Extra Tall Options

plainjaneFJC

Goofball
My experience with GMT-400's is they start to really show wear over time, doors start sagging, seat frames fall apart, stuff like that. I guess the upside is parts are plentiful and cheap.
 

spectre6000

Observer
Modern chrome tanned leather is total garbage. Cloth is the better option these days when it's even available... It's unfortunate. I think I still have door pin reaming stuff, so that can be rectified if necessary, but I'll keep an eye out for it all the same. I did see one for sure with bad pins.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
My experience with GMT-400's is they start to really show wear over time, doors start sagging, seat frames fall apart, stuff like that. I guess the upside is parts are plentiful and cheap.
I think that may be more common to rust-belt trucks. Here where it's dry I see LOTS of GMT-400 Burbs and Tahoes that are still in good shape, often dirt cheap.
 

spectre6000

Observer
Colorado is a secret collectors' state for sure... California gets all the glory, but has inflated prices to go with it. To be fair, more people longer with more money increases both quantity and variety, but Colorado is very nice to cars over time and it shows.
 

CRolandLJ

Adventurer
I think you've settled on a great option. I'm saving up for a weekender burb now in fact. I for one wouldn't be scared of a 6.0 suburban. Sure, they have less power, but they aren't underpowered... and speaking of plentiful parts...basically every fleet chevrolet 3/4 and 1-ton pickup has had that motor for 15 years in some shape or form.

I dont know about Colorado but in DFW you could easily find a GMT400 and baseline it and get it set up for 7500. Even a nice low mileage example, if you ever found one. A GMT800 you'd need to be patient to find one worth buying and be able to afford much modifcation....if much is planned.
 

spectre6000

Observer
For all the heavy duty desires, a good clean operating truck is the primary concern. We found a 1500 in really good shape last weekend. Very very clean. The only oil on the bottom of the engine was from a recent oil change, there was some (cola-colored) brake fluid that had sloshed out after the reservoir lid wasn't fully closed, I assume after some previous potential buyers' inspection. It had been there long enough to eat up the paint on the brake booster, but didn't seem to have made it to the fender or frame. There's a dent in the rear quarter, maybe a 3" rip in the drivers' seat leather, and... Some light rust on the frame (sporadic stage 1 with a little bordering on stage two behind the rear wheels)... Cleanest we'd seen by far. There was a whole new variety of CL shenanigans that I've never seen before, but the deal is supposedly going down tonight. We'll get it baselined this weekend with a brake system refresh, a new thermostat, some brake clean and maybe touch up paint, and we'll see what else. Probably trans, transfer, and diffs for good measure. We'll see what goes down tonight though. I don't trust the seller from a transactional perspective, but the truck looks good.
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
I think you've settled on a great option. I'm saving up for a weekender burb now in fact. I for one wouldn't be scared of a 6.0 suburban. Sure, they have less power, but they aren't underpowered... and speaking of plentiful parts...basically every fleet chevrolet 3/4 and 1-ton pickup has had that motor for 15 years in some shape or form.

I dont know about Colorado but in DFW you could easily find a GMT400 and baseline it and get it set up for 7500. Even a nice low mileage example, if you ever found one. A GMT800 you'd need to be patient to find one worth buying and be able to afford much modifcation....if much is planned.
Our Yukon has the 6.0 and works just fine, with the programmer it really wakes it up.
 

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spectre6000

Observer
It seems to have become that to a degree, but it's really about vehicles for really tall people. Even then, I don't think Expeditions fit the bill.
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
For all the heavy duty desires, a good clean operating truck is the primary concern. We found a 1500 in really good shape last weekend. Very very clean. The only oil on the bottom of the engine was from a recent oil change, there was some (cola-colored) brake fluid that had sloshed out after the reservoir lid wasn't fully closed, I assume after some previous potential buyers' inspection. It had been there long enough to eat up the paint on the brake booster, but didn't seem to have made it to the fender or frame. There's a dent in the rear quarter, maybe a 3" rip in the drivers' seat leather, and... Some light rust on the frame (sporadic stage 1 with a little bordering on stage two behind the rear wheels)... Cleanest we'd seen by far. There was a whole new variety of CL shenanigans that I've never seen before, but the deal is supposedly going down tonight. We'll get it baselined this weekend with a brake system refresh, a new thermostat, some brake clean and maybe touch up paint, and we'll see what else. Probably trans, transfer, and diffs for good measure. We'll see what goes down tonight though. I don't trust the seller from a transactional perspective, but the truck looks good.
The 1500 chassis is "okay" if you never intend to tow anything, not to mention it has the weaker trans, smaller brakes, weaker frame, and a few other things that make the 2500 chassis better/safer.
 

spectre6000

Observer
Yup. Practically speaking though, it should be able to handle light off roading and a comfortable camping interior. It'd be nice to get the heavy duty, but we talked about it last night, and he said he might keep an eye out for a good clean heavy duty and buy a second if he ends up really getting into it. There's also the approach of a "beef up what breaks until you get there" style build. This is his first car project, but I did my best to convey as much experiential tips as possible. I think it'll do him well. Besides, lots more build parts lots cheaper for the lighter duty trucks, so that'll lower some of the price barrier for having fun with it.
 

jeep-N-montero

Expedition Leader
Yup. Practically speaking though, it should be able to handle light off roading and a comfortable camping interior. It'd be nice to get the heavy duty, but we talked about it last night, and he said he might keep an eye out for a good clean heavy duty and buy a second if he ends up really getting into it. There's also the approach of a "beef up what breaks until you get there" style build. This is his first car project, but I did my best to convey as much experiential tips as possible. I think it'll do him well. Besides, lots more build parts lots cheaper for the lighter duty trucks, so that'll lower some of the price barrier for having fun with it.
I typically live by the "better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it" rule of thumb and not worry about ever needing to beef anything up. Would a 1500 pull my boat, maybe, but the 2500 will do it easier and safer without worrying about the trans or brakes with the cruise set at 75. The beefier components will also last much longer than the 1500 when used off road. Only "upside" to the gmt 800 with the 1500 chassis is it has rear coil springs and rides a tad smoother than the 2500 that has rear leaf springs.
 
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spectre6000

Observer
I typically live by the "better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it" rule of thumb and not worry about ever needing to beef anything up.
I'm with you 110%. I'm really bad about over engineering things. We discussed the pros, cons, and other at length. Essentially, it was decided that, for the budget we're playing with, it'll get the job done nicely. If and/or when it doesn't, it'll be addressed at that time. Part of the timing of this buy is that he and his wife share a car (they both work the same hours at the same university, so there's really not much of a reason for two cars), and their car was totalled a few weeks back. I lent them my BMW 330i to drive around while they find something, but they're eager to get back in their own car. It would very likely take several months to find a 2500 half as clean as this 1500, and honestly, I've gone through a lot of cars and made money on all of them exclusive of gas, insurance, and one that got totalled. If we needed to, we could turn it around if and when he finds a good 2500 and probably make a few bucks. Low risk.

Martinjmpr said:
What year and engine?
It's a 350, but I don't recall the year off the top of my head. Post-1997 and Pre-2000 or whenever they switched to the LS blocks. The search strategy was to find everything on CL from private sellers that fit the criteria, then stack appointments until we find a keeper. We looked at a dozen or so Suburbans last weekend, and they all bleed together in my head.
 
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