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  1. #1

    Default Suburban Questions for the Experts - new owner


    I am very excited and have started my stealth Suburban project (blacking out everything). To that end I just purchased a 1997 GMC SLT suburban in nearly mint condition (even the passenger seat leather looks new

    However the 5.7 vortec has 198k on it and while it seems to run like new and there are no issues at all right now (no burn no leak running royal purple synthetic). I do not expect the engine to last forever.

    Since i am sinking another 5k in upgrades that include a lift (6" rancho) , new wheels (rockstar matte black), new Nitto Grapplers, a bull bar, nerf bar and a alot more I want to be prepared and start my engine fund so I am trying to get an idea of the cost and whats possible with engine rebuilds/replacements.

    So with all that said here are my questions:

    1. In an optimal scenario, how many miles can i expect to get out of this 198k original engine?

    2. If I replace the engine, should I go rebuild of original engine, get a remanufactured, or a new block?

    3. What are the costs (estimated) that are associated with #2. (keep in mind I wont be doing the work so i will need it installed).

    4. Should I give any consideration to moving up to a 7.4? I am not concerned about mpg.

    5. What about throwing a 6.5 turbo diesel in there? thoughts or is this just crazy (or dumb).

    6.Any core upgrades I should look at while I am in there?

    Thanks a bunch guys. Looking forward to being an active member and i will post some before and afters of my murdered out sub
    Last edited by chargerrich; 02-05-2008 at 08:42 PM.

  2. #2
    finalday7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Sayward, B.C Canada


    I'm not a suburban owner but I'll give my .02.

    200K's alot but if it's running fine right now I don't see a reason to throw a new engine in there.
    I'd say some simple maintance attention should suffice. Fresh O2 sensors, New Plugs, Wires, Caps. Keeping the oil changed regularly things like that.

    I just wanted to throw in the with the 6" lift and new Nitto's I'm guessing your gonna run 33's or 35's but what gears do you have now. They can be expensive to install so if you need them make sure you have some cash put aside or you'll be rebuilding the transmission as well.

    As far as full rebuild kits, I think that summit or jegs sell them for your truck.

    Well hope this helps.

    2007 GMC Sierra CrewCab 4.8L
    Tinted Windows, 20" Chrome MB Predators on 275/55/20 Copper AT's, GM Bed Rug, Speed Scene Chrome Grille, Putco Chrome Handles, Hypertech Max Energy Programmer, Magnaflow Muffler and many more mods to come.
    Former GM Vehicles:
    96 Chevy Camaro. My first car modded for a High School kid.

  3. #3
    finalday7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Sayward, B.C Canada


    Ohh and by the way to the site.

  4. #4


    At 198k the engine is probably tired. Putting a lift,bigger tires(more rolling mass) and weight on is going to show you how tired the engine and trans really are.

    A 7.4 is nice but a small block could be built for less and would do as well. the 6.5 would be real nice but the expense associated with converting to this power plant would quickly get out of hand.

    The best choice would be a reman 350 with upgrades.
    An RV cam with a slightly sharper profile.
    Roller rockers, s/s valves.
    A quality set of headers into full duals with a crossover.
    New injectors a few mm larger than factory.
    And a power programmer.
    Add a reman 4L80E trans and have the present transfer case overhauled.
    All this will run close to $4k
    Then change the front and rear diff gears to something friendlier towards whatever size tires you decide to use.

  5. #5


    i had a 96 suburban with a 5.7 and i had 222k on it and ran fine and strong just do reg. check ups on the car

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