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  1. #1

    Default Hi all, newbie here with a question

    The name's Chris, and I live in Oklahoma.

    Now that the introductions are done, here's my question. I am looking at a 1999 GMC Suburban 1500 SLT 4WD. Someone here locally has it up for sale for $2500 obo. It's got 176k miles on it, but it seems to run well (I drove it last night). The issues are as follows:

    Needs new tires
    Possibly an alignment
    Indicator lights are burned out on 4wd switch (but 4wd does work, I tested it. Plus there is no Service 4WD light illuminated)
    Rear door handle is loose
    Passenger side door(s) inside handles dont work
    Small vibration in driveline at 1500 RPM around town, goes away on highway
    Service Engine Soon light is on

    Other than that, its in fine shape. Paint is fading on the hood a bit, but thats to be expected with a vehicle of this age. What I am wanting to know is money wise, is this a good deal? I know its going to need some work, but it seems these are all fairly minor issues. The engine runs and idles smooth, no weird smells like burning oil or anything, no excessive smoke from the tailpipe, and transmission shifts are clean and crisp.

    Essentially, I'd be leaving the Suburban at home for my wife to drive if the need arises, and using it occasionally if we get some snow and I need to get to work which is 45 miles away (last year brought up a blizzard with 10"+ of snow in one day). I just ran the Carfax and it is branded as a manufacturer buy back/lemon. So what do you think?

  2. #2

    Default

    New tires, so potentially $500-$1000
    New alignment, $200?
    4WD switch, you could leave it alone, or I think I replaced mine for $25 for a brand new one.
    Handles are fairly cheap to replace.

    Vibration. Maybe alignment, maybe front end is shot. idler arm, pitman arm, ball joints. Few hundred dollars in parts if you do the work yourself, but not necessarily cheap either.

    Check engine light, I'd definately hook up a computer and pull the codes.

    Personally, I like to look for the lowest mileage unit of a model I'm searching for. If you can turn a wrench maybe it might be worth it. Otherwise for what you are trying to do I'm afraid something terrible would happen just when you needed the rig the most.

    Even though I've done a lot of work on my truck and try to keep it in the best shape. It has left me stranded a few times (failed fuel pump, intake manifold gasket failure, alternator). At least I know when these items were replaced.

    If you have no record of service done on the vehicle, I'd worry about it stranding me one day.

  3. #3
    Sr. Engineer Dana W's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Location
    Chuluota, Florida
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    361

    Default

    In December, I paid 5500 for a 1999 Sub K1500. 111,063 mi. Body in great shape, Black w/ pewter lower panels, Tan interior. It's a Centurion Custom conversion w/ 20" Eagle Chrome wheels, almost new Goodyear Eagle II 185/75x20 tires, running boards, wheel well flare's, all leather seats, front power & heated, 4 captains, and a 3rd row bench, Drivers seat a little tattered, Custom console with a back seat DVD player. All of it still works, even the cathode ray tube. That's right, a real TV, not a flat panel.

    The engine, tranny and all coolers for same, incl A/C compressor were replaced with OEM equip. less than 5k miles ago. A major deer hit destroyed all the oil and water coolers. Busy mountain road, no shoulders. The guy couldn't stay where he was at the exit of a blind curve. Somebody woulda died there. Engine and tranny were sacrificed for survival. Insurance paid for half of the replacements after some heated negotiations.

    I replaced one 02 sensor, three exterior lightbulbs, and a transfer case rear seal and it's good to go.
    The point is, at 2500 dollars your deal ain't horribly bad but it will still cost nearly that much again right after you buy it.

    If your state requires a safety inspection for registration MAKE the seller pay for it and any repairs.

    Any truck that old is going to cost some money to get it up to snuff. If you like the truck, then it's up to you to take it on. It will absolutely be an ongoing restoration project, no doubt about it.

    Honestly, I would not have bought this Suburban if I had not known the seller for the last 30 years.

    Whose idea was it to hide the bank 2, rear 02 connector up on top of the transfer case? If I coulda found that guy three days ago, he'd be re-wiring my whole truck at the end of a weapon for sure.

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