1990 Factory Manual Transmission 4X4 2500 Chevy Suburban - New 383 TBI Engine
- Location: Huntington Beach, California, United States
- Condition: Used
- Make: Chevrolet
- Model: Suburban
- Type: SUV
- Trim: Scottsdale
- Year: 1990
- Mileage: 109,718
- VIN: 1GNGV26K0LF153832
- Color: Green
- Engine size: 383
- Number of cylinders: 8
- Fuel: Gasoline
- Transmission: Manual
- Drive type: 4WD
- Interior color: Tan
- Safety options: Anti-Lock Brakes
- Vehicle Title: Clear
- Options: Cassette Player
1990 Chevrolet Suburban Scottsdale overview
Extremely Rare Factory Manual Transmission 1990 Suburban 2500 4X4 with brand new Stroker TBI 383CI V8, Fully California legal with current smog cert & registration/plates. Asking $10,500 OBO!
80 Pictures Below Description.
It pains me to be selling this vehicle considering the following:
1. I recently purchased and had ZERO intention of selling – EVER!
2. Because of #1, I spent more money than what I could recover…but I didn’t care because I was going to “keep it forever” (famous last words).
3. Asking price is less than engine/install costs + new tires + misc parts/repairs.
4. Engine swap to the 383, and subsequent headaches & costs to make it CA legal was a pain, but again, due to #1, it didn’t matter as I wanted a legal, reliable CA MT Burban I could use with my family at the beach. Engine has literally 427 miles on it since install…still very much in the break-in period. Odometer read 109,291 when it left the shop w/ the new engine on 4/12/17, as of this posting it has 109,718.
5. Engine came from West Coast Engines out of Reno, rated at 330 HP/420 ftlbs torque and comes with an impressive 5 yr/50,000 mile warranty. I upgraded to their roller rockers for reliability and strength. For full engine specs, please visit WCE website to read about their engines:
Parts/Labor spent on vehicle since March 2017:
(Have Receipts For All Below)
383 Crate Engine (3/17/17) - $4,500.00
Engine install (4/12/17) - $2,984.89
Tensioner Assembly / belt
Pulley / Drive Belt Idler Pulley
Gatorback Poly-V Belts/Serpentine belt
Rapid fire spark plugs
Resurface exhaust manifold
Also under same invoice:
Rear leaf springs/U-bolt kit/shackle & bushings
Flush all fluids (trans/brakes/radiator)
Weld muffler/x-pipe (5/9/17) - $512.80
BFG KO2 (305/75/16) (5/12/17) - $1,041.12
LMC Truck (5/11/17) - $406.75
3-pt retractable seat belt kits (x3)
Ignition key (OEM GM)
Door key (OEM GM)
Exterior side mirrors (black)
Dome light lens
CA Smog Certification/Misc (5/27/17) - $1,751.47
EGR valve solenoid replacement
Ignition timing set
New catalytic converter
Idle air control valve replacement
Motor oil change
Install 3 rows of 3-pt shoulder retractable seat belts
Rear barn-door weather strip install
Parking Brake Cable (left & right) replacement (6/9/17) - $493.72
Rear barn-door lock/key/retainer (6/25/17) - $100.00
Total New Parts / Labor (3/17/17 – Present): $11,790.75
(Does NOT include price of vehicle and shipping to CA from TX)
Known Vehicle History / My History With It
To say I’m a huge Suburban fan is an understatement. As a past/present owner of three ’72 Burbans, one ’75, one ’89, two ’90, one ’00, one ’05 & one ’09, I can speak to those generations pros/cons. Out of them all, the ’73-’91 Square-Body gen is by far my favorite. I’m also a HUGE fan of manual transmissions in trucks and have been a lover of my M465 MT ’72 K5 Blazer for over 15 years.
I’ve also read about the ‘Unicorn’ Square-Body M465 MT Burban’s that allegedly were built until 1991, with the vast majority purchased by U.S. military and government agencies. But I’ve never actually seen one for sale until this Burban surfaced on eBay about 4 months ago in Texas.
