Chevy Silverado LTZ 4x4 Special Order

A Chevy Bought For Comfort Is Made Capable

Matt EmeryPhotographer, Writer

Russell Glen says that when he was in his 20s, he had a Mad Max Toyota Prerunner that he drove into the ground. As capable as it was, he has always wanted to build a luxury prerunner that’s “super nice and plush inside but can do 70 mph down a sandwash.”

He says that he was initially set on a new Toyota Tundra, but after further research and driving some trucks, he decided on a Chevy Silverado LTZ 4x4. He liked that it was a Cadillac on the inside, and it didn’t hurt that with his contacts at Ron Baker Chevrolet, he ordered the truck directly from Chevy, including an option for a Corvette engine.

In the three months that he waited for his truck to arrive, Glen was busy setting up the parts and install portion of his build. The stock frame underwent the usual mods. When it came to finding a 4WD long-travel kit Glen says the options were grim. Then, “I stumbled upon Dirt King and was happy that their kit allowed a full 8-inch shock instead of just using the OE King shock,” Glen says.

Dirt King mounted the LT kit along with the King shocks. The 2.5x8 coilovers have an internal bypass and compression adjusters and have been fitted with Eibach progressive springs. The King 3.0x8 secondary triple bypass units match the coilovers in that all shocks are anodized black with finned reservoirs.

Dirt King had the right stuff again for Glen. The rearend started with them custom fabricating the bed cage and inner wheelwells before using Dirt King shackles and hangers to hold the Deaver U182 spring-under progressive leaf pack. The bed cage allows for a long King 3.0x16 triple bypass with finned reservoirs and King 2.0 hydraulic bumpstops, all of which are again anodized black. The high-performance rotors and pads are right out of the GM Performance catalog.

Fiberwerx 3-inch fenders and the suspension allow for the 37-inch BFG Baja Terrain (projects) to swing freely. Said BFG’s are mounted onto 17x8-inch positive offset KMC Enduro beadlock wheels.

As stated, Dirt King installed the front and rear Fiberwerx 3-inch fenders, but the custom fabricated front valance and paint were done by the crew at Ron Baker Chevrolet in National City, California.

An SMP custom front bumper now holds a slew of Baja Designs LEDs as four XL-R 80’s and three XL-R Racer Spots are joined by a pair of S2’s that are flush mounted into the valance. A Baja Designs LED pod acts as a dust light and all are controlled through a custom mounted and wired to 4x4 sPod HD controller.

Being able to order whatever he wanted, he chose horsepower and went with a GM 6.2L L86 V-8. Not quite satisfied, he immediately went to Mullenix Racing Engines to get a Magnuson TVS 2300 supercharger installed. Mullenix also built a custom intake and tuned the truck on a dyno to work with all the new additions. Those additions include a K&N air cleaner and a set of Kooks Headers. The exhaust system includes hi-flow cats into a MagnaFlow muffler with a custom exit through the rear fender. The dyno showed that Chevy now produces 650 hp at the crank. Big numbers, indeed.

Glen got his plush interior, and found that all he needed to add were some off-road electronics. A Rugged Radio RM-45 unit now resides in the console compartment while the Lowrance HDS-7 Chart Plotter GPS is mounted in a handy center console tray.

Glen then took the truck over to Steve at SMP Fabworks to do all the final touches and help with travel and clearance. Steve at SMP built custom inner front fenderwells up front to make room for the 37-inch tires and allow for maximum uptravel. SMP also custom fabricated a custom driveshaft crossmember that allows the two-piece driveshaft to be installed to let the rear leaf springs droop all the way out without pushing the driveshaft into the transfer case. The battery was moved to the bed and SMP also did the custom exhaust coming out the side of the bed.

This is one nice truck, and Glen is ecstatic with the finished product. It has everything that he could want in terms of power, suspension performance, and that plush interior he was looking for. He also has a way to keep a good eye on it — he’s the owner of ALDS, Inc. who produces a GPS stolen vehicle recovery system, (www.stargardgps.com) so no matter if someone else likes his truck too much, he’ll be able to track it down.

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