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Ode to An 03 Suburban #5463593 06/26/20 06:29 PM
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A_Spruce Offline OP
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Hey all, rather than have a dozen different thread that I can never find when I want to update, I've decided to have this single thread to not only ask general Burb related tech question in, but to provide updates as I have them. Thanks to all who have participated in previous threads and to those who view and continue to offer suggestions about my Burb.

Basic info: '03 Suburban, nothing major, sort of. Bought it in Feb '19 for $5400, good bones, but needed some TLC. I put around $1500 into cosmetics and minor maintenance, changing fluids, new brake pads, new shocks all around, that sort of thing.

Fast forward to today, she had an exhaust leak on the drivers side manifold, 3 broken studs. Mechanic changed all but one of the bolts and the gasket, the last broken bolt wasn't removable without significant effort and expense. A fellow BITOG member turned me on to an aftermarket bracket that bolts into existing holes in the head and "thumbscrews" down over the missing bolt that I will be installing as soon as it arrives.

Still chasing the suspension issue we've discussed. I think I'm heading down the right track with that one, we'll see where it leads as I have time to mess with it.

Had the plugs changed, 160K, have no idea if they'd ever been out, which is why I had the shop do it. I don't have the tools or expertise to deal with a snapped off plug or stripped threads. She seems to have a little more pep in her step with the new plugs, not significantly, but noticeable.

Biggest change was having the AC charged. The issue when I took it in was that it periodically would blow warm air for a few minutes then cool back down and be fine. They said the system was 24 ounce low, but otherwise in good shape, it seemed better. This was several weeks ago and it has worked fine since. She went back in this week to have the aforementioned exhaust studs and spark plugs done, when she came home the AC wasn't working at all. The pressure switch went out. They said it was unrelated to the work they did, maybe it was, maybe it wasn't.They only charged me parts to fix it, so kudos to them, happy and COOL me! banana It's over 100* here right now and I don't go anywhere without the AC blasting! I'm also really loving the dual zone AC! I have the passenger compartment overhead vents blowing down the back of my neck! Technically, that would be 3rd zone, as the front driver and passenger have separate heat/cold controls too, again, REALLY love this feature!!!

So, that's where we're at now, still trying to diagnose and fix the suspension noise. Feel free to click the link above or chime in here if you have any suggestions. cool


'03 Suburban
Re: Ode to An 03 Suburban [Re: A_Spruce] #5463598 06/26/20 06:39 PM
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Keep it going! If you ever come across an unknown AC leak, old Burbs are notorious for leaking in the AC lines to the rear AC unit.

Last edited by Snagglefoot; 06/26/20 06:40 PM.

If you want the job done right......do it yourself.
Re: Ode to An 03 Suburban [Re: A_Spruce] #5463623 06/26/20 07:18 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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The AC low pressure switch is 100% unrelated to the recharge.


02 Wrangler Napa high milage 10w40
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Re: Ode to An 03 Suburban [Re: A_Spruce] #5463684 06/26/20 08:58 PM
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A_Spruce Offline OP
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Previous to any work, the AC was adequately cool, sure, it could be colder, but isn't that always the case? I know that as a general rule of thumb, AC drops ambient temps by about 30*, and while this took longer on hot days, duh, go figure, it was working adequately. The issue it was taken in for was that it would periodically stop blowing cold at all, just for a few minutes. I knew this was a sign of low freon, so wasn't concerned. System checked out just fine, dye checked for leaks, recharged significantly at 24 ounces, and blew nice and cold.

I don't make any correlation of the pressure switch failure to anything else. All I will say is that the tech would have been working in dangerous proximity to the switch while changing out the spark plugs. It could have been something inadvertent on their part, could have been unhappy circumstances. Either way, switch failed and I expected to pay for parts and labor. Shop of their own volition ate the labor and only charged me parts. This shop has a good reputation and great Yelp review. If Yelp isn't a thing in the rest of the nation, it's a platform for consumers to rate local businesses and services. I will also say that they spent 2 days trying to figure out the suspension noises. Even though they couldn't find anything, there was no charge for the time spent. All this to say, I believe them to be an honest establishment.


'03 Suburban
Re: Ode to An 03 Suburban [Re: A_Spruce] #5463946 06/27/20 08:32 AM
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i also have an 03 suburban.

Take a look at Sway Bar Bushings... While they may feel tight to the hand and look good .. the weight that you add changes the variables.

Get the noise back.. then spray the heck out of the rear sway bar bushings then see if it goes away.

Re: Ode to An 03 Suburban [Re: A_Spruce] #5464127 06/27/20 12:50 PM
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A_Spruce Offline OP
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Hey Kris,

Thanks for the thoughts. Now that you mention it, I'm not sure that I lubed the sway bar bushings. I got all the other pivot points, drag links, spring cups, sway bar end links, etc., but in thinking about it just now, I'm not so sure that I shot the bushing where it connects the bar to the frame. duh

I'll definitely be inspecting and squirting them when I crawl back under there. Cheers2


'03 Suburban
Re: Ode to An 03 Suburban [Re: A_Spruce] #5464682 06/28/20 07:55 AM
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HangFire Offline
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Following your Burb exploits with interest.

For a 17 year old vehicle, I would just replace the sway bar bushings and end links. They are rubber, consider them consumables.


Various musings: http://hangfire.net
Re: Ode to An 03 Suburban [Re: HangFire] #5465320 06/29/20 01:09 AM
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Originally Posted by HangFire
Following your Burb exploits with interest.

For a 17 year old vehicle, I would just replace the sway bar bushings and end links. They are rubber, consider them consumables.



Agreed. Doing just that myself and tie rod ends on my 01 Suburban. Was checked out by GM dealer last week and that's what they recommenced !


Dave


01 Silverado 1500HD Shell RGT 5W30/XG3675

01 Suburban 1500 Mobil 1 Truck/SUV 5W30/XG3675

02 Suburban 1500 Delo 400XLE 10W30/Protec166

82 Trans Am (KITT) M1 10W40HM/XG5
Re: Ode to An 03 Suburban [Re: A_Spruce] #5470534 07/05/20 11:45 PM
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I expect to have to do front end joints in the not too distant future. Nothing bad at the moment, but some look like they're not long for the world.


'03 Suburban
Re: Ode to An 03 Suburban [Re: A_Spruce] #5470593 07/06/20 05:28 AM
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caprice_2nv Online Content
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I'm highly considering one of these or a Tahoe/Yukon to replace my Caprice as my backup work vehicle/winter beater. I love my Silverado but a suburban would be a good vehicle for long trips with several passengers or camping.

My neighbor has one I'm always drooling over. Looks very well maintained. About an 03. Good luck with your squeak. My Silverado squeaks sometimes from the back but no clunks. Maybe I should check the sway bar bushings on it.


84 Olds Cutlass - 350 Olds
83 Chevy Caprice - 305 Sbc
05 Silverado 1500 4wd - 4.8/4L60E
79 Honda CX500
Re: Ode to An 03 Suburban [Re: A_Spruce] #5470723 07/06/20 09:47 AM
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A_Spruce Offline OP
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I love my Burb! She's been a great vehicle, comfortable, reasonably quiet, spacious as long as you're not using it as a haul vehicle, 'cuz it ain't a truck! :lol: 3 row seating, 3rd row removable and 2nd row folds flat, can get full sheets of plywood in. Good tow capacity too!


'03 Suburban
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