Even though the economy is a bummer and has seen better days, it's not going to suppress a gearhead's need to customize. With money getting tight there has got to be a way to add some cool to a vehicle without starving yourself. Don't fret my friends, there is a way to feed the custom need and it doesn't include eating Top Ramen just to save a few bucks. One of the best ways to save money is to knuckle-up and do the work yourself. You can also look for used parts or recycle custom parts from a previous build. One of our friends had this same dilemma with his new Yukon. He wanted to lower the truck and add big wheels, but the prospect of spending upwards of five grand just made him tighten the grasp on his wallet. After telling him about our money-saving suggestions, he felt a lot better and decided to go for it.

He told us he was just about to sell another truck that had some 24s on it. Instead of letting those wheels go with the truck and then using that money to buy new ones, we took them off and put them on his Tahoe. Luckily, they were the same six-lug bolt pattern. The tires had some wear, but they weren't bald, and the rims looked like new after a little attention with some 0000 steel wool.

To give the SUV a better stance, a lowering kit from McGaughy's was purchased for less than 500 bucks. The kit comes with spindles for the front and new coils for the rear. We planned on putting the owner to work on his own ride, but unfortunately his schedule didn't match ours so we enlisted the help of Terry Elms from Draggers Inc. Yes, we put Terry to work on his day off. What are friends for? Even though Terry is a skilled mechanic, once you read the story you will see that this isn't a hard job.

What's In The Box?
Part Number 30008 ($485 average online price) will include 2-inch dropped spindles for the front and 3-inch dropped springs and shock extenders for the rear. This kit will work on the Tahoe, Suburban, Avalanche, Escalade, Denali, Yukon, and Yukon XL SUVs. By using a drop spindle up front we'll save some time and effort because we don't have to disassemble the strut assembly. Out back, the shock extenders will allow retention of the factory shocks, saving some money there as well.

Tech Tip
The Rollers...
To add 24 inches of cool to the Tahoe, the owner recycled this 24-inch Lexani Firestar and P305/35R24 Kumho Ecsta STX package that he saved from a previous custom ride. This rolling stock would have cost about $3,800 if he had went out and bought them new, so he saved a bunch by keeping his old parts. The new rollers are 32.4 inches in diameter, which is a little less than 3/4-inch larger than the factory 31.7-inch diameter. Because of the larger size, when the speedometer reads 60 mph the truck's actual speed will be 61.5 mph. While the speedo won't read correctly, the difference is not large enough to really worry about.

...And The Nuts
One thing to keep in mind when changing wheels is lug nuts. Factory lug nuts don't usually fit aftermarket wheels. Luckily, the owner kept them from the previous truck so he didn't have to run to the parts store.

The Final Word
The Tahoe looks a whole lot better with a lower stance and big wheels, and it shouldn't be considered a soccer-mom ride anymore. By doing the wrenching at home and recycling used parts, the owner saved a lot of money. The Tahoe rides pretty well going down the road, but the front tires rub just a bit when making a hard turn into a driveway. That minor amount of rubbing is well worth the street cred the 24s bring.

SOURCE
Mike McGaughy's Suspension Parts