A '94 3/4-Ton That's Just Burning Up
Did you ever wake from a dream and wish that you could make it reality? Steven Frederick of Casar, North Carolina, had such an experience. His dream, of course, was the same one as all OFF-ROAD magazine readers - to build the biggest and best truck. Judging from the pictures, he didn't do such a bad job. Purchased new in 1994, his 3/4-ton Extended Cab Chevrolet 4x4 proved to be a tried-and-true means of transportation that got him to and from work. Then one night, two years later, he had a dream, and the rest, you could say, is history.
Since his dream truck had massive amounts of rubber, Steven felt it only fitting to buy the tires first and worry about the lift later. Trying to fit the enormous 39.5x18x15-inch Super Swamper Boggers mounted on 15x12-inch Center Line 589-Series rims would be no problem for the custom suspension kit he had in mind. With 5-1/2 inches of lift in the rear via re-arched Superlift leaf springs and 6 inches up front, thanks to Ruff Country upper A-arms and 26mm torsion bars, the tires fit the truck like a glove. Custom-made rear traction bars were installed to further assist in keeping the axle in one straight piece. One Pro Comp RS 9000 Nitro gas shock is hidden behind each wheel to absorb some of the rough stuff that Steven and his passengers encounter while out four-wheeling. The rearend of the truck is a factory 14-bolt GM unit.
With the suspension completed, it was time to move into the engine compartment to awake the factory 5.7L Chevrolet V-8. Up to this point, it had been bone stock with plenty of power and reliability. However, we must keep in mind that Steven was building his dream truck, and what does every dream truck have under the hood? That's right, folks, a 450hp V-8. Responsible for this increase in horsepower is a Vortech supercharger. The fun didn't stop there, though. In addition to the supercharger, dual 14-inch PermaCool electric fans were installed to assist in cooling duties, while the factory headers and exhaust system were scrapped for Edelbrock headers and a 3-inch Flowmaster exhaust. Breathing is vastly improved thanks to the K&N Filtercharger system. Providing the engine with that little spark that heats things up are SplitFire spark plugs and an MSD Ignition system. The ECM was altered slightly, using a Hyperchip engine module, which helps the supercharger perform to its best ability.
Having completed the engine and suspension, Steven knew that the real task at hand would be the overall aesthetics of the rig. Turning to paint and body specialist Wayne Butler of Fallston, North Carolina, Wayne and his crew color-matched the grille and custom fiberglass cowl-induction hood to the same medium blue that the rest of the truck was to be painted. Helping to justify the truck's name, the Gold, Red, and Orange House of Kolor paint graphics were also applied by Wayne. Wanting to go just a bit further in the customizing department, the entire frame of Steven's truck was covered in custom-fabricated diamond-plate aluminum panels, which complement the Grizzly side steps and chromed triple/double 3-inch rollbar with five KC HiLights mounted atop. Carbon-fiber covers help hide the headlights and taillights during the day. Covering the bed is a specially adapted SlimLine bedcover, which was altered slightly to fit around the rollbar. The end result is a form-fitting cover that is still watertight. To finalize the exterior appearance, a Warn Transformer brushguard and Super Winch winch are mounted to the factory bumper.
The interior of his truck is a dream (no pun intended). The seats have been re-covered in custom-dyed blue leather with matching carpet and headliner.