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Old 01-21-2007, 02:19 AM   #1
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my new tow vehicle

I just purchased the t/v of my dreams, a 2001 suburban 2500 and am looking for insight on what preventive maintenance I should perform. I don't want to take anything for granted, being this is the best t/v I have ever owned. Is it necessary to run synthetic oil since it has higher than usual miles,90K? Should I flush the radiator, change the belts, and service the transmission? I bought it from a dealer with an additional power train warranty but I am thinking I should do some preventive maintanance.
Any thoughts?
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:51 AM   #2
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The short answer is yes. Now for the long answer. First thing is check all fluid levels yourself , Second , find out from dealer what , if anything was serviced by them , or recently . If both of the above look good , drive it for awhile ( 1000 or 2000 mi ) before you change too much . This will give you a zero bench mark to measure any changes you may make , get a feel for it .

I am a believer in synthetic fluids , especially in a truck that will work , but that is debatable. At that milage , and being used , it's a good time to change everything , all fluids and filters including differentials and transfer case . Flush radiator and replace cap and serpintine belt . Change plugs and wires . Lube everything you can underneath and everything above , door hingers and locks , hood hinges , etc.. Check your owners manual , I'm sure there is a major maintenence check for around that milage. Good luck
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:58 AM   #3
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I would add to check the brake fluid color..change it if it seems at all dark. Flushing this is helpful to keep those brakes working right especially towing.

I also like a coolant additive like CRC from NAPA, to ensure cool running in any circumstance.
The 90K service probably overs much of this.If it has been done that is a good thing of course.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:07 AM   #4
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Greetings Wayne and what fine truck you have. As mentioned, check with the dealer on what has been serviced on your new TV. Wether the truck was serviced by them or another dealer they do have complete access to the service records. Sounds to me you are ready for the 100K service. Have everything checked and changed, a very worthwhile investment since I am sure you plan to put another 75K on the truck. Changing out all the fluids at this time is a very wize decision. Also it is never too late to switch to synthetic oil. Good luck with you new TV!
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:12 AM   #5
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I would change all the fluids unless the dealer has already done this. Synthetic is optional, but if you do go synthetic in the differentials, some of the vent caps are not compatible with synthetic, particularly the front diff vent cap. If it's any color than white, it would need to be replaced before going to synthetic....the GM part # is 12479390. GM started to put the white vent cap (which was more compatible with synthetic fluid) in as of the '03 model year. Additionally there is a TSB for all GM truck 4x4 front drivelines that are used in cold climates. GM is recommending synthetic in the front diff if the vehicle is used in cold climates. I used Amsoil for it and have had no issues in over a year. If you are going to do a lot of towing, I would conside the maghytec rear diff cover:

www.maghytec.com

If this has the 6.0L engine I would use the UPF-44 Delco filters. These will strain even more gunk out of the filter as it has a lower micron rating.

Keep the zerks lubed, wash, wax and it will last a good long time.

Also consider mud flaps. The rear overhand gets pelted at times.
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticki2
At that milage , and being used , it's a good time to change everything , all fluids and filters including differentials and transfer case . Flush radiator and replace cap and serpintine belt . Change plugs and wires . Lube everything you can underneath and everything above , door hingers and locks , hood hinges , etc..
Very good advice tiki2.

Stash your old serpintine belt in your tool box or vehicle for a spare.
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:02 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticki2
The short answer is yes. Now for the long answer. First thing is check all fluid levels yourself , Second , find out from dealer what , if anything was serviced by them , or recently . If both of the above look good , drive it for awhile ( 1000 or 2000 mi ) before you change too much . This will give you a zero bench mark to measure any changes you may make , get a feel for it .

I am a believer in synthetic fluids , especially in a truck that will work , but that is debatable. At that milage , and being used , it's a good time to change everything , all fluids and filters including differentials and transfer case . Flush radiator and replace cap and serpintine belt . Change plugs and wires . Lube everything you can underneath and everything above , door hingers and locks , hood hinges , etc.. Check your owners manual , I'm sure there is a major maintenence check for around that milage. Good luck
There is no sense in replacing something the dealer just did so I agree, check to see what they did and verify this by looking a a work order if you can see it. I replaced my rear diff cover with a Mag-Hytec aluminum cover which gives me an additional 1.5-2 quarts cooling capacity. It comes with a magnetic drain plug and a magnetic screw-in dipstick to check fluid levels. It makes changing rear end fluid so much easier. I run Amsoil Severe Gear 75W-90 synthetic rear end lube. I think all the posts hit the nail on the head.
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:41 AM   #8
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I recently sold my beloved Petunia, a 2001 Suburban 2500 2wd with the 6.0 liter. She had 166,000 miles on her. She still ran very strong, and did not burn any oil. I had purchased Petunia new in December, 2000. I always did my own routine maintenance. I used synthetic oil exclusively. I also always added 10 oz. of Marvel Mystery Oil to each tank of gas. I have always done this to any vehicle that I have owned.

