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Old September 20th, 2007, 09:33 AM   #1
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Cool 1987 "wanna-be K30" Suburban tow-rig build

That's right - I'm actually going to build something.


My XJ has been doing parts-hauling duty for some time now that I sold my big trailer. The little utility trailer has made transporting stuff with the XJ cheaper and easier, but I can't move whole vehicles with the XJ and it sways a lot under heavy load now that its lifted so much. I'm also getting tired of being paranoid about getting dirt and grease on other vehicles when using them to transport with the trailer. The trailer also has a lot of cracked welds that just keep cracking when repaired. It was meant to carry a single small JetSki and I sometimes put 1000lbs of axles on it. :tonka:

So, I've come up with something that I think is a better overall solution that I should be able to build for what I can sell the XJ for (including the price of the vehicle).

I'm going to start with this. Its functional the way it is, but has stock (3.08 or 3.42) gearing on 33's. The truck came from New Mexico originally and its very clean for its age. It was owned by ChevotaSS for a while, but all the things Nick did to it have since been fixed :tonka: . The current owner is a GM mechanic that does nice work.






Its currently lifted 4" and will stay there. There is no obvious hackish-ness in the lift, other than blocks in the rear which are merely less desireable. They aren't stacked up or anything. The 14" wide Mickey's will come off and be sold in favor of polished H2's and some 33's or 285's. The axles are fine, but will also go (probably quickly to Chevy guys on GotMud).

Thanks to some 1-stop shopping with LT1YJ, it will receive:
  • 98 Vortec 454.
  • 99 4L80E, probably done by KillerB.
  • 87 D60 front with Ford outers (dual-piston brakes), 4.10's.
  • 14b SRW rear from a K30 with a gov-lok, 4.10's, maybe discs. There is a chance it may receive a newer AAM 1050 rear that already has discs and a parking brake, but that would be less of a bolt-in since that axle is not from the same generation as the vehicle.
  • Undecided on the transfer case.
  • Possibly a new hitch setup or a new rear bumper that includes one.
  • A real roof rack.

Awesome mileage isn't expected, but it should do better than the 350 that's pushing it around now and it should be able to pull my Ram around. (If I have something that can pull the Ram, I can buy aggressive tires and beadlocks for the Ram and take it somewhere.) Nick reported 11mpg at 65mph on a trip to Florida not towing anything, so that's the number to beat.

The nice part is that most things that I throw on the little trailer will actually fit inside the Suburban and I don't have to worry about rain or leaving things on a trailer in an unsecured manner, like in a parking lot when I stop for food, etc. I also won't be as worried about it getting dirty inside or out.

I expect to have the vehicle next week and the 14b will probably be swapped in fairly quickly (since its basically a bolt-in).
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Old September 20th, 2007, 11:51 AM   #2
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Nice ride Mark
I've always like the older style burban's. Keep us posted.

Last edited by mrclean; September 20th, 2007 at 12:22 PM. Reason: didn't know that Spro = pud pounder
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Old September 20th, 2007, 12:19 PM   #3
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I bet this is parted out before it's finished.

The worst part is that it runs/drives now
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Old September 20th, 2007, 12:34 PM   #4
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I bet this is parted out before it's finished

My name is not Strangler, Hosejockey, or Hacksaw.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 12:57 PM   #5
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Trade for a cj-7?
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Old September 20th, 2007, 01:09 PM   #6
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Trade for a cj-7?
Why, need a new place to live?

I don't think so. Its going to be useful to me from a functional perspective. If I sell it, it wouldn't be until after the new drivetrain goes in.

BTW, if you are going to be looking for another place, check out my other house I'm selling. Big heated garage for you to work in. I'll deal.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 01:16 PM   #7
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Why, need a new place to live?

I don't think so. Its going to be useful to me from a functional perspective. If I sell it, it wouldn't be until after the new drivetrain goes in.

BTW, if you are going to be looking for another place, check out my other house I'm selling. Big heated garage for you to work in. I'll deal.
Thankx for the concern... But i am kicking around selling the jeep or parting it out.. (except for the axles, I kinda owe them to someone.)
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Old September 20th, 2007, 01:17 PM   #8
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how many fifths of everclear can you fit in that thing?
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Old September 20th, 2007, 01:33 PM   #9
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how many fifths of everclear can you fit in that thing?
More than 13. That's all they had at the time.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 01:34 PM   #10
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Thankx for the concern... But i am kicking around selling the jeep or parting it out.. (except for the axles, I kinda owe them to someone.)
Put it back together first! :miff:
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Old September 20th, 2007, 01:45 PM   #11
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Put it back together first! :miff:
Would if I had parts...
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Old September 20th, 2007, 02:14 PM   #12
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why not sell the burban, sell all the parts to swap, and just buy a 3/4 ton diesel burban?
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Old September 20th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shredder70 View Post
Would if I had parts...
I ordered the bronze bushing from Bulltear yesterday.


Quote:
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why not sell the burban, sell all the parts to swap, and just buy a 3/4 ton diesel burban?
Go to New Mexico and find me a nice, clean diesel Suburban. It'll probably cost more than this vehicle + all the parts I'm buying.


Besides, I'm buying a package deal that includes parts I convieniently needed for the Ram, too.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 02:21 PM   #14
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ok, then what is the over/under for this being completed prior to Pig Gig 08?

Or is it a build race betwen Leanz's Jeep and your tow rig?
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Old September 20th, 2007, 02:30 PM   #15
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ok, then what is the over/under for this being completed prior to Pig Gig 08?

Or is it a build race betwen Leanz's Jeep and your tow rig?
At the rate that things are leaving my garage, I'm estimating maybe year's end. The axles will be in it sooner than the rest since they are much easier to install. Don't even have to drop springs. Won't have the front for a few weeks, though.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #16
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i miss my burban. when you get it done ill trade you for my 96 3/4 ton chevy deisel.
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Old September 20th, 2007, 03:17 PM   #17
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Nice!!
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Old September 20th, 2007, 03:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones View Post
why not sell the burban, sell all the parts to swap, and just buy a 3/4 ton diesel burban?
Billy Bones, always bringin the sense.


So is that an MJsticker?


Sounds like it will be a nice tow rig, have fun!
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 07:27 AM   #19
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those pics are from when i owned that burban like 4 years ago. haha
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Old September 22nd, 2007, 08:10 AM   #20
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those pics are from when i owned that burban like 4 years ago. haha
You're right. That gay MJ sticker is gone now.
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