1990 Suburban V2500 Light Adventure build

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oldmopars

Rank III

Advocate I

778
Selah Wa
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Solomon
We, I suppose Light and 90 Suburban don't belong together, but what I am going to build will not be crazy. I am not building a RTW live in truck, more weekend warrior to explore the country around me.
I had a 1985 Chevy K30 to tow my RV, but it had no room for the dogs once we hit the road. I loved it, but it did not work for me. I sold it and got this 1990 GMC Suburban 3/4 ton 4x4.
I bought this with only pictures off the internet. I had no time to go see it and the dealer was 250 miles away in Salem Or.
I knew what I wanted and was not finding it, so I asked the salesman to send me a picture of the RPO codes in the glove box. 88 of them, I sat and decoded every code and found out what this truck had.
It has 4:10 gears, a rear limited slip diff, tow package, 5.7L with a THM400 trans. Front and rear A/C, heavy duty radiator, alternator, oil and trans coolers, etc. It was perfect. I offered them $4300 if they would drive it to my house in Yakima Wa. They agreed.
Once the truck arrived I got a huge surprise. This truck has a brand new GM crate engine, new transmission, all new brakes including calipers, booster, master and linings. New starter, water pump, all belts and hoses, and new battery. I felt like I had won the lottery.
Yes, it is 30 years old, so it still needs a few things. I replaced the passenger window motor, need to install the heater core I just got. I got all 4 new door striker bolts and replaced the factory radio because only the right side channel worked.
Oh, and those terrible wheels and tires. My new tires arrive tomorrow and I still need to get some stock wheels. Those hideous things will go on Craigslist as soon as the others are mounted.

The plan is simple for this thing. I do not want to cut or hack it up, it will remain mostly original or made to return to original. I will be adding some kind of bed to the back, a winch and I already installed a large light bar on the front.
I have some solar panels and solar system that I would like to add to it. I want to find a roof rack, but have not seen anything yet that I like. I have over 400 watts in panels, a 40 amp Rover MPPT controller and 4 deep cycle batteries with a 200 watt pure sine inverter, but I will not put all of that on, most likely it will get about 150-200 watts and one or 2 batteries.
I need slightly more power as my wife and I are both on CPAP machines and they need to run all night. However, they can run on 12V, I have run mine off my bike with an extra battery.
I am afraid to get started the interior may be as simple as an air mattress, cooler, portable grill and a water jug. Once we get out there and get some time in it, we will know better what we want to do to build it out.
 

chuckoverland

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,857
Spokane, WA
Member #

3367

Thats my fav year of suburban. We just moved away from Yakima 2 yrs ago, there were no OB members there when we left that we knew of. Welcome to the OB family.
 

oldmopars

Rank III

Advocate I

778
Selah Wa
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Solomon
Tires arrived, and I found some wheels at a local yard for $60. I just need to go get them on Monday or Tuesday.
I have been thinking about roof racks and so far the 8020 Aluminum extrusion seems to be the way to go.
Other than the tires, and the new light bar on the front, all I have been able to do is maintenance stuff. New door striker bolts, new heater core, windshield wipers, the right door power window motor, new stereo, and other minor adjustments.
I can't wait to get these stupid wheels off, they rub the fenders and the frame.
 

oldmopars

Rank III

Advocate I

778
Selah Wa
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Solomon
Well I was able to get some new wheels for the Suburban yesterday and I got the wheels painted and installed today. I did the mounting of the new tires myself. I used balance beads for balancing and they are working great.
I was not able to find 4 wheels that are exactly alike. They have some very slight differences that I notice, but most other people will not. I plan to find 3 more wheels from a Ford truck/van from the 80-90's. They are 7in wide and will allow me to go up a size in the future if I want to.
I plan to add some stock hub caps as soon as I can find a decent set without having to take out a second mortgage.
So, gone is the ugly 20in Bling wheels, back to stock. Tires are new Ecopath AT's. Maybe someday the budget will allow for KO2's, but not today.

 
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oldmopars

Rank III

Advocate I

778
Selah Wa
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Solomon
I couldn't help but post this here. I went out last night and there was a great sunset over the Suburban.
 
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oldmopars

Rank III

Advocate I

778
Selah Wa
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Solomon
Nice ride!

What balance beads are you using?
Daisy BB's. I have used them before and they work just like the commercial beads, you just have to put them in before you seat the bead. I have also used Air Soft pellets, but they are plastic and so you need a larger quantity to get the same weight. I used 3oz.
I used some commercial balance beads and they worked great, but I could not tell the difference between those and BB's.
 

CaptainBuilt

Rank V
Member

Contributor III

2,515
Asheville, NC, USA
Member #

14664

Daisy BB's. I have used them before and they work just like the commercial beads, you just have to put them in before you seat the bead. I have also used Air Soft pellets, but they are plastic and so you need a larger quantity to get the same weight. I used 3oz.
I used some commercial balance beads and they worked great, but I could not tell the difference between those and BB's.
lol that's awesome. You used 3oz for a 33" tire? I have 33's and can't keep them balanced. Was thinking about trying balance beads.
 

oldmopars

Rank III

Advocate I

778
Selah Wa
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Solomon
I am not sure if they are 33in. They are 235/85-16. But yes, 3oz works great. If your tires are bigger, you could use 4-5oz. You really can’t use too much within reason. However unless it is a really big tire, I would not go beyond 8-10oz.
 

Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

4,000
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
We, I suppose Light and 90 Suburban don't belong together, but what I am going to build will not be crazy. I am not building a RTW live in truck, more weekend warrior to explore the country around me.
I had a 1985 Chevy K30 to tow my RV, but it had no room for the dogs once we hit the road. I loved it, but it did not work for me. I sold it and got this 1990 GMC Suburban 3/4 ton 4x4.
I bought this with only pictures off the internet. I had no time to go see it and the dealer was 250 miles away in Salem Or.
I knew what I wanted and was not finding it, so I asked the salesman to send me a picture of the RPO codes in the glove box. 88 of them, I sat and decoded every code and found out what this truck had.
It has 4:10 gears, a rear limited slip diff, tow package, 5.7L with a THM400 trans. Front and rear A/C, heavy duty radiator, alternator, oil and trans coolers, etc. It was perfect. I offered them $4300 if they would drive it to my house in Yakima Wa. They agreed.
Once the truck arrived I got a huge surprise. This truck has a brand new GM crate engine, new transmission, all new brakes including calipers, booster, master and linings. New starter, water pump, all belts and hoses, and new battery. I felt like I had won the lottery.
Yes, it is 30 years old, so it still needs a few things. I replaced the passenger window motor, need to install the heater core I just got. I got all 4 new door striker bolts and replaced the factory radio because only the right side channel worked.
Oh, and those terrible wheels and tires. My new tires arrive tomorrow and I still need to get some stock wheels. Those hideous things will go on Craigslist as soon as the others are mounted.

The plan is simple for this thing. I do not want to cut or hack it up, it will remain mostly original or made to return to original. I will be adding some kind of bed to the back, a winch and I already installed a large light bar on the front.
I have some solar panels and solar system that I would like to add to it. I want to find a roof rack, but have not seen anything yet that I like. I have over 400 watts in panels, a 40 amp Rover MPPT controller and 4 deep cycle batteries with a 200 watt pure sine inverter, but I will not put all of that on, most likely it will get about 150-200 watts and one or 2 batteries.
I need slightly more power as my wife and I are both on CPAP machines and they need to run all night. However, they can run on 12V, I have run mine off my bike with an extra battery.
I am afraid to get started the interior may be as simple as an air mattress, cooler, portable grill and a water jug. Once we get out there and get some time in it, we will know better what we want to do to build it out.
Looks like your a winner, my son recently built a 96 suburban with all new running gear on a perfect body. I call it the WAR wagon, it's awesome as I know yours will be as well.
Have fun !
 

oldmopars

Rank III

Advocate I

778
Selah Wa
First Name
Scott
Last Name
Solomon
I got some more work done this weekend. I needed a roof rack and I found this stuff at Lowe's that works great. It is structural pipe. It is used to make hand rails, furniture, etc. I found the right parts to make a roof rack.
This allowed me to be able to move the spare tire to the roof and add my solar panel. I was then able to put the solar controller and battery in the spot the tire was in.
It is only a 100 watt panel and a single 840 CCA deep cycle battery, but it has a 40 amp MPPT controller. I have 3 more panels and 3 more batteries, but I don't think I need them in this build.
The tire holder is temporary, it was just square tube I had left from the carport. Once I get more of the structural pipe I will make something better, but I just needed something for now and it works.
The solar is to power my wife and I's CPAP machines.
Also, the battery is only showing 13.2V because the solar panel in in the shade of the carport. I have had it in the sun and it is working great.


 
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Lanlubber

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

4,000
Mimbres, NM, USA
Member #

16986

Ham Callsign
none - BREAKER BREAKER HAND HELD CB AND WALKIE TALKIE
I got some more work done this weekend. I needed a roof rack and I found this stuff at Lowe's that works great. It is structural pipe. It is used to make hand rails, furniture, etc. I found the right parts to make a roof rack.
This allowed me to be able to move the spare tire to the roof and add my solar panel. I was then able to put the solar controller and battery in the spot the tire was in.
It is only a 100 watt panel and a single 840 CCA deep cycle battery, but it has a 40 amp MPPT controller. I have 3 more panels and 3 more batteries, but I don't think I need them in this build.
The tire holder is temporary, it was just square tube I had left from the carport. Once I get more of the structural pipe I will make something better, but I just needed something for now and it works.
The solar is to power my wife and I's CPAP machines.
Also, the battery is only showing 13.2V because the solar panel in in the shade of the carport. I have had it in the sun and it is working great.


Looks good to me. I like how you took advantage of the wheel well. I'm doing something similar as soon as I get it built into my rear kitchen plan. I don't have a wheel well and I'll have to do something different for my interior inverter-charger panel but I have something in mind that will solve everything. (I hope)