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  1. #1

    Default My 1988 suburban project, mostly DIY

    I have been posting a couple threads here to address issues I have on my 88. Instead of keep adding new thread, I am going to use this Project thread to share my DIY experience.

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    We have this car for over 10 year. I think my in law got it with ~160K miles at that time and now is ~178K miles (he didn't drive much)

    I have this car for little over a year and this is what I have done so far.

    - the car failed to start so many times and I was so tired of the "junk yard" battery my in law got from the yard. So I put a new battery. Guess what? It failed again. Little did I know the alternator was bad so I got a new one from NAPA. Started every time since bettery yet, only 1 click

  2. #2


    Looks straight and clean, getting harder to find those older trucks that dont need major repairs. Any plans for her?

  3. #3


    the second item I work on? BRAKE.
    This big car has a terrible stopping power/distance whatever you call. I took a look at the front brake, oh BOY! I bet it has been there way before Y2K
    Once again, I got new pad from NAPA, watch many Youtube DIY on brake. Got myself a tool to compress the pad for $5. The job is pretty easy BUT in the middle of the job, I noticed I need a hex kind of bolt/socket to remove the bolt from the caliper.

    With properly tool, I just replaced the pad, added new brake fluid. I checked the rear brake and it seems "OK" and since I don't like drum brake so I didn't do anything with it.

    After over 10K miles, I notice when I brake, there is a high pitch noise. From what I can see, the pad is still pretty "new" maybe I didn't put any brake grease in the pad so now it squeals? If you guys have any idea on that, it will be great

  4. #4


    There is a blue goo that you can put on the back of the pad to help keep the squealing down to a minimum. Also, it helps to thoroughly clean the entire assembly (caliper, rotor, hub area, etc) with brake cleaner and a wire brush. Once you get it looking pretty clean, you should install the new pads with the blue goo, bleed the brake caliper until clean fluid without air bubbles is coming out. Also, new rotors or at least machined rotors will help make the brakes much more effective.
    I like you.

  5. #5


    It's still a BIG truck though, so you should make sure the rear brakes work right. She's a beauty though, I really like the colors. My buddy just bought one with silver in the middle, with eight bolt wheels, and a 454. Good luck with your project, I have a van I'm buying that I will be going the same thing with.
    Brian L.

    Brian Larson CST. KC9DAK.
    Janesville WI.
    87 GMC G20 6.2 diesel.

  6. #6


    Here is the post from me about the headliner project I did a few weeks ago.

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    It cost me $120 for this project.

    The headliner foam kept falling down on the driver side and I just got tired of it. The hardest part was to remove the rear part since the back AC unit was there.

    I added a new support bar in the rear to push the liner up a little. I was thinking about doing the same near the front but the bar is a little too long and hard to find a support point so I gave up.

    For more info on this DIY, just follow the link above.

  7. #7


    I uploaded some pictures to my headliner project, you can read the following thread.

    "New member, 1988 headliner project"

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  8. #8


    Other DIY that I am working on currently
    - driver side power windows motor and regulator replacement
    - rear left power windows motor and regulator replacement
    - new window channels for all windows
    - rear right barn door glass replacement
    - stereo upgrade
    - dash replacement

    I will keep posting while doing my DIY.

  9. #9


    Looking good.

  10. #10


    After removing the door panels for 3 weeks, I finally got both Left side windows working again.

    The front motor was out. Sounds like some gear was broken inside the motor. I end up replacing the motor with a new regulator for $65.00

    The rear motor was dead for over 10 year. Once I pulled it out, I tested with a 12V battery, after a couple "click", it started again. Since I bought a new motor, I just replaced it as well for $38.00

    Removing the motor and regulator took me a bit of time. You will need a friend to help holding the windows while removing the part out. I used some wood for support for the last couple weeks while waiting for parts. The hardest part for this project is to put the part back while trying to align the holes for the nuts and bolts. You need to have the regulator expanded (not fully, but be careful with the tension also) so you can put it inside the panel and able to connect the power. Once you done that, you will need to line up the roller back to the track, adjust the window by using the power switch so you can line up the bolts.

    Now I just need to replace the weather channel, they are all dry out and cracked.

    In the mean time, here is the DIY pic (with old parts)

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