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Really in need of input!!
#11
^^^ all good info from AT.

Without specifics, can't give specifics. Confused
What we do know however is that you have 2001 Burb. Fairly decent reliable vehicle generally and as cheap to repair as anything. Will yours be? Who knows. What is the mileage and overall condition? Maintenance history? How many miles will you be driving?
In general, you have to figure$1-2000 per year in general maintenance and repair. More as the vehicle ages and gets used. At 18 yrs old, big expenses can be expected. Mechanical repairs will be expensive if you have to pay someone. The only question is when. Spend that money on an old rig or on something newer?

One of the best ways to avoid the major costs, repairs, breakdowns is to upgrade to a newer vehicle every 5 yrs or so with a fairly recent vehicle which has depreciated to a reasonable level. It generally is the cheapest, lowest cost overall and most reliable way to go with the least headaches and garage down time. Buy a 3-5 yr, $10-20k car and sell in a few years for $7-15. Cost is approx. $2k/yr. Pick your poison, repair costs and breakdowns, or spend that money on a newer vehicle with better safety, comfort, and reliability? Often the better mpg will offset some of the cost.
If you will be doing lots of miles and away from home, the later is the better choice. If on a budget and local based, might cost less keeping it.

Tips for repairs
- the smaller the vehicle, the cheaper to maintain. Bigger rig, bigger costs.
- if you are going to be running an older vehicle, better educate yourself with online info, how to, etc... Will save you money. Think of it as paying yourself to learn with the money you save by educating yourself. That knowledge is invaluable for the future.
- in Urban areas, can sometimes find mobile mechanics who can do cheaper repairs. Look on Craig's.
- sometimes cheaper to go with a rebuilt engine, tranny, salvage engine. But there is a risk and better if you know what you're doing. Is it worth it? Never guaranteed and many times not or only for a little while.
- parts can be had cheap online on Amazon or eBay. Often less than half of autoparts stores price. Some will question the quality and comment on Chinese. But here's the thing, on an older vehicle, you don't know when the whole thing will pack it in and not be worth more money to sink into it. Why go with expensive parts when you might only get another year or two from the vehicle before it dies or you sell? Or if you get in an accident? Others will disagree of course. The risk of faulty parts exists, not that much higher than supposed quality parts. Your call. 
And did you know that often those quality parts from a local parts store like NAPA come at a 20% or so markup paid to the mechanic? List price vs mechanic discount who charges list but pays discount.
- get a AAA membership to save your bacon in a jam.

Class b vs buildout. You can't do it so pay someone for minimal build. Don't need the full fancy going on today. Oh you want to impress the neighbors and follow the herd? Buy a class b, c and bring your wallet. 
It's going to cost you....
Can't afford it? You can save on expenses, make good choices to limit the expenses amap, or find ways to make more income. Which may be one of the best overall solutions. Fwiw.
Minivanmotoman,  Absolutely Positively.
Crystal Blue Persuasion, music video
https://youtu.be/XDl8ZPm3GrU
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#12
The hood latch is broken inside the cab? That is the pull knob and cable. There is more here than we assume. Wheel bearings are a common repair on any vehicle. If you were to buy a used vehicle you will most likely need wheel bearings the first year. My question is why the mechanic would over charge a regular dependable customer. More than just wheel bearing in that quotation?
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#13
(12-26-2017, 01:46 PM)Weight Wrote: The hood latch is broken inside the cab? That is the pull knob and cable. There is more here than we assume. Wheel bearings are a common repair on any vehicle. If you were to buy a used vehicle you will most likely need wheel bearings the first year. My question is why the mechanic would over charge a regular dependable customer. More than just wheel bearing in that quotation?

I'm not sure the $600 for the wheel bearing is an overcharge after looking online for what to expect. I don't know where else the hood latch issue comes into play but it doesn't "sit" properly in the recess inside the cab. It kind of hangs there. I'll be asking some questions and getting another quote.
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#14
Minivanmotoman: The Suburban has about 155k on it. It's generally in good condition. Once I get from the east coast to the west coast, I may travel 200-300 miles/month. Buying a much newer vehicle is out of the question. I'll be living on a fixed income and can't afford a payment nor do I have the $$ to pay cash. And I'm not really sure how one upgrades when they've converted a passenger vehicle into a camper. You'd have to sell to a private party looking for a converted vehicle and then start all over again with your conversion. I'm not sure I want to get into that. This, of course, is based on the idea of converting the Suburban. Because at this point I don't see that I'll have the funds for it to simply be a tow vehicle.
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#15
http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/chevrolet,2001,suburban+1500,5.3l+v8,1371585,brake+&+wheel+hub,wheel+bearing+&+hub,1636


https://www.google.com/search?q=2001+suburban+front+wheel+bearing&source=lnms&tbm=shop&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjN1M6lyajYAhVGyFQKHQcbD_QQ_AUICigB&biw=1309&bih=699
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The following 1 user says Thank You to Gary68 for this post:
Ballenxj (12-26-2017)
#16
Could guess from the info given. 2001 suburban and$1700 repair bill going to hurt, you're on a pension. There are no miracle solutions. Great suggestion by Gary suggesting rockauto.com for good prices on parts. Cheap prices, delivered quickly to your door. Find someone to install them. Only thing cheaper is DIY.

