2009 Chevrolet Suburban suspension advice.

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Tired_One

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I own a 2009 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 5.3L. The front strut is making a squeaking noise. The Suburban has about 200k miles on it. I would like to replace at least the front struts. Maybe replace the whole suspension on it. I am pretty sure it has a lift kit on it from when I bought it. I enjoy the way it looks and would like to keep it the same height and same tires.

Front

Center of tire to wheel well 23"

Top of hub to wheel well 21"

Ground to wheel well at center of tire 38.5"

Rear

Center of tire to wheel well 23.75"

Top of hub to wheel well 21.75"

Ground to wheel well at center of tire 39"

Tires both front and rear

General Grabber AT2 Tubeless Radial LT275/70R18 125/1220 Load Range E

I tow a boat or skid steer infrequently with it. I drive off road or in fields/woods infrequently. I replaced the transmission and I am going to do a full AFM DOD delete kit on the engine. It is a vehicle I love and will keep for a long time.

I am looking for what the best option for me is.

Can I just replace the front struts temporarily to solve the issue immediately and still do a full suspension kit later?

Should I replace the whole suspension system because it is old?

What kit should I get if that is the case?
 

Joseph Garcia

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Welcome to the Forum from NH.

Lots of knowledgeable folks here who freely share their knowledge, experiences, and perspectives. Knowledge is power.

I hope that you will become a participating member in the Forum's discussions.

Pics of the truck, please.

If you love the vehicle and want to keep it for a long time, then replace the suspension components that get the most wear.

Front: Replace upper and lower control arms, which come with bushings and ball joints attached. Replace the entire strut assemblies which includes the shocks and the springs.

Rear: Replace the shocks and springs.
 

swathdiver

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I own a 2009 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 5.3L. The front strut is making a squeaking noise. The Suburban has about 200k miles on it. I would like to replace at least the front struts. Maybe replace the whole suspension on it. I am pretty sure it has a lift kit on it from when I bought it. I enjoy the way it looks and would like to keep it the same height and same tires.

General Grabber AT2 Tubeless Radial LT275/70R18 125/1220 Load Range E

I tow a boat or skid steer infrequently with it. I drive off road or in fields/woods infrequently. I replaced the transmission and I am going to do a full AFM DOD delete kit on the engine. It is a vehicle I love and will keep for a long time.

I am looking for what the best option for me is.

Can I just replace the front struts temporarily to solve the issue immediately and still do a full suspension kit later?

Should I replace the whole suspension system because it is old?

What kit should I get if that is the case?

Your tires are about 1-1/2 inches taller than mine and yet our back ends are about the same height. Since your front is nearly the same height as the back on your truck, I would say that she is leveled. She may have spacers above or below the struts or use a longer strut assembly if she has aftermarket units.

Most of us require a rebuild of the front suspension by about 160K miles according to the survey I took on here several years ago.

My advice is to build entirely new front struts, replace every component with new GM OE parts, not aftermarket or even pre-assembled struts. They ride better, last longer and are tuned to your vehicle's configuration as optioned.

Those Load Range E tires are killing your efficiency and power to the pavement.

Yes, you could just replace the struts and do the rest of the work later at your convenience. Do you have a compressor and air shocks out back?
 

Trey Hardy

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I own a 2009 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 5.3L. The front strut is making a squeaking noise. The Suburban has about 200k miles on it. I would like to replace at least the front struts. Maybe replace the whole suspension on it. I am pretty sure it has a lift kit on it from when I bought it. I enjoy the way it looks and would like to keep it the same height and same tires.

Front

Center of tire to wheel well 23"

Top of hub to wheel well 21"

Ground to wheel well at center of tire 38.5"

Rear

Center of tire to wheel well 23.75"

Top of hub to wheel well 21.75"

Ground to wheel well at center of tire 39"

Tires both front and rear

General Grabber AT2 Tubeless Radial LT275/70R18 125/1220 Load Range E

I tow a boat or skid steer infrequently with it. I drive off road or in fields/woods infrequently. I replaced the transmission and I am going to do a full AFM DOD delete kit on the engine. It is a vehicle I love and will keep for a long time.

I am looking for what the best option for me is.

Can I just replace the front struts temporarily to solve the issue immediately and still do a full suspension kit later?

Should I replace the whole suspension system because it is old?

