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Thread: New To Me Family Land Yacht - 2002 Suburban 2500

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Aurora, CO
    Posts
    79

    Default New To Me Family Land Yacht - 2002 Suburban 2500

    Well after reading lots of threads, and asking questions about the pros and cons of the 89-91 Burb to the 96-99 Burbs I ended up with a 2002 Suburban LT 2500 with the 8.1L, and automatic transmission with 123K on the clock here in Denver.

    The overall goal of the truck will be running around town for the wife and kids, and heading up to the high country on forest roads and mild trails to enjoy the mountains and do some camping. It'll also be the vehicle I take hunting. At this point it sits pretty high, and its on 245/75/16's. I am hoping to be able to go a size or two bigger without a lift. I was running Toyo MT's on my 80, but I am wondering if there is anything else out there now that may be great on road as well as in the snow and the mountains?

    The vehicle shows as a AZ vehicle all of it's life, but does have surface rust on the frame and undercarriage. Nothing serious, just looks ugly. It has an aftermarket exhaust on it that's pretty rusty as well.

    I had the vehicle gone over by my mechanic, and he found a few things, but nothing that looks major for a truck that cost me $5K.

    Here are a couple of pics after I gave it a washing.





    As of now, I need to get the baseline things taken care of. Here are the things that need to be taken care of from the mechanics inspection.

    • Oil Fill Cap - Done
    • Coolant Tank Cap - Done
    • Flush and Replace Brake Fluid - Will get done this week
    • Front Shocks Leaking - Vehicle has auto-ride and each shock is $300+ from GM. Planning to remove the auto-ride system and have the computer sent out and reprogrammed without the code to check for the auto-ride. If you switch to none OEM shocks it will cause the dash to light up like a Christmas tree. Can't decide which shocks to go with here. I was thinking Bilsteins until I read the thread about going with shocks that can be rebuilt. Lots of good ones out there, but would like to stay south of $125 per shock.
    • Trans Mount Collapsed - Getting estimate from mechanic this week.
    • Motor Mounts Torn - Getting estimate from mechanic this week.
    • Trans Oil Cooler Line Seaping - Need to figure out how to fix
    • Power Steering Hose Seaping - Need to figure out how to fix
    • Exhaust Stud Broken - Getting estimate from mechanic this week.


    I am getting it detailed by a guy I know who owns a mobile detail company in a couple of weeks just to clean it up from the previous owners.

    Outside of that, I am going to start getting caught up on the other PM stuff. Replacing diff fluid and having the tranny serviced/fluid swapped. I just changed the oil to the M1 High Mileage, and the Napa Gold filter. The big difference between this vehicle and the 80 Series LC that i had was the forum support. This vehicle seems pretty straight forward though.

    I am trying to figure out how to determine the options on it by the VIN though.

    It's got Hankook Dynapros on it right now, and they are practically new, so I will keep them on until they wear out and then switch to another tire as mentioned above, just don't know which tire yet.

    Never had a vehicle that I paid cash for with no car payment, so it opens up some more options then I was able to do in the past.

    Should be a pretty fun family hauler. Any guidance or things that I should watch out for etc. are greatly appreciated.

    Cheers!
    Brandon M

    1997 LX450 -Stock DD-285/75/16 Cooper STTs. - SOLD Spring 2008
    2002 Suburban K2500 - 8.1L Stock as of now.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Colorado
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    331
    Brakes Plus, $40.00 to $60.00 for a full brake system flush
    '00 Dodge Dakota, modified gibson exhaust, AFE intake, Cobra CB, Astro Topper/Yakima rack system, Winch Ready front bumper, Milemarker E8000 winch, 4.10 gears, ssbc rear disc conversion, a few extra lights and a build that will never end.

    '00 Dakota

    New project, 2009 Kawasaki Versys, will be more of a street oriented expo vehicle, but it's still in the planning stages.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Aurora, CO
    Posts
    79
    Quote Originally Posted by colodak View Post
    Brakes Plus, $40.00 to $60.00 for a full brake system flush
    I'll check that out.
    Brandon M

    1997 LX450 -Stock DD-285/75/16 Cooper STTs. - SOLD Spring 2008
    2002 Suburban K2500 - 8.1L Stock as of now.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Lakewood, WA
    Posts
    189
    I haven't run Toyo MTs before but I can vouch for the DynaPros. I ran two sets of BFG ATs thru on my Dodge 2500 and switched to the Hankooks this last time and so far have been quite happy with them. Have done about a 1000 miles of back roads, gravel, sandstone, etc and they've done well. They're obviously not a mud tire but a great AT in my opinion.

