Please school me on Suburban

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
So is the 6 speed overrated?
What kind of fuel range do you guys get on the highway/city? I suppose they all have a 120L tank?
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31 gallon according the manual which works out to 117.8l (@ 3.8l:1 US Gal.) Having said that, 120l (31.5 US gal) may be more accurate - on a couple of occasions last year I put 31.2 gallons into my 31 gallon tank. :Wow1:
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Towing I typically get 300 - 350 miles (10 - 11 MPG), not towing, city MPG is hardly better (12 or maybe 13 on a good day) but on the highway, not pulling a trailer, @ 18 MPG a range of 550 + is possible. Back in November I drove from Denver to Craig, CO (210 miles one way) to pick up a sidecar for my motorcycle. The sidecar went into the back of the Suburban and then I drove home. When I got home I still had over 1/4 of a tank, despite driving 450 miles over 2 10,000'+ passes.
 

2002Z71

New member
IMHO the 6 speed really shines when towing, having 3-4-5-6 to pick from instead of just 3-4 is really nice. But there is nothing wrong with the tried and true 4L60E.
 

Dake21

Adventurer
The affordable ones are all over 200,000 miles, can I expect a good 5 years out of them provided they had a clean record and I do regular maintenance on them?
Looking at other forums it seems a couple people feel the build quality of the GMT 800 is superior to the GMT 900?
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
Keep looking. Auto/insurance industry says 15k mi/yr is average. Used to be 12k. I found my '02 2.5yrs ago with 116k. About 9k mi/yr. Took me over a year of intermittent searching to find a used Sub that met my wear and condition and budget criteria.

You've got mutually contradicting criteria. A 2009+ is going to cost a good bit more than $10k. A 2007 might have the AFM trouble with the engine. You'll have to dig for maintenance or repair info, oil consumption, have a mechanic look at it BEFORE it's purchased. A 2006 would be a good spot for your budget, but you'd have to find one considered 'low mileage' and it will still be well over 100k mi. But there is plenty anecdotal info that they'll go well past 200k if cared for. But it also sounds like the wife might think it's 'dated'. A 2006 is two design changes behind. A 2007 is 'only' one - and with a step-up in price of ~$3-4k. And prices climb steeply the newer you get.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
Well, I'm biased a bit but if I only had $10k I'd find the nicest, lowest mileage GMT-800 I could, vs. a high-mileage, well used GMT-900.
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Now, for $20k, I could probably find a decent GMT-900. $15k would be possible. But $10k, no way.
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I've never driven a GMT-900 but I have heard others say that the 800's are more comfortable. I know my GMT-800 is a great road trip vehicle.
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My brother-in-law (who is kind of a car snob and drives a fancy Audi coupe) borrowed my Suburban to move a mattress and when he came back he told me how surprised he was by how nice the 'Burb was to drive. I said to him "yes, it's like driving my living room couch down the freeway" and he corrected me "No, it's like driving your WHOLE LIVING ROOM down the freeway." :elkgrin:
 

Dake21

Adventurer
I saw a 2009 one at 9800 and now it's gone, the other are around 15,000k and a bit more. I'm not in a hurry to buy right now so maybe I will get lucky and find a good one.
What if a 2007-08 with over 100,000 miles doesn't have the oil problem? Could we say it's ''safe'' past a certain mileage?

Quite frankly the big thing that turns my wife off is dirty interior, rust and a lack of TV screen on the dash. The integrated GPS on our Suzuki was a big plus in her book. I think a clean 2005 might be good enough but I'll have to test drive them and so does she to in order to figure this out. I know she hates ''lags'' in gas and brake pedal. We had a 2007 CRV and it felt like the car was falling asleep as we were driving, the pedal were sluggish and not very sensitive and everything was in order.

The newest generation is ugly as hell anyway. GMT 900 looks nicer to me than the GMT 800 (at least the exterior)

I really should have ask this question earlier, but how is working on the GMT 800 and 900 is? I plan on doing my own maintenance and repair. I'm not the most knowledgeable but I can work my way around stuff and I do my own maintenance on the Suzuki already.
Somebody mentioned the torsion bar is easier to lift, that sounds great because I might lift it down the road.
 
