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Chevrolet Suburban: The Snowburban

Posted in Project Vehicles on May 1, 2011 Comment (0)
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When you're 14 years old and living on a farm in rural South Dakota, life at times can seem a little, uh, dull. But when you're holding the pink slip to a 4x4 with dual exhaust and a longbed and your girl says, "You've got the coolest truck in the whole school," life doesn't get much better. Thus were the formative years of Todd Kasma.

When you launch an 8,000-pound rig 4 or 5 feet in the air, you better have some serious damping under the frame. A pair of Sway-A-Way hydraulic bumpstops helps manage reentry to terra firma. For ultimate floatation in soft snow, 46-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws were mounted on Stazworks 16x20 dual beadlocks. At 3 psi and plenty of throttle, the combination allowed the Snowburban to go where no tire had gone before. Each corner of the Snowburban was treated to 14-inch, six-piston Wilwood disk brakes.

With wicked South Dakota winters, Todd received a crash course on forging through the snow. Fast-forward a few decades and Todd now needed a rig that would fit the family, survival gear, and a few friends and also have room to sleep in the back when needed.

Upon acquisition, the Snowburban was no wilder than your typical crumb-cruncher-toting SUV. But its soccer-mom stigma couldn't last long when the keys fell into the hands of a buildup maniac with a heavy right foot. When he shoehorned a Chevy 454 between the framerails and mounted a set of 36-inch Swampers, the OEM Dana 44 and 10-bolt axles strained under the additional load. A pair of Dana 60s with CTM joints and chromoly axles solved the issue for a while, but a new set of 38s and an increasingly excitable skinny pedal saw their demise as well. Eventually Todd ran into Toby Lavender of Triple-X Traction in Seaside, California, and they made plans for the ultimate snow rig.

Tech Specs
Chevrolet Suburban
Drivetrain
Engine: TBI 454 V8
Transmission: 700R4
Transfer case: NP241
Front Axle: TeraFlex CRD Dana 60 fitted with ARB locker, Longfield 300M Super Axles, and 4.88 Yukon gears
Rear Axle: Full-floating Dynatrac 60 paired with 35-spline chromoly axles and Detroit locker

Suspension
Springs & Such: Leaf springs with Sway-A-Way shocks front and rear, rear traction bar
Tires & Wheels: 46-inch Mickey Thompson Baja Claws on Stazworks 16x20 dual beadlocks
Other Stuff: Onboard air, roof rack, Warn 15,000-pound winch, Lowrance GPS, Doug Thorley headers, Optima YellowTop batteries, Painless Wiring harness, dual electric fans

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