Red and Ready for the Backcountry
Joel Felzien, Rocky Mountain sales manager for Rough Country Suspensions, wanted a truck to not only showcase Rough Country's product, but also something he could use to transport his numerous toys into the outback. He also needed something beefy enough to tow Rough Country's other vehicles to shows and events. To do all this, he chose an '01 GMC 2500HD Crew Cab longbed 4x4 with an 8.1L big-block V-8 and a limited-slip differential in the rearend.
Rough Country has developed its new X Series suspension systems where the torsion bars stay in the stock position using the company's own patent-pending bracket that maximizes ground clearance. Joel installed the 8-inch X Series system on his HD. He also installed the new X Series upgraded billet upper control arms and Fox shocks. In back, blocks and Firestone airbags augment the stock leaf packs. No welding or drilling is required to install this suspension system, but a small amount of cutting was required.
The exterior of the truck is enhanced with a fiberglass cowl-induction hood and Bushwhacker cut-out fender flares, both painted bright red to match. For better clearance, Joel installed a front bumper from a GMC 1500 pickup and raised the receiver hitch in back. To ease entry and exit into the moderately tall truck, AMP Research Power Steps by Bestop were installed and work great, just like they do on our Super Duty project. Tires are 40X13.50R20LT Mickey Thompson Baja Claw radials mounted on 20x10-inch Mickey Thompson Classic Lock alloy wheels.
Since Joel spends so much time in his truck, he outfitted the interior with custom leather from Katzkin, including even the headliner. A Pioneer XM Satellite receiver plays through Infinity separates and subwoofer.
We photographed three vehicles from Rough Country at the same time. Joel towed the Monstrosity - a giant 1-ton Dodge chassis Jeep Wrangler that we'll show you later - and had no problem at freeway speeds, even in the mountains of Colorado and Utah. What impressed us was the way the truck worked off-road, even with Joel's KTM motorcycle in the back. The ride was controlled but surprisingly plush considering it was equipped with an 8-inch lift on a Chevy 2500HD.
Check out the photos and we think you'll agree that Joel and Rough Country have built a relatively simple truck that not only looks great, but is red and ready for the backcountry.