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Old 11-23-2018, 06:35 PM   #1
Average Joe
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The 'Burban Chronicles.....

I was thinking back the other day and realized I have owned my '67 C10 Suburban almost 10 years. Time really flies. My youngest wasnt even 1 year old at that time and now she is almost 11. Wow! In that time I have neglected to start a build thread or even post much about it. I have gained a wealth of knowledge from here and have tried to help others where I could as well. Perhaps after 1100 posts and almost 10 years as a member here I now feel more compelled to share. Idk. I recently read a reply to a post here about motivation on projects. Member HO455 suggested that a build thread or some kind of thread journalizing projects and progress is a good motivational tool as well as a great reference as time goes by. I believe he is right.

For whatever reason I am now starting a build thread. Kind of. For starters my 'Burb is my daily driver. It has been for the last 9 1/2 years. I have a '69 Nova but its not real practical as a daily driver. So, because of that, my projects are really limited to weekend wrenching. This also means no frame offs or paint jail. My car budget is also extremely limited. Family, mortgage, retirement savings all take priority.

So I will apologize in advance for the lackluster pace and lack of bling. I enjoy subtle changes as well as low buck mods. This forum is truly a gold mine for that!! Anyhow, enough rambling. Here is the 'Burb in 2009 shortly after my wife surprised me with it.
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Old 11-23-2018, 08:29 PM   #2
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

I had looked at this Suburban earlier in the year with my wife. I really liked it but could not justify the asking price. It was priced fair and I didnt feel right trying to talk Frank, the PO, down in price. So the hunt continued. I had been looking for a 67-72 3 door for a couple of years at this point. I had a '69 C10 pickup that I had owned since '95 but the family had outgrown it. I felt what better to replace it than a Burb from the same era.

Fast forward 3 weeks. I just got home from work when I hear a knock on the door. It was a friend from work who wanted to show me his "new" toy. There, in the drive, is the very Suburban I had looked at just a few weeks earlier. My heart sank. I felt sick and elated for him at the same time. My jealously eventually got the better of me as I stammered "but, but, but I wanted to buy that." He said "I know!" With that an awkward silence began. In the next 30 seconds I began questioning my friendship with said co worker. But thankfully before I could say or do anything foolish, he replied "its yours!" I was speechless.

As it turned out, I was the recipient of an elaborate prank that my wife had perpetrated. She saw how dissapointed I was after looking at the Suburban earlier in the month. I probably would have purchased it then but the reality of a year of medical bills for my youngest daughter had dissuaded me.

My youngest daughter had been on a portable breathing monitor for the previous 7 months. At this point my daughter was doing well, but the medical bills were rolling in. I felt spending money on a then 40 year old SUV was not the wisest move. Oh well I thought. Another one will eventually come along I told myself. However this was a '67 with barn doors and very solid. I resigned myself to wait for a better time financially.

My wife had other plans. The previous owner called me a week after I looked at it. He said he would be willing to take $2,000 for it. I explained to him my financial situation and that I would love to own it but financial reality was sinking in. He said he understood and wished me and my family best wishes. Unbeknownst to me my wife called him the next day and struck a deal to buy it. She had procured a loan through family to purchase it for me. She had also gotten the price down another $400. Mind you this was in early 2009 and the housing bubble was quickly deflating. Frank, the prior owner, worked in construction and was liquidating his extra toys.

Long story no longer so short, my friend was merely a pawn in my wife's scheme to surprise me. Mission accomplished Kitty!
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Old 11-23-2018, 08:59 PM   #3
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

So,
Enough rambling already Brian! BTW thats my real name. I truly believe I am an average joe though.

My 'Burb came to me as a very minimal optioned '67. No P/S, no P/B, factory 2 barrel 283, SM420 granny low 4 speed, and 3.73 gears. Apparently a passenger side sun viser was also an option that mine did not have. It still doesnt. Nor are there any holes to mount one.

