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1993 Chevy Suburban k2500-something broke, possibly a shock absorber

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New User

Aug 12, 2015, 5:47 PM

Post #1 of 9 (21999 views)
1993 Chevy Suburban k2500-something broke, possibly a shock absorber Sign In

Last Monday I had to take the truck because the headlights wouldn't work,(switch went bad, I fixed it 2 days ago), Hubby usually drives it, but he leaves at 3:30am and I don't leave till 9am, so I don't really need lights lol. I noticed if I hit a bump it would kind of thump a bit, but since I hadn't driven it in a while I didn't think much of it, then over the weekend when hubby and I were driving together he pointed out the noise as being something new. We didn't really think much of it after that honestly. Today when he got home tho he said something broke, I guess when he was about to leave work he saw something hanging 3" above the ground(pics to follow) and secured it with a piece of wire, from reading online (because neither of us are very car savy, I probably am a bit more so then him) it looks to be a shock absorber, the problem seems to be that it rotted out of the frame, so we are wondering, A: is it fixable? B: If it is, how much would the fix likely cost and C: is it worth it to fix? Sorry the pics aren't the greatest, my cell was dead so I took the pics with my DSLR, which isn't the best for close up(and it only has a view finder so I had to hold it close to the ground and guess what I was aiming at lol) FYI:this is the passenger side.

I can get more pics tomorrow if needed(it's dark now) Just let me know what pics are needed.

I should also add that even tho hubby doesn't know a whole lot about cars, he is a welder, so he questioned whether he could weld a plate where he believe it rotted from, of if that whole cross-member has to be replaced.

And the pic from Hubby's phone where he think it broke off from.

Hope my pics upload, they are just showing gray boxes right now. (not anymore)

(This post was edited by Rachel1786 on Aug 12, 2015, 6:02 PM)

Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Discretesignals profile image

Aug 12, 2015, 6:05 PM

Post #2 of 9 (21977 views)
Re: 1993 Chevy Suburban k2500-something broke, possibly a shock absorber Sign In

Definitely a shock absorber. A rusty one at that.

Honestly you might want to have your mechanic look at that. If it did that with the shock, what else is getting ready to rust off of it? It might be at that point where it is unsafe to drive and it might be wise to start looking for another vehicle.

Since we volunteer our time and knowledge, we ask for you to please follow up when a problem is resolved.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 12, 2015, 7:41 PM

Post #3 of 9 (21965 views)
Re: 1993 Chevy Suburban k2500-something broke, possibly a shock absorber Sign In

Spot on with DS - that's bad enough so what else is that bad too?

That alone will take metal fabrication of the area as far as needed to get to strong un-rusted metal protecting anything above and around it from welding heat. Look at the other side now it's probably not much better.

Hate to say it but if other areas are like that you'll find this totals this car to salvage/parts only! No joy in that,


New User

Aug 13, 2015, 10:21 AM

Post #4 of 9 (21943 views)
Re: 1993 Chevy Suburban k2500-something broke, possibly a shock absorber Sign In

Thanks for fixing my photos!

Thank you both, we do plan on bringing it into a shop as soon as possible, right not we don't have the money to, but he is borrowing a vehicle from someone in the meantime. Unfortunately the suburban is technically our spare car, we both have older Subaru's, last August(seems nearly every year we have a car problem is august lol) the rear sub frame broke on my 2000 outback(my friends husband replaced that for me), so I started driving his '95 legacy while mine was being fixed(it had been sitting for a few months since he briefly had a company truck) after a few weeks of driving that, it died on me in the middle of a 4-way intersection, and it's been sitting since(we weren't sure if it was worth repairing or not). We finally got the suburban's power steering leak(and then pump) fixed a few months ago, and now this happens lol. The suburban was originally bought to pull a small 2 horse trailer, but it got promoted to a full time car lol.

Anyway, hypothetically speaking, if the rest of the truck isn't too bad(which it doesn't appear to be) would it be fixable? and how much would we expect it to cost?

