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Project MULE - Expedition build on a 1991 1500 4x4 Suburban


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#1 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:21 PM

The plan is to build a expedition rig that maintains its creature
comforts, holds all that we need and can even be slept in on a regular
basis if needed. Basically think of the amenitys you get with a small RV
and that's what we are looking at doing to the Mule.
 

Stock Specs:
1991 V1500 4x4 Suburban
350 (5.7) TBI
700R4 Transmission
NP241C Transfer case
GM 10 bolt rear Limited slip 3.42s
GM 10 bolt front open 3.42s
32x11.50x15s BFG Ats a little weathered
Auto hubs
 
Goal:
TBI upgrade >DONE<
Tru-Cool LPD Tranny cooler with fan and thermal switch >DONE<
30K GVW inline transmission cooler >DONE<
Sealed snorkel system using a Donaldson cyclonic air cleaner.
3"" lift TC HD springs front >DONE<
3" lift in rear with HD 3/4" springs and 2" block >DONE<
4.56 gears >DONE<
Manual hubs >DONE<
16x8 Wheels - UNKNOWN
Tires - 315-75-16 Cooper ST MAXX
Upgrade rear to GM 14 bolt Full Floater
ARB front and rear
On board air - added a 20lb CO2 tank >DONE<
Dual AGM DC batteries (separate from the starter battery) >DONE<
Front Winch bumper (Expedition XL bumper from PMA4x4) >DONE<
Sliders/"Nerf bars" >DONE<
Rear dual swing out bumer >DONE<
Full length roof rack >DONE<
Steering gearbox frame reinforcement plates >DONE<
Steering brace from ORD >DONE<
Steering cooler >DONE<
Toughbook LT Mount
GPS, CB, HAM
Other misc electronics.
Custom interior cabinets and drawer systems
Captured cargo net on ceiling.
 
New project Start 05-31-2014
Engine swap
'99 5.7 Vortec with a '89 Tuned Port Injection system, custom cam and EPROM burn from Eaglemark
 
 
If you go here this will give you an idea of what I am going to be doing. I even got some ideas from these guys. Expeditions 7 build: building a vehicle to go around the world

 

This was how I got it

mule2-001.jpg

113,000 miles. 45K on a new engine from the GM dealership. 10K on a new
transmission. Full maintenance records and receipts back to original
original owner (I am the third owner).

We were looking for a cherry condition interior and that the vehicle be
in a stock configuration, cause let's face it when you buy a pre-built
rig 1) you don't know what are all the parts in it, 2)you don't know of
the workmanship 3) you always get their headaches along with the
purchase.

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The rest of the belly is just as clean as this shot it.



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We started with a basic no none sense tune-up

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This is what we pulled out. Got gap!

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I am thinking the previous owner didn't know
what to do with this thing. We get it and like I posted earlier there
were no electrodes left on the spark plugs and producing around a .070
gap! He stated at best I should expect around 11 mpg empty 8 pulling.

We get it home and I do a no nonsense tune-up. plugs, wires, air
filter, cap and rotor. He also stated the tranny needs to be adjusted
for shifting. all that it needed was a proper adjustment of the TV
("kickdown") cable and everything else looked good. We decided to go
for a good drive and use this as our baseline before we start building
it. During the tune up I noticed a receipt for a 170 thermostat. So
$1.96 for a new gasket and half a jug of coolant (I already had a Stant
Super stat sittin' on the shelf) in went a 195* as OEM recommends.

Stopped off at the local filler up and then off we went. Right off the
bat we saw huge improvements just from setting the TV cable properly.
This allowed it to shift at a stock rpm range which in the case was
higher.

The drive was done midday with a total of 110miles with highway, hills
and a couple of stop and go's. Did I mention we had the front and
rear A/C going! Weight was two people, two fullsize dogs and camera
gear.


End results
15.02 Mile Per Gallon


Edited by pma4x4, 08 June 2014 - 12:01 PM.

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#2 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

New (to the Mule) tires. These are 1000 mile take offs from the old Mule
which was a 96 Jeep Cherokee. The Cherokee now has the old 32s from the
Burby which means I can sell the jeep and sink all that cash into the
new Mule now!



Picked up some white steelies from my wholesaler and went down to the
local tire shop "Reid's Tire" and I mean local not some chain thing.
They are not the quickest but you get a job done right and at a good
price.



So it now sits on fresh 33x10.50x15 BFG ATs with a matching spare.



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#3 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

Did this last Tuesday. Turned out really nice. Magnaflow Hi-flow cat
#94009 and a Flowmaster series 70 #53071. The exhaust was already 3" so I
thought I would leave it at that. The old muffler and cat needed some
swapping anyways.



It has a very nice quite rumble. You almost have to think if there is a
Flowmaster on it or not. Nice thing is it doesn't really open up on
sound until high revs.



Before



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After



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#4 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:23 PM

am open to ideas on where to cram these gauges. No. At this time I am not wanting to do a custom flush mount cluster.



