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Parts Used In This Episode

Matco Tools
MATCO Tools are the Official Tool Supplier to Music City Trucks
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Marc)>> You're watching Powernation.

(Marc)>> Today on Music City Trucks...

(Brandon)>> We're getting Unbreakable ready for the mountain. A little paint.

(Marc)>> I have no idea what I'm doing.

(Brandon)>> A few welds. [welder popping] Ow! And Unbreakable turns into a monster. [engine revving] ♪ ♪ [engine revving] ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> So the plan here to kick this build off, what are we going to do today? Where are we headed?

(Brandon)>> We're headed to Adventure Offroad Park, AOP and we're going to hit mud, hit the trails and go up rocks. Hopefully! This is a long truck. The rock thing might not happen.

(Marc)>> We're at Adventure Offroad Park in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.

(Brandon)>> I love this place. This thing's got over 500 acres to choose from. 120 different trails. Everything from easy to extreme rock bouncer type stuff.

(Marc)>> Plus they have over 20 events here every year and thankfully, they saved a little bit of time for us to come in here and check out our rig. And that's just what we're going to do with our suburban today. See what it can do. And you're driving. ♪ ♪ Funny noises. ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> Where's my keys?

(Marc)>> I don't know if this was a good decision? [engine startup] Yeah! It definitely doesn't want to stay in 4. This is like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. (laughs) ♪ ♪ Stalled again?

(Brandon)>> Yeah! I think we broke it.

(Marc)>> Let's see what's going on. Pump it! Crank it! Crank it and pump it! [engine cranking] No fuel. ♪ ♪ Well, this day didn't really end the way that we wanted it to. This is what happens when you go out trail riding, especially when... the rig's untested. Sometimes it breaks. ♪ ♪ Well, our poor suburban didn't make it back here under its own power, but we got it back here on the hook. It's on the lift and it looks good in here. And... it looks good in here.

(Brandon)>> I'm not an interior designer but I think I did a pretty good job with this thing.

(Marc)>> Don't quit your day job just yet. Speaking of your day job, let's talk about the project.

(Brandon)>> I think that we need to stick with the name that I said at the park, Unbreakable. So, Project Unbreakable.

(Marc)>> You're putting that stamp on there. That is a tall order.

(Brandon)>> Especially for something this big, that's going to require axles, suspension, engine trans, the whole works.

(Marc)>> So, any moving part, either has to be replaced or rebuilt.

(Brandon)>> Probably replaced.

(Marc)>> Probably. Let's start under the hood.

(Brandon)>> Throttle body 350, 185 horsepower of fury.

(Marc)>> It's not really anything to write home about in the power, but they are reliable. In fact, so reliable, this is probably the original engine that came in this truck 30 years ago.

(Brandon)>> I wouldn't doubt that. These things are stout and they seem to never die if you treat them right.

(Marc)>> Except! We don't know the history. We don't know the maintenance history. We don't know what's going on inside there or how many miles are on it. And like you mentioned, the power level, I say this thing's got to go.

(Brandon)>> I think we build a small block and keep this truck small block.

(Marc)>> Like it!

(Brandon)>> You want to see what's underneath?

(Marc)>> Suburbans aren't really known to being the first pick for off roading. But with the right components, it can be plenty capable. Well, I noticed that the rockers are kind of rusty but, other than that, it seems like a solid truck under here.

(Brandon)>> I think this is the perfect starting point for what we're trying to build. But, I am going to pick it apart. 10 bolt front axle, which is known for breaking pretty much every component inside of it. The 350 we already mentioned.

(Marc)>> I noticed the 700 R4, looks like it's been rebuilt at some point. So, we might actually be able to salvage that.

(Brandon)>> We might be able to. That may be the only thing we keep. 208 aluminum transfer case, chain driven. Again, not really off- road worthy for what we're trying to do.

(Marc)>> I noticed under here too, the wires for the fuel pump, they look like they either chewed up or got pinched. And I can actually see the copper inside.