I took a bunch of photos of the undercarriage of the truck and the rest of the frame only seems to have surface rust on it, but that crossmember where the shock rotted out of looks pretty shoddy. Would it be unwise to replace that on such an old truck? I would probably have a hard time finding another towing vehicle to suite my needs and budget so I'd be ecstatic if it was fixable without costing as much as buying something else. We literally just got my horse trailer in hauling condition, and now this happens. I seriously feel like I can't win!

Sorry in advance for the overload of pics, I wasn't really sure what I should get pics of, so I pretty much tried to get everything!

Hopefully posting them as a slideshow works so I don't have to link all 24 photos!

(This post was edited by Rachel1786 on Aug 13, 2015, 11:41 AM)

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
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Aug 13, 2015, 10:49 AM

Post #5 of 9 (21936 views)
Re: 1993 Chevy Suburban k2500-something broke, possibly a shock absorber Sign In

Your pic........

Your slide show didn't show and try again but the pic above says volumes. I'm in MA - rust USA if there is a place. Why? Road salts which are 10X more corrosive than "Sea Salt" as it's "Rock Salt" mined and works to a lower temp.

Unfortunately there's a wild demand where I am for roads to be plain wet all the time no matter what freaking blizzard conditions are so this is actually common.

That area HAS to be strong. If this had coil instead of leaf springs in the rear it could pop out a spring without the shock attached and strong.

So. It is possible that this spot got picked on somehow. GM in their infinite wisdom use a lot of lousy metal sometimes just shows up in an area of even tough frame of vehicles.

You really have to put this up overhead and fully check this out and decide on fix or junk it - not kidding.
Control arms to frame, leaf springs where attached to frame both ends and the spots any struts if any for this rear type suspension.
Check hard how trans support is and frame connections at the ends. Frame is part box and part "C" steel between what I call the torque box areas just behind front wheels and in front of rear wheels. They don't seem to rust the "C" framing but do on box areas.

This up top where shock mounts would if only that one like that have the right shape metal welded in. I really don't know what's above that inside vehicle or a gap. If there's carpet or interior right there it could have to be all removed or heat from welding would be a problem.

Right now high bet top of gas tank is junk and you don't know it! Fuel, evaporative emission lines, brake lines even the collar of flex hoses give out!

Think hard and look hard. My bet is this is already just a parts vehicle because of rust clearly a safety issue. The costs to really fix this far exceed what another whole good one would cost without rust and can easily be found if you look outside of rust belt areas.

Believe it or not it's still worth something for parts being 4X4 many items escape this destruction.

It stinks but this happens. Check to be certain but I think you'll find this is gone too far to fix or be driven again!


New User

Aug 13, 2015, 11:03 AM

Post #6 of 9 (21933 views)
Re: 1993 Chevy Suburban k2500-something broke, possibly a shock absorber Sign In

Discretesignals fixed my pics last time, not sure what I'm doing wrong, or if it's because I'm a new member and they need to be approved maybe? I can get the pics to work if I right click and his view image. I'm in the pocono's, so rust is a HUGE problem around here with all the rock salt, when I replaced the rear sub frame on my Subaru, I found one on e-bay from California. I've been trying to find that crossmember piece online just to see what that alone would cost but I'm having no luck. Looking at this link, I think it's part #6 but it says "part number:not serviced" So that is completely unhelpful. Hopefully we'll be able to get it in to be evaluated within the next few weeks. I'm hoping that you see the other pics and say that it's salvageable! I'd love to be able to find another K2500 suburban if it isn't, but everything I've seen is either a K1500 or it is priced insanely high for the year. Then again, I haven't really looked outside of my general area, so maybe I'll try looking further away.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 13, 2015, 11:28 AM

Post #7 of 9 (21929 views)
Re: 1993 Chevy Suburban k2500-something broke, possibly a shock absorber Sign In

See if I can make that show.........

^^^^ Was there?
Pics are funky here no matter what I do and been here for ages. IDK is my answer to that one thing.

OK - IMO and pics already seen that part #6 if needed you are in trouble with rust. Said it stinks, unfair and hate it. It has no mercy nor care about your feelings or wallet what-so-ever!