The interior had been replaced at some point in the last 15 years. The front seat had been recovered to match the second row Chevy Astro seat. A full custom gray headliner and carpet kit were in place as well.
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Old 11-24-2018, 12:32 PM   #4
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Officially tuned in and watching! :
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1967 Burban the WMB,1991 S(stink)-10 Blazer,1969 GTO, 1970 Javelin, 1952 F3 Ford 4X4, 29 Model A, 72 Firebird. 85 Alfa Romeo
If it breaks I didn't want it in the first place
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Old 11-24-2018, 01:20 PM   #5
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by HO455 View Post
Officially tuned in and watching! :
Thank you sir! You have set the bar very high with your WMB thread!

So, at this point, I am the proud owner of what I believe to be a 3 owner 1967 C10 Suburban. In an attempt to market the Suburban to a wider audience the PO gave the Burb a fresh rattle can paint job as well as spray painting the inside of the back windows black. While the outside spray bomb job looked reasonably good, it was done with paint designed for wicker furniture. This was the color that came closest to matching the GM 503 paint code at Wally World I think. Consequently the paint has all but worn off in the last 9 years since I have owned it. What hasnt gives it a nice faux 'tina look. If your into that sorta thing.

The rear "tint" job had to go. While it looked good, it was downright annoying. I had almost zero visibility out the back. One of my first projects was scraping off all the paint. Thanks to a post I started in the paint and body forum I got steered in the right direction. Lots of lube in the form of window cleaner and Sharp razor blades got the job done with minimal scratches.

I should have mentioned earlier on in the story that I have minimal pictures of the early days of ownership. I will try and sprinkle a few in here and there though. 'Cause everyone loves pics!! Unfortunately from here out they will most likly be out of chronological order. So here is a shot from the Oregon Coast taken a few years back on a family vacation.
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Old 11-24-2018, 02:56 PM   #6
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Over the next year I replaced the rear home made trailer hitch, heater core and hoses, mirrors, and added a tach. I gots to have me a tachometer in my old rigs!
I also degreased the motor and replaced the battery cables. I was basically looking to insure its reliability and trying to figure out what direction I wanted to go with it. I knew I wanted power steering and brakes. ideally front disc brakes. However money is always tight in our household and I would have to be resourceful.

Enter my friend Moose. A great hulk of a man with a heart of gold. He just so happened to have a '86 C20 Burb he had been trying to sell for over a year. He offered it to me for $120. Now this was no peach. It came from "Joysey" and had copius amounts of rust. The tranny was questionable and it had a habbit of overheating in the summer months. However it drove well and had its obligatory front sway bar, fold flat second seat, and receiver hitch. These were all parts I could use on my '67. Granted they may require a lil "messaging" to fit. I figured I could part out the rest and scrap the remainder. My condolences to the '80's square body crowd here. Believe me though, It was pretty far gone.

Unfortunatly I have no pics of it. However a google search of rusty '80's Burbs turned up this:
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Old 11-24-2018, 05:18 PM   #7
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Talking Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

You are too generous with your praise. I remember one east coast square body. It was in the early 80's and I went past a long bed on the freeway in Virginia. From behind it looked like the truck was trying to take flight as the bed sides were flapping so much. As I drove past I realized that I could see the scenery on the the other side of the truck through both sides of the bed above the rear wheels. They were only doing 45 mph but even that seemed like too much.
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Old 11-24-2018, 08:38 PM   #8
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

^^lol^^

This one wasnt quite that bad.

With the information on this board I was able to determine the steering box from the '86 would bolt right up. My '67 must have been a later model because no spacers were needed as it already had the raised mounting holes, unlike most other '67's. It came from the Freemont plant. Perhaps they had gotten a supply of '68 frame rails earlier than the other GM plants. I really dont know. Either way I was pleasantly surprised and only had to notch the front bumper mount for clearance.

The box being an '86 was set up for metric fittings iirc. With the info I gleaned from one of TXFirefighter threads, I learned I could swap the fitting in the back of the '68 power steering pump, I had aquired off CL, to the metric fitting from the '86 pump. If memory serves the pumps were similar but the bracketry was different and I wanted to keep the short water pump/driver side alternator set up.

I purchased new hoses for an '86 model and bam I had power steering. Lol!

