1997 Suburban

Post Reply
 
User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 18143
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Location: Chazy, NY
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Jr

Post by Rob R. » Sun. Nov. 21, 2021 7:16 am

I thought I would start a thread on my latest project, a 1997 C2500 Suburban. My grandmother bought this brand new and took it to Arizona every winter until 2020 when sadly she passed away. The Suburban sat around for nearly a year and my aunt said if I wanted to come get it I was welcome to it. 168,000 miles, but zero rust. It has been well serviced throughout its life, so I am hopeful to get at least a few more years out of it. It is a nicely optioned LS edition, and the interior is still in very nice shape. In my opinion GM somehow forgot to make a nice bucket seat somewhere after 2007 - these are a nice reminder of what a comfortable seat feels like.

Drivetrain: Vortec 350 up front, 4L80E transmission, and a 14 bolt semi-floater with 4.10 gears and a 42 gallon gas tank in the back. 2 wheel drive with heavy duty cooling.

My initial drive revealed a few issues:

1. No heat. This was cured with a new thermostat.
2. Shocks are definitely worn. I have a new set of KYB's sitting on the bench waiting to go in.
3. Funky smell when using heat. Turned out to be a ton of pine needles in windshield cowling, that was an easy fix.
4. Engine was ~1.5 quarts low on oil when I picked it up. Records show there was ~3,000 miles on the oil change.

Reading back through the service records I saw where each time my grandmother had this serviced prior to her trip out West she requested an oil change, and 2 unopened quarts of oil to be stored in the cargo area. That tells me this has been consuming oil for quite some time. No visible smoke, but after putting about 500 miles on it I can see that it has consumed some oil. Perhaps that is just the nature of this engine with the current mileage, but I replaced the PCV valve and will keep an eye on it.

Headlights on this series are not great compared to what we have today. I replaced the 9006/9005 bulbs with 9012/9011 bulbs. Nice improvement in light output for the same wattage.

Tomorrow it goes to the local dealer for inspection and two snow tires on the rear, and next week it is getting undercoated...but today it is headed to Massena NY for two hockey games.

Attachments

PXL_20211120_205109463.jpg
.JPG | 755.3KB | PXL_20211120_205109463.jpg
PXL_20211120_205047518.jpg
.JPG | 673.6KB | PXL_20211120_205047518.jpg


 
User avatar
D-frost
Member
Posts: 1202
Joined: Sun. Dec. 08, 2013 7:10 am
Location: Southern New Hampshire
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Harman MK ll
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Yukon Eagle I (multi-fuel oil, wood/coal)
Baseburners & Antiques: Herald 'fireside oak'
Coal Size/Type: nut/stove-Blaschak/Lehigh

Post by D-frost » Sun. Nov. 21, 2021 8:06 am

Rob,
I've had 2 '97 GM's. My plow truck was '97 Silverado 3500, 350 Vortec, automatic. Excellent pick-up. 'Road salt' won the battle at 150k miles, and sold it as a yard truck. Still in use today plowing a 1200 ft. driveway.
#2: A '97 GMC 2500, 350 Vortec, automatic. Only issue here was intake manifold gasket blew at 80k miles. I've heard that's the 'weak link' with the early Vortec engine. Never had an issue with either using oil.(oil change every 3300 miles)
Please post an update when you find where the oil is going.
Cheers

 
KLook
Member
Posts: 5792
Joined: Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 1:08 pm
Location: Harrison, Tenn
Other Heating: Wishing it was cold enough for coal here....not really

Post by KLook » Sun. Nov. 21, 2021 8:46 am

It was only driven an average of 7000 miles a year. I would start using a high detergent synthetic oil and maybe some type of crud cutter, seafoam or such in the gas and oil. Might be a stuck ring.
Currently, I am using 1 oz. of TC-W3 2 stroke oil mixed to 5 gal of gasoline(in the tank) and my 6.4 Hemi is running so much better. 101,900 miles. Original spark plugs so far. This is my 4th hemi and it is the quietest one I have had since trying this at 98,000. Some people go down to 2/3rds of an oz. and some go up to 1 1/4 oz. I will be trying this in all my engines instead of Seafoam or MMO. I use mostly MMO in my small engines. In the gas, not the oil. Check your mileage and try a few tanks mixed with it and see what happens. It will not harm anything.

