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1988 Chevy Suburban

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We're looking at buying a 1988 Suburban to pull our boat/take to races. Anyone have any input or expierience with the 5.7 engine found in this truck? Any other information on it? Its lifted 4 inches and is fairly clean for a 18 year old vehicle. It's priced about right at 3,000, and should meet our towing needs. :thumbsup:

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We had a 5.7L in our 97' burb... tons of electrical problems and shitty brakes... but they're probably not the same ones as in that burb.

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That should be a good reliable truck. Throttle body 350 is a great engine. I had a 1990 and put 140k miles of hard towing and use, then my buddy who bought it put on like another 60K. The 700r4 tranny is the weak link, make sure it has a tranny cooler especially if towing, and only tow heavy loads in third gear. The leaf spring suspension is a plus, I think they are really good trucks. :thumbsup:

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The 350 throttle body motors were great, not the hugest power on the planet, but reliability was 2nd to none!

Another weak point was the center bolt valve covers over time would lose their spring and flex, resulting on less pressure on the gaskets, and creating a leak. The best cure I found for mine is billet aluminum valve covers, they flex less.

I have a 94 C1500 with a 350 TBI, and have 146k on it and no problems yet.

Check the lift to be sure it was done right, no lift blocks, and have it thouroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic.

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It was done right, by a professional. The truck has 148,000 on it, so I'm glad to here there is still life left in it.

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The 350 throttle body motors were great, not the hugest power on the planet, but reliability was 2nd to none!

Another weak point was the center bolt valve covers over time would lose their spring and flex, resulting on less pressure on the gaskets, and creating a leak. The best cure I found for mine is billet aluminum valve covers, they flex less.

I have a 94 C1500 with a 350 TBI, and have 146k on it and no problems yet.

Check the lift to be sure it was done right, no lift blocks, and have it thouroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic.

lift blocks are ok. but if you can defenitly go with some dever springs. the new 3/4-1ton fords and dodges come with blocks from the factory.chevy's im not sure of. i'll have to look under my friends new 2500 d-max. i think dodge has 2 double stacked and i wouldn't go over 3" lift block either.

are the valve covers plastic on that year. or is that on the vortec engines after 97

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lift blocks are ok. but if you can defenitly go with some dever springs. the new 3/4-1ton fords and dodges come with blocks from the factory.chevy's im not sure of. i'll have to look under my friends new 2500 d-max. i think dodge has 2 double stacked and i wouldn't go over 3" lift block either.

are the valve covers plastic on that year. or is that on the vortec engines after 97

The early TBI motors used metal valve covers.

Lift blocks are a poor way to achieve height, decrease stability, and when stacked may "roll" out on a hard corner or quick emergency manuever. To top that off, when blocks are used, axle "wrap" and spring loading under acceleration is exponentially increased, causing accellerated wear on driveline components. A good quality lift system consists of replacement springs, not blocks.

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I have a 1988 GMC C3500 dually, it has the TB 350 and the TH400, with 170K miles, no smoke, idles at 55 pounds of oil pressure, runs smooth and on all 8 cylinders. It has the 4:10 axle ratio and big 16" wheels, so it goes down the road at a modest speed with modest mileage. It has a GVWR of 9000lbs, and pulls anything with ease.

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The early TBI motors used metal valve covers.

Lift blocks are a poor way to achieve height, decrease stability, and when stacked may "roll" out on a hard corner or quick emergency manuever. To top that off, when blocks are used, axle "wrap" and spring loading under acceleration is exponentially increased, causing accellerated wear on driveline components. A good quality lift system consists of replacement springs, not blocks.

then why would they come stock from the factory? just questions not trying to debate here. it seams if it does cause these problems why are the truck manufactures risking warranty claims?

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then why would they come stock from the factory? just questions not trying to debate here. it seams if it does cause these problems why are the truck manufactures risking warranty claims?

The factory blocks usually are only an inch or two "lift". They are mainly used to correct driveline angle and provide a better ride because the spring have less of an arc.. The springs and blocks are designed to work together properly by engineers (why do you think you pay $50k for a truck that is worth $25k !!! :thumbsup: ) I've spit out a few 4" blocks from under my off-road only truck from the rear diff. Proper lift springs are on my list of "to do's"

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Aside from a big appetite for gasoline, I know of no real negatives. Those old sub's are bulletproof. With regard to the 350 engine, we have one in our '96 GMC2500 van...I couldn't believe how much gittyup and go it has...the damn thing launches out of the hole! 150K miles, no issues out of the ordinary for that mileage.

*One correction...our van is a '95*

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