When Petunia turned 100,000 miles, I replaced the serpentine belt, the spark plugs and the wires. She was still running good, and I did this per the manufacturer's recommmendations.

The only major mechanical problems that I ever had with Petunia were that she blew a rear transmission seal at 93,000 miles. You might want to have that checked and/or replaced on yours, as I was told that this was a common problem. Petunia also lost her ABS controller at 86,000. It was an exxpensive fix ($800.00) but not a common problem.

Best of luck with your Burb. I hope you do as well as we did with Petunia.
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:06 PM   #9
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I knew you all would help! Thanks so much for the wisdom.
I will check with the dealer to find out all they did. They told me they did routine service already....I assume this is limited to an oil change.
RE.....

"If this has the 6.0L engine I would use the UPF-44 Delco filters. These will strain even more gunk out of the filter as it has a lower micron rating."

What filter do I use for the 8.1L?

Thanks,
Wayne
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:35 PM   #10
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there is one area Id be careful about and do not get talked into it and
that would be an inline trans flush ,meaning they disconnect the trans
cooler lines and pump new fluid into it and the old is pumped out thru the
cooler lines .this procedure is known for dislodging particles and causing
problems with the valve body IE: internal issues ,sticking valves and such .
Ive seen it alot ,perfectly good operating trans (low miles or high, worse) flushed out
and then having troubles .Pan removal and filter replacement is the correct way to do this .If the fluid is burnt its life is short anyway ,so watch for
those flush specials as they can cost you .

Scott
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Old 01-21-2007, 04:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
there is one area Id be careful about and do not get talked into it and
that would be an inline trans flush ,meaning they disconnect the trans
cooler lines and pump new fluid into it and the old is pumped out thru the
cooler lines .this procedure is known for dislodging particles and causing
problems with the valve body IE: internal issues ,sticking valves and such .
Ive seen it alot ,perfectly good operating trans (low miles or high, worse) flushed out
and then having troubles .Pan removal and filter replacement is the correct way to do this .If the fluid is burnt its life is short anyway ,so watch for
those flush specials as they can cost you .

Scott

If it caused more problems than it cured , it was not done properly . Perhaps they were back-flushed , or the new fluid was contaminated from working under the vehicle.
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:47 PM   #12
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It only takes one in my book to know its not the way to do it .Theres a reason there is a filter inside the pan and in many import cars and some domestic ,a drain plug ,just like in most ford torque converters .The whole inline flush deal is a quicky way to make a profit ( I own and operate a repair shop ) and I won't do it .It quickly pumps out the old fluid and puts in new
and NO filter has been replaced nor has any of the particles and Grey clutch
sediment cleaned from the bottom of the transmission pan .Many Im sure
have been successfully done ,but many have not ,so try telling the customers
whos trans is now dead or slipping that the trans inline flush was a good idea.
you will not find any shop manual that suggests or recommends this type of flush .Ive got a few customers that had this done and it caused problems .
Done the wrong way ? . Regular maintenence is the key ,if it needs to be flushed because its bad,brown or even orange ,the trans life is limited anyway.There is no right way ,if you back flushed it and it dislodged particles
that fouled the valve body or shift solenoids then it should have not been done.Case study 2004 Rav 4 toyota 60000 miles ,had an inline flush performed by a knowledgable shop her son works at. next day the check
engine lite is on .I go to check it for her as shes an old customer and she wanted me to run the code ,it came up with a shift solenoid E malfunction.
now ,coincidence ? toyota transmissions have an impeccible reputation for being top in the industry .Well ,we know it had an inline flush ,and we know
it was totally fine before the flush was performed .So do as you will ,I say
its another case of what Ive seen many times .the transmission wasn't set up to be flushed out through the cooler lines in the first place .

Scott
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Old 01-21-2007, 09:37 PM   #13
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FWIW , the proper way to do the flush is to first drop the pan and change the filter before doing the flush . Cleanliness is also key , as is any transmission work . I know of 10 people locally who have had this done , including myself . Half of them had trans problems and were told by shops that they needed a rebuild . To date , all 10 are still running fine , without rebuilds , 2 years later .It is certainly not a cure-all , but it sure is good medicine . to each their own .
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:09 PM   #14
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We have the same rig....

Tiki,

I have a 2001 w/84k miles. 2500, 4wd 6.0l engine. It is a fantastic tow vehicle, very solid. I tow a Safari 30, and get around 10-11mpg (not bad).

No problems aside from a bad t-stat. Keep those fluids changed!

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Old 01-21-2007, 10:35 PM   #15
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My X TV is a '94 burb with 198000 , burns no oil , and never been apart , still running strong .

