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Chevy Avalanche 4x4 - Drivelines

Posted in Features on October 1, 2001
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Contributors: Wendy Frazier

On the road with...Avalanche
Convertibles are generally thought of as, But when it comes to Chevy trucks there is only one contestant-the new Chevrolet Avalanche. Built on the Suburban platform, the Avalanche reconfigures from a six-passenger sport/ute to a fullsize pickup. Due to the flurry of excitement with the vehicle's release, GM has decided it will release two additional versions of the truck/utility vehicle. The 2500 Series and the North Face editions are the newest additions to the Avalanche lineup. Key differences in the 2500 edition include the new Vortec 8100, which provides a generous 340 hp at 4,200 rpm and 455 lb-ft of torque at 3,200 rpm. Moreover, the 2500 will have a bigger fuel tank, a tranny temp gauge, a towing capacity of 12,000 pounds, and an optional snowplow prep package. For the North Face version, the key mods focus on the outdoor enthusiast with an off-road suspension package that includes Bilstein shocks and springs, a locking rear differential, and a high-capacity air filter.

Bad Boys
The Sheriff's Department in Princeton, Indiana, is stoked to have a new 4x4 in its fleet. Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Indiana donated the 4x4. Hey, maybe we'll see Sheriff Ballard and the Sequoia on Cops. "Bad boys, bad boys, whatcha gonna do when they come for you?"

Ultimate Adventure Video
Our coverage of the Ultimate Adventure gets off to a rollicking start on page 46 this month. You can get even closer to the action with the Ultimate Adventure video, available for only $19.95 plus $4.95 shipping and handling from Performance Products ( Call 800/787-8795 or, better yet, order the video online and get a $20 coupon towards any order of $100 or more. Plus, you can order a cool Ultimate Adventure T-shirt online too.

Coolest Reading Place Contest-October WinnersAs always here's your chance for fame. The simple rules are:
1.Take a recent copy of 4-Wheel & Off-Road with you when you go anywhere that relates in some way to either wheeling or reading the mag.

2. Take a photo of you, your family, or friends reading the mag in front of your cool place.

3. Write the names of the people in the photo, the location, and your home address and phone number on the back of the photo.

4. Attach information including your name and a caption including where you are, what's going on in the pic, and where you are from. Mail the photo and info to our office, 4WOR Cool Places Contest, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048.

5. Each month the "coolest" (that means most creative, insane, or extraordinary) staff-selected entry will be published in Drivelines and the winner will get an official 4-Wheel & Off-Road license plate cover. (Submissions will not be returned.)

6. Be creative, have a good time, and good luck!

The two Alans from the Maryland Mudbugs 4x4 club wade in the murky mud on a trail in Maryland. Allen Baumgardner in the '95 YJ and his buddy Alan Thomas in the '97 TJ enjoy a little off-road reading. Get dirty with them at

www-dot-log-onto-4wheeloffroad-dot-comFor the first time ever, takes consumers inside the walls of the SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show, the largest trade-only show for the automotive aftermarket.

Each year, the best new products are unveiled at the SEMA show. New vehicle launches, pimped-out project cars and trucks, and the hottest high-performance products will be there. You can look through the window at this year's real-time show live from October 30 to November 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The show kicks off at a General Motors party where you can see the unveiling of GM's Jon Moss concept vehicles. Then our multimedia studio will deliver the sights, sounds and innovations of this everything-automotive megashow, open only to automotive industry manufacturers and dealers. You'll have the opportunity to see the products and behind-the-scenes action of more than a thousand vendors covering a staggering 620,000 square feet of floor space. Plus, you can vote online for your favorite project vehicles.

Check out the show schedule at for 2001. Once the show begins there will be nearly real-time coverage with exciting sneak peeks at all the products you'll see next year.

And watch for special post-SEMA Show coverage in the pages of an upcoming issue.

Campfire Talk
Construction is underway to double Toyota's light-truck building capacity at the Princeton, Indiana, plant. The $800 million renovation will allow the manufacturer to command a greater portion of the U.S. automobile market.

Cummins will be the exclusive supplier of diesel engines for 2500 and 3500 Dodge pickup models. Cummins said that the latest contract would go through the '03 model year.

Dieter Zetsche, CEO of the Chrysler group, said that the Jeep Grand Cherokee will share a considerable number of components with the Mercedes-Benz sport/utilities. Interchangeable components might include transmission, transfer case, and/or braking systems.

You're only 15 once. But you can relive your driver's education days by taking a Ford-sponsored "How to drive an SUV safely" course. The course, designed to boost trust in the Ford brand, will be taught by a driver's training firm in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Top Driver Inc. is expected to commence the safety courses in October 2001.

