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Doomsday Diesel: 1991 GMC Suburban V2500

Cummins-Powered Suburban Project-That'll Be Ready For Anything

David Kennedy
Jan 1, 2011
Photographers: David Kennedy
There's a fear in the air right now. Ammunition sales are on the rise, Americans are concerned about a double-dip recession, and there's earthquake activity, talk of global warming, eyewitness reports of alien UFOs, and a century-old scare that the end of the world will come on December 21, 2012. Aren't you glad you own a diesel?
Photo 2/3   |   1101dp Doomsday Diesel 1991 Gmc Suburban V2500 front Three Quarter
You Don't Need To Be Afraid
Here at Diesel Power we subscribe to FDR's famous "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself" philosophy. We don't think the world is going to end, or that the Big One is going to hit. But, if any of that does happen-we want you to be ready!
To do so, we've set out to build a diesel-powered 4x4 that'll carry four people 1,000 miles over any terrain. We've chosen a '91 GMC 3/4-ton Suburban for its size, simplicity, and the fact that everything on it bolts together. It's also a perfect candidate for a 12-valve Cummins swap.
Photo 3/3   |   We scored the 12-valve Cummins engine (CPL 1968) locally. It's from a '95 Dodge Ram, has an unknown number of miles, and all we've done to it so far is give it a bath in Simple Green.
During the next year, we'll use this project to not only show you how to get your diesel ready for anything, but also to demonstrate ways to extend the life of your vehicle-to practically forever.
Bulletproof Building Blocks
  • Vehicle: '91 GMC Suburban V2500
  • Engine: '95 5.9L Cummins (160 hp)
  • Transmission: TCI six-speed 4L80E automatic
  • Transmission adapter and flexplate: Destroked
  • Engine swap motor mounts: Screamin Seeman Off Road
  • Transfer case: BorgWarner 4470 (with PTO)
  • Front axle: Dana 60
  • Gear ratio: 4.10
  • Differential: Limited slip
  • Front brakes: 12.50-inch rotors
  • Rear Axle: AAM 1150
  • Gear ratio: 4.10
  • Differential: Locker
  • Rear brakes: 12.80-inch rotors
  • Front suspension: Multi-stage leaf springs with reservoir shocks
  • Rear suspension: Multi-stage leaf springs with reservoir shocks
  • Steering: Hydraulic-ram assist
  • Frame: A.O. Smith
  • Frame reinforcements: Offroad Design
  • Tires: 37x12.50R17 BFGoodrich Baja T/As
  • Wheels: Hutchinson Rock Monster 17x81/2s

Sources

TCI
Ashland, MS 38603
888-776-9824
www.tciauto.com
Destroked
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033
720-897-7477
www.destroked.com
Screamin Seeman Off Road
Faribault, MN 55021
507-330-3567
http://www.screaminseeman.com
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