all 4 corners. I don't have a set of shocks for the rear currently. The Kings in the picture are for my Silverado.
The fox's I got used off ebay and they need rebuilt/refinished and also have unknown valving. I plan to tackle that project as soon as Kartek ships my order.
Found the time this evening to tear down one of the fox 2.0 shocks and see whats in it. Overall it's not in too bad of shape but the valving seems weird.
It has a straight stack of .015 on the rebound and compression is all .008 except for the smallest shim which is a .020,also has a rate plate.
I think I will just flip the shims and see hows it works,15/8 valving seems to be a pretty standard leaf spring stack.
After a long winter hiatus,its time to get back on this thing.
I recently bought back my old cucv as a shell and stripped all the good parts out of it for the Suburban. From it I got hydroboost brakes,diy4x shackle flip and fush,extended brake lines,crossover steering and bunch of other random stuff. After that I sent the poor old blazer to scrap,its in worse shape than the pictures show.
A furd mustang will fit under it on my lift,had to work on it and needed to get it out of the rain.
My silverado was not impressed by how I had it loaded on the trailer to get it out of the shop.
Goodbye old friend.
This weekend I finally got started really working on the Sub. Tore the front axle out to get started working on the suspension.
After cutting about 8 million rivets I got the front spring hangers moved forward.
Went ahead and cut the factory engine crossmember and installed the ORD crossmember. That is a really nice piece.
Cut a bunch more rivets and got the FUSH installed. I was then able to hang the 52s and put the axle back in.
Tore the axle down and installed a new rh knuckle for crossover steering and 4.56 gears. Gear setup went well,of course I didn't think to take pictures of that.
I got some barely used 37x12.50R17 Toyo MTs on black steelies for this thing.
Had to defang the the fenders for clearance,the tires were all over them when turning.
I threw the rears on with no lift just to see it and they fit,barely.
This where it sets currently,hopefully this weekend I will have time to do the rear shackle flip and get it leveled out.
Forgot to add that I also did the weld in frame reinforcement kit for the steering box area.
Pulled the fuel tank out today to install the shackle flip. Found some PO hackery on the fuel pump wiring. Replaced that with a new weather pack connector. Also installed a new fuel pump,went with a vortec pump with future upgrades in mind.
Installed 4.56 gears and a Lock-rite in the 9.5" rearend,lucked out and nailed the setup on the first try
Tossed on some random Bilsteins I had laying around just to be able to drive it.
It runs great with the gearing and drives surprisingly well,I can't wait to get proper shocks on this thing and get them dialed in.