1996 Chevrolet K1500 Suburban

Curt

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Well, it's been a while since I've last updated this but I got a few plans in the works...

To start, the trans cooler upgrade held up great. The temps hold at 140*F cruising on the highway and never climbs past 180*F under normal conditions. While towing a 4200 lb trailer up a steep uphill for an extended period of time the trans never gets hotter than 195*F. As for the trans it didn't hold up so well. It was badly damaged from the disconnected trans cooler incident (resulting in 290*F trans temps while towing) and had to be rebuilt. I lost OD and the truck slipped in every gear except occasionally in 2nd. I sent it off to my trans guy and told him I'm tired of putting transmissions in this truck. I told him I wanted an overkill 4L65E in my truck. We sat down and came up with a plan to build a ~450HP rated 4L65E. Truck is great now. After the new trans, I've been enjoying the hell out of it. Put new tires on the 'burb and been taking it everywhere.

From a roadtrip to UT in the winter...
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... to offroading in some rural areas of CA (that is the Consumnes River in the background, near Somerset in this pic)...
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(cameras typically don't capture the steepness of terrain, but a photo taken from a vid on my phone captures the hills we were climbing pretty well)
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I would take this truck anywhere.

For anyone wondering, these Maxxis RAZR MT tires are phenomenal. Albeit they are LOUD on the highway compared to the KO2s, the RAZR MT's did great in whiteout snow conditions, ice, mud, dirt, gravel and rain. With constant beating on these tires they have yet to chunk or experience any odd wear. In my experience, KO2's were subpar in all those conditions, except mud and dirt. It excelled in those categories but failed to live up to other expectations.

Now comes the future plans for the truck portion of this post... In that last pic I'd be lying if I said I didn't get stuck. There was an unexpected downpour and the dirt turned to mud. Mud + STEEEEP hillclimbs with embedded tree roots in the trail = stuck. We spent hours digging to freedom with no cell service, or anyone really knowing where we were. We got out before the sun fully set and the truck took a massive beating, but didn't even f*cking care. Temps sat perfectly at 180*F for the trans and never passed 200*F on the coolant. I was so proud of the truck. As we worked with the truck to get her ass and ours outta dodge she sat there idling beautifully after bouncing off the rev limiter, inching up the hill, digging, rinse and repeat. Wasn't the smartest of moves not letting people know where we were, but lesson learned for sure. That being said, I purchased 2 things that I plan to install this summer.

- Rough Country Hidden Winch Mounting Plate
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-Warn Winch Zeon 10S
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These two things will mitigate my chances of being stuck. Of course now, I have other equipment like winch anchors for recovery but I won't go into details on those.

On top of upgrades, there is some maintenance that needs doing:
- The front end bushings are getting really bad. I intend to hopefully find a shop that will rebuild the front end as I hear that is a nightmare for the DIY. Although if I find sources that say otherwise, I might end up tackling it.

- I'm battling a stalling issue when the AC is on. It only occurs when I'm stopped at a light and it doesn't matter whether the truck is cold or at operating temp. No DTC's or pending codes. Truck will stall at a red light but fire back up immediately and act like there was no issue. Has a slight 1/4 second buck sometimes when cruising on the freeway when AC is on. Kind of feels like a misfire, but as stated, no DTCs. What makes it worse is that it is intermittent. Got me scratching my head on that one. IAC valve was replaced for an OE ACDelco part back in 2019? So I'm going to start with cleaning the throttle body and hopefully that solves it. Otherwise I'll make a post shortly.

- Rear diff is leaky. Going to service it and get rid of the paper fel-pro gasket. Should've RTV'd it to begin with. Got some Permatex 81182, that should take care of it.

I'd love to be more active on the forum but it seems like as the days go on there's less and less time in it. I did see that @df2x4 and @kennythewelder got promoted to forum mods so congratulations on that. I appreciate you guys keeping this forum clean, like a well-oiled machine haha.

Speaking of no time, I just completed a move out of the Bay Area, and my baby gets a parking spot off the street. I guess I have to change my location on this forum now haha. Until next time...
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df2x4

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I sent it off to my trans guy and told him I'm tired of putting transmissions in this truck.

Oh?

I told him I wanted an overkill 4L65E in my truck.

Oh...

I was hoping you had a complete write up on 4L80E swapping a 4WD 'burb. :Big Laugh:

Just messing with you. Great update man, the 'burb looks awesome. Congrats on the move and off-street parking!
 

Curt

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Oh?



Oh...

