Justin Higley has been around the truck scene long enough to know quality work when he sees it. Ever since he could get behind the wheel, he has been customizing his trucks. He started off with a '99 Silverado that he lifted with an entry-level bolt-on kit, and then he tried going the opposite direction with a slammed GMC on hydraulics. That didn't work out too well, because Justin liked being able to hop in a custom truck without having to adjust the suspension for road clearance.
It was time to look for a new ride that would get people's attention. So, Justin searched in magazines for the best-looking, most reliable lifted trucks. What really caught his eyes were the insanely tall trucks custom-built by B&C Offroad. From what could be seen in photos, he was able to determine that the crew of B&C had a talent for making reliable components to gain massive height on these regular trucks.
The next step was for Justin to call up B&C Offroad to find out if there were any wild trucks for sale. While talking with the shop's owner, Kevin Russell told him about a brand-new project he was working on for the upcoming show season. It was an '07 Chevy Silverado Kevin purchased to be the first truck of this body style lifted by B&C. As the work was done, it was going to be the guinea pig for a prototype 18-inch suspension lift kit that would later be reproduced under the name 3rd Coast Suspension.
"This truck is everything I could ask for and more, with its top-notch custom work." -Just
The brand-new truck was driven straight into the shop and onto a lift. With the truck in the air, the factory independent front suspension was inspected and measured. After this information was jotted down, 1/4-inch steel sheetmetal was loaded onto B&C's laser-cutting machine for all of the pieces of the 16-inch subframe to be readied for assembly. The new subframe was welded up and bolted to the frame, and the stock suspension was bolted under it. Then, a set of dual reservoir shocks was bolted on new mounts for extra stability. Even though the drop bracket brought the suspension down 16 inches, an extra 2 inches was achieved by use of spacers on top of the factory struts.
The 3rd Coast Suspension kit being developed for this type of truck was going to have an entry-level bolt-on leaf spring rear, or an advanced weld-on four-link system. Since this truck was going to be shown off, Kevin made the stylish four-link with coil springs over the axle to lift the rear 16 inches and to level the truck. For lateral placement of the rearend, a Watt's link was derived, instead of a regular Panhard bar that would shift the rearend during suspension travel. With the suspension fabrication completed, it was powdercoated and reinstalled, and a set of 22-inch wheels with 40-inch tires was bolted on.
After 18 inches of lift was achieved, it was time to finish the truck with some custom styling. This included laser-cutting steel sheets and forming round steel to make a custom roof/light rack. Then, to match the orange and black color theme, Swindoll Paint & Body sprayed a custom-mixed orange on the upper portion of the truck. To break up the two-tone scheme, they airbrushed a chrome trim, along with a logo for 3rd Coast Suspension.
As you can see, the finished product came out very clean. The new Silverado is a very plain truck with a big set of fenders. Now that B&C filled the space in the inner fenders with 40-inch tires, this custom version does justice to GM's newly styled Chevy. After the truck was completed, it was taken to a motocross dirt track to be tested on bumps, jumps, and hard curves to check the durability of the soon-to-be-available suspension kit. We have also ridden in it and can vouch that not only is this truck big, but it has a really smooth ride. Even though this project was kept a secret to the public, Justin received photos of the build via e-mail. Justin was impressed and snagged the truck from Kevin before it could make the rounds at the shows.
Justin Higley / Phoenix, Arizona
'07 Chevy Silverado Crew Cab 4x4 with LTZ package
General Motors Vortec 5.3L V-8 / four-speed automatic transmission / custom extended front axle with CV joints to minimize vibrations / automatic locking rear differential
By: General Motors
Front & Rear: 22x11-inch KMC XD Series Monsters
Front & Rear: 40x15.50R22LT Toyo M/T Open Country
Front: 3rd Coast Suspension 16-inch IFS subframe with lateral compression bars / dual custom-valved Bilstein 5150-series shocks / 2-inch strut spacer / 3rd Coast Suspension Double D steering system / extended brake lines
Rear: 3rd Coast Suspension four-link with Watt's link and 16-inch-tall springs / custom-valved Bilstein 5150-series shocks / extended brake lines
Accessories: Omega train horns
BY: B&C Offroad of Pasadena, Texas
Custom roof/light rack
BY: B&C Offroad
Custom mix of House of Kolor Kandy Tangelo
BY: Swindoll Paint & Body of Pasadena, Texas
BY: General Motors
General Motors head unit with touch-screen navigation / factory-installed Bose speaker system and subwoofer in center console
BY: General Motors
Kevin Russell and all his family.