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Old 03-24-2015, 12:26 PM   #201
DirtyLarry
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Originally Posted by LEEVON View Post
Larry, Justin Gadberry (Blackbear Performance) tuned my 8.1L engine yesterday. He knows his way around them...also owns an 8.1L Suburban.

Leevon
After reading through Blackbear’s website I do like how they handle their mail order tunes. They may get time consuming but their logic seems to deliver a close to “live” tune as one can get through the mail. I’m not really interested in leaving the Suburban at some hoons shop 2 hours away for them to beat on while they do a live tune. If I could hook up with one of the traveling circus tuners that follow the Street Rod show circuit would be another option but our street rod nationals don’t happen until August. We’ll see!

Well the #3 radiator got here in usable shape but the petcock is bent at the tank....errr! (Spectra does a crappy job at packing their radiators). The missing air induction bits finally got here yesterday as well so I’ll get that stuff installed and start chasing after the tuning. The tuning hassle and expense BS I did not plan on but I am confident it will be worth it in the end. The K10's 8.1L runs circles around my stock 2001 Silverado 8.1L and I expect the Suburban's 8.1L to run circles around the K10. We'll see!
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:42 AM   #202
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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If I could hook up with one of the traveling circus tuners that follow the Street Rod show circuit would be another option but our street rod nationals don’t happen until August. We’ll see!
Um dude, the Street Rod Nationals is in June, not August. I don't remember any tuners there, but then again I wasn't looking for one last year either.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:02 AM   #203
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Nice rig! I'll have to go back through and read it all but I didn't want to lose it
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Old 04-07-2015, 07:20 PM   #204
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Little update on the Polar Bear. I got the trans reinstalled (had to remove it to fix a rear main seal leak plus the NV4500 needed a 5th gear synchro), did a IAC relearn and reset the fuel trims to accommodate the new injectors she runs a lot better…..and that hot rod lope went away which I am so glad. It still has some little fine ECM tuning to do as runs a bit fuzzy in cold start open loop but other than that, she runs like a scalded dog at wide open throttle. The RayLar cam definitely gave it a lot more top end although at the expense of a little low end grunt loss but I’ll know for sure once the tuning is all dialed in. So far, I’m really happy the way it turned out and it will only get better once the ECM tuning is finalized. It’s pretty funny how such a big truck can flat out scream when you poke it in the neck

Outside of the fine ECM tuning the only other thing left is to have A/C lines built but I probably won’t have time to tackle that until May or June sometime.

Here is how it looks as of right now






And a family photo



Little update on the K10 too. Since the Polar Bear stole its tires and wheel last summer it was time to repay the K10 with a new set before upcoming annual Desert Trip. I bought the same exact wheels but I went with Goodyear Duratracs this time instead of another set of Fierce Attitude tires. Nothing wrong with the Fierce Attitude, it’s just the Duratracs turns out to be cheaper this go around. 315/75R16 Load Range E








I was getting fed up with the interior paint peeling off of the center console so I had an upholstery guy cover the entire console in the closest matching vinyl he could find that matches the seat arm rests. Turns out nice! Having it covered in vinyl also stopped the lid from squeaking and itching.


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Old 04-07-2015, 07:38 PM   #205
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Outstanding Larry, looks great!

I got my 2002 8.1L dually on the road this weekend, it surprised me how quick that big beast can pickup speed.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:07 PM   #206
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Killer. I was wondering how the trans reinstall went. How's it going into 5th now? I need to get over there and go for a ride in the bear and see how it runs!

FYI: got a box of goodies coming from Carbondale, CO. Might be a little heavy.
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:20 PM   #207
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Killer. I was wondering how the trans reinstall went. How's it going into 5th now? I need to get over there and go for a ride in the bear and see how it runs!

FYI: got a box of goodies coming from Carbondale, CO. Might be a little heavy.
Cool! Goodies from Carbondale are always fun to unpack! You are not going to believe this, but there was absolutely no change in 5th gear. It is no easier or harder to shift into 5th than it was before…..it’s exactly the same. I am not even joking. I haven’t had the heart to tell Harlan yet….and I not pulling that sumbish out again anytime soon so I’ll just keep living with it for another few years. At least the big pig runs better now albeit still needs some ECM tuning attention. I drove it all over town today. It hauls ASS!
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Old 04-07-2015, 11:56 PM   #208
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Such a clean engine install looks like it came factory.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:09 AM   #209
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

if you ever decide to get out of the truck game, call me. i love this burb!
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:12 AM   #210
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

What the hell is going on with that trans? I'm lost on this one. I'll let you break it to Harlan. I'll do some research at work and see if there is something we all missed.