I utilized the power booster and mc as well. I gave them a Krylon overhaul and modified the brake pushrod to work via a coupling nut and a few tacks from my lil wire feed. Bam! Now I had power brakes. Still drum but power assisted from the dual diaphram '86 booster.
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Old 11-24-2018, 10:33 PM   #9
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

So I drove the 'Burb in this configuration for the next 3 years. I could not decide if I wanted to retain the small block and 4 speed or swap the 454 and TH400 out of my '69 C10 LWB. My pickup had been relegated to outside parking and the Suburban had stolen its spot in the garage since it was my daily driver now. I felt conflicted about parting out the truck since it had served me well for the last 15 years. However it had lots of good parts I could use on the 'Burb and although I had repainted it in the '90's I had neglected to properly fix alot of the hidden cab rust. It was also a long bed. Financially I figured I would be better off to use it as a donor to make the Suburban that much better.

Ultimately this purchase became the deciding factor in the matter:
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Old 11-24-2018, 11:04 PM   #10
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Yessirreebob, I was now the proud owner of a recreational vehicle. Or at least a travel trailer. 6000 pounds of 'Merican made Holiday Rambler. She was a sturdy old goat. Boxed 6" steel frame, aluminum studs and ceiling joists, and top of the line appliances circa 1977. Unfortunately that build quality comes at the expense of added weight. The tired 283, which had now spit out a head gasket, laughed at me for even suggesting the idea of pulling it. Perhaps if I had rebuilt her and added some 4.56 gears I could have convinced her. I think I just wanted BB torque and was tired of trying to hold my coffee and shift gears at the same time.

That settled it. I would harvest the big block, auto tranny, rebuilt disc brake front end, HD driveline, and Flowmaster exhaust from my '69 and use on the 'Burb. I had swapped all of this into my truck during the summer of 2003 and it had seen very few miles since. I also formulated a plan to swap some of the parts from the 'Burb to put back onto the truck. I still had the drivetrain from the rusty crusty '86 Suburban patiently waiting its turn to live again.
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Old 11-25-2018, 12:09 AM   #11
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

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Old 11-25-2018, 02:02 AM   #12
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Quote:
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Thank you for your interest!

At this point in the story, if I still have anyone's attention lol, you have probably realized I am not a purist or a total original equipment kinda guy. Its not that I dont value that, but my comfort and frugality (thats a nice way of saying cheap) tend to override these emotions. Nor am I completely brand loyal. I bleed Chevy orange but did not hesitate 1 minute to put a Ford 9" in my Nova. Now dont get me wrong. I hate aftermarket sun roofs and cringe at the sight of fiberglass racing buckets in a street car. I guess what im really trying to say is, I like to work with what I've got provided its functional and looks ok.

With my lil disclaimer behind us, I feel I can now move forward with my story. I bought the travel trailer in mid May of 2012. My wife and I both agreed we would like to use it at our annual family reunion that was scheduled for the last week in July. That gave me approximately 8 weeks to swap the front suspension, motor, trans, exhaust, driveline, and steering column. In addition I would have to get the trailer functional as well. It had not been used in a loooong time and needed a thorough cleaning as well as some remodeling. New tires and a fresh repack/inspection of the wheel bearings were on the list as well. I had my work cut out for me. Remember, Im an average joe, not Mr. Goodwrench!

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the swap. It was pretty straight forward though. I used the BB frame mounts and removed the old 4 speed bellhousing crossmember. I had to trim the passenger side frame rail for exhaust manifold clearance. I made a template from the '69's rail and duplicated it on the '67. I swapped the entire suspension rather than dissasemble it. This allowed me to thoroughly clean and paint the front part of the frame. I also added the factory big block fan shroud as my pickup never had one. I finished the swap 3 days before we were scheduled to leave. With all the work the trailer needed, fine tuning and gremlins would have to wait. Needless to say I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best!!
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Old 11-25-2018, 12:43 PM   #13
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Average Joe View Post
Thank you for your interest!

