There are SUVs, and there are real SUVs. Before the modern day minivan, which we classify as a street-only SUV used to pick up junior after violin practice, there were real, multi-passenger utilitarian trucks that roamed the backcountry. These trucks include the Bronco, the Blazer, the Jeep Wagoneer, the Dodge Trailduster, and the undisputed king of SUVs for more than 40 years, the Chevrolet Suburban. We recently uncovered one fine example of what makes the Suburban the king of SUVs: Brent Riley's radiant red K2500, rolling on big rubber and equipped with all of the accessories that make on-road life easy while delivering major off-road capability.
As president of Fabtech Motorsports, Brent naturally used the Suburban as a guinea pig in the development of Fabtech's 6-inch Performance System for K2500s with factory Auto Ride. With the 6-inch system installed, the Sub' received further suspension fabrication, including a custom front shock hoop system fitted with Fox 2.0 remote reservoir dampers to handle any heavy off-road punishment. The rear suspension's capacity was beefed up with a custom airbag system from Off Road Unlimited to help handle towing Riley's 24-foot Laveycraft boat to and from the river.
With the new altitude given to the Sub', there was plenty of room for new wheels and tires, so 35x1250R17 Pro Comp All-Terrain tires were fitted onto 17x9-inch APP Thunder II wheels and bolted to the eight-lug hubs. To offset the new tires' reduction of the overall gear ratio, 4.56 ring-and-pinions from Precision Gear were installed into the front and rear differentials. The 496 ci big-block breathes through a K&N airflow system, and a Hypertech programming module enhances the ignition and fuel curve, helping the big Rat's cylinders pump out major horsepower and torque at all times.
The stock exterior body trim was removed, and the body received a clean monochromatic Victory Red paintjob from L&G Enterprises. The front grille was swapped out for a Precision billet grille, while Kodiak electric steps assist entry into the tall Sub'. For long trips, Advance Specialties installed a full-blown 3,000-watt Visonik audio system, which is hidden under the seats and behind the interior panels for a factory look. Video entertainment comes from a Visonik in-dash DVD player and PlayStation 2 playing to three LCD flat screens. Unlimited Customs fabbed the slick center console.
Power, size, and true multipurpose capability is what makes Brent Riley's Suburban the real deal in the world of sport/utility vehicles. While Brent did have one of the off-road industry's most innovative suspension companies at his disposal, it was his passion for off-roading that shaped the mold for his Sub'. Best of all, every part and component used for the buildup of Brent's Suburban are true off-the-shelf accessories that not only perform at a high level but are available to any enthusiast who seeks to transform their mammoth SUV from a street-bound grocery getter to a dirt-ready 'wheeler.
|Owner/hometown || : ||Brent Riley/ Yorba Linda, California |
|Year/ make/ model ||: ||’01/Chevrolet/ K2500 Suburban |
|Engine ||: ||8.1L V-8 |
|Transmission ||: ||4L80-E four-speed automatic |
|Gear Ratio ||: ||4.56 |
|Suspension ||: ||6-inch-lift from Fabtech; Fox Racing Shox; |
|Tires/wheels ||: ||35/12.50R17 Pro Comp All-Terrain/17x9-inch |
APP Thunder II
|Additional features ||: ||3,000-watt Visonik audio video entertainment |
system; PlayStation II; Precision billet grille;
Kodiak electric steps; Con-Ferr aluminum
differential cover; K&N Filtercharger; Hypertech
Power Programmer; L&G custom paint