New member ~ Third GM Truck

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by MTLBURB, Sep 11, 2013.


    MTLBURB New Member

    I'm a new member. On my third GM truck, first Suburban! Before I start asking a lifetime of questions, is there a site/ post outlining the basic mods that most people do first to customize their truck?


    Attached Files:

  2. ridick_bowen

    ridick_bowen Rockstar 100 Posts


    I'd start with suspension and brakes.
  3. USAF-Suburban

    USAF-Suburban Rockstar 100 Posts

    Welcome to the club. Do a few quick searches and I'm sure you'll find a ton of good info on mods here. first thing I'd personally recommend is an aftermarket cold/cool air intake. I've got the volant on my 1998 and I love it. Next, a new catback exhaust would be in order. Got to be able to hear that beautiful American V-8, right? :) Greg
  4. unsub

    unsub Member 1 Year

    Details friend!

    I admit I don't know my Burbs as the one I have now is my first I've owned but that looks like a 2001 to me.

    To reply to the current replies I say yes to ridick and no to USAF(thank you for your service sir).

    Ignore body(unless rust is getting bad at running board area, rear quarters and/or inside bottom doors or anywhere else) you must nip rust in the butt before it gets too bad but you can let it go for some time before it unrepairable and you have to start buying doors and panels. Tough pic to see anything, my camera sucks to, but I do see no running boards at all. What's going on there? Are there brackets hanging down? Rust?

    I almost went into a full rant on basic maintenance and thankfully I read your post again and now see you are looking specifically for mods not advice on regular care.

    Now knowing this I'd say take care of any and all rust and paint. But more so get some running boards! lol So many styles too choose from.

    Custom grille(go look at my "show your aftermarket/custom grille" thread I started where nobody has replied, I'm going with the blackout look so I found myself a black billet grille I have yet to see on any truck or suv, at least in my world. .

    New light housing all the way around! The selections for the Burbs are endless, if you have barn doors like me the selection of taillights is slim but I found em. Throw in some new bulbs to if old ones are fading. I went with Philips superwhites. One can also go LED and/or HID but I can't stand em.

    A lift? lol

    As to USAF's mod suggestion, a cold-air intake will do almost nothing to improve anything on a Burb. Take a look at your stock air filter housing, looks just like a aftermarket one because the Burbs get em built right from the factory. Throw in a simple dry lifetime K&N filter and be done with it.

    Exhaust baby! I have my Gibson metal mulisha exhaust already I'm just waiting until lift to throw it on. I bolted on the exhaust tip that came with it for the hell of it. omg it looks mean, can't wait to feel the entire system once done.

    Vent visors are a must, get in-channel ones.

    Looks like you have a gray/charcoal color Burb. The bumpers look good with that color but you can always paint the black plastic and buy inserts for the chrome and paint those any color. If the actual plastic steps and covers are cracked or anything they sell those kits to replace em to. If you keep the black plastic black you can use the tire shine type products to make that black plastic shine, you can also use it on the hard plastic decorative vents or whatever they are at the rear top sides and the door strips and the top rack if the black is fading or just doesn't look good.

    You need tires and wheels. Whether you lift or not you can go bigger with tires and wheels but getting rid of those ugly stock wheels is a must. I got the same ones on mine. Can't wait to get em off.

    Gut the onstar. they sell a cubby to replace the space where the onstar is.

    Seat covers. My seats are excellent for having 135k miles of butt in em but there are some nice covers out there. All or just the front where most leather or cloth damage tends to happen. There are plenty of upholstery shops that do custom covers, not cheap though.

    Like any auto the Burb is customizable. Main mods to me are performance so lift, overhaul with ported and polished heads and camjob(enlarge intake/exhaust valves) or crate engine, tranny rebuild, exhaust then body. And one can throw in wheels and tires at any point as many seem to think they are the most important as all the $2,000 cars we see with $2,000 rims proves.

    I'm even doing custom emblems for when paint is done and stereo/cb/covers/and custom gun rack for the cargo and the area my third seats use to be in. One can go nuts with any auto. Hopefully yours is a 4x4, an LT I imagine.

