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Suburban Refurbin’

A One-day Revamp at Cook’s Tire & Tune With Products from Belltech, EBC Brakes, DUB Wheels, Toyo Tires, Anzo USA and T-Rex Billet

Bryan Fross
Sep 3, 2019

By now, you've probably seen the previous article that began our Lifted versus Lowered one-day makeover tech stories. If not, go back to last month's issue, check it out, and then continue right back here. In this edition, we take a 2007 Chevrolet Suburban, which has spent most of its time as a family driver, countless trips to custom truck shows all over the Pacific time zone, and even as far as a 22-hour drive to the first Lone Star Throwdown in Conroe, Texas. It has been a reliable go-to vehicle for most of its existence but more recently has been in need of some upgrades, updates and replacements.

It was initially lowered nearly a decade ago with a lower-end drop kit. The wear and tear on other parts of the suspension was accelerated by the fitment of that kit, so our goal here is to not only get a little lower to the ground using a new Belltech Sport Trucks kit with antisway bars, but to also get a better ride and handling. After that, we dive into installing a new set of rotors and pads from EBC Brakes specifically engineered for performance along with ease of installation on today's large SUVs. New rolling stock comes in the form of 24x10 DUB Future Wheels in gloss black wrapped in 285/35R24 Toyo Proxes ST III Tires.

To finish out the quick transformation of this SUV, the front end was in dire need of new headlights after years of increased haziness, scratches and degradation. We turned to Anzo for their projector plank-style Switchback headlights. With a clear front housing, projector lighting and white/amber switching running lights, they look amazing and outperform the factory headlights in every way. Between the headlights, our factory grilles with chrome-like surround also got a blacked-out replacement and a grille insert from T-Rex Billet to tie all of the updates together. Cooks Tire & Tune, in Orange, California, handled the install duties for the whole day of Suburban Refurbin'.