Daimler-Chrysler will produce an electric hybrid Dodge Ram. The electric pickup will target "professional-grade" people like contractors and the like. The combustion/electric motor can be used to generate electricity at a construction site and will use 15 percent less fuel than its combustion-only siblings.

When you hear the words Isuzu Rodeo, it is never next to the word diesel, but that may be just what Isuzu Motors Ltd. has in mind. Isuzu is considering producing a diesel-powered Rodeo for 2004. Isuzu is one of the world's largest makers of diesel engines, and it helped design the GM Duramax diesel.

It won't be long until automakers decide to switch to a clutchless transmission. How else would you be able to maintain a decent fuel economy and the convenience of not having to shift in New York traffic? Siemens Automotive, Sachs Automotive, Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd., and Magneti Marelli have developed variations of the clutchless technology.

Who Says There's No Rockcrawling in Nebraska?Well, he'd be right. There isn't. The closest boulder to 40-year-old Joel Randall's farm in Nebraska is 800 miles away. That's why Randall will be traveling to, and competing with, 70 other drivers for the rockcrawling championship title sanctioned by American Rock Crawlers Association (ARCA). Randall finished Third overall in the second Goodyear/Skyjacker Extreme Rock Crawling Nationals in New Mexico. The series will go to Cedar City, Utah, for the third leg on July 12-13, then on to Farmington, New Mexico, September 27-29, for the last event in the series. Matt Burkett of Texas and Jason Paule of Rapid City, South Dakota, grabbed First and Second place in Las Cruces, New Mexico. For more information, contact ARCA at 801/446-5337 or visit

Laugh. Chortle. Fall Down LaughingDeep Thoughts (on Trucks) From HollywoodKing of the Hill (2000)Working on Hank's pickup truck...Dale: You know what the problem is? It's a Ford. You know what Ford stands for? Fix It Again Tony.Henry "Hank" Rutherford Hill, Boomhauer, Stuart Dooley: Dale, that's a Fiat!

The Hunt for Red October (1990)
Vasili Borodin: I will live in Montana. And I will marry a round American woman and raise rabbits, and she will cook them for me. And I will have a pickup truck...maybe even a "recreational vehicle."

Mad Max 2 (1981)
Max: No deals. I want to drive that truck.

Going Postal (1999)
Christian: If you're a dork, and you don't do anything, you're still just a dork. But if you're a dork, and you do some weird wacky #@$!-like buy a postal jeep-you can transcend dorkiness, you become something more... you become...eccentric.

Mystery Men (1999)
Roy's Boss: When are you going to tear down that Jeep out there?Mr. Furious: Now, we went through this yesterday. That "Jeep" is actually an armored car of some kind. It was made to withstand bombs; I can't just rip it apart with a crowbar.

A Soldier's Story (1984)
Corporal Ellis: I've been driving this Jeep for six months, sir. Only turned over twice.

Back to the Future, Part II (1989)
Dr. Emmett L. Brown: Marty, he's in a '46 Ford. We're in a DeLorean. He'd rip through us like we were tin foil.

Men in Black (1997)
Jay: Unlimited technology from the whole universe, and we cruise 'round in a Ford P.O.S.

Uncommon Valor (1983)
Rhodes: We'll need transportation...preferably four-wheel drive.

A Day in the Life...
Sister Mag Four Wheeler's New DigsMoab, Utah's Easter Jeep Safari has evolved into the "Spring Gathering" for the off-road world. The event transforms the normally sleepy little town into the who's-who in hard-core-anybody who's anyone attends. Enthusiasts, manufacturers, retailers, and all of the major 4x4 magazines from around the country are on hand.

Big wigs from our sister 4x4 rag Four Wheeler descended upon Moab to set up a temporary corporate headquarters. Special attention was given to selecting the HQ location. Ultimately they decided upon one with high visibility and guaranteed foot traffic from convention visitors. One visitor to the Four Wheeler HQ commented while exiting, "I expected a little more. Things must be a little tight these days."

With the overwhelming success of the event, we can expect expanded FW facilities and participation during future Safari events. Possibly even kicking down a few ducats for a welcome mat!

You might think that this was a suspicious and cunning way for us at 4-Wheel & Off-Road to play a friendly practical joke on our comrades at Four Wheeler. It wasn't. We didn't. Bud Miller, an EJS '01 attendee, just happened to have a camera in the right place at the right time, snapped the shot, and sent us the "press release."

Cyber Off-Roading
Big Broncos only! We've heard a lot of you fullsize Bronco guys complaining that there aren't enough resources for the '78-'96 Ford Bronco. At ( you can find featured Broncos, tech articles, Bronco links, pics, big Bronco photos, Bronco trails, and Bronco chat rooms.

