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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone, I am new to this forum because I need to improve the towing ability of my 2005 3/4 ton 4x4 Suburban. After pulling my travel trailer to Colorado and driving down the interstate with a headwind screaming at 4500 rpm in 2nd gear just to go 45 miles per hour I have had it with my 6.0 gasoline. My father in law was eating my lunch with his power stroke pulling twice as much weight. I use a suburban to tow because I have a wife, 3 kids and two dogs and it fits my family needs like a glove and I just dont like the excursion very much. Anyway, after looking at a new one to replace my 05 and passing out at the nearly 60k price tag I have decided to swap in D-max and an allison to fix my woes. I would also like to upgrade he axels with a better gear ratio while I am at it.

I have seen a few articals on this and know some of the basics but need some more info on this.

1. What year and configuration of donor truck would I need.

2. Do the wiring harnesses plug and play.

3. How similar is the 3/4 ton burb frame to the trucks.

4. Do I need to swap on the trucks front sheet metal to make it work.

Etc. Etc. Etc.

Anyone who has done this any help would be appreciated.

I am starting off with a paid for suburban so I figure this would be cheaper than buying a new one and be a better overall tow rig in the long run.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Guy in Florida does this. He has a black 07 for sale for about $50k.

His company is called Duraburb. They are awesome and are stock appearing.

I considered this for my towing. I had a 05 6.0 AWD Escalade. Cost and size evetually steered me towards the 2500HD.

I'd hate to recommend a 05 Excursion. I was looking at those prior to this 2500HD.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, after taking the advice and looking at Duraburb this is a no brainer.

Option 1 - Convert my current Suburban 2500 to a Duraburb. This option is affordable, gives a a lower milage drivetrain and I end up with what is essentially a newer truck that can tow 16000 pounds for $15k to $17k depending on the cost of the donor truck. This gives me the Duramax, the Allison and the heavy duty truck axels. Wow, thats cheaper than a similar used Excursion with a power stroke and I dont sacrifice the ride quality of my Suburban.

Option 2- Sell the old Suburban and buy a newer style 2500 Suburban and have it converted. The price goes up on the conversion because the donor truck is more expensive but still. You add the cost of a good clean average miles 2008 or up 2500 Suburban, say $32k - the sell of the 05, conservatively $8k your out the door for $25k. Plus the cost of the conversion which is $20k/$22k you are at $47k on a new style Duramax Suburban that can tow 16k pounds. That is less than going to the dealer and buying a new one. Now I know that may be unfair, but the used Duraburb is better than a brand new one for less money.

Thanks for the lead and I cant wait to get this done and tow for the first time without getting frustrated and with three kids all in their own seat.
 

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You will love it if you do it! Most things swap over from the doner vehicle. You will however need a few things custom made. rear driveshaft, exhaust, rear a/c line tee splices, ect.... The front core support is the only sheet metal part to change. you also need to lift the body about 2 inches to clear the hood and top of trans. The front will look beter with the 2500 truck grille and filler piece. You will need a doner vehicle with everything under the hood, also a diesel dash cluster, throttle pedal, steering column for the shifter, and 4x4 push buttons and module for the different T-case. These are things needed from the doner vehicle. There are only a few wires that need to be run that arent plug n play.
If you are going to do the swap go with a LBZ. Exact reasons I love mine.. pulling toys and lots of room for a growing family.
 

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You will love it if you do it! Most things swap over from the doner vehicle. You will however need a few things custom made. rear driveshaft, exhaust, rear a/c line tee splices, ect.... The front core support is the only sheet metal part to change. you also need to lift the body about 2 inches to clear the hood and top of trans. The front will look beter with the 2500 truck grille and filler piece. You will need a doner vehicle with everything under the hood, also a diesel dash cluster, throttle pedal, steering column for the shifter, and 4x4 push buttons and module for the different T-case. These are things needed from the doner vehicle. There are only a few wires that need to be run that arent plug n play.
If you are going to do the swap go with a LBZ. Exact reasons I love mine.. pulling toys and lots of room for a growing family.
^^^ Did you buy yours from Duraburb??? I just picked up my new 05 2500 suburban and need to get this done also.... My family is large:cool: 5 kids and counting LOL.... and as much as i hate to do it i need to sell my 01 duramax pickup but am thinking about giving the converstion a try???

I have been watching the Duraburb videos for a couple years and drool at every new one that comes out....:help
 

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GM sured missed not producing Duraburbs guess it was the cost i sure as hell would have bought one !
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Duane9835, I am currently on the hunt for my donor truck, but its a go when the extra cash frees up.

As far a GM missing the boat, they did. But the reality is, they would have probably stuck in a detuned Duramax without the Allison like they put in the vans anyway and then they would have stuck a near $65k price tag on it making it crazy un affordable. So the way I see it, these guys are building a better truck than Goverment Motors would have using good old American know how.
 

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^^^ Did you buy yours from Duraburb??? I just picked up my new 05 2500 suburban and need to get this done also.... My family is large:cool: 5 kids and counting LOL.... and as much as i hate to do it i need to sell my 01 duramax pickup but am thinking about giving the converstion a try???

I have been watching the Duraburb videos for a couple years and drool at every new one that comes out....:help
No, Its not from duraburb. Built in Virginia, now cruising around west Michigan. You can see the youtube video before I bought it and continued upgrades from there. Other people have also done this conversion with success. Find a LBZ doner truck, take your time, ask questions. But be ready for lots of looks and poeple asking "where did you get that?" every time you park or fill up at the diesel pump.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I am going to revive my old post here to give an update. I actually did this integration of the LBZ Duramax and Allison 6 speed into my 05 3/4 Suburban and man what a difference. Its like owning a new truck, but much cooler. It tows our 35' Travel Trailer without breaking a sweat. This solved all my previous problems.

It looks basically stock, just a little taller.
 

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Very nice.
 

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Well looks like its time to turn the tables and eat dad in laws lunch! Efi yet? If not it's a must for this project! Congrats though man, very cool
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Thanks, it is truly a joy to drive and tow now. All three kids are comfy watching a dvd, the dogs are snozzing, the wife is relaxed because i am not tense. Me, I am drinking soft drink, muching on a snack looking at my father in law in rear view trying to keep up.
Peace of mind while towing, priceless.

Stopped for a break yesterday and my father in law says, "how fast you driving, i am doing 80 to keep up". I just smiled and said "70, up a hill, down a hill, on flat ground, just 70 all the time" :D

I did not do this myself, I dont have the time or shop. There are guys out there who know better than me what to do so i went that route.

EFI live is on the list of asap projects. My milage was poor, less than 10 while towing so I need to start working on that immediately.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yukon D-Max, I am running the stock bumper. In watching my trans temp guage I was running a tad over 200 which was causing the clutch fan to kick in. Should i open that bumper up for better air flow across the cooler.
 

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Looks great!! I wonder what a tall hood silverado HD front clip would look like? It also would give more clearance under the hood and maybe only have to use a 1" body lift to clear tranny. Overall an excellent vehicle you should be very proud. Not sure if you have done it yet, but exhaust makes a huge difference. Couple that with a good tuner you should see 19-20 unloaded:thumb
 

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Very cool
 

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Nice rig. Keep us updated on future mods!


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 
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