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    Thinking of picking up an older suburban (99-02 ish) for a boat hauler specific vehicle. I know there's a body style change in there, I think in 01, but anyone have any experience towing with these? I'll be pulling 5k max with it, and usually much less, but I want the long wheelbase.

    What motor should I avoid? Some have the 5.3, and some have the 5.7. If I can find a 2500 with the 6.0L in my price range, that'd be great, but I'm thinking the 5.7 is what I'll end up with. Also how are the trannys? My parents had a '95 and the trans went out at 180k. Is that about normal? Any other things to look out for?

    Give me the rundown TTers.
    -Mike

  • #2
    Can always buy my yukon with the 6.0.

    With all seriousness I love my 6.0. Have 120k on it and not a thing has had to be done besides routine maint. It pulls like there isn't a boat and when I pull with a buddies 5.3 its a big difference.

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    • #3
      I had a 1999 Suburban and all I have to say is be careful of the brakes. I want to say 99 was the last year with front disc and rear drum brakes and it had the older body style. I even put cross drilled performance rotors on mine and the thing did not stop. I had an accident resulting in me selling the truck. If I were in any other car I would've been able to stop but couldn't in my suburban. When you add pulling a boat to that you just have to be careful.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by mzimme View Post
        Thinking of picking up an older suburban (99-02 ish) for a boat hauler specific vehicle. I know there's a body style change in there, I think in 01, but anyone have any experience towing with these? I'll be pulling 5k max with it, and usually much less, but I want the long wheelbase.

        What motor should I avoid? Some have the 5.3, and some have the 5.7. If I can find a 2500 with the 6.0L in my price range, that'd be great, but I'm thinking the 5.7 is what I'll end up with. Also how are the trannys? My parents had a '95 and the trans went out at 180k. Is that about normal? Any other things to look out for?

        Give me the rundown TTers.
        http://www.mastercraft.com/teamtalk/...ad.php?t=20006

        Here is the history with mine. When I'm towing I love it. When I'm not towing I would rather drive anything else.

        Body change was in 2000. 5.3L started in 2000. If you get one with the Autoride system on it, check to see if it has been changed or if the shocks have been changed. If not, it will be in your near future. You can also include u-joints in that list. None of any of that should surprise you with a vehicle of that vintage. If it is in an area where they use salt you can also plan on new brake lines and fuel lines. That little gem was $700 last year.

        The other problems I have had have been minimal/low cost. Fuel pressure regulator, fan speed module, headlight wire failure, were all low cost.

        I guess I can't complain...the thing is 13 years old in OHIO where salt and brine solution are used for 4 months a year and the thing is a daily driver for my wife.

        I'd sell you mine.....but it has been paid off for 4 years now. Nothing better than a free vehicle. 140K and counting
        1998 ProStar 190 30th Anniversary, Corvette LT-1, STARS AND STRIPES BABY (with a really bad bimini)!!!!!!** * Footin' anyone?
        RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT

        "The truth is treason in the 'empire of lies'" - Ron Paul

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 02ProstarSammyD View Post
          Can always buy my yukon with the 6.0.

          With all seriousness I love my 6.0. Have 120k on it and not a thing has had to be done besides routine maint. It pulls like there isn't a boat and when I pull with a buddies 5.3 its a big difference.
          So, what's your mileage?

          I also have a 3/4 ton 2004 and really haven't had too many repairs. I have the 8.1 (3.73 gears) and obviously, tows awesome! Gas is about 12 MPG though average. Towing the boat at 75MPH I get around 8-9 MPG.

          Issues I've had at 105k, fuel pump replacement, both front wheel bearings, and I'm pretty sure they are now going out again. However, I do have larger tires (305's) that can contribute to the wheel bearing wear. Engine, tranny, rear end are great and very solid. Normal oil consumption is 1 quart per 2500 miles and has been that way since I bought it with 18k.

          4 wheel disc came on 2000+ trucks.
          - Jeff

          1994 205, LT1

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          • #6
            So should I just not look at the 5.3 at all? I'm not going to be towing across the country by any means, but I'll probably take trips up to maybe 6 to 8 hours away occasionally. Will it handle that?
            -Mike

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            • #7
              Originally posted by mzimme View Post
              So should I just not look at the 5.3 at all? I'm not going to be towing across the country by any means, but I'll probably take trips up to maybe 6 to 8 hours away occasionally. Will it handle that?
              The only issue I have with the 5.3 is it has had 'piston slap' since about 80K. Just let it warm up and it goes away. I've been told the 6.0 also has piston slap as well.

