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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-18-2003, 12:24 AM
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Questions for prepurchase

I've posted here a couple of times looking for information, and am a regular at the ford forum. I tried the search, but apparently the server histories were wipped recently or something, as nothing goes back more than a month or so.

On to the issue at hand: There is a 1981 suburban 25 4x4 up for sale around here, and i am quite interested in it. The owner says that the 454 was re built about 3000 miles ago, but I have yet to verify this with work records. Everything else is basically take as is, as he recently bought it from someone and isn't too knowledgeable on the mechanical principle of things. Has an aftermarket edelbrok intake manifold, true dual exhaust, worked-on [patched a few times, but looks rather new to me] radiator, and new power steering gear box. Transmission is an automatic. Mileage is unknown, though i would expect it to be either 227 or 327k. Doubtful, but unknown whether the transmission has been rebuilt, same for the rear end. Asking price is 1500.

I'd like some detailed information on the components, everything you guys know about each major part [knowledge is power, after all], and your verdict on the package in general. I've no need of a vehicle immediately, but as I see it now, this is quite a deal. I would imagine the price is low because of the interior [sun-rotted dash, poorly maintained carpets, et cetera] and a bit of rust-through on the front corner of the rear fenderwells. Everything else looks pretty good mechanically, i.e. no visible rust on frame, axles, and whatnot - just body.

Any trouble spots that I should be made aware of? I don't intend to do any rock crawling or mud bogging, I just want a vehicle that will take me where I want to go, which could be up that long-forgotten trail into the mountains, or towing my friends two wheel drive truck out of the mud hole he got stuck in. Basic 4/6" lift with 33/35" tires and possibly a 4.56 gear conversion, amongst the interior renovation.

I plan to take it for a drive tomorrow morning, and get all possible maintenance records, and will update this thread as such - I just cant sleep right now because I keep thinking about it. Thanks for the assistance.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-18-2003, 06:35 AM
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Re: Questions for prepurchase

Its a 3/4 ton. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but here I go:
Dana 60 rear, 14 bolt front. The tranny should be a TH400.

Does it have barn doors or a tailgate? The barn doors can rust through if the door seals are bad.

Look at the bottom rear corners of the rear side windows. This is a really bad spot for rust on the Suburbans.

It sounds like a good deal, but I would offer him $750 cash to see if he'd be a little generous.

Good luck
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-18-2003, 07:06 AM
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Re: Questions for prepurchase

If is a 4wd with a 454, the motor was swapped in. GM never offered a BBC in 4wds till 92. Most likely have a TH400 tranny. The rear could be a 14 semi float or full float, easy to tell anyway. The front will be a ten bolt with 8 lugs. Unless someone swapped the 60 in it. If it runs and drives good, it's almost worth that just for the motor. Try not to go too big, these things are top heavy anyway, lifting it will make it worse. Sounds like a good deal.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-18-2003, 11:09 AM
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Re: Questions for prepurchase

Thanks for the info. Ended up buying it for 1k cash. Transfer case needs work, i think it may need a new chain or something, but etherying else mechanically is cherry. The lack of an overdrive is going to keep me from doing a lot of speed on the freeways, but I'll get over it. hehe. Can't wait to start fixing it up.
post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-19-2003, 02:42 PM
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Re: Questions for prepurchase

6" lift+38" tires=overdrive for a th400. [img]images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

it will love doing 80 with this setup and 4:10 axle gears.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-22-2003, 09:43 AM
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Re: Questions for prepurchase

lol, I'll keep that in mind.
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