Survivalist Forum banner
1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking around at all sorts of BOV options and I'd like a little advice. I have considered Jeep Wrangler, Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford Bronco, Chevy Blazer, etc. I have decided I'd really like something that I can work on myself. I don't know much about engines, but I can learn. I'm thinking this could be a fun project I could learn with. Pretty much anything with fancy computers and gadgets would be out of my league, so it's got to be older with a simple engine I can learn on. I really want something that has 4 doors, so that's why I ruled out the Wrangler, Bronco and Blazer.

I came across some info on the mid 80s Suburbans with the diesel engines. Apparently, they get really good mileage. I've read they can get up to 20 mpg on the highway. Same would go for the Blazer with the diesel engine. The 4wd model gets a little less miles per gallon, but that's a fair trade, I think. So, here's the rub. They're diesel engines, and they're automatic transmission. Seems like a really steep learning curve going diesel and auto. I've got some friends who really know cars, and I'm sure they will help me out, but is something like that going to be a whole different ball game that we won't know how to play?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
49 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, that's pretty much what I thought, they really seem to be awesome! If I were single or didn't have a family, the Blazer might be my choice. The Blazer, like the M1009 is the same thing as the Suburban, just shorter. But I have family, dogs, etc. I would need the larger vehicle with 4 doors. I have also read that these vehicles have pretty amazing towing capacity, but nobody really seems to know what it's rated at. Any ideas on that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,760 Posts
You're being smart going diesel. Diesel fuel can be stored under ideal conditions for over 40 years.

FYI, just because someone may know alot about cars and gas burners does not mean they know a thing about diesels. Join one of the chevy forums and learn up as much as you can. I only know soo much about International IDI and powerstrokes, and Cummins B series engines. I dont know a thing about the Detroit Diesels that come in those SUVs, let alone anything about an Isuzu/Duramax engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,201 Posts
Our '84 Suburban with a 6.2 would average 20 mpg. The new diesels can be a mechanics nightmare. I really like the 6.2 except for pulling heavy trailers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,760 Posts
Our '84 Suburban with a 6.2 would average 20 mpg. The new diesels can be a mechanics nightmare. I really like the 6.2 except for pulling heavy trailers.
Kinda like the 6.0 Ford/International powerstroke diesel....... I love those 7.3s though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
163 Posts
I have a 98 2500 with the 350. It gets decent gas milage and is simple to work on. Its got 180k onnit, but runs and drives like a new truck. I have the GMC version. contrary to popular belief they are no "tougher" than the chevy, as they are built on the same assembly line, but it has less options no power windows, no cruise ect. I wanted this as it makes electrical problems easier to diagnose. last year i replaced the starte and alternator. each took about 20 mins, and each cost less than 60 bucks out the door at Advance auto parts. I wanted a diesal, but I am very happy with the 350.
 

·
Thread Ender
Joined
·
265 Posts
A popular thing to do is get an old truck or SUV and swap out a 4BT Cummins diesel engine. It is a 4 cylinder Cummins commonly found in delivery trucks. Do all the research and install it yourself. In the process you will know the engine from top to bottom should the need arise to fix something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
My 1990 Suburban is a 3/4 ton V1500 with 350v8tbi and TH700R4.

The numbers I keep seeing popping up by people that actually owned Burbs and towed with them is 7,000 to 9,000lb trailer.

This is with a 3/4 ton suspension (6 lug) and 3.73 gears.
 

·
Standing by to stand by
Joined
·
528 Posts
My 1990 Suburban is a 3/4 ton V1500 with 350v8tbi and TH700R4.

The numbers I keep seeing popping up by people that actually owned Burbs and towed with them is 7,000 to 9,000lb trailer.

This is with a 3/4 ton suspension (6 lug) and 3.73 gears.
I don't know a whole lot about these older Suburbans, but that number seems sorta low for a 3/4 ton. My '11 F-150 5.0 with 3.73 gears tows 9,700 and the Ecoboost with 3.73 gears can tow 11,300 lbs. And that's with a twin turbo V6!!

Perhaps the Suburban has a lower limit due to the added weight on the rear axle?
 

·
Improvise Adapt Overcome!
Joined
·
12,005 Posts
I have a 98 2500 with the 350. It gets decent gas milage and is simple to work on. Its got 180k onnit, but runs and drives like a new truck. I have the GMC version. contrary to popular belief they are no "tougher" than the chevy, as they are built on the same assembly line, but it has less options no power windows, no cruise ect. I wanted this as it makes electrical problems easier to diagnose. last year i replaced the starte and alternator. each took about 20 mins, and each cost less than 60 bucks out the door at Advance auto parts. I wanted a diesal, but I am very happy with the 350.
My 99 is also a GMC. It's fully loaded plus some. I have a 2500, so it sits higher from the factory. With a set of 33" mud kings I can drive over snow pile as tall as the roof.
 

·
Learning
Joined
·
6,729 Posts
I have a 1998 diesel 3/4 ton 4x4 sub, I get 19 mpg...but I should break 20 after a few mods. 4.10 gears, 8 bolt axle.

You can swap in a DB2 IP (mechanical) on these newer trucks, but definately a 6.2 non-turbo diesel from the 80's is easier to work on. (Ask me how I know! I did a full engine swap recently).

I like the body style on the 80's subs, but the comfort in the 90's trucks is infinitely better! The premier forum to talk about these engines is the dieselplace...all they talk about is GM diesels.
 

·
Learning
Joined
·
6,729 Posts
Also, lots of parts available for these trucks and everything almost is interchangable from the 80's to the 90's engines.

I took out my cracked bad block 6.5 engine and put in an 89 6.2 hummer engine; my truck is sweet!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Up until a few years ago a 1970 C/10 3-door Suburban was my daily driver. It was a retired HWY Dept. truck with a 350, 3 on the tree, roof rack, KC lights, and a limited slip rearend. I drove that thing just about anywhere and I could fit all my junk in the back, but it was only a 2 wheel drive model with some limitations. That old style Suburban seemed to have a lot more interior room than the newer models for some reason. I say get one!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,581 Posts
I've owned Suburban for decades find them to be tough dependable trucks.

The only problem I ever had that is a deal breaker is they are bit to long when you go off road over dips and washboards. Hang one up and you're in a ton of work to free it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
The early , 82 to 91 6.2 suburbans are tough simple trucks, but the 6.2 is pretty lazy when it comes to towing, and the GCW(gross combination rate) is lower than a same series pick up because of the rear over hang being longer. the next series are better trucks except for silly crap like poor door handle design (they break) and electronics complications.
If you buy a 6.2/ 6.5 GM/Detroit engine check the condition of the harmonic balancer(damper). a bad one leads to a broken crankshaft. And DO NOT idle any diesel excessively (more than cool down)
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top