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Offline akraven

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90 Suburban build
« on: April 27, 2015, 03:01:38 AM »
Well I am going to give this build thread thing a try.  It  won't be uber exotic nor super expensive but might have a few unusual things.  There will be a little bit a flurry  in the beginning but slower after summer gets here. I live on a "homestead" that I have built from scratch and have many more projects to come. Our summers are short so truck projects will go by the wayside as I work on the property .
I have had Land Cruisers for many years with lots of fun with builds along the way. My last one was a '93 that had way too much electronics on it. When that got totaled in a wreck (kid pulled out in front of me) I decide to switch gears a little and went to a little older Suburban.  Some of the reasons were similar to Don's Square D build. I am a retired career paramedic/firefighter as well as outdoorsmen and have always been into being prepared and ready for whatever gets thrown at me. My goal is capable,reliable,comfortable and self-reliant. Similar to a expedition build.
So what I got is a 1990 Chevy Suburban 3/4 ton with  350 V-8,Turbo 400,NP 241. Remarkably free of rust ,just two very small spots. I know the TBI has a computer so I need to explore how to keep that going or get a spare. The engine is brand new and the previous owner was an aviation mechanic in the military. Everything on it is new except the AC. The tranny was rebuilt about year ago by a local shop with a good rep.

So my current thoughts are

12/24 volt system to run a ReadyWelder
Invertor to run hand tools
Roof rack
Possible find a way to add a PTO
Cargo drawers convertible to bed in back with 3rd battery for camping
Asst tools,recovery gear and some spare parts stored in it
Ham radio and possibly CB radio
It came with a 8274 but will switch it out for the 12k Warn form the Cruiser. Might put the 8274 on my tractor for logging.
Rear winch
On board shower
On board air of some sort    CO2 vs compressor
Custom by me front and rear bumpers with possible tire or fuel rack
Possible extended fuel tank.
Lift kit
Larger (with-in reason) tires
So there are the opening ideas. I have only had it a short time and still developing and looking at ideas. Here is a pic from the ad that I bought it from

Now we can see what I come up with or ideas you guys come up with that sound good! Always open to ideas.

Offline OldKooT

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2015, 07:26:04 AM »
That looks like you have a very good starting platform. My son has a barn door 1990 that he's slowly upgrading, and it's proven to be a pretty solid rig out here in dirt roads land.

Looking forward to watching the progress.
Norm

Are you a prepper?  "No, whats a prepper? I am just a mildly OCD farmer"

Online JR

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2015, 10:04:10 AM »
I will enjoy this as a work on my 91.

Is it a T400 or a 4L80? Either way I doubt a PTO has anywhere to be mounted.

Your ECM may run both the motor and tranny. I think mine are seperate units (only 91)

I like all the ideas you have, lets go!
Retired LEO  Lifetime NRA+  Outcast in Calif

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"

Thomas Jefferson

Offline KensAuto

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2015, 10:05:45 AM »
looks pretty good from this angle!
Underpaid and misunderstood since 2014

Offline Dawg25385

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2015, 10:23:20 AM »
Nice lookin burb! I'm in on this  ;)
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Online Flyin6

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2015, 03:44:44 PM »
Burb build threads are overtaking everyone else!

Have to get one going myself...love to get on this bandwagon!
Site owner    IS 6:8  Psalm 91 
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Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2015, 12:02:06 AM »
I do have the T400 JR so I believe the only computer/ECM I have is the motor one. Working on getting a spare of that.
I could get a PTO by switching to the NP205 instead of the NP241 I currently have.
So I picked up a second battery and wired in a set of plugs that allow me to switch output to the front plug from 12v to 24v so I can use my readywelder anywhere on the property,trail or roadside. I still have to put the cut off inline that feeds the trucks 12v system. That will allow me to weld on the truck itself without pulling battery cable clamps off. As you can see the front bumper is a future project so the plug is there temporarily till I get time to mod the front bumper.

