Wish us luck.

Discussion in 'The Coffee Shop ~ Chit Chat' started by Tachyon, May 4, 2007.

  1. Tachyon

    Tachyon Rockstar 100 Posts

    A while back I posted some questions about cold weather prep indicating I might be moving.

    Well, I accepted the job (very nice offer) and we're moving to the Northwest Territories of Canada in a few weeks.

    In preparation I've done some of the mods I talked about to the old Suburban and a few I didn't discuss.

    I'll go over a few of them and try to update here as things progress.

    In the next month, the old Suburban will be traveling 3200 miles!

    This will happen in two legs. One 1400 mile leg with a load in the back.
    Then, an 1800 mile leg loaded to the gills, and towing the Mercedes on a car trailer (not a dolly) and that car will be loaded to the gills too.

    In preparation I've been doing some maintenance and upgrades on the old girl.
    To rehash, we have a 1988 Chevy Suburban V10 (1/2 ton 4x4) with a 5.7l TBI V-8 gasoline engine and built TH-700R4 overdrive tranny. It also has 31" tires on the stock rims.

    I've converted it to Mobil-1 5W-40 oil with a Purolator Pure One Filter.

    New front brake rotors, and new loaded brake calipers. Greased wheel bearings, bled brakes, checked and tightened belts, topped up fluids, greased zerks, and everything else I could think of.

    Also, since the old girl had developed a bit of a droop in her rear, and we would be towing, I replaced the rear shocks with new Monroe Gas Matics which I converted to coil-overs with a set of heavy duty coil over springs from a kit I got from J.C. Whitney. The kit was cheap, and so far works great. It not only lifted the rear back into place, but it smoothed out the ride, and increased load capacity by 1250 lbs (or so they say).

    I'm also planning on changing the plugs and wires. I'm going to go with basic wires and Bosch Platinum Plugs.

    Flush and refill the coolant with Prestone long life and a bottle of Redline Watter Wetter. By the way, water wetter is amazing it works just as advertised and increases cooling system efficiency, reducing coolant temperatures by 20 degrees or more.

    Since it's summer, I'm going to put off the cold weather upgrades until I get up there. But it will consist of draining and refilling both differentials with synthetic gear lube from Valvoline, Mobil or Amsoil, depending on which is more available up there.

    I'm also hoping to flush the tranny fluid and replace with synthetic.

    Then I'll add either a flow tank type block heater, or a silicone pad oil pan type along with a battery blanket and a new Optima Red Top battery. I'm also thinking about adding external bypass filters to both vehicles. Probably the "toilet paper" type like from GCF.

    Wish us luck on this massive move.

    I'll try and post some pics once we get there and settle in.

    1 person likes this.
  2. TrailLeadr

    TrailLeadr Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Congrats on the job!:party:

    That's good to know about water wetter. I always wondered if that was just hype, or it it actually worked. Sounds like it's a must for anyone who tows, lives in really hot locations, or just works their engine hard.

    You're going to need the extra weight capacity from the sounds of your trip. Good thing you went with those coil overs.

    I know no matter how much work I put in my burb, I would be nervous about taking it on such a long trip. But it sounds like you made your's damn near "new" again, so you probably should be worry free.:smile:

    Best of luck with the move, and the new job!!!:great:
  3. 84fiero123

    84fiero123 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    I know most people won’t recommend this, some may even say no, don’t do that.

    I would change to 75/25 % mix on the antifreeze. It will also keep the engine running cooler in the hot weather, and give you that much needed protection when the cold hits.

    And believe me it will get cold up there.

    Good luck on the drive, and keep it between the ditches.
  4. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan The Sheriff Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Wow, where are you starting from again? Enjoy your time at the top of the world, that's for sure.
  5. terry0341

    terry0341 Rockstar Platinum Contributor 100 Posts

    Very Good Luck!

    We wish you the best of luck!:party: I would Not make that trip in a Ford! You have the right truck and sounds like you pretty much made her new again!:great:
  6. Cableguy

    Cableguy Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Good luck on the big move and job.
    When you get there trade in the Suburban for a couple of new snowmobiles. Tell the Inuits Jamie from Ontario sent you...you'll get a better deal. Watch eating blubber...gives me heart burn...
  7. Tachyon

    Tachyon Rockstar 100 Posts


    Hey gang, thanks for all the replies and good wishes.
    We really do appreciate it.

    As I said, at some point I'll post an update on how the trip went and maybe some pics.

    As for the blubber..well we're not going to be quite that far north. Far enough mind you, but still another 1300 miles from the Arctic ocean.

    Though I think the old Burb will get her chance to haul home my caribou each hunting season.

    Anyway, thanks again and 'see' you soon.

    Mr & Mrs Tachyon
  8. Tachyon

    Tachyon Rockstar 100 Posts


    In case anyone is interested, here's that coil over conversion kit. Assuming this link still works. Otherwise just look for them at JC Whitney under suspensions.


    We're quite pleased with them, though I recommend you pick your vehicle and choose custom fit on the JC site before browsing these.
    It will make sure they fit your application.
    Also, on our 88 Burb platform they don't look like they're going to fit, but they do. So give them a chance before you rule it out.
    And, we got extra nuts and double nutted all the fasteners in addition to the included lock nuts. I might also recommend lock-tite.
    Oh, and we also put hose clamps above and below each spring clamp, around the shock tubes for one more bit of anti-slip.
    Finally, we got our coil-overs first and then shopped shocks with a caliper in hand to make sure they'd fit inside the coils.

    Someone remind me later and I'll try and post a pic.

    Update: Here's a couple of pics. BTW, we are at the half-way point.
    So far so good. 14-17 MPG, no oil use, no problems.
    The coil overs work great. Better ride, restored ride height, better handling.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  9. Tachyon

    Tachyon Rockstar 100 Posts

    Thanks for the input, it got me thinking.
    One of the companies (I work for a 'group') does winterizing conversions, including the ice highway fleet.
    They recommended approx 60/40 as a rule of thumb, but to fine tune it with a hydrometer (anti-freeze tester) and go by minimum temp and make sure it would go to at least -50. Not that that's common in that area, but it happens. Better safe than cracked-block-sorry.
    I'm saving the other winter conversions till we get up there and get more input from these guys that do this extreme winterizing for a living.
    I'll share what I learn from these guys.

    Oh, and I'm going to add fresh Redline Water Wetter to the mix. This stuff is great and should get me back the cooling ability lost to the higher antifreeze content and then some. I really have seen their claimed 20 degree f reduction in water temps in my 50/50 mix.
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  10. 84fiero123

    84fiero123 Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Good luck on the last leg of the trip, and ask the locals when you get there how they do their winterization of coolant.

    I know I have a friend in Anchorage on my Fiero forum who might be able to tell you more about winterizing for extreme cold.

    When we moved to TN from MA, 1620 miles we were similarly loaded.

    86 Burb loaded to the top of the windows, hauling a car hauler with my restored 76 Cobra II loaded.

    And that was what my wife was driving.

    I was driving a 24 ft Rider box truck loaded.

    Again good luck on the rest of the trip and your new job.

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