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Still looking for a Suburban...more questions.

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by nottmbantam, May 23, 2013.

  1. nottmbantam

    nottmbantam Member 1 Year 100 Posts

    Well, the continues for a Suburban. Went again today to look at a 1996 2500. Here's the questions:

    How can you tell it's the big engine block, the 7.4L? ( as opposed to the smaller 5.7(?) L engine )

    I asked the seller - he assured me it is the big engine block - known locally as the 454. I know that some 2500 have a different engine size - MOST of the ones here in Saudi are the bigger engine, but some are the smaller size. From the older models I've seen before - the engine block seems to have a big obvious sticker saying "454" on it somewhere - is that still true to 1996 models.

    He mentioned that he needs to have the belt changed as well as a couple of other minor repairs. As I'm mechanically challenged - would this account for the noise coming from the engine when driven? A bit of a high pitched background whine. Mileage is 190,000 kms ( 118,000 miles ) . Price I reckon I can get it for 25,000 Saudi Riyals ( $6,666)

    Pics here:








  2. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    High pitch noises are usually belt noise. And that most definitely is the 454. I own the 350 and its easy to tell when you've seen both the 454 takes the whole engine bay and has a small shroud for the fan like that one does.
  3. nottmbantam

    nottmbantam Member 1 Year 100 Posts

    Ok - kinds makes sense now. Thanks for the confirmation - will probably get back onto him and try to fix up a sale! Cold be a go-er this one, will keep this thread updated. Cheers.
  4. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Rockstar 4 Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    Looks like a 454.. Nice Beast... Could be a belt or Pullie.. Check out the Alt and Ac also..
  5. SupplySgt

    SupplySgt Rockstar 4 Years 500 Posts

    One of the easiest ways to tell a small block apart from a big block is to look at the exhaust. On a big block, the exhaust ports are all evenly spaced whereas on a small block the middle two exhaust ports (3 and 5 on the drivers side and 4 and 6 on the passenger side) are right next to each other.

    That being said, the intake on the Vortecs is a dead giveaway as well and that is definitely the 454.

    The whine could be the belt or it could be alternator or power steering pump. Just something you're going to have to look into. Btw, what part of Saudi are you in?
  6. nottmbantam

    nottmbantam Member 1 Year 100 Posts

    Thanks for the info, appreciated. I'm in Riyadh, been in Saudi for five years in total, did two years in Jeddah and three now in the capital. Do you know it , have you been here previously?
  7. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    If you aren't towing the 5.7 would be just fine-heck might be more reliable even-not that the 7.4 454 is unreliable-but the 5.7 is famously reliable.
    Of course if fuel cost was no object-I would LOVE to have a 454 Suburban-in a softer riding 1/2 ton chassis.
    Pretty sure you mentioned a while back-fuel cost isn't a problem in Saudi Arabia

    PS You are a Brit,right?? Guess you are following the horror story-soldier walking down the street in London knifed to death ?? Perhaps something you can't talk about-since all communications can be monitored by a well funded modern state? So just ignore this.
  8. nottmbantam

    nottmbantam Member 1 Year 100 Posts


    Thanks for the advice - hadn't actually considered that there might be a reliability factor when choosing between the two engine sizes, but had always intended to get the 454 - just due to the fact that fuel is not an issue, so it had to be biggest possible, just for the experience of it.

    I have been following the story of what happened in London, its so upsetting to read about. Sadly, it's not the first violent killing, but the way it was done is appalling really, no justification at all. THere seems to be repercussions now, and it could get out of hand. THoughts go out to the family of the soldier who was killed.
  9. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    Both engines are super reliable. its just that in the US over 90% of the 1/2 and 3/4 ton trucks from 1996-1998/99 have the 5.7L (350) Vortec V8 so it is considered the toughest most reliable engine on earth because it was put in millions of trucks, vans, and cars. Pretty much if you keep the oil clean, engine properly cooled, and gas flowing it will run forever.

    The 7.4L (454) Vortec V8 is much rarer in the US so less people know about the dependability of it. Of course it is a legendary Chevy V8 so long life, power, and reliability are guaranteed. If gas was cheap here I'd love a 454 cant beat all that power!!!
  10. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Yeah-my 5.7 2wd 1/2 ton 1998 Suburban 222,400 miles-in service since 1997-still runs great- still gets 21 mpg on long pure hy trips
    not those Brit Canadian cheater gallons-normal sized gallons!
    Still if I didn't have to pay for gas-the 454 would be tempting.
    It would offend my cheapskate nature-but....

    Really horrible what happened-and you folks had that terrible train bombing-50 dead?? not too many years ago??
    Home grown more or less once again/

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