FishinGuns’ 2500 Suburban Build Thread

FishinGuns

New member
Bought the Federale’ Comms vehicle back in Feb. 45,000 miles. Paid a premium, but 1/2 the cost of a new HD and I sold my 1500 Silverado for the current market premium.

Being it was February, didn’t figure out the main AC control module was 1/2 shot till it got hot🤦‍♂️. Dash cracked on my way home from Chitcago with it. One internet search I got that figured out… greeeaaat. Who doesn’t like surprises? Got 15.7mpg doing 80-90+ though! I’ll take it.
 

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FishinGuns

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First thing was get the fluids changed. Pretty much didn’t need it, which I expected being a US Federal Government vehicle, but I swapped it all out anyway for my own piece of mind. Next was get the exterior lined, rustproofed, and undercoated. Have a great guy here in MI, MJR Bullet Liner and Custom Coatings, get her ready for the long haul. He does Bullet Liner and Krown, so one stop shop for me! I have him reapply the Krown annually. My dad and I have had him do 7 vehicles between us now. Just top notch all the way around. I’ll start a thread for my XJ when I get it further along. It’s completely lined and Krowned.

Swapped out the bulbs in the OEM headlights. More Better. I previously did the same thing in my Silverado. Philips H9 and 9011 conversions, and re-aim. I don’t do LEDs due to our cold weather with snow and slush.
 

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FishinGuns

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The dash. Jeebus. I bought a fit over and was going to be fine with it, till I found two other cracks in uncovered areas. 🤬 Needed to get the passenger front air bag replaced and bit the friggen bullet and had them replace the whole dash while they were in there. The new dash is actually beefed up a little compared to the original. We’ll see if that was a waste of money, though…

Added OEM tows. I like them better backing the boat up. The turn signal indicator works, which surprised me since my factory 1/2 ton sized side view mirrors didn’t have that option.

My driver door interior panel handle was jacked-up and coming apart. Didn’t realize it’s a whole new panel to fix the handle. GM you’re on a roll!! I replaced that at the same time as the mirrors. Also swapped in new Infinity Kappas in the front and rear doors. Those livened up the tunes nicely! I plan to put a new head unit in and wire a reverse camera in the future, after I get more important things done first, and make some more money…
 

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FishinGuns

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Getting to the good stuff:

She’s now sporting a Skyjacker 3” front 2” rear lift, Fox 2.0 RR’s w/CD Adj. from Accutune. Kryptonite Steering. 255/80R17 Toyo Open Country ATIII’s, including full size spare on an OEM alloy rim. H2 wheels powder coated bright silver sparkle w/Chev center caps (MI winters…).

The lift install was full of little issues. Too long of bolts, not enough washers, was missing a trans crossmember drop bracket… I’m pretty lucky like that usually. One 1/2 major issue was figuring out what’s different between the Suburban suspension and a truck suspension🤨🤔 It’s all the same except the torsion key crossmember and how it’s attached to the frame. The Suburban’s is suspended from the top of the frame via a drop link on both ends of the crossmember. This allows a little articulation, IMO, for better ride compared to the trucks that are solidly riveted to the lower frame with zero articulation. Took us some head scratching to figure out why my torsion key crossmember didn’t line up at all with the new brackets we just drilled holes for, kinda off the cuff, since my lift instructions were for a truck. Some part number comparisons, $80 later, and I had an OEM 01-10 HD torsion key crossmember that lined up as it should, on the road to me.
 

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FishinGuns

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The Skyjacker lift is a bit of an outlier due to modest lift compared to the premium price. I’ll tell you right now, I couldn’t be happier. My ball joint angles are great. My CV shafts are nearly flat. The Kryptonite steering system is nearly flat. I did the SS center link, tie rods, idler and support bracket, pitman arm, Bilstein steering stabilizer, and Kryptonite upper and lower ball joints. Pretty much a whole new front end. AND it didn’t increase my front track width or decrease my turning radius while allowing me to run OEM backspaced wheels. I’m a sucker for the no increased track width and GM wheels! Will be ordering BORA spacers for the rear because I’m vain like that.

