We heard rumors of Fabtech's '01 Chevy 6-inch lift kit being developed last year. It was at the 2001 SEMA Show in Las Vegas that Fabtech unveiled its new 4x4 suspension line. This was also the primary showcase for its project Chevy K1500 off-roader, outfitted with functional hand-fabricated products. Naturally, as journalists, we jumped on the project and hooked up with the folks at Fabtech. Here's the background check which includes spotless credentials for running with the best of them in the dirt, sand, and mud.
Fabtech purchased the '01 Chevy K1500 with two objectives in mind. First, use it as a prototype specimen to build a multitude of new suspension components. Second, use it as a testimony to the Fabtech kit's off-road prowess. After being kept behind closed doors of Fabtech's R&D lab for more than six months, the Silverado emerged with a solid 6-inch 4WD performance suspension system complete with billet sway bar links and a front differential skidplate. With the 6-inch suspension system completed, the vehicle was then fitted with a triple front shock hoop kit with Fabtech shocks front and rear. A steering stabilizer was added to the front suspension to help control the big 315/75R16 BFGoodrich T/A tires on 16x9-inch Center Line Python wheels. Last but not least on the suspension list was a set of Fabtech rear axle traction bars to put the power to the ground.
With the utilitarian process of suspension R&D behind it, the Silverado was then attacked from all sides to upgrade the body and engine. The factory front steel fenders were ripped off and replaced with a set of fiberglass units. The fiberglass fenders provide a little more tire-to-fender clearance while covering the top of the wide BFGs. A Street Scene Speed Grille and PDM polished Bow Tie transformed the grille sector. Fabtech's Desert Guard and Skidplate was attached to the front bumper with a set of PIAA 80 Pro lights for nighttime exploration. With the bolt-on accessories out of the way, it was time to spice up the basic white body panels. Graphic-master Thom Taylor drew up a wild paint scheme with four colors over the factory white paint. Mr. D's Paint and Body in La Habra, California, massaged the body, laid down the color per Thom's rendering, and clearcoated the entire truck for a smooth tough finish. Completing the body treatment, Line-X in Santa Ana, California, sprayed in one of its black urethane bedliners.
To keep the 6.0L Vortec V-8 in the powerband with the 35-inch-tall BFGs, the frontend and rearend gears were replaced with a set of 4.10 Precision Gear ring-and-pinions. A Gibson after-cat exhaust system was installed along with a K&N air cleaner and a Hypertech programmer to dial it all in for tire-spinning performance.
Since its debut at the 2001 SEMA Show, the Primary Function Silverado has gone on tour in the southeast to visit local off-road shops with all the latest parts and accessories with an occasional mudrun just to show off.
"After being kept behind closed doors of Fabtech's R&D lab for more than six months, the Silverado emerged with a solid 6-inch 4WD performance suspension system..."
Make/model '01 Chevy K1500 Silverado
Engine 6.0L 350ci Vortec V-8
Transmission 480L-E four-speed
Axles/differentials 4.10 (front & rear)
Suspension Full Fabtech suspension including 6-inch performance system, triple shock hoop, front and rear shocks, steering stabilizer, and rear axle traction bars
Wheels/tires 16x9-inch Center Line Python wheels/315/75R16 BFGoodrich T/A tires
Additional features Street Scene grille, Fabtech Desert Guard, PIAA lights, Fabtech Fiberglass fenders, Line-X bedliner, Gibson exhaust, Precision Ring and Pinions, K&N air cleaner, and Hypertech programmer