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  1. #1

    Default 99 K1500 Suburban. info please


    Ive owned 4 other BURBS to date (76 C1500, 77 C2500, 84 K1500, 93 K1500) and Im looking to get another one. Im looking at a 99 K1500 with the SLE package. Its got 137K on the clock and in pretty good shape one owner truck. each of these trucks has their quirks and Im not familiar with this one. If anyone is familiar with this truck and its potential weak points or things I should look for when buying used please do make suggestions is question #1.

    Question #2 is regarding performance exhaust systems for this truck. It seems like there are few avaialble such as Gibson, hearthrob, Jardine etc. I have no expereince with these compananies products... Ive always used products from dynomax/walker, hooker. Anyone have a good flowing cat back system on thier 99 that they are happy with (please dont offer flowmaster. to each his own, I had many and I dont like the drone on my daily drivers).

    Question #3 being a muscle car guy ( I have 2 chevelles) I have NO expereince with computers/chips. I see an add for a chip company right on this forum (cant remember name but its 69 bucks) and they claim significant increase in fuel efficiency and overall power with no negative effects. Anyone have a chip in thier burb and have any thoghts on them?

    Thanks for any experienced replies


  2. #2


    the main issue I've come across (assuming it's a 5.7 L gasser) with these is the intake manifold gasket issue that is so common on many of GM's vehicle of the late '90's. Look/smell for any sign of coolant usage/leakage. If you can get proof, see if the gasket has already been replaced.
    '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

  3. #3


    Intake manifold gasket. I now believe that I probably had a very slow leak from the very beginning when I bought my rig with 89k on the odometer. I didn't smell anything, but I had to periodically add coolant, it would disappear but at a very slow rate. Probably hidden by the fact that I usually only drive it when I need it. I would definately investigate and see if this service has been done or not.

    Fuel Pumps seem to be another weak point.

    Idler and Pitman arms seem to possibly become an issue at this age.

    The stock brakes on these rigs leave a lot to be desired. I believe they should have come with bigger rotors and discs all the way around. The GMT800 series are much better in this regard.

  4. #4


    I just finished rebuilding my 5.7L (350) engine w/119,000 miles...oil pump shaft is held in place by a CHEAP piece of nylon....mine nylon split into 3 pieces at 70 oil pressure....ruined crankshaft.....if I ever buy another GM product, the first thing I will do is drop the oil pan and spend $7.00 on a decent oil pump shaft

  5. #5


    What they said; intake gasket and fuel pump are the two biggies. The basic used-car once over of drivetrain and alignment, crash repair, water damage. Check the kick panel areas for water - these trucks sometimes have issues with windshield or door weatherstripping leaks.
    I've had my 99 for about 6 years - done the pump, replaced the windshield (stopped the leak), and think I'm about due for the intake gasket... otherwise, great truck.

    Q2 - I don't know about "systems", we built our own. New 2 1/2 pipes from the cats into Thrush Turbos and angled out behind the RR tire. Nice and mellow. If you're a muscle car guy, and like Dynomax, check out the VT. I put one on my G30 12 pass 350 4v and split the tips out each side in front of the rear tires - mellow with no drone at cruising speed (you can still talk inside the van), and straight through, scare the neighbors, when you stomp on it.

    Q3 - I haven't done the chips on this truck. I messed with the air intake and keep up the maintenance, and it does pretty darn good.

    Good luck,

    1999 Chevy K2500 Suburban 350
    K&N, reworked cai, Thrush cat-backs
    Vinyl, cranks, floor shift, and rear air!

  6. #6
    stephan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Far West, Oregon USA,
    Blog Entries


    Don't know where you live but if you're anywhere other than the arid southwest, I would check closely for rust, especially if you live in a state that uses salt on the roads in the winter. The body drains tend to plug up & water, dirt, & mud sits in the inner fenders all winter & half the spring & rusts the fenders from the inside out. Look along the lower edges for any signs of bubbles in the paint. This is a sure sign of rust from the inside.
    1988 Chevy C-3500 2wd (no pic)
    350 c.i. 5.7 L Stock Block, 4 Bolt Mains
    L-31 Vortec Heads, Edelbrock Cam & Intake,
    Holley 650, Flowtech Headers, Magnaflow exh.
    Jet Trans 700R4, B&M Ratchet, 4:10 gears,
    3" susp. lift kit "shadetree"
    No rev limiter, No speed limiter lol

  7. #7


    I had to replace the intake manifold gasket (1x), the cheap-metal heater hose adapter at the intake manifold (2x), fuel pump (2x), both driver and passenger inside door handles, and the driver outside door handle on my '99 k1500 suburban (220k miles). There is also a mystery with its left rear brake/turn signal circuit board over heats at the turn signal lamp connector and has to be replaced (3x in 12 years). Other than driveshaft hum at 65mph, its an acceptable truck. No rust issues.

  8. #8
    Jr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    San Diego CA


    My 99 C-1500 with 105000 miles, I have owned it less than a year, I have replaced the intake gasket, heater hose conecters are the cheapest pot metal pieces of c$*p, replaced with brass fitting, right after that the water pump started leaking, replaced that, fuel pump is loud, AC does not work in the front, and blows only slightly cool in the rear, R-134 reads just into the high area on the gauge, have no idea what is wrong with the AC, rear doors do not lock with keyless entry or lock switch, my drivers inside door handle is just about ready to replace.
    Mostly pesky problems with these GM's. No rust, very clean, Leather is in perfect shape except for left side of the drivers seat small tear and cracks. My 95 C-2500 had the same problems, 3 radiators, water pump, Heater hose connector crumbled and had to take intake off to re-tap it, starter, inside door handles, front brakes warped every 30,000 miles, brake turn signal circut board melted in the tail light housing, AC had a switch go bad and melt the wire, but I logged 257,000 miles on that one, that one got 8-10 miles to the gallon the 99C-1500 gets 17-19 MPG.

  9. #9


    My '99 has had one fuel pump (may have to do it again, don't know yet...still chasing a no-start problem), door locks are manual only (central locking does not work) rear barn doors don't lock either (same as above).

    Haven't had many other problems. AC was warm in front, cold in rear, finally fixed it with a self-charge kit and a different technique (get engine to temp and ac running as cold as it gets, then attach refill kit and check pressures...dunno, but it worked for mine).

    I agree, the stock brakes suck badly. Planning rear disc conversion and front rotor/performance pad swap.

    Trans feels a little weak compared to what I'd like. Supposedly a Corvette shift module swap will help fix that. Haven't done it yet, but it's on my list.

    Overall, it's comfy, my 2wd gets 19 to 20 on the freeway (as long as I don't try to run over 70 mph...towing package with 3.73 gears). Three rows of seats holds my whole horde of five kids and all their junk. I'm happy with it. Now that it's paid for, I'm trying to upgrade the weak points and keep it going for another ten years. (by then my youngest will be teenagers and I can leave them at home!!!)
    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...

  10. #10


    Here's another area of concern that has just surfaced when I replaced the AC compressor, accumulater and orifice tube. It is recommended by the experts that you flush out the condenser while you have every thing apart. GM for whatever reason thought it was a good idea to thread steel nuts onto aluminum male threads in most of the AC lines; (2) at the condenser, (2) at the accumulator. (1) at the connections to the rear air, etc.. In the case of my '99' I have found that when unthreading these nuts to replace a part or to flush the condenser out for example, the nut likes to take the aluminum threads off with it. Guess what? .. you get to go buy a new condenser! For, well.. since EVER .. dissimilar metals = corrosion! Flushing the condenser has become really expensive.

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