    Good Luck and Welcome!
  5. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Welcome To GMTC! As far as mods go your options are limitless. It is all a matter of what you like. Don't let the guys persuade you from your personal preferences. What to do first depends on what is important to you. Do you want to lift it? Do you like your stock tires and rims? Looking for a better ride and handling (shocks and anti swaybars)? Looking for better performance (tune and exhaust)? Looking for just visual things (emblems, hood shield, vent visors, carefull cheap lenses can scatter light terribly, tail tights, grill)? Radio upgrades (head unit, back up cam, GPS)? You can do mods like the diode mod that puts all 4 headlights on when you activate your brights (like flash to pass, but stays on). That will cost you around $5 to do or you can do lift, regear, cam,..... It just depends on what YOU are interested in. I would suggest thinking about what you want to tackle first. Then Post a thread asking for opinions about what you are going to do. Maybe you need help narrowing down which manufacturer you want to buy from or which grill you would get.
  6. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts


    Any one mod may cause an on set of other mods because of need to upgrade. Like I upgraded my electrical system to prep for a high output alternator, which is in preparation for adding e-fans and upgrading my sound system. Also utilizing any maintnecne as a time to upgrade is a great idea.
  7. unsub

    unsub Member 1 Year

    Questions if you and MTLBURB don't mind.

    What exactly did you do to upgrade electrical? And where do you plan on grabbing a high output alternator, how much, how powerful? I have installed stereo systems in the past but I have always had to do my homework on everything from ohms, parallel wiring for subs, gauges of wire needed ect ect but it's been awhile. Are the basic gm high output 250A alternators enough for a good 1500-2000 watt+ system, cb, fans and everything else a guy could install? I've actually seen these for 125 on ebay and other places. But in the past when I did my last install in like 09 for a friend I remember he had something ridiculous like a 400A alt in a HHR SS for a 2500 watt system. How big is big enough? Message me or post here if proper.
  8. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I replaced the factory alternator and grounds with 1/0 AWG Knukonceptz Fleks Kables rated at 350 amps. I also upgraded the factory and my after market fuse box leads with 4 AWG Kable rated at 150 amps. Made my factory alternator happy because it no longer dealt with the resistance from the old factory cables. I plan to get a aftermarket alt from either Singer or DC Power Inc. Needed out put all depends on what your running and what other accessories you have. A factory truck will use close to 80 amps at max power consumption so factor that with how much power the sound system will draw. Like a 1500 watt system will draw 125 amps (theoretically) at max output. I'm looking at an alt between 185 amps and 250 amps for my truck but my sound system upgrades will be very minor just adding some amps for my speakers not ever adding a sub.

    Also every aftermarket electronic draws electricity like 55w fog lights will draw around 10 amps. All of this must be kept in mind when adding any electronic. You also need to keep an eye on that volt gauge it should never be below 14.0-14.5 volts or your drawing more power then the alt can supply while running and it isn't charging the battery. And anything under 12.6 means your drawing from the battery and alt. PM if you want some pointers on electrical upgrades, there's also pics of the cables in my garage and in my albums.
  9. USAF-Suburban

    USAF-Suburban Rockstar 100 Posts

    **Edit** reply to UNSUB:

    You are quite welcome, I enjoy serving! The only thing I'd still argue is the cold air intake. I would agree with you that in and of itself a CAI won't add much in the way of horsepower but it does add two things in my opinion. 1, you get rid of that horrible vortec intake with all the baffles (used to keep the intake noise down) and as such provide a better air flow. And 2, sound baby. I have the volant and it sounds great coupled with my glasspacks. Horsepower increase? Who knows... I stomp on it though and you can tell it's an American V8 that's for sure. Greg
  10. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    While those baffles in the "horrible vortec intake" do keep the noise down slightly, it is because they are put there to keep the air flow laminar. Laminar flow is smooth with no turbulence. No turbulence = less noise. It also insures that air is entering the Throttle body at the designed flow rate. Air can flow thru a pipe in 2 ways. Laminar or turbulant. Laminar is a smooth flow over the surface, the center travels faster than the edges. Turbulence, causes the air stream to become agitated, the agitation reduces the flow. I have never seen any data supporting that a CIA increases horsepower. I have actually seen data and test were it is proven that they do nothing but add sound. My school has a dyno, we installed a well know brand name cia on a truck and put it on the dyno. There was no change in hp from the test that we performed before the install.
    That is like those fin spacer things that are installed after your MAF sensor and vortex throttle body spacers. (both are supposed to cause air to swirl into the throttle body or intake.) If GM had noticed any improvement in MPG or HP they would install them in the factory. They would buy millions, so it would cost them a penny a piece and then they would be able to boast higher mpg and hp.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2013

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