View Full Version : Sold my dually, need some ideas.....
12-04-2011, 09:38 PM
Ok guys, I sold my 95 dually that had a 350 tbi motor. It was a pretty cool truck, just was lacking power for me. It had 410to gears in the rear. Now i'm leaning towards a Vortec 454 Suburban for my new tow/off-road rig. Will I really notice a power difference between the two? And I also wonder if my mpg would be much different between the two. I would drive about 230 miles and it would cost me around $75 one way. That was if I kept it under 70mph. I really don't want 410 gears anymore, I now prefer 373's. And advice guys? What should I look for when looking at one to buy? Do these have the frame cracking issuue?
12-05-2011, 09:40 AM
Tell the difference between a TBI 350 and a Vortec 454?
Are you kidding? :D
Yes, the Vortec 454-equipped truck could pull the ass end of the other truck through the grille and smile doing it, until you get near a gas station, where it will immediately pull itself over and submit to the pump.
If you're towing much weight you probably still want 4.10's, especially if your idea of off-roading includes upgrading the tire height at all from stock. The gears won't impact you as much MPG-wise with the Vortec 454 because it's not working nearly as hard as that TBI 350 was to get the truck moving.
What frame cracking issue?
12-05-2011, 06:13 PM
I plan on towing max 7500lbs on occasion and as for offroading, I don't plan on getting a lift or bigger tires, maybe some that are the factory size that have that bigger look for offroading? Not sure if i'm making sense. I'm also fairly new to offroading so I plan on doing mild trail rides, or driving through snow. Don't wanna break anything lol. So yea, plus i've owned a cple 350's and have always wanted to own a big block Chevy:) nothing like the sweet sound of a BBC with a decent exhaust idling.
12-05-2011, 06:17 PM
And as for the frame cracking comment, i'm not exactly sure where this happens on the obs trucks or if it's a pprob on the nbs. That's why i'm confused on what to look for, so hopefully more people can chime in. I live in Fresno, Ca btw, so if you guys know of anyone selling what i'm looking for, from Orange County to Sacramento:) let me know.
12-06-2011, 05:27 AM
the bfg AT/KO's are the best compromise tire ive had. its decent offroad, very good for snow and ice. ive had better for deep snow and mud but those tires always ended up being too squirmy for confident towing.
try to find one thats got the G80 locker in it already, its fine for stock tires+mild off road. not a deal breaker but nice to have because if you want to put one in after its some money.
12-06-2011, 08:31 AM
I haven't heard about the frame cracking issue. I have seen quite a few of the older pre-1987 (and up a few more years on the burbs and blazers) crack around where the steering box bolts up. As far as power - yeah I think Richard said it about as good as it can be said in post #2 - definitely more power. There is a real decent jump from the TBI 454 to the Vortec 454 so yeah you will feel the difference from the small block FO SHO!
12-06-2011, 09:14 AM
Yep, squarebody trucks (73-87 and the carryover years in SUV's and some 3/4 and 1 tons) are bad about cracking by the steering box, quite notorious for it, there's even a repair plate marketed for this.
I'm not aware of any kind of frame cracking issue that GMT400 trucks (88-98 body style) are known for...other than things non-related to original equipment. I've seen a couple of duallys crack the frame after it's been notched poorly for lowering, and then still used to tow heavy loads, but you'd expect something like that. Properly notched...never an issue.
Shamrock - he's not talking about making the jump from a TBI 454 to the Vortec 454. He's going from TBI 350 to Vortec 454. :D That's an even bigger difference!
12-06-2011, 09:35 AM
Yeah I read that, I was simply making the comparison to the TBI 454 to emphasize there will be an even larger improvement when going from the small block TBI to the vortec big block.
12-07-2011, 10:25 AM
:) ok guys, thanks for the clarification. And i've been looking around for some decent headers for this new vehicle i'll be getting soon but can't seem to find headers for the 4x4 version or the Vortec 454 Suburbans. Any advice there? It also seems like that majority of them have 170kthe or higher miles, at what point do these motors start to lose a lot of power/reliability mileage wise?
12-07-2011, 11:01 AM
When they start approaching 175K-200K you should really be considering replacing the distributor as they wear out, lots of slop; replace the crappy GM Multec injectors with the Ford-style Bosch; replace fuel pressure regulator. About 4 hundy in parts all said and done but the rest of the engine will generally be just fine.
Check out the new "Big block" section in under the Performance forum, and if you have a lifetime or two to read, the 460+ page "Vortec 7.4 owners" thread sticky'd at the top of the regular Tech forum.
12-07-2011, 11:57 AM
10-4. Thanks guys, i'll keep you guys updated. So i'll try to get one under 170k. What would be a decent price to pay for one of these with like 150k min/max and with 170k + min/max miles?
