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2008 Chevy Silverado 2500 HD IFS Truck - Independence

Posted in Project Vehicles on June 1, 2009
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Photographers: John LLado

If there's one perpetual battle in the off-highway world, it's IFS versus solid axle. The solid-axle crowd is quick to point out their axles' strength, ruggedness, and simplicity. The IFS crowd notes that their setup offers a smooth ride, outstanding handling, and it has also proven itself to be rugged. They note that the desert racing crowd has been using independent setups for years, and if it can hold up to that abuse, well, 'nuff said.

Back in the March issue, we showed you Jack Stanko's '08 Duramax-powered Silverado 2500 HD. Stanko ditched the IFS setup in favor of a Dynatrac Dana 60 and a coilover suspension. This month, we look at John Llado's '08 Duramax-powered Silverado 2500 HD. Llado took a different path when he built his Silverado, and he chose to retain and modify the IFS.

Llado is no stranger to custom trucks. He has built several, and one, an '00 Excursion, even landed on the cover of Four Wheeler way back in September 2003. One thing that is a constant when it comes to Llado's rigs is that in addition to looking nice, they have to work. Llado says, "I build all of my trucks with `show 'n' go' in mind. I love to hear `It must be a street truck.' My motto is, `Why build it if you can't use it?'"

This rig was brand-new when Llado went to work on it. He stripped it almost completely down to the frame and completed the build in only three weeks. Here's what he came up with.

The outside of the truck was completely overhauled and visually enhanced without loud graphics or crazy colors. The front-bumper end caps were sectioned 2 inches for tire clearance, the rear bumper cover was smoothed and then the truck was painted PPG Vibrance Collection True Blue Pearl with ghost flames. The ghost flames were laid out by Garage Graphics in Murrieta, California, and painted by Above All Auto Body in nearby Temecula. An N-Fab Prerunner lightbar was color-keyed and bolted up front and it places a trio of 9-inch Hamsar Diversco HDI DS2 HID pencil-beam lights. Also up front are upper and lower T-Rex billet wire-mesh chrome grilles. On each side of the rig is a pair of Kodiak Sidewinder 12-inch electric steps, so ingress and egress isn't a chore. The rig rolls on 20x12 Weld Racing Dune wheels and 36x15.50 Mickey Thompson MTZ Radial tires.

The IFS is lifted and beefed via a Fabtech 9-inch-lift long-travel coilover suspension system. This kit makes the front suspension sing with 12 inches of travel, which is a 30-percent increase over stock. The kit includes a variety of components, like heat-treated extended-length 4340 front axleshafts; Dirt Logic 4.0 remote-reservoir coilover shocks; and extended-length tubular upper and lower boxed-style control arms. These arms are 1 inch longer than stock, but track width is kept to a minimum with offset steering knuckles. Llado also installed DJ Safety limiting straps. Llado had many of the suspension components powdercoated by Pro Coat in Lake Elsinore to match the body, and he had some items chrome-plated by Metal Masters of Chino. The Fabtech kit also includes oversized tie-rod assemblies and they allow increased wheel travel without bind. Speaking of the steering, Llado installed a Lee Manufacturing hydraulic-assist steering system to help point the 36-inch Mickey Ts.

The flexy rear suspension also uses Fabtech components and it generates 14 inches of travel, which is an impressive 40 percent more than stock. A single Fabtech Dirt Logic 4.0 remote-reservoir shock resides at each wheel. The rear axle remains stock other than new Motive Gear 4.10:1 gearing, which matches the front diff setup. It's also worth noting that under the truck more than 40 factory holes in the frame were welded closed to improve appearance. The entire frame was then painted PPG Silver Dollar with micro rainbow flake at P&T Service in Murrieta by Llado, Carlos Paez, and Above All Auto Body.

The 6.6L Duramax LMM diesel has had its output increased via a variety of bolt-on engine mods. The list includes a Banks Six Gun, a Banks Ram-Air intake system, and a Banks Monster Diesel Duals 4-inch-diameter dual exhaust. A Banks TransCommand is used on the transmission. Other underhood mods include dual Optima YellowTop batteries, Scosche wiring and fuse blocks (for the all the added electronics), and a Powermaster 210-amp alternator. Llado says these mods help the Duramax provide an estimated 510 hp and 800+ lb-ft of torque.

The cargo bed also underwent a number of mods. First, it was sprayed by Line-X of Temecula, so it would be protected. Then an IFW BedSlide was installed. If you're not familiar with the BedSlide, it's a sliding system that allows you to easily transport and access items in the cargo bed. It rides on four sealed bearings and has a maximum capacity of 1,200 pounds. A color-matched SnugLid SL tonneau cover was installed to keep the weather and prying eyes at bay. Other mods to the tail end include a laser-cut Rhino 10-inch-drop trailer hitch and a custom-mounted MileMarker SE12000C winch that is tucked into the frame behind the rear bumper and accessed from behind a flip-up license plate.

PhotosView Slideshow

Owner/Hometown: John Llado/Lake Elsinore, California
Vehicle/Model: '08 Chevy 2500 HD
Estimated value: $90,000

Type: 6.6L V-8 diesel
Aspiration: Banks Six Gun, Banks Ram Air, Banks 4-inch dual exhaust
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 510/800+

Transmission: Stock with Banks TransCommand
Transfer case: Stock

Front: Fabtech 9-inch-lift, Fabtech Dirt Logic 4.0 remote-reservoir coilover shocks, Fabtech 2.25 bumpstops, DJ Safety limiting straps, Lee Manufacturing hydraulic-assist steering
Rear: Fabtech 9-inch-lift, Fabtech Dirt Logic 4.0 remote-reservoir shocks

Front: Stock/open
Rear: Stock/limited-slip
Ring-and-pinion: Motive Gear 4.10:1

Wheels: 20x12 Weld Racing Dune
Tires: 36x15.50-20 Mickey Thompson MTZ

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