Last post on Nov 28, 2013 at 5:49 PM
You are in the Chevrolet Suburban & Tahoe
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Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Suburban, SUV
#2 of 1043 1996 Diesel any good?
Dec 07, 2004 (8:29 pm)
I'm thinking about buying a '96 Suburban with a Diesel engine. i've heard that Chevy put a low quality diesel in the 80's era suburbans and that the duramax is quite good. Do any of you know about who made the diesel they used in '96? Was it reliable? How about the transmission? I've heard that there were some problems on the transmissions used in '96- can anyone confirm that?
Dec 08, 2004 (4:38 pm)
Steve: Good thinking!
My fave hill got 14 inches the past 24 hrs... time to GO!!
#4 of 1043 Re: [hammerhead]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
Dec 08, 2004 (5:46 pm)
Bogus opens tomorrow with 32" at the base (so far). I may let it settle down a day
Dec 08, 2004 (6:56 pm)
Scheduling is the problem here... I may get to escape for a day next weekend - hopefully our discount coupons will be here by then, or we'll sneak up & take advantage of our midweek passes. I owe the kiddo a trip for his birthday too... owing him a ski day is a good problem to have!
(obligatory on-topic: I'll take a couple of his friends too, which means the Suburban which means I gotta get the coffin box mounted too)
#6 of 1043 Re: 1996 Diesel any good? [mbreen]
Dec 09, 2004 (2:15 am)
I know the low quality diesel of the 80's. It was the 5.7L (350ci) V8 converted diesel, as in converted from a gasoline engine. Pure junk! My family got to experience that in a 1980 Caddy. Then we got a 1983 GMC van with the 6.2L (379ci) V8 diesel, which was a diesel from the drawing board. Much better engine. However, the transmission they mated to it couldn't do the job. This 4-speed auto with O/D was meant for a gas engine in passenger cars and couldn't handle the low end torque of a diesel, nor could it withstand the low end vibration of the diesel. The 6.2L diesel lasted 220,000 miles before we sold it. The transmissions (plural) lasted 60,000 miles, 15,000 miles, and another 15,000 miles before we finally threw in an older 3-speed tranny from a 1979 1-ton pickup which was still going strong when we sold it.
As for the '96, Duramax is the company that makes the engine. I think GM learned their lessons about crappy trasmissions and have been going with Allison trannies. Unfortunately, my diesel experience has only been with the 80s models. If I come across anyone with a 90s Duramax diesel (I assume it's 6.5L), I'll be sure to ask and relay their response here.
#7 of 1043 Suburban handling / steering / tracking problems
Dec 15, 2004 (7:20 pm)
Hi folks, I'm wondering if anyone can help out with a pretty serious flaw when experienced. Our 2003 Suburban can't track straight at all unless it's riding on a perfectly flat, smooth road with absolutely no wind. If there are some winds, uneven roads or groves, or simply being passed by, or passing a large truck for example, the Suburban will veer off by itself where any steering input does little to no good.
It's as if any "external forces", whether from uneven roads, wind or turbulence, can severly influence the steering.. feels like some unseen hands are pushing the truck around.
We've gone to the dealer of course with receiving the usual BS and nothing solved. The closest I've come though to a possible solution is from a mechanic telling me he's experienced the same problems with his late model Silverado, on the same stretch of freeway in fact, and that simply changing from the stock Firestone tires solves it!!??
Alignment and balancing shows no problems btw.
thanks for any info!
#8 of 1043 clarification
Dec 16, 2004 (2:54 am)
Just thought I'd add a bit more info on the symptoms: in my non-expert opinion, it doesn't seem like bumpsteer because going over speedbumps at non-perpendicular angles for example, doesn't result in any steering action as one arm cycles relative to the other.
But what I do notice is something almost the opposite--at high speeds, going over bumps *straight on* so that both sides of the suspension cycle together, there's always a side to side shift. The degree of sideways movement depends on the speed and sharpness of the bump.
Lastly, none of this happened with the previous generation 98 Sub this one replaced (despite the older one having a soggier suspension, more body roll, etc).
#9 of 1043 Tracking issues...
Dec 16, 2004 (7:56 am)
...this does seem to be more of a design flaw in the newer trucks/SUV's than anything else. The only issue I've ever really noticed is how the front end does seem to blow around pretty bad if you're driving on a really windy day--it takes a very firm grip and correcting. But this is excusable, at least to me, because the trucks sit so high up and are pretty much like tall flat boxes getting hit with the wind.
On the other hand, yes, the steering is kind of odd. It never really bothered me, but my father hates that one part of my mother's trucks (had an Avalanche and now a Suburban), as the front end just seems to wander around despite your input...like there's slack somewhere in system. Really noticeable I guess, if you get on a bouncy roadway at higher speeds and are trying to keep it straight.
As far as the tires, I'm really not sure, but the Goodyear Wrangler HP's that were on our Av did seem stiffer and made the truck handle more crisply than the Firestones on the Suburban, which, while not horrible, are clearly not the greatest when it comes to tires. They probably do make some difference though.
#10 of 1043 tracking
Dec 17, 2004 (12:51 am)
Thanks for the input. So this seems to confirm that it is as you mentioned, more inherent of the design as my mom also complained of the same characterstics in another 04 Suburban she borrowed once..
.. I'm considering changing the tires.. and I wonder if some kind of aftermarket steering stabilizer would help..
#11 of 1043 Re: tracking [jimveta]
Dec 17, 2004 (5:38 am)
Jimmy, I would ditch those Firestones for starters. I didn't have this problem with either my 2000 or 2004 Suburban (both 4WD), but both the stock Firestones and Bridgestones were changed shortly after purchase for Michelins. I have monster 305/50-20s on my 2004 now, so you would think that any inherent problems with the suspension would be exaggerated with these tires, but it tracks just fine.
Might not hurt to have a reputable, independent alignment shop double check your settings.