If your goal was to build a street-legal monster truck, a Chevy Kodiak wouldn't be a bad platform to start on. Carson Braga set out with that goal, and his '06 Kodiak 4500 already had a jump-start toward being a monster. Now, it's well on its way. It's missing the four-wheel steering, so it's a bit hard to maneuver through a parking lot, but does just fine on the highway. In fact, he's driven the truck to Pismo Dunes, California, three times in the three months since the truck's completion, and traveled to and from Yuma, Arizona, all without any run-ins with the California Highway Patrol.
Perhaps the first thing that makes a monster truck truly monstrous is its tires, so we'll start from there and go up. Carson chose 445/65R22.5 Goodyear tires and Alcoa wheels to plant the traction to the ground. Metric tire sizes don't really do the tire justice, however, as they sound even more impressive when you realize that's more than 45 inches tall and 17.5 inches wide.
King 3.0 Triple-Bypass Shocks Handle The Rear Suspension.
To run that massive rubber, Jos Carranza installed Atlas springs on the Kodiak in the shop at Braga Ranch. The 12 inches of added suspension, combined with the new tires, lifted the truck two feet above normal truck territory and encroaching into the monster-truck realm. The suspension on the Kodiak is actually very comfortable, thanks to several key additions. Triple-bypass King shocks ride on each corner of the truck, and additional road damping comes from two small airbags at the rear of the cab that allow the cab to float over the chassis, pivoting from the front. Custom sway bar mounts, both front and rear, allow for confident on-road driving, while the steering got a boost from an ORU hydraulic ram assist that makes turning the huge tires much easier. The turning radius was also reduced when the front axle was narrowed 5 inches in each side, which was a modification the commercial vehicle enforcement of the California Highway Patrol indicated as necessary for the truck to remain street legal.