The seller had used it in TX for approx. five years and reported it spent the vast majority of its life prior to him as a US Forestry Service vehicle out of New Mexico. Owner he bought it from was in OK but purchased it from NM Forestry Service via a decommissioning program. Now in TX, it had a recently blown engine and the seller no longer needed a full-size SUV nor wanted to deal with a new engine install. When he reported it was a completely dry vehicle with no frame or shell rot or rust, I purchased it immediately and had it shipped to CA.
I then contacted West Coast Engines and had them build the 383 that’s currently in it. The seller reported the transmission was rebuilt approx. 10K miles ago with a new clutch, but I have no documentation to verify. That said, I was going to change the clutch when the new engine went in, but my extremely fastidious mechanic inspected the clutch and said it looked almost brand new, so I have no reason to not believe the transmission history as reported.
WCE built me their TBI 383 and all the original auxiliary OEM parts went on the engine in anticipation of sending it through the extremely demanding CA Smog visual inspection and smog performance checks. It failed smog initially for a few sensor errors, bad timing and a catalytic converter that was completely shot, so I sent it to another shop that I’ve used in the past on many of my other classic cars…they aren’t the cheapest, but they do amazing work and I knew they could correct any issues. Sure enough, after multiple runs and new parts installed, we were able to get the engine dialed in completely and pass smog on 5/22/17 date. If the new owner is in CA, that smog cert is good for 90 days therefore will not need to re-test to transfer title.
As you can see from the pics, the Burban is stripped pretty bare. For some, that might be a deterrent, but if you want to use this vehicle like I was intending, it’s perfect. This was bought 100% with the intention of loading up my four small kids for a beach hauler (plus the annual trip to get an Xmas tree…needles in the back? Not a problem). I didn’t want carpet or perfect seats to worry about. The goal was to load up wet, sandy kids at the beach and not worry about damage or cleaning. Somewhere in its past it was completely sprayed with a bed liner all the way to the lower part of the windows…so you could literally hose out the interior of this Burban without fear of damage or mildew.
After the engine was installed, I got to work on correcting the other items that needed addressing to make it safe and reliable. Brakes were checked and all had plenty of life left, yet the ebrake would intermittingly not disengage after setting. Turns out one side of the release cable was worn, so I had both sides of the ebrake cables replaced.
The tires were completely rotted and worn, so I installed new BFG KO2’s since I’m a huge KO fan (owned 7 sets on other vehicles) and the new KO2’s are even better. Traction is still amazing, yet the tire response is much improved and they are extremely quiet. I see why Tire Rack has them ranked #1 in their class.
All door rubber was replaced by previous owner, yet the rear passenger barn door was coming loose and not properly installed. I had that corrected as I wanted it water tight for eventual SoCal winter rains. The vehicle also came with no rear door lock. Unfortunately, aftermarket companies like LMC Truck don’t sell ALL the items needed to replace and install a new lock. Therefore I purchased a complete set of rear barn doors from a ’89 GMC Suburban from out of state and simply used the lock & attachment hardware. Now the vehicle can be completely secured via all doors. Also installed a locking gas cap just to be 100% secure.
Lastly, knowing I was going to take my kids, I had my shop install new 3-point shoulder harness seatbelts on all three rows. Vehicle came equipped with 3rd row seat, but for whatever reason the OEM seatbelts were no longer installed and hookup not available. 2nd row was missing one shoulder belt and the front row passenger belt wasn’t attached. I therefore acquired new retractable shoulder belts from LMC Truck and had the existing belts properly secured. Burban now can drive 8 people (11 if you combine small kids in center lap belts of each row of bench seats) in secure seat belts.
So why do all this work only to sell and lose money? Simple – I have a wife and she wears the pants in our house. To be fair to her, I also own two other Suburban’s (a new Burban and another 1990) which the wife and nanny use regularly. When I finally found this MT Burban I purchased without consulting her (I know, rookie mistake), but I was convinced I could eventually show her the beauty of shifting gears while cruising to the beach with all the kids in this raw, no frills Burban. To me it represents beauty and no-headaches…simply an awesome, reliable workhorse that I can pile the kids in without fear of cleaning up seats and vacuuming carpets. But to her she sees yet another 1990 Suburban in her driveway and one that she can’t even drive because of the 3rd pedal. Furthermore, she would rather vacuum the sand out of our other two Burban’s instead of having three Burban’s sitting around our home. So after months of trying to convince her she’s wrong, I’m throwing in the towel and admitting I’ve been beat.
