I bought this Suburban early January 2011 and I am building this to be my new overland / expedition rig.
1989 Chevy Suburban 1500 4x4
5.7L 350 V8 TBI
700R4 4speed auto
I wanted to get a ¾ ton but got a good deal on this one, because it has a rebuilt engine and transmission both with less than 30k miles on them. Maybe doing an axle swap in the feature? I also wanted a red one with grey interior.
I have owned a 2000 Dodge Durango before that I modified as my overland vehicle but used it as a trade in to buy a Dodge challenger. I had been to Yellowstone with it and many other camping and road trips. However it was a little too small to sleep 2 people and haul all our gear (I am 6’7”). Specially if we bring the dogs too.
I always liked the older square body style Suburbans (1973-1991) and have had an 86 ¾ ton suburban that I recently sold. I used that one mainly for hauling fire wood, dump runs, etc.
I chose the 89 to 91 model year suburbans above any other year because it has TBI (the fuel injection gets me about 2 to 4 miles more than my 86), has overdrive and has the newer grille and some newer interior and these are the last years with solid axels.
Here is a picture from when I bought it.
This is after I did some modifications.
I took the ski box off, took the running boards off (better clearance) and installed 2 Bully aluminum steps up front so my wife can get in. Took off the ugly spoiler and installed a LED 3rd brake light.
This picture is from late January
I bought black 17” rims and 33”Dean mud terrain tires (just in time before the snow), also got a 2nd battery for dual battery set up. (still have to get everything hooked up and decide what system to use)
I found a roof rack for it, repainted it (with spray on bedliner) and mounted it. (April 2011)
As it sits now (June 2011), I spray painted the rocker panels black with spray on bedliner, I mounted some backup lights, put the spare tire on the roof rack, installed my CB radio and made a storage/sleeping platform for the back.
- 17” black steel wheels
- 33” Dean Mud Terrain tires
- Custom safari roof rack
- Cabalas Trail gear seat covers
- LMC bug shield
- Dual batteries
- 2 pro comp off road lights
- Emergency warning lights
Future modification I plan on doing:
- finish dual battery setup
- 3-4 inch lift (ORD)
- winch bumper with brush guard
- 12000 pound winch
- rear bumper with gas can mount and tire carrier
- Snorkel (like the Suburban in Dante's Peak)
- Fog lights, spot lights and backup lights
- Diesel engine (Cummins if I can afford it)
- 3/4 ton axels
- Bushwacker fender flares
- Paint job
- and who knows what else
I will post pictures and keep you guys updated of the progress.
It will be slow as I have limited money and time to work on it.
But I am planning on driving this truck to Alaska summer 2012 (if I can afford the gas) and hope to have all modifications done by then.
There is lots of great info on this site and I am glad I found it, (I wish I knew all this when I build my Durango) thanks to everyone for sharing this…