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  1. #1
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    Default Need advice on 1993 Suburban

    Hello all,

    I've been fortunate (I think) to be able to get a 1993 suburban essentially free (trading for some computer services).

    It has 350k miles on it, and is on it's 3rd tranny. I'm not positive yet if it's original from engine point of view. In addition to that, it's been "sitting" for 3 years.

    From a body and interior aspect i'd give it a 7 to 8 out of 10...it's really nice for it's age.

    Don't know how it is mechanically...

    I'm hoping for advice...I really like it and would like to make it work.

    Some options I've considered:
    1) "Bare minimum" - have it towed to a mechanic and have him do the least he can to get it running and driving. From here, fix what needs fixing as needed.
    2) "All out" - Go ahead and get the engine overhauled and/or replaced (I'm worried about getting ripped off here)

    I think the tranny will likely be ok...but engine and "rubber stuff" will need some love.

    What do you all think I should do?
    Last edited by mr24shoe; 08-15-2010 at 08:28 PM. Reason: It's a 93, not 94

  2. #2
    Sr. Apprentice
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    Dec 2009
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    Saint Paul, MN
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    Default

    How mechanically inclined are you? There are lots of things you can do on your own if your willing to do some of the work.

    I would start with the basics, pull the air filter, check the plugs, change the oil, drain the fuel and replace, check all the fluids. Replace any fluids as needed. Maybe a new battery. Theres always an endless list that you can come up with to work on. Start with what you are able to do on your own, if you are interested in doing a little of the work.

    If you are uncertain of the work, it doesn't hurt to bring it somewhere and get their opinion on what it would take to get running again.

    Good luck!!!
    02 Chev Trailblazer
    72 Chev Corvette

  3. #3
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    murdog94's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Davelopn View Post
    How mechanically inclined are you? There are lots of things you can do on your own if your willing to do some of the work.

    I would start with the basics, pull the air filter, check the plugs, change the oil, drain the fuel and replace, check all the fluids. Replace any fluids as needed. Maybe a new battery. Theres always an endless list that you can come up with to work on. Start with what you are able to do on your own, if you are interested in doing a little of the work.

    If you are uncertain of the work, it doesn't hurt to bring it somewhere and get their opinion on what it would take to get running again.

    Good luck!!!
    X2. you couldnt have said it better.
    Mike

    Currently

    1997 Chevy S-10 Blazer 4X4 with 330K miles and counting (Hunting rig).

    2009 Saturn Aura XE (wifes car)

    2011 F-150 Crew 4X4

    "Hold it to the floor till you see God.... Then Brake!!!!"

  4. #4
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    Kansas City, MO
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    Default

    I'd consider myself "adventurous" in the shadetree mechanic space...willing to tackle anything given the right tools, time, and service manual.

    I'm missing the time and service manual though...and potentially the right tools

    Where I'm leaning now is to have it towed to a mechanic to perform the things you listed and see if I lucked out and will be able to get some free time for a while, while I research longer-term options...

  5. #5
    Sr. Mechanic trapperdon's Avatar
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    rainville ( Seattle )
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    Default

    in the long run you might want to just swap out with a waranteed crate engine
    and not have the money hole to worry about...
    :fighting0037:
    when in doubt, doubletap !

    - buying a new truck, one part at a time :grrrrrr:
    94 Blazer 4x4 k1500 5.7 L - aftermarket cold air intake
    Energy Suspension swaybar & upper and lower control arm bushings
    Pro Comp ES 9000 front shocks, new front drive axles,
    stainless front brake rotors & new pads,
    new Moog front end ball joints, Smittybilt black nerf bar steps,
    MB Racing rims & Hankook ATm off road tires

  6. #6
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    Default

    agreed.

    where might I find a factory service manual?