Change those fluids.... amen
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:04 AM   #16
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ticki2 ,that is the only way to perform the fluid change with the pan off and the filter removed ,yet you must know that that is not the way its done alot of times ,Jiffey lube ,fastlane oil change places and some independent shops do not
do it that way ,thats a fact ,in addition on TWO GUYS GARAGE tv show
they did a flush on the show using their new machine .no pan was pulled ,cleaned or otherwise touched in the process ,all for millions to see how not to do it .you guys are fortunate to have good results and Im sure
others have as well .That doesn't change the fact that alot of people have not had such good results . Suit yourselves on this one ,I do auto truck repair
for a living 30 years now ,and do not need a trans failure on my hands nor
do i want an unhappy customer .The case studies Ive seen speak for
themselves .to each his own exactly.

Scott
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:03 AM   #17
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I would not change the engine oil to Synthetic, it will soften a lot of gunk that is on and around seals and gaskets, leaks will develop.

I'm only saying because you already have 90K, if you change over when new under 10-20 thousand miles it would be ok, but not at 90K.

Use dino changed out every 3,000.

Use Synthetic in the rear end. In fact you can use it in the power steering.

I agree don't flush the trany change it out dropping the pan, some torque converters also have a drain plug not sure if yours does.

Last add a Magnifine inline trany filter, this is a magnetic filter that will catch filing from the trany, it goes upfront by the trany cooler lines coming from the the trany there are two one in one return. There is a probally a rubber hose up there just cut and slip it in.

Change this one every 25K.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:56 AM   #18
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I would use whatever filter GM suggests for the 8.1L. There is no cross filter for the 8.1L from the base PF series to the UPF (Ultraguard) filter line. The reason they have it for the 6.0L is because it shares elements found in the Vette. The 5.7L as well. There may be a 3rd party filter that offers similar specs to the UPF line....WIX, Mobil, etc...DO NOT USE FRAM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE! Fram filters are prone to problems. I read all over the Internet about them and thought, yea right. We'll, I've been changing oil on cars for over 20 years, so I have some clue how it works....we'll I put a Fram on a Honda Accord V6. The location is near the passenger side wheel well. Oil stream down the side of the car happened that I noticed when I got home. Looked at the filter, on tight, filter had an internal failure and matched nearly everything that was said on the Internet about them. I was lucky I caught it. I lost about 2 quarts and could have had engine seizure. I'd stay way clear of them and do a search on the web. You'll be shocked what you find......

One thing I forgot to mention is make sure that you change out your coolant after about 3-4 years...I'd suggest every other year, even though it's 5yr 100k stuff if you stick with Dexcool. The DexCrap (dexcool) coolant that comes as a factory fill in all GM cars and a number of others literally turns to sludge in the cooling system and blocks heater cores, radiators, etc.
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:49 PM   #19
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Trans flush question

Scott,
I hope this is still on topic - kinda?
Back in the day, we used to flush the trans after a filter change by disconnecting a cooler line and placing both ends in a bucket. Fill trans. We then started the engine and pumped out the fluid, refilling & repeating until clean fluid - usually 2 gallons. Then refill. Never allow pump to continue running dry.
We never used a power flush machine, relying on the trans pump to flush. Do you see any issues with this method?
Dave
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:29 PM   #20
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My TV is an '01 2500HD 6L 4x4

Wayne -

You got yourself a HONEY of a TV there. Had a friend that bought your truck (with the 8.1L) - drove it to 180K, then sold it. Has been kicking himself ever since...

I got the 6L since the tow time is the DECIDED minority - bought mine NEW - ('01 2500HD 6L 4x4). That said, Kelly - my TV, pulls SilverToy ( '92 34' Classic LTD) REALLY well!!! Some of the huge uphills can bring the speed down, but then I'm not in a hurry....

Couple of things to consider as possible upgrades to the terrific truck:

#1 Rain guards for the windows - the curvature at the top of the truck is considerable - about $100 - install yourself
#2 Schefenecker Mirrors - they slide out WIDE so that you can see ALL of that great AS you are pulling, including the tires! - about $500 installed
#3 LED light stick for the Rear - additional lighting to suppliment the VERY HIGH mounted 3rd OEM brake light - about $100 installed
#4 XM radio - can be moved to the house, truck, and the AS as well - $30 on up (subscription required)
#5 "AirStream" bumper step - Tell EVERYONE about your AS!!! - $100 or so.
#6 Mudflaps - those tall tires can throw a LOT of stones, mud, water, etc.... all over those sexy quarters.... $60 or so
#7 "AIR" sticker - Help support the forums here, be PROUD of that! - $30

Drive that truck for a while, then change what you feel will add to the truck, change what will help put your mind at ease, and DRIVE it!!! 90K is still a young truck. Enjoy! Photos!???

Great to have you Wayne, be sure to post all your questions - AS Q's, TV Q's, whatever.... There are LOTS of great helpers here.... on ALL subjects

Best regards!

Axel
SilverToy
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