At this point in the story, if I still have anyone's attention lol, you have probably realized I am not a purist or a total original equipment kinda guy. Its not that I dont value that, but my comfort and frugality (thats a nice way of saying cheap) tend to override these emotions. Nor am I completely brand loyal. I bleed Chevy orange but did not hesitate 1 minute to put a Ford 9" in my Nova. Now dont get me wrong. I hate aftermarket sun roofs and cringe at the sight of fiberglass racing buckets in a street car. I guess what im really trying to say is, I like to work with what I've got provided its functional and looks ok.

With my lil disclaimer behind us, I feel I can now move forward with my story. I bought the travel trailer in mid May of 2012. My wife and I both agreed we would like to use it at our annual family reunion that was scheduled for the last week in July. That gave me approximately 8 weeks to swap the front suspension, motor, trans, exhaust, driveline, and steering column. In addition I would have to get the trailer functional as well. It had not been used in a loooong time and needed a thorough cleaning as well as some remodeling. New tires and a fresh repack/inspection of the wheel bearings were on the list as well. I had my work cut out for me. Remember, Im an average joe, not Mr. Goodwrench!

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the swap. It was pretty straight forward though. I used the BB frame mounts and removed the old 4 speed bellhousing crossmember. I had to trim the passenger side frame rail for exhaust manifold clearance. I made a template from the '69's rail and duplicated it on the '67. I swapped the entire suspension rather than dissasemble it. This allowed me to thoroughly clean and paint the front part of the frame. I also added the factory big block fan shroud as my pickup never had one. I finished the swap 3 days before we were scheduled to leave. With all the work the trailer needed, fine tuning and gremlins would have to wait. Needless to say I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best!!

Gutsy guy. Hope everything worked out for you.....

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Old 11-25-2018, 02:17 PM   #14
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Quote:
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Gutsy guy. Hope everything worked out for you.....

LockDoc
For the most part it did.

In my rush to get the Suburban going I neglected to throw a timing light on it. She ran a lil warm and sucked down the fuel. Like 4.5 mpg. Yikes! Other than that and some towing issues, ie sway and trailer brakes malfunctioning, nothing big. I had managed to get new tires on the TT as well as repack the bearings before though. I would have liked to try other settings on the WD hitch and procured a friction sway dampener but ultimately ran out of time.

We used the trailer again that summer and some towing deficiencies became abundantly clear. I would need to add some air bags. My hitch also left alot to be desired. In order to prevent the 'Burb from sagging in the rear I was having to really crank the WD bars down tight. However this was transferring too much weight to the front and leaving the rear too light. This became obvious on a rutted section of the freeway where the trailer started to sway on me. I could have used an astronaut diaper on that adventure! It didnt help that the back of the Suburban was loaded with 500+ pounds of gear and a St. Bernard.

Yep,
Airbags would have to be added to the list of improvements or a HD spring. I knew I wanted to lower the rear so the logical choice became bags. I also began researching trailer sway and how to minimize it. This led me to my next purchase.
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Old 11-25-2018, 03:36 PM   #15
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

That right there is an engineering marvel! ^^^^^^

Made by Hensley Manufacturing and invented by a Mr. Jim Hensley. They call her the Hensley Arrow. A brilliant design that changes the pivot point of the trailer and allows borderline jack knife turns. In addition the trailer no longer has the ability to sway. Drawbacks are the additional tongue weight, added overall length, and the biggest of them all....COST. To the tune of almost $3000 dollars!

Now how could an average joe justify such an extravagant recreational travel trailer towing accessory? I couldnt. Heck, I only paid a grand for the trailer itself.
But after looking at their website and viewing their videos I was hooked.

https://www.hensleymfg.com/hensley-hitch-video/

Craigslist to the rescue! I did a search of the whole state of Oregon and Northern California and found one posted on a RV dealer consignment lot for $150. Ebay prices ranged from $500 and up for used units plus a whole lot for shipping. I couldnt drive there fast enough!

https://tenor.com/view/mr-bean-driving-sit-gif-12208209
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Old 11-25-2018, 07:31 PM   #16
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

My next project on the 'Burb would be a rebuild on the rear suspension as well as upgrading to air bags. I had also acquired a 1970 rear end with 3.07 gears. It was in very good shape whereas my axles were shot. I had previously replaced the axle seals and bearings but they were leaking again. I later learned of some sort of sleave and a bearing with a slightly bigger I.D. to accommodate the sleeve, but I wanted taller gears. Basically a poor mans overdrive. I felt I had enough low end torque from the mild 454 that it wouldnt be a problem and would also benefit mpg.

