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1990 Chevy Silverado Standard Cab K1500 - High Roller

James J. Weber | Writer
Posted April 1, 2001
Photographers: Team OFF-ROAD

Goodbye IFS; Hello Straight Axle

By definition, a high roller is someone who stands above the rest and who has large quantities of money to spend on their personal pleasure and satisfaction. They are the first to be noticed and catered to, and for all intents and purposes, they are the people whom many people want to be like or associate with. Normally, these preferred individuals are found only in the biggest and best casinos that Las Vegas has to offer. However, a couple of thousand miles east of the glamour and glitz of the Las Vegas Strip is the town of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, where 22-year-old Ray Scoles can be found 'wheeling his '90 Chevrolet standard cab four-wheel-drive truck, High Roller.

Little did Ray know that when he turned over his keys to his girlfriend he would soon be bit by the customizing bug. As the story goes, his girlfriend took the stock truck out and started playing tug of war with it on the pavement. When the game was finished, both front and rear differentials and axles were blown to smithereens. Not being driveable, the only thing Ray could think of doing was to cut out the independent front suspension and start anew. While it sounds perfectly normal, the truth of the matter is that he was just looking for a reason to cut the frontend out and replace it with a straight-axle conversion. His first step in the removal of the factory independent setup was to weld the Dana 44 mounting hardware into place and attach the new solid front axle. With 4.56 Trac-Lok gears living in the pumpkin and Superwinch locking hubs on the outside, it's a sure thing that the days of blowing out frontends are over. The steering was based on a 2-1/2-ton Ford system. Custom drag link bars were used and accompanied by a 3-inch drop pitman arm from a '79 Ford four-wheel drive.

The height of the truck was determined by the custom-made 16-inch re-arched leaf springs, which were also placed in the rear. To keep things from moving around due to such a tall lift, custom-fabricated L&L ladder bars were installed. With all of these modifications, you will still find yourself stopping to stare at the huge 44x19.5x15-inch Boggers mounted onto 15x14-inch Weld Racing Typhoon wheels.

To assist with stopping duties, braided stainless steel lines replaced the factory units. Additionally, the stock 5.7L V-8 Chevrolet engine was upgraded with a Crane camshaft, Hooker headers, and a Hypertech computer chip. The stock 700-R4 transmission was also treated to a day at the spa by having its torque converter replaced with a TCI unit and its shifting components enhanced by a B&M Shift Improver Kit. All transmission mods were handled by Brown's Transmission of Newark, Ohio

The exterior was treated to an array of aftermarket items.The Lund Visor, the DeeZee nerf bars, and the Harwood cowl-induction hood add to the intimidation factor of this High Roller. To complement the custom blue paintjob, Ray installed a set of blue neon lights, which reflects and illuminates the truck's undercarriage. The interior was also given the once-over.

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