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Thread: '93 Suburban - Chillin' Out!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    50

    Default '93 Suburban - Chillin' Out!

    Been around for a fairly long time here... posted up a little bit when I had my Jeep... but ended up selling the Jeep as our family was growing... and needed some space along with the ability to tow a 6000lb travel trailer while still being able to hit some pretty technical trails without having to be pulled & winched along. In 2009, we bought a 96 Suburban 3/4 ton with a 454ci big block. It towed great, but was a total pain on the road as it drove like the tires were the suspension. So it was sold... and we bought a 93 Suburban 1/2 ton... and the build began.



    5.7L V8, 4L60E transmission, 8.25" IFS front, 10bolt solid in the rear with a G80 gov-lock, 3.73's, tow package...cloth interior and in really nice overall condition. Orig owner 2 toned it... started out all burgundy... but the silver ended up looking like brushed aluminum... which looks neat, but won't matter after it sees a few tight trails. We're the 3rd owner... and it needed a little TLC in the repair dept... but nothing I couldn't handle.

    First things first.... we're a family who likes window tint... so just like the family mini-van, we limo tinted over top of the factory tinted glass.


    On the above pic, you see factory tint on the door window, below, double tint!


    I located a 14bolt semi-float axle from a guy who went to 8 lugs on his Yukon. Came with a G80 gov-lock and a lot of rust & leaks.




    Tore it apart... and checked it all out. Clean on the inside at least.


    Ready for some cleaning...


    More to come later....
    Last edited by TheOtherSide; 06-15-2011 at 04:28 AM.
    '93 Suburban K1500, 6" RCX Lift, 4.88's, 14B SF ARB'd, 35" BFG KM2's
    Overland Canada

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    50
    So... I wire wheeled like mad to get the 14B SF prepared for paint..


    Painted it with semi-gloss black POR15


    I ordered up some new Nitro Gear 1541H alloy axle shafts as the ones in the axle were all pitted... got a new pinion yoke as the seal had worn a groove into it. Bought Nitro Gear 4.88's & master rebuild kits for front and rear diffs... and an ARB air locker for the rear axle. Also new axle side bearings for the rears with seals as they don't come in the master set.



    Installed it all.... and rolled a nice pattern on the 14b sf



    After the pattern was right, I worked on the air portion of the locker...



    And hooked up the mini compressor (which I sold and replaced with the larger ARB comrpessor) to confirm it held pressure.. which it did.
    Last edited by TheOtherSide; 10-09-2010 at 07:01 AM.
    '93 Suburban K1500, 6" RCX Lift, 4.88's, 14B SF ARB'd, 35" BFG KM2's
    Overland Canada

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    50
    After finishing up the rear axle, I started on the lift. I bought the 6" Rough Country RCX lift. I did a fair bit of research and found this one to be a newly redesigned lift... and for just under $1000... can't go wrong with the great reviews people were giving it.

    Pulled the stock 10bolt out... and this is the result of junk collecting in the ubolt lower plates. Currently the new lift uses the same configuration, but when I switch to full leaf packs in a year or so, I'll invert the ubolts and put the threaded part up.


    Out with the weak!!


    Installed the 2" add-a-leaf's and 4" blocks (as I said I want to switch to full packs at a later date) and slid the new axle underneath. Note: I have some low profile tires mounted on the stock wheels as the truck wouldn't be able to drive out of the garage after being lifted on the stock sized tires.


    Close-up of the leafs & blocks. FYI, the stock diff cover is only being used for the break-in of the gears... then the Blue Torch Fab cover goes on.


    And that's it for the rear for now...
    '93 Suburban K1500, 6" RCX Lift, 4.88's, 14B SF ARB'd, 35" BFG KM2's
    Overland Canada

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    50
    Up goes the front on stands... for the 5" suspension & differential drop


    Front IFS diff out... and it's a foreign beast compared to a solid axle. So I sent it out to a local differential shop to be regeared & rebuild with a master kit.


    When it came back... I removed the thermal actuator...


    And replaced it with a Posi-lok Perm lock #1000



    After some maintenance work on the front end (oil pan gasket, oil pump, oil cooler lines & fittings, exhaust manifold studs and more) I started cutting off the brackets that needed to go for the 5" drop


    And started installing the lift




    Meanwhile I painted the battery tray and beefy rear diff cover...


    When assembling the front end... I replaced EVERYTHING with MOOG parts as it's all lifetime warranty. Didn't leave a stone unturned on this.


