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Old 10-15-2012, 01:48 PM   #1
eyebuzz
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Suburban Year by Year Question

Hi All,

I used to be on the 67-72 Suburban forum - but getting the itch to jump back in - at least to the Suburban world. It will be awhile as I've got to save up the cash....but I love the 73-91 body style. I've got some year by year questions - please feel free if you can only fill in one detail that will help.

From what I've seen on Wikipedia: '81 is the first year for the 700R4 trans; '82 diesels were introduced; '85 new grill; '86-'87 fuel injection added; '90 ABS (for rear) added; '91 4L80-E trans --- but this leaves a lot of holes and I couldn't find a year by year model changes/update list...So:

1) What year were 3 point seat belts offered? (ever available for rear seats?)

2) (Dark) Window tinting - what year did this become "standard" (I personally don't like it).

3) What year were head restraints/rests available? (ever available for rear seats?)

4) What year did power windows come in? Were they an option and roll down ones still available ('til what year)?

5) What was more popular - barn doors or clam shell?

6) Are all the transmissions before '81 3 speed? Was the 3 speed still an option after '81?

7) What differential gearing was standard on 1/2 ton models? What was available? (sorry if this is way too general a question).

8) When did 6 digit odometers come in? (not counting the 1/10th)

Thanks All!
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:26 PM   #2
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

I think a lot of it depends on what you are looking for.

1. I don't remember the exact year on 2nd row shoulder belts (probably around '77 or so), but they became avaialable in the third row in '89.

2. The dark tint was an option through '91. You will find it mostly on the higher optioned trucks.

3. No head rests were ever available. The highback buckets started in mid year '77.

4.'77 was the first year for power windows/locks.

5. barn doors vs. tailgate is a matter of preference. Neither is exactly rare. Myself, I prefer the doors as there is less to go wrong.

6. The 700R4 was optional in 1/2 ton trucks until around 88 ( I think). I have seen some '87 trucks with a TH350C, but it is rare. You could get a TH400 in newer heavier duty trucks after that, but pretty sure all '91's have either a 4L60 or a 4L80E.

7. Not sure. Given the weight, I can't imagine anything higher than 3.23's being offered.

8. I think '88 is the first year of the 6 digit odo.

I am no expert on these trucks, but these answers should get you pretty close.
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:33 PM   #3
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

1. I have front three points in my 85. Rear are all lap belts. I have seen rear three points on burbs in pick-n-pul for the 89-91 years.

2. My 85 has is for the rear Windows excluding the tailgate. I believe it became standard in the early 80s.

3. Never seen factory head rests for the front seats of burbs from the factory. The the shorter bucket seats. Never seen rear factory headrests.

4. I believe power windows were standard for the Siverado models. I have them in my 85 and have seen them in an 81 I pulled parts from.

5. I'd say bard doors. I see more and more of those around. I have the tailgate with power window myself.

6. I have the factory 3speed th400 automatic in my 85. I believe it was the stock automatic with the 700r4 as the option until the 4L80-E was introduced. Don't quote me on that tho.

7. I have a 3/4 can't help ya there.

8. My 85 still has the 5 digit odometer without trip.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:22 PM   #4
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

Square Body Only (not 88+ pickups)......

5) Barn doors were more popular from what I can tell (my armchair opinion).

6) 700r4 was the standard on all the 1/2 tons up to 91. However, the 4L80e was offered for one year on the 3/4 suburban (1991).

8) 1990+ came with the 6 digit speedo (electronically driven).

1987 was the first year of fuel injection.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #5
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

2nd and 3rd row shoulder belts became standard on 89-91 SLE and Silverados. May have come on other trucks too, but definitely came on those models. All of the burbs that I've ever seen were drilled for them though, so it's just as simple as finding a set and bolting them in.

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Old 10-18-2012, 09:17 PM   #6
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

1.belts
1978 burb 3 front,2 back
1987 burb 3 front ,2nd 2point ,3rd 2point
1988 burb 3 front RPO YG4(rear seat not desired)bolts but no belts(will check for third hole)
1989 all three rows ,3point
2.tint
1978 no stock tint,don't think ive seen it on round eyes,like the 87,88,89 has

4.windows,locks
1987 burb had crank windows,power locks
1988 both power but no motors were ever put in the rear doors
1989 both power

5. rear door,here i see more barn doors,but it still took two years to sell a mint set
1978 barn
1987 gate
1988 barn
1989 gate

6 tranny 1978 350
1987 700
1988 700 blew up replaced with 350 before i got it
1989 700

8 6 digits speedo
can't find the 89 the rest are 5,
we spun the speedos quicker up here,we may have had them first...duno tho

radio went from two post 88, to din both on the left in 89
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1988 Suburban4X4-writeoff hit while parked RIPzez
1989 Suburban4X2 - square igloo/SOLD
2002 Fleetwood
2005 Malibu hit by City bus,2nd time a write-off(01/15/16)
2010 Dodge Van-writeoff hit while parked(01/14/15)

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Love em low,but get me higher

Last edited by motornut; 10-18-2012 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 10-19-2012, 02:11 PM   #7
Keith Seymore
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

I was going to go through and research each question and get you the answer - but I just don't have the time - so I figured I'd let you do it.

Here is the link to the GM Heritage Center archives:

http://www.gmheritagecenter.com/gm-h...tion-kits.html

Click on "Suburban" and you will see the free downloadable info packets for each model year.

Those will answer all of your questions (and any other questions you might have).

By the way:

2) Deep tint windows were never standard; always optional (and varied by region, due to regulatory requirements).

5) Barn doors outsold liftgates 2 to 1, probably (a) because there really is less to go wrong*, and (b) because that was the "base body" configuration ZW9. That means if anybody "forgot" to specify what they wanted then they got barn doors.