              When I tow I'm nice to my truck and don't try to make it go 75 mph up hills towing my boat so I may not be the one to speak to regarding power. It has been enough for me. I was pleased with it's performance towing my boat to Columbus last year for the Buckeye Bash.
              1998 ProStar 190 30th Anniversary, Corvette LT-1, STARS AND STRIPES BABY (with a really bad bimini)!!!!!!** * Footin' anyone?
              RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT

              "The truth is treason in the 'empire of lies'" - Ron Paul

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              • #8
                our last one was a '94 with the 6.5L turbo diesel (no, not the POS 6.2L) 3/4 ton with 4.10. We bought it new in '94 and drove it until both kids went off to college, upgraded to a '06 4runner since we weren't towing a bunch of kids to soccer/dance/basketball/etc (wife wanted something smaller & more manuverable). Anyway, we sold it with about 230k miles, it got 18-18.5 mpg average empty & 16+ towing boat ('83 S&S) or various small trailers up to our 28' travel trailer. Had to go thru the transmission at about 180k, injection system was replaced 3 or 4 times while under warranty, it ate batteries (had at least 7 pair replaced, all within their warranty) but I think that was due to the extremely high output alternator overcharging/boiling them dry. We loved that thing and it was very reliable (once Chevy got the bugs worked out of the injection system). I am not sure when they stopped putting those in the Suburban though, but it was a heck of a vehicle for us for the 12 years we had it.

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                • #9
                  I've towed with my 91 for a long time. It's also a great rec toy.

                  I put a GMPP 383 so it tows the X30 just fine.







                  Tim
                  Gone, surfing.

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                  • #10
                    I think the 5.3 is a great motor. For pulling the skier you have you wont even feel it. My buddy has an 02 1500 Suburban with 5.3 and pulls a 30 ft. camper with it. The motor has proven to be reliable but as CP stated there is some piston slap with the pre 04 models. The problem was fixed after that. It is not a real issue, it was just a result of too short of piston skirts which made some noise at start up.

                    The things have a ton of room and ride like a dream in my opinion.

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                    • #11
                      Just to reverberate what CP stated, as soon as my 2000 Tahoe and 2002 Yukon XL broke that 80-90,000 mile mark the piston slap started. It is significantly louder during the colder months of the year. Honestly mine sounds more like a diesel. Also watch the 4L60E transmission, especially with towing. I broke the sunshell gears in mine and it was approximately $2K to fix. Here is a link to a website that tells you about the common signs and symptoms of the 4L60E transmission issues.

                      http://www.twincharlotte.com/transmi...r-Charlotte-NC

                      Otherwise you have the little quirks of GM products. I seem to have to replace a power window motor about every 3-4 years. My Yukon XL is leather and needless to say GM's leather is not the best. Even with diligent maintenance (think MCOCD) and conditioning it, it still cracks and peels. Pulling at highway and interstate speeds with my boat, I have to aim for 65mph on the highway or 75mph on the interstate. If in between those speeds, the transmission is always kicking back and forth between gears in towing mode. Therefore, it kills fuel economy while pulling. On my 1 hour pull each direction, the best I can get is 10-12 mpg. Great trucks and I love mine. I still love the body design on the 2000-2006 models. Good luck with your purchase.
                      Big Dogg

                      MC Fan
                      Current - Rinker R1

                      "Its easier to beg for forgivness than ask for permission"

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                      • #12
                        The 6.0 in the 3/4 ton should come with the 4L80E transmission, that may last a bit longer if it has not been abused already. Look for the right things such as tow package (extra trans cooler), z71 suspension package, correct load range tires on all 4 corners, g80 or 60 (limited slip) rear end cant remember what its called. Really be careful choosing the 5.3, some years had oil consumption issues. 4 wheel disc brakes should be a must have since you are building a wish list.
                        https://badges.fuelly.com/images/smallsig-us/302328.png

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                        • #13
                          MZ, contact Dan J. through the MasterCraft project, he's got a great condition one for what I think of as a very reasonable price. Even has a MasterCrafy decal already if I'm not mistaken. You could tow both f your boats with it, no problem.
                          I spent most of my money on booze, broads and boats. The rest I wasted. - Elmore Leonard

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                          • #14
                            Get a 2500 with the biggest engine available, that way you get a real truck with big axles, big springs, big brakes, big transmission, big radiator, and a big transfer case (4x4).

                            With the 8.1 you get the bomb proof 4l85e Trans that has upgrades racers were doing to almost bomb proof 4l80's from the factory.

                            1500 vs 2500 suburban are two totally different animals.

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                            • #15
                              May Bert would part with his deuce and a half - should tow no prob...
                              Attached Files
                              sigpic...A bad day water skiing still beats a good day at work...1995 Pro Star 205....

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