Click for Coverage
Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler

1987 Chevy Suburban - Inside Upgrades

Posted in How To on February 1, 2013
Share this

As usual I’m going backwards on my progress; I need a new front axle in my CheapBurban project, so I decided to redo the interior. My ’87 Suburban started as a low-buck truck for the Cheap Truck Challenge (“CheapBurban,” Sept ’12) that I brought home for $1,300 and added another $2,012 in upgrades before battling my friends and coworkers at CTC. After the weekend of abuse I had a bent 10-bolt front axle and a major decision to make: Keep the Burb and build it, or find another 10-bolt, swap it in, and sell it? I chose the one that would make a better story, even if it’ll cost me more in the long run.

Upgrading the front axle would have been the obvious next step, but I didn’t have everything I needed to get that done, so I opted to freshen up the inside. The carpet, seats, and headliner of the big ’Burban were garbage: torn, stained, or just missing. As a beater wheeling rig, that wouldn’t bother me, but I have dreams of taking this truck to Baja, Mexico, for a camping, wheeling, exploring trip where I’ll be living out of and sleeping in it . Plus, you may have experienced (like me) that your girlfriend or wife (or buddies, for that matter) won’t ride in your cesspool of a 4x4 because of how gross it is inside.

The upgrades I made are not Gucci leather and fine Norwegian mohair carpet, but rather simple rugged interior improvements to make it cleaner, comfortable, and useful for two people to go camping. After a few thousand dollars in new parts the Burb is ready for habitation. Next month I’ll make it ready for exploration.

PhotosView Slideshow

’Burban Budget
To continue the theme of our CheapBurban build, we will be keeping track of every cost of each upgrade segment. We won’t always be going with the cheapest option for the upgrades, (in fact some will be the best options we can find) but we will be printing retail costs for each as of time of print. We don’t always run costs as things change and items can often be found at various prices if you shop around, but since we started this build with a cost analysis we thought we’d continue that theme with a list of every part and cost should you want to duplicate these items.

Corbeau Baja low-back seats (x2)...$199.00
Corbeau headrests (x2)...$49.00
Corbeau seat brackets (x2)...$99.00
Corbeau seatbelts (x3)...$24.50
LMC truck headliner...$500.00
Truck-Lite dome lights (x2)...$67.00
Truck-Lite Model 80 cargo lights (x2)...$250.00
Grizzly 60 cooler...$360.00
Rubbermaid water cooler...$35.00
Blazing Needles futon mattress...$100.00
Synergy cargo tie-down 4-pack...$16.00
Total $2,502.50


Falconer, NY 14733
Synergy Manufacturing
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Off-Road Power Products
Sandy, UT 84070
LMC Truck
Blazing Needles
Grizzly Coolers

Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine

Browse Articles By Vehicle

See Results