8) 6 digit speedo came in for 1988 (across the board) as did the new radio configuration.

K

* for example, if the liftgate glass froze in the up position, then you can't access the cargo area of the truck
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:24 PM   #8
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

Not sure if this helps ya any on the belts, but I have this sheet with a set of belts and it is dated 1974
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Old 10-19-2012, 03:36 PM   #9
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

The 88+ C/K truck version (new body style) might of come with the 6 digit Odometer however, the R/V version (old body style) remained 5 digits through 1989.

In 1990 and 1991 R/V's (suburbans and full size Blazers), changed over to the 6 digit Odometer and it was now controlled electronically. My 89' had the cable driven speedo and I converted it from the 5 digit to the 6 digit. A lot of work but the results were great!

The 2 shaft radio's in the R/V version also remained through 1988. In 1989, they switched over to the larger, square radio.
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Old 10-19-2012, 07:02 PM   #10
Keith Seymore
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski-me View Post
The 88+ C/K truck version (new body style) might of come with the 6 digit Odometer however, the R/V version (old body style) remained 5 digits through 1989.

In 1990 and 1991 R/V's (suburbans and full size Blazers), changed over to the 6 digit Odometer and it was now controlled electronically. My 89' had the cable driven speedo and I converted it from the 5 digit to the 6 digit. A lot of work but the results were great!

The 2 shaft radio's in the R/V version also remained through 1988. In 1989, they switched over to the larger, square radio.
You may be right on the six digits. I was thinking of the trip odo, which did in fact come in for 1988 and which I verified by checking the Heritage center info. However, it didn't say anything about the six digit odo; I assumed the two changes were tied together but they may not have been.

You are absolutely correct on the radio. I got off a year because of the GMT400 vs R/V split.


K
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Last edited by Keith Seymore; 10-19-2012 at 07:10 PM.
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Old 10-20-2012, 08:48 AM   #11
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Seymore View Post
You may be right on the six digits. I was thinking of the trip odo, which did in fact come in for 1988 and which I verified by checking the Heritage center info. However, it didn't say anything about the six digit odo; I assumed the two changes were tied together but they may not have been.

You are absolutely correct on the radio. I got off a year because of the GMT400 vs R/V split.


K
Yea, that 88-91 era is kinda of a goofy time. The whole C/K and R/V versions. Confuses the parts guys quite a bit. Most pickup trucks were the newer style but the 1 tons, I think were still old body. Or maybe it was just the crew cabs. Anyways, confusing sometimes for sure.

For the R/V in 90 and 91....they even changed the instrument cluster to accommodate the electric speedo.

Converting from cable to electronic did help my truck overall because I was able to get a more unified speedo pulse which helped my cruise control not surge up and down. Probably helped the engine too because it was also getting a more accurate pulse. I also was able to add some toggle pins to the DRAC and now my speedo is spot on with 35" tires! Pretty sweet really.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:04 PM   #12
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski-me View Post
Yea, that 88-91 era is kinda of a goofy time. The whole C/K and R/V versions. Confuses the parts guys quite a bit. Most pickup trucks were the newer style but the 1 tons, I think were still old body. Or maybe it was just the crew cabs. Anyways, confusing sometimes for sure.
Yep - confuses me, too (...and I was there....).



K
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Old 11-09-2012, 12:25 PM   #13
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Thumbs up Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Seymore View Post
Here is the link to the GM Heritage Center archives:

http://www.gmheritagecenter.com/gm-h...tion-kits.html

Click on "Suburban" and you will see the free downloadable info packets for each model year.

Those will answer all of your questions (and any other questions you might have).
Thanks all - this is a great link from Keith - those info sheets are PACKED full of information...awesome link. TT
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:51 PM   #14
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by motornut View Post
1.belts
1978 burb 3 front,2 back
1987 burb 3 front ,2nd 2point ,3rd 2point
1988 burb 3 front RPO YG4(rear seat not desired)bolts but no belts(will check for third hole)
1989 all three rows ,3point
2.tint
1978 no stock tint,don't think ive seen it on round eyes,like the 87,88,89 has

4.windows,locks
1987 burb had crank windows,power locks
1988 both power but no motors were ever put in the rear doors
1989 both power

5. rear door,here i see more barn doors,but it still took two years to sell a mint set
1978 barn
1987 gate
1988 barn
1989 gate

6 tranny 1978 350
1987 700
1988 700 blew up replaced with 350 before i got it
1989 700

8 6 digits speedo
can't find the 89 the rest are 5,
we spun the speedos quicker up here,we may have had them first...duno tho

radio went from two post 88, to din both on the left in 89

Seems the 88 has threaded nuts in the back pillars and for the third seat
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1978 Suburban4X2-hit while parked RIPzez
1978 GMCJimmy4X4-350/203http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...=421767&page=4
1979 GMCJimmy4X2-305/350http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...=1#post5200107
1987 Suburban4X4-writeoff hit while parked RIPzez
1988 Suburban4X4-writeoff hit while parked RIPzez
1989 Suburban4X2 - square igloo/SOLD
2002 Fleetwood
2005 Malibu hit by City bus,2nd time a write-off(01/15/16)
2010 Dodge Van-writeoff hit while parked(01/14/15)

Now I just buy shorter trucks!
Love em low,but get me higher
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:15 PM   #15
eyebuzz
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Re: Suburban Year by Year Question

Thanks for all the replies. I ended up finding a nice 1999 'burb. I appreciate all the replies and I'm sure others will find the answers useful. My dreams for 73-91 will have to be on hold - but honestly, I'm loving this new ride and hopefully have it for YEARS to come. I'm pretty darn happy to be back in the Suburban world. Best, TT
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