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Old 09-28-2007, 10:18 AM   #1
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Time to buy the Suburban And advice needed

Well I am ready to buy my TV. I have been looking at Suburbans here and there on the internet. I need to know what questions to ask as well as what to look for. Just to qualify I cannot afford a new TV anymore than I could afford a new AS. So I am looking at model years 1994 to 1999. But I would rather not go any older then 1996. It all comes down to cost. I could pay up to $7000.00 for the right TV. Of course I am looking at Suburbans with 85K to 147K how many miles are just too many miles?

I can am in need of any advise that you that you might be able to impart to me as to how to proceed. Of course I would love a Diesel but they seem to be very rare with a higher cost. I did find one but the owner is not responding to me so I am thinking it is sold.

This one I found is not to far from me I will go to look at it on Sat. "HELP! Please". BLACK is not my favorite color. Thanks to all.



1999 GMC Suburban 2500 Series 4x4. This truck has a 7.4 liter 454 cid, 146K, black with grey leather interior, AM/FM Cassette/CD, dual zone climate control, heated seats, auto chromatic dimming rearview mirror, heated side mirrors, 3rd row seating and more. This truck is in very nice condtion and has been well maintained. Hasn't had hard use.

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Old 09-28-2007, 10:30 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaabLover
Well I am ready to buy my TV. I have been looking at Suburbans here and there on the internet. I need to know what questions to ask as well as what to look for. Just to qualify I cannot afford a new TV anymore than I could afford a new AS. So I am looking at model years 1994 to 1999. But I would rather not go any older then 1996. It all comes down to cost. I could pay up to $7000.00 for the right TV. Of course I am looking at Suburbans with 85K to 147K how many miles are just too many miles?

I can am in need of any advise that you that you might be able to impart to me as to how to proceed. Of course I would love a Diesel but they seem to be very rare with a higher cost. I did find one but the owner is not responding to me so I am thinking it is sold.

This one I found is not to far from me I will go to look at it on Sat. "HELP! Please". BLACK is not my favorite color. Thanks to all.



1999 GMC Suburban 2500 Series 4x4. This truck has a 7.4 liter 454 cid, 146K, black with grey leather interior, AM/FM Cassette/CD, dual zone climate control, heated seats, auto chromatic dimming rearview mirror, heated side mirrors, 3rd row seating and more. This truck is in very nice condtion and has been well maintained. Hasn't had hard use.

My dear 97 Suburban met it's demise when I piled it into the back of another truck ( a Ford, of all things) and totalled it. It had 168k miles, and no sign of fatique from engine and body. I did replace the brakes numerous times, and one transmission at about 120k.
The Suburban 2500 of 1999 would make an excellent tow vehicle for your Sovereign. I believe that a 1500 would not be adequate, simply because of the weaker transmission and the lack of braking performance.
A 4wd for a dedicated tow vehicle is also a good idea, there were a few occasions where it would have come in very handy for me. However, a good GM locking rear differential can get you pretty far into trouble already.
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:34 AM   #3
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Thats a very nice looking TV and should be fine for you. Black would not be my choise of colors either, but I live in Phoenix....

The heated seats don't do much for me either.
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:36 AM   #4
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Looks pretty sweet! Except for the color, of course.

I think one thing to watch out for is if the seller starts bragging about how great a tow vehicle it is. Probably means he towed the guts out of it. If he/she says "I towed a 14,000 lb trailer over the Blue Ridge Mtns with this vehicle", I would keep looking. If it looks like the hitch has been stretched out of shape, same deal.

If all they talk about is the leather seats and the chromatic mirrors, thats a good signal to me.
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:57 AM   #5
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Trucks can last a lot of miles with minimum major repair. Probably 200,000 if well maintained. Determine how long you need this truck to last. For example, 5 yrs at 15,000 miles/yr is 75,000 more miles. Something less than 125,000 could be a goal for max miles on the clock today using this example.

As with any used vehicle, it comes down to the condition of the specific one in front of you. Review it/or have it reviewed for it's primary systems. Rust and road salt damage? Even wear on the tires. Evidence of due diligence in periodic maintance. The best of luck to you.
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:59 AM   #6
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I do know that only a 2500 will do the work I need. The Diesel I found was a 2WW but alas he has not gotten back to me and he was asking $6999. A private seller I may have gotten him down a few bob.

Any other advise welcome.
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Old 09-28-2007, 11:56 AM   #7
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4 x 2

Looks great except for the 4x4.
I would not get unless really really really needed.
A good posi rear end will get you out of most sticky spots.