Can't wait to check out the beast. Can't wait to get the goodies from Carbondale either!
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:26 AM   #211
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Originally Posted by MalibuSSwagon View Post
Outstanding Larry, looks great!

I got my 2002 8.1L dually on the road this weekend, it surprised me how quick that big beast can pickup speed.
Thanks! Congrats on your new beast

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Originally Posted by mud.man.rj View Post
Such a clean engine install looks like it came factory.
Thanks!

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Originally Posted by ryanroo View Post
if you ever decide to get out of the truck game, call me. i love this burb!
They'll probably have to cut me in half to bury half of me in the K10 and the other half in the Suburban but I'll keep you in mind.

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What the hell is going on with that trans? I'm lost on this one. I'll let you break it to Harlan. I'll do some research at work and see if there is something we all missed.

Can't wait to check out the beast. Can't wait to get the goodies from Carbondale either!
I dunno either dude. Right now it is kind of a pisser and a huge waste of money. I even tried the burnish thing Dean was talking about by forcing it into 5th over and over and over. 4th to 5th, 4th to 5th, 4th to 5th, 4th to 5th, 4th to 5th, 4th to 5th….. It will only go in with high speed. It has the same odd feeling the old F body cars did where it made you skip shift. That is how this feels when it rejects 5th. It’s like pushing up against a wall…just won’t go until you speed up. The K10 will go into 5th at 20 MPH if you want. I’ll say this though, the trans in the Burb is as quiet as a church mouse which I can’t say that for the K10 although I attribute much of the noise in the K10 to the 205.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:16 PM   #212
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

It looks nice and I'm glad you got it running better and you can drive it and enjoy it. The K10 still looks nice. The console lid looks great too. My brother has the duratracs on his dually. His only complaint is the life expectancy isn't what they claim. Other than that, he loves them.
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:47 PM   #213
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

i would bet a fifty on the fact that the life expectancy has more trouble with his driving than anything...
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:47 AM   #214
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Larry,
what are you running for front springs and dampers in the polar bear and the pickup? And how do you like each of them?
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:44 AM   #215
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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i would bet a fifty on the fact that the life expectancy has more trouble with his driving than anything...
I bet you’re right. My bro-in-law is working in the oil boom up industry in ND and runs Duratracs on his 2010 RAM 3500 crew cab long bed. He claims his last set of dirtytracs lasted 52,000 miles on a heavy Cummins truck albeit the last few months they were definitely onion skins. 50K on a heavy diesel truck running 50% dirt roads is pretty good in my opinion. He is anal about rotations so that probably helps.

I was happy (and surprised) how well the Fierce Attitudes have lasted given the fact the K10 has a Detroit locker in the back and eats tires like crazy. Those tires made one trip to California, two trips to Arizona and 2 trips around Utah and they still look practically like new. I would guess they have close to 10K on them. Very minimal wear and zero cupping.


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Larry,
what are you running for front springs and dampers in the polar bear and the pickup? And how do you like each of them?
Well, it’s quite funny actually. Both are running the ORD front HD shackles, ORD sway bar disconnects, el cheapo Superlift 6” lift shocks but the K10 has a set of Superlift 6” soft ride springs while the Burb has a set of 4” Rancho springs that were actually on the K10 when I bought it back in 1996. The funny thing is they are about the same height even though one has 4” springs and the other has 6” springs. The K10 with the 6” Superlift springs rides so much better and flexes like crazy. The burb is pretty stiff and doesn’t flex very well although the newly added weight of the 8.1L did help the ride quality on the burb quite a bit. Also helped with the wondering issue at road speed it has had since I installed the lift springs. The K10 is in dire need of new shocks badly. On the desert trips these shock heat up within the first 20 minutes of off-roading then are like not having shocks at all after that but I blew my whad on the Burb’s engine swap and new tires for the K10 so new shocks for the K10 won’t happen for a while.