Muddy Run Raceway ( is home to all sorts of muddy mud racing. Races include classes for ATVs, cars, street trucks, and professional trucks. If plowing through deep water holes and watching trucks struggle up hillclimbs is your gig, check out the site for actual race schedules.

New Air Lockers
We have our ear to the ground when it comes to new stuff. ARB, designer of the exclusive Air Locker, has some new lockers that will soon be available. Here's what to look forward to:

Model Gear Ratio
{{{Isuzu Trooper}}}, rear ('98+) All
{{{Toyota Tacoma}}}, rear All
Dana {{{80}}}, 37-spline All
{{{Chrysler}}} 8.25-inch, 29-spline All
Dana 60, 32-spline (full-float) 4.56+
Dana 60, 32-spline (full-float) 4.10 and down
Dana 70, 32-spline (full-float) 4.56+
Dana 70, 32-spline (full-float) 4.10 and down

Calendar of EventsSept. 1-3 Labor Day Moab Adventure, Moab, UT. Information: 435/259-4567.

Sept. 6-8 UFWDA 25th Anniversary Event, Farmington, NM. Information: 800/44-UFWDA.

Sept. 7-9 Son o' Beach, Sand Lake, OR. Information: 360/683-2160,

Sept. 14-16 Big Dog Main Jamboree, Winchester, VA. Information: 410/442-2222.

Sept. 14-16 Adirondack Fall Jeep Jamboree, Martinsburg, NY. Information: 530/333-4777.

Sept. 14-16 Superlift 4xAdventure, Montrose, CO. Information: 800/556-2801.

Sept. 16 Fall Mud Bash, Muddy Run Raceway, Smoke Run, PA. Information: 814/378-5723,

Sept. 17-22 Rocky Mountain ATV Jamboree, Richfield, UT. Information: 800/639-0528.

Sept. 21-23 20th Annual Advance Auto Parts Fall 4W Jamboree, Indiana State Fairgrounds, Indianapolis, IN. Information: 317/236-6515,

Sept. 22-23 American Suzuki Salsa Bash, Las Cruces, NM. Information: 915/822-8807.

Sept. 28-29 Goodyear Extreme Rock Crawling Championship, Information: 801/446-5337.

Sept. 28-30 Catskills Jeep Jamboree, Sullivan County, NY. Information: 530/333-4777.

Oct. 5-7 Truxpo Truck Tour, Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL. Information: 904/255-8785,

Oct. 5-7 8th Gateway to the Cumberlands Jeep Jamboree, Williamsburg, KY. Information: 530/ 333-4777,

Oct. 5-7 12th Maine Mountains Jeep Jamboree, Bethel, ME. Information: 530/333-4777,

Oct. 5-7 Ramsey National Off Road Olympic Series, Badlands, IN. Information: 800/556-2801,

Oct. 6 Rolling Metal Custom Truck Show, Ocean County, NJ. Information:

Oct. 12-14 18th Appalachian Jeep Jamboree, Murphy, CA. Information: 530/333-4777,

Oct. 13 Mud Race, Norwalk, OH. Information: 419/668-2464,

Oct. 13-14 5th Annual Carolina 4-Wheel Jamboree, Anderson, SC. Information: 317/236-6522,

Oct. 13-14 Swap Meet, Gravelrama Park, Cleves, OH. Information: 812/432-5075,

Oct. 19-21 12th Mohawk Trail Jeep Jamboree, Charles-mont, MA. Information: 530/333-4777,

Oct. 19-21 12th French Lick Jeep Jamboree, French Lick, IN. Information: 530/333-4777, -compiled by Corey Lane

Largest Off-Road Consumer Show in the WestSometimes we just can't keep our big noses out of a good thing. That's why 4-Wheel & Off-Road has become the title sponsor to the Off Road Expo 2001. What is it? It's an event with off-road builders and designers, plus leading industry manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, opening October 6-7 at the Fairplex in Pomona, California.

The second-year event has quickly become the largest off road consumer show in the west, according to expo producer Guy Petersen. Virtually every segment of the industry will be represented, including four-wheel drive, rockcrawlers, PreRunners, off-road racing, sand toys, street trucks, Jeeps, motorcycles, and ATVs.

There are over 150 exhibitors, including such industry leaders as Aggressive Suspension, Goodrich, Bilstein, Gale Banks Engineering, Currie Enterprises, Chenowth Racing Products, Cycle Parts West, Downey Off Road Manufacturing, Four Wheel Parts Performance Centers, K&N Engineering, McKenzie's Performance, Off-Road Warehouse, and Rancho Suspension. Look at parts or buy them.

The expo will also feature daily seminars by industry leaders, a kids electric car race course, a trail bike demonstration, and a live rock band. The doors are open Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults and free for children 12 and under. For more information call 626/599-8622 or see

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