(Another) Forest Living Suburban Build Thread

Bret+famx7

New member
I'm stopping in monthly or so and reminding you I'm vicariously living through you and pretending my stock Burb is a lifted long travel beast ... I can only hold out for so long to hear about the progress! Hope it's working for you!
 

Burb One

Adventurer
I'm stopping in monthly or so and reminding you I'm vicariously living through you and pretending my stock Burb is a lifted long travel beast ... I can only hold out for so long to hear about the progress! Hope it's working for you!
Hey Bret!

Well... Inaugural trip went.... not great.

Got 30 miles and ended up on a flat bed.

4L60e completely failed within 2 miles of showing symptoms of slipping. Usually they let you know a few hundred miles before stranding but not this time.

Good news is before that, I drove the truck all around town, hit every speed bump I could and, got it up to freeway speeds. Any bumps at speed are just unnoticeable and the truck tracks straight on the freeway. It truly feels unstoppable and I can't wait to get it out on a trail.

I have a built 4L80e on order and will be finding a Lq9 to dump in there!

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I still need cvs, limit straps and bump stops for the front. I want to get a few test trips in before going for the cvs incase I need to change anything.
 

Burb One

Adventurer
Heck yeah! Thanks for the response. I'm not sure if I'll go as far as you have, but man that looks like it'll be fun when it's done! I'll have to wait and see how many kids are still living at home by the time that decision will be made :LOL:

Are you going to run flares or fiberglass up front or run it as is?

And as far as the 6" RC lift and you saying it's more or less a 4" and level it up if you want the full 6" ... do you happen to know how much the lift springs lift the rear? I still have little kids and a crazy short wife and while she loved my Ram, she hated how high it sat. In my head if it's close to 4" and I put some 34ish tires it shouldn't be too awful tall(probably pretty close to the Ram was I think) and it'd give me the option to go bigger later on with minimal headache if the going gets a little tougher.
Lol!!

The RC lift drops the front diff ~5.5 inches and you can adjust up and down from there via torsion bar or coilover with ideal range beating around that 5-6 inch mark imo for CV angles.. The rear RC springs will lift the rear 5-6 inches depending on how much weight is back there. The truck with the six inch lift and 34's I'd imagine is very similar to a 2" lifted 2500 ram. Before the 35's the suburban only seemed slightly higher than my gmt800 3500 dually.
 

Bret+famx7

New member
Lol!!

The RC lift drops the front diff ~5.5 inches and you can adjust up and down from there via torsion bar or coilover with ideal range beating around that 5-6 inch mark imo for CV angles.. The rear RC springs will lift the rear 5-6 inches depending on how much weight is back there. The truck with the six inch lift and 34's I'd imagine is very similar to a 2" lifted 2500 ram. Before the 35's the suburban only seemed slightly higher than my gmt800 3500 dually.
Dang! What a bummer! I have a build plan for mine and the 1st thing I'm doing is finding a cheap 5.3 to tear down and rebuild( went to school for engine rebuilding and have never had the opportunity to complete a build so a cheap LS is the perfect one to start ... 13 years after I finished school lol) and either finding and building a 4L60E or start piecing the swap parts for the 4L80. I have a question on that, if swapping to the 14 bolt in the rear and the 4L80E at the same time would I just need a 3/4 ton Suburban driveshaft? But I want to know this thing drivetrain wise is stout and I don't have to worry about it. Do some small stuff the the 5.3 to bump power a bit and it should do just fine for another 250k. I'm hoping to get this thing leveled and 5100s all around and some tires before winter gets here(the race is on!) This engine doesn't really make noise aside from some lifter noise at startup but it needs that oil sump o-ring replaced and I'm not sure how long it needed it before I got it(didn't have issues with oil pressure or noise the 3 times I test drove it but the 1st night I drove it to work a week later it started tapping louder than the tires of the semi I was riding next to on the highway and I about had a heart attack hearing it. Tires are shot so they're priority and I'm not throwing stock size on there so those things will happen in a few weeks and then I'll start on the rest.

Hope you get that thing road worthy and back out! Looking forward to seeing it out there! Digging those wheels on it too!
 

Burb One

Adventurer
Dang! What a bummer! I have a build plan for mine and the 1st thing I'm doing is finding a cheap 5.3 to tear down and rebuild( went to school for engine rebuilding and have never had the opportunity to complete a build so a cheap LS is the perfect one to start ... 13 years after I finished school lol) and either finding and building a 4L60E or start piecing the swap parts for the 4L80. I have a question on that, if swapping to the 14 bolt in the rear and the 4L80E at the same time would I just need a 3/4 ton Suburban driveshaft? But I want to know this thing drivetrain wise is stout and I don't have to worry about it. Do some small stuff the the 5.3 to bump power a bit and it should do just fine for another 250k. I'm hoping to get this thing leveled and 5100s all around and some tires before winter gets here(the race is on!) This engine doesn't really make noise aside from some lifter noise at startup but it needs that oil sump o-ring replaced and I'm not sure how long it needed it before I got it(didn't have issues with oil pressure or noise the 3 times I test drove it but the 1st night I drove it to work a week later it started tapping louder than the tires of the semi I was riding next to on the highway and I about had a heart attack hearing it. Tires are shot so they're priority and I'm not throwing stock size on there so those things will happen in a few weeks and then I'll start on the rest.

