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Thread: 1971 Suburban Project

  1. #26
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    Slow progress... but i'm taking my time and trying to make sure I do it all right.

    Cam in. Rockers adjusted, intake installed, HEI installed and new wires run (points used 6V, HEI 12V).

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    Edit - WTF does it keep rotating my pics??

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    Dr Smash (March 19th, 2019)

  3. #27
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    Looking good.


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  4. #28
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    Got the suburban running today finally!

    Got it all back together with the new intake, cam, HEI, and clutch fan (to replace the solid fan), and...... it wouldn't start. Its crucial you get it started right after a cam swap to do a proper break in.

    When I pulled the distributor, I just noted its position. Then when I installed the HEI, I put in the same spot (after realigning everything else). Well, I'm not sure how it was set up before, but that sure didn't work with the new dist. I finally had to find TDC and re-install the dist. It fired right up then thankfully.

    Still got some odds and ends to clean up, and some tuning to do, but the quick drive around the neighborhood showed more power off the line, and it will now rev past 3000 rpm.

    Took a pic, but it just looks like a complete engine, so not much to see.

  5. The Following 5 Users Like ManNamedJed's Post:

    Dennis (May 6th, 2019), Dr Smash (May 6th, 2019), LEKCAH38 (May 6th, 2019), Mr_Scott (May 5th, 2019), Scary-Animal (May 15th, 2019)

  6. #29
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    Made some more progress. Added lighter advance springs to the HEI. Invested in a timing light with tach and adjusted the carb.

    Now its actually got a bit of power! More off the line, more midrange, and actually will rev up through 5000 if you want. I've got some different jets/needles for the carb I'll try soon, but for now I'm going to actually drive it a bit.

    Installed a tach and new window washer tank/pump (stock one was cracked and had to move anyways for the AC pump). Getting the AC system charged later this week.

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    Mr_Scott (June 8th, 2019)

  8. #30
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    Did I spy you driving around in Reno on Sunday?


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  9. #31
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    Probably. Ran a few errands in it. Its running good, and the AC is working great.

    I do wish I'd gone a bit more aggressive with the cam. I would've like just a bit of a lope, and of course more oomphf. However I was limited by the very low compression stock heads, and I've gone too aggressive in the past and know how its worse than being to conservative. I still think its really fighting its too-tall gears (3.08s). So the 4.10s should wake it up, the tradeoff being 2800 rpm at 65mph.

    Still need to do the lift and axle swap. Have to cut the spring pads off, which as you know is kinda a pain in the ass.
    Last edited by ManNamedJed; July 11th, 2019 at 10:21 AM.

  10. #32
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    Iím going to put in a 4l80e and switch from 4:10 to 4:88


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  11. #33
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    Overdrive of some sort is certainly in the future. Debating NV4500 vs 700R4. Its a manual now and I'd like to keep it that way, but the NV4500 conversion sure is spendy.

  12. #34
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    A good rebuilt 7004 with converter is around 1600$ and you will need a case for like a 241 around 500 rebuilt. With the 7004 you will need to manage the lock up converter. You can find 4500 for around 1200 in good condition and a 205 case for it 600. Either way going to need around 2500 or so in parts.


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  13. #35
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    I wasn't aware there was a 205 that would bolt up to the 4500 withount an adapter. I know there are quite a few variations and you need to be careful about which one you get. If you have a line on a deal for either/both, I'd certainly be interested. My old man is a retired 'gear man' and could help me rebuild them.

  14. #36
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    If you really like jammin gears, just add a ranger overdrive to the front of your 465.
    This space for rent. Inquire within.

  15. #37
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    My dad has a over/direct/underdrive brownie box I've considered....

  16. #38
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    Worked hard all weekend on the suburban and have painfully little to show for it.

    It doesn't fit in the garage, so all work is being done in the hot driveway.

    Goal was to install new axles and lift kit. Got the 2.5" lift springs and shocks from Tuff Country, FYI.

    The internet said my rear axle would bolt up except for the shock mounts. Well that was wrong and the spring pads were in the wrong spot. Got them cut off. Tried to use my plasma cutter and ended up gouging my axle tubes, so wasted time filling gouges and smoothing with grinder.

    The internet also said the driveshaft would bolt up and likely be an okay length, well its too long now and uses a different u-joint.

    Got the Eldorado parking brake disc calipers from Ruff stuff and the parking brake cables aren't long enough now.

    The new lug nuts I bought are the wrong thread.

    Of course the leaf spring bolts were rusted solid.

    The disc conversion is thicker than the drums and I'm concerned the studs aren't long enough now.
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    So here it is and the rear isn't even done. It is centered, angle set, and the new perches are tacked on. The brake lines have been sorted and the calipers bled.

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    I am happy with how its looking I think the small lift was the right choice. I like how the tires and wheels look. I just hope the front goes smoother.

  17. #39
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    Installed the 8 lug Dana 44 with 4:10 gears today. The new brake calipers needed a different brake line bolt than what was on there, so I had to leave the old rusty ones.

    Special thanks to Denis for helping me weld my spring and shock mounts on the rear!!

