We build a Suburban pre-runner.
Put your ARCA rockcrawler on the trailer and forget about your 200:1 gear reduction, because it's time to go fast! Seems like everyone these days has got it in their minds that four-wheel drive is only for going slow, so we wanted to show you how much fun it is to travel at lethal speeds when you build a vehicle that can handle it.
Consider this phase one of a three-part story where we'll show you how we built a street-legal pre-runner out of a '01 Chevrolet Suburban. Some of the things we'll do with this truck will be more race than street, and others will be more street than race. Don't feel left out if you don't own a late-model GM (or if you don't own a GM at all) because secretly we positioned a '73 GM truck chassis under the late-model Sub's sheetmetal.
To make sure this buildup came together before they outlaw the internal combustion engine, we enlisted the talents of Maurice Rozo and the staff of Off Road Unlimited in Burbank, California, to help us with the project. We knew ORU would be up to the task of building this kind of high-end project because they helped us two years ago with the buildup of our 4xQuad project Dakota (Mar., Apr., May, and June 2000 issues).
We begin this month by tackling an engine swap no one has ever shown you before. Working closely with Chevrolet we scored a new 8.1L Vortec engine from a '01 3500 truck. We were psyched to find out that this is more of a bolt-in than we would have ever dreamed. The toughest part of the swap will be making the factory fuel injection work in another chassis, but since this is 4-Wheel and Off-Road we've got that covered too.
Next month we'll show you how the slick suspension went together with coilover and bypass shocks. We'll walk you through the plumbing and electrical, and give you a look at the tricks desert racers use to cool 800hp engines in 100-degree heat. We'll wrap it all up in July with a shakedown run on the open desert to show you what this thing can do. See you at the finish line.