Underhood plugs

I am almost done with the roof rack. I lengthened the one that I built for the Toyota and modified the factory bases to strengthen them. I will post the picks when I am done.
After battling the freight company the lift kit is finally here and I have the tires and rims ready. Next update should include all of that.

I see in my profile how to set up notifications for responses to threads but I seem to be missing something in how to make it work. Could someone either post  me a hint. I always get an error when I check the notifications. It seems to be differient than any other forum I am on. THANKS!!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 12:08:02 AM by akraven »

Offline KensAuto

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2015, 01:45:16 PM »
We may have something that needs check marked somewhere. Maybe 'Kyle the Brains' will chime in.
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Online Flyin6

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2015, 08:09:56 PM »
Sorry you are having problems

You are backed up by ME

What I know about I.T issues: Nada + (____________)

But we hired Kyle into the spot, he is good, but he is still learning the software.

You are not the only person with some weird little quirky issue. And they all seem different but related to posting in some way.

So we have somewhere to look but don't know what to look for exactly.

Who knows...we may be able to find it!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 08:10:34 PM by Flyin6 »
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Offline Dawg25385

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2015, 11:04:31 PM »
Send me a PM and i'll see if I can't help you get to the bottom of it.
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Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2015, 02:25:27 AM »
Thank you for the backup Flyin6
Kyle an email is on the way since the PM function didn't work. Thank you!

Online Flyin6

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2015, 08:46:36 AM »
Don't thank me...I am just short of being a miserable failure at this I T thing!
Site owner    IS 6:8  Psalm 91 
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Offline Dawg25385

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2015, 09:23:42 AM »
Awesome. I will take a look just as soon as I can.
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Prov 27:17, 2 Tim 1:7
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Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2015, 02:37:57 AM »
Ok after a bit of delay involving time to do the work and getting parts in I have moved forward.  The roof rack I made for my Land Cruiser was stretched , modified  and mounted. I used the factory rack as a base which I reinforced to hold the weight. I added a mount for my hi-lift to the side of the roof rack. I liked the idea of the scene (side) and rear LED lights Don added to his rig so I added a place for those to be mounted while I was working on the rack. Will have to order them before fall when it gets darker.
The lift kit came in and got installed. I had to source replacement studs/conewashers and nuts for the steering arm since the salt rust had glued them in place. No matter what I tried out of my book of tricks nothing worked but destruction. The kit came with cheesy little brake line drop brackets that I didn't like. So I ordered up some extended line that should be here soon. Got the alignment checked and fixed today and it drives great. Rewired the electrical wiring disaster that was the rear trailer plug. How some people wire amazes me.
I talked to Tate at Randy's and got a Grizzly locker on the way. Tate is a great guy to deal with!
Still have lots of other projects to do but will be working on the homestead for the next few days with digging in a new power line out to an outbuilding,water line to the orchard,new garden boxes for the veggies,planting more raspberries and starting to process the logs I cut into firewood. So the next update may be awhile. So without further ado this is how she sits today

Offline BobbyB

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2015, 02:53:12 AM »
Its looking good, and the view behind it looks awesome as well.
So, Bobby...being the calculating trained warrior NCO that you are.  Take the appropriate action, Execute!

Online Flyin6

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2015, 08:21:49 AM »
That burb looks great!
Site owner    IS 6:8  Psalm 91 
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Offline Dawg25385

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2015, 10:36:09 AM »
That looks really nice man!
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Online JR

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2015, 12:06:14 PM »
Sure looks good, need to get mine on the road,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Retired LEO  Lifetime NRA+  Outcast in Calif

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Online TexasRedNeck

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2015, 08:54:04 PM »
Great work.  more pics!
Kids today don't know how easy they have it. When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.

Joshua 6:20-24

Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2015, 09:06:08 PM »
Thank you all!
I will work on getting some more detail pics. Is anybody interested in the wiring for the 24v Readywelder? Don't know if anybody else uses them. I was a dealer a long time ago but no longer so I am just passing on how handy they are. I even had a friend of mine weld together a broken leaf spring out in the back country that allowed him to get home.

