AMAZING DURAMAX SUBURBAN
MERCHANT AUTOMOTIVE BUILT THE SUBURBAN/YUKON XL HD GM SHOXULD HAVE!
“Built not bought” is the mantra of hard-working automotive enthusiasts and hobbyists around the world, providing a rallying cry for gearheads who want to build their own projects their own way on their own terms. Some great innovation and ingenuity have come about from shops and individuals not accepting the status quo and pushing to build the trucks that they want, not what the bean counters at the auto manufacturers serve up to the masses. While we have been clamoring for the Duramax turbo diesel engine to be placed in GMS 3/4-ton Suburban and Yukon XL SUVS since it was put into production starting with the 2001 model year Silverado HD and Sierra HD trucks—our cries have fallen on deaf ears leaving owners to build their own if they want one.
Eric Merchant is the owner of Merchant Automotive in Zeeland, Michigan, and an expert in the realm of all things Duramax and Allison related. He wanted more than a truck. He wanted a large SUV that could tow anything he needed or wanted to tow for the shop as well as haul family or crew members and their gear comfortably, but he wanted and needed a Duramax engine under the hood. Of course, the only way to have a Duramax-powered SUV is to build one, so the MA team began the hunt for a good candidate to begin their Duramax/allison swap project.
Merchant and his team found a high-mileage 3/4-ton 2008 Chevrolet Suburban that was a former Border Patrol vehicle locally, so they didn’t even have to travel far to pick it up. The Suburban had the LS trim package and
Eric Merchant and his team at Merchant Automotive transformed a plain white, run-of-the-mill 9-passenger 3/4-ton Chevrolet Suburban into a sharp-looking, diesel-burning, Yukon Denali-looking SUV that GM should have built!