The Baddest Chevy On The Block
"I've got a new truck," Jack Stanko said into the phone, "and this is the best one yet." Powerful words from a man who has owned Hemi-powered TJs and JKs, a Poison Spyder Bruiser, and another solid-axle Duramax-powered Chevy, among others. The truck in question is an '08 Chevy 2500 equipped with an LLM Duramax engine and six-speed Allison automatic transmission. This potent platform was then enhanced by Off Road Unlimited with parts from some of the biggest players in the aftermarket industry, including Dynatrac, King Shocks, ARB, Warn, Amp Research, KMC, and Pro Comp. The end result is like a heavyweight prize fighter, both powerful and svelte at the same time.
Instead of having the truck built locally in his hometown of Reno, Nevada, as he had done in the past, Stanko delivered the new Chevy to Maurice Rozo and crew at Off Road Unlimited in Burbank, California. The shop used the GMT900 truck to prototype a new solid-axle conversion kit utilizing a four-link front suspension with a Panhard bar and King 21/2-inch body 10-inch-travel coilover shocks with remote reservoirs. The suspension is complemented by King hydraulic bumpstops and affixed to a Dynatrac high-pinion Dana 60 front axle loaded with 35-spline axleshafts, an ARB Air Locker, and Warn hubs. The only weak link is the open differential in the rear 11.5-inch AAM axle, but currently no manufacturer makes a locking differential for this application. "I plan on getting a Dana 80 from Dynatrac," Stanko commented after the big Chevy peg-legged up a dune face.
As big as the truck is, it looks well proportioned with the 40-inch Pro Comp Xterrain tires and 20-inch KMC Badlands rims balancing the bulbous grille found on the new Chevy HD pickups. Extensive body work was performed to ensure that the truck was not overly tall with the 40s. The front axle was moved 2 inches forward, and the bumper was cut and remolded to accept the new position. In the rear, the fenders were cut a whopping 7 inches, but the work was performed so meticulously that it is difficult to tell without Stanko's Chevy sitting next to a stock truck. From the inside, the Chevy seems stock, with leather seats and DVD players to keep the whole family happy. Amp Research side steps make it easy for the smaller Stankos to jump in the big 2500 without issue.
In the end, that's the real reason that Jack Stanko had this truck built. "It goes everywhere I want and I can bring the whole family along in comfort," he notes. "I just need to add a PlayStation for the kids."
Owner: Jack Stanko, Reno, Nevada
Vehicle/Model: 2008 Chevy 2500 Crew Cab Shortbed
Estimated value: N/A
Type: Duramax LLM 6.6L Diesel
Aspiration: Variable Vane Turbocharger
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 500/850
Transmission: Six-speed Allison automatic
Transfer case: Factory two-speed
Front: Four-link, King coilovers, and air bumps
Rear: Atlas 61/2-inch leaf springs, King remote-reservoir shocks
Front: Dynatrac Dana 60/ARB Air Locker
Rear: Factory 11.5-inch AAM/open
Wheels: 20x9 KMC Badlands
Tires: 40x13.5R20 Pro Comp Xterrain XTCs