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1995 K2500 Suburban Rescue Project

6055 Views 68 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  The Grinch 77
I posted a bit about this on the what have you done today thread, but I'm going to keep it in its own thread now.
This popped up about a 1/2 mile down the road from me. The guy had it listed at $1400. I went to see it and it wouldn't start. Was getting fuel, but just wasn't catching. He said $800 as is our $1000 of he got it running. I told him if think it over while I ran some errands. He texted me a video of it running 20 minutes later. I'm guessing he used the can of ether that was in the truck that he wrote was from the previous owner.... Anyway, ran well, good oil pressure, a little blowby, but not bad at 241k miles. I decided to take a chance and attempt to fix her up and sell her. I gave him the $1000.


-glowshift gauges in a 4 gauge a-pillar pod: Boost, transmission temp, air pressure(?) and an empty spot.
-Trans reportedly had a bad front seal that was just replaced.... doesn't leak now.
-Runs, drives, stops... probably worth a grand right there
-Clean frame and floors
-All gauges work
-All interior and dash lights converted to blue LED... not my style, but will make it easy to sell
-High idle switch on dash
-Torque converter lockup switch on dash
  • Mystery switch on dash
  • No nice paint to worry about scratching
-G80 rear end
- Headlights are good
-Turn signals and running lights are all converted to LED


-Rot on some door bottoms and barn doors have some rot on the bottoms
-rot on rocker under passenger rear door
-Needs a new driver door and fender.. someone backed up with the door open
-Tires are crap on aftermarket Vision wheels
-Glow plug harness was not connected to a couple of the passenger side plugs and was the original harness, I think. I'm guessing that was the hard start issue.
-The hood stack. Jesus. What is wrong with people? So... no exhaust and needs a hood
- Front bumper and grill are crap
-Driver side spray painted white.. ???
-Driver seat needs repair or replacement
-Stupid cone filter on turbo, no air cleaner assembly
-AC delete (might be considered a good thing?)

So that's the beginning.

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Ok, been super busy with other stuff, but I got a tiny bit done today.. the new LED headlights with new buckets, springs, and adjusters. I also picked up a relay harness, just for shits and giggles. I’m hoping to get this beast running and up for sale within the next 30 days. I’ve still got to put a new power steering cooler on her, green the Heath exhaust on, get the quadstar ecu in there, and maybe do something about the rusty rockers. Maybe a rattle can paint job to get her all one color?
The pics didn’t work…again. Let’s try again.
Car Land vehicle Vehicle Grille Hood

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Bumper Automotive exterior

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Bumper

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After spending way too much time on my buddy’s food truck project, trying to fix up the L31 Vortec after someone has already been in there screwing around with it and gotten into the wiring and the fact that the repair manual gives the wrong timing mark on the balancer for installing the distributor…. I’m back to the Suburban.
I finally got around to reinstalling the “new” driver seat. It’s rock solid with the new-ish bottom frame. And it’s now unholy…. Meaning without holes in the new bottom cover. I don’t care that it doesn’t match the upper color. It’s gonna be a work truck. I still have to connect the 2 plugs underneath, but hopefully all the controls will work as they did before. I also installed the driver tow mirror off the old door. There was no support bracket for the upper stud, so I used one from an older set of mirrors I broke on my pickup. Now it’s nice and sturdy. I’m assuming I’ll have to put a bracket on the passenger side too…we’ll see. I’ll try to keep the updates coming.

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Ok, got the new Heath ECU installed today…hopefully it’s compatible. Both 95, both auto, both 4wd. The codes aren’t an exact match, but everything else is. I think I’m safe. We’ll see. If not, I’ll have an ECU for sale. I’m also going to check on a much younger motor for it. K3500 dually down the road with a broken frame. If the engine is good and i I can fit it on my trailer, I’ll probably scoop it up. I can pull the drivetrain and scrap the rest for almost what he’s asking.

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Bought a new upgraded lift pump harness because it’s definitely not pumping. Figured it was the crappy AutoZone ops I put in, but now, I’m wondering what that broken wiring running off the fuse block hot terminals is…there’s 1 switch unaccounted for on the dash from the previous owner and I’m betting he wired in a lift pump switch and that’s what that effed up wiring is. I’ll have to trace the wiring and see…which is what I should have done to begin with, but I didn’t feel like it
I bought the Leroy harness from quadstar because Leroy is pretty slow getting things out sometimes….backfired. I ordered last Monday at noon and Quadstar hadn’t shipped it yet when I called them Friday. He ran out out to the post office Friday afternoon and upgraded it to express, but it hadn’t gotten here by the time I left for work this morning. It showed up a few hours later. Pretty much a fail on that one.

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I ended up hotwiring a relay and switch into the lift pump system instead of waiting for the new harness. 30 amp relay system from one of my parts Audis and a random switch I had lying around. Seems to work just fine for now. I’ll probably end up going through all the wiring and building a proper system with WTS priming and an underhood switch. I’ll be returning the harness that got here late from Quadstar. I still like their products, I’m just disappointed with this order. It happens and I’ll probably order from them again the future.

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Picked up a supposedly good engine for the inevitable swap due to the excessive blow-by out the dipstick tube. From a super clean 96 Suburban. I wish the guy had the title…I would have bought it whole. But when I got there they had forklifted the roof and smashed every panel on it. A shame. Anyway, I wanted to pull the engine myself, but they wouldn’t let me. They had their guys do it and they smashed a bunch of stuff and cut a bunch more. I hate that. But….$500 and all I had to do was drive there. Loaded it up and drive home in the rain. Sat in the flatbed for a few days. Got the engine off the flatbed today and onto a new stand…$200 for the stand, but it actually is a decent stand and this new model has grease fittings for the neck. The 1250lb stands would not hold this without bending and/or breaking. The junkyard guys smashed the d/s valve cover pretty good, so it’s getting replaced and hopefully nothing under there got touched. They also cut and tore most of the connections, which I was hoping to avoid in case I wanted any of this for my 2000. Oh well. Looks like a newish balancer and pulley, both in very good shape, rubber wise. The boost solenoid bracket got bent to hell, but I don’t need that anyway. The glow plug relay got busted clean off its bracket. The AC compressor clutch connector got smashed…not sure how they managed that. The turbo wastegate vacuum armature got broken, but the turbo itself is in great shape, clean with no play. Exhaust manifolds are not all that crusty, though I will swap the bolts out. The starter is new and it’s missing a key piece…see the pic…so that’ll have to get replaced. The flex plate was wonky when I picked it up, so I just used it to strap the engine down and it’ll get replaced too. No reason to risk it. No evidence of starter bolt breakage. The teeth on the plate were clean. It was just wavy. Overall, I’m happy and it’ll be a good engine once I get her all right and add some head studs and what not. I guess I’m keeping the Suburban…

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Also, it’ll be nice to have a good engine to build up on the stand instead of worrying about doing it in the truck. Much less downtime.

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Wow that yard did a job on the removal. Wonder who it was. Funny people scrap out old stuff for no title when it is really not that hard to get.. ME and VT are both pretty easy to get titles in.
I like the aub man and its coming along well. There was a guy up near Lowell that had a bunch of 6.5’s but its been a while since i have been out that way.
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