Back to the Skyjacker lift. Yeah, I lose clearance with the drop brackets, but it ain’t like the rear 14 Bolt FF has much any way. This is my hauler that does forest service roads and two tracks on occasion, but I really lifted it to clear 33’s while riding superbly for a 3/4 ton (It currently rides like an unmodified 1500, IMO). Also to get me through any snow the Lower Peninsula can throw at me when I’m steelhead fishing in the winter. This truck, set-up like this, will accomplish that in spades👍
 

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FishinGuns

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Had to flippen trim even at 3” in the front, 255/80R17, and modestly backspaced H2 wheels (8.5” wide +18 BS) 😳 Did a small NorCal mod and used my little Hackzall to trim the front bumper supports. Easy peasy, no more rubby rubby. Did my front air dam while I was at it since the clips hang down too far to leave it off, like I did on my Silverado. Trimmed up my Husky front mud flaps since I was in there and I’m old fogey for liking them, ha ha!

Was already dirty and installed my Airlift bags in the rear, too. Pretty easy. Had to drill 8 holes. I’m pretty anti Cali-lean, I prefer the dreaded forward rake. Plus I aim my headlights to the hairy edge for max deer spotting vision at night, so any squat would put my lights in people’s eyes, which isn’t cool. This alleviates that, plus the bit of porpoising and body roll loaded down and the boat hooked up. I like’em!
 

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FishinGuns

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Waiting on ARH headers then will Blackbear tune. Will do 4.10’s F&R and an ARB up front for pulling my river boat out in slick conditions Up North, in a bit. Really happy with how it’s turned out thus far! My plan is at least 300,000, hopefully 400,000+ miles.

I’ll keep updating as I go from here.
 

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FishinGuns

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9300lb tow capacity stock. I’m pretty sure the limiting factor on this rig is the factory 2” hitch. I don’t anticipate having to really tow more than 6000lb ever with it. I wanted the 2500 for longevity of the drivetrain, option to add a locker to the front for very specific situations only (snow related for me), bigger HD brakes, etc.

Engine: 6.0L L96 gasser
Trans: 6L90 6 speed
Transfer case: Autotrac! 4Hi, 4Low, 4 Auto (wife mode 😆), and 2Hi
Front Axle: GM 9.25” IFS old aluminum housing, not the new iron one like the 2011+ trucks have.
Rear Axle: GM 14 Bolt 10.5” Free Floater

I expect to replace the transfer case at some point, and front half shafts if I don’t pay attention locked up in the future… kinda doubt that though. I’m not looking to wheel her on really technical stuff at all. My Cherokee XJ will be for that kind of fun.
 
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FishinGuns

New member
Oh yeah, I replaced all 4 individual door seals and the uniside rubber rain gutter seal that runs from the windshield along the top of the side doors and down the rear of the two rear doors. They were all sorts of jacked up from antennas sticking out previously. Gave me an opportunity to clean up the rain gutter, pull out the dents in the rain gutter (just with vise grips) and clean up all the scratched paint that thankfully hadn’t started to rust except in one spot (Dremmel sanded that out and touched-up). The two front door tops were chewed up pretty good at the top.

Also, I believe the dealer has somebody who doesn’t know how to polish vehicles because they TOTALLY smoked the clear coat with a buffing tool incorrectly. Paid for some paint correction and then had them ceramic coat it and she looks brand new. They were even able to ceramic coat the bed liner chip guard on my exterior. It’s pretty rough and hard. She cleans up so easily now!
 

zoomad75

Observer
My driver door interior panel handle was jacked-up and coming apart. Didn’t realize it’s a whole new panel to fix the handle. GM you’re on a roll!! I replaced that at the same time as the mirrors. Also swapped in new Infinity Kappas in the front and rear doors. Those livened up the tunes nicely! I plan to put a new head unit in and wire a reverse camera in the future, after I get more important things done first, and make some more money…
Keep this in mind if you break another interior door handle.

repair kit

Much cheaper than a whole door panel.

Great start so far!
 
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