(Brandon)>> Let's not talked about the slip yoke that's going to fall out of the tail shaft. And these nice welded on caps for the u-joint.

(Marc)>> Nice work!

(Brandon)>> The one-wheel wonder 10 bolt. Block style lift. And the worst part about this truck, especially for safety... is this tight brake hose you could play like a banjo. That's your only safety device on this truck.

(Marc)>> So bottom line... everything we're talking about just has to come out.

(Brandon)>> All of it.

(Marc)>> Let's get some tools. ♪ ♪ Coming up... we finish the tear down on Project Unbreakable.

♪ ♪ [parts banging]

(Marc)>> This may look like we're taking the long way around to get the engine out. That's never been off. But it's much easier and cleaner to just remove the front clip. That did it. [drill popping] I'm good on this side. ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> Still good with me.

(Marc)>> There we go. It wanted to come out. Whether or not you're reusing your old parts, will dictate your method of removal. For us, this stuff is all headed to the scrap bed. [drill popping] [saw buzzing] [torch hissing] ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> Oh my... Ow! [drill popping] [lift humming]

(Marc)>> We're getting down to the nitty gritty here. [drill popping] [wheels rolling] [pressure washer humming] ♪ ♪

Well, isn't that how projects go? You start taking it apart and the next thing you know... you've got a bare frame. Well Brandon did a great job in getting this thing all cleaned up and painted, but where this thing really made the transformation is... what we took off. Mainly, all of the mounting points for our leaf springs. Because those things are going away. We're replacing them with 4 link and coil overs front and rear. This is going to be a bad machine. Here's what we're going for.

(Brandon)>> Unbreakable is the ultimate off roader, that can do a little bit of everything.

(Marc)>> Except, of course, leave you stranded. Big lift. Tall tires. Sinister black paint and all the recovery gear.

(Brandon)>> Just in case. [saw cutting] Now I could just cut these old rockers out and replace them, then build the sliders underneath. But I'd rather kill 2 birds with 1 stone by building the sliders into the body. That eliminates the rust and gains me ground clearance. [saw cutting] [welder popping]

(Marc)>> Dang! That looks good.

(Brandon)>> No turning back now. [building noise]

(Marc)>> Well, Brandon really knocked it out the park with the paint job on our suburban here and I'm not a paint and body guy, but I do love a freshly painted vehicle. Especially, when it's satin black like this. Now, it's probably a little overboard for as much abuse as we're going to give this rig, but hey... that's part of it. We've made some good headway... but we still have a long ways to go as you can see... by all the parts here on the floor. But... it's going to be worth it right?

(Brandon)>> Oh! Every bit of blood, sweat and tears. These are the front 4 link brackets, that attach the links to the frame. We're not exactly sure where we want them yet. So, we're just throwing them up there to get a starting point. ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> Well now it's time to get our brackets attached to the axle. And these brackets are really intricate here. But, what's cool about this side... is it's got the center section casting here and the bracket sits right on that. But the problem is... it does hit a little bit here. So, I just need to trim it to fit. And that's ok that's because of different tolerances in the axle. So, mark it there. Get it cut. And get it fit and tacked it. [drill popping]

(Brandon)>> Sent! ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> Awesome! Let's see what this is. Zero! ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> Now we can start getting the links installed and check our wheel-base. Centered?

(Brandon)>> Centered.

(Marc)>> That's 42 and 7/8. ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> Now with the axle where we want it to live, front to back, we can measure for the length the track bar needs to be, to keep the axle centered side to side. [metal clicking]

(Marc)>> Let's try again! We're pretty-close right?

(Brandon)>> We're close!

(Marc)>> Close!

(Brandon)>> Close dude!

(Marc)>> So my cut was good?

(Brandon)>> No, your cut's good!

(Marc)>> Nice! [welder popping] Yep! It's making some weird noises. I think it's fine.

(Brandon)>> It's settling. ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> Oh! It didn't go as far as I thought it would.