To recap, here’s what this 1990 Suburban represents:
Brand new 383 stroker engine, literally 427miles and has 5 yr/50K mile warranty. CALIFORNIA legal with current smog cert and registration/plates.
Transmission – workhorse M465 rebuilt 10K miles ago w/ new clutch. Shifts perfectly with no slop or slipping.
Shifts into/out of 4WD without issue.
New rear leaf springs & bushings.
Brand new 33” BFG K02’s.
Brand new eBrake cables. Super solid eBrake that sets/releases properly.
Brakes in great shape, stops perfectly with no pulling or fade. 1990 was first year for front ABS on Suburban.
Four new headlights (installed by previous owner) + high beams work perfectly.
Three rows of seats with shoulder belts on sides plus center lap belts.
Gas, temp, oil pressure, tach (aftermarket), odometer gauges work perfectly. Speedo for some reason only starts working after 30-45 mins of sustained driving. Windshield wipers and fluid work (although angle of washer must be adjusted as it’s not shooting directly to window on both sides).
All windows crank up & down perfectly. All locks work as they should (including rear barn door).
No cracked / rock chipped windows.
OEM radio works, but no rear speakers and front dash speakers are not the best. You can listen to AM/FM radio, but if you crank the volume too loud they will start to crack/pop.
Headliner is near perfect. No rips/tears.
Dash has no cracks.
Doors and window rubber is all new. Very dry throughout.
No rust on entire truck…frame, rocker panels and door bottoms show zero rot/rust. This vehicle is obviously not an east coast rig and has not seen salt roads or led a hard life exposed to long durations of wet weather. It’s as good as any 1990 California truck I’ve ever seen and could pass for spending its entire life in CA.
Exterior/Interior protectant paint is not shiny nor “pretty” (depending on whom you ask…I love it…my wife, not so much) but it’s extremely durable and you don’t have to worry about keeping it clean.
Room For Improvement:
Need to source/install rear barn-door emblem. Mainly wanted to do this to secure the 3 factory emblem holes.
Speedo needs 30-45 mins of “warming up” to start functioning properly. When it does come to life it’s perfectly accurate, but for whatever reason, once it cools down, it takes a relatively short amount of time of consistent driving for it to start working again.
Dome light works intermittently. I installed new lens (front/rear) and bulb and it works sometimes, but not always. I believe the issue is with a dirty door switch connection…probably need to clean those out and it will work all the time.
No AC (front or rear). Heat/AC controls slide smoothly, but do not operate system. Was not a huge deal for me considering how I planned to use the vehicle, but if I kept it, I would probably eventually have all the heat/AC controls sorted 100%. Parts are cheap and readily available via suppliers like LMC & Brother’s.
If you’re interested, please call me directly at 714.756.0993 to discuss. Vehicle is located in Huntington Beach, CA. I REFUSE to answer a laundry list of question via email, so don’t even bother sending them to me…and all SCAMMERS out there, please spare yourself & me the trouble of trying to contact me. I’ve sold enough classics over the years that I’ve seen every one of the current scams and I’m too busy and impatient to deal with you. If you’re a seriously interested party, by all means call me and we’ll talk about this awesome Burban. But if you’re simply the typical “internet tire-kicker” let’s not play the games and talk when we both know you have no intention of buying. Also, since I’m downsizing my stable, please no offers for any kind of trades as I need to get rid of cars, not simple swap one for another.
I’m asking $10,500, but open to reasonable offers. My receipts verify the money anyone would have to spend to build this (not counting the price of the original Burban + the low probability of finding another factory MT), so please don’t come in with extremely lowball offers as I’ll have to politely decline. I will NEVER be insulted or get upset over an offer; I just can’t guarantee I won’t laugh. If I can’t find another MT Burban lover like me out there that appreciates this build for its intended purpose, I can probably convince the wife I should hold onto it for a few summer surfing seasons with the kids as she will understand not wanting to take too much of a bath. I’m sure I’ve left out info, so please call me directly to ask questions. Good luck.