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1998 Chevy Silverado - Tactical To Practical

Posted in Features on November 1, 2004 Comment (0)
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The amount of zeal you put into the things you love in life will have a large amount of influence on the success of that passion. Building a prerunner to assault the rough desert terrain can definitely put your best skills to the test. Some of the technology developed in desert racing has been implemented on the military vehicles that help keep this nation a free and peaceful place. The quest to keep our borders open to immigrants and still provide a protective blanket over this glorious nation has made us the superpower we are today. We don't live in a dream world, where animosity-free living is a reality. Keeping America safe puts our technical abilities to the test when it comes to using cutting-edge methods of keeping us free from harm.

Being able to address a threat with the best defense machines is essential in having an edge over your adversaries. Some of this technology comes straight from the heart of pushing our abilities on the racetrack. Just ask Jeff Darland of Peoria, Arizona. His '98 Chevy Silverado is just what America allows the free mind to accomplish when it's spent doing something constructive. Jeff's prerunner is equipped with an arsenal of suspension modifications, a fully caged frame, plenty of power, navigation tools, and safety equipment, making it prerun-ready come D-Day. The 4340 chrome-moly tubing stretches from front to back, replacing the stock frame and providing enough strength to handle rough-terrain trashing. Geiser Bros. in Phoenix scratch-built the long-travel A-arm truck with an impressive 26 inches of front-wheel travel. Massive lower links provide plenty of punish-proof prerunning. The rear four-link has a total 33 inches of usable travel, and the whole truck is equipped with a 3-inch bypass damper and 3-inch coilover, with remote reservoirs on each corner. Robby Gordon 17x8-inch rims are equipped with a set of 37-inch BFG Baja T/A KRs, making the truck rough-country-ready.

Getting the rolling stock to stop the desert 'runner is handled via a set of 14-inch rotors and CNC-machined billet six-piston calipers. Wick Racing in Las Vegas built the truck's 403ci small-block engine, which gets the hauler up to speed. The 525 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque coupled to the 4L80E transmission set up the prerunner to attack with ferocity. Jet-Hot's thermal ceramic coating covers the fenderwell exit headers. Flowmaster mufflers and 3-inch tubing take the exhaust from the engine to a bedside exit. A 75-gallon Fuel Safe fuel cell holds plenty of VP race fuel for the long hauls.

With a desired wheelbase in mind, the rear portion of the cab was notched to slide the back axle and fenders forward by 4 inches. A Glass hood and fenders cover the awesome tube work, custom suspension, and big King shocks that give the beast its abilities. Geiser Bros. wiped out the custom front and rear prerunner bumpers to match the framework. A Line-X coating covers the the firewall, floor pan, and lower section of the cab to prevent rock damage from the high-speed hauling. Jerry French and Dwayne Majewski fabbed the cab to fit the new bed location. The duo also fit all the fiberglass to the tube work, and House of Kolor's pigment was shot over the prerunner's sleek body lines.

Who said you can't be comfortable while in the heat of battle? Jeff is an air-conditioning contractor in Arizona (which is probably why he could afford this project), so he was sure to make the A/C in the beast work. The Line-X coating on the floor dramatically reduces the interior noise level. Three comfortable MasterCraft seats fill the interior and can comfortably accommodate a three-passenger excursion.

You can't go on the offensive without some entertainment. A Pioneer head unit sporting XM Radio supplies a set of 10-inch 'woofers and door-mounted splits with all the frequencies through 800 watts of Rockford Fosgate power. The level of competition is not reduced by the comfort. Also inserted into the interior of the desert runner is a Lowrence GPS and PCI three-link radio system with headsets.

Talk about going from tactical to practical, this assault vehicle is ready for warfare any day of the week. Only in a place like America could you enjoy freedoms such as these. For those who believe warfare isn't worth it, you better ask the men and women paying for your freedom with their lives. The truth is that we form our opinions about critical events based on information we ourselves can't confirm or deny. Getting solid information from the media is tough because you can't get a fact without the added opinion of some reporter who would no sooner know what's really going on than you. Being able to have a voice and opinion is what America is all about. So while you're voicing your opinion on the matters of the world, keep in mind that we have a responsibility to our youth and ourselves to keep our freedom out of harm's way. Thanks to the type of suspension technology employed on Jeff's prerunner, we'll be able to do just that.

Specifications

Owner/Hometown:
Jeff Darland/Peoria, Arizona

Year/Make/Model:
'98 Chevy Silverado

Engine:
403ci Small-Block; 525 Hp And 600 Lb-Ft Of Torque

Weight:
5,825 Pounds At Curb Weight

Top Speed:
125 Mph

Suspension:
Front: A-Arms With 26 Inches Of Travel
Rear: Four-Link

Shocks:
3-Inch Coilovers And 3-Inch Bypass Dampers

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