Big Block, 3/4 ton are main things to get in a Sub.
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Old 09-28-2007, 12:25 PM   #8
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I am a long time Suburban guy. I had a '96 (Annabelle) which I replaced with an '01 (Petunia) which I replaced with my current girl, Olivia, who is an '05 4x4x4. All were 2500's. The first two were 2wd. I have 55,000 miles on Olivia and have only needed the 4wd on the beach here at home. You are in snow country, so it may be more of a factor. I only used the 4wd once when towing Lucy, and that was in a muddy campground in North Carolina. I drove the first two about 140,000 miles each. The running gear was still great. It was the other stuff (a/c, power windows, electronics) that started messing up. A friend of mine bought Petunia and drove her to almost 200,000 miles before he sold her. She was still running strong.

You definitely want a 2500. Within reason, condition is probably more important than miles on the odometer. Take a close look at the hitch receiver of any Sub that you are considering. That will pretty much tell you how much towing the Sub has done. If a lot of heavy towing was done, the receiver will look a little chewed up and the pin hole will be a little distorted. Another thing to look at closely is the condition of the driver's seat. If the Sub has over 100,000 and the seat looks really good, that is an indication that the miles were highway miles, which is preferable.

If you end up looking at a 2000 or newer, there is an engine run hour meter. You can access this by holding in the odometer reset but for about ten seconds with the engine off. Take this run hour figure and divide it into the odometer mileage. the result is the average mph that the Sub was run during its life. The higher the number the better. Over 40 is super, the 30's is good, the 20's is OK, and under 20mph I wouldn't touch.

Suburbans are great. Take your time, do your homework, and the right 2500 will appear at the right price. Good Luck.
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Old 09-28-2007, 01:03 PM   #9
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I am sure this will rub some the wrong way, but.. be careful of the pre-Duramax GM diesels. They had several issues, most of which are costly to repair, and can leave you stranded. I owned two, and had problems with both. The most common of which is the injector pump computer, known as the PMD(pump mounted driver), is prone to overheat and fail. There are fixes for this out there, but a little patience and mechanic skills (or deep pockets) are handy to have with these engines. I did like the trucks, as I am a Bow-Tie fan. The loaded fuel mileage is not much better than the gas burners, either. Hope you find a good truck.
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Old 09-28-2007, 02:01 PM   #10
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Black is a pain, but if the rest of the vehicle meets your needs it just means your washing arm and bucket will get a bit more of a work out. From the pictures it looks at first blush to be in decent condition.

These are nice units and in our area at least they don't tend to hang out for sale very long. Particularly with the options this one has and if it's in decent shape. I'd have the trans checked, or at the very least pull the trans dipstick and make sure the fluid is a nice pink and does not smell burnt. Find out if the owner can provide service records. Possibly they have all been done at his dealer and you could get an idea of how well it's been serviced from that. See if shocks, exhaust, brakes have been replaced and if so how long/miles ago. Tires aren't cheap, a set of four can add up to close to a grand quickly for the right ones. Are the tires on it noisy? If so they may have lots of miles left on them but the noise will drive you nuts (we had to blow the ones off our '98 that were about 85% tread left because they were just too noisy going down the highway).

Check the floor on the passenger side up front. If you've had lots of rain recently see if the carpet is damp. If not, just check to see if there are any water stains. Some of the 90's and early 2000's GM trucks had a hole somewhere on the firewall behind the heater that allowed some rain runoff to enter the cab on that side. It could eventually cause rust on the floor area. Not all trucks have the problem, but enough do that there's a thread on a truck forum all about it and how difficult it is to locate and fix. Again, it's not every truck and I was fortunate to get one that doesn't, my friend wasn't quite so lucky.

I've read many articles that say it's not unreasonable for a mid nineties and up vehicle that has been well maintained to expect 200,000 to 250,000 miles. With better engine designs, fuel injection, better fuels and lubricants, and better roads, the general sense is that a vehicle can go a lot longer than expected in the pre 1995 vehicles.

If you do buy it and it turns out you don't like it, you can always resell it. It's not like you are stuck with it forever, so I'd make sure the basics are fine and from there you can try it and keep or resell. Our AAA equivalent here has a deal where for $150 or there abouts they will come out and inspect the vehicle giving it a full mechanical check over - well worth the investment for sure.

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Old 09-28-2007, 06:10 PM   #11
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Thumbs up 95 Burb Tv.

Our Burb is now towing it's second AS. Purchased new in the Fall of 94 as the first "real" tv, replacing an ageing Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
7.4L,2500,4wd,3.73 rear end. At 160k+ it is still going strong, with no major,ie..engine or driveline failures. Normal services done on a regular basis,engine oil.trans serv.,diff and transfer case,& several alt. replacements along with several ceramic brake replacements, the second set of rear shoes done about 10k ago

IMHO this is one of the best all-around tv G.M. has ever produced. The long wheelbase and heavy duty running gear have made all the difference when towing.

