“Necessity of the mother of invention,” has been the starting point of many businesses over the years. When you see a need in the world or even just have a thought that something could be better than it currently is, a business can be formed. Such was the case for former Walt Disney World engineer Erich Swanson who wondered why GM wouldn’t offer the large SUVs they build with the most significant power they had in the barn that certainly would fit under the hood of these massive beasts. With this thought, a business was formed.
Chevrolet Leads the Way
GM has never offered the current full-size SUVs with the benefit of a diesel powertrain. Whether that’s because of a lack of response for a diesel-powered model, or the fact that families typically use the Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban, and Yukon models, and don’t actually need that much power is a question that hasn’t been answered. The fact is, these SUVs haven’t been offered with the Duramax diesel engine at all, which is why Swanson started his business called Duraburb and began to upgrade these GM models to make sure they could have the benefit of the diesel power.
A Hushed Reality
While Duraburb is a small shop with six lifts, they turn out about fifty trucks a year from this shop located in Apopka, FL. Most of the models that are offered are built for the Secret Service, Border Patrol, and Department of Defense, which means the team can’t talk much about what they offer at all. Even so, a private buyer recently approached the team to convert a 2017 Chevrolet Suburban SUV to the 3500 Heavy Duty Spec to offer an SUV that the team at Duraburb can actually talk about and show off.
The upgrades made to the Duramax diesel engine makes it one that can offer around 550 horsepower and 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque from under the hood. This makes it possible to have an amazing amount of power when driving this large SUV that has been reported to reach fuel mileage ratings of as much as 21 mpg. This SUV is certainly as simple as an engine swap that was done, but the most insane private swap done brought in a 1,050 horsepower and 1,900 lb.-ft. torque Duramax V8 engine put into a 2005 Suburban that’s used to drive kids to school every day.
If you wanted to have your large GM SUV upgraded to diesel power, you would spend nearly $45,000 on top of the price of the original vehicle, but if that type of power is what you want, it could be worth the added cost to give you the insane power that can come with these large models. Maybe GM will catch on and decide to adopt what Duraburb is doing in the future, but for now, Swanson continues to find success in a niche area of the market where he saw a need that had to be addressed; at least in his mind.