Two-Thirds Mad: 2003 Suburban 1500 LT

utherjorge

Observer
Condensed story: had a K5 Blazer, couldn't kill the electrical gremlins, I junked it. Had a 1986 V20 Suburban, and loved it, but it was lacking a lot of creature comforts, and I did not have the barn doors I wanted. Plus, I wanted to throw our old minivan off of a cliff. So, I looked and looked and looked, and found a nice rig.



This is as I got her, last April (2015).

To this point, I've done a lot of the preventative stuff, like new plugs/wires, replaced the occasional brake line or brake pad (more on that in a minute), and fixed what breaks. I have replaced the driver's side window motor, the module for rear heat/AC, and the TV/DVD.

Upgrades so far:
1. AirRAID intake. I chose it because it seemed to have the greatest bang for the buck when it comes to airflow; the O.E. intake has more dead-ends than you can imagine. This is smooth and straight.
2. Replaced headlights with either LEDs, or with the high beams, Silverstars. Much better night lighting (got this package idea from user "Snowblind" here. DRLs are LED, too.

Boo-boos:
OK, well, I drive it a lot. And through the woods. As was bound to happen, I smoked a deer with the front driver's side and damaged the whole bumper. Ran the deer over with two axles...and he still got up and ran away. Damage was relatively minor, but I did have to replace the parking light, adjust the headlight (top light) and llost the driver's side amber fog light, and I hated them anyway.

Upcoming upgrades:
1. Higher-power alternator. Still deciding on what to get, but I have been in contact with Nations, and I think I'm going to go at least 200 amp. I'm open to suggestions, but this higher amp (and new battery. Suggestions there? I know what I read, but this is a good crew here :) ) will power the new bumper lights and assorted stuff for plans this summer.
2. Front bumper. I finally found one that I liked, though it will have to get made. I like the look, and it will be better than the stock bumper. Especially after the deer hit: it's not fixable. So, the cost to add a new bumper, with Z71 airdam, along with a light bar...is about the same as this, before it's put together.
Move Bumpers

More to come!
 

Bojak

Adventurer
Move bumpers are OK. My buddy has one on rear of his ram 3500. I wouldn't shy away if you are liking the style. As far as alternator goes, I would figure out or project all future mods requiring electric and reverse math that. Hate to drop coin on a good alternator to find out its not enough to run the winch,lightbars,fridges,electric fans.......spend more now for future improvements to be allowed for. Duel batter set up?

Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk
 

utherjorge

Observer
Thanks for the reply!

I don't ever plan on having a winch, because I don't think it would be capable enough to try tough spots I would need a winch to get out of. The two alternators I look at were a 200 and a 240 amp. The 240 had a larger stud on the rear, and since I plan on running some sort of a relay panel off of it to power the new stuff, I'm thinking I need that bigger stud. But I dunno. I will be doing the new battery and alt together, relay panel a month later, give or take.

I have been reading with interest these portable power packs that I could use in the back if ran a lengthy lead off of the alt or relay panel. I haven't thought that far head, but since I might use a fridge in the future, I could always augment with solar.

RE: those MOVE bumpers, are they completely in pieces, or is the center section, where it bolts to the frame, one solid piece?
 

Bojak

Adventurer
You can buy them welded or DIY. My welder put the one together for my buddy. Welding it is simple and the quality can be insured so it is a good option. We ordered some shackle mounts from the enternet and added some recovery points. Then he lost his mind and paid to have it color matched and spent more in paintshop than the bumper. Lol.
 

utherjorge

Observer
Haha I was thinking to color match mine, too, to go with the Pewter color it already has.

I'd be interested to see his. But again: it's all disassembled, including the center portion where it attaches to the frame?
 

M35A2

Tinkerer
Ouch, those bumpers are brotastic fugly. If you are not needing a winch, why not a stock replacement bumper?

BTW, I have a year newer 'Burb so I am interested in seeing where you take yours.
 

utherjorge

Observer
I actually liked them, and essentially, here's why:

I drive through Bambi country, about 85-100 miles a day, and it was simply a matter of time before I hit one. I chose a 2000-2006 because less plastic down low up front for this reason, and when I saw a Burb that fit what I wanted, I pulled the trigger.

I hit a deer with my Accord once (just a fawn, too) and the bill was $1500. If I had hit this one with my minivan, the bill would have been insane. Even though there was little damage, I need to replace the bumper (we're getting Lake Effect snow now, so I don't want to trudge out right now to take a pic :********:) anyway because on the driver's side, it's bent back enough to make me uncomfortable when thinking of larger tires.

Now, I wanted to upgrade the lighting anyway. I had been thinking of getting one of those ORI Baja light racks for the stock bumper. I like them. I called the local pick and pulls and no one within a good distance has a replacement bumper in any color, so I'd have to track one down, plus the Z71 air-dam I was going to do for a higher-quality fog light. So, adding the bumper, air dam, and ORI bar gets me close to MOVE $$$ anyway. Plus, I expect that this will shield the fogs and alt lights better. Or so I think.

The money's close enough, and this was the "smallest" chunky front I could find. I did see a tube bumper I like, but the washer fluid reservoir is hanging there wide open, and had I had THAT bumper when I hit the doe, I would have shredded that whole corner. That's exactly where it hit.

So, no interest in a receiver tube or winch up front. I also haven't decided if I like the square cut outs for lights, but I love the 20" light bar perch and will weld up tabs on top of the "stinger" to hold whatever else I want. Just haven't decided about the squares or if I should have two rounds milled out. I have a month or so, I think, to wonder about it.
 

M35A2

Tinkerer
Thanks, I better understand your requirements.

As a sanity check, have you looked into websites for law enforcement vehicle accessories? Also Hess and Eisenhardt, who uparmors vehicles like this. I believe they have a front ramming product that ties into the frame up front.
 

Bojak

Adventurer
yes to the bumper question. The frame tabs are even loose and have to be welded to bumper. if it is an angle on the bumper then it is a seem.
 
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