A Custom Prerunner-Style Duramax

May 2nd, 2011

Text and Photos by Kevin Wilson

Most diesel enthusiasts tailor the modifications to their trucks to meet their needs. For some folks, it’s big power for sled pulling and drag racing. For others, it improved power and performance for pulling a trailer. And, of course, most diesel owners are looking for better fuel economy.

Jared Werline, of Las Vegas, Nevada, is one of those folks who wanted to tailor his truck to his speeds. Unfortunately, not only did he want a big lift and big tires, he also wanted the truck to tow his toy hauler efficiently without breaking the bank.

For Jared, the build on his 2008 Chevy HD was a lesson in trial and error. After purchasing the truck, he opted for a typical off-the-shelf lift.

“When I first got the truck, I lifted it and built the whole thing before I realized it wasn’t quite right,” commented Jared. “I wanted an all-purpose truck. I eventually was introduced to J. Johnson, of J. Johnson Motorsports Unlimited, of Las Vegas, who specializes in building street-legal trophy truck-style rides.”

Johnson put together a plan for the big Chevy to fulfill Jared’s wants and wishes. First up were modifications to the Bullet Proof Suspension 12-inch lift by adding 2-inch torsion bar keyways and custom-valved Fox Racing shocks for each corner. A dual setup up front helps control the heavy nose weight from the Duramax, while a set of RCD traction bars helps put the power to the pavement, as does a set of 4.56 gears.

The big gears help turn the truck’s huge 40-inch tire-and-wheel combo. The truck rolls in cool, black-coated American Force 10-lug wheels with billet spacers and adapters to fit the truck’s original 8-lug wheel pattern. The 22s are wrapped with 40-inch Toyo Open Country M/Ts.

To help with towing, an Air Lift air bag system, complete with on-board air compressor and tank, keeps the rear end level. Also connected to the air system is a set of chrome train horns mounted under the truck.

With the durability of the Duramax powerplant well documented, Jared opted to go mild with the mods, which included a Banks air intake and Banks intercooler for lower EGTs. An RBP programmer boosts the Duramax, while an MBRP exhaust system helps improve breathing.

The Allison automatic remains stock, with the exception of a deep sump Mag-Hytec trans pan. A Mag-Hytec diff cover out back also adds more fluid to the rear end. A Titan 45-gallon fuel tank also extends the range of the big Chevy.

The leather interior is accented by wood trim on the dash and doors, along with a cool Alpine stereo and DVD system. The setup uses an Alpine PDX 5-channel digital amp that plays through 12-inch Type R subs and separates front and rear, according to Jared. The subs are mounted under the rear seat in a custom box that also doubles as a gun safe.

Since he lives in the desert and actually gets a chance to exercise the suspension on the big Chevy, Jared is pleased with his high-performance daily driver that was built to order.

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