Hope you get that thing road worthy and back out! Looking forward to seeing it out there! Digging those wheels on it too!
With the 4L60E with the "upgraded parts" and a huge cooler now going out after <100k miles... I'm inclined to say just get a 4L80E or 4l65E (4L65 has 5 planetaries which really helps it seems). You can find them cheap enough (same price as rebuild pretty much) and they are MUCH stronger. I can see the argument of weight/ parasitic loss against the 4l80E vs a 4L65E. What scared me this time was my previous 4l60E gave me 100's-1000's of miles of slipping before failure. THis one stranded me in 2 miles of symptoms. Don't like that off road...

Re: Driveshaft. I'm not sure. I know the frames are different, but I'll keep you updated! One thing to watch out for on buying a new(or new to you) transmission is the 4L's have different tail housings for 4x4 and4x2. It takes almost a rebuild to replace it- so make sure you ge the 4x4 if you ever replace.

Sounds like a great plan!! Burb Three is on 5100's and they really are a great shock!! You won't be disappointed. Further if you are looking at tires I can't recommend the Falken AT3 in 10 ply (load range E) enough. They are by far the best all arounder I've ever had (search here some of us have had discussions). I was debating the 5.3 rebuild but I don't have any time anymore and in CA it's hard to modify the internals of the engine to stay smog legal, but putting in a 6.0 is.. go figure. If I was in a different state I would highly consider that plan!

Thanks on the wheels- they are actually spares!!!Super cheap and will hold me over until the35's go out and then I will go to37' with a nicer rim with hopefully beadlocks! I've been looking at the Gen 1 raptor wheels that have factory beadlocks to stay DOT legal.
 

Burb One

Adventurer
Any new updates?
Some progress... Though off the truck. Work has been slammed and transmission timing has made timing not critical... Things are coming together though


A few weeks ago:
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I got my hands on a 80k lq9. Dropped in a cam and other goodies. Should be around 400whp. Going to get it dry ice blasted and paint it a dark blue next weekend.

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I'm waiting on the transmission (built 4L80e).... Its enroute so should be soon....

Got a bunch of other goodies too(remote reservoir powersteering, changing all lines to an fittings... the works)
 

Bret+famx7

New member
Glad you're making some progress! My progress came to a grinding halt with temporarily losing my job but I'm back at it now and will hopefully be ordering my first 'fun' parts in a few weeks.
 

Burb One

Adventurer
@Bret+famx7 glad to hear you're back on track! What's your next steps?

Engine and transmission are in. Just redoing the old stock corrugated wiring with sheathing and replacing all hoses with stainless wrapped and AN fittings.

Also need to figure out driveshaft lengths. End is in sight to be running again!


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Bret+famx7

New member
I ended up getting a set of stock 17s from a friend with a little tread left so I've been running those but I should be ordering tires, Moog HD springs, some keys and 5100s in the next week or so. I was really hoping those AT3s came in a 295/75-16 but I think the smaller 285s are probably a safer bet on my stock high mileage drivetrain. The Terra Grapplers are another consideration. Had those on my old Durango and didn't have any complaints. That will be the setup for now until I get the rest of it up to standards. I've had a few ideas on bumpers and I'm trying to draw them out but I'm not the best at it yet. Hands can't translate what my brain is seeing lol. How was it pulling the motor? I've pulled a few KA24Es out of my old 240SXs but those are pretty dang easy.
 

Bret+famx7

New member
@Burb One Well ... I'm genuinely curious about the front suspension now as I did 3" keys and 5100s in the front and was extremely disappointed to find that even though my drivers side adjustment bolt is maxed out I only got barely level with Moog HDs in the back. My bars must be toast. I had a feeling I should have just held off for coilovers. CV angles are still great though so I guess there's good and bad from not being able to go so high. Snapchat-735133308.jpg
 
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Burb One

Adventurer
@Burb One Well ... I'm genuinely curious about the front suspension now as I did 3" keys and 5100s in the front and was extremely disappointed to find that even though my drivers side adjustment bolt is maxed out I only got barely level with Moog HDs in the back. My bars must be toast. I had a feeling I should have just held off for coilovers. CV angles are still great though so I guess there's good and bad from not being able to go so high. View attachment 730553
I'd bet torsion bars too. Mini Burb (Blazer) had the same issues with the torsion bars. He ended up buying new ones and it solved everything and the ride felt much better.
 

Burb One

Adventurer
As an update on Burb One....

Everything is done except waiting on the transmission now for 2 months. I went with a very reputable builder but had some problems with reverse.... Not fun to have the truck sitting for this long after getting everything going... o well.

Went overboard on the power steering setup with a PSC pump and oversized reservoir with filter, etc. I also replaced all the lines on the engine (coolant, transmission and, power steering and oil) with AN fittings. I need to get pictures, but I mean every fitting, including all the pesky coolant ones. It was a process finding the right adapters, etc., but it turned out really clean.

Rear and front driveshafts are in. With the 4l80e and the 2500 front dif.... stock front driveshaft fit. I got a custom made thick wall rear driveshaft with 1350's at each end. It's like x2 the weight of the stock one, but it was worth it because I've dinged it a few times and nice just to have the one sized u joints. Probably a measurable mpg ding though

Still waiting on front RCV axles, don't don't expect those until next year LOL

Before the reverse problem was apparent, I drove the truck around town and on the freeway and wow the 6.0 with the engine work makes a huge difference... truck pulls like a freight train from 40 to speed limit+ where it used to be somewhat of a dog... the new engine is much more rev happy than I would have thought 4k to redline really screams. I dare say the truck feels fast now?

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