Online TexasRedNeck

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2015, 10:14:20 PM »
I get the concept of the Ready Welder.  What realistically can you weld with it on 24V?  How about 36V?
Kids today don't know how easy they have it. When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.

Joshua 6:20-24

Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2015, 11:16:28 PM »
At 24v you are capable up to 1/2" steel.  I have welded everything from stitching thin (1/16th) upnto 3/8" with no problems personally. Since I use mine either on the homestead away from the shop or on the trail I just use flux-core in it. It does have a gas port on it if you want. It is not finely adjustable like a home shop machine but you can do a lot with it.

Online TexasRedNeck

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #22 on: May 17, 2015, 11:41:22 PM »
very cool and plenty of power for the trails.  Approximate cost for the set up?
Kids today don't know how easy they have it. When I was young, I had to walk 9 feet through shag carpet to change the TV channel.

Joshua 6:20-24

Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2015, 11:49:15 PM »
Looks like the welder is currently $599 http://readywelder.com/products-page/welders/10000-2

Offline Sammconn

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2015, 11:53:43 PM »
Now that is cool. Had never heard of them until now. Would have been a welcome tool to have one night when I had three corners of an axle chained to my trailer. Was a very trying 50 miles.
I just don't want to wind up missing a digit or limb.  I can sometimes get in a hurry to get results.
Sam

Online Flyin6

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #25 on: May 18, 2015, 08:09:06 AM »
I think we would all benefit from your knowledge of this product. perhaps you could do a write-up sometime in the tool section. I personally have never had a battery welder, but just last weekend, I needed to weld the hinges of the gate down at the farm and of course could not.

Plus, I am wondering if I shouldn't have something like that on SquareD somewhere.
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Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #26 on: May 18, 2015, 12:18:42 PM »
I will work on the write up for sure. I think having some way to weld and use tools on Square-D would be a great and useful thing. I have a larger inverter (1500/2000 watt ?) that I will install on my truck. I typically carry an angle grinder, grinding wheels and cutoff wheels and some small scrap steel. With a little ingenuity on the trail you can fix many things that allow you to make it home or in an emergency keep going till you get to a safe place and do a more thorough fix.
Another concept that has been around for along time that seems good is the http://premierpowerwelder.com/. I have not used it one and personally more comfortable with MIG than arc. Its also much more expensive. The military has a Ready welder setup  here http://readywelder.com/products-page/welders/10000mdp-cs/.

Online JR

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #27 on: May 19, 2015, 12:03:11 AM »
I have seen those and love the idea. Played with a some stick welding but a spool is the way to go!

I wonder if getting a cheap spool gun and setting up a system would work?

I have fixed many a driveline in parking lots and welded spindles back onto axles, but always with a dedicated gas welding rig.
Retired LEO  Lifetime NRA+  Outcast in Calif

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Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #28 on: May 19, 2015, 12:23:22 AM »
That's a good question JR that I will do a little research on. I did find this discussion while searching for info. Caution a little for language if you are sensitive http://www.jkowners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=91102

Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2015, 02:27:13 PM »
I have seen those and love the idea. Played with a some stick welding but a spool is the way to go!

I wonder if getting a cheap spool gun and setting up a system would work?

I have fixed many a driveline in parking lots and welded spindles back onto axles, but always with a dedicated gas welding rig.

It appears you can http://www.instructables.com/id/SpoolGun/?ALLSTEPS
Something to try out.