12-11-2011, 04:55 PM
Common guys, what would be a fair price to pay for a 96-99 Suburban 2500 with less than 150K miles but more than 100k miles? More than 4k? Less than?
12-11-2011, 05:00 PM
get a duramax and call it quits
12-11-2011, 05:11 PM
Lol, I'd love to get either a DMax or a Cummins but like many others, money is the issue. I'm lookinng to spend no more than $4500 and trying to get the best my cash can buy. Don't want payments either.
12-12-2011, 04:57 AM
it really depends how the prices are where your at, and since your gas prices are even worse than our bad prices i would say you have that working for you as i did last year when i bought my yukon. however i have rust issues here were you wouldnt. i was looking for any 4wd tahoe, yukon or sub, obs 350 or 454. they went from 2000 to 6 depending on lack of rust mostly. the 454's were at the lower end because of gas price. with the price of tires if they had newer tires they wanted 5 to 800 more. the high end was rust free,low miles, new tires, tahoe or yukon slt.
have you been looking through craiglist, i got mine for 2500. it had a abs code and o2, so for $2800 i had a truck most wanted 4-5 for.
12-12-2011, 09:14 AM
How many miles? So what would a clean one with around 20k miles on new not rebuilt motor and rebuilt trans in a 96 and no rust issues? I have been searching CL and there are plenty but the majority have over 150k miles on the origdrivetrain and they still want close to $4k. This is with leather interior. I was thinking also that's kinda high considering the cost of the newer body styles start out arount $5,500 and that by it having a 454, prices should be lower.
12-12-2011, 11:02 AM
ive never seen a nbs around here for that or i would have one. when i got mine it had around 155 i think. I didnt get one that had a bunch of work done to it because they all thought they should get all there money back. if you could get it for 3500 that would seem like a good deal if there isnt much work to do on it.
12-12-2011, 03:37 PM
Ok, thanks. Yea, a lot of ppl have them listed up to like 6.5k and i'm like, no way. The most I'd give would be like $4500 to $4800 but I guess since so much was replaced on their trucks, they say that's toooo low. And at 155k, it's still pretty strong?
12-13-2011, 05:52 AM
seems like it. i would rather get a truck that hasent been messed with anyway, that way if something comes up i can do it myself and make sure its done right.
12-13-2011, 07:05 AM
12-15-2011, 08:43 PM
I have a 97 Suburban Dually with the 454 and 342 rear ratio, has all 3500 suspension under it. truck pulls anything and you don't even know the load is there. Has Alcoa LTS stars, Goodmark cowl induction hood truck get a ton of attention everywhere it goes. only way I would sell is to move up to a duramax. also there is no weight tax on a Suburban, empty it get 15MPG. I will try and post a pic from my other computer that has the pic's on it If someone has a 07 up Duramax that wants to trade down I might consider it.
varmit86 at yahoo
12-17-2011, 09:02 PM
Alriight guys, so today I picked up a Suburban 2500 with the Vortec 454 and man, I can say it is a BEAST compared to my 350 tbi. I drove it ababout90miles on the highway and cost me aaround $65 or so. Which was about the same as my dually.... weird huh? So tomorrow, i'm going to clean the KN air filter it has(super dirty) and check the condition of the spark plugs and get it ready for a smog test Monday morning. Incase I need to change the plugs, Ac Delco is the way to go right?
12-18-2011, 07:07 AM
Yeah AC Delco 41-933 for the stock spec'd platinum plug on the Vortec 7.4. These plugs are usually good up to the first 100K so depending on mileage...ya know?
If it just has a K&N drop-in using the original filter housing, do it a favor and throw a good brand paper filter in there and use some MAF cleaner (no substitutes) on the MAF sensor.
12-18-2011, 07:43 AM
I'm gonna take pics today but don't know how to upload them. I can email them to someone if they can post them here for me. Now you say I should take the kn drop in out and use a stock paper one? Just curious, why?
12-18-2011, 08:06 AM
K&N's do what they advertise - they flow more - because they let larger particles through. Also, if you're not careful re-oiling the filter after you wash it, too much oil on it can get through and contaminate your MAF sensor wires which are pretty delicate.
Pics are easy. Send them to some kind of hosting service like photobucket, imageshack, flickr etc. etc. then look on that page for the "img code" copy that text then paste it into your message here. There's some new limit, minimum number of posts you gotta have before you can put in links or pics, to combat spammers - I forget what the number is.
12-18-2011, 08:15 AM
Also, for the spark plugs, did u mean mean 41-933? So far, Oriely has them the cheapest. Any other stores that have them cheaper than $6.09?
12-18-2011, 08:34 AM
Also, for the spark plugs, did u mean mean 41-933? So far, Oriely has them the cheapest. Any other stores that have them cheaper than $6.09?