    The rear parking brake isn't hooked up because I need longer cables. If anyone has any tips on where to get them, please let me know. From what I've read, you really need them hooked up and adjusted right for the brakes to work properly. Right now they are squishy and weird, but there could be other factors.

    But.... I'm stoked with the new stance, love the wheels. I think its a nice balance between an aggressive look without being all huge. The new gearing really peps it up. Haven't tried it on the highway yet though.

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  18. #40
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    FYI - the measurements from hub to fender lip were all 22-23" before the lift. Afterward they are all 25-26", It will likely settle a bit. So the Tuff Country 2.5" lift does deliver the advertised lift. Ride is firm, but not harsh, just as I wanted.

    Ordered a new master cylinder and prop valve from Pirate Jack which will hopefully get the brakes working properly after the rear disc conversion. They were super nice and helpful BTW.

    I don't think I'll tackle any more major projects this year. Kids keep asking 'Daddy, when is the busburban going to get fixed?' as I've promised it will be used for camping trips and drive in movies soon.

    I want to get the windows tinted to help keep temps down. I'm also going to get some basic seat covers to protect from, you know, kids.

    If anyone is interested in the 6 lug axles and tires/wheels let me know. Would be a cheap way to try out tall gears.

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    Ficarrotta (July 28th, 2019)

  20. #41
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    she looks good.

  21. #42
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    Took it to the drive in over the weekend. I think I read that there were only about 30 drive ins still in the US and we are fortunate to have one in Reno.

    The suburban is a great drive in rig. We put the air mattress in the back and enjoyed Toy Story 4 and the Lion King with the kids. With the new lift and tires it gets comments every where I go.

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    Still fighting some driveline vibes and a leaking front axle. Looking forward to some cool weather this weekend to take care of that.

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  23. #43
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    Did some more work on the suburban. My used axles turned out to not be such a deal as the front leaked. On a Dana 44 there is only an inner seal, nothing on the outer part of the axle tube so you have to pull the cover and remove the axle shaft to replace the seal.

    Of course NAPA sold me the wrong seals the first time so there was the requisite mid-project trip to the parts store.

    Sorry for the dark pic.
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  24. #44
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    As long as I had it apart, I did new rotors and calipers. I added HAWK HPS pads as they did a great job improving the stopping of my Cherokee.
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  25. #45
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    Got smart and invested in a popup tent for shade. Also scored a deal on a Portacool standalone evaporative cooler (grey thing in the background). Makes a big difference when working outside on hot days!

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    Dennis (September 19th, 2019)

  27. #46
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    My old man is a retired 'gear man' who worked on semi truck axles and transmissions. He helped me do the seals. Its great to have knowledgeable help. He even had the big weird socket for the hub lockrings.

    When he had the axle apart, I thought I'd get the brakes bled. In addition to the new calipers, I'd installed new longer flex lines in the front and back.

    I got this slick Motiv power bleeder. Its really nice, but you've got to get it sealed well. The supplied chains are useless. First try with a clamp I didn't get it sealed well and started squirting brake fluid everywhere - right above where my dad was working on the axle.

    Well got it sealed well and pumped it up again. Big mistake - the front calipers weren't mounted and the power bleeder adds enough pressure that I pushed the piston out of the caliper. Yep brake fluid everywhere again.

    But managed to get it all sorted eventually and I'm pretty happy with the braking now. I only put the Hawk pads in the front and now it will lock the fronts before the rears, so I will probably add them in back too.

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  28. #47
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    I've still got some bad vibes in the back when I hit 55mph. When you change tires, wheels, driveline, axle, and springs all at the same time, it can be hard to track down the culprit.

    I've measured and remeasured my driveline angles and tried several different shims. I guess I need to have my tire balance rechecked and the driveline balance rechecked now. I'm going to put it up on stands and run it to see if there is a bent wheel or axle (both bought used).

    So had to press the old Cherokee into service for another camping trip.. Name:  IMG_1739.JPG
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  29. #48
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    Once again, I had lots of 'help'.
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  31. #49
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    Added some slip on seat covers today. My seats are actually very nice and the front has been reupholstered by the previous owner. But I've got kids and a dog, so I wanted to protect the seats.

    I would have loved to find some that resembled the 'highlander' plaid, but didn't find anything. So I decided to go with traditional horse blanket. They certainly look period correct. Reviews for the $40 ones on Amazon weren't encouraging, so I got these from FIA out of Canada. I'm pretty happy with them. They are certainly heavy duty.

    My back / middle seat is from a 74ish suburban so it is a 70/30 split. Good luck finding anything to fit that. However I realized I'll usually have the small seat folded up, so I got a small bench seat cover like for an old toyota and it did pretty good for the long section, just a bit long.

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  32. #50
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    Still struggling with my vibration. Put it up on stands today and found this. Driveshaft has some up and down motion. Not sure if it is the shaft or the axle. Axle was used, driveshaft got shortened when it was all installed.

    Emailed the company that shortened the shaft and will see what they say.

    Can't figure out how to embed the video, but here is a link:
    https://youtu.be/hykrsMDBKdg


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