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  • The free 87 Suburban

    We got this 87 suburban from my inlaws last May. They bought it new. Had 130k when we got it, it has 140k now.

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    We've been fixing stuff as it breaks, as well as neglected stuff, and the latest is the engine...the cooling system was neglected and run with pure water for a while, and it's been pressurizing the cooling system, and getting worse, so I decided to go ahead and pull the heads. Good stuff...



    The dark area between cylinders is just the ligthing (gasket is bent), the area between the bores and the cooling passages are the problem. Hopefully the heads aren't warped and we can just throw them back on with some new gaskets and drive it a while longer. It goes 1500-2k miles on a quart of oil.

    Last edited by squirrel; February 14th, 2018, 11:18 AM.
    My fabulous web page

    "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

  • #2

    Re: The free 87 Suburban

    Re: The free 87 Suburban

    That AZ sun wasn't kind to GM's terrible paint jobs of the 80's.
    BS'er formally known as Rebeldryver

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    • #3

      Re: The free 87 Suburban

      Re: The free 87 Suburban

      I think you pulled that apart in the nick of time. The heads on that motor are known to crack, so before you put it back together, it might be a good idea to wire brush it and look for cracks.
      As for the light problem, I think you were very close to the head gasket blowing out....
      Doing it all wrong since 1966

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      • #4

        Re: The free 87 Suburban

        Re: The free 87 Suburban

        The area between the center two cylinders did get a bit warm. I'll look for evidence of cracks, as well as warpage, and decide if the heads need to go to the machine shop.

        edit: I cleaned the deck surface of the one head we took off, and it's seems to be flat and no cracks visible around the exhaust valves, so we'll pull off the other side and probably just put gaskets on it. And maybe valve stem O rings...
        My fabulous web page

        "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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        • #5

          Re: The free 87 Suburban

          Re: The free 87 Suburban

          A guy can live with that purchase price. Hope it all works out OK.

          Dan

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          • #6

            Re: The free 87 Suburban

            Re: The free 87 Suburban

            Here in the midwest, that would be a rotted out hulk by now and the chassis slated for a future project. That thing looks like it has a 100k more left in her!

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            • #7

              Re: The free 87 Suburban

              Re: The free 87 Suburban

              1987 - the heads don't crack - the lifter valley walls do
              did hundreds back in the day - paid for my big tool box and big block nova with cracked blocks labor
              look for a line of coolant/oil mix
              chances are , it was done already - check for the vin on the block

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              • #8

                Re: The free 87 Suburban

                Re: The free 87 Suburban

                like this?





                about an inch and a half long, near the distributor hole
                My fabulous web page

                "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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                • #9

                  Re: The free 87 Suburban

                  Re: The free 87 Suburban

                  heh...wrong block!

                  but I think I'll just put it back together and live with it. If it the crack spreads enough to turn the oil white, then I'll have to do something....like drop a big block in it


                  My fabulous web page

                  "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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                  • #10

                    Re: The free 87 Suburban

                    Re: The free 87 Suburban

                    Wow that's fascinating... my 87 crate motor did exactly that... and Nope Jim... I didn't get away with it... had to replace the block...

                    Thanks for sharing that it was a common problem... I thought we hurt it in Germany on the autobahn... treated the El Camino to many many hours of high speed cruising...

                    K

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                    • #11

                      Re: The free 87 Suburban

                      Re: The free 87 Suburban

                      I wonder if you could stop drill the crank and braze it up?
                      Central TEXAS Sleeper
                      USAF Physicist

                      ROA# 9790

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                      • #12

                        Re: The free 87 Suburban

                        Re: The free 87 Suburban

                        if your just going to put it back together i would try k w metallic block sealer. i used it a long time ago to limp a car till ihad time place to work on it and never went in to it. trans let go like 20000 miles later which for me at the time was like9 months. but follow the directions on the can. dont just dump it in and forget about it .the stuff works

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                        • #13

                          Re: The free 87 Suburban

                          Re: The free 87 Suburban

                          Do they smog y'all with that old a car?
                          It had to get smogged in Tucson, where it lived most of it's life, but here in small town Sierra Vista we don't have smog because they don't test cars. (or they don't test cars because we don't have smog, I forget which it is)

                          I'll keep an eye on it, and hope for the best...and yeah, I was considering some type of snake oil to help it live a bit longer. I know it's a gonna get worse one of these days though
                          My fabulous web page

                          "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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                          • #14

                            Re: The free 87 Suburban

                            Re: The free 87 Suburban

                            im not much on snake oil. but i have seen this stuff work more than once

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                            • #15

                              Re: The free 87 Suburban

                              Re: The free 87 Suburban

                              I call any fix that comes in a bottle "snake oil", some of it does work.

                              My fabulous web page

                              "If it don't go, chrome it!" --Stroker McGurk

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