For many Americans driving off-road is part of the daily grind. From border patrol officers to land surveyors, there are countless career paths that will peel you off of the mundane highway and drop you onto the road less traveled. Take our friend Mike Alvis for example. Mike commutes roughly 100 miles a day in his ’01 GMC Yukon and uses it to survey undeveloped property. Placing the fullsize SUV into four-wheel drive is a frequent occurrence, as much of the Southeastern terrain he encounters is a muddy mess. While the Yukon has worked well for the most part with only a set of radial mud-terrains, it still tends to get hung up and sometimes stuck more than he would like.
To give his Yukon a bit more clearance, Mike opted to equip it with a 4-inch suspension system from Rancho Suspension. Rancho is well known for its line of shock absorbers, and over the years has continued to expand its suspension lift line to cater to a wide variety of makes and models. Though 4 inches may not seem like much lift, when paired with a set of 35-inch cleats, it offers that extra bit of clearance and footing that the Yukon is lacking.
With Mike’s rig under the knife at our local 4x4 shop we swung by to document the install. Since the Rancho kit is an entirely bolt-on system, a driveway install is possible, but will likely equate to a long weekend project that will benefit from an extra set of hands. To view a complete line of Rancho’s suspension products check them out online at www.gorancho.com.
Grapple & Go
For tires and wheels the Yukon received 35x12.50 Nitto Trail Grapplers wrapped onto a set of used 17-inch aluminum wheels. The Trail Grapplers are an extremely tough mud-terrain radial and a great fit for this daily driven rig that’s slated to see frequent off-road abuse. To give the old rims a fresh finish, we had Area 51 Powder Coating douse them with a glossy black finish. And although the 35s are a little taller than Rancho suggests with the 4-inch system, we found that they fit well and only required a minor trimming of the front bumper and inner fenderwells.