1986 GMC Suburban 2500 Silverado 6.2 Detroit diesel from North America
A bulletproof chunk of Detroit Iron, ready for a zombie apocalypse!
This is a 25 year old truck with high mileage, so it's not perfect...
Front bench seat has some wear. I plan to replace it with a newer one, but have it covered with a blanket for now.
Power windows are a bit slow, but still work. Plan to put on manual window doors from a parts Suburban if I find one.
Stereo system replaced with an aftermarket USB/Bluetooth deck, speakers upgraded.
Some rust on door bottoms/rockers; nothing serious.
Some cracks in the dashboard.
The only mechanical problem I ever had was a broken starter bolt from offroading. Bad design on the starter, requires bracket/reinforcement as the diesel starter is so heavy. Always check the starter before buying one for broken or missing bolts. I fixed mine up really good and reinforced it with some 2x4 pieces and hose clamps. No problems ever since.
This truck is built like a tank, and the diesel engine is pretty bulletproof. I would trust it to drive anywhere.
I love this truck. Bought it on Craigslist for cheap after finally finding a box style 80's Suburban with a diesel engine, which can be very difficult to find. Gets way better gas mileage than the gas model Suburbans.
Even with the high mileage, I am very confident taking the truck anywhere offroad, and on long highway trips.
The 6.2 diesel engine is bulletproof and runs super well; never overheats, actually works awesome when hot.
The 700R4 auto tranny shifts well and is solid, but is not fast off the line mated with the 6.2 diesel. The 6.2 diesel has a reputation of being slow compared to the Ford/Dodge diesels, but is very reliable.
The interior is comfortable and spacious; I only have 2 bench seats but can still seat 8 people comfortably if needed. The only reason I did not give it higher marks in comfort is I have also owned 80's Cadillac and Lincoln full size luxury cars; anyone who has owned one would understand.
Cargo area is huge, fold down rear seats give you as much room as a pickup truck; you can haul 8x4 drywall and plywood easily. The roof rack is a great feature too.
My truck has 3/4 ton suspension, solid front axle, 4x4, manual locking hubs, and 6 inch lift kit, so it is great off road as well.
I really like the old school features like body on frame construction, solid steel bank vault doors, rear wheel drive, solid axles, bench seats, steel bumpers, etc... this is one reason I love this truck, no newer vehicles offer these features.
You do get quite a lot of dirty looks from yuppies and hipsters in urban areas for driving a huge lifted 4x4 SUV, but I get good laughs from it.
In more rural areas my truck draws lots of admiration and envy from the local rednecks; it is pretty much every redneck's dream truck.
In short I would recommend this beast to anyone lucky enough to find one, especially with the diesel engine. They are unbelievably reliable, super easy to fix and very low tech mechanics.
Also with the diesel, you can easily burn waste motor oil, waste vegetable oil, kerosene, etc... so you are ready for the zombie apocalypse with this truck!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 4th August, 2014