96 Suburban


New Member
Weekend/family camping with our Coleman Caravan. Our 96 Suburban is starting it's 2nd hundred thousand miles. No major problems with the vehicle yet but the nickles and dimes are becomming noticeable. Any maintainance issues ahead? I'd like to stay proactive and avoid bad trips with the kids. Thanks. :question:


New Member
96 Suburban


I have maintained Suburbans in The USAF for 14 of 20 years. They are near bullet proof. We would rack up over 100.000 miles in 2 years times. they drove every day at least 150 miles round trip and averaged 3300 a month!!

The problem I noted were.
Front end needed rebuilding at about 120,000. If you do use the polyurethane kits to rebuild.

Rear leaf springs up to the mid 90's alway sagged. We replaced them with after market for about 1/3 the cost of OEM.

Transmission: we rebuilt them at about 90,000 with a shift kit and a RV torque convertor. If you have the 700R-4 it was a cantankerous transmission until overhauled and upgraded.

Cooling system Usually trouble free except the occassional radiator tank seperation or heater core plug up.

Doors, windows and seals. bigger problem here. GM is notorious for hinges sagging and wind seal just falling out. The hard part about replacing GM hinges is they are welded to the Pillar supports- so you need to grind the old welds off to replace them.

Seals would generally just get hard and fall out unless they are cleaned regualarly, especially at the bottome of the door were the weather seal is. It keeps the road grim and mud out but traps it between the door and the weather seal-- breeding ground for rust and moisture.

Gear selection lever. probably the biggest problem. depending on the model. If it is the stick pointer; the linkage on the column would were out. The quickest fix it to replace (1) the entire linkage assembly or (2) the entire steering column.

Tail light wiring. some Chevy's up to 1998 left the wires exposed at the tailight and the tire would puvlverize the wire casing and blow fuses on a regular basis.

Tail light assemblies. If you have one that acts up, it is usually the circuit connector or the ground point for the light assembly. the quick fix and lasting one is to solder a wire to the steel on the light frame and then secure it to the chassis with the mounting screw.

Now not all of these problmes were on every year model but across the 14 + years of the ones i have seen up to 1999. (After that GM refused to sell Suburbans to the Air force because they were losing money...) SO now we have Expeditions....

I own a 1979 K10 suburban (Restored)126,000 miles on the original motor and, a 1999 K2500 suburban 64,000 miles. I love both of them.

Hope this helps


Note I am trading the 1999 and my travel trailer for a New Class "C" minne Winne this weekend on a Ford chassis. If there was a way to avoid trading the Sub I would keep it.

31C Minne Winne
towed veh; 1993 Lumina