    Great luck with your new rig.
    2007 RAM CTD Quad Cab SB - Project Wander Wagon
    1990 M101A2 Trailer
    2007 Cirrus 19C Travel Trailer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    san antonio, Texas
    Posts
    95
    Bfg km2s haven't failed me yet. Plus I've pulled at least 3 nails out of em with out losing any air, that was over 6 months ago.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    67
    You stole it, for that price, congratulations!

    Any guidance or things that I should watch out for etc. are greatly appreciated.
    Just a few suggestions on your check list:

    Rebuildable shocks would be sweet (I got excited about that thread too), but you'd probably have to buy used to stay within budget, and then have to pay for revalving which would most likely send you far North of $125 a piece. Alternately, Bilstien 5100 for your truck can be had for as little as $65 ea. After reading many rave reviews on the 5100's I bought a set for my GM and they have made a huge improvement in the ride. Even after driving on rough trails for several hours, they do not fade. However, I'm not trying to win any races or show-off, so for casual trail driving they're just perfect for me. Based on reports from others, I expect to get at least 60k out of them. Got mine in the HD version on autopartsnetwork.com

    Another upgrade I'd highly recomend is the 'Cognito Motorsports Pitman/Idler Arm Support Braces'. The steering on these GM's tends to get real sloppy, due to poorly designed Pitman/Idler (especially with oversize tires and off-roading). The Cognito kit will prolong their life greatly and keep your steering tight.

    Trans/Pwr Strng lines: They all leak eventually, at the crimps. Just replace them with aftermarket brand (Gates are good). They're cheap on rockauto.com, and should last at least 60k miles. They're a pain because they allways leak, but they're cheap enough that I just look at them as a routine maintenance item. Also, check your engine oil cooler lines for leaks, and particularly how they connect to the engine block. I have no experinece with the 8.1L, but knowing GM they probably use the same stupid paper clips as my 6.5TD, to hold them in place. They are notorious for blowing out, due to weak clips = Instant loss of oil pressure! Fortunately there is a permanent fix in the aftermarket for this. Check them and let me know if you need more info. Maybe someone else here with knowledge of the 8.1 can confirm/disafirm?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    NorCal
    Posts
    67
    Just to add:

    Change your trans/pwr strng lines before or preferably at the same time you flush/change your fluids. If you change them after, the rubber in the old lines degenerates and can contaminate your fresh clean fluid, turning it brown, so don't do that

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Maryland
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    899
    Quote Originally Posted by BPMOU View Post
    I am trying to figure out how to determine the options on it by the VIN though.
    This VIN decoder includes Chevrolet, Saturn, GMC, Hummer, Cadillac, Buick, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Geo, Dodge, Plymouth, Jeep, Chrysler, Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda Trucks, and Mercedes.
    While we have over 210 Million VIN Numbers in our database, it only goes back to 1980 and up to early 2010. Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, and Mazda Truck matches are from 1992 to early 2009.
    08 Inferno Orange Z71 Colorado Crew Cab 4x4 I5, no lift
    Winch, skidplates, Century Truck Cap and a Little Guy on the rear hitch
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Aurora, CO
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    79
    Man thanks for the great info in the last couple of threads. I really appreciate it.

    I picked it up from a guy who just wanted it gone since he already had three vehicles and a motor cycle and his number 6 kid on the way. His wife wasn't goin to be working and he was just trying to pay off the loan which was 5k. I'm even more exited since I got a 3k bonus coming from something else which makes it a 2k truck to me!

    I will check out those options on the PM stuff as well. I will probably just go with the 5100 an this point.

    I have noticed that the steering is already a little bit sloppy will the pitman arm kit help with that or am I already past that?

    My shocks up front are beat and it's a pretty bumpy ride right now so between this and the mounts that takes first priority. The 5100 at that price are right up my alley!

    My goal is to get it tip top here in the next couple of months so that we can log some miles on it this fall and upcoming spring. It will probably be our road trip vehicle.

    Only down side is my debit card only allows a purchase of $100 in gas! :-)
    Brandon M

    1997 LX450 -Stock DD-285/75/16 Cooper STTs. - SOLD Spring 2008
    2002 Suburban K2500 - 8.1L Stock as of now.....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Austin, Tx
    Posts
    329
    As long as you have your bump stops right, you shouldn't have to worry too much about rebuilding and all that. My 5150s blew out because I had the bumps about an inch below the shock body and they compressed more than I thought. I have another set on right now but looking to replace them with some Kings and sell the 5150s. For the price, get the 5100s and see how you like em. Anything will be better than the OEM stuff on it right now. And 5K!!! wow great find.
    KE5ZSJ
    2012 JKUR - The Build Begins -
    2001 7.3 Excursion - Sold -

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