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Chevy Suburban question mreddie Vehicles & Transportation 4 12-30-2016 12:19 PM

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Old 01-01-2017, 07:56 PM
falconbrother falconbrother is offline
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Default 2000 Chevy 1500 Suburban 4x4



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I have talked with the dealer and will probably buy a 2000 Chevrolet Suburban 1500, 4x4, 5.3 V8. Looking for any comments from experience on this vehicle.

The history, or so I was told is: The vehicle shows 219,000 on the odometer. The dealer said that he bought it from a junk yard with a blown engine. He found a 5.3 with 40,000 miles on it at a junk yard and had the engines swapped out. The truck is clean, no damage, no rust, brand new tires, runs smooth and quiet. It has the 4x2, AWD, 4x4 hi and 4x4 low. I looked it over fairly well. The exhaust manifold bolts are brand new so, I believe the story about swapping the engine out. He told me that the mechanic that installed the engine said the transmission was "perfect". The truck has leather interior and the drivers seat has been reupholstered so, the leather looks good. The front and rear air/heat seems to work fine. A Reese hitch was added. I want to use this vehicle to tow a travel trailer.

The dealer says that he was told that the previous owner was a lady with a handicapped child. Nothing else is known about why the engine was blown.

The price seems reasonable and competitive with other similar vehicles. It's a good looking Suburban.

Any experience with these vehicles?
Old 01-01-2017, 08:10 PM
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The 5.3L might be underpowered depending on the size and weight of your trailer. The vehicles themselves aren't bad. Just remember the odometer reading. Just because the engine is newer...doesn't mean other issues aren't possible. I'd take it somewhere for a once-over by a qualified technician. Might be $ well spent. Just a comparison.....the mileage is the equivalent of being driven around the planet almost 9 times!
On a side note.....the distance from the Earth to the moon is approx.239,000 miles
Old 01-01-2017, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by falconbrother View Post

The price seems reasonable and competitive with other similar vehicles. It's a good looking Suburban.

Any experience with these vehicles?
So why would you buy one with a questionable history, known issues, and several unknowns (motor, labor, etc)?

I have a 2000 Era 2500 4x4:
Great truck, would buy it again.

What you described..... i'd get a 2500 with original parts.
Note: I've driven mine from 33k-118k
 
Old 01-01-2017, 08:42 PM
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the NP246 transfer case (4-button) is questionable, based on my experience. I've replaced several of them for customers, as well as replaced encoder motors (run the shifting of the t/c) and encoder rings (inside encoder motor, tells TCM (transfer case module) what gear t/c is in), as well as a couple of the TCM's themselves.
Relatively easy to change them (less than 3 hours using my lift), but expensive. I think the last one I put in was around $600 as a used unit. Diagnosing the TCM, Encoder ring, or encoder motor requires a scanner most hobby-level people won't have access to.
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Old 01-01-2017, 09:04 PM
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I have a 2000 Chevy Tahoe 1500 4x4. It breaks often but parts are cheap as hell.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:52 PM
falconbrother falconbrother is offline
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I bought the Suburban. I shopped around and couldn't beat the price. I'm working long days so, I sent my wife to drive it and see what she thought. She tried out the 4x4 on a dirt road and it's been raining for a couple of days. It runs out smooth, brand new tires, front brakes and the low mileage engine. No way I can swing a 2500, 4x4 at twice the price right now. I did see some cheap 2500s with the diesel engine but, people were saying that the GM diesel of that era was not good.

Anyway, for better or worse I now own a 1500, 5.3 liter, 4x4 Suburban. My wife drove it and I asked her what she thought. She said "It drives like a truck". I think she's right.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomad, 2nd View Post
So why would you buy one with a questionable history, known issues, and several unknowns (motor, labor, etc)?

I have a 2000 Era 2500 4x4:
Great truck, would buy it again.

What you described..... i'd get a 2500 with original parts.
Note: I've driven mine from 33k-118k
Good point...and good advice....
Most none standard and/or rebuild smay have their issues...
I one does the work himself....make more sense.

