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New-98 1500 2WD Suburban New Shocks? Bilsteins?

Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by phoebeisis, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I'm a new member;last Friday I bought ($2950)a very high mile(195,600) 1998 Chevy Suburban 2wd ..I bought it because we are short of $$(family ilness+Katrina),and are having to sell the Honda Pilot that was our biggish evacuation vehicle,and we had to sell my Titan(same story$$).
    We are in a suburb 3 miles W of New Orleans,so we absolutely need a big vehicle to evacuate 3 adults,1 greyhound,4 cats,a couple of MTBs,maybe a MC, plus lots of other "stuff." The Suburban fits the bill perfectly.It was very inexpensive because of the $3 gas,and because of the high miles.It is pretty much the only really good luck the last 2 years.
    I haven't owned a Suburban, or a Chevy Truck before, but in general I'm familiar with cars/trucks,MCs.(had a 2001 Prizm-great little car-sold it).
    A couple of questions.
    1)It needs shocks. It has lots of sway,and it jellos(4-6 bounces) when you push down on any corner. What shocks should I get? I can get -mailorder-4 Bilstein monoshocks with HD valve setting for about $240.I have not much of an idea if these are worth $90 more than Gabriel Sensatrackshocks I can get at PepBoys for about $30 or so each+tax.Any ideas? I'll be installing them in my driveway;the Haynes manual makes in installation look straightforward. Anythings to watch out for in the install(other than to use jackstands,and not to trust the stock jack-I saw that other thread on the jack breaking)?
    2)What parts should I replace now to add reliability? I don't want to get stuck on the side of the road with a hurricane bearing down.The PO had the trans rebuilt-July 2006- at 186,000($2150).He had the AC, serp belt,valve and intake manifold gasket done march 2005 at 162,000 miles($2061).
    I'm thinking radiator hoses,oil,diff lube,trans fluid.
    3) What brake pads are out there that might increase braking power or braking quickness? I don't mind giving up a lot of rotor and brake pad wear for some more braking.The brakes are horrible, just not good,and they have a slow sorta "feel".I think this is typical for Suburban brakes of those years, but there must be a partial fix out there.

    On the bright side,I love this truck.It is huge and comfortable,and according to a scanguage I have the mpg is a bit better than 10-11 mpg in pure stop and go city driving.This isn't bad for a 5300 lb vehicle especially considering the miles on the motor.It handles very well-ignoring the shot shocks which might be original-.I can see why folks love them.They just can't be beat for an evac/vacation vehicle if you have lots of kids or pets or stuff.
    Well,let me know on the shocks and maintenance.
    ps I know a 85,000 mile vehicle would be more reliable, but it had to be under $4000out the door.This was $3320 TTL included.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2009

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