Erik Storedahl’s 2005 Chevy Colorado

Four Wheeler - - Contents - By Jered Korfhage [email protected]­ Pho­tos: Jered Korfhage

Erik Storedahl’s 2005 Chevy Colorado

“IGOT BORED OF WHEELING MY BLAZER AND WANTED AN­OTHER PROJECT,” Erik Storedahl told us, “and that’s when the headache be­gan.” But let’s back up a bit. We heard his blue Chevy Colorado bel­low­ing from down the rocky canyon be­fore we could even see it, and we had to know more. Erik told us a story rife with late nights, junk­yard grief, and DIY fabri­ca­tion.

The ’05 Chevy Colorado had been a dream for a while be­fore Erik snatched one at the dis­counted price of $5,000. The plan was sim­ple—tear the truck down to the frame and body, drop in an ’05 Cadil­lac mo­tor,

bolt up a 4L80 trans­mis­sion, and af­ter a cus­tom ex­haust and some trans­planted axles, the truck would be ready to roll. That plan took three months, and the best part came when he turned the key. Erik built such a quiet ex­haust that he could hear the knock in his junk­yard-sourced en­gine. Only a mi­nor set­back. A quick trip back to the junk­yard yielded an LQ4 from an ’05 De­nali, which went seam­lessly into the place of its pre­de­ces­sor. A quick cel­e­bra­tory test in the drive­way led not only to a rum­bling V-8, but also to the last dy­ing breath of the junk­yard 4L80 tranny. This time Erik let the project sit for a spell while he strate­gized. It was time for

a pre­ci­sion-built 4L80 from Mon­ster Trans­mis­sion, and while he was at it he chose to re­build the LQ4 V-8.

With a bul­let­proof tranny and a freshly re­built and tuned en­gine, the truck was ready for its 44inch Pit Bull Rock­ers—and a snowy Wash­ing­ton trail test. This was the shake­down run mark­ing T mi­nus seven days un­til Erik’s 2018 trip to King of the Ham­mers. Nat­u­rally, the LQ4 det­o­nated on the snow run, leav­ing him five days to scram­ble and find a new en­gine. When we met Erik in the Cal­i­for­nia desert, he was half­way through his in­au­gu­ral trail test, and as he told us, ev­ery­thing (fi­nally) ran great.


<-Though the dove­tailed bed is not as vis­i­ble from the front, Erik’s ’05 Chevy Colorado still looks men­ac­ing with 44-inch Pit Bull Rock­ers and the cus­tom Chevy Bow Tie winch fair­lead.

12. The pow­er­train has been a re­volv­ing door of trial and er­ror. Fol­low­ing the ex­plo­sive snow run, Erik found a 6.0L LQ9 built ex­clu­sively by GM in Ro­mu­lus, Michi­gan, to turn the gas into go. Re­built with a full-man­ual re­verse valve­body, the 4L80 from Mon­ster Trans­mis­sion keeps Erik in con­trol of the gear changes.

->Erik’s Dana 60 king­pin is much bet­ter suited for the trails than the orig­i­nal in­de­pen­dent front sus­pen­sion. The axle came from an old mod­i­fied Toy­ota Erik scored on Craigslist and car­ries 5.38:1 gears and an Ea­ton Elocker. Hold­ing the 1-ton axle be­neath the truck is a four-link sus­pen­sion made from 1.25-inch­di­am­e­ter, 0.250-wall tub­ing and rod ends from Ruf­fstuff Spe­cial­ties. ORI struts give the axle 16 inches of travel, while the PSC Mo­tor­sports dou­bleended ram setup helps aim the 44-inch tires.

31. The rear Chevy 14-bolt also came from the old built Toy­ota, is geared down to 5.38:1, and main­tains trac­tion with an Ea­ton Detroit Locker. The up­per arms of Erik’s four-link are 1.25-inch-di­am­e­ter, 0.250-wall tub­ing, while the lower Ul­ti­mate Rock Crawl­ing Trail­ing Arms are from Ruf­fstuff Spe­cial­ties. King coilovers give the rear 16 inches of travel while the 4-inch King bump­stops pre­vent harsh bot­tom-outs. A Trail-gear lim­it­ing strap keeps the axle move­ment in check, and Erik kept the tailpipes tucked be­neath the truck to keep them clear of ob­sta­cles. Both axles have cus­tom trusses made by Erik and his col­leagues.

|>The in­te­rior was kept fairly close to stock, with enough room for a few friends to come along on the trails. Routed through the floor are the twin sticks for the At­las T-case and the trans­mis­sion shifter.

<|->To help keep the 44X19.5-17LT Pit Bull Rock­ers from eat­ing his bed­sides, Erik put a cou­ple week­ends’ worth of time into the dove­tailed bed. The tail­gate is still com­pletely func­tional, and both ends of the truck are adorned with a 1⁄4-inch steel cus­tom bumper.

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