How to Increase Power on 98 Burb

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by mac_camper, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. mac_camper

    mac_camper New Member

    I have a 98 Burb 1500 4x4 with 180k miles and it is in pretty good shape overall. I tow a 5500lb camper and would like to research options to increase the horse power and towing capabilities (gears?).

    I would appreciate ideas to increase power. I have just completed a full tune up replacing plugs, wires, hoses, belts, and it did help somewhat.

    Are there any kits to increase overall power or do you recommend a new gear ratio to improve towing? What about a new engine? Any specific engines recommended?

    Thanks for your input.
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010

    99'HEARTBEAT MODERATOR Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    As far as increasing your Suburban's H.P......the list is endless of items you could install.....It really Comes down to what you are Looking and Wanting to Spend,

    Do you have any Performance Mods on your Ride Now??....also what engine and gears does your ride have??....

    You could start out with the......3 Bolt-On's......Cold Air Intake.....Headers/Long Tube and Cat Back Exhaust, addition to the above, would be going with a...Cam and a Tune...either Hand-held or Custom Tune,

    From the Towing Aspect....some of the items you could do would be a Shift kit....A Transmission Cooler and/or a Larger Cooler....and for Rear Gears....4.10's would be really help..with Towing,

    .....I would just look for and install the part and/or parts that will work together in giving your Ride the Best Gains in H.P. and for you the Best Bang for your Money.

  3. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    You can get a drop in 383E from GM performance(it will have a real warranty) for about $4800 delivered curbside.
    It makes 340 hp 435 lb ft.
    There isn't anything you could safely do to your high mile motor that will give this sort of power increase. And much of this this power/torque increase will be where you need it to tow-lower RPMs.
    It will be hard on your drivetrain-transmission- so you should upgrade your trans.
    Most power adding "parts" CAI, exhausts, cams add upper end power which is not really ideal for towing-waste of time and money.
    Superchargers-turbo and belt/gear driven can add low end power(turbo not so much-usually upper end power) but they will break your older motor.

    If you want to spend $5000 there really isn't any better option. A supercharger will cost $5000-and it will break your motor.
    Upgraging your drivetrain-trans etc could cost another $3000-not cheap.
    N20 is much cheaper, but not really useful for towing.(it will also break your motor/drivetrain)
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Easy fix. Downshift. Seriously, don't be afraid to let it rev. That engine can crank 3,500 all day long with no ill effects. Well, fuel consumption maybe. :D

    That engine really starts coming to life about 2,500, which is of course well above the current gear/tire combination. Try leaving it in third, and drop to second for the hills.

    As mentioned, full tune-up including O2 sensors. I would follow that with a custom tune from Black Bear or the like. Biggest bang for your buck. Also - what injectors do you have? If you still have the CFI with the poppet injectors you might want to put in a new spider. I'm replacing mine today, I'll be reporting seat of the pants improvements.
  5. MPC-Silverado

    MPC-Silverado Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    for an affordable way to get a little more power and better towing. Intake can help a little and the exhaust make it fun lol. but the combo of the 2 with a programer from hypertech or superchip will help alot. i have that combo on my 2500 and i set the tune to tow and run primium when i hook up to my car hauler and its a whole new truck and she comes alive again. then i can put it on 1 of 2 performance tunes one for 87 and other for 93. and it also has an eco tune
  6. mac_camper

    mac_camper New Member

    Thanks for the ideas, now what about the transmission?

    Thanks all for the interesting ideas.
    To answer a few questions, about my 98 Burb
    1. I have no modifications
    2. 5.7 Vortec 8 cyl, 4x4
    3. 3.51 gears (I think), not the 4.?.
    4. I think it is all standard as it was when new
    I am leaning toward just driving this thing as long as possible and continue servicing it as I go. Otherwise, I love the idea of a new engine as suggested.

    What should I be doing with the transmission given the 180k miles? I have had all the fluids changed every other year including trans and differential. Oil synthetic every 6k miles. Thanks again!
  7. 2COR517

    2COR517 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Gears are most likely 3.73, but 3.42 is a possibility.

    I would service the trans with Mobil 1 ATF. Don't forget the T-Case, same fluid. I would run M1 75W-90 in the front axle, 75-140 in the rear.
  8. MPC-Silverado

    MPC-Silverado Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    becareful changing the trans fluid with those kinda miles on it, chances are it grew dependant on the fluid. once you change you will most likely start to see slipping soon.. honeslty unless you want to rebuild the transe i would leave that fluid in it... that is unless you regualarly changed the fluid start at around 50k miles
  9. 2COR517

    2COR517 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    That's one of the oldest wive's tales in the book. Dependent on the fluid?.......
  10. MPC-Silverado

    MPC-Silverado Rockstar 3 Years 100 Posts

    the trans fluid..... what other fluid you run haha.

    now i know its a ford but i had a 2000 ford a while back and people told me through and though again not to change the fluid and when i got to about 90k miles i swapped fluid and sure as **** the trans started to go within a weekisd

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