 
User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 18143
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Location: Chazy, NY
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Jr

Post by Rob R. » Sun. Nov. 21, 2021 10:18 am

KLook wrote:
Sun. Nov. 21, 2021 8:46 am
It was only driven an average of 7000 miles a year. I would start using a high detergent synthetic oil and maybe some type of crud cutter, seafoam or such in the gas and oil. Might be a stuck ring.
Currently, I am using 1 oz. of TC-W3 2 stroke oil mixed to 5 gal of gasoline(in the tank) and my 6.4 Hemi is running so much better. 101,900 miles. Original spark plugs so far. This is my 4th hemi and it is the quietest one I have had since trying this at 98,000. Some people go down to 2/3rds of an oz. and some go up to 1 1/4 oz. I will be trying this in all my engines instead of Seafoam or MMO. I use mostly MMO in my small engines. In the gas, not the oil. Check your mileage and try a few tanks mixed with it and see what happens. It will not harm anything.
I had the same thought, and treated the gas and engine oil this morning with this product:. https://www.schaefferoil.com/neutra.html

After driving 90 miles I can already see that the tailpipe is very sooty.

 
KLook
Member
Posts: 5792
Joined: Sun. Feb. 17, 2008 1:08 pm
Location: Harrison, Tenn
Other Heating: Wishing it was cold enough for coal here....not really

Post by KLook » Sun. Nov. 21, 2021 8:14 pm

Yup, many in the Ram forums talk about Schaeffer motor oil. It appears to be very good. This and all additives came up in a high performance forum that went on for 80+ pages about using TC-W3. The bottom line was it does it better and it is stupid cheap. I got a gallon for $20 at Wally world. Non synthetic is preferred. Cheaper.

 
ziggy87
Member
Posts: 312
Joined: Sat. Oct. 25, 2014 11:22 am
Location: Halifax, Pa
Stoker Coal Boiler: axeman anderson 130
Coal Size/Type: Pea

Post by ziggy87 » Sun. Nov. 21, 2021 9:49 pm

That’s a nice looking suburban. My dad had 2 different ones growing up. His last one was an 89 1500. That crank had enough around 160k. One of the best vehicles he ever had. The other one was a 78 2500. I have 2 fond memories of that one. The first being after he rebuilt the motor the distributor was accidentally put in 180 degrees off. It ran but not well. The second being when the 4 wheel drive lever froze and got stuck in 2wd.
How is your fuel mileage? Would probably due a little better if it had 3.73 rear. Those vortec motors are supposed to be good for 250-300k miles. That should be a nice ride for you!
Jason

 
User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 18143
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Location: Chazy, NY
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Jr

Post by Rob R. » Mon. Nov. 22, 2021 7:18 am

I got back late yesterday after a day of hockey games and a fair amount of driving. Filled it with gas and calculated the mileage...12.5 mpg on the first tank. To be fair, it has seen some short trips around home and quite a bit of heavy throttle from me to make the most of that fuel cleaner. I think I can probably squeak 14 mpg out of it, but it is clear it is not an economy rig.


 
User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 18143
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Location: Chazy, NY
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Jr

Post by Rob R. » Mon. Nov. 22, 2021 8:29 am

KLook wrote:
Sun. Nov. 21, 2021 8:14 pm
Yup, many in the Ram forums talk about Schaeffer motor oil.
Their fuel additives, greases, and gear lubricants are excellent. Their engine oil is excellent also, but expensive unless you are buying it in bulk. The Neutra additive in the engine oil appears to be doing some cleaning, I checked the oil this morning and it is quite dark.

I thought about your comment on the low annual mileage. I am probably the first person to drive this rig over 65 mph, and it has certainly never seen any full throttle action. Later this week I will probably take it out on some long roads with no houses and give it a few 2nd gear pulls to the redline, while letting it slow back down without any braking. Goal is to free up the rings.

 
User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 18143
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Location: Chazy, NY
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Jr

Post by Rob R. » Mon. Dec. 06, 2021 10:23 am

Update. I drove 500 miles with the cleaning additive in the oil and drained it this weekend after a 125 mile "hot run" through the Adirondacks. Oil was pretty dark in color, but I did not see anything scary.

