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A 2005 Chevy Colorado Pre Runner For The Wide Open Spaces

Posted in Features on July 9, 2015
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Andrew Cuba has been a subscriber to Dirt Sports (and now Dirt Sports + Off-Road) for many years, and for that we thank him. No, we didn’t shoot his 2005 Chevy Colorado because of that, we did it simply due to the fact that this truck has much of what we look for when eyeballing potential feature vehicles. We want them to have the right mods by good builders, and we want it to have a little style too.

Cuba must feel the same way as he says, “I always liked the 2005 Chevy Colorado body style; it would just need some tweaks to the suspension to get it to do what I wanted.” Cuba is a well-rounded off-roader in that he likes trucks, dirt bikes and competition. He claims to have never missed a Lucas Oil short course race held in California.

Steven Parks of SMP modified first modified a set of Dynasty Off Road Innovations A-arms to fit the Z71 model Chevy and then installed a pairing of King’s 2.5 coil overs, 2.5 triple bypass and 2.0 shorty bump stops for a total of 17-inches of travel.

At 50, he’s been around the track a few times himself, but when he went looking for a shop to transform his Colorado, he went for youthful exuberance. “My pre runner was built by some very talented young fabricators, a new generation of people that have some amazing talent and show great pride in there work, as my truck reflects,” said Cuba. They have incorporated computer designs, great welding techniques and great imagination to help bring any ideas to life.”

One of the main young guns that worked on the truck is Steven Parks of SMP Fabrication in Burbank, CA. SMP has had a solid reputation for a while, and Cuba had a problem that they were able to fix. Mainly, he wanted to use Dynasty Off Road Innovations A-arms, but DORI didn’t actually make a set for the Z71 model. Parks didn’t see a problem, and not only modified the A-arms to fit, but to get the King 2.5 coil overs, 2.5 triple bypass and 2.0 shorty bump stops in there as well for a total of 17-inches of travel.

Providing plenty of protection is the SMP fabricated front bumper/skid plate assembly. It features an aluminum skid plate as well as two 8-inch Vision X LED lights and one 10-inch Rigid LED mounted on top.

There’s plenty of travel out back, too. Again SMP was tasked with the job and they used Deaver springs as well as King 2.5 triple bypass shocks for a combined 16-inches of travel. Just in case Cuba used up all that travel, a pair of King 2.0 shorty bumpstops were mounted into the frame.

Cuba says that the new 17 x 9-inch Method NV beadlock wheels and Firestone Destination tires (35x12.5x17R) were going to need more room than the stock fenders were able to provide. He also says that, “I’m not the kind of guy to sit and wait for the UPS guy to show up! So I bribed my brother in law with breakfast and beers to drive me to McNeil Racing in Lemon Grove, CA to pick up the new fiberglass fenders.”

The carbon fiber accent wrap on the hood gives the stark white Colorado a little style.

He explained to SMP what he wanted and they took over. They mounted the fenders and then installed two 8-inch Vision X LED lights, one 10-inch Rigid LED and a huge 50-inch Rigid Industry LED above the front windshield. Below the windshield, Cuba had Envy Auto Spa and Wraps of Burbank, CA put a nice carbon fiber style wrap on the hood to add a little style to the otherwise very white truck.

The front and rear bumpers are custom SMP creations that scream pre runner. Made from 1.75 DOM .120 wall tubing, the front unit features a skid plate while the rear has a built in hitch receiver, ready for Cuba to tow his bike trailer.

Wilco Off-Road built the Tiregate tire carrier/tailgate to hold the extra Method wheel, and along the front of the bed one can just see the upper shock towers for the King shocks.

The talents of SMP are on display in the bed too, as they custom fabbed a tire carrier/tailgate and the loop for the upper shock mounts is a work of art. Both are made from. Other tricks include a Spyder 3rd brake light and a set of Anzo taillights.

Being the go-getter that he is, Cuba picked up a pair of Corbeau race seats at his local 4 Wheel Parts store and dropped those off to SMP. He ditched the stock unit for a Kenwood stereo unit, and when asked about safety equipment, Cuba mentioned a Cobra CB radio.

