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  1. #1

    Default Did the Suburban get better after 99?

    I have a '99 Burb and love the truck. Theres some things I need to address, like better brakes and a bit more power...and thinking of a 4L80E swap when the 4L60 starts getting older.

    I'm at 130k miles right now. Shes running great, replaced the fuel pump with an AC Delco two years ago. I want to build a new pump harness...someday...to get more clean voltage to the pump (stocker is a bit thin I understand...too much resistance over the length).

    In the next few years, I foresee needing to do the trans, maybe the engine and of course, I have all the little trim stuff, door locks, ac probs, etc.

    Is it worth looking at a newer Burb (2005ish) in a couple years, or should I just plan to rework this one (she's almost paid for!!!)

    I have no problem with the rebuilding. I like the truck and am happy to keep her. Just wondering if there's any great improvement to the next generations (aside from the FREEKIN expensive Hybrid)?
    Rob
    1999 Suburban C1500 LS 5.7 K&N filter, VentVisors, debadged aka "LAAT/i...Larty"
    1994 C2500 454. Ex-Forest Service beastie. aka "Redneck"
    2006 Saturn Ion...the Wife's car.
    Empty spot that needs a Jeep...

  2. #2

    Default

    I have a 2003 Suburban 1500 with the 5.3L, my dad has a 2000 C3500 5.7L (same power train as your Suburban, with exception of differential), in terms of power, the 5.3 comes out with just under 300hp, the 5.7 is rated somewhere around 250, 260ish if I remember correctly. Transmission in my '03 is a 4 spd with the tow haul feature (firms up the shifts), trans in dads truck is a 4 spd but has over drive. I can't compare acceleration or anything like that because my dad's truck is heavier than my suburban and has a heavier duty differential. Brakes are significantly better, I will never go back to drum brakes, 4 wheels disc is much better, my suburban stops on a dime in comparison to my old Dakota which was much lighter but had the drum brakes in the rear. Don't get me wrong your Suburban will serve you very well for many more years to come provided you keep up with the maintenance intervals, but it seems to me like the newer suburbans are more refined (took a good thing and made it better).

    Now in terms of debt, look at it this way, yours is almost paid for, if you trade it in on a newer one, they will rip you off on trade in value, and you will have a payment again. Even if you sell yours on your own you will still have to make up for the shortfall as the newer one will cost more than you will get for yours. Now if you keep yours and keep up with the maintenance and put the necessary work into it, you will more than likely save money as these can go far beyond 200,000 miles.

    I hope in some small way this helps!
    2003 Chevy Suburban LT 1500 4wd-All factory opts except autoride, sunroof, and captains added Bullbar, strobe light in widshield, strobes in rear windows, CB radio, Police Scanner, police horn, off-road lamps. Adding a 3in lift and larger tires

  3. #3

    Default

    I have a '99 Burb and love the truck. Theres some things I need to address, like better brakes and a bit more power...and thinking of a 4L80E swap when the 4L60 starts getting older.
    Looking at this list, it seems that what you might really want isn't so much a newer Suburban. What you seem to be looking for is a 3/4 ton Suburban rather than a 1/2 ton.
    '98 K1500 Suburban LS 5.7 L 4L60E NV246 ARB
    '92 Ford Explorer XLT 4x4 4.0 L A4LD BW13-54 Trac-loc rear
    "My toys were the greasy cogs and springs and pistons that lay around all over the place, and these, I can promise you, were far more fun to play with than most of the plastic rubbish children are given nowadays." Danny in Roald Dahl's Danny The Champion of the World

  4. #4

    Default

    I'm happy with the 1/2 ton, just was looking at the tranny repair vs replace options. I don't tow, but if I did, I'd sure want the 3/4 ton.

    I'm playing with some ideas to street-rod this one. Got some gnarly retro idea for it. I am sorely tempted to get another, a 3/4 ton, maybe with the big block.

    Mostly I'm really wondering about when I wear this one out. By then, the current generation 'Burbs will be coming up in the cheap/used category. But, I like this one so much, I may just keep it and rebuild as needed.

    My Dad runs a fleet truck, an '09 Silverardo with the 5.3. I like the trans, the engine is ok, but seems to be just a tad short of where it should be for a truck. My 'Burb seems to kick in with more authority and torqure...tho I'm running 3.73 gears and I don't know what his truck has...and again, the weight differance: mine is bigger and loaded with kids and three rows of seats, but he's hauling three bed boxes of tools and the back of the extra-cab is full of tools as well.

  5. #5

    Default

    I have driven several different Subs & Tahoes. I prefer the GMT400 (pre-2000) over the GMT800 (2000 up) Subs. The interiors are much better IMO. The GMT400 Leather seats are fantastic. Plus, I like the 350 over the 5.3. More low end, which I think is important with the big Sub. The newer subs often have the 3.42 gears which suck, especially since the 5.3 really starts coming to life at about 3 grand.

    But, the 5.3 is a great engine, and GM corrected some flaws over the 350. Particularly the cooling circuit. The Tow/Haul feature is a major plus if you do lots of towing. And the 5.3 is more tuneable then the 350.

    Your Sub is really just broken in. All my trucks from that generation have over 150K, her DD Tahoe has 190K. I have friends with a 96 Sub. 340K, never done any engine work. Used daily for student transport. Personally, I would keep your Sub. Put in a Superior Shift Improver, full synthetic ATF fluid exchange to help out the trans. Get a Black Bear tune to wake it up. Switch all your fluids to full synthetic, and enjoy your truck for another ten years.
    When you hear hoofbeats, look for horses not zebras.

  6. #6

    Default

    We test drove a 2003. My wife seemed to think the front cabin had slightly less space. The seats may be a little nicer. Brakes are definate improvement, and as far as upgrades, there are a lot more options for brake upgrades on the 2000+ Burbs.

    I still prefer the barn doors for some reason, which I think was lost after 2003. The GMT400 seems more like a truck too. If I recall the GMT800 might steer and drive a little nicer actually.

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gryphon View Post
    I'm happy with the 1/2 ton, just was looking at the tranny repair vs replace options. I don't tow, but if I did, I'd sure want the 3/4 ton.

    I'm playing with some ideas to street-rod this one. Got some gnarly retro idea for it. I am sorely tempted to get another, a 3/4 ton, maybe with the big block.
    Pretty sure near all the 2500s are 454s. I've read some were 350s but I've never seen one.

  8. #8

    Default

    up to '99 the 2500 used the 454(7.4), 2000 and higher 2500's used either the 6.0L or the 8.1L and at some point between then and now the 8.1L was dropped

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by caddiac View Post
    X2 on the barn doors. I read yesterday that the 2007 model was the last year you could get them.
    I believe 2004 was the last year barn doors were available.
    I have a 2003 and I love my barn doors. I hope my burb lasts for a long time--just so I don't to "upgrade" to a tailgate.

  10. #10

    Default

    I like tailgates, but I've got the bard doors and I'm not sure I'd rather be without them...aside from the big pillar in the middle of my rear view mirror. Otherwise, they've come in rather handy for cargo.

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