What kit should I get if that is the case?
I just rebuilt my front end last week
I used apex hummer style inner tie rods
Twisted metal fab heim joint outers
Kryptonite outer tie rods were my second option
I used kryptonite lower ball joints and wheel bearings
Dirt king fab locking alignment cam plates
Fabtech uniball uca
And icon coil overs
Only complaint is the heim joint tie rods were so touchy I had to relearn to drive the truck the first week before I got used to them I guess I had a lot of slop in my tie rods before because it’s super tight now…
Also I want to switch from icons to kings or fox coil overs for a smoother ride IMG_8361.jpeg
 

Dustin Jackson

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@Tired_One I recommend doing it all in one go because you have to go pretty far in there just to do the struts as it is.

Could you please post a lot of pictures of your current suspension so we can give you the best advice?
 
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Tired_One

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Thank you all for the information given.

I did not have my children this weekend and just decided to change the struts only out because I just wanted the noise fixed. I do Uber with it usually when I do not have my children for extra cash. Driving drunks around from 8pm to 2am downtown is pretty lucrative. A couple people last weekend asked about the noise so I thought I should fix it quick. I bought some Monroe quick struts just to throw on.

20240519_164516.jpg
Everything is pretty rusty on the front end and under the vehicle. That is how most cars here end up. A lot of salt used on the roads here. I do not know if it is worth it to clean the under carriage up and put rust converter or something else on, but that is for another post. I have done this to a couple car haulers before, not sure if its a good idea on the frame of a car.

I removed the old struts and noticed a spacer bolted to the top of them. I am keeping the old struts because I saw somewhere they do not make the springs anymore. Next I bolted the after market spacer to the new struts. I noticed the studs on the Monroe strut needed to be cut lower or they would hit the strut mount. I am going through a separation and am not used having minimal tools around. I will post pics at the end of my old garage. Oh how I miss that garage (the wife stayed in the house). So after an Uber ride to Menards to pick up a cutting wheel and a tap and die set, the strut was ready to install. The after market spacers make the bottom strut mount too low to just pry it up onto the lower control arm. So I removed the sway bar and the lower control arm bolts on the frame. I held the lower control arm up with a jack and pieces of wood. Lowered the lower control arm down and bolted the strut to it. Then jacked the lower control arm back into place and replaced everything. I see now why replacing everything at the same time would have been the way to go. I will do that next time. After lowering the truck back down and torqueing everything back up, I took it for a test drive and the squeaking was fixed.

I will probably replace most of the front and rear suspension all at once next time I get into it. The picture is the passenger side. Seems like it needs everything replaced. The driver side has a new upper control arm that was replaced over a year ago. I will do some research on what to get, I will take any suggestions as well. The Monroe struts are just to get me by for now. Hopefully post the end result in a few months. Want to get it done before winter comes.

20240516_071202.jpg
20240516_071220.jpg20240516_071234.jpg

@swathdiver Not sure if you want to answer here or in a message, but you said something about the tires. I was looking into getting new tires. Otherwise I can do a new post about tire suggestions so this post does not get off topic. I saw they were Load E tires when I bought it and just figured I would run them. I am an operator and have to drive around construction sites a lot and figured the thicker walls would help with scrap metal and nails and such that are all over the sites. I have never had a problem with that though so I would definitely look into getting better efficient tires.

The next thing I will do is to do the full AFM delete. Maybe I will make a post about that, but I have researched it a lot and pretty sure I know what to do. All new suspension after that. Thanks for the help guys.
 

swathdiver

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The original tire size was 265-65-18 and of course they were P-Metrics. Those LR Es ought to protect on the construction sites and help to keep from getting stuck and not affect you too much doing Uber in the city. I Ubered with mine when it had KO2s on it and averaged 15.6 mpg. While I had my share of drunks, I made bank on the highway airport runs. The Michelin Defenders on it now are much more fuel efficient and offer better traction on the road and are surprisingly capable off the road. Tires are probably not something you have to think about things settle down for you. Sorry to hear of it.

Love the Z71 Suburbans and their fender flares!
 

Dustin Jackson

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@Tired_One Nice work man, it looks like you’ve got your work cut out for you.

At minimum I’d consider upper and lower control arms, sway bar end links, and possibly the bearings depending on their condition
 

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