Photo 2/44   |   BEFORE - Our 2007 Chevrolet Suburban project was lowered almost 8 years ago with a poorly designed kit and riding (like a brick) on a set of 24-inch wheels with plenty of curb rash, scratches and overall aging for those years of driving.
Photo 3/44   |   The Belltech solution to our SUV that felt like driving a Flintstone car is right here. It includes Drop Spindles, Coilover V3 Kit for the front, Pro Coil Spring set with V3 Rear Shocks for the rear and Anti-Sway Bars.
Photo 4/44   |   Justin at Cook's Tire & Tune gets our SUV refresh started by getting it onto the lift, removing the wheels and beginning the process of unbolting the old suspension.
Photo 5/44   |   After the old coilovers are unbolted from below, the retaining clips are removed and set aside for reuse. He moved up to the top bolts to allow the coilovers to be fully removed.
Photo 6/44   |   In a simple reversal of the process, Justin slides the new Belltech coilovers into place followed by bolting in the top and letting them hang in place until the bottom is ready to be attached.
Photo 7/44   |   The brake caliper is quickly loosened and hung up away from the rotors so they can be removed. The ABS sensor is also unplugged at this time.
Photo 8/44   |   The rotors and old spindles are removed. The spindle/hub is set down to allow for removing the bolts from the backside. The new Belltech spindles attached then tightened to the hub and ready for reinstall.
Photo 9/44   |   To install the Belltech Alignment Kit that came with our new suspension, the upper control arms are removed and set into a bench vise. Justin uses an air hammer to push the old bushings out.
Photo 10/44   |   Our new camber bushings are installed into the arms using a bushing press and Justin makes sure to line up the arrows on our new bushings pointing away from the ball joint.
Photo 11/44   |   The upper control arms are installed back in place followed by the retaining clips and bottom bolts for the coilovers.
Photo 12/44   |   With a prybar to pull it together and an impact wrench to tighten it down, Justin gets the new spindle with hub attached to it installed.
Photo 13/44   |   To remove the old front sway bar, Justin unbolts the factory mounts making sure to support the loose side when removing the other.
Photo 14/44   |   Our old mounts and bushings for the front sway bar are reused on the Belltech front sway bar. Justin swaps the parts over on the floor of the shop and applies new bushing grease to ensure long life and squeak-free performance.
Photo 15/44   |   After the new sway bar is mounted in place, the each end can be reattached to the factory sway bar links.
Photo 16/44   |   Now that the front suspension has been replaced, Justin moves on to the rear and starts by loosening the rear caliper and hanging it out of the way temporarily. The rear rotor is then removed and discarded.
Photo 17/44   |   The tear down of our old rear suspension has begun with the rear end supported under a jack and removal of the shocks.
Photo 18/44   |   Justin grabs the rear shock hangars included in our Belltech kit, slides them over the factory perch and bolts them into place. These will allow a better angle and full range for the shocks to compress and rebound.
Photo 19/44   |   He lowers the jack that supports the rear end to allow for extra room in removing springs from the pocket. The springs are removed easily and the new Pro Coil Springs are slid into place.
Photo 20/44   |   Next, the old bumpstops can be removed with a small prybar and thrown into the trash. Ours had been well-worn and were falling apart. The new Belltech bumpstops are popped into place. Justin used a small amount of lubrication to slip them into the hole without damaging the edges.
Photo 21/44   |   Our V3 rear shocks are opened up and bolted into place. These shocks are dual adjustable for plenty of options in ride quality and function.
Photo 22/44   |   To finish up the suspension, Justin removes the rear sway bar.
Photo 23/44   |   Here you can see the new rear sway bar side-by-side with the old. In this case, the new piece comes with new bushings and mounts, so the old ones do not have to be retained.
Photo 24/44   |   Justin lifts the new sway bar into place and locks it in with the factory bolts through the new mounting brackets and into the rear end. This finishes up our new suspension install.
Photo 25/44   |   Using a ratcheting caliper spreader, Justin is able to quickly nudge the brake pistons back into the caliper for simple installation of the new brakes.
Photo 26/44   |   The EBC Brakes for our 2007 Chevy consist of their Stage 3 Truck/SUV Kit with GreenStuff 6000 series Kevlar brake pads and USR Series Sport Slotted rotors with black zinc finish.
Photo 27/44   |   The new EBC rotors are slid onto the hub, then the caliper bracket is attached followed by the new GreenStuff pads and caliper.
Photo 28/44   |   Then, the new rear rotor is slid onto the hub before our new pads are installed into the caliper bracket. It's a quick and very simple installation.
Photo 29/44   |   Justin moves back to the front to promptly reassemble the front brakes with our new rotors and pads.
Photo 30/44   |   He then installs the new TPMS sensors we ordered through Cooks Tire & Tune. We opted to go with a new set since two of our old ones were not working correctly. This is a much faster way than dismounting the old wheels/tires to remove the old sensors.
Photo 31/44   |   A couple minutes at the tire mounting and wheel balancing machines result in brand-new blacked-out DUB Future Wheels and Toyo Proxes ST III that are ready to roll as soon as they're mounted to the '07 Suburban.
Photo 32/44   |   The wheels are bolted into place and Justin uses a torque limiting extension bar on the impact wrench to lock them into place at manufacturer recommended specifications.
Photo 33/44   |   Moving to the front, Justin starts removal of the headlights with a 10mm socket attached to a cordless driver. As you can see, the factory lights were in bad shape, and although there are ways to remedy this type of damage, none of them are long-lasting.
Photo 34/44   |   With the headlights and the upper grille bolts removed, he loosens the lower headlight bolts from the backside and then pulls out the headlight.
Photo 35/44   |   The new Anzo headlights plug directly into the old harness for a quick swap.
Photo 36/44   |   The new light is set into place and then we turn the key to test out each function.
Photo 37/44   |   While the upper grille is still loose, Justin removes the inner factory grilles by simply pushing the piece inward while popping the retaining tabs from the backside.
Photo 38/44   |   We picked up this blacked-out grille replacement which is available online through multiple retailers. When you don't want shiny things and don't want to scuff or paint plastic parts, this is the way to go.
Photo 39/44   |   Our new black powdercoated T-Rex Billet Grille will make a substantial statement up front after a small modification to the inner grille to make it fit flush.
Photo 40/44   |   Justin breaks out the high-speed air saw to clip a few small sections of the grille in order for the tabs on the T-Rex grille to slide through unobstructed.
Photo 41/44   |   The billet grille is lined up and pushed into place. The grille is secured from behind using the supplied brackets and hardware.
Photo 42/44   |   Then, with the billet grilles in place and our previously installed black bowtie bolted to the new grille, the upper grille bolts can go back in to finish up the grille upgrades.
Photo 43/44   |   Our front end is back together and looks better than ever. With the new grilles in place and the headlights lit, the transformation of the front end took less than an hour with simple tools.
Photo 44/44   |   AFTER - After an alignment and a quick programming for the new TPMS Sensors, our Suburban Refurbin' project is completed in a one-day turnaround at Cook's Tire & Tune.

Sources

ANZO USA
Chino, CA
888-360-3696
http://www.anzousa.com
Belltech
Sanger, CA
800-445-3767
http://www.belltech.com
Cooks Tire and Tune
Fullerton, CA
714-870-0100
http://www.cookstireandtune.com/
EBC Brakes
Las Vegas, NV
702-826-2400
http://www.ebcbrakes.com
MHT Luxury Alloys
800-493-7891
http://www.mhtwheels.com
Toyo Tire USA Corp.
Cypress, CA

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