    Front end mostly together, incl new brakes (note: get slotted & drilled rotors... ask me why)


    Putting together the rear brakes... all new except turned the drums
    '93 Suburban K1500, 6" RCX Lift, 4.88's, 14B SF ARB'd, 35" BFG KM2's
    Overland Canada

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    50
    Finally... 3 months after buying the truck... it rolled out on it's own power... on my garage wheels/tires! Nice look... very "expo"!



    Then as fast as I could... I bolted up the bigger tires/wheels. I got a set of used 15x8 rock crawler wheels with 35" BFG Mud Terrains. I spent more than enough on the truck and had to keep the costs down somewhere... and tires/wheels are the simplest to replace later. My goal is to go to a 16" wheel and some Load Range D tires (8 ply for those who talk plies)... in maybe a TrXus MT or a Baja MTZ.



    What good is all that metal & equipment with no electronics.... so I installed the ARB compressor and rear locker switches... and trailer brake controller (we're towing the family travel trailer with the Burb)


    And some more maintenance... new 3.5' wide radiator


    And of course an 18,000 gvw transmission cooler

    looks neat & tidy behind the grill


    At that point... I broke in the rear axle gears with some 1500kms of commuting to work.... $$$$$$ on fuel!! Changing out the diff oil at 1000kms. Then went on the summer family vacation... truck ran like a top! When we returned I drained the rear diff again and put on the new beefy diff cover and some nice Royal Purple Synthetic gear oil.
    '93 Suburban K1500, 6" RCX Lift, 4.88's, 14B SF ARB'd, 35" BFG KM2's
    Overland Canada

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    50
    Now this wasn't going to do.... before heading on the trail for the first time, the way that IFS lift kits drop things down and in the way of things bothered me. I had already installed different torsion bar cross member brackets than came with the kit (thx to a friend who had them on his burb before going solid front axle)... they're the large angled blocks in between the wheels on the frame. Everything hangs way down there just waiting to get hammered on a ledge or rock etc. Can see this in the below pics


    and a close-up


    Well... I did some internet research and found http://www.realiftsusp.com. They make nifty torsion bar relocation brackets.... and they're seriously beef!!!



    Here's a pic I'm borrowing from their site as I didn't get a pic of that part of the install


    And now look under the frame.... NOTHING!!!




    Couldn't have imagined going over a ledge like this with the torsion bar cross member hanging way down!!
    '93 Suburban K1500, 6" RCX Lift, 4.88's, 14B SF ARB'd, 35" BFG KM2's
    Overland Canada

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    50
    So... in a nutshell... that's our Suburban. I'm very impressed how it handles offroad... just need to work on a front swaybar disconnect system to avoid pulling moves like this:


    On road and pulling the trailer it does great. I'd recommend slotted & drilled rotors for pulling. If you have your trailer brakes set right, will be fine, but letting some of that heat go when on the binders going down hill would be a good thing.

    This winter I want to get the following done:
    - build a rear bumper with tire, fuel & propane carrier
    - rebuild the t-case (front output bearing is very noisey) and possibly install a SYE at the same time
    - install my CB and VHF radios
    - some maintenance

    If some additional $ comes together, I'll order up new wheels and tires.

    Next winter I'll dream of a front bumper, dual batteries, winch & roof rack... but I'll need to sell my left leg for that stuff.
    '93 Suburban K1500, 6" RCX Lift, 4.88's, 14B SF ARB'd, 35" BFG KM2's
    Overland Canada

  8. #8
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    Dec 2009
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    Rifle, Colorado, United States
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    798

  9. #9
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    Sep 2010
    Location
    Copenhagen and B.C.
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    1,842
    Smokin looking Burb! I can see that you must have some technical experience when you can install diff gears and locker by yourself. Please keep us up to date by posting pics on your considerable progress.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    50
    Quote Originally Posted by bftank View Post
    i like it makes me wish mine was less complicated
    Yeah, trying to keep my truck at a reasonable level... and not trying to plan too many future mods. No need to go bigger, just add a few recovery & protection components.

    Quote Originally Posted by chilliwak View Post
    Smokin looking Burb! I can see that you must have some technical experience when you can install diff gears and locker by yourself. Please keep us up to date by posting pics on your considerable progress.
    Yeah, last time I did a solid axle diff was 2nd year apprenticeship training back in about 1995... and just been doing VW transaxles since... so it took a little head banging before everything clicked. I ended up rolling a pattern and adjusting pinion height 5x till I got what I wanted.

    I have a little more to post... and will keep some info coming.
    '93 Suburban K1500, 6" RCX Lift, 4.88's, 14B SF ARB'd, 35" BFG KM2's
    Overland Canada

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