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#5 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:24 PM

Damn... It kinda fits. Will see about making it fit I think a longer bolt will do the trick



560669_537126786303030_867151664_n.jpg


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#6 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:25 PM

So with the heater/vent problem I have been having being that it blows
thru both the vents and the floor I assumed it was that vacuum manifold
behind the HVAC controller. So what do I do. I rush into it and pull the
dash apart!



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Then find out it was the little plastic Actuator arm pirce thats a common brake and not 5 minutes to get to



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The barn doors had some rattle and found the pass side barn door lower
latch bar had a notch worn into it over the years so it wouldnt secure
tight any longer. I ordered a coupld of new latches from LMC, swapped
them out and adjusted them inboard a bit more to offer a more tight seal
against the springs. It did the trick the doors dont rattle and they
have a nice positive seal when closed.





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Edited by pma4x4, 16 February 2013 - 03:25 PM.

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#7 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:26 PM

Within the next month or so I will be repainting the hood if not the
entire sub. But when the hood gets doen I am installing a set of RunCool
Hood Louvers from Hoodlouvers.com Thet are bit spendy but they are well
proven to be one of the best ones for helping hot air escape the engine
compartment. The picture shows to sets but I am only using one. They
measure 22 by 11 and are powder coated white.



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#8 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:26 PM

The TBI upgrade package is just about complete.



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#9 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:28 PM

Swapped out from auto hubs to good ol' manuals



hubu-17.jpg


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#10 OFFLINE   BurbanAZ

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:34 PM

glad to see u here on the site, ive read through ur build before i think on Expo.  Love ur rig, gotta love our Az trucks with zero rust lol


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2004 Toyota 4runner 4x4 Sport, V8 (GM at heart)


#11 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:57 PM

I am using a Tru-Cool HD tranny cooler. I have used these before and are
great. Its a full radiator design and not just tube fin style.



I plan to run it dedicated and have a aux fan on it. I also will have a
temp gauge to monitor. this is pretty much an exact copy of what I had
in my Jeep.



The only thing I may change is adding a bypass valve in-line. Since the
cooler will be dedicated and in cold weather the tranny may never get to
running temp. What bypass valve does is by passes the cooler completely
until it gets to temp then it opens up to use the cooler.



31JeP7%2BTJTL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
http://www.transmiss...rs.us/4589.html

http://www.transmiss...708-4739P6.html

 

 


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#12 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 03:58 PM

Oh man is this ugly.



dash-01.jpg


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#13 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:01 PM

Reproduction/custom Warn Transformer bumper begins.



bump-01.jpg

 

  
bump-02.jpg
 
bump-03.jpg
 
OK reworked the height of the front parts. I also lowered the top edge of the fairlead plate.



bump-04.jpg



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bump-06.jpg
 
Whole new bumper



Uprights raised 1"

added mid upright cross support

Extend winch mount forward 1" to accept M15000 winch

Side bumpers raised 1/4" higher

lowered fairlead mount and tapered

Headlight grill guards will be 1.5" tubing



bump-07.jpg





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Its a quick MS paint job but you should get the idea.



bump-09a.jpg



bump-10a.jpg
 
Fixed the Fairlead plate



bump-11.jpg

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#14 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:04 PM

After looking at it for a while it does seem kind of "flat". What I mean
is the front edge is 3" tall from end to end. Most bumpers these days
are really tall in the center then taper off to nothing at the ends.

I decided this route to keep approach angle and clearance in regards to
the center section at a minimal. I could taper the outer ends but that
would look a bit odd with still having fender hanging down below it.

The bumpers sections are just kind of there to finish off the whole package to make a complete looking bumper.

 

 

Added through bumper clevis' 1" wide x 2" tall x 6" long



bump-12.jpg

 

You have to use your imagination but this is another possible alternative for the grill guards.



The idea is you can get just the center section with the uprights. Then
later you can add the bumper ends and then the grill guard tubes.



bump-09b.jpg



bump-10b.jpg

 

 

Mock bumper painted to see potential final results

 

bump-13.jpg

 

Its a bit of old meets a bit of new. The old Warn Trans4mer bumper
meets newer style angle swept bumpers with Bull bars. It will accept up
to a M12000 winch and should have just enough room to clear a M15000.
the frame mounts are 4 bolts on each ear and the frame is sandwiched
between two 3/16" plates.



center section uprights and winch plate are 3/16" material. The bumper
sections will be 1/8" the Tubes are 2" dia. with .120 wall. and it has a
modular design and can be added to as wanted.



The underside can be boxed in and at an angle to help keep approach angle at its best and to provide extra protection below.



It will have a total of 5 light mounting locations and two 3/4 Shackle mounts automatically.



Total estimated weight with Bullbars is 111lbs



I just started on a close replica of the old Warn winch bumper and estimated weight on that is 70lbs





bump-14.jpg



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#15 OFFLINE   pma4x4

 
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Posted 16 February 2013 - 04:05 PM

Took a bit of a side track and got some shop stuff done. One thing was I made a welding cart. This will make life much easier.



welder-01.jpg


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