Beefing A Brawny Chevy
FabWorx Offroad has a new solid-axle swap kit for ’01-’07 3⁄4- and 1-ton GM 4x4s that uses a four-link and track bar system to locate a solid Dana 60 where the torsion bars and A-arms used to live. This system incorporates coilover shocks for 10 to 12 inches of lift to clear massive tires (up to 40s, depending on wheel opening) . We recently upgraded our ’03 Avalanche to this setup and noticed improved ride right out of the shop. Using rebuildable 12-inch-travel, 21⁄2-inch-diameter Sway-A-Way shocks we can further fine-tune the suspension for greater high-speed control whether we’re heading to the desert for the weekend or across the barren wasteland should we encounter the zombie apocalypse in our flat-black monster truck.
A solid-axle swap is a big undertaking, and even in the FabWorx shop it took a solid week of wrenching, cutting, grinding, and drilling before we bolted on the new suspension. The FabWorx kit is optimal for truck owners looking for a big tall truck that still needs to fulfill daily truck duty. FabWorx also offers leaf-spring solid-axle swap kits and is in the early stages of developing a lower-stance four-link solidaxle swap kit.
PhotosView Photo Gallery
Many solid-axle swap kits spring the trucks to the moon, which is great for deep mud or just looking like you like deep mud, but what if you want to delete all the IFS junk without jacking the truck sky-high? FabWorx co-owner Bryan McCully did some R&D to his ’98 Chevy shortbed to develop a solid-axle swap kit that would keep the truck close to stock height. He achieved a lift just 21⁄2 inches over stock that clears a 32-inch tire with ease by using a proprietary reverse-arch spring. He claims the ride is on par with the stock IFS, yet he feels the truck is much more robust. Even with a 3⁄4-ton Dana 44 he feels the front end will require less service and have fewer worn parts than the old independent front suspension.