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Old 02-16-2018, 03:08 PM   #1
KeithT712
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1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

New to the forum and first time build thread but something I've wanted to do for some time now. Find myself constantly searching for answers so figured maybe somehow it may help a few people along the way. Or may even help get some tips and pointers from everyone on here.

The idea was simple, swap a 6.0 Lq4 out of a 2500HD along with the 4l80e into a square body suburban for a nice old burb that could pull a trailer or travel long distances no problem.

While I'm just starting this now this project actually somewhat started about 6 months-year ago, so I might breeze through the past view months to catch up to where I am now. (as long as I can figure out uploading pictures)

And again any input/advice or pointers is appreciated, still have a long road ahead
I'll continue to update this as progress continues as well any part of the build can be seen on instagram under #lsxburb

-Keith

Last edited by KeithT712; 02-16-2018 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 02-16-2018, 03:17 PM   #2
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

This all started where most of my projects seem to start... A good deal on craigslist

I found a 90 square body suburban that was listed for a couple months that seemed fairly clean and worth looking at, at the same time I had found a not so clean (dented and abused) lifted suburban mud truck with dana 60/14b axles and 39.5 tires which peaked my interest. I found myself traveling to both ends of Vermont to look at each and bring back home with me
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:11 PM   #3
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

The weeks/months that followed were mostly spend working on the mud burb, with a 4 speed (sm465) swap and tune up to get it ready to play in the mud. But that is another story about another truck for another time

About mid summer 2017 I decided that black suburban frame wouldn't be a bad start to project being that it was very clean ( no real rust issues) and the body would either be removed and put back on or transplated to the mud truck. So the tear down began and the body was removed.

Next the frame was stripped down and I attempted to sand blast the surface rust that was there using a portable sandblaster... that didn't last very long granted I the sand blaster I had probably wasn't the best and spend more time refilling than I did spraying so a phone call was made to a local powder coat shop here in vermont to sand blast and coat it for less hassle and in the long run less money
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Old 02-16-2018, 04:54 PM   #4
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Post Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

When it became time to get new parts Off Road Design was the one stop shop for most of what I needed: (which has become a bigger and bigger list)
HD Engine Crossmember
HD Motor Mounts

LS Converversion plates
HD Front and rear shackles
Steering box brace kit
4" Tuff Country EZ-ride lift springs and shocks
U bolts and top plates for the dana 60/14 bolt

All of that had me covered for quite some time. Ofcourse after seeing how the frame came out at powder coat I decided to do the same with the 1 ton axles I had picked up so both were stripped and cleaned and sent off along with other misc parts
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Old 02-16-2018, 05:38 PM   #5
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Along the way I checked craigslist and similar sites religiously in hopes of finding a complete donor truck, I could have just found and pulled a junk yard motor but I wanted a complete truck to take my time and work with. Eventually I found a lowish mileage (~150k)2002 Chevy 2500hd 6.0 auto posted online. the body was rough and the idle was off (intake gaskets) but the truck had been a fleet maintained vehicle for a plumbing outfit its whole life. Another trip across vermont in a flat bed and it was at its new home.

Eventually when the time was right the motor transmission and transfer case were pulled out, valve covers were pulled and the inside of the motor appeared clean but was still stripped down and block send out to be checked and hot tanked along with new bearings and cylinder hone and crank polish.
Ended up selling the transfer case out of the truck for $500
seeing how driver side drop transfer case wasn't going to work with my gm 60, and I'd prefer not running a ford axle on this one
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Old 02-16-2018, 06:02 PM   #6
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Can't seem to figure out why the pictures keep posting upside down and sideways but still we'll push on

Deciding on what transfer case to put behind the 4l80e was easy thanks to Off Road Design and their 4l80e/np205 adapter getting the best of both worlds I went with a 205 built specifically to be bolted right up (with a speed sensor that would plug right in to the ls harness also) as well as a twin stick shifter set up (mostly because I've always wanted to run one of them)

I'm sure there are other options that can be done, just 205 is what is run in the mud burb so I see no reason why a tow rig cant have one too. The first hurdle with this setup was needing the tranny crossmember and mounts out of and earlier truck (pre 85 i believe) that would have come with the 205, which was easily found either from local yards or in this case eBay for a clean one

Next was to re assemble the front and rear axles and place them under the springs
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Old 02-16-2018, 08:41 PM   #7
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Rebuilding the axles went fairly smoothly for never having touched a dana 60 or 14 Bolt before, other than maybe a wheel bearing or two. Front end was first! Again Off Road design was the answer for differential rehearing kits (priced around and seemed to be the best prices) as well as all wheel bearings, Kingpin rebuilds etc.