Much would depend on price....would have to be a good one.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:46 AM
Bajatacoma Bajatacoma is offline
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Double check all of your steering components as well. Hopefully the radiators were flushed when the engine was replaced; if you aren't sure I'd have it done. Replace any hoses that are suspect as well including brake lines. I'd also consider a trannie cooler depending on what's currently in the truck. I wouldn't plan on doing a lot of heavy towing with that powertrain but for light duty use within spec you should be perfectly fine; just be mindful of the weight limits.

I always thought the suspension was weak on those trucks i.e. they all seem to have a lot of body roll to me, and most of them seem to have a goofy rake to them. I'd do what my brother did to a similar model Tahoe that he had- add a leveling kit (torsion keys) to bring the front up about 2" and some new, heavier coils in the back. In most cities with a lot of trucks running around there is usually at least one suspension place that rebuilds leaf packs, makes coil springs, etc. Often they specialize in heavy trucks but also do passenger vehicles. If not give Deaver or Alcon, or one of those a call. You'll need slightly longer shocks as well. Basically, his truck looked like what it should have from the factory instead of looking like the 2wd grocery getter. It was up like the Z71 version but nothing obtrusive and he could still run the factory wheels if he wanted or go up a size. It rode a whole lot better and was more stable when towing an enclosed utility trailer as well. Total cost with him doing most of the work was under a grand I think. If you go up 4 or 6” you’ll spend a lot more, end up putting more stress on the truck, probably needing to regear, etc.

Oh, and be sure to occasionally lube the locks and the window mechanisms, they seem to go out as well.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John_Auberry View Post
I have a 2000 Chevy Tahoe 1500 4x4. It breaks often but parts are cheap as hell.
LOL Tahoe broke again today.....though of this thread. Lost brakes coming home. Busted rear brake cylinder. Looks like 10$ to fix.
Old 01-04-2017, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbydood View Post
the NP246 transfer case (4-button) is questionable, based on my experience. I've replaced several of them for customers, as well as replaced encoder motors (run the shifting of the t/c) and encoder rings (inside encoder motor, tells TCM (transfer case module) what gear t/c is in), as well as a couple of the TCM's themselves.
Relatively easy to change them (less than 3 hours using my lift), but expensive. I think the last one I put in was around $600 as a used unit. Diagnosing the TCM, Encoder ring, or encoder motor requires a scanner most hobby-level people won't have access to.
I'm a GM head so I like these trucks BUT,

The ONLY way I would run that push button jazz would be to yank it out and go with the floor lever set up and x-fer case out of a salvage truck.

I went through hell fixing mine and others, to be rewarded with pain and an empty wallet.

Also,
buy a spare front axle actuator and leave it in the glove box;
both early and late style actuators fail when you need them most.
The good news is all you need is channel locks and needle nose pliers to swap it out.

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Old 01-04-2017, 03:24 PM
TacticalFarmer TacticalFarmer is offline
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Very durable vehicle. I have a 2001 suburban with the 5.3 as well. 260k miles on it. All it does is tow a 10x20 trailer stacked full of wood 3.5' high. Tows a 17' fiberglass runabout, and a 32' long camper. Still has the original transmission, engine, steering components, brake calipers, suspension components, driveshaft. Never had a major failure with that truck. Keep the oil topped off and they won't let you down.

Check the thing out for rust. The brakelines will rust through in areas like mine with heavy salt and moisture exposure. Also, be gentle with the transmission. That transmission will probably be the vehicle's weak point with that many miles.

If the transmission eventually goes, I'd replace it and keep the vehicle.

