Style and Function Are Melded on This Late-Model Chevy
By Kevin Wilson
Photography: Kevin Wilson
Not long ago, when lowered late-model Chevys were all the rage, the hot look was a monochrome treatment with body-colored bumpers, door handles, roll pan and tonneau. Since that time, styling trends have come and gone, but the monochrome treatment still gets a lot of attention. Just ask Jason Arce whose basic white, ’08 Chevy turns a lot of heads. Not only is it quick, his truck is a perfect example of what the monochrome treatment looks like on a late-model diesel.
The ingredients for Jason’s recipe are simple: big lift, big powdercoated wheels, shaved emblems, and a clean approach to building the truck. As a sales rep for ATS in Avarda, Colorado, Jason’s Chevy is also a rolling business card that shows customers just what can be accomplished with a late-model, GM Duramax truck.
Shortly after delivery of the ’08 Chevy crew cab, Jason took the truck to 5R Customs, in Golden, Colorado, for suspension work. The Chevy was fitted with 12-inch Cognito Motorsports suspension lift, complete with the Cognito’s Pitman arm and lower A-arm braces and heavy-duty tie rods. Out back, 5R added a set of 8-inch Deaver Springs leaf packs to replace the stockers, along with 2-inch lift blocks. The progressive-rate Deaver Springs improve the ride dramatically, with Chrome Fox Reservoir shocks at each corner, smoothing out the ride. A set of Peterbilt air bags were also added out back to level the truck for towing.
The lift provides plenty of clearance and wheel travel for the rolling stock of choice, RBP 94R 12×20-inch wheels fitted with 4-inch Toyo Open Country M/Ts. The wheels were sent to Foothills Powder Coating for custom powdercoating in Summit White before the rolling stock was mounted. Front and rear 4:10 gearing helps turn the huge rubber, while steel-braided brake lines help compensate for the truck’s huge lift. Adding extra fluid to the rear axle is an ATS diff cover.
As a rep for ATS, it was only natural to have the ATS crew work their magic on the truck’s 6.6L LMM Duramax. For better breathing, an AEM Brute Force intake was added first, along with an ATS turbo-back 4-inch exhaust system. The LMM still uses the stock turbo, but was fitted with 80-hp ATS nozzles for additional fuel delivery. Tuning is via an EFI V2 program, custom tuned by the ATS folks. With everything turned up to max, the big Chevy lays down a solid 500 hp, and well over 1,000 lb-ft of torque, which is plenty for a daily driver.
To handle the 1,000 lb-ft of torque, the ATS crew also gave the Allison six-speed the once-over, fitting it with ATS’ Stage 6 package, which included an ATS 5-Star billet torque converter, ATS race valve body and deep sump, and ATS trans pan. Downstream, the stock U-joints were upgraded with heavy-duty replacements, complete with grease zerks.
With the mechanicals out of the way, attention turned to styling the Chevy. The first order of business was to remove all the stock emblems and badges, with the exception of a Street Scene chrome Bowtie in the grille. The door handles and mirrors were also painted Summit White, while an HID headlight conversion adds white at night. For ease of entry, the 1-ton was fitted with Amp Research running boards. Some Clear Bra on the hood fenders and rockers keep paint chips to a minimum.
On the inside, the Chevy was given the complete custom treatment, starting with a suede headliner from Car Toys of Thorton, Colorado. To make his truck stand out from the rest of the white LTZ Chevys, Jason had a ton of airbrush work on the factory trim pans, done by Jessie Hodges of realpaintfineart.com. The airbrush work is intricate, and gives people plenty to look at inside the truck.
We caught up with Jason at last year’s ATS Diesel’s on the Mountain, where his truck was part of the ATS display. Jason said the build was a team effort, and offers many thanks to the guys at ATS and 5R trucks. Like most project trucks, the build isn’t quite complete, with a custom compound turbo kit and a killer stereo on the wish list.