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2001 Chevrolet Silverado Z71 Stepside - Lone Star 4x4s

Posted in Project Vehicles on July 1, 2002
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Some folks dig right in. After Irma Cruz and Gene Martinez purchased this 2001 Chevrolet Z-71 pickup, they didn't drive it home from the dealer. Instead, the truck was delivered directly to Lone Star Off Road Land of The Giants in San Antonio, where Irma authorized technician Eddy Raney to begin transforming the truck from bone stock to bad to the bone.

The first thing on the agenda was to perk up the Vortec 5300 V-8 engine with a few power-inducing performance items. Since it was a brand new engine, the idea was to enhance its performance without delving into the engine's internals. So, to increase the engine's ability to suck oxygen, a high-flow Granatelli mass airflow sensor was installed, along with a K&N Fuel Injection Performance Kit. To ensure it could exhale easily, a set of Edelbrock headers and a custom dual-exhaust system with Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers were bolted on.

Dual Rancho RS 5000 shocks are mounted to the optional Whiplash dual front shock kit. The kit has been coated with Line-X bedliner for durability.

Underneath the truck is where things really got crazy. The stock rear axle was yanked out, and the void filled with a beefy Dana 80 pirated from a Dodge dualie pickup. To enhance traction, the diff was fitted with an Auburn positraction unit, and a set of custom-made heavy-duty axleshafts were installed to ensure durability. Since getting stopped is as important as getting started, a set of disc brakes was added to the rear axle as well. A Whiplash 10-inch IFS suspension kit serves as the basis for the truck's suspension. The kit included 6-inch-lift rear leaf springs with 5.5-inch spacer blocks as well as all the bracketry and components needed to lift the front of the truck. The truck also features a pair of customized Pro Comp lateral rear track bars, dual Rancho RS 5000 shock absorbers on each front wheel, single Rancho RS 5000 shock absorbers at each rear wheel, and lengthened driveshafts by Driveshafts Unlimited in San Antonio. The massive suspension lift combines with a 3-inch body lift to allow plenty of room for the 39x18-16.5 Mickey Thompson Baja Belted tires (mounted on 16.5x12 Weld Super Single II wheels), and the tires and wheels were trued and balanced by Southwest Brake and Alignment in San Antonio to ensure an impeccably smooth ride at highway speeds.

Suspended under the Z-71 by 6-inch-lift leaf springs and 5 1/2-inch spacer blocks is a beefy Dana 80 that sports an Auburn posi, custom heavy-duty axleshafts, disc brakes, and customized Pro Comp lateral traction bars.

The exterior of the truck was treated to a number of dress-up and functional items, including a chrome Grizzly triple/double Truck Bar with the optional light bar, Pro Comp lights, Nasta stainless-steel nerf bars, and Manik stainless-steel grille guard and stainless-steel rear taillight guards. Additionally, the bed of the truck was coated in Line-X and a custom trailer hitch was fabbed by Lone Star Off Road.

Inside the truck, things are as splendidly cushy as new Chevy pickups tend to be, with leather seating and all the convenience options. However, the stock audio system was eliminated to make room for a huge system that was custom designed by Auto Sounds in San Antonio, while the look of the interior was enhanced with a Superior Dash carbon-fiber dash kit.

The truck is Irma Cruz's daily driver, and we're told it's 'wheeled daily due to the brutally remote location of her residence in the Texas countryside. A girl and her truck-it's a beautiful thing.

Owner Irma Cruz and Gene Martinez,
Bandera, Texas
Vehicle model {{{2001 Chevrolet Silverado}}} Z-71 Stepside
Estimated value $65,000

Type Vortec V-8
Displacement (liter) 5.3
Aspiration Fuel-injected, Granatelli mass airflow sensor, K&N Fuel Injection Performance Kit, Edelbrock headers, dual
exhaust, Flowmaster mufflers

Transmission 4L60-E
Transfer case Stock, Autotrac

Front Whiplash 10-inch IFS, dual Rancho RS 5000 shocks
Rear Whiplash 6-inch-lift leaf springs, 5.5-inch spacer blocks, single Rancho RS 5000 shocks

Front IFS
Rear Dana 80, Auburn posi, custom Heavy-duty axleshafts
Ring-and-pinion 4.56

Ring-and-pinion 16.5x12 Weld Super Single II
Tires 39x18-16.5 Mickey Thompson Baja Belted

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