In this economy, it is getting harder and harder to find budget-friendly ways to make your truck look and perform better. Luckily for us, there are still companies out there that understand this and are making parts that do the trick, without eating a hole in your wallet. We came across this completely stock 2010 Silverado 1500 with a 4.3L V-6 and just the sight of it sent shivers down our backs, the same shivers you get when you hear gears grinding.

To solve this problem, we first contacted Rancho Suspension. They offer a leveling kit called the quickLIFT. Basically, it utilizes the coil spring from the factory strut and replaces the shock with a taller one. We also ordered a new set of Rancho 9000XL shocks for the rear. This combination levels the truck and gives it a better than factory ride, however, doesn’t cost as much as a traditional lift kit. For wheels, we called Black Rhino and had them send out a set of chrome 20x9-inch Serengeti wheels for a clean, yet tough look. We wrapped these with Falken’s new Wild Peak A/T 285/50R20 tires. Since the owner will never take this truck off-road, the Wild Peaks will give the look of a dirt/mud tire, but perform amazing on-road and won’t whine like other agreesive off-road tires. In order to gain back some of the horsepower and gas mileage our V-6 lost to the heavier wheels and tires, we had Gibson install one of their exhaust systems. This will help the engine exhale and sound better. To get more air into the engine, aFe sent us a replacement drop-in air filter. This costs half of what a full intake system costs and can be cleaned instead of having to be replaced. Follow along as we take this factory Silverado and make it a mild-mannered menace.

Highs:


  • Low Cost
  • Extra clearance for larger wheels and tires
  • Added horsepower and torque

Lows:

  • Rancho install was tricky due to having to compress the springs


From The Driver Seat
The leveling kit brought the front end of the truck up enough to match the rear. The ride stayed the same as factory but the truck looks far better. As expected, the tires don’t whine on the road and are aggressive enough to take off-roading if needed. Before the exhaust, the truck came in right at 143 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque, and after the exhaust, the truck boasted an improved 160 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. Overall, the truck looks better, feels better on- and off-road, and performs better—all for around $2,900.

Your Questions Answered
Time Spent Working: 4 Hours
Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate
(Due to having to compress the springs)
Tools Needed: Air gun, assorted metric sockets and wrenches, crowbar, Sawzall, WD-40, T-25 Torx bit, coil spring compressors
Parts Used:
(Prices from manufacturers and do not include tax, shipping, or installation)
Rancho quickLIFT Suspension Lift System $199.99 (each)
Rancho RS 9000 XL Rear Shocks $105.99 (each)
aFe Pro Dry Air Filter 31-10004 $53.50
Gibson Performance Exhaust Kit PN#615604 $546.81
Black Rhino Serengeti 20x9-inch wheels $269 each; $1,076 total
Falken Wild Peak A/T 285/50R20 $182.00 each; $728.00 total
Total: $2,916.17

SOURCE
Dependable Off-Road
1542 N. State College Blvd.
Anaheim
CA  92806
714-774-1471
www.dependableoffroad.com
Gibson Performance Exhaust
1270 Webb Circle
Corona
CA  92879
707-996-4591
http://www.gibsonperformance.com
Rancho Suspension
1 International Drive
Monroe
MI  48161
734-384-7804
http://www.gorancho.com
AFE
252 Granite Street
Corona
CA  92879
951-493-7155
http://www.afepower.com
Falken Tire
13649 Valley Boulevard
Fontana
CA  92335
800-723-2553
http://www.falkentire.com
Black Rhino Wheels
800-479-8127
http://www.blackrhinowheels.com