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Custom 2002 Chevrolet Tahoe - The Assassin

Building A Truck To Kill The Competition Ain't Easy Or Cheap

Kevin Aguilar
Jun 1, 2007
Photographers: Kevin Aguilar
Photo 2/6   |   2002 Chevrolet Tahoe passenger Side View
New to the scene, Scott hendrickson instantly had big dreams of what kind of truck he wanted to build. his guideline was to go lower on bigger wheels than the next guy, but also do it in an original style. he knew that SUVs were rare to see highly modi-fied, and a Chevy Tahoe would stand out. With good grades in his college classes as a bargaining chip, he convinced his parents to buy him a brand-new fully loaded LT model '02 Chevy Tahoe.
Photo 3/6   |   2002 Chevrolet Tahoe custom Batteries
During his search for a shop with the capabilities to cut this SUV to lay body over 26-inch wheels, he was referred to GO-EZ Customs of Placentia, California. Scott made the trip out to the shop and met up with ponytailequipped Art Gomez to discuss how to engineer an adjustable suspension for this elaborate project. Art's ideas sounded good, and the cost wasn't out of his price range. The truck was then dropped off at the shop for the GO-EZ team to figure out how to body-drop it with the stock floor to retain as much legroom inside as possible. The bottom of the frame was cut off at the height of the rocker panels and boxed in solid. Then, the Tahoe was lowered on the ground, and the front clip of the framewas cut to move the front of the body down. Once the rocker panels sat level on the shop floor, the front of the frame was welded up to its new position.
Photo 4/6   |   2002 Chevrolet Tahoe custom Door Panels
With the 26s being too expensive, Scott opted for a set of 24-inch American Racing RT-S wheels with oversized 305/35R24 Pirelli tires to represent how big a set of 26s with tires would be. After a few measurements were done, Art could see how the big tires were going to protrude well into the engine compartment once the wheelwells were gone. Some big issues with this were with the brake booster and the computer, but with fabrication, these components were relocated to the dash area. The new Z of the front clip raised the transmission up and caused the shift linkage from the steering column to bind up. To solve this problem, a Lokar manual shifter was put in place, and an ididit steering column went in for its clean looks. Once all of those components were handled, Art fabricated a system to raise the front suspension with 8-inch hydraulic cylinders rotating the stock torsion bars. This setup was engineered for lots of travel and to keep the stock ride.
Photo 5/6   |   2002 Chevrolet Tahoe dashboard Under Construction
On to the rear, everything was fabricated around the axle, after it was narrowed 4 inches to fit the wide wheels between the outer sheetmetal. Once this was done, Art was able to cut out the floorboard for the new back half of the frame and four-link suspension. Because most trucks like this have a gas tank located on one side, they tend to lean when the suspension setup is soft. To prevent this lean, the crew made a custom aluminum fuel tank behind the rear suspension. When the chassis was complete, the 10-inch rear and 8-inch front hydraulic cylinders were hard-lined with two GO-EZ Pro hopper special-edition pumps, which are powered by four Optima batteries, plus another to start the engine.
Photo 6/6   |   2002 Chevrolet Tahoe custom Paint
This Tahoe buildup is very wild and complicated, to say the least. It took GO-EZ more than six months to build and cost $22,500 in fabrication and custom parts. As you can see, this Tahoe is only in its beginning stages and will take a lot more time and money to finish. Scott set a goal to have it completed in one year, including paint and an extensive audio system. So, be on the lookout for this ride because Scott has some other tricks up his sleeves that he is not willing to share with everyone yet.



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