Walking The Line
Rex Rajewski showed us what's possible if you start out with the right platform and the right powertrain. Rex first purchased the fullsize '00 Chevy 1500 as a tow rig for an S-10 project, but found that the standard cab/shortbed combo was an ideal off-road canvas on which to paint some metallic artistry.
The 5.3L Vortec V-8 packs a respectable punch, even bone stock, so it was kept under the hood. Rex then concentrated on building a bumper-to-bumper rollcage and one-off custom suspension.
The long-travel front end is based on a BMS hub that's way stronger than stock. There are 18 inches of wheel travel on tap. The rear suspension is a Rex-built four-link cycling 28 inches.
Anything else? Low-slung door bars make it easy to enter and exit, and the stock smog equipment is present and functional.
You can't miss Rex's Chevy. It's bright yellow, and the performance stands out further than the color.
Vehicle: '00 Chevy Silverado 1500 2WD
Owner/Hometown: Rex Rajewski/ Sun City, CA
Engine: 5.3L Vortec V-8 with K&N intake and filter system, Edelbrock headers, Mac Products muffler, Hypertech power programmer
Transmission: Stock 4L60-E
Front suspension: Complete owner-built long-travel system. Six inches wider per side, 18 inches of travel. Lower arms are boxed plate, uppers are round tubing. BMS spindle and hub kit integrated into custom steering knuckle. King coilover and bypass shocks, King bumpstops.
Rear suspension: Owner-built four-link system with 28 inches of travel. Stock rear axle retained, but trussed and tabbed for four-link. Oceanside Driveline two-piece driveshaft. Fox coilovers, King bypass shocks, King bumpstops.
Ring and pinion ratio: 4.11:1
Tires: BFG Mud Terrain T/A, 35x12.50R17
Chassis: Stock frame retained, but strengthed with a complete bumper-to-bumper rollcage built by Rex. Both chromoly and DOM tubing were used, 1.5x0.120-wall. Both MIG and TIG welding were used during the build.
Interior: Stock dash notched for rollcage tubing. Kartek seats, Crow harnesses,CNC brake pedal and dual master cylinders.
Favorite off-roading places: Ocotillo Wells and Plaster City/Superstition