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Ken Brubaker
| Senior Editor, Four Wheeler
Posted July 1, 2005

This Suburban has its sights set on the trail

Steve Frisbie doesn't want to understand the Jeep thing. This Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant, aka the owner of Missouri Offroad Outfitters, is an incorrigible fan of fullsize trucks. In his book, bigger is unquestionably the only way to go, whether on the road or trail. You may remember Frisbie's previous truck, a daily-driven/trail-ready bright yellow Blazer from the September '01 cover of Four Wheeler. That rig was an impressive machine for sure -- but apparently not big enough, because he recently built this enormous, bulletproof '89 Suburban V2500 to encore that performance.

We caught up with Frisbie in Moab at the Easter Jeep Safari, where we saw the huge, yet amazingly agile, SUV in action. It was impressive, to say the least. Also notable is the fact that this truck is no trailer queen. Frisbie drove the Suburban to Utah from his home in Missouri--while towing a camper. It's no wonder he calls the truck the "MOOVER," which is an acronym for Maximum Occupancy Offroad Vehicle Equipped for Rockreation.

The interior is a combination of luxury and functionality. Here you can see the front of the truck, complete with Wet Okole-covered seats, Tuffy security box, LeCarra steering wheel, and thick carpet. What you can't see is the cargo area, which is stripped of carpet and covered in Ameraguard bedliner material. This area is packed with a variety of recovery tools as well as a Craftsman bedside drawer-style toolbox and a Power Tank.

Due to its long wheelbase, Frisbie knew there was a high probability that the 'Burb would occasionally drag its belly over trail obstacles. With this in mind, he fabricated this transfer-case skidplate/crossmember from solid 1.25-inch cold-rolled bar stock and 0.25-inch cold-rolled steel plate. This unit offers solid protection and support for the NP203/205 transfer-case setup, which was accomplished using an Off Road Design Doubler Kit and an Advance Adapters transmission-to-transfer-case adapter.

All of the Suburban's exterior modifications were designed to serve a functional purpose. There is no irrelevant bling on this truck. To enhance the departure angle, 8 inches were removed from the rear quarter panels, and the bottom of the panel moved up to retain the factory look. The front fenders were also shortened on the leading edge, and the rear of the wheel openings were cut and reformed to allow for suspension travel without tire-to-fender contact. A pair of custom rock sliders resides under each rocker panel, and they're designed to carry the weight of the vehicle by placing the outriggers at critical points on the frame where the transfer case crossmember/skidplate carries the load from side to side. The no-frills Missouri Offroad Outfitters front bumper/grilleguard not only holds a MileMarker hydraulic winch, but also offers two attachment points milled from 1-inch-thick cold-rolled steel. The custom Missouri Offroad Outfitters rear bumper sports a pair of D-rings, a hinged license-plate mount for access to the receiver hitch pin, and wraparound fender protection. Up top is a Goodmark steel cowl-induction hood and a Con-Ferr Porthole roof rack with aluminum treadplate floor. All of the driprails were removed and the truck received all new rubber seals and weatherstripping during its body-off buildup. The truck was painted DuPont Millennium Yellow by James Harden of Marshall, Missouri, with assistance from Mills Motors of Marshall.

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