A man's ego can get him into a lot of trouble. An excessive ego can get him into bar fights and speeding tickets, and many times it'll result in a long night in jail. It can also prompt him to achieve greatness in life, especially when it comes to building a custom truck. Throughout our history, big egos and one-upmanship have resulted in some of the baddest trucks ever built. The story of Forrest Heintz' '00 Chevy Silverado is a familiar one, told countless times by editors in custom truck magazines the world over. In Forrest's case, the ego trip he took resulted in one of the biggest sport trucks to ever roam the streets of Cypress, Texas.
Forrest became enamored with the monster trucks he saw in stadiums, fairgrounds, and on television as a kid. To him, Bigfoot was the bomb, and Bob Chandler was a god for bringing that skyscraping F-150 to life. Monster trucks left an indelible impression on Forrest that kept him pushing the limits with every toy he owned. This Silverado was his daily driver and mud-bogger during his high school years, and it spent more time dirty than it did clean. Although, a quick trip to a local truck show with his friend, James, changed all of that. James owned a ridiculously high Chevy Tahoe that straight clown'd Forrest's Silverado on the show field. Forrest's truck was respectable, chillin' on a set of 38-inch tires, and indeed, it was a good-looking ride. But, James' Tahoe was flossin' a set of 53-inch Michelins, and rightly so, it was the truck garnering everyone's attention at the show that day. Forrest knew something had to be done, if he was going to keep up with the Joneses, and it had to happen fast. Less than a week later, the phone rang at B&C Offroad in Pasadena, Texas, and there was an urgent Forrest on the other end of the line. Kevin, B&C's owner, fielded the call and, with a modest budget on tap, put a plan of action together to make Forrest's truck a bit more respectable.
B&C doesn't do normal lift kit installations when a customer comes asking for a monster truck that can be driven on the street. Instead, B&C's head fabricator, Rob, confirms how far from the ground the customer wants the rocker panels to be, rather than how big of a lift kit they are after. Forrest was looking to hop out of his truck a full 56 inches from the ground when he parked it. He knew driving a truck that tall would be good for his ego, would put other fools in check, and would make it much easier to ogle hotties in convertibles. However, he learned that achieving that kind of stature among his peers would not be easy or cheap.
It took a lot of cash, labor, and time to build this truck. The build began with a quick disassembly and thrash session on the Silverado. The stock suspensions were completely gutted and thrown in the garbage. New mounting locations were crafted from 1-1/2-inch round tubing to create a cradle beneath the chassis and gussets on the axles. The tube work is unique because, unlike most trucks today that receive custom-bent tubing, Forrest's ride has multiple sections of tube that are angle-cut and welded together for an industrial look.
The front end of the truck received a four-link suspension that would locate a Dana 60 axle, taken from an '02 Ford Super Duty pickup. The lift meant the stock rack-and-pinion steering wasn't going to cut the mustard, so B&C built its own crossover system. The rear of the truck scored a three-link and a 1-ton rear axle, taken from an older Chevy stake-bed commercial truck. The link bars were all built from Schedule 80, 0.250 wall, 2-1/2-inch-diameter tubing, and pivot on urethane bushing ends. To control the suspension and provide the lift for the chassis, a quartet of King 14-inch stroke, 2-1/2-inch-diameter coilover shocks were custom-valved in-house and installed. Hotchkis 23mm sway bars were also employed to keep the Chevy from tipping over while hugging corners on the highways and byways of The Lone Star State. At the time of our photo shoot, the front differential wasn't functional. There wasn't a driveline installed. But, the rearend was stuffed with 5.13 gears, and those were tall enough to motivate the 53-inch Michelins with the stock 5.3L Vortec V-8 engine.
So, that's how you clear tires this big with a 1/2-ton Chevy truck and how difficult an ego trip can be when the goal is to have the biggest truck in your town. Forrest is the first to admit that the trip was expensive and that his truck now spends more time in the shop being cleaned than it does in the dirt, blasting through mud puddles. Either way, this truck is still cool, and we're sure he's getting a little more attention now at shows.