I could have sold you my 2003 back in December for much less than the $10K mark. Had 200,000 but replaced the transmission at 120,000. It was the smoothest riding vehicle i have owned. Thing was amazing on the highway and never worried about finding space for all the kids BS plus my fishing gear, etc, etc, ect.

I towed a 26 ft trailer without issues, for the first 100,000. The more miles the less torque it seemed to have but it still got the job done, just not at 85 MPH.
 

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rayra

Expedition Leader
I'm not sure about the dash in the -900 series, but the '03-'06 have a double-DIN stereo, easily replaceable with a nice aftermarket entertainment unit with lots of features, $400-ish with the necessary install parts. And with same systems plus full Nav, for double that or more.

The 00-02 800s have a DIN-and-a-half space, but with some googling and tool use I managed a double-din install of a Pioneer AVH-280BT. In-dash DVD player, will also drive additional screens. Bluetooth hands-free iPhone connectivity. USB and headphone jack remote connections for plugging in other phones or media devices. Will play mpg4 video, MP3s. Touchscreen.
I hit a salvage yard for the dash bezel from the '03-06, and I also grabbed the modular center dash chassis that holds the stereo and climate controls, but didn't stricly need it. Had to remove a vertical bracket in the rear of the stereo area, to no ill effect. Just lowered my climate control module about 3/8". Trimmed the top edge of the ash tray to clear the later bezel, got the Metra mounting adapter, an aftermarket doohicky to trick the stereo into thinking the vehicle is in Park so it will play DVDs going down the highway. And the wiring harness adapter and the obscure directions to make the factory amp work.

I also (previously) fabricated a tablet mount for a 7" android GPS-equipped wifi tablet with several on- and off-road Nav apps. Using the hotspot function in my iPhone I can even link that tablet to it and use sigalert.com for traffic maps. Or things like the Waze app. It's a lot of gadgets and distractions, not for someone that can't multi-task or who can't keep their nose out of their phone. But the dash position in the Sub makes it possible for the front passenger to handle things if necessary. Likewise with the center console replacement I added for radios.

 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
WRT wanting a "tv screen" in the dash, my GMT-800 Suburban has the most accessible stereo system of any vehicle I've ever owned. In order to remove the factory radio the only thing you have to do - literally - is put the truck into 1 (to move the column shifter out of the way) and then pull the trim ring away from the dashboard and remove it. No tools needed, just pull the thing off. Then the stereo comes out with 4 Phillips screws and you unplug the harness at the back. It takes about 2 minutes.
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From what I've seen most of the late-model (2004 - 2006) GMT 800 Suburbans and Tahoes have the steering wheel controls for the stereo. That's a little more complex to wire up but if I can do it anyone can. I put an inexpensive double DIN stereo in mine with Bluetooth, USB and IPOD controls. I still think I may upgrade to a rear view camera with a touchscreen but that will have to be a project for later.
 

ChevyPit

Observer
You can have almost any new electronic gadget wired to any vehicle. For example, I have Bluetooth connectivity to an aftermarket 1 din radio (probably gonna upgrade to a 2 din or 1 1/2 din smart radio) and parking sensors. But you can add rear camera, front sensors, TV, DVD, wireless headphones, LED lightning, remote start up. Everything is available.
My advice, keep looking, something will come up. What I used to do, is talk to the sales car person on the dealers, and told them to contact me, when somebody wanted to trade in their used suburban for a new one. It's a win-win deal. The guy sells a new one and if you like what's trading in, he'll sell you a used one. Or in any used car dealer that you trust.
Patience, and you'll find the right one for your needs.
And the "driving your entire leaving room" comfort, is true!!!!
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
forgot to mention, the unit I bought also handles automatic or manual rear view camera. I bought a plate-frame camera design for $20 and it works great. Also a great spot for spotting when backing up to a trailer hitch.
 

rayra

Expedition Leader
134k mi, not much more than I have. As long as the drivetrain works well, that seems like a reasonable deal. Is that price in USD or Canadian Pesos? If that price is Canadian it's about what I paid for mine 2yrs ago.
 
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