88 suburban rebuild

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by welder, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. welder

    welder New Member

    Hello again, To continue on with my Suburban resto / customization.

    My goals are as follows

    1) To change most of the tin on the truck and repair what I can't change. Paint

    2) Lift the rear up so it sits level.

    3) Add some lights and changes some of the existing lights to led. Add a rear upper brake light. Add some different tail lights.

    4) Add a roof rack for snow boards, skis, what not

    5) Add off road lights.

    6) Customize the interior.

    7) Roll cage.

    8) Custom bumpers and front winch.

    9) Dual battery's and plug in jumper cables.

    10) Who knows what else! I will be surfing for ideas as I go along.

    I know it seems like a lot of stuff to do, but I have the patience to do it and I have wanted to do this for quite awhile. I have been looking for a older 4x4 suburban for a while. I like them because most of the body parts are bolt on. I don't know where to get the parts yet, but that is why I am here. One thing that I find real neat is that it has rear air conditioning. I do want to convert it to electric windows and door locks, and add a remote start for winter.

    I will post pictures as I go along. I have all ready done some work to this truck just to be able to drive it. I did take pictures so I will be posting some old ones from earlier this year.

    I hope this thread is of interest to some of you.

    Attached Files:

  2. welder

    welder New Member


    Gotta get the hang of adding pictures. Anyhow, The rot hole in my previous thread is the drivers side rocker. that needed to be repaired quick as did the drivers side front door. I will attach a picture of the old door but I have not taken a picture of the new one I installed.

    Just so every one knows, this is going to be a long drawn out thread because this is not going to happen over night.

    I bought a 1990 2wd suburban as a donor truck, real high mileage but like new tins. So I removed the doors and front fenders off of it. I also took some misc. parts and GM hardware. Scrapped the rest. It was blue and gray and this one is going to be black with very little chrome showing.

    Under the hood is going to be a different story. The motor is a 350 and I have no clue as to what the tranny and transfer case are. I think a th350 tranny, just a guess though. The motor has 125,000 miles on it and it is tight. The original owner was a funeral home. They owned it for years. They sold it to a middle eastern baker. He used it for deliveries for 4 years and trashed it.

    I bought it for 500.00 bucks and will probably end up putting 10 times that into it. But everybody needs a toy.

    My first order of business body wise is to replace the rear apron or what ever it is called. Here is a pic of the piece. Does any one know where I can buy this part? If I could get OEM, fine, but I would settle for after market.


    It is the piece that goes all the way from left to right and sits right below the barn doors when they are closed. It is shot. HELP !!!!

    I will continue more tomorrow, Have to go play daddy now.
  3. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    LMC Truck is now your best friend. They should have most of the replacement body panels and repair panels to fix all the sheet metal on the Suburban, along with most anything else you can need to get the truck back in one piece. Junkyards are also your new best friend for all the parts LMC doesn't have for one reason or another. Good luck with this undoubtedly huge project!
  4. Joeairforce

    Joeairforce Epic Member 5+ Years 100 Posts

    X-2 on LMC truck being your new best friend...... That's where I've gotten all the metal I've replaced on mine so far....

    Your transmission depends on if you have a 1500 or a 2500 burb.... If you have a 1500 you most likely have a 700R4 transmission, if you have a 2500 you most likely have a TH400 transmission....

    That piece that goes under the rear doors is called a rear tail-pan and with the way it looks you'll probably need the support that goes under it too.... If you need both get the tail-pan support assembly and the tail-pan is already on it.... It'll run ya $190 from LMC..... It took me about a day and a half to replace mine...... To replace it you'll need to either jack the body way up to be able to get it in and out or cut a rear corner out to be able to get it in and out.... If ya need I've got pics I took when I replaced mine on another forum that I can link ya too if it would help....

    Sounds like a good project... Good Luck.
  5. welder

    welder New Member

    crawdaddy and joe, I checked out LMC and ordered a catalog from them. I like paper. (I am old). Yes I am going to need the support and the tail pan. To me they are first as they support the whole rear of the cab. I threw a patch in there on the floor as a temp fix. But it is hardly permanent.

    Any links to additional sites is greatly appreciated. Big learning curve for me. I have to find my camera cord to post more pics. I love posting pics. USAF 77 - 81 SP K/9
  6. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    The paper catalogs are indeed handy and desired when doing projects like this. They are insanely helpful for figuring out how to get to something, how something goes together, or just what that part is called when you need to replace it. I use my paper LMC catalogs when repairing the truck for all the aformentioned reasons and others that aren't coming to me at this moment. Ordering off their website is handy though since it always has the latest prices and you can build out shopping carts to budget parts purchases because believe me, LMC isn't cheap, and parts add up fast...
  7. Joeairforce

    Joeairforce Epic Member 5+ Years 100 Posts

    Here's a link to the thread where I replaced my tail-pan/support.

    http://www.dieselplace.com/forum/showthread.php?t=362091&highlight=pulled trigger&page=4

    and here's a thread of another guy that did the same job.


    Just have to take into consideration that my burb and his both have tailgates instead of the barn doors like yours has..... But things shouldn't be THAT different when it comes to that piece......

    If ya have any questions don't hesitate to ask...... I'll answer what I can.....
  8. Chris Miller

    Chris Miller Rockstar 100 Posts

    Before you do anything, see if you can get the body and frame media-blasted. That will show you everything that needs doing, and with the degree of rust on that truck, I imagine there's thirty percent again that's invisible because of the paint. Plus, some of the body mounts are probably shot, and that'll give you an opportunity to fix them.
  9. welder

    welder New Member

    Joseph, Thank You for the links. They were awesome. I had a exhaust issue today I am still working on. Life gets in the way of playing. 2 hour job taking 6. I will post pics later today if I can find my camera cord.
  10. welder

    welder New Member

    I figured out something a few days ago. I realized that I need to start at the rear to install new tin. I am thinking that this is the way I would be able to line up all the body parts.

    1st rear doors, then front doors, then front fenders and wheel wells, / nose. Is this the norm or am I over thinking this??

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