I spent a good amount of time doing research on brake options for the front end, I wanted something that would be an upgrade over the original brakes and with the idea of occasionally pulling a trailer with a full size SUV I wanted them to be BIG

Torq Motorsports was the answer! Their setup lets you run the 2009+ Dodge ram 3500 brakes with the ~14.5" rotors and dual piston calipers, overall install went fairly easy, brake parts can be picked up at any local parts stores just can still be pricey caliper rotors and good set of pads ~$400 But of course there was a hurdle as there always is. Best option for caliper bracket bolts was from the dealer part no. 06509456AA total price from local dealer ~$10 and 1 day waiting period. When I went to put them in found they were a touch too long, so all 4 were cut down slightly and cleaned up, unfortunately it also requires the hubs be machined down in order to slip the rotors on from the outside which is manageable just more work

On a side not as i've skipped right over it, back around christmas time i managed to catch the black friday deals from Off road design on a 2wd PSC steering box and crossover steering set up which can be seen on the frame
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6

Last edited by KeithT712; 02-16-2018 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 02-17-2018, 08:57 AM   #8
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Small progress on the burb last night...

Rear end finished bolting up spindles and hubs cleaned and ready to go on, just waiting on brakes.

When i picked up the rear axle it had no name disc brake brackets on it running 80s k20 front brakes so thats the setup that stayed, total parts cost for brand new calipers, rotors and good pad set ~$140 (much better than price for fronts)

Downside to this setup is loss of park brake but that will be addressed at a later date, at this point it looks like the answer is transfer case brake. Curious if anyone has any experience with running one on their rigs
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6
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Old 02-20-2018, 01:13 PM   #9
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Awesome! I followed the link in your sig from the bumper trim thread and now I'm stoked to follow this build. I've never been as far east as you are and from what I've heard I'm amazed there was still frame under the '90.
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1983 GMC High Sierra 2500, 4x4, RC/LB, 400 S.B., SM-465, NP-208, Corporate 10 bolt & 9.5" 14 bolt
1996 GMC Sierra SLE 3500 DRW, 4x4, EC/LB, Vortec 454, NV-4500, BW-4401, AAM 925 & AAM 1050

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Old 02-20-2018, 02:57 PM   #10
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

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Originally Posted by 83GMCK2500 View Post
Awesome! I followed the link in your sig from the bumper trim thread and now I'm stoked to follow this build. I've never been as far east as you are and from what I've heard I'm amazed there was still frame under the '90.
Honestly I was just as surprised haha, the frame in both the 90 and in the mud truck were practically spotless, the 90 had a little surface rust but nothing that sand blasting and powder coat couldn't take care of
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6
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Old 02-20-2018, 05:31 PM   #11
83GMCK2500
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

I was just looking closer, the '90 1500 is this build correct? Where did the D60 and 14FF come from? Was the 14FF with factory disc + parking that came in your 2002 donor/parts truck not rebuildable? Moving spring perches doesn't appear to be out of your skill set.
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1983 GMC High Sierra 2500, 4x4, RC/LB, 400 S.B., SM-465, NP-208, Corporate 10 bolt & 9.5" 14 bolt
1996 GMC Sierra SLE 3500 DRW, 4x4, EC/LB, Vortec 454, NV-4500, BW-4401, AAM 925 & AAM 1050

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Old 02-20-2018, 06:06 PM   #12
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

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I was just looking closer, the '90 1500 is this build correct? Where did the D60 and 14FF come from? Was the 14FF with factory disc + parking that came in your 2002 donor/parts truck not rebuildable? Moving spring perches doesn't appear to be out of your skill set.
Thats a good question and it was a cross road that I was at for a decent amount of time The 90 is in fact a 1500, the axles where bought with a matching set of 44 inch bloggers for my mud truck. They're 4.56 gears with rear locker, although the 02 was 4.11 with limited slip g80 diff, which led me to a 4.11 vs 4.56 gearing debate with almost everyone i know. Basically I would either have to re gear the front or the rear

I decided to run with the 4.56s to start mostly because they were already in the older axles and I'm curious to see how they do with 35s.

The 02 axle is a little rougher on the outside than the 4.56 axle was but again nothing that couldn't be cleaned up with some sand (although i never got as far as disassembling it), I figured the option is always there anyway once i decide which gear ratio is going to stay with the truck
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6
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Old 02-20-2018, 06:08 PM   #13
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Slow progress this weekend also, the northeast had a gorgeous weekend so I found myself enjoying it at Killington mountain for the most part but did manage to squeeze in some build time...

