Dave's 1988 Suburban!


  I've always liked to modify my vehicles; never quite happy with the way things are from the manufacturer. Never! From day one I've either added stereo equipment (ie, speakers, sub woofers, amps, decks and so on) or pa systems, cb radios, squirt guns, anything I thought might be fun. Usually I converted vans over, rather enjoying turning them into a camping/traveling van for fun. Until recently.

The 4 wheel bug got me. While not bad, it still bit. So, I went and bought a 1988 chevy Suburban, 4 wheel drive. Not a bad ride from the factory; don't get me wrong!, but it needed some help.

First was the stereo system. Whew, people can stand stock systems? No me. Not wishing to hack into the trucks dash, I opted to construct a center console. Sure, I could have bought one, but where's the fun in pre made? As you can see from the pics,  Console1  and  Console2 , the system has 2 decks! Along with a 7 band parametric EQ to switch between them. The second deck is mainly used for controlling the TV's volume. (more on this later) Also there is storage for 50 CD's, along with the 2 drink holders up front. As you can see from the pictures, there are movable covers or panels to hide the decks and protect CD's from the sun.

Now, once the head unit was in place, I could concentrate on the rest of the system. Batteries, 4 in total!, cabling, amps, speakers, the works. Final system to date is 2 4x10's, 2 3.5"s, 2 1" dome tweeters,  2 4.25" and 2 15" sub woofers. Powering the system are 3 amps, 1 cross over and a second parametric EQ in the rear. total wattage is about 1500. Decent enough. Always room for improvement though.

Oh yeah, replaced the alternator. Go figure. ;)

Well, in order for the vehicle to handle the speakers and amps and such, some customization was required. Looking at  Inside1  and  sub woofer  you can see the tweeters/midrange in the back, to either side of the TV and in the second picture, you can see the sub woofers facing up beneath a grill for protection. Reason being is that the 'benches' you see are actually seats/beds for sleeping on. Complete with cushions. They extend once the seats are down, allowing for a full size person to stretch out comfortably.   Inside2  shows this 'fold down' better.

 What fun is there in camping with out being able to relax at night with a movie,  or blow off a rain day when you're done 4 wheeling? Equipped with a 20 inch color tv and a DVD player below, you're assured a good movie with decent sound as you can 'pump' it into the stereo system. Nothing like 'feeling' a movie while you watch it. hehe. Above the beds are two small storage shelves. Mainly for stuffing clothes. As you can tell, space is at a minimum. Need every inch possible!

Of course you wonder, how long can the batteries hold out? Well, three of the four are isolated, so you are always assured of being able to start the vehicle. The remaining three are good for watching about 3 movies total, utilizing the stereo system. If just using the tv's speakers, at least 8 movies are doable. No, I haven't actually sat down and watched, these are guesses based on long weekends and previous uses of the inverter to power it all. I use a 300/600 watt inverter. Does the job nicely.

Mostly the mechanics of the truck are stock.  I had a 4 inch trail master suspension lifted installed, springs, shocks, stabilizer. Rides right nice now. Also I installed a warn brush guard with 9000 series winch. You can see the front end  here . Yes, that's Kermit peering over the winch hook down at Barney being hung. I love all the smiles and hoots I get around town, not to mention the joy of dragging the stupid dino through mud and weeds. A  side  view shows the lift and nerf bars. Smity bilt. Nice bars.
 

I won't go into how much this cost; does it matter any ways? It's a toy, it's fun to drive and a blast to play in! All told, the whole project's taken probably 4 month of time. Not too bad really, considering the effort involved in the wood working and cushion making. I whimped out and had someone sew covers for the foam, I couldn't do it.

All I wonder is, what's next? hehe
 

Check out my 1997 suburban!

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