I was hoping you had a complete write up on 4L80E swapping a 4WD 'burb. :Big Laugh:

Just messing with you. Great update man, the 'burb looks awesome. Congrats on the move and off-street parking!
Haha sorry not sorry, giving the 4L60E/65E one last go, that last one had no fair chance of surviving. Hell, I don't think any trans would've survived with the lines being looped, towing on hills. I would've done a 80e swap, but then I'd need to look into regearing more than I already do. My 65e dumped right before the UT trip and I was scrambling to get the truck back together, otherwise it was going to be a 5th gen camaro on snow tires to UT and back o_O.

Once college is over with I'm looking to dump an exorbitant amount of money into the truck and look into an actual 80e swap paired with 4.52 regearing and a CARB legal procharger kit, or a CARB legal engine swap. This 5.7 vortec ain't really cutting it anymore for the mountain roads around me. For now I'll enjoy it for what it is, but in a little while it'll be wilwood BBK (which also means bigger lift & wheels to accommodate BBK), power mods, and see how long this 65e lasts... then the 80e begins
 

Curt

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Guys are gonna be mad at you for saying that.......:)
Yeah, but honestly I wouldn't do it any other way. It's funny how you can't trust people to do good work anymore... looping trans lines is not cool. Still boggles my mind how my trans guy never caught it, nor did I... But nonetheless if killing the trans meant the difference between getting my family home or being stranded, I'll choose getting them home every day of the week and twice on Sunday. In all fairness, that trans held up pretty decent after the incident. A bottle of Lucas stop slip worked surprisingly well for having the OD band badly glazed, and a non-existent clutch pack.

On the topic of 60E/65E's, once this new transmission goes, so does the thought of putting in another 65e in.
 

Curt

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Just messing with you. Great update man, the 'burb looks awesome. Congrats on the move and off-street parking!
Thanks! This move just reminds me how much I hate moving. Always been the one to offer to help move others, but man I forgot how much it sucks when you're the one doing it haha. This house sure is a step up from the last, I will never understand how we got it. God is good. There's a offroad path all around the property and I love it. Here's a little picture of the truck and the new house. Absolutely loving it.

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drewcrew

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Thanks! This move just reminds me how much I hate moving. Always been the one to offer to help move others, but man I forgot how much it sucks when you're the one doing it haha. This house sure is a step up from the last, I will never understand how we got it. God is good. There's a offroad path all around the property and I love it. Here's a little picture of the truck and the new house. Absolutely loving it.

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I've been in motels that aren't that big
 

stutaeng

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Yeah, but honestly I wouldn't do it any other way. It's funny how you can't trust people to do good work anymore... looping trans lines is not cool. Still boggles my mind how my trans guy never caught it, nor did I... But nonetheless if killing the trans meant the difference between getting my family home or being stranded, I'll choose getting them home every day of the week and twice on Sunday. In all fairness, that trans held up pretty decent after the incident. A bottle of Lucas stop slip worked surprisingly well for having the OD band badly glazed, and a non-existent clutch pack.

On the topic of 60E/65E's, once this new transmission goes, so does the thought of putting in another 65e in.
I thought the only difference between the 4L65e was that 5 planet gearset, but I was watching a YT video on a 65e teardown and the guy pointed out that they added an input speed sensor to the 65e. I'm not sure if that's all of the 65s or only the later ones. Or how that input speed sensor works with an earlier swap where the ECU wouldn't have a pin for this?

Another thing he mentioned is they added a solenoid to bring the fluid pressure lower at idle, supposedly to cut down on fuel consumption.
 

Curt

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I've been in motels that aren't that big
I hear ya there. I'm in a permanent state of awe. Every time I try to speak about the house I'm left speechless cause no words can do it justice. Hell, even pictures don't do it justice.
I thought the only difference between the 4L65e was that 5 planet gearset, but I was watching a YT video on a 65e teardown and the guy pointed out that they added an input speed sensor to the 65e. I'm not sure if that's all of the 65s or only the later ones. Or how that input speed sensor works with an earlier swap where the ECU wouldn't have a pin for this?

Another thing he mentioned is they added a solenoid to bring the fluid pressure lower at idle, supposedly to cut down on fuel consumption.
I won't even act like I know jack about transmissions haha. All I know is my transmission guy (Alan at Kwik Shift Transmissions in Pleasanton) is a guru on GM transmissions. He didn't really dabble in the specifics of the transmission (aside from the components making the trans 400+ HP capable) but he did mention swapping out some part to make it even better than your average 65e. Something to do with increasing fluid pressure...? I'm not sure, but he spent a couple days reaching out to suppliers on better, compatible components and this transmission he built feels great.
 
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