Hello Sport Truck Mag,
Long time reader, first email. My grandpa has an '01 Chevy Silverado that he wants to lower so my grandma can get in and out of it easier. She has difficulty walking and moving-I've already customized her walker-so lowering the truck will make it easier for her to get into. I want to put an airbag kit on it so Grandpa can have fun, but also to help Grandma. If you could let me know what kits will work, it would be greatly appreciated. Welding is an option since I am a welder, but it's got to be easy too. I'm not that good when it comes to figuring out geometry. Thanks for your time.
Chris you must have the coolest grandpa on the block! He's such a giver. Any guy that would lower his truck for his woman is the man! We're going to assume that he wants maximum travel so that he can drop it low enough for Grandma to just fall into the truck when it's parked. He'll also want it to have enough lift so that she can easily get out of the truck too. Another consideration that should be made is that picking the right kit is the key to making the first time airbag user happy. Lots of kits are built just to lay the truck on the ground, without much consideration to how the truck handles at ride height. One company that's spent a considerable amount of time building a kit that will actually make Grandpa's Silverado handle and ride better than stock is Air Ride Technologies. Its Street Challenge kit ($7,000 retail) includes a new front sway bar to aid in cornering and adjustable shocks to dial-in the ride. We've driven trucks with this kit and it rides and handles excellent while still offering the adjustable ride height you need. You can also purchase a kit from the company without all the bells and whistles that will still achieve your goal, but without the steep price of entry. For more information, visit www.ridepro.com.
Mike Finnegan / Editor
That One S-10
This has been bugging me for a long time. Years ago, I had a magazine that I think was Sport Truck, which featured some kind of sport truck challenge. I lost the magazine and was really pissed about this. I've tried finding information about that particular issue on the Internet over the years with no luck. It had to have been around '99, but it could have been '98 or 2000. The article gave a description of all the trucks in the challenge. One of those trucks was a first-gen S-10. It had a V-8 and I want to say a 700R4 tranny. It was a regular-cab truck with a two-tone white and orange paintjob. The orange would have been in the center of the door, wrapping around the truck. The S-10 was very well put together, especially at the time when I rarely heard of V-8s in S-10s. The truck was put through many tests and impressed me. It got about 25 mpg and ran in the 10s consistently. If I'm really lucky, one of you would have an issue like this and scan the article for me. Thanks.
I'm pretty sure you're referring to Mike Knell's '87 S-10. It was in the January 1999 issue, which featured a story called "Run What Ya Brung." That story was indeed about the Sport Truck Challenge, and Knell's ZZ3 small-block-equipped truck got better than 22.5 mpg on the highway and ran three consecutive quarter-mile passes that were within ".10" seconds of each other. The passes averaged 13.98 at 97.77 mph though, not the low 10-second ets. His truck was white with a red, orange, yellow, and pinkish stripe running right through the middle of the body from the front fender to the bed. The engine swap and ZQ8 suspension upgrades made this mini-truck ground-breaking and a real performer.
Mike Finnegan / Editor