KEEP THE OIL TOPPED OFF AND IT WON'T LET YOU DOWN. Those 5.3s can burn a little bit of oil. Mine consumes about 1.5 quarts every 4,000 miles of mobil 1 10w30 synthetic, and that is with hardly ever flooring the throttle wide open.
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Old 01-05-2017, 08:15 AM
cheepsk8 cheepsk8 is offline
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Another add to the keep it full of oil! Our 2005 Tahoe has 225k miles on it. We rarely pull with it. It doesn't like big heavy stuff.
Old 01-05-2017, 01:09 PM
falconbrother falconbrother is offline
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I have noticed that the big, fuel injected, American V8s of this era use oil. Doesn't concern me. I'm a big fluid checker. I blew up my dad's 1973 VW back in like, 1979 because neither of us checked the oil. When I worked for a city we drove fleet vehicles. More vehicles blew up than should have due to not checking the oil. The Ford Crown Vic police cars would seriously use oil. I'll bet that they would use 4 quarts in 4000 miles. Granted, there's lots of hours of idling and people standing on the gas pedals throughout the day. When a police car says 100,000 on the ODO it really means 300,000.
Old 01-06-2017, 06:21 AM
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We had a 2003 1500 with the 5.3 and it was trouble free the whole time we owned it. Great in snow, decent highway mileage and dead on dependable.
Old 01-06-2017, 02:14 PM
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I put the burb up on jack stands last night and crawled all over it and changed fluids and filters. There's no rust under there. The only thing I found that I need at address is the parking brake needs adjustment/new brake shoes. I did find out that Dex Trak II and Dextron VI are the same thing. Lots of pretty serious steel under there (compared to my Honda CRV 4x4) LOL..
Old 01-08-2017, 09:37 AM
bighanded bighanded is offline
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the Chevy 327ci is a hard working motor.
closest I can come to compare was my 2004 silverado king cab...I mention this only to say that we pulled a 26ft heavy travel travel trailer with it...now climbing the mountains we were in the right lane chugging at 35 along with the big motorhomes and semi trucks... and you definitely knew the camper was hanging on your bumper..but it held level on the tongue and pulled just fine.
a Suby is definitely heavier and then you're also asking it to do some 4x4...and i'd sure prefer their 6.x larger block..but nothing shabby about the 327.

congrats on the new acquisition!
Old 01-08-2017, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodzman View Post
I'm a GM head so I like these trucks BUT,

The ONLY way I would run that push button jazz would be to yank it out and go with the floor lever set up and x-fer case out of a salvage truck.

I went through hell fixing mine and others, to be rewarded with pain and an empty wallet.

Also,
buy a spare front axle actuator and leave it in the glove box;
both early and late style actuators fail when you need them most.
The good news is all you need is channel locks and needle nose pliers to swap it out.

I agree with you on the push button, HOWEVER, good luck finding a TC in the yard.

Took me a couple of years to find my 99 Chevy with the lever on the floor, interestingly enough, a buddy of mine ended up selling it after he had it down for 3 weeks trying to find a TC ( chain finally broke and exploded it ). I think he ended up getting one off car-part from another state, those NP261 cases are definitely not common anymore.

Seems like everyone wants to push a stinking button rather than pull a lever......
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:43 PM
falconbrother falconbrother is offline
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I have crawled all over this burb. We live in a relatively low salt/low corrosion area so, not much rust to speak of. The snows gave me a chance to really work out the 4x4. It worked perfectly in all ranges and AWD. The parking brake shoes need to be replaced and I'll do that this week. Otherwise I pretty pleased. For what we do I think it will be great.

As far as towing up mountains, we have an old motorhome, 28 foot, with the GM 454 and turbo 400 transmission, class A. If I'm not pulling my CRV I can run up Black Mountain at 65MPH. When towing the CRV I tend to stay in the right lane with the semi trucks. I suppose I could push the gas a little harder and run up the mountain but, the transmission likes me not too.

Anyway, I don't mind easing up the mountain. The 5.3 will do fine for me I'm sure in that arena. I'm looking to stay around 5,500 weight for a travel trailer, or at least under 6000. The weight rating now is like, 7200. I can boost that to 8000 with a couple of simple mods (suspension and bigger transmission cooler).
Old 01-11-2017, 02:55 PM
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While I think about it..

Which line is the return line to the transmission from the radiator on the 2000 Chevy 5.3 with the 4L60e transmission? I can figure it out but, it's messy.
Old 01-11-2017, 03:11 PM
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My first stop would be a trusted technician to get a suspension check. Find out how much wear is in the wheel bearings, ball joints, shocks, tie rods, basically anything underneath the truck. Some things may have been replaced already, others may be on the verge of it. Get a good estimate of the needed replacement parts and an estimate on how long before any repairs are needed. If you have to pay for a wheel alignment, so be it. A lot can be gleaned from finding out how much it takes to get everything in alignment or if it is even possible.
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