Of the two I like the Superlift Softride springs the best. Not sure about shocks but I’ll have a better idea once I start shopping for a set for the K10 later this summer. The Superlift shocks are just nice because they are cheap and work fine for the lighter burb but with the weight of the K10 and type of off-roading it sees, they are not enough shock.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:51 PM   #216
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Larry can you tell me exactly which plug you used for the ESC hole in the firewall?
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Old 04-19-2015, 11:35 PM   #217
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Larry can you tell me exactly which plug you used for the ESC hole in the firewall?
Here you go. 9600K527
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Old 04-20-2015, 02:04 PM   #218
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Here you go. 9600K527
Thanks a bunch Larry. Order a few of them.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:02 PM   #219
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Larry, sorry to but in here. I joined the forum just to gather info on your 78. Id like to pretty much mimic it. Hats off to you, sir for an excellent truck. I'm building a 79. Did you change the lift from before the fender flares to after? Besides the zero raTe? It looks taller. I'm shooting for the set up you have without the flares. Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:26 PM   #220
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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Larry, sorry to but in here. I joined the forum just to gather info on your 78. Id like to pretty much mimic it. Hats off to you, sir for an excellent truck. I'm building a 79. Did you change the lift from before the fender flares to after? Besides the zero raTe? It looks taller. I'm shooting for the set up you have without the flares. Thanks in advance.
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Welcome Hammy!

Well, the Suburban has had the same lift springs since it got lifted. What may make the heights look different are the tires as I’ve posted pictures of it with 4 different tires and wheels, 3 of which have been since it was lifted. The front springs on the Suburban are the old springs that used to be on my K10 from when I bought it in 1996 up until around 2005 or so.

The blue K10 height has changed a few times in the course of 19 years of ownership of pictures floating around. It used to have the 4” springs that are on the Burb now (Rancho’s I think) then I installed Superlift 6” Softrides about 10 years ago. The flares were on the truck then. Oddly enough, the K10 did not increase any height going from 4” Rancho’s to 6” Superlift Softrides but it did grow another 1” when it was treated to a Dana 60 front axle swap a few years ago. I did have to add a 1” zero rate to the back of the K10 to make it set level again after the Dana 60 swap.

Hope that answers your question.
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Old 04-21-2015, 10:32 PM   #221
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Thank you. I have a picture of it sitting the way I like but don't know how to post it. I'm hoping to figure it out so I can maybe get specifics from you. I am planning the 8.1 swap also. Thank you for your time.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:00 PM   #222
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

I just love rigs that have lots of mods that are so cleanly done that the average person doesn't even notice them. But we're not average around here & do notice! I can only imagine the hours of planning & labor that has gone into both your builds. Much respect to you for 2 super nice rides!!!
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Old 04-22-2015, 08:01 PM   #223
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Larry, is there any way I could pm you please? I don't want to fill up your burb thread, but I'm dying to get a few more answers from you on the k10.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:07 PM   #224
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

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I just love rigs that have lots of mods that are so cleanly done that the average person doesn't even notice them. But we're not average around here & do notice! I can only imagine the hours of planning & labor that has gone into both your builds. Much respect to you for 2 super nice rides!!!
Wow! Thanks for the kind words
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Old 05-28-2015, 12:47 AM   #225
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Re: Polar Bear Suburban

Little update on the Polar Bear…. Now that work travel and vacations have passed I finally had time to run it up to a Dyno Tuner in Colorado Springs to sort out the ECM tuning to accommodate the RayLar cam. I tell ya, what a difference having a live dyno tune done by someone that knows what they’re doing makes. The big bear runs sooooo much better now. No more cam lope either! She idles smooth like a Cadillac.

The dyno results came in at 301HP/386 torque at the wheels. Not too shabby considering the original TBI 5.7L probably laid down around 110-130 HP to the ground and this shop claims most Jeeps that come through their shop rolling on 35” tires with LS engines are putting down barely 280 lb ft of torque to the ground. He also claims the 4x4 drivetrain and tire loss is around 25 to 30% so with that, I was pretty happy with 301/386. Next project is to get busy making the A/C lines now that the weather is heating up.

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