(Brandon)>> You know what this thing looks like?

(Marc)>> What's that?

(Brandon)>> A monster trophy truck.

(Marc)>> It's monster alright. It's about 4 inches higher than we said it was going to be. So, it's painted. All the suspension is under it, front and rear. I would say it's time for a refreshing adult beverage.

(Brandon)>> With some lime?

(Marc)>> And salt. Make mine a double. Coming up... the front suspension is finally taking shape.

(Marc)>> Hey everybody! Welcome to Music City Trucks. You may recognize some of the parts laying around here, we've got all of the 4-link, 14 bolt and kingpin Dana 60, that are going in our 1991 Suburban project that we're calling "Unbreakable".

(Brandon)>> Now, it might sound like an impossible task, but we figure... hey we're crazy enough to try it and we've gotten a lot of progress on this project. But we can't lie, it's been an uphill climb. [machine noise] Oops! There we go. Oh, mine came... ow! Ow! No turning back now. ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> I have no idea what I'm doing. You know, 1 tons, 4 link and coil overs are awesome, but this rig would be all knees and elbows if it wasn't for our friends down at Engine Power.

(Brandon)>> Let's just say... I don't have to make engine noises anymore.

(Pat)>> You ready? You ready? [engine revving]

(Marc)>> The boys down in Engine Power, whipped us up 383 stroker small block Chevy, that makes 490 horsepower and 492- pound feet of torque. [engine revving]

(Brandon)>> Not bad! So, let's quit playing around. Let's get the flex plate on. Get the transmission bolted in and get this stuff in the truck.

(Marc)>> Let's do it. [metal clicking] The angle... looks pretty good.

(Brandon)>> Fit?

(Marc)>> It's in there.

(Brandon)>> Whoa!

(Marc)>> Well!

(Brandon)>> It's beginning to look like something.

(Marc)>> We've got all of our link set at the proper length so, all we need to do... is get em in here, without scratching them. ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> Now you can see the contrast the red oxide and the black. And it looks good! [hammer tapping] [metal clicking] Now that all the links are installed, we can go ahead and get the coil overs hung. [metal clicking] Oh yeah!

(Marc)>> We're jumping on our exhaust system on our suburban. Just like that.

(Brandon)>> Perfection!

(Marc)>> We decided to run it as a true dual setup to keep it nice and simple.

(Brandon)>> Oh that's money! We want to tuck it up as high as possible, so it's not the first point of contact with any obstacle.

(Marc)>> This is a little chaotic because we're using a universal kit and just figuring it out as we go. We might have needed to put some heat shield on some of this. But what really matters...

(Brandon)>> I like that.

(Marc)>> Is... the end result. I got the front hanger all in there.

(Brandon)>> You mean the only hanger! I got all the exhaust figured out. These bad boys right here!

(Marc)>> I mean... I like it! And just like that, our exhaust is all tacked in. Well, we're going to switch gears again and start working on our recovery gear. You may remember our spare tire carrier here. We made it a while back. It's only tacked together for now because we knew we were going to be coming back here and adding some stuff to it. That's why we left it long. We got a bunch of stuff from Holley. From their Anvil line. One of the things is this 5-gallon jerry can here. We're actually going to mount this right here. I made this bracket out of 11 gauge. Just going to weld it to the spare tire carrier right there. That will be plenty strong enough. And then we still haven't made a latch for our spare tire carrier there. But we got this one right here. We just need to get that installed and then we'll move on to the rest. I made this mounting plate from 11-gauge steel. And now we can move on to our latch. Since our bumper and carrier are made of 120 wall, their thick enough to drill and tap for some fine thread bolts. ♪ ♪ Wow! That's nice. [metal clanging] Well, I mentioned recovery gear, a little while ago, from Anvil... and this is the stuff I was talking about. Just the basics to get you going. A couple of blocks. A couple of snatch traps. Some clevises or d-links. And a weighted damper for our winch cable. Now we scrounged up this weatherproof box here, that was laying around the shop. You can put all that stuff in there along with some other things we might need. Like some hand tools and things like that. And then we're just going to strap this thing back in back here where the third-row seat would've gone... we'll be done back here.