Local store was having a black Friday sale on Castrol High Mileage 5w-30, so I bought 7 quarts to have some extra on hand. I had a box of oversize filters left over from my drag racing days, which I kept just in case I ever got back into something with a small block Chevy. :D With the big filter it ended up taking all 7 quarts to reach the full mark.

200 miles yesterday with a load of people and hockey bags. Ran good and snow tires work great.

Attachments

PXL_20211202_165911841.jpg
.JPG | 367.3KB | PXL_20211202_165911841.jpg
PXL_20211127_132152072.jpg
.JPG | 595KB | PXL_20211127_132152072.jpg

 
User avatar
freetown fred
Member
Posts: 30324
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Location: Freetown,NY 13803
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Post by freetown fred » Mon. Dec. 06, 2021 11:29 am

AND---------that's all good news!! :)

 
User avatar
StokerDon
Site Moderator
Posts: 7536
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Location: PA, Southern York County!
Stoker Coal Boiler: Gentleman Janitor GJ-5, Van Wert VA-600, Axeman Anderson130 X3.
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500 reduced down to 3 grates connected to its own plenum
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut and whatever will fit through the door on the Harman
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Post by StokerDon » Mon. Dec. 06, 2021 6:28 pm

Rob R. wrote:
Mon. Dec. 06, 2021 10:23 am
I had a box of oversize filters left over from my drag racing days, which I kept just in case I ever got back into something with a small block Chevy. :D With the big filter it ended up taking all 7 quarts to reach the full mark.
Wow, nice! That motor will never have oil problems now.

-Don

 
User avatar
Hambden Bob
Member
Posts: 8603
Joined: Mon. Jan. 04, 2010 10:54 am
Location: Hambden Twp. Geauga County,Ohio
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman 1998 Magnum Stoker
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Blower Model Coal Chubby 1982-Serial#0097
Coal Size/Type: Rice-A-Roni ! / Nut
Other Heating: Pro-Pain Forced Air

Post by Hambden Bob » Tue. Dec. 07, 2021 6:37 pm

Good To See You Putting Da' "Hockey Hauler" Through It's Paces!! Keep Us Posted!!

 
User avatar
Rob R.
Site Moderator
Posts: 18143
Joined: Fri. Dec. 28, 2007 4:26 pm
Location: Chazy, NY
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Jr

Post by Rob R. » Tue. Dec. 21, 2021 10:34 am

I have not been very impressed with the handling of the Suburban since I got it. It seems to wander quite a bit going down the road. At first I thought it was the tires, but the new tires I put on did not make any difference. I checked the front end out and can't see any play in anything.
At a hockey game I told a friend about the handling issue, who happens to be the service manager at the local Chevy dealership. He said he would call me if they had an opening for an alignment this week. Yesterday he called and said they found the attached service bulletin which recommends new alignment specs, and said they will take care of it this Thursday.

The best part is that he is picking it up at my house and will drop it off when completed. Hopefully they get it dialed in.

Attachments

IMG_20211221_102927.jpg
.JPG | 173.4KB | IMG_20211221_102927.jpg

 
User avatar
StokerDon
Site Moderator
Posts: 7536
Joined: Mon. Nov. 11, 2013 11:17 am
Location: PA, Southern York County!
Stoker Coal Boiler: Gentleman Janitor GJ-5, Van Wert VA-600, Axeman Anderson130 X3.
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Harman SF3500 reduced down to 3 grates connected to its own plenum
Coal Size/Type: Rice, Chestnut and whatever will fit through the door on the Harman
Other Heating: Noth'in but COAL! Well, Maybe a little tiny bit of wood

Post by StokerDon » Tue. Dec. 21, 2021 6:55 pm

Rob R. wrote:
Tue. Dec. 21, 2021 10:34 am
The best part is that he is picking it up at my house and will drop it off when completed. Hopefully they get it dialed in.
Wow! Merry Christmas!

That's pretty good service for a Chevy dealer.

-Don

 
User avatar
freetown fred
Member
Posts: 30324
Joined: Thu. Dec. 31, 2009 12:33 pm
Location: Freetown,NY 13803
Hand Fed Coal Stove: HITZER 50-93
Coal Size/Type: BLASCHAK Nut

Post by freetown fred » Tue. Dec. 21, 2021 7:47 pm

Lets see--friend---service manager---don't figure!!!! LOL


Post Reply

Return to “Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles & Aviation”