Last few finishing touches on the rear end, installed my rear brakes (85 k20 front brakes), tuff country shocks on, and finally hubs and axles in. Now were about ready for wheels and tires
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6
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Old 02-21-2018, 02:58 PM   #14
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

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Thats a good question and it was a cross road that I was at for a decent amount of time The 90 is in fact a 1500, the axles where bought with a matching set of 44 inch bloggers for my mud truck. They're 4.56 gears with rear locker, although the 02 was 4.11 with limited slip g80 diff, which led me to a 4.11 vs 4.56 gearing debate with almost everyone i know. Basically I would either have to re gear the front or the rear

I decided to run with the 4.56s to start mostly because they were already in the older axles and I'm curious to see how they do with 35s.

The 02 axle is a little rougher on the outside than the 4.56 axle was but again nothing that couldn't be cleaned up with some sand (although i never got as far as disassembling it), I figured the option is always there anyway once i decide which gear ratio is going to stay with the truck
A good friend of mine had a 3.73 geared truck that received a CUCV rear (+ regeared front) when he started towing with it for a while and he said the 4.56s +35s were almost the identical to the 3.73s and stock tires.

Might be too bad you already bought brake parts for the rear axle, I'm not sure if you've seen the 4th product down here: http://www.fourwheeler.com/product-r...-new-products/ I came across it on Pirate a while ago and bookmarked it.

Did you mention, what all will you be doing to the 6.0L?
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1983 GMC High Sierra 2500, 4x4, RC/LB, 400 S.B., SM-465, NP-208, Corporate 10 bolt & 9.5" 14 bolt
1996 GMC Sierra SLE 3500 DRW, 4x4, EC/LB, Vortec 454, NV-4500, BW-4401, AAM 925 & AAM 1050

My Introduction with my '83s History
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:01 PM   #15
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Thats honestly the outcome I'm hoping for with the 4.56s, I think i'll be happy with them just didn't want to spend the money on a locker for the front axle until I know for sure

I wish I had seen that sooner although i cant find brackets or prices on their site, the brake parts wouldn't be a complete loss on my end if i do something different I can just as easily transplant these brakes onto the 14 bolt under my mud truck

And I hadn't mentioned much of the 6.0 yet but its perfect that you asked because that is my next step. After I pulled the motor out of my donor it was completely stripped and sent out to a local machine shop for hot tank, new cam bearings, cylinder hone and just a general check over, along with my crank which was hot tanked and polished.

Once the motor was back to me it was taped and painted, all new bearings, rings & gasket sets ordered and basically its just been covered up on my engine stand waiting for me to reassemble it. (just wanted to finish the axles first)

For a cam I ended up going with tick performance tow max stage 2 after talking with them, I wanted something above stock but nothing too crazy as I hope to tow with it and travel some.

For Heads I'm leaning towards a set of 243/799 for the bump in compression but still haven't made my mind up there either, I figured once the bottom end is reassembled ill have no choice but to pull the trigger one way or the other. But at any rate hopefully I will begin putting the motor back together this week/weekend
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:54 PM   #16
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Very cool build you have going here dude. You're doing a lot of similar stuff that I plan on doing to my K5 project so I'll be following along for ideas.

So did you just do a quick hone to freshen up the hatching on your cylinders or did they do more of a .005/.010 cleanup hone? If you wind up going to an oversize piston you can go with flat tops to pick up around the same 10:1 compression as swapping on 243/799 heads with the dished pistons.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:00 AM   #17
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

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Very cool build you have going here dude. You're doing a lot of similar stuff that I plan on doing to my K5 project so I'll be following along for ideas.

So did you just do a quick hone to freshen up the hatching on your cylinders or did they do more of a .005/.010 cleanup hone? If you wind up going to an oversize piston you can go with flat tops to pick up around the same 10:1 compression as swapping on 243/799 heads with the dished pistons.
Appreciate it man! Look forward to seeing some pics of yours as well, I'm sure the ideas will flow from both of our projects.

Basically the block was just freshened up and left the bore size, I had thought about swapping to flat top pistons for a bit but never pursued it although I do keep an eye out locally for a good deal on an Lq9 if there ever is one.

