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2007 Chevy Silverado - Prodigy

Chassis By Aaron Does It Again

Dan Ward
Dec 15, 2008
Photographers: Dan Ward
Photo 2/11   |   2007 Chevy Silverado right Front Angle
At first glance, this truck may not overwhelm you. If not, the team at Chassis By Aaron have completed their mission. This truck build was designed from the first CAD drawing to dominate fullsize Chevy trucks without standing on a soapbox to do it. Clean, mild, and elegant may come to mind, but under all of the niceties is a truck begging to be driven hard. Showcasing the talent of shop owner and truck builder Aaron Iha, this truck does everything at an exceptional level. Subtlety is the name of this game, but be careful when looking too hard as this truck may leave you scratching your head.
Carey Crews is a business man who knows what he wants. When it came time to own a radical yet simple fullsize truck, he went to his local Chevy dealer, picked up a new '07 Silverado and with only 26 miles on the odometer drove it straight to Chassis By Aaron. Upon arriving at the shop, Carey and Aaron began discussing the customization process and the overall goal of the build. Carey was quick to turn the reins over to Aaron and let him run wild with the truck. The end result would leave both men feeling accomplished.
Aaron went to work doing the preliminary build process including working up a CAD drawing on the computer of a full frame, list of parts needed, and of course, contacting the World's Leading Truck Publication. What materialized on his computer screen was a frame that was made out of CNC 3x4-inch boxed 3/16-inch thick steel with beautiful crossmembers that would allow Aaron to reuse the factory control arms, aiding in ride quality and alignment. What really stood out was the wild rear three-link suspension setup comprised of rails that go underneath the axle giving the rearend a floating look. With the details ironed out, the welders were warmed up and sparks began to fly. The end result was even better than on screen and several parts were chromed, the entire frame powdercoated, and the chromed rear three-link with reversed wishbone turned out amazing. Other custom touches included using 1/4-inch stainless steel tubing for the air suspension, brake lines, and crafting an aluminum fuel cell. Mac Springs supplied the Contitech airbags, KYB shocks were used up front, chromed Chassis Tech shocks were bolted onto the rear, and ASCO valves were used front and rear to adjust the air from the Air Zenith compressors. A subtle yet very custom touch was the mounting of the air switches on the driver seat where the power seat adjustments once resided. The look is factory and selecting the ride height couldn't get much easier.
With the air out of the 'bags, the body firmly rested onto the Covina pavement. An initial success, but laying body on stock 17-inch wheels isn't very exciting. That's when a phone call to Lexani wheels was placed and a set of Lexani LX-6 26x10-inch wheels were ordered. Keeping the wheels protected and providing traction for the truck is Nitto NT-420s tires sized 305/30R26. Now with the air out of the 'bags everyone was stoked and the body caressed the ground tucking half of the 26-inch wheels in the process. Mission one accomplished.
Moving to the body, no stone was left unturned, but the guys didn't want something loud and obnoxious. Starting with the bed, the entire stock bed floor and walls were cutout and new steel sides and floor welded into place. Some 80 hours of TIG welding later, the Chassis crew had a custom bed with a large oval cutout to showcase the rear suspension, each bedwall had sweet metal stampings to look OE along with handmade wheel tubs, and the tailgate was welded shut with a metal roll pan added. The truck was then delivered to L&G Enterprises in San Dimas, California, where Theresa applied the House of Kolor paints. House of Kolor green and grey were applied in a simple two-tone manner with a small triangle graphic on the driver door. Nothing fancy for the paint scheme, this truck doesn't need a soapbox. While she was at it, Theresa also sprayed the wheel inserts for the Lexani wheels and installed the Precision billet grille. Small touches go a long way. After seeing the truck for the first time, Carey was excited to see his Silverado looking great. It took some convincing, but upgrading the interior was the next big investment.
Carey explained to Aaron that he wanted a luxurious interior that reminded him of his Range Rover. Aaron accepted the challenge and dropped the Chevy off at Rogelio's Upholstery in Baldwin Park, California. The team at Rogelio's began the interior transformation by first removing the front seat's headrests and chopping the seats down 3 inches. The rear bench seat was cut into two pieces and sewn back together as two buckets. All the seats were covered in light grey leather with double stitching and perforated inserts. A matching headliner was wrapped in light grey leather and even the door panels and lower dash were covered in leather. The upper portion of the dash was painted by L&G in matching House of Kolor green. This splash of color is just what Carey was looking for.
With the truck at the interior shop, Aaron was busy welding together a 16-gauge steel sub enclosure to house the Memphis Audio 10-inch subs. Memphis Audio amps behind the back seats power the subs and the Memphis components in each of the four doors. A Kenwood head unit provides the signal for the tunes and one thing you won't find are any monitors. Elegance without opulence is an overstatement.
The final mission for the Chassis team was to dress up the 5.3L engine compartment. This was achieved by creating an aluminum engine cover with dimple die stamps and machined holes. Trick aluminum inner fenders were also fabbed up, along with a completely welded aluminum pressurized coolant overflow tank, and Spectre intake with filter. Several aluminum brackets were also created to give the engine compartment a clean and factory look, but with the far-from-factory 26-inch wheels resting under the hood. All that was needed now was to get the Silverado looking it's best, and the guys spent a day with Glare Products polishing and waxing the Chevy to a shine.
The day came for Carey to come take his keys back and he did so with a huge smile on his face. Without question the truck surpassed his expectations. Hearing rumors of another fullsize '07 Chevy tucking 26s at SEMA '07, the guys just laughed, as there were no shortcuts in this build process, no jagged pieces trimmed to make something fit, and no BS. This truck is legit and all-new. As a location scout for his 9 to 5, Carey was able to track down an out of this world location for his own shoot, and frateful. Be on the lookout for more wild trucks rolling out of the Chassis By Aaron shop doors as rumor has it, sparks are still flying.


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