Your opinion of '89 350 3/4 ton 4x4

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by Tybombero, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. Tybombero

    Tybombero New Member

    HI there... my minivan just broke down and I need something to fit the whole family in ASAP!

    I came across an '89 Suburban 3/4 ton, 4x4 with the v8 350 with only 51K miles. it looks like a truck that might suit my needs well.

    What type of reliability should i expect to see from it? what kind of MPG?

    Would that make a good family SUV?

    thanks for your remarks
  2. 04sierracrewcab

    04sierracrewcab Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts


    I would say 51k sounds like very little for an 89 .. might be correct but my guess is that has been rolled back. A 3/4 ton 4x4 is a great truck but may be a little to much for a family rig (in relation to a mini van) It may be a very dependabel rig if the milage is correct. I would guess low to mid Teens for milage. Others with this same type of truck will chime in later.

    Hope that helps!
  3. retired2001

    retired2001 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    My son's '89 Chevy has close to 300,000 miles, but is ready for some relief. If the mileage is anywhere close to correct, it should have plenty of miles left in it. Low to mid teens if it doesn't have "low" gears. There are a lot of really good deals on older Suburbans right now, so if it isn't too high it is probably worth a try. Good luck!
  4. dwill3015

    dwill3015 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I have an 87 Blazer with the same setup (minus the 3/4 ton running gear) and I get 15-17 MPG. I installed a throttle-body spacer and a Hypertech performance chip, true dual exhaust with Flowmasters, and turned the lid of my air cleaner upside down so it breathes better.
  5. Tybombero

    Tybombero New Member

    Cool, thanks for the input. I'm going to run a carfax on it and try to see if those miles are accurate. It's going for only $2200 so i really want to get it but my wife doesn't like the age of it....we'll see.
  6. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I think your wife is right on this one.
    1.5 years ago I bought my 2wd 1500 1998 Suburban with 195,000 miles on it for $2950. Now it has 207,000 miles on it. It has been a great truck- very reliable,and with the more modern fuel injection the 350 gets and honest 21 mpg on very long highway only trips. It gets about 13 mpg in mixed city.

    Now,I have replaced the radiator ($160), water pump($55), belt tensioner($40), brake booster($135) and shocks $210 for Bilsteins. If I hadn't done the work myself these repairs would have cost close to $2000.

    Your wife is right-even if the low miles are correct, all those years will mean it will need repairs/replacements.
    She is even more right because there are loads of much newer Suburbans( 1/2 tons-like Sierra says-a 3/4 ton is more than you need if you don't do heavy towing- it will cost you ride quality and MPG to get a 3/4 ton when you just need a 1/2 ton).

    A Suburban is a great choice for a use as gigantic minivan road trip Home Depot vehicle, but there are plenty 1996-1999 out there in the $2500-$4000 range.

    Don't pay too much for one; they are very hard to sell now-even with the drop in gas prices.You can get a great deal on one now.
    My 1998 would sell for maybe $1500 despite all the new parts and rebuilt trans- if it would sell at all.

    For maybe $3500 you should be able to find a loaded ~ 100,000 mile 96-99 1/2 ton Suburban loaded to the gills-leather etc 4X4 OR 4X2.

    Good luck- pass on that 1989 unless you plan to do lots of DIY work on it. Get fewer years and more reliability, better FE..
  7. unplugged

    unplugged Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    KBB rates 1989 burbs in that price range depending on condition, but with a quick look around craigslist I found plenty of newer burbs for the same money. I prefer 96 and newer for the OBDII. Never buy a burb for fuel economy it will only dissapoint you. Buy it for it's seating ability, cargo bay or towing capacity, thats what they are good at. If you want fuel economy and plenty of seating, I'd stickto minivans.

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