I am looking at an 87 Suburban with 122,000 on a fuel injected 454. The body and paint are perfect, and the interior is the same (for its age, at least), and it seats 9.
I will be using it to transport 9 people plus an 8000 pound travel trailer.
I have heard late 1980's Chevy fuel injectors were poorly designed. Has any one had problems with theirs? Do you know of any other possible problems to watch for?
Would $3200 be a reasonable price to pay for such a rig?
Thank you in advance.
I bought my '87 Silverado 20 454 V8 brand new. Nobody had anything else like it. Probably the most poorly assembled vehicle I have ever owned. Took the first 10 years I owned it to get all the bugs out. The fan belt cut through the lower radiator hose in the time it took me to drive the 3 miles from the dealer to home... hose was installed backwards so it was in contact with the belt. Too many paint peels to count, and was spot painted over the course of the 6 year warranty, and a month before the warranty expired, GM paid for a complete new paint job with a clear coat finish. Trannie died at 90,000, mechanic found some part in the front of the trannie installed backwards... said I should be impressed that it went 90k with almost no lubrication to the front part of the trannie. And I had to have the headliner replaced because it sagged.
Okay, that was the first 10 years. The next 12 years, it has been a champ. Only put about 3,000 miles on it a year as it is our long trip/spare car, and it just turned 129,000 miles. Some of the chrome colored exterior trim is going now due to age, and the manual door lock on one door sticks, but the mechanics have been pretty solid. Did have to replace the distributor last month, the power steering pump 3 years ago, and the A/C compressor 4 years ago. Other than oil changes and a tune up, those have been the only repairs in the last 12 years. Gas mileage... I got 12.7 once in 22 years, going down the Grapevine on I-5 in Southern California... otherwise it is a steady 9 in town and on the freeway.
Our current 1987 Suburban was bought when it had 110k on it. It was initially bought when my then fiancé needed a truck to carry around her mom back and forth to the hospital for her chemo treatment. It also helped her take her little brother and sister to school, and haul around the best dog in the world, our boxer.
This truck has bailed everyone out something. Towing stranded cars, picking up families in all parts of the country, including across the border. It's pushed stranded cars off freeways in pouring rain. Helped people relocate to other cities or homes. My oldest son once wrote an essay on his “big Blue” truck and we realized what an impression it has left in our family.
My mother in law passed away in 93 and we have always felt her presence in the truck's strength and reliability. My oldest son never met her, but while we were driving it one day with him in his baby seat, he tells me and my wife “mommy, I know you mommy”… We both turned back with knots in our throats… ”How?” he says “I saw her mommy, in the truck”… yup, I know you're choking up right now like I am writing this. He was about 3 or so when he said this.
I love my truck with all my heart, and still drive it as often as I can. We have bought brand new cars since, and any time we have to travel far or get something, the boys and I will vote for our truck to go. When any of my family or close friend’s ask to borrow it, I without hesitating toss the keys to them and say “no prob”. I had my brother use it for months and a friend of mine as well. They used it to get to work, remodel their kitchen and even help other people with hauling granite counter tops. During the college football season, it takes us to the home games and to the Rose Bowl for tailgating.
I have replaced 2 starters, an alternator, had the trans rebuilt twice and a water inlet replaced… that’s it. Other than normal brakes and oil changes that is. The headliner is a piece of cake to fix. All the power options still work (no A/C though). Parts are easy to find and DIY for this truck is now done by me and my boys as “quality time”.
We are close to putting a quarter of a million miles on it… 250k…
Would I recommend a truck to anyone like this… What do you think?