Dirtdobber's 03 Suburban 1500

dirtdobberoffroad

Well-known member
Hello all, I left expo for a while but now I'm back. I picked up a 2003 suburban LT last August from an old fella for cheap, I was needing something to get me to and from my fishing spots and the wife was tired of me tearing the valance off the minivan, I was planning on starting the build then but I suffered a stroke, I am now back to normal and now thinking about the build again.

2003 suburban LT
fully loaded
flex fuel
g80 that still works
265 Cooper AT3s OEM 16" wheels

so far all I've done to it has been valve cover gaskets, the previous owner replaced both front bearings, cv axles, water pump. I have the knock sensors and all associated stuff to replace it after a jaunt around the Mississippi river bottoms its started throwing the code...

Like a said before my plans are to build it up to take the kids out exploring the Ozarks, camping and to get me to my out of the way fishing holes.

I have a set of torsion keys to raise the front, I'm fixing to order a set of H2 coils for the rear to add some height and load capacity (as of now when I load my family up it sags the rear.

Plans are to install drawer system in the back for fishing and camping gear, install a rack on the top for my kayaks, take running boards off and install some sliders, install a front bumper for higher clearance thinking of a prerunner style sides with a center section for a winch, install rear bumper with swing out to get the tire out from under the truck and to haul my bikes, I would like to find a stock aux tank from a 3/4 suburban to put in, and put on a set of 285's and that's about it.
 

dirtdobberoffroad

Well-known member
Day tripped the Glade Top Trail in the southern Missouri Ozarks with the kids last week it was fun wish it wouldn't have been so foggy and we could have seen the views. There are more roads down there I want to run but I will wait on it to dry up some.52775077_10158342795487891_3006069214155898880_n.jpg52504011_10158340104757891_867704078078050304_n.jpg52594309_10158342790577891_2391230382147108864_n.jpg52782423_10158342792862891_1368773495613292544_n.jpg52668747_10158342800697891_5903682180441178112_n.jpg
 
Last edited:

dirtdobberoffroad

Well-known member
Thanks Jelorian, for the aux tank I'm hoping to find a factory one from a early GMT800 2500 suburban I think the ones with the 8.1 had one above the spare tire, they fill through the same filler but they have another fuel pump to transfer from the aux to the main. If I find one I will just run a fuel gauge to the A pillar pod and put a simple on off switch, there is a lot of stuff to do before I get that far. The aux tank is the last on the list and its really a just because its cool item. In my area the farthest between stations is maybe 60 miles LOL
 

Burb One

Adventurer
Welcome to the Burbs!

A stock 1996 ford f150 rear fuel tank fits perfect where the stock spare tire sits.

I have a write up in my build thread somewhere plumbed up just like you mentioned using the f150 in tank pump to fill the main tank. There's also an avalanche on another forum (just google search avalanche aux gas tank) that I originally got the idea from and he even got the spare tire to fit down there. I believe he just bracketed it to cross beam that held in the spare tire. I ended up cutting it all out and welding two new U channel to make it as high up as possible.

Works great and it's nice to have a whole 20 gallons on board if I need it. I also put quick connects on the outputs of the aux tank and the main tank and can confirm in a pinch the aux pump will run and drive the truck. Also you can find gauges on ebay that work with the F150 sender unit directly and fit in standard gauge pods! (I hole-saw mounted mine onto the dash behind the column shifter)

Edit: Picture link seemed to stop working but hopefully my mini-writeup gets you in the ballpark
https://www.expeditionportal.com/fo...ing-suburban-build-thread.153444/post-2433863
 
Last edited:

dirtdobberoffroad

Well-known member
Welcome to the Burbs!

A stock 1996 ford f150 rear fuel tank fits perfect where the stock spare tire sits.

I have a write up in my build thread somewhere plumbed up just like you mentioned using the f150 in tank pump to fill the main tank. There's also an avalanche on another forum (just google search avalanche aux gas tank) that I originally got the idea from and he even got the spare tire to fit down there. I believe he just bracketed it to cross beam that held in the spare tire. I ended up cutting it all out and welding two new U channel to make it as high up as possible.

Works great and it's nice to have a whole 20 gallons on board if I need it. I also put quick connects on the outputs of the aux tank and the main tank and can confirm in a pinch the aux pump will run and drive the truck. Also you can find gauges on ebay that work with the F150 sender unit directly and fit in standard gauge pods! (I hole-saw mounted mine onto the dash behind the column shifter)

Edit: Picture link seemed to stop working but hopefully my mini-writeup gets you in the ballpark
https://www.expeditionportal.com/fo...ing-suburban-build-thread.153444/post-2433863
Thanks Burb I wish I would have never seen your builds!!
 
Interested to see what rear bumper setup you go with for the swing away spare tire. I'm building out a 2004 Suburban and have been searching endlessly.

Deciding i'm going with a Roadmaster Hitch Spare Tire Carrier.

I use a Yakima Backswing & 1upUSA bike rack that swings out away from rear tailgate.

Guess I will have to start a thread for my Suburban this Spring.
 

dirtdobberoffroad

Well-known member
SuburbanLife I have a two bike carrier that fastens I the receiver at the moment I still plan on using it but I want to put a receiver on the swing out portion of the bumper when I get it built. I thought about building a north shore rack that way I can haul the wife, and three kids bikes along with mine all at once as it is now my youngest bike gets thrown in the back and my son and my bike get the bumper and the wife and oldest don't get to ride...LOL

still trying to figure out what to use for a hinge and latch on the bumper, 33" tire, ladder/rotopax carrier, small propane bottle.
 

CrazyDrei

Space Monkey
Thanks Jelorian, for the aux tank I'm hoping to find a factory one from a early GMT800 2500 suburban I think the ones with the 8.1 had one above the spare tire, they fill through the same filler but they have another fuel pump to transfer from the aux to the main. If I find one I will just run a fuel gauge to the A pillar pod and put a simple on off switch, there is a lot of stuff to do before I get that far. The aux tank is the last on the list and its really a just because its cool item. In my area the farthest between stations is maybe 60 miles LOL
Dirtdobberoffroad,

Welcome to the Suburban life, you are getting yourself into an amazing platform that that has virtually no aftermarket support and the members here have dome more to their Subs and Tahoes than the entire aftermarket industry.

As far as the spare tank goes, that second spare tank is a unicorn and if you manage to get your hands on one and install it into your truck we want pictures and all the details of the acquisition and the install.

Can't wait to see your bumpers and adventures.
 

lilkia

Active member
Why is the spare tank a unicorn? It comes stock on every gmt800 2500 suburban. Both 6.0s and 8.1s have them. Thats why all 2500s have the same larger fuel capacity than the 1500s. Go find one at a salvage yard or order one off of rockauto.
For the record they are gravity transfer. There is no second fuel pump. The fuel goes through the filler, drains through the small tank above the spare, into the main tank. After the main tank fills the the small tank fills. It draws fuel only from the main tank.
If you have ever driven a 2500 youll notice the guage stays on full longer.
 
Last edited:

lilkia

Active member
Well the one sitting in my driveway is gravity fed. The filler goes from the quarter panel into the small tank and then theres another 2" line going from the bottom edge of the little tank into the top edge of the main tank. Since there is only one fill on a suburban how do you fill the main tank? It doesnt pump from the secondary tank to the big one. It would never keep up with the gas pump volume.
Did you take that picture you posted or did you get it off the i ternet?
 
Top