Three things make any truck a mon­ster: tall er sus­pen­sion, big­ger tyres, and a meaner mo­tor.

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - DRIVING -

Lift it up

For be­gin­ners look­ing for a quick lift, in­stall a lev­el­ling kit. Some trucks come with a higher rear end (a fac­tory set­ting to ac­com­mo­date heavy loads), so a lev­el­ling kit raises the front end by adding spac­ers to the sus­pen­sion. Kane used a kit from READYLIFT to add 7,5 cen­time­tres to his 2012 Sil­ver­ado. For more, you'll need a com­plete sus­pen­sion up­grade. That typ­i­cally means re­plac­ing the front coils and adding a pair of rear leaf springs.

Fit new tyres

Tyre size de­pends on both lift and your fen­der shape. Lift kits spe­cific to your truck should tell you how big you can go. Larger tyres also gear down your truck, giv­ing it bet­ter fuel econ­omy, but slow­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion (the engine does more work for ev­ery wheel ro­ta­tion). For a big jump in wheel size, in­stall a rear axle with a higher ra­tio. Kane swapped his ve­hi­cle's 1:3.75 axle for a 1:4.88 to ac­com­mo­date 37-inch tyres.

Up­grade your engine

Kane is over­haul­ing a Chevro­let 5,3-litre LS he pulled out of a donor for his own ve­hi­cle, a Sub­ur­ban, and rec­om­mends the en­gines for any­one work­ing on a GM. “The LS fam­ily is cheap and bul­let­proof,” he says. He's tar­get­ing roughly 520 horse­power with his build, but for novices, 300 is a rea­son­able goal. A new cam, fuel-in­jec­tion kit and turbo all boost your engine power. Just be sure to up­grade the head gas­ket and head studs to con­tain it.

MOR­GAN K A NE, driver, me­chanic, Grave Dig­ger

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