When committing to building a ground-up, early-model custom truck, it is definitely a major undertaking. My youngest son Casey drove a '50 Suburban during his high school days, and after graduation, he downsized to a smaller ride during his college years. I had been storing the stock 'Burban in the family garage. Recently, I decided it was time to transform the daily surf-wagon into a serious custom boulevard cruiser. It was wise to consider a new frame and suspension into the build's equation, and while we were looking for high quality frame and suspension components, we looked no further than Chris Alston's Chassisworks and KP Components in Sacramento, California.

Chris Alston's Chassisworks has been manufacturing early-model truck frames for many years. However, they had never bent framerails for a '48-'54 Chevy or GMC Suburban. The CAD-designed 4x2x.120-inch g-Machine framerails with front tapered horns were CNC mandrel-bent. The framerails were separated by a 4x2x.120-inch large radius front crossmember and a mid-frame crossmember featuring a 9x5-inch driveshaft loop flanked by two 4-inch ID exhaust ports.

The front Street Machine independent front suspension (IFS) consists of 20-inch polished stainless steel TIG-welded .156-inch-wall tubular upper and lower A-arms. A pair of black sculptured dropped spindles were linked to the 211/2-inch power steering rack with OEM tie-rod ends. The 3/4-inch diameter front antiroll bar with custom endlinks will eliminate some of the front body roll. The polished billet aluminum four-bar canted links suspended the Fab9 rearend housing. A rear ball-end 7/8-inch diameter torsion lever-style antiroll bar will minimize any rear body roll and help the old 'Burban handle like a modern sport truck.

Watch us as we bolt on the Chassisworks suspension components to the g-Machine frame. We moved forward 60 years in one install. This transformation took place at Ironworks Speed & Kustom in Bakersfield, California.

To start the project we laid out all of the parts for roll call, then began to follow the well-explained, step-by-step assembly manual, which allowed us to complete the assembly in just four hours. Now our project Suburban has a world-class foundation with limitless potential.


Time Spent Working: 4 hours
Degree of Difficulty: Intermediate

Tools Needed:
Allen wrenches, ratchet and assorted sockets.

Parts Used:
4x2-inch g-Machine full frame $3,319.00
Street Machine A-arm front suspension, power rack, sway bar, 13-inch rotors/hubs $5,086.00
Fab9 M/S billet canted four-bar hardware and accessories $1,414.00
Billet four-bar canted links $889.00
Rear ball end antiroll bar $459.00
Transmission X-member 15/8x2-inch drop $105.00
Engine mounts $49.00

Total: $11,210.00
(prices from chassisworks.com)

Chris Alston's Chassisworks
8661 Younger Creek Drive
CA  95828
Ironworks Speed & Kustom
2762 Unicorn Road
CA  93308
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