Well, managed to get it to start today and took it for a little test drive, and disappointingly, it was a bit of a mess. Very loud engine noise, which my Saudi friend reckons was the water pump. The steering was very loose indeed, tracking / ball joints / all that steering stuff seemed to be well out of play; the AC wasn't working - fan noise was so loud it was drowning out the noisy engine! Brakes seemed to be very spongey and soft and that was driving at relatively low speed.
It was quite an easy decision to walk away from it. The hunt continues...
Originally Posted by nottmbantam
Yes-that sounds like an easy "I'll pass on this POS"
My 1998 2wd Suburban 220,500 miles-CLOSE TO 350,000KM
is very quiet-and was when I bought it at 195,000 miles
Steering was a bit "loose" but not strikingly so
My factory 1/2 ton doesn't have great brakes-but they are adequate
Just the noise-enough to walk away!! Money pit-and maybe not so easy to find competent mechanics at reasonable prices in SA-just a guess on that.
Oh well- 1/2 the fun is looking for it!
The cost of labour is relatively cheap here, and the better mechanics tend to be Fillipino. American cars are quite popular, so there are loads of small workshops who will do the work for you, and generally speaking, spare parts are easy enough to get hold but there is a big market for cheap replica parts as original OEM parts tend to be a bit more costly.
e.g. Went to have the side lights on my Trailblazer looked at yesterday. I paid 85 saudi riyals ($22 ) for one fog light. And 40 SR ( $10) for the labour which included three mechanics looking at the car at any one time, and took half an hour to check out the all fuses and the lights, change two bulbs, and two fuses.
That is great-good mechanics cheap labor-lotta USA cars
Yep-this is the time ans place to get a Suburban!
Indeed it is. THe eyebrow raising thing is - the cost to buy one of these things. I've seen some going for around 34,000 SR ( $9000). And these are 1995 / 96 models, good condition, average miles etc. Will keep looking and see what turns up.
Here in Saudi for another week before going back to the UK for a three week Xmas break, back in Saudi in early Jan, so will have to resume the hunt then.