New for 2011, this '08 Chevy Tahoe is one of the latest project trucks that we'll build right here in our tech stories. Making it big and mean was a must, but we also didn't want to lose any of its everyday usability. Careful planning was made to create a monster Tahoe that is deserving of a double take. Bulletproof Suspension is known for making lift kits that are almost, well, bulletproof. So, when we wanted to lift this '08 Chevy Tahoe, the Bulletproof 8-inch was an easy decision. And who in the Houston area can install such a detailed lift kit? Ekstensive Metalworks, of course. They are notorious for making trucks lay on the Texas tarmac, but they can, and will, do just about anything to cars and trucks, so making a truck go up and not down was an easy feat.

This Bulletproof lift adds 8 inches of height to the stock suspension. The basic lift doesn't include shocks, but we decided to go with the upgraded Fox coilovers that are a bit pricey, but offer a much better ride. With plenty of space between the lifted body and the ground, we bolted on a set of Nitto's new 35-inch Trail Grappler mud-terrain tires mounted on 20x9-inch BMF Novakane wheels. Nitto's new Trail Grappler is a hybrid off-road tire that combines the quiet and comfortable traits associated with the Terra Grappler all-terrain tire and the incredible traction and toughness of the Mud Grappler mud-terrain tire. The look of the Nitto tires and BMF wheels is uncompromising and sure to make the Tahoe look like it's ready to crush cars at a monster truck show. There are several reasons you may want to lift your vehicle, including tough looks, added off-road capability, and the ability to bolt on bigger wheels and tires, but no matter what the reason, a lift is a great way to make your truck or SUV that much better.

Better than factory ride with the upgraded Fox coilovers - Added capabilities - Aggressive looks
It's not easy to install - Fox upgrade is expensive

The installation of the kit was a bit more than what we expected. With the cutting of the differential and the fabrication of parts, this isn't really a kit that the average shadetree mechanic could install in their driveway. But if you want a solid, well-built lift kit that will give your SUV an upgraded ride and stance, Bulletproof is the kit to go with. We talked to the owner after the lift and this is what he had to say:

How is the ride quality?
"It rides like a Cadillac; those Fox coilovers are awesome."

Any rubbing?
"The tires rubbed, but after some minor trimming it is all good now."

Gas mileage?
"The gas mileage is around 12 city, 15 highway."

Overall thoughts?
"Gets a lot of looks, very fun to drive, and rides really well."

There you have it, the owner is thoroughly pleased with his lifted Tahoe. After the wheels and tires were added, the Tahoe stood right around 46 1/2 inches high, which is about 11 inches higher than stock. Not bad for an 8-inch lift and 35-inch tires.

To see how we squeezed more power and reclaimed some of the lost MPG out of the stock 5.3L engine, check out next month's issue where we installed an AEM intake, a Corsa performance exhaust, and an Edge CTS programmer.


Time Spent Working: 12 hours for a professional shop
Degree of difficulty: Advanced

Tools Needed:
Impact gun, assorted sockets and wrenches, mallet, MIG welder, prybar, flat-head screwdriver, ratcheting tie-down

Parts Used:
Bulletproof 8-inch lift, Fox coilovers $4,350 ($2,550 with no shocks)
Nitto Trail Grappler 35x12.50x20 tires $340 (each)
BMF Novakane 6 20x9 wheels in Death Metal Black $450 (each)

Total: $7,510.00
(Does not include tax, shipping, or installation)

Discount Tire Direct
24350 N. 20th Drive
Building C, Suite 134
AZ  85085
Fox Racing Inc.
18400 Sutter Boulevard
Morgan Hill
CA  95037
Bulletproof Suspensions
1316 Agate Avenue
Suite E
CA  92359
Kik Clothing
12144 Beaverbrook Street
TX  77657
Ekstensive Metalworks
1804 Sunny Drive
TX  77093
BMF Wheels
1401 N. Batavia Street
Suite 107
CA  92867
Nitto Tire
6021 Katella Avenue
Suite 250
CA  90630
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