My bigest concern when we got it it was the mpg we could get from the 454 when towing, actually it wasn't all that bad considering. About 9.0 to 11mpg stock.
At about 12k I did some perf/mi up grades. Banks Power Pack,
Jet 6-Pac Programable computer chip, external trans filter and temp guage, Excell 300 Double Strike Ignition and coil, Bosch Plat.+4 plugs. Started using synthetic m/o at that time also. Mpg improvement about 3 to 5 mpg. I know it don't sound like a lot, but consider thats spread out over about 148k.


As you can tell I'm a BURBER all the way, and until G.M. decides to give us a Dura-Max, Allison version, this one stays right where it is.

THAT LOOKS LIKE ONE SWEET RIDE, CK IT GOOD, IF ALL SEEMS RIGHT I DON'T SEE HOW YOU CAN GO WRONG!!! BURBS RULE........GOOD LUCK.
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Old 09-28-2007, 07:53 PM   #12
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There's one that looks good on Ebay. It'a an '01 2500 with the 8.1 liter V-8. It has 98,000 miles on it, and it's in Wayland, New York (where ever that is). It is white in color. The current bid is $5700, but the reserve is not met yet. It is Ebay item number 120166127698.
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:29 PM   #13
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Okay, so I am now the proud owner of a 1999 Chevrolet suburban 2500 7.4L 4WD. Except believe it or not it is not the one that I mentioned in the beginning of this thread. I had an appointment to meet with Michael the owner of a black suburban at 11 a.m. this morning. I kept the appointment to check out the vehicle. I kept in mind all the advice you given as to what to look for plus various other things that I knew what to look for. I check the vehicle out as best I could. As you know black is not my favorite color in a vehicle that I own, the upkeep on black paint is just way over the top and is something I really did not want to get into. The paint job itself on the suburban was fairly scratched up not so much that it went through the paint to know how it is kind of like tree branches scraped it. On top of that a lot of little dings and dents here and there of course it was all something I could live with if I had to being at that price would be right. Then came down to the mechanics the present owner was fairly conscientious with keeping it up at a fair amount of maintenance records lots of oil changes probably about $2500 in pretty serious repairs. This one needs new tires all away around air conditioning does not work the owner is a man with a family which means kids you can see the evidence icky gunk all over, not that I can clean the stuff off but, you'd be looking at about a day's work there. Carpeting was pretty soiled. So after all is said and done we talked for a while and we determined a price of $5,700 and I take care of all the repairs oh yeah needs a new windshield and the AC doesn't work. So I'm just about to close the deal and possibly hand the guy $500 deposit when my cell rings. It's some guy out on the island where I just happened to be that I called about another suburban. I didn't remember too much about the vehicle I found it on the Internet not Craig's list or eBay. I excuse myself from the owner whose house I was presently at to tell the caller I would call him back in about 15 minutes. So I must say I wasn't too excited about the black one anymore having another option so I told the owner I had to think about it some more and I would get back to him.

Part two
I pull around the corner and call the other guy back only to find out he is about a 15 minute ride from where I am. I ask the seller all the particulars as to make sure it will fit the bill, it does, not only that but it's white with gold trim. My heart leaps, I wipe my brow and say wow it was a close one. I get directions to where he's at, not too far at all. I get there and guess what? It's in much better condition than the black one. Except for a little rubbed off paint on the front passenger side fender. This one has new tires, new brakes, new exhaust, the CD/cassette player even works as the other one did not. I have my Tunes you know. The shocks don't feel half as spongy as the Black one did. When I've Raised the Hood I couldn't believe how clean and new everything looked I was very impressed. It has 10,000 less miles on it and it has those aluminum aloy rims. But So time to get down to brass tacks. We ironed out a few details the seller was asking $5495 I really had a hard time trying to get them down but we finally reach an agreement at $5,200. (We all have to try to get them down no matter what, even though it makes you feel bad, you still do it.)

I'm so sorry this is so drawn out but you can imagine how happy I am having made what I think is a pretty good deal. I ran the VIN number and everything is clear and clean.

I am sorry again but I did not bring my camera with me to take any photos but I am supposed to pick it up on Wednesday. So you'll have to wait until then. Thanks again to all those who tried to help me it was greatly appreciated and I needed the encouragement.


SaabLover

This is the color scheme, But not those wheels. This one and the one I brought is a Chevy not a GMC.


These rims!! Now I myself wouldn't have spent the extra $$ on these but,
included at no extra charge. I love them
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Old 09-29-2007, 04:40 PM   #14
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Which engine? Is she a 4wd? Tail gate or cargo doors?
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