We have seen a ton of wild builds throughout the years, but this one is definitely one of the largest. From super old to brand new, we never know what to expect from you guys. St. Louis native, John Eilermann, wanted something that was big and beautiful, and thanks to the help of Linco Diesel Performance, he got exactly what he asked for.
Eilermann went to LinCo Diesel with full intentions of building a Jeep or a safari vehicle for chauffeuring his friends and family around his 300-acre property. Well, after speaking with the crew at LinCo, they talked him into building the masterpiece that is now called High Roller. High Roller is a 1972 Chevy Suburban that is powered by a 6.6-liter LBZ Duramax.
Eilermann wanted to fit at least five or six people to be able to ride in his rig. However, after seeing the prices of legit safari vehicles costing more than $150,000, that was just out of the picture. Adamant about a retro-style safari build, they found just the right platform to build this Chevy Suburban that utilizes style and comfort with limo-style seating, moonroof, and no backglass.
The High Roller Build
The Chevy Suburban started out as a $5,000 project from the Texas area. It was in superb condition, except for its primer coating in lieu of paint. However, having primer as the base made things easy for Eilermann’s team of experts to get this truck glossing like it rightfully should.
Although High Roller came with a 4-inch lift and 35-inch tires, that wasn’t enough for Eilermann. Obviously, he wanted bigger and better, and that’s exactly what it got. With the help of a spare gutted cab, engine, and transmission, LinCo mocked up and modified everything for fitment before setting it into the good chassis. Once the engine and transmission were fitted, the steering and suspension followed.
This “Duraburb” rides on 2007 GM 11.5 AAM rearend with a Yukon Grizzly locker, and a 1989 Ford king-pin Dana 60 frontend with a Trac-loc limited slip. Matched perfectly with the wheels and tires, High Roller uses a 6-inch Rough Country lift kit, Bilstein rear shocks with remote reservoirs, and a 4:56 gear ratio.
On the frontend, they used ADS Racing coilovers with dual-rate springs and a custom in-house four-link build with a track bar and steering linkage. For stopping power, a third-gen Dodge hydroboost brake system was modified to work with the original Suburban pedals.
Powering The High Roller
Under the hood, the LBZ Duramax is supported with a FASS Diesel Fuel System’s 165 g/ph lift pump, and a G & R Diesel Performance And Repair sump inside a custom in-house-built fuel tank. Although it’s equipped with stock injectors, it’s got plenty of air with the help of a LinCo Stage 1 64/66 turbocharger and an intercooler from a second-generation Dodge Cummins. The exhaust exits the turbocharger through a 4-inch dual exhaust system that is V-band-connected with two 6-inch stainless exhaust tips.
Under the hood of this Chevy Suburban are a lot of powder-coated parts including the engine, thermostat housing, y-bridge, charge pipes, and intake, and it was all done by Extreme Powder Coating. More dress-up parts include a Pacific Performance Engineering engine oil and transmission pan that have been powdered blue to match the blue of the truck.
The truck is big, but with 550 horsepower and 1,050 lb-ft of torque, it has plenty of power to go as fast as it wants. Backing the Duramax engine is an Allison 1000 transmission, NP261XD transfer case, and an Inland Truck Parts-built custom driveshaft. With a Suncoast Diesel Transmissions GM1058 torque converter, the drivetrain is ready for war.
The custom interior is done up with charcoal-colored upholstery and everyone inside is protected by white piping for a roll cage. The dash is a custom piece that uses toggle switches for the lighting fixtures and a 7-inch touchscreen JVC Audio head unit for radio to control the MB Quart 6.75-inch front door speakers, 6×9-inch rear speakers, and two 10-inch subwoofers hidden under the custom center console.
The Scheid Diesel Extravaganza was High Roller’s first truck show, and apparently, the judges loved the truck as much as we do. It won best custom truck at one of the largest truck shows in the country and that alone made all of the long hours and money spent on this build worth it. We’re sure that we’ll be seeing a lot more of this truck in the future.
We want to thank LinCo Diesel Performance for reaching out to us on this build. We also send thanks to Mr. Eilermann for building such an amazing Chevy Suburban and bringing it out to shows for all of us to see.