“I got bored of wheeling my Blazer and wanted another project,” Erik Storedahl told us, “and that’s when the headache began.” But let’s back up a bit. We heard his blue Chevy Colorado bellowing from down the rocky canyon before we could even see it, and we had to know more. Erik told us a story rife with late nights, junkyard grief, and DIY fabrication.
The ’05 Chevy Colorado had been a dream for a while before Erik snatched one at the discounted price of $5,000. The plan was simple—tear the truck down to the frame and body, drop in an ’05 Cadillac motor, bolt up a 4L80 transmission, and after a custom exhaust and some transplanted axles, the truck would be ready to roll. That plan took three months, and the best part came when he turned the key. Erik built such a quiet exhaust that he could hear the knock in his junkyard-sourced engine. Only a minor setback. A quick trip back to the junkyard yielded an LQ4 from an ’05 Denali, which went seamlessly into the place of its predecessor. A quick celebratory test in the driveway led not only to a rumbling V-8, but also to the last dying breath of the junkyard 4L80 tranny. This time Erik let the project sit for a spell while he strategized. It was time for a precision-built 4L80 from Monster Transmission, and while he was at it he chose to rebuild the LQ4 V-8.
With a bulletproof tranny and a freshly rebuilt and tuned engine, the truck was ready for its 44-inch Pit Bull Rockers—and a snowy Washington trail test. This was the shakedown run marking T minus seven days until Erik’s 2018 trip to King of the Hammers. Naturally, the LQ4 detonated on the snow run, leaving him five days to scramble and find a new engine. When we met Erik in the California desert, he was halfway through his inaugural trail test, and as he told us, everything (finally) ran great.
At a Glance
Vehicle: ’05 Chevy Colorado
Owner: Erik Storedahl
Stomping grounds: Kalama, Washington
Build time: One year
Engine: 6.0L LQ9
Transmission: Monster 4L80 w/full-manual reverse valvebody
Transfer case(s): Atlas 2
Low range ratio(s): 3.8:1
Crawl ratio(s): 50.7:1
Front axle/differential: Dana 60 kingpin, 5.38:1 gears/Eaton ELocker
Rear axle/differential: Chevy 14-bolt, 5.38:1 gears/Eaton Detroit Locker
Front: Double-triangulated four-link, ORI 16-in struts
Rear: Triangulated four-link, RuffStuff Specialties Ultimate Rock Crawler Trailing Arms, 16-in King coilovers, 4-in King bumpstops
Tires: 44x19.5-17LT Pit Bull Rocker
Wheels: 17x9 Trail-Gear aluminum beadlock
Steering: PSC Motorsports double-ended hydraulic ram
Armor: Custom-fabricated 1/4-in steel bumpers
Cool stuff: Front Smittybilt 12,000-lb winch, custom Chevy Bow Tie trusses and winch fairlead, 24-gal aluminum fuel cell, dovetailed bed w/functional tailgate