Corbeau Baja XRS suspension seats provide the perfect combination of styling and substance for the occupants.

Cuba says that he still has more work for Parks to do as he wants a full cage, and since he’s toying with the idea of installing a V8, that a Currie rearend is in order.

And with what’s in the engine bay now, the huge SMP cross brace may be the best thing about it. Cuba jokes that by having a I-5, 3.5 liter engine, his isn't the fastest truck out there, but it gets him where he wants to go and has a lot of fun at the same time. He did install a K&N air cleaner and a set of mufflers from Morse Muffler in Burbank, CA., but we concur that a V8 would be perfect to go along with all of the other mods that the Colorado now boasts. That’d give Cuba a chance to really put that suspension travel to the test!

Powering the Colorado is the unique Inline 5 cylinder, 3.5 liter engine that has benefitted from a K&N air cleaner and a set of mufflers from Morse Muffler. An Optima battery provides plenty of start up spark.

After working at his construction gig all week, Cuba says that his Colorado is “Dirt Therapy” and that during 4 years of the creation of the truck he’s had the opportunity to meet some pretty amazing upcoming talent such as Steven Parks of SMP. He says that the new generation of builders is just as passionate and crazy about dirt sports as he is, and that having his off road vehicles (dirtbikes, 4x4s and pre runners) allows him to escape the asphalt roads and cut loose. That sounds about right to us.

Like we said, we didn’t shoot his truck because Andrew Cuba is a subscriber, we shot it because he sent in a few pix of it, and we liked what we saw. We’re always on the lookout for great trucks or cars to feature, so it you have a nice, and we’re talking really nice, street licensed off roading vehicle, let us know about it.

Looking every bit the part of a fully dressed out pre-runner, this 2005 Chevy Colorado is put to the test every time it’s taken out.

Manufacturer: Chevrolet
Wheelbase: 125 inches
Overall Length: 18 feet
Overall Height: 75 inches
Track Width: 84 inches

Manufacturer: Chevrolet
Displacement: 3.5 Liter
Air Filter: K&N Performance Filters
Exhaust: Morse Muffler
Cooling: Chevrolet
Plumbing: Chevrolet
Wiring: Chevrolet

Front Suspension: Dynasty LT Kit
Rear Suspension: Deaver Springs
Shocks/Front: 2.0 King Shorty Bumpstops; 2.5 Triple Bypass 10-inch Travel; 2.5 Coilover 10-inch Travel; Upper Coil: 3.4.500 Rate; Lower Coil: 3.18.600 Rate.
Shocks/Rear: 2.0 Shorty Bumpstops; 2.5 King Triple Bypass 16-inch Travel

Front: Chevrolet
Rear: Chevrolet

Front: 17 x 9 Method NV Wheels w/ Bead Locks
Rear: 17 x 9 Method NV Wheels w/ Bead Locks

Front: 35 x 12.5 x 17R Firestone Destinations
Rear: 35 x 12.5 x 17R Firestone Destinations

Bodywork: McNeil Front and Rear Fiberglass installed at SMP-Fabworks
Paint/Graphics: Front hood wrapped by Envy Auto Spa and Wraps

50-inch Rigid Industries LED Light Bar
10-inch Rigid LED Light Bar
Twin 8-inch Vision X LED Light Bars

Seats: Corbeau
Steering Wheel: Chevrolet
Dash: Chevrolet
Gauges: Chevrolet
Shifter: Chevrolet
GPS: Chevrolet
Radio/Intercom: Kenwood, Cobra CB Radio

Looking as at home in the desert as it does on the street, this Chevy Colorado has everything it needs to succeed in both environments.
PhotosView Slideshow
From any angle, this Colorado shows that it’s what a real pre-runner should be.
PhotosView Slideshow


K&N Engineering
Riverside, CA 92507
Corbeau Seats
Sandy, UT 84070
Mcneil Racing Inc.
n/a, CA
Sylmar, CA 91342
(818) 890-3931
Deaver Spring
Santa Ana, CA 92701
King Off-Road Racing Shocks
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Firestone Tire
Akron, OH
Dynasty Off Road Innovations

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