Bayou -- born Corey DeHart, now living in Katy, Texas, was faced with a predicament that many of us in the custom truck world are faced with -- how to make his daily driver stand out amongst the masses. After driving around with a mild lift on his Tahoe for a short while, he began to get complacent and looked for a way to make his Chevy really turn some heads. After a quick trip to Extreme Offroad and Performance, also in Katy, Corey and shop owner Austin O’Krinsky went over a few scenarios to figure out exactly what Corey was looking for. Once hands had been shook and the new build received the green light, the Tahoe would never be the same.
Providing plenty of elevation, a 12-inch Cognito lift raises the Tahoe high above traffic and Fox coilovers provide a smooth ride on and off-road. With so much clearance under the Chevy’s square fenders, the Extreme crew was able to bolt on 20x12 Fuel Nutz wheels mounted inside 37-inch Toyo M/T tires. As you can see in the photo, Corey and his new bride Ashley are not afraid to get it dirty. To help get up into the blue beast, powered running boards from Amp Research automatically retract once a door is opened. A big wheel and tire combo needs a bigger brake package to restore braking performance, and with 15-inch rotors and six-piston calipers, the Baer brakes are more than capable of bringing the Tahoe to a halt.
The black and machined Fuel Nutz wheels provide the menacing look Corey was going for, and
Now that the Chevy was lifted high and looking good, the team at Extreme addressed the power lost from the big wheels and tires. Helping the 5.3L V-8 breathe easier is an aFe cool-air intake, American Racing Headers long-tube headers, and Magnaflow exhaust system. Getting the 5.3L to make the most out of those mods, custom ECU tuning with EFI Live was used and an Edge programmer monitors engine performance. Tall 4.88 gears with Mag-Hytec diff covers ensure the Tahoe can get from one side of a mudhole to the other.
Looking at the build sheet, Extreme had checked off many of Corey’s mods, but the exterior was still just a stock black Tahoe. A matte metallic blue vinyl wrap cured the outward appearance of looking like any other SUV on the road. Additions like a Paramount Restyling mesh grille, Anzo projector headlights, and smoked Recon LED taillights propelled the Tahoe into the full-blown custom truck territory. The modifications don’t end once the doors are opened, as the factory leather seats received blue suede inserts with blue stitching, the pillars and headliner were wrapped in black suede, and the carpet was protected courtesy of Weather Tech mats. Country music can be heard from blocks away as two JL Audio subs are housed in a Stealthbox and receive plenty of juice from Rockford Fosgate amps. Mids and highs are handled by Rockford Fosgate T3 components and the whole shooting match is controlled by a JVC navigation head unit.
One look at the completed Tahoe helps you understand how several well-thought-out mods can turn a soccer mom SUV into a legitimate off-road machine. If you’re starting on a new project, take a page out of Corey’s playbook and figure out exactly what you want and don’t give up until you have it.
Inside the Build
Year Make Model: 2007 Chevy Tahoe
Owner and City/State: Corey DeHart • Katy, Texas
Type: 5.3L V-8
Induction: aFe cool-air intake
Exhaust: American Racing Headers long-tube headers, Magnaflow exhaust
ECU: Custom EFI Live tuning with Edge programmer
Built by: Extreme Offroad and Performance
Rearend: 4.88 gears with Mag-Hytec diff covers
Front suspension: 12-inch Cognito with Fox reservoir coilovers
Rear suspension: 12-inch Cognito with Fox reservoir shocks
Brakes: Baer 15-inch rotors with six-piston calipers
Wheels & Tires
Wheels: 20x12 Fuel Nutz
Tires: 37x13.50R20 Toyo Open Country M/T