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  1. #1

    Unhappy 1996 suburban blown motor....need advice.

    Good morning everyone. My beloved suburban has lost its engine. She is a 1996 suburban 2500. Engine had 180,000miles. I love the truck. I want to fix it but not really sure how to go about it. Since there are other minor problems like ( broken knobs, blower motor, rips in the seats...ect...) I was thinking of buying a salvaged car for parts. I dont think i could handle the engine swap, but I can do everything else. I bought the truck with 140,000 miles and have done a complete brake overhaul, new fuel pump, new battery, new starter. Its an awesome vehicle for me and my 4 kids. Could you guys please give me some advice. I am mechanically inclined and I am not afraid to get my hands dirty. I have very limited funds$$$.
    :great:current vehicle-1996 chevy suburban 2500, 4X4(140k miles) 350CI. gas powered.
    retired vehicle-1992 chevy camaro rs 25th anniversary

  2. #2
    Jr. Engineer Jamm3r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Minneapolis area


    Consider your alternatives carefully.

    In general there are all kinds of good deals out there on OBS (1999 and earlier) 'burbs and although the 2500 burbs are hard to find you may still be better off finding a different one. I've been using to get a more reliable indication of prices and availability than nada etc. If you do not need/want a 2500 then there are all kinds of 96 'burbs out there for less than the price of an engine swap.

    Salvage prices are high and availability spotty, partly because of cash for klunkers, partly because scrap steel prices have been high enough on and off that a good deal of the inventory went to the crusher. Pickup truck availability is better but still not great, you may find one with the same front seats and engine but the rear seats won't match.

    Paying someone to do an engine swap will set you back around $2000 plus the cost of the engine. If you're going to pay that much you may be better off buying a rebuilt long block so that you know what you're getting, but be sure you're confident of the transmission before spending money like that.
    Minneapolis area - 1997 K2500 regular cab long bed + 8.5' Western Unimount plow + modified transmission + 2nd battery + modified camper charge circuit + 1971 Cayo camper -and- 2004 4x4 Suburban 2500 8.1 + Maxbrake controller + 2nd battery + modified trailer charge circuit + Reese receiver, pulls 30' Airstream trailer

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Red Wing, Minnesota, United States


    You can buy your salvage truck and always check craigslist for your area, there are plenty of people in the mechanic industry that are out of work or will do side jobs very reasonable!
    99 K1500 Suburban LT "THE BEAST"
    Hypertech III, K&N, true dual

  4. #4


    it really depends on how much you want to spend.
    You said you have done a complete brake overhaul, new fuel pump, new battery, new starter. You know, you will probably need to do the same thing on whatever you will pick up next. To me, those are pretty standard DIY and doesn't cost much to do.

    If I were you, I will unload the current one (not driveable?) and start looking for something else. Don't wait money on salvaged, seem more headache to me down the road...

  5. #5


    You're right in my neck of the woods. I was on craigslist not long ago looking for some Suburban related items, and saw a few being parted out and a few really cheap deals on ones needing a bit of work. Much cheaper than I thought I would see them selling for. Take a look on that site and you may find what you are looking for.

  6. #6


    Parted her out and scrapped the rest. A very sad day. This was my first suburban. Im looking at a 2003 or 2004 tahoe z71. any feedback will be greatly appreciated.

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