When you work day in and day out around trucks, they tend to become part of your life. At least that's the story for Frank Bertao, owner of Full Throttle Suspension in Fresno, California. Frank started out building trucks he could take to California hot spots such as Pismo Beach and romp through the sand on the weekends. That hobby soon turned into a full-time job when he began fabricating his own suspension components.
Frank's current daily driver is this '03 Chevy Tahoe that sports a 12-inch Full Throttle lift kit. The front uses an upper and lower control arm subframe, tubular upper control arms, torsion bar drops with 2-inch torsion keys, and brackets to drop the steering components. The rear is packed with two coil spacers, a Panhard bar extension, trailing arms, and antisway bar extensions. The ride is softened by 2.5-inch chrome King shocks with remote reservoirs.
For a finished look, all the suspension components were either powdercoated by Central CA Powder Coating in Sanger, California, or chromed by Wally Webers Custom Chrome in Fresno. The four corners roll on 20-inch Weld Cheyenne wheels encased in TrXus 39.5x15.5-inch Super Swampers, and the rear locks up thanks to an Eaton posi equipped with 4.88 gears.
As if the Tahoe's looks weren't enough to draw attention, Frank wanted to make sure it had some bumps, so he took it to Banana Hi-Fi in Fresno. The shop installed a Clarion DVD head, using Monster cables to connect it to ARC Audio 5-1/4- and 6-inch speakers found in the kicker panels and doors. Behind the rear seat, a custom-built box is stuffed with three 12-inch ARC subs. A trio of ARC amps power the system, pushing it close to 2,000 watts. Once the stereo was complete, the windows were darkened by Darkside Tint of Fresno.
The exterior styling is subtle, yet clean. Frank installed a set of color-matched Escalade handles all the way around and replaced the stock hood with one from the Chevy HD line. The stock grille was removed and restyled using an APC billet grille.
Whether the Tahoe is going on beer runs around town or catching air in Pismo Beach, Frank and the crew at Full Throttle Suspension are down to have fun. Just call it hands-on research and development.