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Old 06-27-2020, 11:09 AM   #1
BlueJeep
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86 Suburban daily driver

I picked this up May, had kinda been looking but not too serious. It had the right look, and the right attributes so I brought it home with me. I grew up riding around in the back of these things, so I guess I'm re-living those memories!

86 Suburban, came from Oklahoma and I haven't been able to find any real rust on it yet (those in the upper midwest and rust belt will know exactly what I mean by this). Had a lot of good things already done to it, and my plan is to refine it and then drive it everyday. We'll see how that evolves with time. Main needs are to be reliable and comfortable for the whole family.
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

It has some good things going for it, and it also has some needs after 34 years.

Here's what I've been able to ascertain it has had done to it:

- 4/6 drop.
- McGaughys spindles and MaxTrac springs
- Flip in rear (no notch)
- At some point it had a remanufactured 350
- Weiand Street Warrior intake
- Holley 4160 carb
- Ceramic coated headers and some dress up stuff.
- Jeep steering shaft
- Boss 338 wheels, 18x8 and 20x10, 255/45r18 in the front and 295/45r20 in the rear
- drilled and slotted rotors on the front
- phantom billet grille....not sure what to think of this yet
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86 Suburban
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86 Suburban lowered 4/6
54 Chevy wagon
49 Chevy/s10 mix
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:30 AM   #3
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

First order of business will be to check things out and start fixing stuff. I re-packed the front wheel bearings, replaced the rear wheel bearings, and drained the rear diff oil. I noticed a spider gear that had more run through it than just 80-90, so that needed attention. I evaluated the cost of new spider gears, and ultimately decided to replace it with a Quick Performance posi. I also did all the bearings in the diff and put in a crush sleeve eliminator. The driveshaft had bad u-joints, so those were replaced too.
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86 Suburban lowered 4/6
54 Chevy wagon
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Old 06-27-2020, 11:37 AM   #4
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

The front suspension still needs work. Someone bashed the driver's side lower control arm pretty hard and the bushing is mostly popped out, so I bought a replacement control arm and I'm getting that ready to go now.
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Old 06-27-2020, 01:13 PM   #5
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

The rear suspension is where I need to focus on in the very near future. It has a flip, but no notch so the axle SLAMS the frame on a very frequent basis, and this won't do. The picture below shows 1.75" of clearance, but when it is down on the ground with all the weight on it is more like 2 fingers clearance. I haven't been able to find any commercially available notches, which is fine, so I'll build one and weld it in. At the same time I'll be removing the flip brackets and welding on new spring perches and centering the tire in the rear wheel well like it should be. There are air shocks that do not function, and looks like one of the mounts on the frame has been ripped off the frame and cobbled back on. Extended shock mounts will also be fabbed up and I'll run some normal shocks of a decent length.
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Old 06-28-2020, 12:02 AM   #6
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

Rad Burb! Where'd you source the control arm?
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Old 06-28-2020, 07:50 AM   #7
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

Thanks!

Control arm was used off Ebay.
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Old 06-28-2020, 08:09 AM   #8
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

So as could probably be expected, nothing worked. Power locks didn't work, and the front 2 windows would eventually go down, but the rear ones wouldn't. Some time with a multi-meter let me to conclude that power was getting where it should, but switches were bad. I replaced both power lock switches and one of the solenoids, and did some lube-ing and now all 5 doors lock and unlock reliably with the switches. Windows were a similar treatment, only the driver's door window switch worked so the rest were replaced and I'm waiting on 2 window motors and then all the windows should work too. I still plan on putting relays in the doors for the windows to work quicker, but haven't gotten to that yet. All the rubber and glass runs also will need to be replaced too.
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86 Suburban
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54 Chevy wagon

86 Suburban lowered 4/6
54 Chevy wagon
49 Chevy/s10 mix
88 Jeep Wrangler rockcrawler
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Old 06-28-2020, 09:04 PM   #9
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

Today I was able to tackle the oil cooler....and get rid of it. It leaked just like they all do and it felt good to get rid of that particular leak and clean up the bottom of the engine just a bit.

Since I had the grille out I took that opportunity to install the temperature sensor for my compass/temperature rearview mirror. I add these mirrors to all of my projects, love 'em!
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86 Suburban
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54 Chevy wagon

86 Suburban lowered 4/6
54 Chevy wagon
49 Chevy/s10 mix
88 Jeep Wrangler rockcrawler
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Old 06-28-2020, 10:56 PM   #10
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

Has that vehicle always been a 1/2 ton? I didn’t know that the half tons got an engine oil cooler on the 350.
I just redid the oil cooler lines on my 83 454 Burban.
I enjoy the build thread!
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:31 AM   #11
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by blakeduren View Post
Has that vehicle always been a 1/2 ton? I didn’t know that the half tons got an engine oil cooler on the 350.
I just redid the oil cooler lines on my 83 454 Burban.
I enjoy the build thread!
It was a standalone option KC4, or included with the HD trailering package Z82.

K

https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/doc...t-Suburban.pdf
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:48 PM   #12
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

Yep, this one has always been a half ton.

Two steps forward, one step back. Rear window motors showed up, so I went to installing them. AC Delco, good old USA made parts...ah....nope - not anymore. First problem was that the stamped brackets bolt holes didn't line up very well. When "forced" into place, they put such a bind on the motor that they didn't work. The fix for that was to drill out the holes so they could be bolted together and not induce a bind. First one in, and amazed with how fast it goes up and down. I may not need to do the relay mod after all!

2nd door, everything was going really well until the duct tape I was using to hold up the glass let go, and it came down quick and broke the glass. Anyone know where to source factory dark tinted glass?
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86 Suburban
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54 Chevy wagon

86 Suburban lowered 4/6
54 Chevy wagon
49 Chevy/s10 mix
88 Jeep Wrangler rockcrawler
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:42 PM   #13
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

Nice looking burb project.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:02 PM   #14
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

Dude, that sucks with the glass. My whole thing with these trucks is that since somebody else wore it out, I'm trying to wear it back in – so to speak. I get so frustrated when my efforts produce damage. My best idea is for you to watch Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, maybe even Offer-up. There always seem to be a few Suburbans being parted out.
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Old Today, 09:28 AM   #15
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Re: 86 Suburban daily driver

Cool project..You are getting busy.
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