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Mas Tequila
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Amber and Jeremy Liscum of Bandera, Texas contacted Brutal Off-Road about transforming their 2004 Chevrolet 2500 H.D. from a problematic street cruiser into a
fully operational but show winning truck.
After days of discussion with the owners, we planned the truck’s build using a combination of leading edge rockcrawling designs used here at Brutal Off-Road and
up to the minute bling used by national show competition cars, trucks, boats and bikes.
Our plan was to re-create the truck’s theme, going higher, wider and stronger, yet having a fully functional truck that could be driven safely and legally.







After positioning the truck in the shop we discovered a few possible problems that may have been causing the owner’s driveability complaints…
At some point in time the upper control arm lost it’s setting and allowed the 44”TSL to contact the added dual shocks.
Here you can see the solution to the caster problems…..​





It also had conflicting geometry with the O.E.M. shock and added upper shock mount….




The upper shock mount was right out of the bottle-jack bender




The passenger side front drive axle had blown it’s inner boot due to improper front differential lateral angles,
caused by a missing bolt for the upper drop bracket.




The entire front drop cradle is designed to be stabilized by the lateral compression arms attached to the torsion bar cradle, located near the center of the truck. In this truck’s case, the entire cradle was moving fore and aft over .250” each direction. That’s a half inch total! The center steering link was actually scraping the front drop cradle during braking, due to the instability of the entire front drop system.







Here you can see the still stock rear driveshaft pulled out two inches, having not been lengthened


This is a look at the rear set up. Notice the factory rubber brake line stretched to the max at ride height!​
Check out the cool ladder bars made out of PIPE!
Here is the “Oh my god, they didn’t!” dual rear shock mounts. Single shear at it’s finest.






The upper ends of the Pro-Comp shocks rubbed against the factory cross member in the at rest position.
U-bolts were not quite long enough to do a serious job of clamping the spring/block combo to the axle.
Especially with the torque of the Duramax turning the 44”s.




In Brutal Off-Road’s opinion, the only legitimate way to build a truck this high,
is to replace the IFS front suspension with a solid axle and build current technology steering to keep it as safe as possible with a truck this tall.
So, after a decision was made with the owners to go four link with the spring/suspension set-up.
The after-market and original IFS bracketry began to disappear.




As you can see, there was quite a pile of parts ready for recycling, with more original brackets left to cut off the frame.
But first, we fabricated two simple cross members to support the frame dimensions, before we began removing the primary IFS cross-members.

This keeps the frame from spreading. Out came the plasma cutter, and parts started hitting the floor.





The long and tedious job of stripping the frame of all it’s corrosion resistant coating was started.
Since the truck was also going to placed in competition shows, we decided to remove ALL bracketry except for the cab and body mounts,
as well as fill and smooth every un-needed hole in the frame, to prepare for the base coat/clear coat paint.




Due to the decision the use 3.0” King coils and dual Bilstein reservoir shocks, a tough base was needed to mount the suspension components to.
Here you can see the cardboard template at it’s beginning.




After the initial template was formed, transferred to mild 3/8”sheet steel then cut out, it was fitted to the frame.

After fitting and shaping the filler sheet, it was welded into place. Also visible are a few un-needed holes that were welded closed.



Before the front axle could be built, we needed to get a realistic look at how the truck’s stance and overall attitude would appear.
Using a spare Ford Dana 60 for mock-up, we centered it, then rolled the 21”-49”X 17” IROK Swampers into position.










Dimensonally, the truck will be 100” wide at the outer-most edges of the sidewall, with 8” of useable wheel travel both up and down.​
Headlights will be another story, as 52” (Legal headlight height) is about the center of the original frame box ends. The roof of the cab stands at 9’-2”.
 

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OOOsahhh
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I don`t understand how this build-up got by me.Looking good guy`s,now where is the rest of the story? I know your not letting this beast just sit there and take up half of your shop! How much weight did it lose when you cut that jungle gym off of it?
 

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wow, that lift was scary-real hack job. No wonder they were complaining. You guys seem to be on a good track though. Curious how getting it inspected again goes.
 

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Any update on the finished product?
 

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Mas Tequila
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Discussion Starter #7
S

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awsome work on on the fab. side, looks top notch. but IMHO

MALL CRAWLER ALERT MALL CRAWLER ALERT!!!!! WHEELING ON ASPHALT AHEAD. :chair:

Might as well have gotton a 2wd street truck. If it even see's a pot hole full of water on the street I will be shocked. :roll:
 
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[/center]


QUOTE]

Not meaning to bust any chops here but......

I know that this is just a plate to strengthin the front of the frame, but it looks like there was zero penatration into said frame. What type of welder was used to burn it in with?

