Two-door SUVs of all types are pretty much universally cool: 4Runners, Pathfinders and Explorers were all once available as two-doors and are now highly sought after, but it’s the ’92-’99 K5 Blazer/Tahoe/Yukon that has captured the most hearts over the years. There’s just something about the OBS shorty SUV that looks perfect in all iterations, whether lifted or lowered, but admittedly we’re a little partial to the slammed variety.
Yovany Diaz’s ’96 checks all of our boxes, and it’s even an ultra-rare GMC Yukon as opposed to the more common Tahoe two-door. It took a lot of work to get the GMC to where it is today, with Yovany logging more than two years into the build, and there are lot of subtle tricks that a lot of folks might not even notice unless they’re diehard OBS fans. Things like the sectioned and tucked-in bumpers, front bumper filler delete, smooth wiper cowl and shaved roof rack (all done by Danny Macias at Dogghouse Kustoms) might not be obvious to most, but they were instrumental in cleaning up the Yukon’s lines.
Other mods, such as the shaved firewall and third brake light, are more traditional fare these days and served to complete the smooth look that Yovany was going for. But stuff like the wheel tubs were a much more necessary addition to provide a lot of extra clearance and protect both the engine compartment and cargo area while driving. Luckily, they also happen to look awesome!
Since we’re talking about clearance, it makes sense to mention the reason for needing it—Yovany’s GMC now lays body thanks to custom frame rails from the firewall back. This resulted in a stock floor body drop, and the Yukon can be raised back up to cruising height via a ‘bag-on-bar Y-link setup out back and Stone Fab control arms up front, with Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags all around.
Another big part of this SUV’s look is the wheel set, which is comprised of 22×9 and 22×12-inch Intro Vista billets. The narrower Stone Fab control arms allow Yovany to keep a decent turning radius up front, but the rears required the axle to be shortened quite a bit—8 inches, in fact. Worth it! At this point, though, the factory brakes were looking kinda puny, so in went 16-inch Wilwood brakes with six-piston calipers at each corner to fill up the space behind the wheel spokes.
And although the original 5.7L Vortec engine was plenty decent enough for most, it just didn’t have the panache of the newer, more aftermarket friendly LS-based mills, so Yovany swapped in a 2005 5.3L with a Corvette intake manifold and fuel system, using custom engine mounts, a custom harness (using the factory fuse box), a Dirty Dingo pulley relocation kit, a custom air intake and a custom oil pan.
Once all of the dirty work was done, Yovany finally took the Yukon back to Dogghouse Kustoms to lay down the House of Kolor Cobalt Blue, after which it made its way to Daniel’s Custom Auto Interiors for some fine-as-wine Relicate leather in burgundy. But this was no quick re-stitch job: the front seats and all panels were reshaped, and a custom jump seat was built for the back, complete with billet cup holders! And, as a proud member of Severed Ties, Yovany had to have an <ST> steering wheel from Colorado Custom.
From what we hear, a supercharger and a new transmission setup are in the works, so it looks like Yovany isn’t quite done with his Yukon just yet!