Online JR

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2015, 11:53:20 PM »
That would be great for the trail!
Retired LEO  Lifetime NRA+  Outcast in Calif

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants"

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Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #31 on: June 11, 2015, 07:52:07 PM »
Well summer is here and life has been busy. I thought I was going to have a cool update with the purchase of a FF 14 bolt to start on. So we hooked up the trailer, piled the dogs in and headed out about 30 miles away to pick one up. They are not that common up here and I had looked at a few that had the wrong spacing but this one was the right one. Well 27 miles into the 30 mile trip I noticed a little smoke behind me. I pulled over and looked underneath and there is ATF dripping from the belled part of the Turbo 400. Nice clear red with no burnt look but definitiely leaking. So that plan was canceled and we called the tow truck and the daughter came and picked us all up. Luckily she was off for the day. I am waiting for the word from the tranny shop but it is either a torque convertor failure or seal leak on the pump per him. He hasn't totally tore into it yet though.
On the bright sign I picked up a pressure/air tank to mount underneath for the onboard air from Craigslist for $20. Now I need to disassemble the setup that was on the old Cruiser and get it mounted and plumbed on the Burb.
I also need to do a write up on the Readywelder soon. I will get to it!

Online Flyin6

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2015, 08:39:20 PM »
Sorry for the bad luck...

But no body gets through unscathed it seems.
Site owner    IS 6:8  Psalm 91 
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Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #33 on: July 12, 2015, 03:15:42 AM »
Well a small update. Been keeping an eye on Craigslist and saving my money. Saw an add for a "dana 60" out of a 1982 K20 pickup. I called the guy and he swore it had to be a dana 60 even though I had researched and it didn't seem to be used in that era.  Drove over and sure enough it was a FF 14 bolt. I got it for $100 and he threw in some spare parts. Even started some talk of some trades of other parts that each of us need. I do need to get shock mounts as they were sacrificed for another project of his. Now to go through it and make sure all is well and get the locker installed I got from Tate. Will also have to save for matching gears for the front since this 4.10's and my truck has 3.73's. Progress!

Online Flyin6

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #34 on: July 12, 2015, 04:19:03 PM »
That's a good price for one
Site owner    IS 6:8  Psalm 91 
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #35 on: July 12, 2015, 06:25:55 PM »
That will work well. Good luck!

I really like the looks of what you've done so far. Should be a great vehicle for you.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2015, 06:26:49 PM by Wilbur »

Online JR

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #36 on: July 13, 2015, 04:59:23 AM »
Nice find and it leaves lots of $$ for discs.
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Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #37 on: July 13, 2015, 01:24:09 PM »
Nice find and it leaves lots of $$ for discs.

That is definitely on the list.
Pulled the cover yesterday and everything looked good. No water,rust,weird gear wear or anything bad.
When I can I will pull the hubs and check the wheel bearings. Off to summer work.

Those dag-gone 14 bolts never seem to wear out. At least the ones I have seen don't
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 06:24:32 PM by Flyin6 »

Offline EL TATE

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2015, 11:47:21 AM »
Nice work on that steal of a deal! The axles are seriously stout, seem to last forever, and were much more prevalent than other dana axles so parts are everywhere including aftermarket. would love to get my hands on a ready welder; last time I had to weld on the trail it involved some jumper cables, my two optima batteries and some coat hanger. Let's just say I was not that confident in my steering drag link after that, but it got us down off the mountain and home after some pretty intense snow wheeling in the cascades. Any update on the state of the transmission?
Husband, Father, Gear guy, Patriot.

Offline akraven

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Re: 90 Suburban build
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2015, 04:06:48 PM »
Nice work on that steal of a deal! The axles are seriously stout, seem to last forever, and were much more prevalent than other dana axles so parts are everywhere including aftermarket. would love to get my hands on a ready welder; last time I had to weld on the trail it involved some jumper cables, my two optima batteries and some coat hanger. Let's just say I was not that confident in my steering drag link after that, but it got us down off the mountain and home after some pretty intense snow wheeling in the cascades. Any update on the state of the transmission?

I still need to do the writeup on the Readywelder. That slipped by me. It is a great tool that can really save a trip.
As for the tranny here is a picture of a bushing in the pump that was leaking

According to the tranny guy he said it is electrolysis from a bad ground sometime in the past and it finally pushed past the seal. He checked all the grounds and everything was fine currently. He wondered if during the replacement of the engine before I bought it or when the other engine was in that they had a bad ground. While he was in there I had him do a full inspection of every thing inside to make sure there was no future problems and it was fine.