Judgeing from the bead it looks like a low voltage wire feed just to fill in the gap between the plate and the frame.
 

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Nice lookin cruiser...how does it drive down the road? Just curious, how much did ya'll charge for that build-up?
 

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awsome work on on the fab. side, looks top notch. but IMHO

MALL CRAWLER ALERT MALL CRAWLER ALERT!!!!! WHEELING ON ASPHALT AHEAD. :chair:

Might as well have gotton a 2wd street truck. If it even see's a pot hole full of water on the street I will be shocked. :roll:
nonon This guy drives this thing like he stole it...he's launched this truck completely off the ground a few times and never had issues, and it flexes like a rockcrawler...It's gotten a wall full of Plaques and trophies for best suspention from every show it's entered....we were doing 80 and he blew past us on the highway smooth as hell..

the plate on the frame was to box it,. for cosmetic reasons.. that truck had a big gash where the old suspention was, as per pics...he just wanted to make it linear.. James is one of the best fabricaters around..with very good equipment..

yes, I'm partial...2finger ... but, If any other shop would produce a decent product,. I wouldn't hesitate to give kudos..popcornn ...L
 

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Pretty truck, yes. Mall Crawler,to some extent. This truck has has equipment in it most crawlers would love to have. Pro Rock 60,Chromo 35's inner and outer, ARB, 5.13's ad F450 brakes up front, Gleason rear w/5.13's and custom 35 spline chromo shafts, turning power slot rotors. 1410 u-joints and a cranked up Duramax/Allison combo. 2"x .500" DOM for all cotrol arms, 1.250"x .380" DOM for steering and the t-bar. Hydro assist, and NASCAR style splined sway bars f&r. 14mpg and the ABS is still functional too. Hell yeah it's big. Thats what the customer asked for. If he wanted a crawler, we would have built him a crawler!
BTW, I think we did pretty good for having never welded before, especially with a Harbor Freight 2 amp 110v flux wire welder, dont you? One of these days I'll have to buy a hood.
The owner has put about 18K on it since it's completion. And yes, to my dismay, He aired it on a damn motocross track and again going thru a washout at a music video shoot for the cameras. Smashed the front fenders a little, but what the heck, it's his truck, and I dont do body or paint!
As you all know, big trucks are not my bag, but for some people, they are. When I see a beat to hell crawler, I see a thing of beauty. Some people see a piece of crap. To each his own. Purpose-built is purpose-built. The best type of job in the world, is one you get paid to do.
Thanks,
James
 

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Pretty truck, yes. Mall Crawler,to some extent. This truck has has equipment in it most crawlers would love to have. Pro Rock 60,Chromo 35's inner and outer, ARB, 5.13's ad F450 brakes up front, Gleason rear w/5.13's and custom 35 spline chromo shafts, turning power slot rotors. 1410 u-joints and a cranked up Duramax/Allison combo. 2"x .500" DOM for all cotrol arms, 1.250"x .380" DOM for steering and the t-bar. Hydro assist, and NASCAR style splined sway bars f&r. 14mpg and the ABS is still functional too. Hell yeah it's big. Thats what the customer asked for. If he wanted a crawler, we would have built him a crawler!
BTW, I think we did pretty good for having never welded before, especially with a Harbor Freight 2 amp 110v flux wire welder, dont you? One of these days I'll have to buy a hood.
The owner has put about 18K on it since it's completion. And yes, to my dismay, He aired it on a damn motocross track and again going thru a washout at a music video shoot for the cameras. Smashed the front fenders a little, but what the heck, it's his truck, and I dont do body or paint!
As you all know, big trucks are not my bag, but for some people, they are. When I see a beat to hell crawler, I see a thing of beauty. Some people see a piece of crap. To each his own. Purpose-built is purpose-built. The best type of job in the world, is one you get paid to do.
Thanks,
James
Great job on the build! I agree 100% "The best type of job in the world, is one you get paid to do." To each his own. Keep up the good work!
 
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It looks and I bet it performs a 100x better when it first came to Brutal's shop. Those first photos looks like it was done by one of the local shop's in my area.:crazyeye:
 

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What did you charge for the SFA swap?
Give him a call............James is more than willing to talk your ear off about anything you might wanna do to your vehicle. As for his welding I think it is plenty strong. He has welded numerous things to David Egger's We-Rock competition cj-7 and nothing has given up the ghost. David Egger isn't competing at the moment but when he did and got 2nd in the world he wasn't easy on the Jeep. As a matter of fact it was rather Brutal haha------------------------Kyle
 

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Yes, Tom Woods high angle....L
 

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It's a bowtie...that's the only flaw - other than that GREAT JOB and VAST IMPROVEMENT over that IFS garbage.
 
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