I think this was December 2013. I took a week and a half off from work and tore into her. I had previously driven my Nova when I had it down for the motor swap in the summer of 2012. However this being winter I did not want to drive it as the 4.11 posi and 13" wide rear tires combined with a loose converter and healthy small block = carnage on slick roads.

I welded my trailing arms, on the seam, every 4" or so to stiffen them up slightly. I also replaced all the bushings with polyurethane. I ordered (2) Dominator 2600 series bags and Schraeder kit from Borris (member way2low2). He made a custom 3" spacer for the top bag mounts. I was worried about having to run too much pressure to achieve the ride height I wanted. It seams to work pretty well. I typically run about 35 PSI at this ride height, and bumped that up to 50-60 psi before I dragged the TT anywhere.
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Old 11-25-2018, 10:54 PM   #17
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

I also utilized board member SCOTI's write up on modifying the rear shock mounts:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...ybrid&t=437582

A few months later I came across an 80's Camaro in the wrecking yard and remembered this thread in FAQ courtesy of neonlarry:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...ad.php?t=47603

I grabbed the bar and all the brackets and spent a leisurely Sunday afternoon installing it. I would like to upgrade to the larger Iroc bar someday though.

Here is a crappy picture. If you look close though you can see the rear mount.
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Old 11-26-2018, 02:57 PM   #18
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Excellent Burb and writing, keep it up.
Btw you have a very good memory and that picture with the travel trailer says PNW, it could be a poster from back in the day.
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Old 11-26-2018, 08:53 PM   #19
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Quote:
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Excellent Burb and writing, keep it up.
Btw you have a very good memory and that picture with the travel trailer says PNW, it could be a poster from back in the day.
Thanks 3drburb!

I have had to rack my memory trying to remember everything. Im sure Im forgetting some stuff. I just regret not taking more pictures. The tech stuff has zilch. Im having to take pics as I go now to tell the story. Thanks for following along!!
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:11 PM   #20
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Love your sense of humor.
Good looking truck, keep it going.
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Old 11-27-2018, 09:28 PM   #21
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

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Love your sense of humor.
Good looking truck, keep it going.
Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:04 PM   #22
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Since I am talking about suspension, I should probably tell you what has been done to the front end as well. In keeping with my low buck theme I decided to forgo dropped spindles. At least for now.

The springs are newer stock height small block replacement units that I had installed on my '69. When used under the weight of the cast iron headed big block, they sag perhaps an inch or so. I had only used them in a BB application so I am only offering an educated guess here. I do know there was a definite rake from front to back. So in addition to the 1" sag, 1 complete coil has been cut off. This gained me another 3". The factory bump stops had to be removed, as they were now hitting on bumps. As of 2018, the stock height shocks are still in place. They dont seem to be bottoming out. I am very cautious at speed bumps and other obstacles though. I would like to add a shorter shock in the near future.

As I mentioned earlier, the rusty '86 C20 donated its factory front 1.125" sway bar. The install was very easy as only 2 rivots had to be removed iirc. The other holes were already there. I used the '86 brackets as well. I was in a rush to install it so I reused the factory 32 year old rubber bushings. However the improvement it made in handling was still incredible. I dare to say one of the best improvements that can be done for a non equipped Chevy.

Before and after lol!
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An Average Joe and His 'Burb:
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:18 PM   #23
Advanced Design
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

Great history of ownership and upgrades. Thanks for sharing and I will be tagging along for the rest of the story.
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Old 12-01-2018, 01:41 PM   #24
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Re: The 'Burban Chronicles.....

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Originally Posted by Advanced Design View Post
Great history of ownership and upgrades. Thanks for sharing and I will be tagging along for the rest of the story.
Thank you sir!
At the rate im progressing it could be a loooong ride!
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