(Brandon)>> And all that gear that Marc just mentioned is pretty cool, but here's the icing on the cake. The winch. This is a 17,000-pound Anvil winch that we used to build the bumper. But I just went back on their website, and they came out with a synthetic version. This thing is lighter, stronger, and safer. So of course, we're going to use this one.

(Marc)>> That was a nice winch-tro you did there.

(Brandon)>> After installing the aluminum fair lead, we'll pull that synthetic rope through and attach our hook. ♪ ♪ Now time for the control box. ♪ ♪ We just need to run some wires and this winch is ready for wheeling. Coming up... Unbreakable is hitting the mountain.

(Marc)>> There we go. ♪ ♪ Last time we were at AOP, we got stuck on the mountain, but we've added a ton of cool parts and turned this suburban into our version of the ultimate off-road machine.

(Brandon)>> Probably should've put hydro on it. But, street truck. [engine humming] Oh yeah! Springs are a little soft.

(Marc)>> Springs are soft but... I think I could get use to it.

(Brandon)>> Give her a little juice. Let's see what happens. [engine revving] ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> Well... it made it back to where we broke, initially, very easily right?

(Brandon)>> So, I'm calling this the starting point.

(Marc)>> So as far as this park goes... we've only seen a very small portion maybe... 3 percent right? Parking brake works.

(Brandon)>> Making sure the parking brake works. They're creaking a little bit. Yeah! We've only seen just the beginning. Literally the trail head. We're going to go up past where we were broken down before, see what this park is all about.

(Marc)>> Let's do it! I've already been behind the wheel. You take it.

(Brandon)>> I'm driving. I was going to say it, right before you said that. [engine revving] Oh yes!

(Marc)>> No problem! [engine revving] Very good! ♪ ♪

(Brandon)>> With most of the weight of the vehicle on 1 tire, looks like we aired down a little too much.

(Marc)>> Let me get my seatbelt back on before you go again now. We're at like a 30-degree angle here.

(Brandon)>> I want to get out and spot it. With how tall our truck is, we certainly gotten ourselves stuck in a tight spot and at a tricky angle. Here's the plan.

(Marc)>> You really need to straddle this ditch, but you can't because of the tree.

(Brandon)>> So what I'm going to do... is I'm gonna put it in reverse. And I'm just going to cut hard passenger, swing it this way... and then kind of come up the hill a little bit. This is doing it man.

(Marc)>> It's doing it. [engine revving]

(Brandon)>> Woo! ♪ ♪ So, we've got to change that rear tire out and since we're on such an incline, I'm just going to winch it to a tree, just to be safe so, the truck don't roll away. ♪ ♪ Alright! That's good right there. [drill popping] I think that's what these were rated at. Onward! [engine humming]

(Marc)>> She may be damaged.

(Brandon)>> Not broken.

(Marc)>> Some people may call this broken.

(Brandon)>> I call it bent.

(Marc)>> Just slightly damaged. Man! This setup works.

(Brandon)>> Everything we put in this truck is working the way it should. ♪ ♪

(Marc)>> Well, can you imagine turning around and going back down, the way we came up?

(Brandon)>> Going up was an adventure. Wow! What an awesome day.

(Marc)>> Well... we have some things to fix when we get back. Enough stuff has gone right today.

(Brandon)>> We need the icing on the cake.

(Marc)>> This calls for a little celebration.

(Brandon)>> I call this successful.

(Marc)>> I don't think this thing's dirty enough.

(Brandon)>> It's definitely not dirty enough. [engine revving] [water splashing] Oh! Right through the floor. If you'd like to know more about our suburban... go to powernation t-v dot com and check out Unbreakable's project page.

(Marc)>> We have current build status, before and after pics, links to parts used and all the episodes are right there on one page.
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