  7. #7

    Default

    a haynes manual will tell you everything you need to know to start
    a factory manual is nice but must more suited to more experienced people
    a 100 piece tool set will cover 99% of all the tools you need(if it does not have 50 screwdriver tips)

    myself i have a 93 k2500 sub i picked up for 600$ its running great after i found a computer for it for 20$ at the local wrecker.
    first thing as a back yard wrench puller i did was pull all the seats and floor pad
    as where i am, on the wet coast,the factory chev under pad soaks up the moisture and that promotes rust on my almost rust free body.
    first things to do that can be done by anyone..
    1 oil change
    2 tranny fluid check (is it full? does it smell burnt?) (should be changed asap)
    3 check fluid levels in the axles and transfer case, and top off in needed
    4 distributor cap check, plug wire check
    5 plugs remove and replace ( and inspect how they look when they come out
    ( lots of mechanics will just toss them out keep them and label then in order they can tell you a lot about your engine condition (then toss them out))
    6 pull the wheels and see if you have any break pads. if not replace them
    7 see if it starts..
    8 see if it stops
    9 see if it drives in all gears

    after that it what you think needs to be done in priority.
    and getting everything else checked, steering box, alignment, brake fluid flush, tires, all fluids flushed, etc.

    if i had a mechanic do all that it would have cost more than the sub did (ok tracing the computer problem would have cost almost that the rest should cost less than 150$)
    there is nothing on a 94 sub that you cant fix your self short of major engine work. the on board computer will flash you any error codes if you use a jumper wire in the right place( its obd 1 still for that year). then you just replace what sensor is broken.

    you dont know what is wrong with it. it could have next to new stuff in it that you replace.
    myself i get spares (engine, tranny etc) and drive it until it dies THEN replace it
    if its not broken don't fix it.
    nutz
    Last edited by nutpants; 08-05-2010 at 12:38 PM.

  8. #8
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    Default

    Thanks nutz!
    I think that'll be the route I take.

    I find the combination of Haynes and Factory Manual gets me most of the way there w/ the tools I have (they fill in each others blanks most of the time).
    Will pick up a Haynes manual soon and start "playing".

    Thanks again!

    Another quick question...what's the difference between a "K1500" and a "C1500"? (more specifically, the 'C' vs. the 'K')

    ---------- Post added at 02:36 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:16 PM ----------

    And...

    I've read a couple other places to put oil in the cylinders and hand crank (w/ the plug off) and let it sit for a while...you all agree?
    How do I get the oil out after letting it sit?

    What's the proper way to get rid of the bad gas?

  9. #9

    Default

    Since its free its certainly worth getting it checked out, have your mechanic (or you if you can) do a compression check first, that will let you know if the engine is ok or not.
    God, country, Chevy!

  10. #10

    Default

    now i could be wrong on this.. but i think c is 2x4 and k is 4x4


    if the engine will not turn at all manually (you should get SOME movement just pulling on the belt in the right direction) then pull all the plugs and add some oil to each cylinder.
    ( however much you want really, but you only need 1/8 of a cup just enough to cover the cylinder head and lube the walls,use a light oil or even something like liquid wrench ) wait 2 hours for it to soak in then use a breaker bar on the flywheel bolt to turn the engine over a few times. the oil will squirt out.
    if its really really hard to turn over then the motor may be junk even if you get it to run
    after it turns pretty easy manually you can use the starter..
    i have never had to do this in anything but a old (and i mean OLD) lawnmower
    the valves have to be open so the cylinders can corrode
    after you can use the starter all the oil should be out of the cylinders

    a compression test can be great help if telling cylinder condition
    do a compression check after it turns. if you have low compression add oil to seal the rings and see if it goes up.

    to get rid of the bad gas ( its a 40 gal (150L) tank)
    pull off the two gas lines from the back of the throttle body (cant remember which one is return) and put a couple of rubber hoses and clamps (i used old garden hose) on the lines and run them to a gerry can.
    turn the ignition on and the fuel pump will drain the tank for you.


    nutz

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