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Jeff Seely: 1969 Chevrolet Suburban

Posted in Top Truck Challenge: 2011 on November 1, 2011
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Contributors: Douglas McColloch
Photographers: Sean P. Holman

Truck class: Big-Block ’Burban
Jeff Seely’s ’69 Suburban is large enough to carry all of the drivers in this year’s Top Truck Challenge, but don’t let its size fool you—this big-block-powered rig is engineered to own the trail. Seely is a mechanic by trade and it shows with a variety of impressive features designed to make the ‘Burban a serious trail player.

Yep, that’s the stock ’69 Suburban sheetmetal. Aside from some minor fender trimming and the rocker guard paint, the metal is almost identical to how it rolled off the assembly line (it’s even wearing most of the original badging). Seely has added a pair of custom square tube rock sliders to protect the rocker panels and a custom front tube bumper that holds a Warn 9,000-pound winch. The fender trimming is what was needed to keep the 44-inch Interco Boggers from contacting the fenders. Speaking of the tires, they’re mounted on 9¾-inch-wide steel wheels with DIY beadlocks.

The Details

  • Owner name/city: Jeff Seely/Sexsmith, Alberta, Canada
  • Occupation: Mechanic
  • Vehicle model: 1969 Chevrolet Suburban
  • Estimated value: $40,000
  • Engine/aspiration: 502ci Chevy V-8/Quadrajet 850 cfm carburetor, Hedman headers, Flowmaster mufflers
  • Transmission: TH400
  • Transfer case: Divorced NP 205
  • Suspension (f/r): 52-in leaf springs, Pro Comp shocks/Firestone air bags, radius arms, track bar, Skyjacker shocks
  • Axles (f/r): Dana 60, Yukon 35-spline axleshafts, Detroit Locker/GM 14-bolt, Detroit Locker
  • Axle ratio: 5.13:1
  • Wheels: 16.5x9.75-in steel w/DIY beadlock
  • Tires: 44x19.50-16.5 Interco Super Swamper TSL Bogger

Jeff Seely, Team #17

  • Most looking forward to: “The Tow Test. A wide open throttle run.”
  • Not looking forward to: “The Mini Rubicon. I don’t know rocks.”
  • Playing in his iPod/CD player: “Metallica.”

Grassroots goodness resides under the front of the Suburban in the form of a simple leaf-spring setup and a tried ’n’ true Dana 60 axle. The leaf springs are from the rear of an ’80s Chevy pickup, and they’re 52 inches in length. The shocks are Pro Comp units. The Dana 60 has been upgraded with Yukon 35-spline inner and outer axleshafts, a Detroit Locker, and Yukon 5.13:1 gears. Seely has no problem steering the rig, thanks to a hydraulic steering system that he designed and built.
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