Poconos? I didn't google it but isn't that mountains of PA? Did the vehicle spend most of it's life there? Same crap for rust anywhere roads are salted. Lots faster if not garaged vehicle or parked on non paved surfaces as the ground sweats up moisture when you aren't looking and makes residual salt wet again and again.

I really think you find this as a whole a lost cause to fix up anymore.

What to do for another? Garage it and start with something without the rust. Strange but don't wash it while still seriously cold out! Just warms and wets it again making it faster and worse.

No longer allowed is oiling whole undersides of vehicles once popular helped a lot. Mixed reviews on rust proofing companies and products for used vehicles.

This can be any metal including aluminum and alloy parts that get wrecked too. IDK about this electronic crap that's supposed to change ions of the corrosive process.

Some reports of vehicle battery itself can make things worse. Can't prove any of it just live it where I am. It's not from snow, ice or cold just the salts used.

Look hard before you buy and if you use it on wet already salted roads you'll lose eventually no matter what you do.

I'd vote to outlaw use of road salts as several snow states have as it wrecks roads, bridges all concrete anything and the "re-bar" inside better concrete.

It's a cost of living in it and having to drive in it. Retired now so can avoid driving in it much or at all now - not realistic for most folks.

Hate to use the word but it's car cancer that has no real cure as long as we use both the salts and use the metals that don't tolerate it.

Try your slide show or a link to it again. Nothing will beat seeing it in person checking and with a hammer on parts that should be strong as all get out crumble right in front of you.

Sorry for problem - you aren't alone - this is common for the areas mentioned,


New User

Aug 15, 2015, 5:36 PM

Post #8 of 9 (21882 views)
Re: 1993 Chevy Suburban k2500-something broke, possibly a shock absorber Sign In

Here is the link to the other pics

Hubby brought it to a mechanic today just to have him look at it (his mom has used this guy for years, but I personally don't care for him as every time one of them bring a car into him it comes back not fixed or something else breaks soon after getting it back). So I don't 100% trust this guy, BUT he did inspect the damage and the rest of the frame and said that the rest of the truck is solid and for whatever reason that area seems to be the only problem, he also said that the part is replaceable as it just bolts in, the problem will be finding the part as I'm having trouble locating it. I have put a few feelers out, so hoping one of those pans out.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to where to look for the part? I'm trying to avoid looking at a local junk yard as I probably won't find anything in much better condition.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Aug 15, 2015, 7:47 PM

Post #9 of 9 (21879 views)
Re: 1993 Chevy Suburban k2500-something broke, possibly a shock absorber Sign In

Saw your slide show this time. Some things look OK, some fair and some hopeless without cutting out the area totally. If/when a chassis metal section is found used the junk yards would generally cut all around the whole area then the final job takes what is needed from that.

Local is fine. Yards check with each other (should) and might have parts for a vehicle that isn't from a rust area a dang tree fell on or some other issue for being junked.

A lot will matter on the right welder and their skills at the trade also a clue where stresses are in that this is a vehicle not some other metal thing. Factor in how much someone is going to ask to do it or some hourly cost. It's wildly expensive where I live for a biz, plain rent usually and parking in biz areas is at a premium. The actual materials and work doesn't involve very expensive stuff but rather the place and time to do it where overhead isn't so nasty you have to charge a fortune.

This thing is right about 26 years old and apparently plenty of that exposed to the elements plus looks like your pics were taken on gravel of some sort - bad for rust. Body sheet metal might look good, frame metal lousy or vs versa.

So IMO it's on it's last legs and you are buying time of safe use with this which you are from day 1 with a vehicle really.

Skills of shop and this tech and probably another for welding work is whatever each does independently of each other. Some would do both total mechanical and welding, most don't where I am.

I can't decide what you should do except a must to keep this safe. If you gave me this Suburban I wouldn't bother fixing it if that tells you anything basing that on it won't last well no matter what you do and will badger you with surprises of fuel and brake line failures a mix of annoying to deadly dangerous.

It's done OK for the age of it. Many can look and be much worse at 1/2 that age!


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