In our new and ongoing series called Fantastic Four, we show you how different a truck looks once it receives the basics of customizing: new suspension, new wheels/tires, new intake, and a new exhaust system. This month we tackled an '04 Chevy Colorado in its stock glory-complete with genuine Chevy accessories like step bars, mudflaps, and a bug deflector. Being on the East Coast, this truck fit right into our "needs some help from Truckin'" with 15-inch cast wheels and a factory suspension. Bringing it out of the Dark Ages and into the 21st century, we bolted on a 4-inch lift from Rancho, new 20-inch Helo Syndrome chrome wheels with fresh-off-the-assembly-line Nitto Dune Grappler 33-inch tires, an AEM Brute Force intake, and a MagnaFlow exhaust. To accomplish this admirable task in one day, the talented team at Godfather Customs, located in Atlanta, was recruited to perform the install. Not only a leader in the mail-order aftermarket, Godfather Customs is also one of Atlanta's largest wheel and tire retailers. Godfather also sells performance accessories, suspension lifts, and lowering kits, and offer installation of the parts in its large store in Decatur, Georgia.

We arrived at Godfather Customs early Monday morning and were out the door by dinnertime-sporting a truck with a whole new persona. During our nine hours of work, the major snag we came across was the wheel fitment on the new Rancho lift spindles. The lift kit uses front and rear drop-down brackets, so the truck owner can use his/her stock control arms. But, on the kit we installed, our original +15mm offset on the 20x8-1/2-inch Helo Vibe HE831 wheels would not clear the upper ball joint base with everything buttoned up. After tracking down a new set of wheels at 4:30 p.m. (thanks to Kirk Manire at the Wheels Pros in Atlanta), we bolted on a new set of Helo Syndrome HE830 wheels with a +23mm offset, but there was still not enough clearance. The Rancho tech line was closed, so our next best solution was to bust out the grinder. After removing about an 1/8-inch off the top of the ball joint base and adding a 1/4-inch six-lug spacer, the wheels cleared with only about 1/16-inch clearance. After a slow rolling test, the wheels cleared with no problem and there was no rubbing at any speed.

Besides this one (albeit very important) problem, the lift, wheels and tires, exhaust, and intake went on with no adverse effects. For more on our driving impression and what it takes to transform your Colorado or Canyon, check out the install photos and our From the Driver Seat sidebar. If you're interested in these parts used on our Colorado, contact Godfather Customs for pricing. Also, check out next issue where we will show you four other mods that are super-easy to install, and worth every penny.

Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate.
The instructions are detailed on the lift kit, but some grinding and air tools were required. The intake and exhaust were a breeze.

Time Spent Working: Nine hours (including alignment).

Tools Used: Basic and large wrenches, air ratchet, air impact, air drill, grinder, cut-off bit, Unibit, prybar, Sawzall (for exhaust), small sockets (for intake).

Total Cost: $5,003.04 (MSRP and minus labor).

Parts Installed: Rancho 4-inch lift kit for '04-'06 Chevy
Colorado/GMC Canyon RS6559B MSRP: $1,550.
Rancho RS5000 front and rear shocks RS5610 RS5325 MSRP: $50 each.
Helo Syndrome HE 830 wheels 20x8-1/2-inch chrome wheels (+23mm offset) MSRP: $300 each.
Nitto Dune Grappler 285/55R20 tires MSRP: $290 each.
AEM Brute Force intake part #21-8018D MSRP: $307.38 (per AEM website).
MagnaFlow after-cat exhaust system part #15845 MSRP: $585.66.

After a noticeably taller step into the truck, we immediately fired up the Chevy and heard the nice rumble from the MagnaFlow exhaust. A 26-mile drive home revealed the Colorado had a nice ride with minimal bumpsteer from the larger (but lower profile) tires and the kit had great suspension travel. The added pickup and throttle response was much appreciated. Since the initial drive, over a month has passed, and the Colorado is doing great, with no adverse effects on the gas mileage. The only complaint on the lift kit is that a rear shock mount wasn't centered in the hole and was squealing. A quick reaming with a drill bit and the squealing was gone. Our only remaining complaint: With the larger tires now on the truck, the speedo is 3-mph slower than actual speeds and, due to the lack of programmers available for the Colorado, we just have to live with the small problem. The driver's exact comments on the Fantastic Four-equipped Colorado were: "I think it actually rides and handles better than stock, and the Nitto Dune Grapplers provide great road and steering input while not being loud or sacrificing ride."

Proof that doing your homework and buying parts that suit not only your function needs, but also your custom ones, can be a fantastic experience.

SOURCE
AEM
N/A
www.aempower.com
Magnaflow
Godfather Customs
www.godfathercustoms.com
Nitto Tire
Dept. MM&FF
6261 Katella Ave.
Cypress
CA  90630
Helo Wheels From Wheel Pros
www.wheelpros.com
Rancho Suspension
gorancho.com
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