Honestly I haven't touched the inside of a motor in a few years so its also going to be a bit of a re learning curve and figured i'd just keep it simple for now (not that swapping pistons would be a giant task)
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6
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Old 03-01-2018, 05:57 PM   #18
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

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Appreciate it man! Look forward to seeing some pics of yours as well, I'm sure the ideas will flow from both of our projects.

Basically the block was just freshened up and left the bore size, I had thought about swapping to flat top pistons for a bit but never pursued it although I do keep an eye out locally for a good deal on an Lq9 if there ever is one.

Honestly I haven't touched the inside of a motor in a few years so its also going to be a bit of a re learning curve and figured i'd just keep it simple for now (not that swapping pistons would be a giant task)
I hear ya, I haven't been inside an engine since high school and trying to tinker with these newer motors can be intimidating. I'll be using an LS2 w/4l80e that I was able to pick up cheapish for my swap. The only downside is the LS2 has a spun rod bearing and the crank is toast so I'm having to save up for a stroker kit now... Probably be a while before I start a thread with me being stuck in the parts gathering phase, I don't think anyone wants to read about that lol.

So with your new 4 wheel disc setup, were you going to do anything different with the master cylinder and proportioning valve? Seems like some people run their existing stuff with no issues and other people have to swap out the MC and prop valve to get everything to work right.
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:22 AM   #19
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Sounds like an awesome project NorCalAnthony! I've always wanted to do a stroker... maybe on my next one

As far as master cylinder and proportioning valve i'm thinking about going with something like the wildwood master cylinder with adjustable proportion valve but still haven't completely decided there yet either, figured ill sort it out once the body is on
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6
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Old 03-02-2018, 09:39 AM   #20
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Managed to make a little progress within the last week, re assembled the lower end last weekend with my new rings and bearings, put on the cloyes timing set and lingenfelter oil pump and then all new gaskets for the oil pan and front and rear covers.

Took a solid day of cleaning and measuring to get all the pistons in but overall pretty smooth and easy.

Finally with the help from a few buddies got the motor and transmission set into place and mated together with the tci flex plate and torque converter

And ofcourse daisy the shop dog had to inspect all the work to make sure it was done right
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6
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Old 03-17-2018, 08:05 AM   #21
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

Slow moving progress lately....
Haven't been able to post lately but minor updates, a lot of sitting around and waiting for parts at this point

Ended up picking up a set of 799 heads and sending them out to be checked and cleaned and a fresh valve job, went with ls7 lifters from Texas Speed along with pac beehive springs which should arrive today

Wheels and tires have been ordered, wheels showed up a little delayed because of our recent nor'easterns up here but finally showed up and luckily 17s were just enough to clear the brakes. Tires are a whole other issue... Made the mistake of ordering them from 4 wheel parts as they had a deal going. 1 week later still haven't shipped and can't get any kind of update or tracking to see when they will ship.

Stainless lines showed up from Inline tube and began setting them in the frame last night, with any luck my braided brake hoses from off road design will be here today so I can figure out where everything will end up over the weekend

Entering kind of a crunch time at this point, Managed to pull the front clip off the body last weekend and start pulling some of the interior apart if everything goes smoothly hope to swap the body onto the frame next weekend but still have a full weeks worth of work ahead of me to get there
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6
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Old 06-06-2018, 01:13 PM   #22
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Re: 1990 Suburban LQ4/4L80E/D60/14Bolt swap

I've been slacking with updating this and I apologize. Everything on the burb has been slow going but work has been swamped. A few leaps and bounds for progress though. The body is currently sitting on the frame, and got to test fit the wheels and 35" tires which may or may not look too small with the 4" suspension lift and 1" body lift. Underside of the floor and the fire wall were all painted before the body was set on the new frame, installed the steering shaft to make moving it around a little easier. Unfortunately with the 35s on the suburban couldn't fit into my garage at home so i had to put it on a small set of roll arounds to get inside (i'll solve that problem later). Next was to install the differential park brake so i could measure for the rear drive shaft. Ended up going with the Schoenfeld headers and so far very happy with fit and appearance. Slowly been working away in the engine bay installing new sensors and plugging in the harness. I'll do my best to keep the updates coming. But for now heres the last few months of progress that I've missed.
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1995 GMC K1500 Suburban 6" Pro comp 35x12.50R17
LSXburb -Build- 1990 GMC Suburban 6.0 Lq4 4l80e np205 D60 14FF
1988 GMC suburban 350ci Sm465 D60 14FF 8" 39.5x15R15
1969 Pontiac Lemans 400ci Muncie 4 speed
2009 Pontiac G8 Gxp M6
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