That's correct, 41-933, sorry for the fat-finger on my previous post - I've since turned the heat up in here and edited it. :D
They're gonna be hard to get a deal on unless you want to mail order them, and then on something like that the difference is eaten up by the shipping.
NAPA has them on their site for $5.40/ea when I select my local store, and I often find the "in store" price is cheaper than what is shown on the site. They generally won't give you that lower price on the phone, but if you have a friendly counter person, they often drop it to the next pricing level below when you're actually there buying the stuff.
12-18-2011, 08:36 AM
So what about a dryflow filter like Apexi? T my understanding, those are actually the best on the market(at least for imports)
12-18-2011, 08:48 AM
:) ok, thanks.... looks like i'll be heading to Napa soon.
12-19-2011, 05:29 AM
not everyone destroys there maf with the k&n, ive had a drop in in every vehicle ive bought, and they always gave better fuel efficiency. you get a few dummys who take them out then like everything else on the internet its spreads like thats the rule. same with the e3 plugs, i got 38 mpg out of my old 03 monte carlo with those two being the only things i did. its not going to be as dramatic on the bigger truck engines but i bet it would be measurable if you were tracking mileage like i do.
12-19-2011, 07:18 AM
You keep runnin' em...I'll stick to what I prefer.
12-19-2011, 07:00 PM
Alright, I know atill no pics but I went out yesterday to do some work to get it ready for the Cali Smog test...... Checked the plugs and wow, they looked pretty beat. They were NGK Iridiums, so I went and bought some AcDelcos and put thhem in and during the process, one of the plug wires ripped:( so now i'm gonna have to buy some plug wires. Had to go to work today and do a split shift so tomorrow will be the day the rest gets done. Any suggestionns for plug wires other than Delco? I called the dealer and they quoted me $174 for a wireset! I've been reading that people don't recomend the Autozone wires, so which other wires can I get and from where?
12-20-2011, 04:37 AM
autozone ones are alright if you get the more expensive ones, i dont know who makes them but they are usually red. ive tried accel, delphi, delco, none last like the oem ones anymore. i tried msd 8mm, they last a long time and idle smooth as original, but they are expensive.
12-20-2011, 09:10 AM
Stick with Delco, look up the part # on whatever site you like, then run the same part number through Amazon and WIN. :D
12-20-2011, 09:32 AM
Will the dealer match some of those online prices? I really don't wanna wait for them in the mail and the other brand Autozone sells is Bosch. If those work just as good as the Ac Delco ones, I don't mind paying the extra bucks for them. This is my first Big Block and wanna do it right the first time:)
12-20-2011, 09:38 AM
Also, I have a couple extra bucks to spend so i'm wondering whatt would you guys do with $200 to the motor first? I also don't miind buying parts and not installing them until I get everything I want. I was doing some reading and heard our intake manis are pretty restrictive so I looked on Summit and found this..... let me know ur guys experiences or oppinions
12-20-2011, 09:58 AM
Who says the Vortec 7.4 intake manifold is restrictive? :think:
You might wanna go look at that thing under your hood; no way you're putting a carb style intake on it. :D
12-20-2011, 10:35 AM
12-20-2011, 11:00 AM
If you want to go nuts modding that setup, feel free, but you're not going to simply replace the Vortec intake with a carburetor style unless you're willing to completely ditch the whole fuel injection system. That you would consider it tells me you didn't really read that article - they aren't blaming the intake's design, just saying they feel it could be tweaked, as well as the heads, which is true for almost any stock setup. Also it tells me you haven't really looked at what's under your hood because otherwise you'd realize that a carb style intake isn't even an option.
Keep in mind that HP number from their dyno is rear wheel horsepower, not flywheel HP.
Please don't think I'm jumping on your case; spend a little time reading up and understanding the multi-point FI setup these engines have and looking at ways power can be increased. There's a ridiculously long thread (nearing 500 pages) in the Tech area, sticky'd to the top of the list, about Vortec 7.4's - it's a full time job to read it though. You could instead pop into the new Big Block subsection under the Performance section and check out the discussions in there.
12-20-2011, 11:56 AM
Lol, I didn't realize that was for a carb setup but I do know u can't put a carb setup on the fuel inj. System. I did read the article and that's how I figures they were saying it needed work so I figured it would be better to replace with a performance one.
12-20-2011, 12:03 PM
So for the spark plug wires, I don't really wanna wait for them in the mail so would Bosch be just as good? One person chimed in and gave a thumbs up for these. Anyone else can back this up?
12-20-2011, 01:25 PM
just use AC delco wires. you can get em either at the Advance auto store if you have one near you, or order em to be shipped and use the code VISA to save some cash.
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