Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-12-2010, 01:49 PM   #1
Wise Elder
Jammer's Avatar
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,129
UPgrading to 04 'burb with 8.1

After a great deal of cogitation I ended up deciding to get a 3/4 ton 'burb with an 8.1 liter gasser. Some shopping over a period of weeks turned up an '04 in dark red livery. The dealer is completing a few minor repairs and I expect delivery in a few days.

Once it shows up I'll be putting on a new hitch, since there are visible signs of stress in the existing one. The new hitch is already on order. I expect to upgrade to the Maxbrake brake controller next spring.

In my situation I didn't believe that any of the pickups provided sufficient cab space. I have three kids, and there are too many situations where friends, relatives, dogs, cats, or unusually delicate or valuable cargo require a true sixth seat. And due to the prevalence of mud and snow in this climate, I need 4wd. With the 30' classic that narrowed the field to the Excursion, 3/4 ton Suburban, or a full size van with an aftermarket 4wd conversion.

I came to the conclusion that the reliability and the overall cost picture were both best with the Suburban. The diesel Excursion was a tempting alternative but given the prices they command and the very real possibility of a high-buck unscheduled repair I didn't see any savings. I expect to put no more than 5,000 miles on a year and so fuel economy is not the compelling problem it might otherwise be.

I didn't find enough used 4wd vans to be able to evaluate the market. They are few and far between. My sense is that it wasn't worth waiting for one to show up, especially since I like the lines of the 'burb and Ex better and don't need that much space.

No 3/4 ton truck has an easy life and this one clearly has a lot of towing miles on it. The PO installed aftermarket aluminum covers on the trans and rear diff to improve cooling, a K&N performance intake, and a few other tweaks.

I'm keeping my 1997 K2500 pickup which will again be relegated to snow plowing duties and held in reserve in the event the right Avion C-10 comes along.

Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2010, 03:04 PM   #2
Rivet Master
boondockdad's Avatar
2008 30' Classic S/O
Dearborn , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,341
Images: 21
Excellent choice.

The 8.1 'burb is the supreme tow vehicle.

Hitch upgrade is good idea.

I've found, using full synthetic, almost negligible oil loss between changes (~1qt with regular dino).

Octane has no impact on performance- that is, I've never wanted for power towing my +17,000lb rig.

Recently changed out the front (no rear) OEM sway bar bushings with polyurethane- pleasantly surprised by much improved performance.

Although it's been a great snow/mud tire, Michelin LTX A/T^2 make for a lousy tow vehicle tire- lots of wiggle and squirm, compared to the previous Firestone Transforce HT.

Enjoy and congrats

A family of eight, blogging all things camping from our Airstream
boondockdad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2010, 08:12 PM   #3
Wise Elder
Jammer's Avatar
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,129
The subbie, or the 'bourbon, or something arrived today.

I dropped the OEM hitch and put it in the scrap pile and installed a new aftermarket one. The cracks in the weld between the receiver and the crossmember were clearly visible on the old one. Nothing like drilling the frame on the first day of ownership to make it your own, I guess.

Charge line tomorrow.

Poking around up there, this thing has two fuel tanks. Apparently each one has its own fuel pump, and they have a common fill port. I understand that's the stock configuration, and is supposed to hold 37 gallons total.
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
88 Burb vs. 06 Durango toddnich Tow Vehicles 11 07-05-2010 11:22 PM
Looking at a '79 Burb toddnich Tow Vehicles 3 05-06-2010 02:44 PM
Replacing Front Hubs and upgrading Brakes on My 99 2500 Burb SaabLover Tow Vehicles 15 03-19-2008 05:09 PM
Extended Warranty on my new to me Burb? SaabLover Tow Vehicles 7 11-16-2007 06:30 PM
What to look for in '98, '99 Burb Sav'h Steve On The Road... 5 08-17-2003 09:49 AM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:38 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.