Fix only what you must to keep it going. 
Wheel bearings, if necessary.  Leaks don't fix, just keep topping up the fluids.
But this will be counter productive in the long run and can only get away with this for limited time.

You will be paying more and more for repairs on a soon to be 20 yr old vehicle,, sooner or later, hopefully later. Budget $2k /yr for an older vehicle. Can't afford that? 
Forget build out, frig, solar, etc..

Hard choices will have to be made. 
You can't afford another vehicle, or building out a vehicle, well lots on here just get a cot or foam over folded seats, plastic totes, some insulation to cover the windows, camping gear and that's it. Tent
and roof storage. No mods to vehicle required.
You will have to limit and careful with your expenses. 
You will be forced to make choices, what you want vs the minimum of what you need. A car is a luxury for some and mass transit the only way, or a bicycle, or a scooter, or....
I know, it's not what you want to hear.
The realities of life. Cars cost money to buy, run, maintain and repair. Thousands$$$ per year. Trucks and rvs even more, lots more. 2x 3x more. That is the price for, convenience, freedom and mobility.
You will have to make the best choices for you.
Ideally, be creative and flexible.
Minivanmotoman,  Absolutely Positively.
Crystal Blue Persuasion, music video
https://youtu.be/XDl8ZPm3GrU
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#17
(12-26-2017, 03:36 PM)Minivanmotoman Wrote: Could guess from the info given. 2001 suburban and$1700 repair bill going to hurt, you're on a pension. There are no miracle solutions. Great suggestion by Gary suggesting rockauto.com for good prices on parts. Cheap prices, delivered quickly to your door. Find someone to install them. Only thing cheaper is DIY.

Fix only what you must to keep it going. 
Wheel bearings, if necessary.  Leaks don't fix, just keep topping up the fluids.
But this will be counter productive in the long run and can only get away with this for limited time.

You will be paying more and more for repairs on a soon to be 20 yr old vehicle,, sooner or later, hopefully later. Budget $2k /yr for an older vehicle. Can't afford that? 
Forget build out, frig, solar, etc..

Hard choices will have to be made. 
You can't afford another vehicle, or building out a vehicle, well lots on here just get a cot or foam over folded seats, plastic totes, some insulation to cover the windows, camping gear and that's it. Tent
and roof storage. No mods to vehicle required.
You will have to limit and careful with your expenses. 
You will be forced to make choices, what you want vs the minimum of what you need. A car is a luxury for some and mass transit the only way, or a bicycle, or a scooter, or....
I know, it's not what you want to hear.
The realities of life. Cars cost money to buy, run, maintain and repair. Thousands$$$ per year.  Trucks and rvs even more, lots more. 2x 3x more. That is the price for, convenience, freedom and mobility.
You will have to make the best choices for you.
Ideally, be creative and flexible.
I think you're reading a lot into what I've said which isn't the case. I'm not currently on a pension. I retire in June. Until then I'm working full time and will start my SS while still working. What I DO NOT want to do is put all my money into my living set up. I want to keep a nest egg. Doing quick money crunching, I could do the repairs to the Suburban, set it up for living and have a comfortable cushion in my emergency fund for either repairs or replacement if necessary. Once I retire, although I'll be on a fixed income, I won't need all of it to live on. I will be able to save 30-40% of it every month.
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#18
I've picked the vehicle up. The repair order says "replace transfer case output deal, replace rear differential pinion seal, power steering flush kit." Those are the items along with servicing the front and rear differential which they quoted $1100 for.

When I picked up the vehicle, one of the mechanics said if I wanted to sell it, he's interested in buying in. No $$ was discussed.
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#19
Not so bad? Phew, glad for you :)
Yes it is hard to help accurately with a paragraph or two of details, and not knowing all of the other extraneous details. Ignore the excess and carry on. :D

Interesting repair items quoted. Once again, without specifics, hard to determine if needed. Has your 4wd been noisy or clunky? Seen fluid leaks or drops where you park? Very wet around those seals? Problems with your power steering? 
Flush kit? Sounds curious to me.

Question that comes to mind, are these repairs actually necessary? Go to a AAA recommended garage and have them check it out overall and see if they come up with the same recommendations.

Quick online search.
Experts say they typically charge between $99 and $125 for a standard power-steering flush. One thing the auto pros don't agree on is how frequently power-steering fluid should be flushed. Manouchekian says the service should be done about every two years, while Peck recommends about every 75,000 to 100,000 miles.Oct 11, 2015

Get other estimates for those seals and bearings and take it from there. 
But if the seals are dry, you're being conned.
Minivanmotoman,  Absolutely Positively.
Crystal Blue Persuasion, music video
https://youtu.be/XDl8ZPm3GrU
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#20
I haven't seen any drips. The mechanic said there wasn't a lot, just a few, very slow drip. I honestly wouldn't know where the seals are to check. I guess I need a maintenance 101 class. There was a time when I changed my oil myself but that was 25-30 years ago.

I'm getting a second opinion tomorrow. Let's see what they come up with.
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