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99 Burb On the way....

579 Views 3 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Gryphon
Hi Folks -

I am about to join your community of Suburban owners. I have my sights on a 1999 2500 Black on Black beauty which I am hoping to acquire shortly.

I have been in talks with the seller and we seem to have reached an agreement on price and terms. I am a bona fide car guy and I often have to tow cars home - much to my girl's dismay at times ha! Anyway, I figured a nice way to combine my love of cars, the need to two and camping and stuff would be to get a nice Suburban. It won't really be a daily driver, but it will get it's use.

The one in question has 197K miles on it. It has been sitting for about a year in a non-op status because the owner has 3 of them and this one just doesn't get used - part of why it's for sale. The family are the 2nd owners of the truck.

The car does have some issues which I hope to learn to fix from the knowledge base on this forum. Here are the issues:

Wipers - They just work on crazy fast speed. Seller says it's a bad module and has disconnected it.

Reverse - The truck clunks hard into reverse and then does a slight shudder as it starts to back up. My buddy said it might be a transmission on the way out or a bad rear differential.

Suspension - The truck is raised a bit. The bushings on the front control arms seems worn and pretty brittle. I was able to remove rubber from the bushings with my bare hand.

Seats - This is something that seems common, I could not find a truck with good front seats to save my life. They all seem to wear pretty quickly. Is that a Chevy thing?

Paint - Another common thing I noticed. The paint was fading bad. Might just be the clearcoat though, I will look into that down the line.

Brakes - They don't seem to be in best condition at the moment, but I am attributing that to the time the truck spent parked and probably need bleeding or plain replacing.

Oil - There was some fresh spilt or leaking oil on the engine when I checked it out. The Seller's wife says she spilled it while topping off the oil. My concern is that it might be too full - I'll have to check that before driving it home.

Tires - Truck will need new tires, particularly in the back.

Other than that, the truck passed the SMOG check, it runs and drives and has a nice list of modifications to it that I like. It has the 454 big block with a Hypertech power chip set up. It has air ride airbags in rear, electric trailer brakes. The air bags can be adjusted with two nozzle and valve stems in the rear bumper. I like that for load leveling.

Here she is:

Any input or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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Hey welcome!
197k miles: yeah, in my experience, the driver's seat is going to be pretty worn. Mine is at 160k. Its fine around town but sucks for road trips!
Reverse: You should have the 4L80E in that. Good trans. Yes, could be an issue with reverse or a sloppy diff or just sloppy u joints. Slide underneath and with no load on the shaft (set the parking brake, chock the wheels and put it in neutral) and see if the shaft moves. You should be able to see if the rear diff is sloppy doing that too. With the lift and bigger tires and sixteen years of who-knows-what its lived through, yeah, I'd expect some repairs.

Wipers: my module is shot too. has the multiswitch for about 60 bucks I wanna say. Mine works fine when cold, but when its warmer to hot out, my wipers may or may not work, run at speed, stop, stop and dock, or just keep going until I shut the truck off!

Control arm bushings are pretty common on these. I gotta do mine. Its not cheap at a shop and you need a press to do it yourself.

Brakes: IMHO '99 Suburban brakes suck at best. I swapped slotted and drilled rotors on mine and it made a ton of difference. I still have no end of problems with my rear drums. Conversion kit is well over 500 bucks (closer to a grand!) so I'm living with it.

Oil leak: wash it and see if it comes back. Two hunnert thou miles, yeah, it should have some seepage unless its been rebuilt recently.

Sounds like a fun truck! Anything used needs work, I don't care what the seller says. I always ask why if the guy selling it first. That can help a lot in deciding if it's worth buying or not.

Good luck and have fun!
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