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Hey guys,

we'll its been about.. 10 years since I've posted here. But ever since I've always wanted a Suburban 2500 as my dream truck.

Well, the day has finally come. After 5 years of actually searching, I've found the truck that ticked every box I was looking for.

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Okay yeah, she's a bit of a turd. But the price was right and it has a ton of potential.

This is a 2006 Suburban 2500 LT with the 6.0/4l80e, 4wd, heated leather seats, sunroof, factory navigation and rear entertainment screen, factory tow mirrors with turn signal and power control, factory color-matched fender flares, and many other factory features to make this thing "fully loaded". And I picked this one up for only $3700.

Now the price pretty well reflects some of the state of this vehicle, with its 240k miles, it definitely needs work. But I was pleasantly surprised when I found that most of this trucks issues are cosmetic and or just dirty and grimy. It should be easy to get this thing back to 90% with some simple maintenance, fresh fluids, new seals, etc. And since all these truck are 15 years old anyways at this point, even a newer truck would need lots of work. And this base price gives me a lot of room to do things right.

While doing some of the much needed maintenance, I'll be sprinkling in some engine, suspension, and interior mods. The goal for this truck is to build it into sort of an overlanding offroad and camping truck (maybe pull a camping trailer eventually). It's going to be a long process, but I'm really looking forward to this build.


To start, I gave her a bath for the first time in who knows how long. But I'm sure I'll be power washing dirt from hidden crevices for months to come.
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After I got her mostly cleaned up, I could see the body really is tired. Lots of small scratches and dents with a couple good ones. Luckily the worst one is just the front bumper which should be easy to find a junk yard replacement. Some other body issues include lots of bondo just behind the rear tires near the bumper. But for what I have planned for this truck, I'm not worried about the body at all. Eventually I'll want to get it sorted but for now it will stay how it is.

Next on the agenda was to fix the key. The key it came with was nearly completely rounded out and you had to jiggle it in the steering wheel to get it to work. Eventually I'll replace it with a nicer GM factory key, but a quick trip to Walmart and $2 later, I had a new key that to my surprise works perfectly. Money well spent.

In addition to the bad key, it came with a key fob, but upon disassembly, I found it was completely empty. No internal circuit board or anything lol. I will eventually replace this with a modern retrofit from boost auto parts.

On the topic of keys, the driver's rear door lock actuator was grinding and not working. So I tore down the door to get a better look. And after seeing how dirty it was, I tore the door down completely for a good wash.

before
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after
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I didn't get any pictures, but I was able to order a new door lock actuator (Dorman PN# 746-017) for a quick and easy fix. I noticed some people commented that some trucks have an additional lever on this door lock actuator to trigger interior lights when the door handle is pulled. If that were the case, you might have to purchase the whole door lock assembly ($200+ !). Luckily, mine is pretty simple and was fixed with the $30 Dorman part. I also lubricated the window tracks and door levers with white lithium grease. The door lock assembly and rubber window tracks were lubricated with dry silicon spray from 3m. Windows are still pretty slow going up, so I suspect I'll eventually be replacing the regulator/motor in the near future.

Next, it was time to look at the exhuast. The previous owner had removed the factory muffler and replaced it with glasspacks that exited directly below the center of the truck. The drone and noise on the 500 mile trip home was terrible. I had a magnaflow cat back on my previous truck and really liked it, so i ordered it for this truck. Unfortunately since the original exhaust was so hacked up (and some exhaust hangers were broken), i had to take it to a shop to do the installation. They ended up doing not so great of a job, but the real issue is the lack of original exhaust components. On top of that, the original cats are surely clogged as its throwing tons of codes related to the cats (i suspect the truck is running REALLY rich) so i'm working on getting replacement cats and original exhaust piping to fix the exhaust from the manifold to the magnaflow cat-back. For now, the magnaflow is keeping things a bit more managable in the sound category and will hopefully get me through inspection so i can get this thing registered.

After the exhaust upgrade, it was time to tear down into the engine. And boy was it something..
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Using a shop vac and all the brake clean/carb cleaner, i got it looking like this
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I've also got the following replacement parts that have either already been installed or currently in the process of:
Intake Manifold Gaskets - Fel-Pro MS98016T
Valley Cover Gasket - Fel-Pro MS92465
Valve Cover Gaskets - Fel-Pro VS50504R1
Knock Sensors - ACDelco 213-3521
Knock Sensor Harness - Dorman 917-033
Spark Plugs - ACDelco 41962
Spark Plug Wires - ACDelco 9748GG
Vapor Canister Purge Valve/Solenoid - ACDelco 2141105
Fuel Rail O-Rings - GM 17113552
Fuel Injector O-Rings - GM 2171588
PCV Hoses - GM 12556932 & GM 12615914 (these were very cracked and fell apart on disassembly)
Fuel Rail Cap - GM 12570619 (it was missing)

There's also something funky going on with the oil pressure sensor. I'm guessing previous owner destroyed the connector and had to splice in a new one? The oil pressure gauge appears to work just fine so I'm going to leave it for now. Maybe replace the butt connectors with some proper solder splices before I button everything back up again.

But that is pretty much where I'm at right now. So far the valley cover and valve cover gaskets, knock sensors, and knock sensor harness have been installed. Hoping to tackle everything from spark plugs down this weekend, inspection and registration next weekend.

Other mods I've ordered include:
Volant Air Intake (intake currently installed is a hacked up factory one... not ideal)
HP Tuners MPVI2+ (been wanting to learn how to tune for a while now. Will mostly use it for troubleshooting at first)

Going to keep some of the other potential future mods a secret for now. Will be back in a week or so with the next updates.

Thanks for reading!
 

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I’m a big fan of the NBS 2500 Burbs, so happy to see this old gal get a new life. Interested to see where the build goes.
 
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