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Project Plan B! The Evolution of a Towering 2023 GMC Denali 2500 HD

When Plan B Was Always Plan A 

Photos by Mach1Media

There is no missing this towering 2023 GMC Denali 2500 HD. Whether it’s parked at a show or making its way through traffic, the sheer size of this truck is enough to command attention wherever it may be. Aside from its burly physique, the stark white paint is absolutely blinding in direct sunshine, and the gigantic 30-inch wheels are big enough to strike most onlookers dumb. Once the truck creeps up close enough, however, you’ll start noticing the incredible detail work that went into increasing its ability to make a lasting first impression.

The Big Plan

Kirsten Roberts of Hampshire, Illinois, purchased this Denali brand new with zero intentions of leaving it in stock condition. In fact, her outlook for it was quite large in scale. She had a rather good idea of what she wanted done, and she knew exactly who to call to help make it happen. Kirsten reached out to Robert Pigue of Plan B Fabrication in Sorrento, Florida, with a general outline for the build. Knowing that’s really the only thing that was required on her part, she left her GMC with Robert, along with full creative control of the project.

“I wanted to fulfill my dream of owning a show vehicle.”

Robert has built a great reputation for himself within the lifted truck community throughout the years, and he was prepared to dive right into the project with no delay. Plan B Fab specializes in all things related to oversized pickups—with custom chassis and suspension systems at the forefront. Given the information he gathered from Kirsten, the plan of performing a frame-off rebuild of the GMC’s foundation was implemented first. Now, the dissection of a brand-new rig, especially to this degree, is bold territory to venture into. Not too many folks have the courage to flirt with voiding the factory warranty so quickly into ownership, but Kirsten had a very simple mission to accomplish.

“I wanted to fulfill my dream of owning a show vehicle,” she admits. “I also wanted to have the baddest truck in Chicago, and building it right the first time was of utmost importance to me.”

“… Rob began the task of test fitting the suspension components that would soon amount to a 20-inch lift.”

From the Ground Up 

Once the GMC’s cab and bed were separated from the frame, Robert began the task of test fitting the suspension components that would soon amount to a 20-inch lift. Yep, you read that correctly. Kirsten wasn’t playing around with how she wanted her truck to look. To reach that ride height, front 12-inch and rear 14-inch travel coilovers with triple bypass Carbon shocks were assembled along with Eibach springs all around. A 4-link system with trailing arms was also put together for the rear section of the frame. A solid axle swap featuring a 2019 Ford F-250 front Dana 60, and a rear 2019 F-250 Sterling 10.5 rear axle with E-locker differential was also rolled out, complete with front and rear bolt-on axle trusses for added strength.

Next, a Jay Fab Inc. custom aluminum fuel tank with basket was brought in to replace the factory unit. Now, as impressive as this orchestration of chassis components was, they were quickly blasted apart and sent out for an interesting combination of powdercoated finishes. The use of lime and purple colors along with chrome overlays make for a refreshed suspension setup that never goes overlooked. Robert and Kirsten can both vouch that this feature of the truck proves time and again to be its most popular characteristic.

“The use of lime and purple colors along with chrome overlays make for a refreshed suspension setup that never goes overlooked.”

With the mile-high suspension lift complete, the GMC needed a fitting set of wheels to cap it off just right. Luckily, Robert has a good working relationship with Ruthless Forged, as they also specialize to the lifted truck crowd. Plan B builds consistently feature Ruthless wheels, and for damn good reason. 30-inch Switchback units were selected to grace the hubs of Kirsten’s truck, and to allow them to blend in with the freshly upgraded chassis, they have also been treated with matching purple-colored powdercoating. Of course, a truck of this stature requires big chunks of capable rubber, and 42-nich Fury M/T tires fit the bill splendidly.

“30-inch [Ruthless Forged] Switchback units were selected to grace the hubs of Kirsten’s truck…”

The Sound of Success

While in the mode of sprucing up the GMC’s outward appearance, Robert contacted Jeremy Brown of JB’s Customs and Classics to color match a good deal of exterior parts to pearl white, but it’s what is lurking within the cab that is surprising to most onlookers at first look. Electronics Depot in Altamonte Springs, Florida, was entrusted with the job of fabricating custom door and pillar panels that were loaded with enough audio firepower in the way of Sky High Car Audio speakers and Trinity Audio subwoofers to keep Kirsten’s eardrums ringing.

“Electronics Depot in Altamonte Springs, Florida, was entrusted with the job of fabricating custom door and pillar panels that were loaded with enough audio firepower in the way of Sky High Car Audio speakers and Trinity Audio subwoofers to keep Kirsten’s eardrums ringing.”

After spending six months in Robert’s care, the Denali was ready to be reunited with its excited owner. Since Kirsten’s truck has been completed, it has been shown at Lone Star Throwdown, Florida Truck Meet, Scrapin’ the Coast, Atlantic City Truck Meet, Music City, Smoky Mountain, and the SEMA show to serve as the cherry on top. With the official debut period now in the past, Kirsten can now focus on enjoying her GMC, which still includes showing it off just as much, but she is looking forward to driving it as much as possible.


2023 GMC Denali 2500 HD 

Owner:

Kirsten Roberts
Hampshire, IL

Engine & Drivetrain 

  • 2023 Duramax V-8 6.6L
  • Jamo 5-inch exhaust system
  • Fully tuned and deleted with injectors
  • 2023 Allison transmission
  • TCM trans tuning
  • Custom front one-piece driveshaft and polished rear aluminum
  • 2019 Ford F-250 Dana 60 front axle swap
  • 2019 F-250 Sterling 10.5 rear axle swap w/ E-locker
  • Front and rear bolt-on axle trusses

Chassis & Suspension 

  • Shop: Plan B Fabrication, Sorrento, FL
  • Fully stripped and plated frame, powdercoated with triple overlays
    Plan B custom 20-inch lift
  • Front 12-inch travel coilovers and triple bypasses, Carbon shocks
  • Rear 14-inch travel coilovers and triple bypasses, Carbon shocks
  • Eibach springs
  • Custom 4-link with trailing arms
  • Jay Fab Inc. custom aluminum fuel tank w/ backet

Wheels & Tires 

  • 30×16 Ruthless Forged Switchback wheels
  • 42×16.50×30 Fury M/T tires

Body & Paint

  • Shop: Jeremy Brown @ JB’s Customs & Classics, Longwood, FL
  • Color-matched painted exterior pieces
  • Show Off Motorsports fender deletes
  • Painted marker lights
  • Tinted taillights
  • AMP Research running boards

Interior & Sound 

  • Shop: Electronics Depot Car Audio, Altamonte Springs, FL
  • Custom door panels
  • Subwoofer enclosure under back seat
  • Four 8-inch Trinity subwoofers and amps
  • Sky High Car Audio mids and highs