This month’s Fantastic Four tech install is on a 2011 Chevy Silverado 4WD. These are amazing trucks from the factory, but could use a bit of help in some areas. The owner bought the truck to haul dirt bikes and motocross gear all over Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada. We decided on a moderate lift to give the truck more ground clearance when off-road, an intake and exhaust for better engine respiration, and beefy wheels and tires for improved off-road safety and capability.

For the suspension, we contacted Summit Racing and ordered a Skyjacker 6-inch lift kit. We also upgraded the leaf springs and rear shocks since the owner would be hauling heavy dirt bikes around. The intake we went with was AEM’s Brute Force intake kit from This came with the new Dryflow oil-free filter for ease of use. We ordered a Cherry bomb exhaust, also from Summit Racing, since the owner wanted a rowdy sounding truck and according to Cherry Bomb, they have been disturbing the peace since 1968. Finally, for the rolling stock, BMF was contacted for their M-80 wheels in stealth finish for a mean look, and a set of General’s new Red Letter Grabbers in the 35x12.5R20 size were ordered from 4 Wheels Parts. We had heard good things from other truck owners about the Grabbers and were excited to see how they performed.

For the intake and exhaust install, we used our Tech Center and Truckin’s Editor Dan Ward handled turning the wrenches and holding back the expletives. The truck was then taken to Trader’s Truck Accessories, in Santa Fe Springs, California, to have the suspension installed, along with the wheels and tires. Once we arrived, technician Ox Higgins made quick work of giving the truck a better stance and new shoes. Follow along to see how we upgraded Chevy’s newest pickup.

• Better than factory ride
• Increased off-road capability
• More horsepower
• Improved hauling ability

• Difficult exhaust install
• Lower MPG

From The Driver Seat
After taking the truck for a test drive, we noticed a couple of problems. Primarily with the intake and exhaust. First, the intake whistles when accelerating on the highway. It’s annoying and it’s constant. Also, the exhaust had a major leak at the connection of the Y-pipe and head pipe. This is because we had to reuse the factory clamp and with the new pipe not being the exact same size, it could not tighten down fully over the connection. The suspension, however, is amazing. It added 6 inches of lift and made the truck ride better than factory. With the 35-inch Red Letter Grabbers, the total height difference was about 8 inches. The upgraded leaf springs in the rear add support for when the owner hauls motorcycles and gear in the bed. The BMF wheels are great looking and tough enough for mild off-roading and the Grabbers are robust enough for the dirt, but quiet and compliant on the road.

Your Questions Answered
Time Spent Working: 12 hours (not taking into account the extra day due to the wrong exhaust pipe)
Degree of Difficulty: Advanced
Tools Needed: Assorted metric and standard wrenches and sockets, cut off tool, crow bar, air gun, lubricating spray, drill, assorted drill bits, Torx set, Phillips screwdriver, flathead screwdriver
Parts Used: (All prices courtesy,,,,
Skyjacker 6-inch Lift with springs #C7660PKS-H: $2,027.11
AEM Intake #21-8030DC: $339.95
Cherry Bomb Exhaust #300701: $449.95
General 35x12.5R20 Red Letter Grabbers: $432.99 each. $1,731.96 total
BMF M-80 20x9-inch Stealth finish: $390 each, $1,560.00 total
Total: $6,108.97

Auto Anything
9210 Sky Park Court
Suite 100
San Diego
CA  92123
BMF Wheels
1401 N. Batavia Street
Suite 107
CA  92867
4Wheel Parts erferer
400 W. Artesia Boulevard
CA  90220
Traders Truck Accessories
10242 Norwalk Blvd
Santa Fe Springs
CA  90670
Skyjacker Suspensions
P.O. Box 1678
West Monroe
LA  71294
General Tire
1800 Continental Drive
NC  28288
P.O. Box 1312
CA  90250
Cherry Bomb
Summit Racing
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