Customizing a Stock 1996 GMC Suburban 4X4 into a Full Off-Road Beast and Trying to Stand up to it's Nickname ''Grave Digger''
THIS BLOG IS FOR INFORMATIVE PURPOSES ONLY. DO NOT TRY ANY OF THE CONCEPTS DEMONSTRATED HERE, BODILY HARM AND/OR DEATH MIGHT RESULT. I DO NOT ASSUME ANY LIABILITY FOR THE MISUSE OF THE CONTENTS.
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Supersizing the wheels!
For the first post on this spanking new blog, I'll be talking about the first upgrade I brought to the truck. Since the tires were totally used up when I bought the truck I needed to get some new ones. Moreover the OEM silver painted rims were all rusted so I needed some new wheels as well. I went looking over the internet for the biggest possible wheels that could fit onto the GMC Suburban without having to do a body lift. I know I'll do a body lift eventually, but for now I neither had the time or money to do it.
From my calculations and observations from looking around a 285 75 R16 tire would be the biggest tire to fit the Suburban. I looked around for good tires in that size that would be both affordable, be rated for extreme snow conditions (mountain snowflake symbol), and have good all terrain performance. I already had a weak spot for the Goodyear Wrangler series because of its look and popularity. I was deceived to see that most tires in this series aren't for extreme off road. I had either the choice of going with the Wrangler Duratrac or Wrangler MT/R. The problem with the MT/R is that they aren't rated for snow extreme conditions, and where I live as of 2014 it is required by law. I then had pretty much no choice than to go for the Duratrac. They make the E load rating (10 ply) version for this tire so it would be both able to take the heavy Diesel Suburban anywhere and be able to resist pointy rocks and scrap metal. I bought 5 tires for 259.99$CAN each at a local store but you can also find online for about the same price. Buying them local had the advantage for me to get a special warrantee in which if a tire gets punctured I can get it repaired at my local store for free.
The stock tires being 245 75 R16, the new tires would be much much larger (40mm to be precise). This would make fitting the new tires on the OEM rims doable, but neither recommended nor safe. I went ahead and looked for 16 x 8 rims. Why stay in the 16 inch diameter you ask? Well I love the look of beefy tires and they do provide much better traction in deep snow or mud and can be deflated to a greater extent than low profile tires to augment grip. I didn't want to go with some weak aluminium alloy rims so I absolutely wanted to go with steel. So the search was on for some heavy duty 16 x 8 steel rims. That have an 8 lug pattern as used by the Diesel Suburban version. I found that the Pro Comp USA Rock Crawler Series 52 Black Powder rims were exactly what I needed. I purchased them from www.National4WD.com for 115.99$CAN each.
Fitting them on the Suburban:
Like I said above, the 285 75 R16 are the biggest rims that will fit on the Diesel Suburban. However, there is some minor trimming to be done to fit those monster wheels. The front bumper and plastic garnish has to be cut in a 45 deg pattern. The other side of the rear well needs its mud flap and other plastic and metal brackets to be trimmed down. This allows the wheel to turn fully and the suspension to compress without hitting anything. The rear wheels don't need to be modified at all. Hope you have enjoyed this first post and look forward to much more...