As much as this pains us to say, not all trucks are built for show; some people still use their trucks for work. What's that all about? Since we are in the business of showing you, the reader, every aspect of trucks, we figured it was time to build a workhorse of a truck but with some style. You may ask, "If the truck is used just for work, why alter it?" Well, because we can, and why tow stock when you can tow cool? The truck that will be our test mule is an '05 Chevrolet Crew Cab shortbed. These trucks offer the best of both worlds-lots of interior room without being so long you need 17 lanes to make a U-turn. We will be throwing all the coolest towing accessories at this sucker, in hopes of making it the tow master.

To get started on the project, we contacted Mike at McGaughy's (pronounced Mickgoys) and filled him in with what we were doing. He informed us that the company had just what we needed to drop the truck and still retain its usefulness. The company's spindle-spring combo for the front and spring-shackle combo for the back will provide a 3/4 drop, which still allowed us to bolt up some big custom wheels without interference.

The spindles are computer-designed to lower the truck while still retaining the stock ball joints and factory geometry parameters. There will be no need to flip the ball joints or the sway bar to use them. This kind of R&D work really pays off when you go to put them on and everything slides into place.

The new spring pack for the rear is designed to drop the truck but still retain load capabilities. The springs provide 2 inches of drop, coupled with the company's shackle, and we will see a total of 4 inches. Instead of just using a 4-inch drop spring, McGaughy's found that a milder spring drop with a shackle produces a better ride, and the shackle corrects the pinion angle by raising the back of the spring to prevent pinion shake. This kit is not so severe that we have to get aftermarket shocks, but that's OK. We want to retain the smooth ride because we aren't going to be hucking a trailer through a slalom course-at least, not yet (wink, wink).

The best way to complement a lowering system is a killer wheel and tire package, and we didn't drop the ball there. We ordered up a set of Intro Custom Wheels 20-inch Vista IIs rims. These rims feature a six-spoke design with a suede accent in the center that Intro is famous for. The company is a full service fabrication and custom wheel design facility that manufactures aluminum billet wheels with CNC machinery in sizes 15 to 20 inches, and for you big-ballers, they even carve out 24-inchers. Truck enthusiasts that take pride in their work make all of Intro's wheels right here in the good ol' U.S. of A.

To wrap the rims, we contacted Toyo and took home a set of the company's Proxes ST high-performance tires in sizes 255/45R20 for the front and 295/45R20 for the rear. The Toyo engineers developed a unique Spiral Winding technology to construct these tires. A continuous band of 15mm nylon cord is wound around the circumference of the tire over two steel belts to eliminate the overlap joint splice, common in conventional tire construction. Building them this way provides improved uniformity at high speeds and a more comfortable ride with reduced noise levels. Another cool feature of the tires is the protruding ridge along the bead area of the tire. This ridge extends beyond the width of the wheel rim and acts as a bumper to protect the wheel from any failed parking attempts.

We had Marcel Venable from Venable Koncepts install all of these parts, because it is his truck and there is no way we are going to get dirty for him again. So, follow along, as we show you how to tow cool. If you are interested in any of these parts or want more information, contact the companies in the source box.

SOURCE
Dave's Alignment Venable Koncepts
Intro Custom Wheels
1225 Knollwood Cir.
Anaheim
CA  92801
Toyo Tires
6261 Katella Avenue, Suite 2B
Cypress
CA  90630
8-00/-678-3250
www.toyo.com
Mike McGaughy's Classic Chevy Parts Inc. New Century Tire