Buying a base-model truck is a great way to save money and build a custom the way you want it to look. Let the dealer sell some sucker the fully loaded rig with all the bells and whistles, because you know that with several smart purchases, your truck will be looking great in no time and you'll have more cash in your pocket. When it came time to build a new project, we used the "Build it the way you want it" mentality and purchased this bare-bones '06 Chevy Silverado. Needing a daily driver parts truck, we left the dealership with a work truck, some extra spending money, and a mind full of creative ideas.

A daily driver needs to be fully functional and to keep the cost down and the fun level high, we ordered a bed full of parts from Stylin' Trucks. Known for their great customer service, helpful tech support, and low prices, Stylin' was the first place to start the truck build. To drop the Silverado, a Belltech Stage Three 5/7 drop kit was ordered, complete with front 2-inch spindles, 3-inch coil springs, alignment bushings, drop leaves, 6-inch rear flip kit (with C-notch), rear shackle kit, and Belltech's best Street Performance shocks.

The lowered custom truck market is desperately in need of better shocks, and Belltech has answered our call with its vehicle-specific oversized shocks featuring 35mm pistons and Teflon-coated bushings. Lowering a truck improves the overall looks, improves the truck's handling, and when done right, it can provide a smooth ride that doesn't feel like a horse and buggy. To maximize the Silverado's lowered stance, we bolted on a set of 24-inch MHT DUB Big Homie wheels in a black and chrome finish. Providing the contact patch and protecting the wheels, we wrapped the MHT hoops in Hankook Ventus V4 ES tires. Having a sport suspension with a tire that isn't designed for performance is a waste of time, and thankfully, the Hankook Ventus V4 ES is a well-built high-performance tire.

To turn the wrenches, we dropped the truck off at Mouse's Kustom Fab in Phoenix, where they can do all types of suspension work and specialize in back-halves. In just one day, Mouse's Kustom Fab had turned this boring, base-model truck into a real head-turner. Check out how they did it, and if your truck needs a suspension makeover, give Stylin' Trucks a call.

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
TIME SPENT WORKING: 10 HOURS
DEGREE OF DIFFICULTY: If you can read directions and you don't mind
cutting your frame, you can do this install
TOOLS NEEDED: Assorted metric sockets and wrenches, torque wrench, Sawzall or
plasma cutter, jackstands, jack, mallet, screwdriver, punch
PARTS USED:
Belltech 5/7 Level 3 lowering kit 668SPBLT $1,143.92
Hankook Ventus ST 295/35R24 tire $360.00 (each)
MHT DUB Big Homie 24x10-inch wheels black with chrome inserts $707.00 (each)
TOTAL: $5,411.92
(prices from Stylin.com and superbuytires.com and do not include tax, shipping, or installation)

Highs:
• Great looks
• Improved handling
• Straightforward install

Lows:
• Ride can be too stiff for some
• Install requires cutting the rear frame
• 24s aren't cheap

From the Driver Seat
Thankfully, lowering a '99-'06 Silverado/Sierra is a straightforward affair and a walk in the park for Mouse's Kustom Fab crew. Belltech is the leader in lowering trucks for a reason-their stuff works and it fits. The real crown jewel in the install was the Street and Performance shocks that help retain a quality ride, yet also provide good damping for spirited driving. The wheels and tires really made this truck a head turner. Be on the lookout for future tech articles where we'll show you how this base-model truck was transformed into a SEMA show feature vehicle.

SOURCE
Hankook Tire
1450 Valley Road
Wayne
NJ  07470
973-406-3500
www.hankooktireusa.com
MHT Luxury Wheels
12300 Industry Street
Garden Grove
CA  92841
800-493-7891
www.mhtwheels.com
Belltech
1075 North Avenue
Sanger
CA  93657
800-445-3767
www.belltech.com
Mouse's Kustom Fab
Phoenix
AZ
602-442-6999
http://www.mouseskustomfab.com
Stylin' Trucks
7820 East Pleasant Valley Road
Independence
OH  44131
800-586-9713
www.stylintrucks.com
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